Apple’s rumored March event: Catch our hardware expectations on The CultCast

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New Apple hardware in March?  Party time!
New Apple hardware in March? Party time!
Photo: Kickboxer, Lionsgate

This week: New hardware, incoming! We’ll tell you our hardware expectations for Apple’s rumored March 2016 event, and there’s a lot to discuss. Plus: Why the next iPad Air could be the best one yet; iPhone 7 may have far fewer features than expected; and, is Apple making a move into virtual reality?

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to build a website that looks beautiful on any device that visits at Squarespace.com. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10 percent off.

Super-thin iPad Pro cover lets you stash Apple Pencil

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Thin, light, and extra-grippy case will keep the Pencil in place.
Thin, light, and extra-grippy case will keep the Pencil in place.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: CoverBuddy iPad Pro case by SwitchEasy

Keeping track of my Apple Pencil is a royal pain. Either I’ve got to slip it into a bag like an actual writing implement, carry it around in my pocket, or get one of those cases for my iPad Pro that adds a ton of bulk just to include a fabric loop to strap the Pencil in.

Not so the CoverBuddy case, an ultra-thin plastic sheath for the rear of the iPad Pro that includes something I wouldn’t expect from such a thin, light case: a secure spot for the Apple Pencil.

It’s simply the best minimalist pencil-holding cover I’ve seen yet.

iOS 9 bricks iPhones with unauthorized Touch ID repairs

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Repairing your homebutton could brick your iPhone.
Repairing your homebutton could brick your iPhone.
Photo: Apple

Getting a broken home button on your iPhone 6 replaced may cause the entire device to become a worthless brick of metal and glass.

Thanks to a new feature in a software update recently pushed out by Apple, thousands of iPhone users who had their devices fixed by non-official repair shops have been greeted by a disastrous “error 53” message that locks the device — and even the Apple Store can’t bring it back from the dead.

Apple lets you trade in broken iPhones

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Apple's new trade-in program won't discriminate against cracked iPhones.
Photo: Faris Algosaibi/Flickr CC

Apple is rolling out several new programs in its retail store locations that will give credit for iPhones with pretty severe damage, according to a report. The program will allow customers with a cracked screen, damaged buttons or damaged cameras to trade in their faulty device without issue. Apple previously wouldn’t accept this kind of damage in its Reuse and Recycle trade-in program.

Steel Apple Watch bracelet rivals Apple’s, but costs half the price

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Juuk's stainless steel Revo wristband for the Apple Watch is a beauty.
Juuk's stainless steel Revo wristband for the Apple Watch is a beauty.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Revo brushed stainless steel Apple Watch bracelet by Juuk

For nearly 20 years, watchmaker Eugene Ho has been making luxury timepieces for the likes of Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Timberland, Ecko and Reebok. Now he’s branched out on his own. His startup, Juuk (pronounced “juke”) makes beautiful, high-end bracelets for Apple’s Watches.

Juuk’s wristbands rival Cupertino’s aesthetics and quality — but cost half the price.