Even your cat can’t destroy this chew-proof Lightning cable [Reviews]

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Paracable, hard to chew but quick to charge.
Paracable, hard to chew but quick to charge.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

The charging cable Apple includes with each iOS device may not seem all that interesting, but to a kitten with razor-sharp teeth named Baxter, the rubber-coated cord was an exciting chew toy. Baxter gnawed through four iPhone 5 lightning cables and left Travis Beck no choice.

Beck formed Paracable, a company in Houston, that makes cat-proof charge and sync cords for iOS devices.

Oddly shaped Apple Watch charger brings joy of … video? [Reviews]

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Ugreen's magnetic charging station for the Apple Watch.
Ugreen's magnetic charging station for the Apple Watch.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: When it’s standing there all by itself, the Ugreen Apple Watch Charger Stand looks like a giant joystick. For me, it triggered an instant flashback to the ’80s and the golden years of gaming.

That nostalgic blast wasn’t necessarily a positive, though: I didn’t find the Ugreen Apple Watch charger’s design instantly appealing. In fact, it was almost game over before I even gave it a try. I’m glad I did, because it’s ultimately a handy little charging hub.

Versatile backpack carries the load with style [Reviews]

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The Moshi Arcus backpack wants to shoulder the weight of all you carry for a day's work or travel.
The Moshi Arcus backpack wants to shoulder the weight of all you carry for a day's work or travel.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Red flags go up for me when a shoulder bag or backpack is described as having a “minimalist” design. Minimalist is code for “won’t carry all my crap.”

However, in the case of the new Moshi Arcus multifunction backpack, the minimalism actually conceals an ample and well-thought-out space. A surprising number of pockets in various sizes accommodate all the tools of a daily carry.

These iPhone lenses work the corners to deliver super-sharp images [Reviews]

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The OOWA Pro Kit for iPhone with case and two lenses, a 15 mm wide and a 75 telephoto.
The OOWA Pro Kit for iPhone with case and two lenses, a 15 mm wide and a 75 telephoto.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Screw the 15 mm wide-angle lens into the case, point your iPhone at breathtaking scenery and snap the shot.

If the experience made you say “Oo-Ah,” you will then know how to pronounce the name behind a pair of new lens attachments for the iPhone created by Singapore-based DynaOptics. The OOWA wide-angle and telephoto lenses for the iPhone 6 and 6s series were designed to create that kind of wonder, both in image quality and the sound your mouth makes while looking at your photos.

The Mac App Store is rubbish! Rent apps instead with Setapp [Reviews]

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The Setapp folder full of applications
Setapp currently offers more than 60 apps, with plans to expand.
Image: Setapp

Apple’s Mac App Store is broken. For developers and Mac users alike, the online store just isn’t working.

It’s too hard for buyers to find good software. And, thanks to Apple’s picky restrictions, the Mac App Store can make life difficult for developers.

Setapp, a Netflix-style subscription service for Mac apps, offers an innovative alternative. Instead of buying apps individually, you rent a bunch of them for $9.99 a month.

While it might sound unnerving to anyone accustomed to the idea of buying Mac apps outright, after using the service for two months, I found it liberating. Setup is dead-easy. And the selection is fantastic. Setapp serves up more than 60 Mac apps, all handpicked by MacPaw, the Mac development company that dreamed up the service.

Beats X are better than AirPods in almost every way [Reviews]

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Beats earphones
The Beats X are worth listening to.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

I’ve never been a fan of Beats headphones. Whenever I’ve given them a go, I’ve found the sound quality to be less than stellar, with far too much bass. So when Apple unveiled Beats X wireless headphones alongside the AirPods last fall, the weird-looking white ones grabbed my attention.

Now that I’ve had a chance to try them both, it’s clear I got that backward. I give you all the details on Beats X versus AirPods in my Beats X review below.

Lust List: Zens Power Bank is a great little Apple Watch battery [Review]

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Zens Apple Watch Power Bank
The Apple Watch Power Bank by Zens is a handy little battery pack for your timepiece.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Update: The Apple Watch Powerbank by Zens is now available at the Watch Store with free shipping!

Lust List: Apple Watch Powerbank by Zens

Most external batteries for the Apple Watch are BYOC — Bring Your Own Cable — and have bulky winding systems for tucking the cable away.

Not the compact Apple Watch Powerbank from Zens, perhaps the most portable external battery pack on the market.

Nike+ Run Club is borking my runs, and I blame Apple Watch

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Nike Run Club on Apple Watch Nike+
Does the Nike Run Club app for Apple Watch Nike+ go the distance?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

At the most essential level, a running app should provide a reliable way to log your workouts: when, where, how fast and how far you run. Fancy features are all very well and good, but let’s be honest — if an app doesn’t get the basics right, it sucks.

Nike has been busy adding new bells and whistles to its Nike+ Run Club app recently. Which is great if you want stuff like photo sharing and news feeds. But all I want is to log my runs, and thanks to my Apple Watch Nike+, that critical function has become pretty unreliable.

BeatsX ears on: AirPods rivals bring the bass [Reviews]

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beats x wireless
The Beats X Wireless earbuds charge via Lightning.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The long wait for Apple’s new BeatsX wireless earbuds is finally over and based on our first impressions, it was totally worth it.

We got our hands on a pair of the precious new BeatsX buds today and are mighty impressed by the big sound Apple managed to pack in such a small package. Like the AirPods, the BeatsX earbuds pack a custom W1 Bluetooth chip to pump out better performance and connectivity. Unboxing the tethered buds has been love at first sight.

Let’s dive in!

$10 Milanese loop for Apple Watch rivals the original [Reviews]

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Milanese Loop
Get the look of Apple's Milanese Loop for a fraction of the price.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The internet brims with knockoff Apple Watch bands that are nearly as good as the real deal at a fraction of the price. Determining whether a knockoff is actually any good, however, is another story.

I’ve taken a look at one such band by Cambond, which mimics in appearance the popular Milanese loop by Apple. Retailing at $149, the Milanese is indeed pricey as are most of Apple’s bands whereas Cambond’s version is about 10 bucks.