With AirPods, Apple gets back to ‘it just works’ [Review]

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AirPods Microphone
Apple's wireless earphones are easily one of the company's best products of 2016.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s EarPods have always been a go-to favorite for me. They’re included with every iPhone, always sound good enough for what I need, and I’ve always found them comfortable. Even going back to the good old iPod days, I’ve always kept a pair close to hand.

But now Apple’s moving on into the “wireless future” with its new AirPods. These completely wireless earphones let you listen to music and podcasts, make phone calls and talk to Siri. But just how do they measure up?

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Photo app Luminar blends power and simplicity [Review]

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Luminar will help you replace the picture you took with the picture you saw.
Luminar will help you replace the picture you took with the picture you saw.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Musicians who can’t read sheet music play by ear. What about a photographer who doesn’t fully understand the science behind imaging software?

That’s me and I’d call myself a fiddler. When it comes to toning an image in Adobe Photoshop, I don’t analyze the spikes on a histogram or adjust pixel color values. I fiddle with a picture until it looks right.

Macphun seems to design photo imaging programs with my brain in mind. Its newest app, an all-in-one program called Luminar lets photographers of all levels quickly improve the look of a photograph without even knowing how certain tools work.

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Lust List: Moshi wireless earbuds sound like a bargain [Reviews]

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Moshi's Mythro Air Bluetooth earphones
Moshi's Mythro Air are quality Bluetooth earphones at an affordable price.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Mythro Air wireless earbuds by Moshi

Moshi’s Mythro Air wireless earbuds look good and sound good. They offer all-day battery life, a clever magnetic clip to keep them in place, and a unique feature that allows you to share music from a single source to two sets of Mythro Air earbuds.

Best of all, they cost $69.99, and sound better than premium earbuds costing two or three times more.

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iXtra case brings more storage and battery life to iPhone

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storage case
This smart case will boost your iPhone in more ways than one.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

You can never have too much storage or battery life with your smartphone. The iXtra case adds more of both to your iPhone, with up to 128GB of built-in memory and up to 2,000mAh of additional juice.

It could be the perfect iPhone case, and you can claim yours now on Kickstarter.

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Rock out with the jamstik+ smart guitar [Review]

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jamstik+ MIDI guitar
The jamstik+ makes learning the guitar accessible and fun.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Lust List: jamstik+ MIDI guitar

Already thinking about how to fulfill your 2017 New Year’s resolution of becoming a rock god?

If so, check out the jamstik+. This MIDI guitar, and its associated collection of apps, promises to help anyone who wants to learn to play guitar or improve their existing skills.

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2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar vs. 2015 MacBook Pro

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2016 MacBook Pro versus 2015 MacBook Pro
When the shiny new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar goes head-to-head against last year's model, which computer wins?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has met a lot of criticism. But all anyone really wants to know is, is it time to upgrade?

Cult of Mac put the entry-level 2015 and 2016 MacBook Pros head to head to see if it’s worth snapping up a shiny new Touch Bar machine.

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Lust List: Moshi’s AirPlay Spatia speaker looks old-fashioned but is anything but [Review]

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Moshi's Spatia Wireless AirPlay Speaker speaker has retro looks, but is thoroughly modern under the hood.
Moshi's Spatia Wireless AirPlay Speaker speaker has retro looks, but is thoroughly modern under the hood.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Spatia wireless speaker by Moshi

Wireless speakers tend to be cheap and nasty — or fantastic and expensive.

There are exceptions, though, and Moshi’s Spatia wireless AirPlay speaker is one of them.

At $399, the Spatia isn’t cheap by any means, but its sound and features rival systems costing much more.

And does it sound sweet. With five drivers, including a subwoofer, the Spatia serves up a rich, wide soundstage. Lots of speakers claim “room-filling sound,” but the Spatia truly fills the bill.

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MacBook Pro: Too slow and not enough ‘pro’ [Review]

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MacBook Pro
The new MacBook Pro is here, but is it worth it?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

It’s been four long years since Apple’s last big update to the MacBook Pro lineup. But Apple finally answered our prayers and delivered us the brand new MacBook Pro we’ve been waiting for — or did it?

It’s a beautiful machine with an intriguing new interface element called the Touch Bar. Check out my full MacBook Pro review below for more.

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iPhone app gives treasured photos new life [Review]

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PicScanner
Pic Scanner Gold and an iPhone will preserve treasured family photos.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

For longer than I have allowed myself to believe, the iPhone has been called a scanner that fits in your pocket. But if I wanted a high-quality copy of an old photograph, I still sought out a flatbed scanner, presuming the results would be superior to taking a picture of a picture with a phone.

But the iPhone camera, as maybe you are tired of hearing, improves with each generation and the so-called scanner apps prove more valuable as a way to copy a photograph for sharing and even printing. One such app is the new Pic Scanner Gold.

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Best iPhone 7 Plus cases under $25 [Reviews]

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7 Plus Cases
We've found seven awesome iPhone 7 Plus cases under $25 each!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Dropped some hard-earned coin on a fresh iPhone 7 Plus? Congrats. Now I’m going to help you protect it for less than $25.

In my latest video, I’ll show you my favorite iPhone 7 Plus cases that you can pick up right now at a bargain. Leather, protective. wallet — check out my picks below.

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