The Bowers & Wilkins P7 headphones sound as sexy as they look. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
It’s ludicrous but true: How headphones look can be nearly as important as how they sound. Luckily for anybody who slides a pair of Bowers & Wilkins P7s over their ears, these high-end headphones do double duty. They will bamboozle your ears as well as your eyes.
With a stylish design and sturdy construction of gleaming metal and luxurious sheepskin leather, these aren’t a pair of big, cartoon-like plastic puffballs for your head. The P7s whisper quiet refinement rather than screaming “look at me.” If Beats Electronics’ brightly colored models are like those candy-colored iMac G3s from the ’90s, the P7s are like this year’s stunning iMac with Retina 5K display.
But really, looks are only skin deep. When it comes to music at its most intimate — when the sounds are piped straight from the source and directly penetrate your ear canals — it’s the quality of the audio that matters most.
The biggest shopping day of the year is almost here, and you know what that means: deals, deals, deals and more deals. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Black Friday is a shopper’s dream and worst nightmare. The blitz of fliers advertising post-Thanksgiving sales has already begun, with retailers large and small offering deals on just about everything imaginable.
How do you know what’s actually a bargain and what’s a cheap marketing ploy? Never fear! We’re keeping our eyes peeled for the very best Black Friday deals, and we’ll be adding them to this roundup. This isn’t a roundup for all of the millions of discounted TVs and kitchen appliances out there, just the stuff we think is really worth your attention. Keep this page locked for sweet savings on tech, entertainment and other cool gear.
You really need to download Vainglory and get your fingers into battle. Photo: Superevil Megacorp
Chances are, the first time you try your hand at Vainglory you’ll get ganked almost immediately by a crystal-toting Glaive.
If you’d rather avoid that ignominious end, you’ll want to read our guide to all things Vainglory. It’s loaded with tips and tricks on how to kick ass in this excellent iOS game, an Apple favorite that showcases the awesome fun possible in the multiplayer online battle arena genre.
You’ll find basic and advanced gameplay tips, plus a special top 10 list for every hero in the game, right from the developers themselves.
The Today view inside Notification Center was seen by many as a pretty pointless addition to iOS 7; it offered an incredibly brief overview of the day ahead and was somewhat customizable, but it did so little that most iPhone and iPad users forgot it was even there after a little while. That all changed with iOS 8 and support for third-party widgets.Now the Today screen can be filled with useful information and handy little tools, such as calculators, currency convertors, weather widgets, and more. With the right apps, you can turn yours into a one-stop shop for all the data you care about.To help you get started, here's a gallery of the best iOS 8 widgets you can get right now.
WeatherPro is one of the best weather apps you can buy on iOS; it's feature-packed and incredibly accurate. And its widget makes it even more useful by providing you with the current forecast and temperature, in addition to things like wind speed and precipitation -- all inside Notification Center.The WeatherPro app itself boasts 3-hourly forecasts for the week ahead, worldwide alerts and warnings for extreme weather, global satellites and animated radars, and the ability to add an unlimited number of favorite locations.You can download WeatherPro from the App Store now for $1.99.
Wdgts is actually a whole bunch of useful widgets inside one app. It includes useful tools as standard, like a calculator, currency converter, calendar, and time zones -- in addition to a premium pack that offers a network monitor, battery stats, and memory and disk usage data. Wdgts also offers a photo frame, so you can feed it a few of your favorite pics and enjoy them inside Notification Center while you're checking on your calendar.Wdgst is a free download while the premium pack add-on can be had for just $0.99.
Much like Wdgts, Vidgets contains a number of handy widgets that help you seek out useful information in a pinch. It has over 30 widgets in total, including a world clock, timer, barometer, speedometer, weather forecast, and compass. It'll also show your how much storage and memory you're using.The best thing about Vidgets is that it's totally free -- all 30 widgets are included as standard and there are no ads or in-app purchases.
The ScoreCenter widget is a must-have for sports fans. Simply log into the app using your SportsCenter account (it's free if you don't already have one) and select your favorite sports teams. SportsCenter will then keep you up to date on the latest scores inside Notification Center, so you'll never have to open an app again just to keep up with your teams. Whether you're into the NFL, NBA, NHL, or the English Premier League, SportsCenter has you covered.You can download SportsCenter for free right now.
If you simply don't have time to keep up with the day's news, get the Google News widget and have breaking news headlines delivered right to your Today screen.Inside the free Google News & Weather app, you can customize choose which sections and sources you see stories from, and then read top stories from each one. Google ensures you never miss big news even if you only have a few minutes to spare between meetings.
If you use the calendar on your iOS device, you really should have Fantastical 2 -- it's just terrific. It delivers all of the features you'd expect from a calendar app -- detailed events, reminders, and syncing with services like iCloud, Exchange, and Google Calendar -- plus some really nifty things like TextExpander. It also supports the feature that made Fantastical for Mac famous -- the ability to add events to your calendar using natural language. So, instead of filling out a bunch of boxes, you can type things like, "dinner with Tom at The Ivy at 1," and Fantastical will do the rest for you.The Fantastical widget lets you quickly see whether you have appointments in your calendar for the day ahead, and helps you quickly find days on which your schedule isn't so packed.Fantastical for iPhone is $1.99, and Fantastical for iPad is $4.99.
The Evernote widget simply makes the Evernote experience on iOS much greater. It provides five shortcuts that let you quickly add notes, photos, reminders, and lists to your notebooks. So if you're always opening up the Evernote app to add new things you don't want to forget, enable this widget inside Notification Center and make the process much simpler.If you don't already have Evernote installed, it's a free download from the App Store.
The Deliveries app is a great way to track your packages from your iPhone or iPad. It will detect tracking numbers copied to your clipboard, and in most cases, automatically identify the courier. You can add as many parcels as you wish, then them to your door with the Deliveries app, or from inside Notification Center -- without having to type numerous tracking numbers into different websites.Deliveries is a universal app compatible with iPhone and iPad, and you can get it now for $4.99.
Clear from Realmac Software has become one of the most adored to-do apps for iOS, but it's no longer just a list-maker. Thanks to support for reminders and its excellent widget, you can finally add important tasks and get alerts when they are due, ensuring you never forget that bottle of milk on the way home, or that important report that's due tomorrow morning.Get CLear for iOS now for $4.99.
This week: Gobble gobble y’aall! Ever wonder what a Thanksgiving meal with Tim Cook might be like? Ok, probably not, but come imagine it with us anyway. Then: why Apple quietly included 4K support in iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2; Amazon is building an ad-supported Netflix streaming competitor; plus stay tuned for our favorite products of the year in the CultCast gifts-we’d-love-to-get gift guide.
Heartily guffaw your way through each week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the chuckles begin.
Our thanks to Fracture for supporting this episode. Fracture prints your photos directly onto glass so they really pop. And they come ready to hang on a wall or sit on your desk and make great gifts. Check them out at Fracture.me and save 15% off any order with code CultCast.
Tim Cook has a lot to be thankful for. No wonder he looks happy. Photo: Apple
In between dessert and the traditional food coma on the couch, Thanksgiving offers everyone a great opportunity to take stock of the past year’s accomplishments.
When it comes to looking back at the previous year, sure you can stew over your failures and missed opportunities, but that’s for losers. And coming off one of Apple’s most successful years in history, Tim Cook is no loser.
So what’s Apple’s CEO going to be thinking about when he sits back in a carbohydrate-induced daze? Here are our best guesses.
You might want to think twice before giving Uber your data. Photo: Uber
Uber has been sideswiped by a ridiculous number of controversies lately, but things are about to get even worse for the ride-sharing service. A security researcher just reverse-engineered the code of Uber’s Android app and made a startling discovery: It’s “literally malware.”
Digging into the app’s code, GironSec discovered the Uber app “calls home” and sends data back to Uber. This isn’t typical app data, though. Uber has access to users’ entire SMSLog even though the app never requests permission. It also accesses call history, Wi-Fi connections used, GPS locations and every type of device ID possible.
We’re just hours away from Thanksgiving and all the family, turkey, football, and drama that comes with it, whether you’re prepared or not.
To help you get ready for the big day and dominate the feast, Cult of Mac has come up with 7 pro tips that will help you become a better cook, entertain the family, and most importantly, maintain your sanity.
Planning to pack on the pounds during tomorrow’s feast? PrepPad will help you cook and eat more responsibly by weighing your food and then connecting to a database of 350,000 items to tell you how much you should eat based on your nutritional profile. Combined with its companion iPad app, the Prep Pad becomes a full scale cooking platform, giving you precise info on how many carbs and calories you’re cramming down your throat. $149.95
Take your Thanksgiving feast to an all-new level with the App Store’s cornucopia of apps that will turn you into a Master Chef in no time. Epicurious has all the recipes you’ll need, while Substitutions will help you avert disaster if someone forgets an important ingredient. Bon Apetit has a special Turkey Day app out. Butterball will help you roast your bird to perfection. And if you’re dreading making a last dash to the grocery store, you can just use Instacart and get all the fixings delivered to your front door.
Belkin brings the power of the cloud to your kitchen with its internet-connected crockpot that can be turned on or off remotely, so you can keep your flag football game going without worrying about when you need to get home. The slow cooker crockpot comes with an iOS and Android app that lets you adjust the timer or temperature from anywhere. And it sports manual controls on the front for those that like to keep it old school. $129.99
You can take some of the stress out of cooking a 30 pound turkey by using iDevice’s kitchen thermometer. It comes with a two-probe digital meat thermometer and accompanying app. Just thrust one probe into your bird and the app will alert you when the meat reaches optimal temperature. - $81.49
Spending the entire day with your entire family can be a torture sentence, but some good games can make the time pass so much quicker. We’ve been absolutely addicted to Vainglory the past week, and with it’s Team mode, you can recruit your cousins or in-laws to band together and crush the Kraken.
If MOBAs aren’t your thing, Space Age is one of the best games of the month. Kingdom Rush Origins will also keep you busy for a few hours, and if you just need a great one minute game, download CrossyRoad.
Once the turkey’s been devoured and half the family has dropped into a tryptophan coma, it’s prime time to fire up the Apple TV and watch some movies (unless you’d rather watch crapass football). Pretty much everyone is going to love rewatching Guardians of the Galaxy now that it’s on iTunes. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes also dropped this week, but if you’d like to learn how your food went from the fields to your feast, check out Food Chains - a powerful new documentary about the farmworkers who pick your food.
You're going to snap a ton of pictures tomorrow. The iPhone’s camera app is great, but to unleash your camera's full potential try out Manual to capture your Thanksgiving festivities. Manual gives users full control of image exposure with DSLR-like controls that let you tweak the shutter speed, ISO, white balance, focus and exposure compensation, to help you bring out better pictures than the iPhone’s automatic camera.
For editing pictures, we swear by VSCO as the best all-around photography app. It’s got advanced camera controls and its editing features and filters are hard to top. For video, switch it up by using Hyperlapse to create buttery smooth video of all the action.
Gorilla Glass is the go-to material for today’s touchscreens. Photo: Corning
Corning’s relationship with Apple looked doomed earlier this year. Having manufactured the touchscreens for every iPhone since 2007, the Gorilla Glass bosses were all but sure they were being ditched in favor of synthetic sapphire crystal, set to be supplied by Apple’s hot new partner, GT Advanced Technologies.
But while Apple’s affair with GT has imploded spectacularly, Corning is back on Cupertino’s crush list after stepping in at the eleventh hour to create super-sized displays for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Now Corning is convinced its latest technological advance — Gorilla Glass 4, its toughest version yet — will banish sapphire suitors for the immediate future.
“Sapphire is a really, really nice material that’s very good for reducing scratches,” Dave Velasquez, Corning’s director of marketing and commercial ops, told Cult of Mac. “However, we feel very strongly that glass is the best material for touch panel cover glass. When you weigh up everything from cost to drop-testing, to the amount of energy that’s needed to make it, in our opinion Gorilla Glass is clearly the best material to use.”