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Trek-worthy gifts for outdoor adventurers

Hit the outdoors with these gift ideas. Photo: Christian Arballo

Hit the outdoors with these gift ideas. Photo: Christian Arballo/Flickr CC

Going gear-shopping for your favorite outdoors-loving friend or family member can be harder than trekking up Mount St. Helens as she’s about to blow. There are so many options, but so much crap.

To help you out with your holiday shopping, Cult of Mac waded through the endless lists of camping and hiking gear and gadgets to find the stuff your special someone will love.

Whether you’re looking for something for an adventuring buddy, or picking a present for someone you’d never want to be trapped in a tent with, we’ve found gifts for everyone. From hiking clothes to campsite gadgets, we’ve got you covered.

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Apple’s expected to sell a whopping 71.5 million iPhones this Christmas

Photo: Apple

Apple execs are in for a happy holiday if leading analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is to be believed. Photo: Apple

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is one of the most reliable analysts out there as relates to upcoming Apple products. Having called various things correctly in the run-up to the iPhone 6’s release (such as Apple’s sapphire manufacturing issues), he’s now forecasting numbers for the handsets over the holiday season — And they’re big!

In a new report to investors, Kuo predicts that Apple will sell a giant 71.5 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units over the 3-month holiday period. By comparison, one year ago the company sold 51 million iPhones during that same period.

Kuo’s research note also touches on several other topics, including the future of the iPhone 4s and 5c, as well as early speculation about the iPhone 7.

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Why does Apple strip dictation from third-party keyboards in iOS 8?

Why won't Apple let keyboards (like Fleksy, above) access dictation? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Why won’t Apple let third-party keyboards offer dictation? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you’ve installed a third-party keyboard on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 8, you might have noticed a strange omission: While you can communicate in animated GIFs or Klingon, you can’t dictate into any keyboard not made by Apple.

Reddit user 11011 sums up the puzzling situation nicely: “I can’t get myself to stick to alternate keyboards because I use dictation way too much and switching keyboards is a hassle.”

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Rules to live by if you want to be an Apple supplier

Some of GT Advanced Technology's failed attempts to create sapphire for future iPhones. Photo: WSJ

Some of GT Advanced Technology’s failed attempts to create sapphire for future iPhones. Photo: WSJ

Depending on whether or not you can fulfil what is asked of you, being an Apple supplier sounds like it’s either the best or worst experience imaginable.

In the wake of the crashing and burning of Apple’s former sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies, some of Cupertino’s other contractors have pitched in with their take; filling the Wall Street Journal in on a few of the lessons they’ve learned along their roller coaster rides with Apple.

The two biggest take-homes? Don’t make promises you can’t keep, and don’t rely too much on Cupertino.

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Crystal Baller: iPhone 7’s astonishing camera and other tantalizing Apple rumors

Great gifts for the wonderful women in your life

Ogio Hampton bag. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Looking for some gift inspiration? We can help you. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Whether you’re shopping for your sweetie or trying to find something for your mum, picking presents for the important women in your life can prove daunting. Cult of Mac is here to help with this list of the top 10 gifts we’ll be buying for the fairer sex this year.

From clothes to quirky tech, we’ve got you covered.

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Your next Mac could double as a smart smoke alarm

Do you like your iMac crispy? Photo: The Partners/Kevin Lan

Photo: The Partners/Kevin Lan

Apple may build smoke detectors into future Macs and iOS devices, according to a patent application published Thursday.

As users move toward the smart home, courtesy of services like Apple’s HomeKit, the idea is that Macs, iPhones and iPads could intelligently monitor for signs of a fire and trigger various mechanisms accordingly.

This could mean sending users a text or email alerting them of the danger, calling 911 for emergency assistance, or even activating fire suppression equipment.

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This is why the iPhone 6 didn’t get a sapphire screen

Photo: WSJ

Photo: WSJ

No matter what the reason, or who was at fault, the collapse in Apple’s relationship with former sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies came down to one thing: the latter company wasn’t able to meet Apple’s terms.

Now photos published by the Wall Street Journal show some of GTAT’s sapphire errors, made just days before Apple signed a deal for the company to produce sapphire displays to be used in next generation iPhones. The 578 pound sapphire cylinders — known as boules — featured multiple flaws, which rendered the majority unusable.

While Apple certainly pushes its manufacturers hard to seemingly achieve the impossible on tighter and tighter profit margins, the picture that emerges from the WSJ article is of GT as a chaotic company, struggling from the very start to fulfil Apple’s expectations.

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Slim Wallet is a spacious leather billfold that eliminates the pocket bulge

The Slim Wallet's a stunner. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The Slim Wallet’s a stunner. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

I’m really picky when it comes to buying new wallets. I don’t carry many cards and, much like the Queen of England, I rarely carry cash, so I hate anything that unnecessarily puts a big bulge in my back pocket.

With the Slim Wallet from Danny P, I’ve found a beautiful leather billfold that carries up to eight cards and a fistful of notes without ever getting too bulky.

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Apple to preload Beats Music on iOS early next year

First U2, and now this? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

First U2, and now this? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

You’ll soon have Beats Music on your iOS device whether you want it or not.

Apple is planning to bake the streaming music service into iOS in early 2015, according to The Financial Times. The integration could happen “as early as March,” which would line up with the possibility of a media event to announce the rumored iPad Pro.

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