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

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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.

Apple touts Portrait Mode as an antidote to boring profile pics

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Portrait Mode is a game changer.
Portrait Mode is a game changer.
Photo: Apple

Are your social media profile pictures starting to look old and stale? Then Apple has some killer advice for you: buy the iPhone 7 Plus!

Apple just dropped two new video ads for the iPhone 7 Plus that tout the device’s dual-lens camera. With the new Portrait Mode feature, Apple showcases how you can take your boring profile pictures to the next level.

Check it out:

Apple tops list of most admired companies for 10th year running

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Fortune likes a company with a fortune. Who would have thought it?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple once again tops Fortune’s annual list of the world’s admired companies.

Other tech companies in the top 10 include Amazon (No. 2), Alphabet (No. 6), Facebook (No. 9) and Microsoft (No. 10). The company that’s nowhere in sight? Samsung, which is coming off a disastrous year in which its Note 7 smartphones exploded and had to be recalled.

For Apple, on the other hand, this marks the 10th year in a row at the top of the list. Do you think Tim Cook gets bored of winning at some point?

McDonald’s rips Jony Ive in tasty new ad for ‘the STRAW’

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This looks weirdly familiar...
Photo: McDonald's

Apple can barely manage a few days without someone else parodying or ripping off one of its iconic ads. The latest? McDonald’s, which just debuted a commercial for a product called “the STRAW” to market its forthcoming St. Patrick’s Day-themed Chocolate Shamrock Shake.

From the white backdrop to the earnest-sounding “person with a British accent,” there’s no doubt who the fast food chain is having some fun at the expense of.

Working a side gig or two? This bundle’s for you [Deals]

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Plenty of us need to work a side gig to pay the bills. These tools and lessons are here to make the gig life easier,
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Like it or not, we all live in the age of the side gig. None of us does just one thing anymore — pretty much every digital professional must act like an entrepreneur, finding new opportunities and creating some for themselves.

If you’re wearing a bunch of different hats, we’ve got great stuff that can help you out. From educational courses on digital skills like social media marketing to must-have tools like domain hosting and animation software for websites, you’ll want to check out our latest deals for surviving — and thriving — in the gig economy.

Apple considered buying Ron Howard’s production company

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tomhanks
Imagine is the company behind some major hit movies.
Photo: Columbia Pictures/Imagine Entertainment

Apple was in advanced talks with Imagine Entertainment, the Hollywood production company owned by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, about a possible “first look” deal, investment, or even full-on purchase — before discussions fell apart.

A new report claims negotiations were far enough along that both Tim Cook and Eddy Cue were involved. Imagine is the company behind big hit movies like Apollo 13 and The Da Vinci Code.

Today in Apple history: Pismo PowerBook is a multimedia powerhouse

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Do you remember the Pismo PowerBook?
Photo: CG Hughes/Flickr CC

Feb16February 16, 2000: Apple introduces the “Pismo” PowerBook, the best of its G3 laptops and, in the view of many, one of Apple’s best ever laptops.

The Pismo PowerBook is the first not to include the SCSI or Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) connector, and instead to opt for USB and Apple’s Emmy award-winning FireWire. Optional AirPort wireless support, tremendous battery life, and a gorgeous curvy design just makes it better.