The future of driving tech and the nifty new features coming to iOS 9.3, on The CultCast


In the not-so-distant future, car drives YOU!
In the not-so-distant future, car drives YOU!
Illustration: GraphicaArtis/Getty Images

This week on The CultCast: super-sized drones, app-controlled robot bartenders, smart coffee mugs and the coolest of gadgets from CES 2016. Plus, don’t miss our picks for the absolutely, positively, you-should-install-them-today, most essential Mac and iOS apps.

Our thanks to Harry’s for supporting this episode. Harry’s super-sharp, German-made razors ship free right to your door and for way less than drugstore razors. Learn more at and save $5 off your first order with code CultCast.

HomeKit-compatible safe gives us hope for the future


First Alert Wi-Fi Safe HomeKit CES 2016
Okay, but does it have any LEDs?
Photo: First Alert

Cult of Mac CES 2016 full coverage We like HomeKit; don’t get us wrong. Apple’s automation framework has taken our relationship with our lights to strange, wonderful, and not at all awkward new places. And we like the potential of saving money on energy with smart thermostats, getting smoke and carbon monoxide alarms directly on our phones, and using our iPhone or Apple Watch like a virtual bouncer to control who gets into our homes.

That’s the problem, though — that’s basically all anyone’s done with HomeKit. And it’s mostly lights and plugs.

But First Alert has arrived to bust us out of this rut with a promising device that sounds both useful and eminently futuristic: a HomeKit-compatible safe. And if that doesn’t fill you with dreams and vision for what automation can mean, we’re sure you’ll enjoy your bulbs. We really do.

iDevices’ new gear really wants to talk to your iPhone


iDevices is really serious about this Internet of Things stuff.
iDevices is really serious about this Internet of Things stuff.

Cult of Mac CES 2016 full coverageiDevices is doing a better job at pushing HomeKit than Apple is.

That’s the impression we’re getting, anyway, as the peripheral maker just keeps churning out products that are compatible with the home-automation framework built into your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

The four new devices, which the company is showing off at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, bring its total number of things digital assistant Siri can control up to seven.

HomeKit makes Philips Hue smartbulbs even cooler


The new Philips Hue starter set might be the first must-have gear for people interested in HomeKit.
Photo: Evan Killham

If you’re even slightly interested in having smart lighting for your house, the new Philips Hue bridge, which supports Apple’s HomeKit automated-home framework, should be in your shopping cart right now.

Controlling your lights from your phone is one level of crazy future-stuff, but doing it with your voice drops you into an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. And you definitely want your home to feel like an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

How to get past Philips Hue’s ‘iCloud Sync’ roadblock


Philips hue lighting
Sure, the lights are all pretty now. But at what cost, Philips?
Photo: Philips

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugYou should be excited to get Siri up and running with your new Philips Hue bridge and control your lights with the power of your voice, but one annoying error might stop you. It definitely had me scouring the Internet for answers when I was setting up my smartbulb system this afternoon, and I’d love to save you that time.

Because if you’ve spent $200 on fancy lightbulbs, you probably want to start using them right away, damn it.