Apple’s weirdest, wackiest and worst products, this week on The CultCast

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Let us remind you of the weird Apple products that time forgot.
Let us remind you of the weird Apple products that time forgot.
Photo: Hartmut Esslinger

This week on The CultCast: We laugh and cringe about Apple’s weirdest, wackiest and worst products of all time! Plus: How Michael Scott almost single-handedly destroyed Apple; the cool new features in the iOS and macOS betas; facial recognition is coming to iPhone; and a look at the beautiful prototypes that led to some of Apple’s most iconic products.

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace.com website. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10 percent off any hosting plan.

10 apps for enhancing iPhone photos

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A good photo editing app can add mood and alter colors to clarify your vision of your dog or any of your photos.
A good photo editing app can add mood and alter colors to clarify your vision of your dog or any of your photos.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

One of my favorite observations by a now-forgotten sage explained the difference between writing and photography like this: A bad sentence can be massaged, but nothing helps a bad photo.

So true. However, I’ve experienced for myself how a good photo-editing app can salvage sloppy composition or bad exposure — and even teach you something along the way. So if you resolve to become a better photographer in 2017, you might want to add some tools to put a finer finish on your iPhone photos.

Cloud storage, mind maps and other productivity tools [New Year Deals]

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Get a full terabyte for cloud storage for life.
Get a full terabyte for cloud storage for life.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

With the new year come countless resolutions to do more and better work. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best deals on productivity services in the Cult of Mac Store. We’ve got a lifetime of cloud storage, a time-saving virtual assistant, a Gmail-powered task manager, and a tool for mapping your thoughts and ideas. They’ll all bring your day-to-day workflow to a new level. Read on for more details:

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.

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.

Make the most of your MacBook’s single USB-C port [Deals]

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Don't let the MacBook's USB-C ports slow you down, regain your favorite formats with this simple solution.
Don't let the MacBook's USB-C ports slow you down, regain your favorite formats with this simple solution.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If you’re in the market for a new MacBook, you’d better also be in the market for some accessories. The newest version of Apple’s flagship laptops have decided USB C is all you need — and if you need some other format like standard USB or SDXC (which, of course, you will), then you’ll have to buy a special dongle. Well we’ve got a solution that’s less expensive and less frustrating — the HyperDrive a single device that expands your single USB-C port into five others. And right now you can get it for just $39.95 at Cult of Mac Deals.

Lust List: Luxury charging stand for Apple Watch throws a curve [Review]

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The CalypsoTimeless Charging Stand consists of a simple arch form swathed in soft, European leather and held together by meticulous stitching.
Photo: CalypsoCrystal

Lust List: CalypsoTimeless Cuvette Charging Stand for Apple Watch

When a high-tech accessory doubles as something else I’m always intrigued. In this instance, I’m looking at a charging stand that not only powers up my Apple Watch, but is a great art piece independent of its charging capabilities.

Ready to trade in your old phone? Meet the folks behind our gadget buyback (highest prices, BTW)

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The guys behind MyPhones Unlimited, an Arkansas-based buyback program that we believe pays more than the competition (in nine out of ten cases).
The guys behind MyPhones Unlimited, an Arkansas-based buyback program that we believe pays more than the competition (in nine out of ten cases).
Photo: MyPhones Unlimited

We recently launched a gadget buyback program that promises to pay more for used and broken Apple devices than Gazelle, Walmart and even Apple itself. This post is about the startup company we partnered with to bring you this service.

A college friend who bought a new phone and was about to trash a defunct iPhone 3G sparked the idea for MyPhones Unlimited, a smartphone recycling service that Cult of Mac recently partnered with.

“Two main thoughts came to mind,” says MyPhones Unlimited founder Gabe Trumbo. “One is that that can’t be good for that to just be thrown away, there has got to be a better way to recycle it. And beyond that, I’m sure there’s still some value in it.”

He was right. Trading in his friend’s phone himself, Trumbo got a bigger chunk of change than he expected — and immediately saw a market coupled to an important problem.

Whose week sucked hardest, Apple’s or Samsung’s? [Friday Night Fight]

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fnf
It's been a bad week for two of tech's biggest companies.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The past week has been one to forget for both Apple and Samsung. While Cupertino was handed a hefty tax bill by the European Commission, Sammy has had to recall every Galaxy Note 7 unit sold so far for fear of them exploding.

Friday Night Fights bugBut which one will be most damaging, and which will quickly be forgotten? Apple’s tax fight is sure to rage on for months, but will faulty phones leave a bad taste in the mouths of Samsung fans a lot longer?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we discuss the sad start to September for Apple and Samsung.