Wedge Lock Bracket by Maclocks Category: Locks Works With: Retina MacBook Pro Price: $59.95
Older MacBook Pros — those that don’t have a Retina display — have a Kensington lock built-in, but in an effort to save space and make the new models really thin, Apple did away with that, as well as things like FireWire, traditional hard-disk drives, and the optical drive.
That poses a security risk. If you work in a public place, or you frequent to Starbucks to get stuff done while on a caffeine high, then you need a way to prevent your MacBook Pro from being stolen when you leave it unattended.
And I think the Wedge Lock Bracket, which screws into the bottom of your MacBook Pro and almost looks like it’s a part of it, is the best and most elegant solution.
[Editor's note: This review has been stickied to the top of Cult of Mac. Scroll down for more news.]
Let’s face it, we’ve been waiting for Apple to make drastic changes to the iPad since it released the third-generation device in early 2012. While it did introduce a high-resolution Retina display with that model, and it has made nice improvements in speed and other areas since then, we’ve all been clamoring for improvements to its design.
We’ve got those with the iPad Air — and a whole lot more. The new slate looks just like a larger version of the iPad mini. It maintains its 9.7-inch Retina display, but it has narrower bezels, a substantially thinner design — it is now just as thin as the iPad mini at 7.5mm — and it’s 28% lighter than its predecessor at just one pound.
In addition to that, we get Apple’s incredible 64-bit A7 processor that promises up to two times the power and graphics performance of the A6X, the new M7 motion coprocessor that made its debut in the iPhone 5s last month, and two W-Fi antennas with MIMO technology. And all of this will cost you just $100 more than the iPad 2.
Luxury Pocket Book byPad&Quill Category: cases Works With:iPhone 5/S Price: $85
My friends and family love Pad & Quill cases, mostly because Brian, the P&Q founder, keeps sending me cases to review, and I keep testing them for a month or so and then giving them away.
The Luxury Pocket Book is another of the bookbindery iPhone cases, this time with an absurdly luxurious list of materials (hence the name I guess). It’s also likely to cause fights to break out amongst my family and friends as they battle for ownership.
The only reason I picked up Disco Bees to play today was the name. I’m really rather tired of the match-three dynamic, but I figured cute bees and disco music was a good combo to try, regardless.
Disco Bees by Space Inch Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone Price: Free
What I found was a compelling match-three game that does indeed have the same mechanics as many other free-to-play matching games, like Candy Crush or Dragon Academy. In addition, however, it’s got amazingly adorable dancing bees and a killer soundtrack that does fantastic justice to the disco genre without using licensed music.
Did I mention cute dancing bees? You really need more? Fine.
I’ve applied dozens of screen protectors to my iPhones over the years, and I’d say less than 10% of them actually went on straight. They almost always go on wonky first time, and that means pulling them away and applying them again.
ALIN by TYLT Category: Screen Protectors Works With: iPhone 5/5s Price: $25
Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about this anymore, because I have the ALIN from TYLT. The ALIN plastic alignment tool that clips into the side of your iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s and ensures that every single screen protector you apply goes on completely straight first time.
It takes the hassle out of the whole process, and it turns a ten-minute job into a two-minute one. And as you might expect, ALIN is reusable, so you can keep hold of it and put it to work every time you need to apply a new screen protector.
ALIN costs $25, and for that you get the alignment tool, plus four screen protectors — three clear ones, and one anti-glare one. Is it worth your money?
EarSkinz byEarSkinz Category: Headphone accessories Works With:Apple Earbuds and EarPods Price: $11
When our own Rob LeFevre reviewed the Earskins, he was surprised to find them to be an “essential accessory” for his EarPods. I decided to give them a go too. And guess what? They really are essential: I actually have a spare set, because now I can’t imagine using my EarPods without them.
The iPhone 5s is undoubtedly the biggest iPhone ‘S’ upgrade Apple has released to date. Not only does it come with the usual improvements you’d expect from an “incremental” upgrade — a faster processor, better graphics, and an improved camera — but it also boasts Touch ID, a fingerprint scanner built into its home button; the M7 coprocessor, and a new dual-LED flash
Touch ID will change the way we manage security on our iPhones. No longer must we remember 4-digit pass codes that have to be entered dozens of times a day; we can simply scan our fingerprint to quickly gain access to our device. It takes the hassle out of securing our data, and there’s no good reason why you wouldn’t use it.
The iPhone 5s is the biggest iPhone ‘S’ upgrade to date.
As for the M7 coprocessor, that’s “like a sidekick to the A7 chip,” Apple says. It’s specifically designed to measure motion data recorded by your iPhone’s built-in accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass — a task which was previously handled by the processor itself. Why? Well, the M7 chip is more efficient and handling this task, and with little input needed from the main processor, there’s less drain on your iPhone’s battery.
While the iPhone 5s make look identical to its predecessor on the outside, then, there are lots of improvements under the hood. But are those improvements worth your hard-earned cash?
This week: iOS 7, available on an iDevice near you! And on our all-new CultCast, joined by special guest Mac OS Ken, we offer our thoughts on the controversial new OS plus a few of our favorite tips. Then, the NDAs are up and the reviews are in, we’ll tell you what critics think of the 5S and why we all agree—the 5C feels great in the pants.
Have a few laughs whilst getting caught up on each week’s finest 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 unadulterated audio enjoyment begin. Show notes up next.
I’ve been playing with the 5s for about the last two hours, and I can’t remember the last time I was so stubbornly wrong about, gee, anything really — as much as I was wrong about the iPhone 5s. And not just the 5s, but also iOS 7, which I hated when I first launched it on my iPad last night; but man, is it ever beyond perfect on the 5s.
I know, my iPhone 5s and I have just begun our honeymoon phase, but here’s the first-impression verdict in a nutshell: The iOS 7 / iPhone 5s pairing is phenomenal. I’m so in love.
NeatConnect by Neat Category: Scanners Works With:Anything with Wi-Fi Price: $500
I’ve been using Neat products for the past couple of years. I’ve got a NeatDesk for Mac and an active NeatCloud account. So when the folks at Neat reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in putting the company’s latest piece of hardware – NeatConnect – through the paces, I jumped at the chance.