Lara Croft Go puts exciting tomb raiding at your fingertips

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Lara Croft Go screenshot
You're about to murder so many snakes, you have no idea.
Screenshot: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

I’m anxiously awaiting Lara Croft’s next outing on consoles this fall with Rise of the Tomb Raider, but in the meantime, developer Square Enix is tiding us over with Lara Croft Go, a miniaturized adventure starring the iconic graverobber and dinosaur fighter. It’s out now for iPhone and iPad (reviewed version), and like its predecessor, Hitman Go, it’s more about strategy than all-out action.

This game diverts slightly from Hitman, however, doing away with the board game/diorama theme and just sticking our hero into an ancient, turn-based ruin. But that doesn’t diminish its charm or fun at all.

SmartPlug turns your home into a modern-day Clapper

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iHome SmartPlug HomeKit
You may not get a whole lot of use out of a single SmartPlug.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Home automation, specifically Apple’s HomeKit framework and its compatible accessories, is the latest Thing We’re Supposed to Get Excited About™. And it has a lot of promise for convenience, time-saving, and just generally feeling like you live in the future.

The first HomeKit-compatible smartplug is upon us, courtesy of iHome. The ISP5 SmartPlug is a $40 device that plugs into your wall outlet and lets you run whatever you plug into it from your iPhone, using either Siri or the companion app.

It does everything it says it will: You can set up rooms and zones, and control individual appliances or whole groups of them with a tap or quick voice command. It also lets you build “rules” to make your stuff turn on and off without your input. All of this is cool, but when you actually have one, you might struggle to think of useful ways to use it.

Straighten out your mess with this stylish messenger bag

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Stylish and attractive, the Kastel Donjon is a constant companion.
Stylish and attractive, the Kastel Donjon is a constant companion.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I’m always on the lookout for a better, more efficient, useful and stylish bag to carry my MacBook Pro, iPad 3, and various electronic accoutrements, including an external battery, noise-cancelling headphones, and a ton of different cables to power and charge everything in there.

I also like to add a paperback book, various papers and flyers (if I’m covering a conference) and room to drop in a little reporter’s notebook, a pen or three, and a digital audio recorder for interviews. Oh, and it helps to have an easy pocket to slip my iPhone 6 Plus and wallet in if I need to go through security at the airport.

The Kastel Donjon bag is a European-style messenger bag that meets all these needs in an attractive, useful way.

These magnetic iPhone lenses will make your videos and photos much more attractive

An utterly simple and useful way to get your videos and photos to the next level.
An utterly simple and useful way to get your videos and photos to the next level.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I was shooting my son’s school play a couple of months ago with my iPhone, as I don’t have a dedicated video camera any more. Because I sat up close, I wasn’t really able to capture the whole stage in one shot.

What I needed was a wide-angle lens. That’s where these PhotoJojo magnetically attachable lenses come in.

When you’re shooting video with an iPhone, there are times when you want a bit more control over the image without having to resort to a confusing app.

The simplest way to get an altered image is an attachable lens, and these magnetically attached lenses from PhotoJojo do just the trick.

Apple Music review roundup: Cupertino is hitting all the right notes

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Apple-Music-iPhone
Apple Music sounds like a game changer.
Photo: Apple

Apple Music is set to launch at 11am ET/8am PT today, alongside the release of iOS 8.4. As we count down the minutes, however, we can entertain ourselves with the first batch of “early impression” reviews for Apple’s new streaming music service.

Has Apple done it again? With minor quibbles, the answer certainly seems to be a resounding “yes.” Check out some of the review highlights below: