Jamstik+ teaches you to rock (while looking like a dork) [Reviews]

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Jamstik Bluetooth guitar
The Jamstik looks like a toy, but it could teach you some serious skills.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

As a long-time player of console rhythm games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, I’ve had several people’s share of silly, plastic instruments laying around my house. And while they’ve all looked varying levels of authentic, none of them actually taught me anything about how to play the guitar other than the base concepts of “one hand pushes down here while the other one goes up and/or down.”

But the Jamstick+ aims to change that by being an odd-looking, toy-like instrument that actually has lessons (via apps) to show you the basics and help you learn strumming, plucking and finger assignment. It even has real-feeling strings and frets to help you translate your lessons into the real thing.

Other than those individual pieces, however, you might feel ridiculous holding it.

The many faces of Steve Jobs, ending ‘wrist rage,’ and the weird world of iPod collectors

Art comes in many forms.
Art comes in many forms.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

But is it art? There’s a whole new way of looking at these works, in the form Steve P Jobs himself–or at least his likeness.

Learn all about these odd yet interesting portraits of the late Apple co-founder, including tattoos, technology-art, and the bubble wrap portrait you see above, as you browse this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine.

Inside this deliciously digital magazine-style app, you’ll find out more about possibilities for the new Apple Watch OS, how to retrain Siri to make better sense of your verbalizations, inside the weird world of iPod collectors, and all the reviews and how-tos you need to stay up to date on tech through an Apple lens.

Here are this week’s top stories.

Aluminum charging stand will elevate your Apple Watch [Reviews]

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Your Apple Watch will thank you for keeping it above the mess.
Your Apple Watch will thank you for keeping it above the mess.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Aluminum Apple Watch charging station by Satechi

I’ve got an Apple Watch problem. I need to keep it charged up, but it continually gets lost in the clutter on my dresser.

You might tell me to just clean up the top of my bedroom furniture, but I like that my new solution allows me to elevate my Apple Watch above the mess. The Satechi aluminum charging stand for Apple Watch keeps my wrist computer charged up and ready to go without getting lost in the cruft of my bureau’s disarray.

Clever case makes carrying Apple Watch and its essentials easy [Reviews]

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Gather all your Apple Watch stuff with this clever case from Twelve South.
Gather all your Apple Watch stuff with this clever case from Twelve South.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: TimePorter by Twelve South

Traveling with Apple Watch is a fairly simple affair: strap on your watch and go.

Traveling with all the extra accessories, however, is a serious pain in the butt. There’s that 6-foot charging cable, for one, which always manages to get tangled up in my bag. Add extra Apple Watch bands and a wall plug, and you’ve got some serious carry, and we haven’t even mentioned dealing with the watch when you aren’t wearing it.

Twelve South has an answer to this conundrum, and it’s called TimePorter.

Backpack built for bikes lets you carry more on two wheels [Reviews]

Get more out of your commute with one or two of these pannier backpacks.
Get more out of your commute with one or two of these pannier backpacks.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Convertible Pannier Backpack by Two Wheel Gear

When I commuted to my office via bicycle a few years back, I had two choices, a backpack or a pannier bag. The backpack usually won out, because who wants to carry around a massive set of bags when they get to the office?

But a backpack can get heavy and sweaty as it sits on my back while I pedal furiously across town to get to work, so I’d end up trying the pannier thing every once in a while, dealing with the awkward carry when I’d arrive.

Two Wheel Gear has a nice compromise, however, a convertible bag that’s made to connect to your rear bike rack, pannier-style, that also converts into a handsome, rugged backpack to easily carry around once you reach your destination.

It’s the best of both worlds, really.