Cult of Mac Magazine: HomePod is still hopeless, and it’s (mostly) Siri’s fault

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cover

Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

In this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine: HomePods went on sale in Europe this week, and I ordered one. It arrived the very next day. I tried it out, and then sent it back to Apple the day after that. Why? Because it’s a half-finished product. Siri is just as glitchy and annoying on HomePod as elsewhere. It doesn’t work properly with a Mac.

You’ll find that story and more in this issue. Get your free subscription to Cult of Mac Magazine from iTunes. Or read on for this week’s top stories.

Today in Apple history: Power Mac G5 packs world’s first 64-bit CPU

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G5 computer
A 64-bit CPU powered Apple's stunning "cheese grater" Power Mac G5.
Photo: Bernie Kohl/Wikipedia CC

Jun 23 June 23, 2003: Apple launches its gorgeous Power Mac G5, a powerhouse desktop computer with a perforated aluminum chassis that earns it the affectionate nickname the “cheese grater.”

Starting at an affordable $1,999 ($2,650 in today’s terms), the Power Mac G5 is the world’s first 64-bit personal computer — and Apple’s fastest machine yet.

Celebrate Pride with this rainbow Apple Watch band [Pride Month]

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The Love is Love Pride band from Nyloon closely resembles Apple's own rainbow Apple Watch band that was released last year.
The Love is Love Pride band from Nyloon closely resembles Apple's own rainbow Apple Watch band that was released last year.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

June is Pride Month and Nyloon has issued a woven nylon rainbow Apple Watch band for its wearers to celebrate and show support for the LGBT community. Plus, who doesn’t love rainbows?

The band, which comes in both 38 and 42 mm, is part of a Nyloon’s growing collection of popular nylon bands for Apple Watch. The Love is Love Pride band is a limited-release, so grab one now.

Apple finally acknowledges its new MacBook keyboards suck

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MacBook butterfly keyboard
A new petition accuses the MacBook 'butterfly' keyboard of failing when a single speck gets in the wrong place.
Photo: Apple

The butterfly keyboards on the new MacBook and MacBook Pro are officially defective.

After months of outcry from angry customers, Apple has finally acknowledged that the new keyboards have some serious problems. The company says the issues are limited to a small percentage of MacBooks, but its offering free repairs.

Carry your summer tunes in style with these awesome earbuds [Deals]

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Just in time for summer, we've rounded up the best deals on ultra portable earbuds.
Just in time for summer, we've rounded up the best deals on ultra portable earbuds.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

There are lots of ways to listen to your music on the go. In fact, there might be too many. So we’ve rounded up a trio of awesome earbud options for personal audio, just in time for summer, and at some insanely discounted prices. Everything is discounted by half off or more, read on for more details:

Tinder explores becoming slightly less of a hookup app

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Tinder Picks currently only for iPhone
The new Tinder Picks option -- currently testing exclusively on iOS -- helps you find people you have something in common with.
Photo: Tinder

Tinder Picks is a feature this dating app is testing that might make it a better way to find people you’re compatible with emotionally, not just sexually.

Picks takes the user’s profile and shows them pictures of people who have similar jobs, educations, and interests.

How to make automatic, local, Time-Machine-style backups of your iPhone

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Set and forget.
Set and forget.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iCloud backups are just about the best thing ever. Not only is all your data safe if your iPhone is lost, or dies, but you can also use it to setup a new iPhone with minimal fuss. But iCloud is in the cloud, and local backups also have their uses. For instance, maybe you don’t like the idea of all your data on someone else’s computer? Or perhaps you just want double-protection in case you can’t access iCloud some time.

Or maybe you just have slow internet, or you’re on a long trip away and there’s no Wi-Fi, only data-capped cellular?

For the Mac there’s Time Machine, which automatically makes incremental backups. For iOS, you can use iMazing, a multi-purpose Mac app which can backup your iPhone or iPad to your Mac, and do it automatically, and wirelessly, so it should be as seamless as Time Machine or iCloud Backups. Let’s see it in action.

One of Mac’s best Finder features is now on Windows PC

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QuickLook for Windows 10
Preview files before you open them with QuickLook for Windows 10.
Photo: Paddy Xu

It’s okay to use a PC alongside your Mac, but you’ll find that some of the best macOS features aren’t available in Windows. One of those is Finder’s awesome preview function, but you don’t have to live without it.

QuickLook is a free app that brings the same preview feature to Windows 10’s File Explorer.

Amazon’s unlimited reading app finally arrives on iOS

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Amazon FreeTime Unlimited for kids now available on the Apple App Store.
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited offers kids age-appropriate videos, books, and apps. It's now on the Apple App Store.
Photo: Amazon