Elevate your Apple Watch with handmade cuff straps [Watch Store]

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jack foster
The Cuff Strap in Horween English Tan Leather by Jack Foster is a rugged high-style take on an Apple Watch strap.
Photo: Courtesy of Jack Foster

Feeling rugged and maybe a little bit Roman? Go ahead and swap out the standard strap that comes with your new Series 3 for something a little more Ben Hur-ish.

The Cuff Strap by Jack Foster fits the bill, and the rich leather juxtaposed with the sleek Apple Watch looks really good. Better yet, these beautiful cuffs are handmade and very high quality, costing just a fraction of what you’ll spend for Hermès’ similar double-buckle leather strap.

Jack Foster’s beautiful collection of leather cuffs and bands for Apple Watch are available to check out in our Watch Store.

Apple could soon slash iPhone 8 production in half

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iPhone
Apple could focus on iPhone X production instead.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple will reportedly slash iPhone 8 production in half to focus more heavily on the next-gen iPhone X, the most significant of its 2017 iPhone upgrades.

The report cites an unnamed source, claiming that this would be the first time in the history of the iPhone that Apple would slash production so soon after the device went on sale.

China blocks LTE on Apple Watch Series 3

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Apple Watch Series 3
New customers cannot sign up due to security concerns.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple fans in China who coughed up more cash for an Apple Watch with LTE almost certainly regret that decision today. The government has reportedly blocked the feature after brief availability with one carrier due to security concerns.

Why every Apple user should be using a VPN

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In this age of constant data leaks, using a VPN to protect your online identity is a must.
In this age of constant data leaks, using a VPN to protect your online identity is a must.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If you think the buzz around using a VPN service these days is exaggerated hype and paranoia, think again. Never before have so many day-to-day human interactions and transactions occurred online.

Whether we’re emailing our bosses, checking in with our kids, chatting with our friends or using a plethora of apps to schedule and manage our lives, it all takes place online.

Today in Apple history: The forgotten first Mac with an internal CD-ROM

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Why did the Mac IIvx fail to take the world by storm?
Why did the Mac IIvx fail to take the world by storm?
Photo: Apple

October 19: Today in Apple history October 19, 1992: Apple launches the Mac IIvx, the first Macintosh computer to ship with a metal case and, more importantly, an internal CD-ROM drive.

The last of the Macintosh II series, the Mac IIvx experiences one of the more notorious price adjustments in Apple history. Within five months of shipping, Apple slashes the computer’s launch price of $2,949 to $1,899. That’s one way to reward early adopters!

Street Fighter IV Champion Edition gets new fighters and massive price drop

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StreetFighterIV
Rose is one of the three new fighters you can select.
Photo: Capcom

Not played the excellent Street Fighter IV Champion Edition port for iOS? Capcom has just given you several new reasons to buy it — including a sizable price drop, three new female characters, and a nifty tweak focused on counteracting multiplayer “rage quitters” who will try and stop you earning valuable wins.

Check out the details below.

Angela Ahrendts is in Chicago for flagship Apple store opening

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Michigan
Apple's retail guru with some of the company's employees.
Photo: Angela Ahrendts/Twitter

Apple retail guru Angela Ahrendts is in Chicago, ahead of the opening of the new long-awaited flagship store Michigan Avenue store on October 20.

Ahrendts shared a photo on Twitter of her with retail staff, with a glimpse of the newly constructed staircase leading down to the store. “Thank you to this wonderful team and the many more who are bringing #AppleMichiganAve to life for our customers this week!” she wrote.

Blast and Megablast bring Alexa to UE’s portable speakers

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With Alexa baked in, UE's new Blast speaker will be right at home in the kitchen.
With Alexa baked in, UE's new Blast speaker will be right at home in the kitchen.
Photo: Ultimate Ears

SAN FRANCISCO — Ultimate Ears’ punchy portable speakers just got smart. The new Blast and Megablast speakers bring built-in support for Alexa, Amazon’s voice-operated smart assistant.

Bringing the always-listening, voice-operated helper to a battery-powered speaker proved “nontrivial,” said Benjamin Falk, principal software product manager at UE, during a demo of the new speakers.

Undisturbed takes control of your Mac’s Do Not Disturb mode

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Undisturbed
Undisturbed turns off those annoying red badges.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Do you know who to turn on your Mac’s Do Not Disturb mode? That’s right, you open up the Notification sidebar, pull down, and toggle the switch. It works great. Right up until you look at the dock, or the app switcher, and see a bunch of big red badges hassling you to read your email, or check your boss’s Slack messages. That’s where Undisturbed comes in. It’s an app that improves Do Not Disturb, so you really don’t get disturbed.