This affordable Apple Pencil rival works with any iPad

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SonarPen
SonarPen costs less than a third of Apple Pencil.
Photo: GreenBulb

If you do any kind of writing or sketching on your iPad, you should use a stylus. But you don’t need to spend $99 on an Apple Pencil. SonarPen is the affordable “smart pen” every iPad owner needs. It’s accurate, practical, and it never needs charging.

This ARKit demo is what nightmares are made off

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The Ring
Watch out for Samara!
Photo: Dreamworks

Your favorite horror movies could soon invade your living room thanks to Apple’s ARKit.

iOS developer Abhishek Singh has created a lot of AR experience since ARKit came out last year, but his latest is the most shocking. In a tweet posted this week, Singh showed off his latest demo that brings the scariest scene from the movie The Ring into your house.

Check it out:

Pro Tip: Use iOS Spotlight as a keyboard app launcher

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spotlight keyboard ap launcher
A spotlight helps find things.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugDid you know that you can use Spotlight on iOS as an app launcher? It works just like Launchbar or Alfred on the Mac. You just hit a keyboard shortcut and start typing, then hit enter to launch the app. If you have a wireless (or wired) keyboard attached to your iPad, you’re going to love this tip.

Tiny Spotify players, smart sleep masks and more [Crowdfund Roundup]

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Mighty
The on-the-go Spotify player.
Photo: Mighty

Crowdfund Roundup bugYou don’t need to carry your smartphone to enjoy Spotify on the go anymore. Mighty is the tiny, lightweight Spotify player that’s ideal for runners and outdoor adventurers who want to leave their hefty smartphone at home.

It’s just one of the awesome ideas in this week’s Crowdfund Roundup. We also have the world’s smartest sleep mask, an iPhone battery case that brings back the headphone jack, and more.

This great iOS Spotlight trick lets you know everything about a person

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spotlight contact search
Several spotlights.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Somewhere after the launch of iOS 11, Apple tweaked Spotlight search to be way more useful. Now, when you search for a person, you can trigger a sub-search that lets you find everything you have on them, from emails, to iMessages, to their contact details, through WhatsApp messages, to calendar events. Anywhere that your selected contact exists on your iPhone or iPad will show up in the list.

And then, you can narrow the results with a sub search.

Smartphone sales decline for first time ever in 2017

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iPhone X
iPhone X didn't come out early enough to give Apple a sales boost.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The world may have passed its peak smartphone moment last year.

Smartphone sales data released today from the number crunchers at Gartner revealed that worldwide smartphone sales declined for the first time ever during the last quarter of 2017. Both Apple and Samsung saw their market share decline just slightly, but good news could be on the horizon.

Save $150 on a Vive virtual reality headset bundle [Deals & Steals]

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HTC Vive virtual reality headset
Immerse yourself in virtual reality with this high-quality headset.
Photo: HTC

In today’s edition of Deals & Steals, we have a Vive virtual reality headset bundle for $150 off. Plus, you’ll find the Microsoft Xbox One S Minecraft Limited Edition Bundle for $50 off. And finally, some sweet deals for your ears: Get the refurbished Sony MDR-1000X Bluetooth noise-canceling headphones for 58 percent off, or save more than $40 on the Otium’s wireless sports earphones.

127 million iPhone owners use Apple Pay

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Apple Pay
Apple Pay subscriber numbers may have doubled in the past year.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Pay has an estimated 127 million active global users — representing an increase of more than double the 62 million who used it this time last year, a new report claims.

While Apple hasn’t given exact figures for its mobile payments service, the figures are based on conclusion drawn by analyst Gene Munster, based on retailer reports.

Apple’s first Austrian retail store looks absolutely gorgeous

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Apple Store
Apple's new store in Vienna sits on a popular pedestrian shopping street near the Vienna State Opera.
Photo: Apple

Apple just gave us a sneak preview of its first store in Austria, and it’s pretty stunning! Apple Kärntner Straße, which will open this Saturday in Vienna, is designed with “the original heritage building in mind,” Apple says.

The totally Apple-y redesign of the building, which sits on a famous shopping street between St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Vienna State Opera, combines exposed columns outside with large window openings.