David Snow

Snag the best Memorial Day deals on Apple gear and accessories

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Memorial Day deals on Apple gear
Memorial Day weekend is a great time to bag bargains on Apple gear, peripherals and accessories.
Photo: Apple

Memorial Day weekend has arrived in the United States, and you know what that means — widespread sales on Apple gear and accessories (and pretty much everything else you can buy). Memorial Day deals on Apple gear can be irresistible.

We’re building a list, below, of solid deals at major retailers for Apple deals on gear, peripherals and accessories. Check back, because you might find something new.

This microphone boom arm is ‘in a class of its own’ [Setups]

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Logitech G Compass microphone boom arm
If you need a reliable boom arm to swing your mic around, look no further.
Photo: swiftgekko@Reddit.com

If you use your computer setup for podcasting, streaming, gaming or just a whole bunch of video calls, you may have a microphone in your face a lot. It’s great to easily move it out of the way when you’re not speaking into it, of course. And for that you need a reliable boom arm. Today’s M1 Max MacBook Pro user swears by his Logitech G Compass microphone boom arm.

Here’s your chance to nab M3 MacBook Pro models for up to $300 off

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$300 off M3 MacBook Pro
Why wait any longer? Up to $300 off M3 MacBook Pro models is a great deal.
Photo: Apple

If you’re in the market for a new laptop, you can’t do much better than $300 off M3 MacBook Pro models. Both Amazon and Best Buy are offering some smoking-hot prices on 14- and 16-inch versions (though the best deals at Best Buy require membership). Take a look at some bargains below.

Sick of wimpy portable chargers? Try this beast.

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Ugreen portable charger power bank
This thing will help keep your camping trip from becoming too primitive.
Photo: Ugreen

Ugreen’s new 300W 48000mAh Portable Charger Power Bank packs a lot of power and includes a smart digital display and lighting with an SOS mode for your campouts or for your blackouts, when you lose power at home, the company said this week.

Logitech gear for as low as $5? Hell yes.

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Woot deals on Logitech peripherals and accessories
Logitech's Combo Touch could be your iPad's new best friend.
Photo: Logitech

Amazon bargain site Woot! did it again this week with another killer sale. This time it’s deals on Logitech peripherals and accessories going for anywhere from $5 to $255. The list of 60 items includes keyboards, mice, iPad folios, webcams, headsets and other gaming gear, and more.

And if it’s Woot!, there must be a cheeky phrase at the top of the sale page: “This isn’t logitech, captain.” – Science Officer Sprock.

Gyllenhaal says ‘I did not kill her’ 12 times in Presumed Innocent trailer

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first full trailer for Presumed Innocent
Jake doth protest too much, no? Or maybe that's just what they want you to think.
Graphic: Apple TV+

Jake Gyllenhaal’s character wants people to believe he “did not kill her,” as he forcefully states a full dozen times in the space of about 2 minutes in the first full trailer for Presumed Innocent, a drama series coming soon to Apple TV+.

So yeah, he totally killed her. Isn’t that what movie stars playing jilted stalkers do? Or maybe not. It’s a guessing game.

Gyllenhaal and multi-Emmy Award winners David E. Kelley and J.J. Abrams bring the eight-part remake to Apple TV+ June 12.

Flagship Bose headphones make surprisingly rare appearance [Setups]

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Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones setup
You'd think we'd see top Bose headphones, like the QuietComfort Ultras shown on the right, in setups more often.
Photo: MagneticMotion@Reddit.com

When it comes to fantastic and popular over-ear noise-canceling headphones that don’t stray too far from the realm of affordability, certain brands typically leap to mind. Apple. Beats. Sony. Sennheiser. Audio-Technica. Bose. And yet we noticed how seldomly flagship cans from Bose, one of the most famous and well-regarded brands in the United States, crop up in our computer setups coverage. Take the brand’s current top dog, for example — Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones.

Today’s M2 Max MacBook Pro setup brings in a set of Bose Ultras alongside AirPods Pro 2, for when the user needs bigger audio guns with greater comfort than Apple’s top earbuds.

WTF??? Apple chose this as the best album of all time?

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Apple Music top 10 albums - Artist Lauryn Hill
Artist Lauryn Hill holds her award for topping the Apple Music 100 Best Albums list.
Photo: Apple Music

You might be shocked to find out the No. 1 album of all time according to Apple Music’s 100 Best Albums list.

After releasing 10 albums a day in an agonizingly slow bleed, Apple Music finally unveiled its top 10 Wednesday. The final installment is sure to get people talking, especially the No. 1 pick: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

Apple Music took care to justify every selection, though. DJs Zane Lowe and Ebro Darden spoke with guest artists Nile Rodgers and Maggie Rogers about the top 10.

Apple Music 100 best albums countdown completes: 1 to 100 [Updated]

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Apple Music 100 Best Albums
Over 10 days, Apple Music reveals its picks for 100 best albums of all time, with plenty of special programming.
Photo: Apple Music

Monday marked the first day in Apple Music’s 10-day countdown revealing its picks for the 100 best albums of all time.

Apple invites you to follow along as it “journeys through the albums that shaped, inspired and fundamentally changed music.”

We’ll add to the list below as Apple continues the countdown. (Update: All albums, 1 through 100, now added as of Wednesday.)

Pop that cork for season 2 of wine-soaked Drops of God on Apple TV+

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Drops of God season two
The search for the world's greatest wine continues.
Photo: Apple TV+

Season two of hit multilingual wine-tasting drama Drops of God is headed your way on Apple TV+, Apple said Tuesday. It acquired streaming rights to it much like it did with season one of the international production.

Fans of the show appreciate its adaptation from the New York Times bestselling Japanese manga series of the same name. The award-winning Tadashi Agi created and wrote it, and Shu Okimoto illustrated it.

Apple Wallet masters Paris transit ahead of Olympics

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Apple Wallet masters Paris transit
Transit riders can buy passes from the Île-de-France Mobilités iOS app or directly from Apple Wallet, and use an iPhone or Apple Watch to tap and ride.
Photo: Apple

As Paris gears up for French Open tennis next week and the Summer Olympics in July, Apple Wallet makes paying for Paris public transit easier. Users can now add a Navigo card and simply tap their iPhone or Apple Watch to ride. It works on the metro, trains, buses and more in the French capital region, Apple said Tuesday. Apple Maps added more real-time transit information, too.

“In the lead-up to what will surely be an amazing summer for the Paris region, we’re thrilled to bring Navigo cards to Apple Wallet and provide Parisians and visitors with an incredibly convenient and secure way to ride transit in Paris and explore the city,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet. “Users will love the safety, security, and seamlessness of purchasing passes and riding with a Navigo card in Apple Wallet on iPhone and Apple Watch.”

First Sonos headphones blast away at AirPods Max

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Sonos Ace headphones in soft white
Sonos' first headphones look like quite an appealing alternative to AirPods Max -- for $100 less out of the gate.
Photo: Sonos

Popular speaker brand Sonos finally unveiled its “most-requested” product ever Tuesday — Sonos Ace over-ear headphones. They appear to go straight at Apple’s aging AirPods Max as a competitor. The new cans sport top features and a $100 lower list price ($449) than Apple’s premium headphones.

Sonos touts the new headphones’ “breathtaking lossless and spatial audio, world-class Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Aware Mode, as well as the most precise and immersive home theater experience possible using Sonos’ new TrueCinema technology.”

You can preorder Sonos Ace now and they become available June 5.

Here’s the key to expanding MacBook connectivity [Setups]

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OWC Thunderbolt 4 Dock setup
One of these turns your MacBook into quite the well-connected beast.
Photo: OWC

Today’s MacBook Pro setup boasts a secret weapon many laptop-based computer setups should have — a multiport adapter like a USB-C or Thunderbolt dock. In this case, an iOS and macOS developer runs his M1 Max MacBook Pro through an OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock, connecting the laptop to various peripherals.

A multiport USB-C hub or docking station greatly expands connectivity with peripherals like monitors and storage drives. And it often provides fast data-transfer speeds and even powers devices. In short, for not too much money it enables your setup to do much more.

Immerse yourself in code with BenQ’s specialized new monitors

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BenQ RD Series monitors for programmers
BenQ says these displays are easy on the tired eyes and challenged postures of coders.
Photo: BenQ

If you’re a software developer or frequently find yourself hip-deep in code for some other reason, BenQ just released five new computer displays just for you. It called its new RD Series “the world’s first line of monitors custom crafted to meet the unique and extensive needs of programmers.”

The displays use versions of BenQ’s Fine-Coated Panel plus anti-glare and anti-reflective properties to enable long coding sessions.

Fake Apple ID badge fetches $1,000 on eBay

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fake Apple ID badge
This employee badge for Apple employee number 10, hired in March 1977, is a fake, according to employee number 8. But someone paid real money for it.
Photo: c.stars@ebay.com

This week someone paid about $1,000 on eBay for an allegedly fake Apple employee badge masquerading as the 1977 ID of employee number 10.

The employee badge is a convincing phony, according the an intrepid blogger and the longtime Apple employee (number 8) he contacted to confirm the forgery. And the proof of provenance the blogger sought from the seller appeard to be fake, too, according to several sources.

KRK Rokit 5 speakers excel in music production [Setups]

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KRK Rokit 5 speakers setup
The developer loves his KRK Rokit 5 speakers when he works on music production. And that's a Madara Funko Pop figure standing guard, by the way.
Photo: EpicSyntax@Reddit.com

KRK Rokit 5 speakers are the crown jewel among the audio gear in today’s M1 Max MacBook Pro setup. The rig belongs to an iOS and macOS developer who only counts music production as a hobby. But we’ll take his vote of confidence in a fine audio product.

We’ve seen the Rokit 5 boxes in setups a few times, not often, but we have no doubt they sound great and look good doing it.

This Apple Pencil Pro feature surprises and delights users

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Apple Pencil Pro shadow
See that? Apple Pencil Pro casts the shadow of the tool selected -- a fountain pen.
Photo: @SnazzyLabs, X.com

M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air users are justifiably excited by Apple Pencil Pro’s fantastic and highly functional new features. But now they’re discovering a delightful feature Apple didn’t highlight at its recent “Let Loose” event. The stylus casts a shadow of the selected tool in use on the screen.

That feature may not equal the functional importance of the new squeeze gesture or haptic feedback, but judging by user reactions in the videos below, it’s pretty much the coolest thing ever.

Black Panthers tap Hollywood to fake out FBI in The Big Cigar [Updated]

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The Big Cigar trailer
Under cover of a fake Hollywood movie production, Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton evaded the FBI and fled to Cuba. Really!
Photo: Apple TV+

The first trailer for Apple TV+’s The Big Cigar, below, looks like so much fun I almost don’t want to know how true the “incredible true story” about Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton actually is. And as of Friday, the show’s on with its first two episodes.

The upcoming drama series tells the tale of Newton enlisting a Hollywood producer to fake out the FBI, providing cover for the political activist’s escape to Cuba in 1974. That came after Newton jumped bail on murder and assault charges he called false.

UPDATE: The Big Cigar now airs on Apple TV+. The first two episodes came out Friday. The third episode airs May 24.

Bag bargains on Apple accessories in Belkin Memorial Day Sale

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Belkin Memorial Day sale
Belkin makes great MagSafe chargers like the BoostCharge Pro line.
Photo: Belkin

Belkin is such a favored maker of MagSafe chargers and other Apple accessories that the iPhone giant sells many of them directly on its site. But for bagging bargains in the Memorial Day Sale Belkin launched this week ahead of the holiday, you’re better off hitting the links to its site, below.

You can get 20% off site wide, plus an additional 50% off refurbished products! The sale started Tuesday and runs through May 27.

Crazy-thin iPad Pro models hold up under early bend tests

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M4 iPad Pro bend tests
It turns out your super-thin M4 iPad Pro can stand up to some serious bending.
Photo: JerryRigEverything

Three new videos test just how “bend-but-don’t-break” Apple’s new super-thin M4 iPad Pro is, and the answer is “very.” Reviewers came away impressed by how well even the ultra-thin 13-inch M4 iPad Pro performed. And the 11-inch model did well, too.

JerryRigEverything performed bend tests as part of a teardown of the 13-inch M4 iPad Pro. AppleTrack stuck with comparing bends of 11- and 13-inch 2024 iPad Pro models against the 2022 versions. And MobileReviewsEh showed new models held up under massive pressure about as well as older models despite being about 20% thinner.

Folks hold onto iPads longer than ever these days

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iPad buying cycle slows - M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air now on sale
Folks may have just been waiting for the new M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air.
Image: Apple

The iPad buying cycle has slowed because iPad owners increasingly hold onto their old tablets for longer periods than in the past, a new analysis showed Wednesday.

However, the just-ended wait for the latest iPad Pro and iPad Air could be a big reason why. It was a long one. The previous generations both came out in 2022.

Apple showcases amazing new accessibility features like Eye Tracking

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Apple accessibility features
With Eye Tracking, a user can navigate iPhone or iPad using just their eyes.
Photo: Apple

Apple showcased some remarkable new accessibility features for people with disabilities Wednesday, including Eye Tracking, Music Haptics and Vocal Shortcuts.

The new features, coming later this year to Apple devices, harness Apple silicon, artificial intelligence and machine learning. They will come mainly to iPhone and iPad, though some new ones will appear in Vision Pro’s visionOS, too.

“We believe deeply in the transformative power of innovation to enrich lives,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a press release. “That’s why for nearly 40 years, Apple has championed inclusive design by embedding accessibility at the core of our hardware and software. We’re continuously pushing the boundaries of technology, and these new features reflect our long-standing commitment to delivering the best possible experience to all of our users.”

Developer’s M1 Max MacBook Pro cranks out the work [Setups]

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M1 Max MacBook Pro setup
A 16-inch M1 Max MacBook Pro drives this developer's setup.
Photo: EpicSyntax@Reddit.com

Our setups coverage often reveals clues to Apple hardware’s functional longevity. An iOS and macOS developer uses today’s setup. Even though two new generations of powerful Apple silicon chips have supercharged more recent MacBooks, he’s still cranking away on an M1 Max MacBook Pro run through an OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock.

In fact, he just updated his setup. But that turned out to have nothing to do with the computer. It was all about adding decorative toy figures, an LED light strip and a new wooden countertop as a desk.

New iPads make it much easier to manage battery health

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iPad Battery Health menu
Quickly checking iPad battery health just got a lot easier with M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The new M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air finally make it easy to manage your tablet’s battery heath from the Settings app. iPadOS finally has a Battery Health menu in its 17.5 version, but it only works with the new iPads, not older models.

The new feature lets you limit charges to 80% capacity, which can extend the battery’s lifespan.