Evan Killham, author at Cult of Mac

Posture trainer has ways to make you sit up straight [Reviews]


Upright posture trainer
You're a monster.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

“It’s alright,” I tell the Upright posture trainer, which is attached to the base of my spine. “I’ll do it right this time.”

I’m not looking at the device itself; that would be impossible. Instead, I’m looking at the three smiley-face icons in the thing’s companion app. The green one is lit up now, but I just slipped into yellow for a second before I caught myself, and if it hits the red one — either from me slouching or overextending my back — it will be unpleasant.

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


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.

Apple’s changing auto design without even having a car out


Apple car truck
We're pretty sure the Apple Car won't look like this. Not a chamfer in sight.
Photo: devastatormonstertruck.com

We haven’t even gotten an official announcement of the Apple Car yet, but it looks like the company is still working its way into the automotive industry.

That’s according to the staff at car news site The Drive, which placed Apple’s chief design officer Jony Ive and CEO Tim Cook on its list of “The 10 Most Influential People in Automotive Technology.” They didn’t top the list, however; that would be crazy. But they did place higher than some people who are actually in charge of real vehicles that people are driving around right now.

But The Drive backs its decisions up pretty well.

Siri’s latest shortcoming: Public speaking


NPH iPhone 6s ad
Oh, you.
Photo: Apple

A new iPhone 6s ad features actor Neil Patrick Harris, the Internet’s boyfriend, practicing an acceptance speech with digital assistant Siri.

The spot shows off the latest device’s hands-free feature, which lets you activate the helper with voice commands without the phone having to be plugged in. But mostly it’s just a fun little promo.

Check it out below.

Strikingly simple Yohann iPad stand works all the angles [Reviews]


Yohann iPad stand updated photo
It's just one piece, but it does basically everything you need.
Photo: Evan Killham, Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

I have a pretty decent iPad cover that lets me easily prop up my tablet in case I want to stay in bed and watch Netflix all day like someone who does not suffer from depression at all. But the recently released Yohann iPad stand makes my existing system look like cheap garbage.

It’s genuinely a beautiful and elegantly designed piece that looks great whether it’s holding the iPad or not, and it’s also incredibly useful. You’ll pay for every bit of that ingenuity, but if you have the scratch, this belongs in your home.

Snopes declares Apple Music deletion fears ‘mostly false’


Apple Music
Everyone can stop burning their phones as warlocks.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

You’ve done it now, Apple Music-phobes. Now Snopes is involved.

The myth-busting website, which has ended several of my burgeoning Facebook arguments before anyone could call anyone else a Nazi, has turned its attention to this week’s claims that Apple’s streaming service is just reaching into your computer and absconding with your music. And it has good news for the people who are frantically clutching their tunes like virtual teddy bears.

According to Snopes, the rumors we’ve heard are “Mostly False.” But here’s what that means.

Mother’s Day on Messenger is all about digital flowers


This is even weirder than that basketball game from March.
Screencap: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

We know that emoticons and Emojis are for expressing yourself when words fail you, but what does it mean when you put flowers around your text bubble? According to Facebook Messenger, that just means it’s Mother’s Day.

The chat app has rolled out a weird feature in advance of Sunday’s mother-loving holiday to let you festoon your messages with happy little flowers.

Here’s how you get in on the festivities.

Swanky art print sees original Mac as one big party


Mac-art-print-by-We-Are-Dorothy header
We thought the original Mac was already a work of art, but this is also cool.
Photo: We Are Dorothy

A new Mac art print takes a festive look at the machine that launched the brand.

It comes courtesy of online art shop We Are Dorothy, and the piece features a cutaway view of the 1984 classic. And rather than just showing what actually made the original Mac run, the framable version crams its machine full of shining happy people and sly references to Apple culture.

Check it out in full below.

Another Apple Music horror story (and how to avoid the curse)


Apple Music
What the hell, Apple Music?
Photo: Apple

Apple Music has had a pretty rough first year. Despite gaining millions of subscribers and setting download records with some of its more high-profile releases, users still have plenty to stop them from quite clicking on that heart next to the service.

And that’s not just because nobody’s really sure what the hell Apple Music hearts do.

But one man has had such a bad experience that the Apple Support representative he spoke to gave him some advice that was almost certainly not in her training. And he’s shared his story online to warn others away from what has happened to him.

iPhone drive adds storage, stays out of your way [Reviews]


SanDisk iXpand flash drive
You'll barely even know the SanDisk iXpand is there.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Budget-minded iPhone owners have gotten used to making do with a meager 16GB of memory on their devices, but it’s annoying and may not be worth the money you’ve saved. But the market has no shortage of iPhone-friendly flash drives to make your life easier, and the new version of the SanDisk iXpand is one of the cooler ones we’ve seen.

Not only does it offer a bunch of different storage sizes and a really slick app to keep everything straight, but the makers also designed it to be as unobtrusive as possible. Basically, you can keep it plugged into your iPhone all the time, and you’ll barely even notice it. And that’s more than we can say about most of the phone accessories we carry around.