I made my own smart HomePod speaker, and it’s awesome

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iPod Hi-Fi
The iPod Hi-Fi has aged well. Initially a dud, it's now a collectors' piece. And it sounds great.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Last week’s crushing news that Apple’s HomePod won’t be available for Christmas was a blow to some.

But I shrugged it off.

That’s because I made my own HomePod smart speaker. It cost me about $60 and sounds absolutely great.

Juuk’s race car-inspired Vitero Apple Watch bands ship today [Review]

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Juuk Apple Watch Band
The Vitero prototypes are in: (left to right) Ruby Grey, Fire, Citron, Cerulean, Sapphire and Crimson.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Update: Juuk’s new Vitero bands ship today following a week of pre-orders — grab yours before inventory runs out! Next shipment not until 2018. 

Best List: Juuk Design aluminum Vitero Apple Watch band

Our friends at Juuk have done it again! The Hong Kong-based company has created a totally unique, aluminum Apple Watch band with an aggressive design inspired by motor racing.

Juuk’s Vitero band looks, feels and performs like no other Apple Watch band on the market — or any watch band for that matter.

Got an iPhone X? Sell your old phone for cash

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The quickest and easiest way to get paid for your old devices.
The quickest and easiest way to get paid for your old devices.
Photo: MyPhones Unlimited

With the iPhone X finally released, now is the best time to lock-in a price to sell your old phone before it begins to depreciate. And you should use Cult of Mac’s gadget buyback program, because we pay the highest cash prices with the easiest service.

Our popular gadget buyback program pays more for used and broken Apple devices in most cases than rivals like Gazelle and BuyBackWorld.

And we can prove it…

Best List: The iconic Speidel Twist-O-Flex bracelet for Apple Watch [Review]

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speidel
Speidel's classic Twist-O-Flex bracelet is now available in Satin Black for Apple Watch.
Photo: Courtesy of Speidel

Update: We ran this review of Speidel’s Twist-O-Flex, and now are excited to announced a new color option for this special strap: Satin Black.

Best List: Speidel Twist-O-Flex stainless steel Apple Watch band

My grandfather, who fought in World War II, wore a beautiful mechanical watch. It had an eye-catching expansion band — a stainless steel link bracelet that stretched like elastic. He always took it off to play cricket, and I remember it dangled loosely around my skinny kid’s wrist when I tried it on. He loved that watch, and so did I.

Now I’m wearing a similar expansion bracelet on my Apple Watch courtesy of Speidel, the storied watch-band maker from Providence, Rhode Island. Introduced in the late 1950s, Speidel’s Twist-O-Flex Stainless bracelets are some of the most iconic bands in all of watchmaking. Now they’re available in three finishes for the Apple Watch.

iPhone X setup shows Apple’s core brilliance

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automatic setup
In iOS 11, you won't need to remember anything when you get a new iPhone.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

I used to think setting up a new iPhone was easy, but the iPhone X takes it to the next level.

On Friday, I got the new iPhone X and have been using it all weekend. The setup process was the easiest ever, and speaks to Apple’s constant drive to make things better.

Shocker! Some Apple stores still have iPhone X on hand

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iPhone launch line at San Francisco store
The iPhone X hasn't yet sold out at San Francisco's flagship store.
Photo: Traci Dauphin/Cult of Mac

Availability of the iPhone X seems to be better than expected. While the phone was predicted to sell out almost instantly, there seems to be a good supply at some Apple stores.

The big flagship store in San Francisco’s Union Square appears to have plenty of phones still in stock, according to Traci Dauphin, my wife, who just left the store.

This compact 2-in-1 battery pack recharges your Apple Watch and iPhone [Review]

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Zens Powerbank
Zens' Powerbank has a 4,000 mAh capacity.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Best List: Apple iPhone/Watch Powerbank by Zens

When traveling, if you forget your charger, you’re often hosed. Especially for the Apple Watch. That’s why I keep a Zens Powerbank battery pack in my bag. The Powerbank features a built-in charger for the Apple Watch, plus a USB port for plugging an iPhone or iPad.

It’s light and easy to carry around, yet has enough juice for recharging an Apple Watch almost 12 times. Best yet, the Zens Powerbank battery pack is available now in Cult of Mac’s Watch Store. 

Best List: Zens Power Bank is a great little Apple Watch battery [Review]

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Zens Apple Watch Power Bank
Zens Apple Watch Power Bank
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Update: The Apple Watch Powerbank by Zens is now available at the Watch Store with free shipping!

Best List: Apple Watch Powerbank by Zens

Most external batteries for the Apple Watch are BYOC — Bring Your Own Cable — and have bulky winding systems for tucking the cable away.

Not the compact Apple Watch Powerbank from Zens, perhaps the most portable external battery pack on the market.

Apple TV 4K is almost picture-perfect [Review]

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Apple TV Siri Remote
An Apple TV under the tree is sure to bring a smile.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple TV has finally caught up with the 4K revolution.

It may be late to the game, but Apple’s newest set-top box pulls out all the stops to be the best on the field. It’s packing incredibly powerful new hardware that leaves competitors in the dust, and a much-improved tvOS platform that is years ahead of its rivals.

It may seem pricey starting at $179, but with amazingly sharp videos and great apps and games all rolled into one, Apple TV 4K is well worth the upgrade.

Watch our Apple TV video review:

Trade in your old Apple Watch. We pay the highest prices

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Apple Watch with brown strap
Cult of Mac will buy your old Apple Watch, and we pay top dollar.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

If you just got a new Apple Watch Series 3 (or are about to), you should think about trading in your old watch.

Cult of Mac has a popular gadget buyback program that pays more for used Apple Watches than competing trade-in services, and it’s a lot easier and safer than Craigslist or eBay.