Best List: This clever car cam from Owl keeps an eye on your wheels [Review]

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Owl car cam
The Owl car cam is a combo dashcam and interior security camera.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

I live in San Francisco where car crime in epidemic. Last year there were just under 30,000 reported break-ins — that’s about 85 a day! My car in particular seems to be a magnet for car thieves; it’s been broken into five times in the last couple of years, costing me thousands of dollars in repairs.

So I jumped at the chance to review the new Owl car cam, a combination dashboard cam and interior security device from one of the product design leads of the iPod and iPhone. The Owl combines two HD cameras — one pointing out, the other inwards — with bump-sensing accelerometers and an always-on LTE cellphone connection that sends alerts and live video to my iPhone.

It’s been great. Setup was the easiest of any gadget in recent memory and the video is surprisingly fantastic. Best of all, no one has broken in to steal it — yet!

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: Speidel

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.

Why Dashlane is the official password manager of Cult of Mac [Video]

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Dashlane's great Security Dashboard is one of the reasons it's the official password manager of Cult of Mac.
Dashlane's great Security Dashboard is one of the reasons it's our official password manager.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Hands on with Ottm’s wonderful wooden Apple Watch bands [Video]

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ottm
The Ottm wooden Apple Watch band in Gabonese Zebrawood.
Photo: Ottm

In the world of watch straps, we think Ottm, a manufacturer of wooden Apple Watch bands, offers one of the best unboxing experiences.

The box itself is plain and simple, but the package is thoughtfully designed, containing extra links and a pin removal tool that makes it very easy to adjust your new band.

The bands are awesome, too. Made from zebrawood and/or sandalwood, each hand-finished strap is eye-catching, comfortable and unique.

We made a video to show you what to expect. And, check out Ottm’s wooden Apple Watch bands in the Watch Store.

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

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Zens
Zens' Powerbank charges an iPhone and Apple Watch simultaneously.
Photo: 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. 

Why I switched from 1Password to Dashlane [Review]

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Dashlane's password manager on a MacBook Pro
Dashlane reveals the state of password security across America.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Juuk releases 5 new Vitero Apple Watch bands for preorder

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juuk
The Ruby Grey — matte grey Vitero band with a Ruby red stripe. Available for preorder now!
Photo: Juuk

Update: Juuk’s added five new Vitero Apple Watch bands now available for preorder, which will ship the first week of February. The new finishes available for preorder are: Vitero Cosmic Grey, Vitero Granite, Vitero Ruby Silver, Vitero Silver and Vitero Ruby Grey. Many of the original Vitero finishes are sold out until June: Vitero Fire, Vitero Cerulean, Vitero Ruby Grey, Vitero Citron, Vitero Sapphire and Vitero Crimson. 

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. When these bands debuted a few months ago, they sold out quickly and a new batch won’t be back from production until June.

Until then, Juuk’s satiated customers with five brand-new finishes available now for preorder to ship the first week of February — Vitero Cosmic Grey, Vitero Granite, Vitero Ruby Silver, Vitero Silver and Vitero Ruby GreyThese will sell out, so reserve yours today! 

10 things I love about iPhone X

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iPhone X looks like a bezel-free flatscreen TV
The iPhone X makes older phones look as dated as a cathode ray tube TV.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Stephen Smith

Earlier this week my colleague Killian Bell published 10 things he hates about his iPhone X.

Like some of our readers, I was shocked. Hates? How could he find one thing to hate, let alone 10?

I can’t think of anything to hate about the X. On the contrary, there are lots of things to love. Here are 10 things I love about the iPhone X.

Hands on with Ottm’s wonderful wooden Apple Watch band [Video]

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Ottm Apple Watch Wood Band
Ottm's wooden Apple eWatch bands are good-looking and unique.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

In the world of watch straps, we think Ottm, a manufacturer of wooden Apple Watch bands, offers one of the best unboxing experiences.

The box itself is plain and simple, but the package is thoughtfully designed, containing extra links and a pin removal tool that makes it very easy to adjust your new band.

The bands are awesome, too. Made from zebrawood and/or sandalwood, each hand-finished strap is eye-catching, comfortable and unique.

We made a video to show you what to expect. Check it out above.

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.