Strapple’s mock-croc Apple Watch band on sale for President’s Day [Review]

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Strapple Crocodilus Apple Watch strap
Strapple Crocodilus Apple Watch strap
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Best List: Crocodilus Apple Watch band by Strapple

This crocodile Apple Watch strap is a total crock. But in a good way! Made of Italian calfskin leather but stamped to look like crocodile skin, this beefy Apple Watch band looks exotic but costs a fraction of what a real reptile hide would set you back.

Plus, this President’s Day Weekend only, save 20 percent on the Crocodilus in our Watch Store.

Luxurious leather makes this Apple Watch band feel buttery-smooth [Review]

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clessant
The delicate accent stitching looks great, but there's more to this Apple Watch band than meets the eye. Clessant uses prized Barenia leather from the Haas Tannery in France.
Photo: Clessant

Best List: Clessant Black Barenia Apple Watch Band

When it comes to fashion, it’s hard to beat basic black. However, sometimes you want a little something extra — a design that adds subtle interest without going over the top. The Clessant Black Barenia Apple Watch band does the trick, thanks to fine off-white stitching that looks almost like racing stripes.

This silicone Apple Watch band is perfect for fitness freaks [Review]

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Nomad Sport Strap review for Apple Watch
The Nomad Sport Strap is ready to accept your fitness challenge.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

While many Apple Watch bands put fashion front and center, the Nomad Sport Strap embraces the wearable’s exercise potential. This wide, black silicone strap makes the Apple Watch look less like a smartwatch and more like a hard-core fitness tracker.

Is HomePod love at first listen? It’s complicated.

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HomePod audio quality is great out of the box, and Siri turns out to be a pleasant surprise.
HomePod sounds great out of the box, and Siri turns out to be a pleasant surprise.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

High-quality audio is the signature feature of Apple’s new HomePod. Apple execs brush off “Siri so stupid” concerns by emphasizing the sound quality of the device.

So the big question is: Will the HomePod be love at first listen? I just unwrapped one of the new Apple smart speakers, and my ears now have a little bit of a crush on HomePod.

E3’s leather Apple Watch bands are made the old-fashioned way  

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E3
Currently, the Watch Store offers E3 Supply Co. Apple Watch bands in two styles and a variety of finishes and colors. Made by hand in America.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Whether they are rebuilding vintage motorcycles or crafting Apple Watch bands, the folks at E3 Supply Co. do everything by hand. It’s not that they can’t afford fancy robots to get the job done — the small team of three prefers to do things this way.

Whether working from their shop in Brooklyn, New York, or from the mini leather workshop in the back of their customized 1977 Toyota Chinook, they do things the old-fashioned way. And now Cult of Mac is thrilled to offer E3 Supply’s handcrafted leather Apple Watch bands in our Watch Store.

4-in-1 HomeKit smart switch puts Alexa in your wall

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The Instinct smart light switch packs a smart speaker and also works with HomeKit.
The Instinct smart light switch packs a smart speaker and also works with HomeKit.
Photo: iDevices

CES 2018 bug iDevices’ new HomeKit-compatible smart switch will do much more than just control your lights. With sensors, a speaker and Amazon’s Alexa baked in, the Instinct packs four different functions into a standard light switch.

You can use Alexa voice commands to play music or control your lights. Or, if you’ve got your iPhone or Apple Watch at hand, you trigger HomeKit activities with Siri.

Eve Button is a remote control for your HomeKit devices

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The Elgato Eve Button puts control of your HomeKit devices at your fingertips.
The Eve Button puts control of your HomeKit devices at your fingertips.
Photo: Elgato

CES 2018 bug Sometimes Siri isn’t around to help you manage your smart home. The new Elgato Eve Button puts your HomeKit-enabled devices and scenes at your fingertips when you don’t have your smartphone at the ready.

The new HomeKit controller also means guests or kids can easily turn on the lights, lock the doors or whatever else needs doing — all with a quick press on the Eve Button.

New HomeKit smart plug cures your house of wall warts

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The upcoming ConnectSense Smart In-Wall Outlet puts the power of HomeKit in your walls.
This stealthy smart outlet will put the power of HomeKit in your walls.
Photos: ConnectSense

If you want a HomeKit-compatible electrical outlet, but don’t want an ugly wall wart jutting out of your conventional plug, you’re about to get a new option. The ConnectSense Smart In-Wall Outlet will work like other smart plugs. But it looks like the ordinary power outlets hardwired into your walls.

Sail through Apple Watch setup with these handy tips

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The Apple Watch is gorgeous (and comfy, too).
Your Apple Watch setup will be a breeze with these handy tips.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

You’ve got your Apple Watch, you lucky devil. Now it’s time to tweak it to make it as personal as possible with these Apple Watch setup tips.

Although Apple walks you through many of the basic steps, there are plenty of choices to be made before you’ll be able to squeeze maximum utility and joy out of your sleek, stylish smartwatch.

Cult of Mac’s roundup shows you exactly how to make the most out of your new favorite gadget.