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

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Clessant Barenia Apple Watch band
Barenia leather, traditionally used for Hermès saddles, makes this Clessant band soft yet strong.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Lust 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.

Cult of Mac Magazine: Debunking the ‘Shot on iPhone’ fake news and more

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Cult of Mac Magazine Issue 200
It's time to tell the truth about Apple's "Shot on iPhone" commercials.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

That video going around implying that “Shot on iPhone” photographers rely on pro gear to make their stellar pictures? Fake news! You don’t need any extras to shoot fantastic photos.

In this week’s issue of Cult of Mac Magazine, you’ll find that story and more. Get the latest on the death of iPhone jailbreaking. And see an art project that injects Apple gear into vintage films. Get your free subscription to Cult of Mac Magazine from iTunes. Or read on for this week’s top stories.

iPhone 8 might drop Touch ID for 3-D face scanner

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3-D sensors could let face-recognition replace Touch ID on the iPhone 8.
3-D sensors could let face-recognition replace Touch ID on the iPhone 8.
Photo: Carlos R/Pexels CC

The iPhone 8 might ditch Touch ID for 3-D facial scanning that could prove faster, easier and more secure than the fingerprint reader currently used for logins and payments.

The new security system, if perfected in time for the upcoming iPhone 8, also could help Apple get around a possible bottleneck in the production process.

Cult of Mac Magazine: iPhone turns 10: Inside stories from a decade of Apple innovation

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Cult of Mac Magazine: iPhone Turns 10
Get behind-the-scenes stories from the quest to create a world-changing gadget.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

It’s hard to put into words the iPhone’s massive impact on society over the past decade. But we tried! In this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine, we’ve rounded up our best coverage (including stories from our collaboration with Wired UK) of the iPhone’s 10th anniversary.

We’ve got insider stories about the development of breakthrough iPhone features, ultra-rare iPhone prototypes and much more for your reading pleasure. Get your free subscription to Cult of Mac Magazine from iTunes. Or read on for this week’s top stories.

10.5-inch iPad Pro feels like the future [Review]

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The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro puts monstrous power at your fingertips.
The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro puts monstrous power at your fingertips.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

I could be the poster boy for Apple’s “iPad problem.”

That problem, in a nutshell, is this: Even long-in-the-tooth iPads several generations old continue to work just fine for many everyday tasks. That, in turn, slows the upgrade cycle. iPad sales drop, and pundits pile on to declare that Apple is doomed. Again.

I’m one of those cheapskates who couldn’t be bothered to shell out for a new iPad over the past few years but a freak accident — and the surprisingly convincing unveiling of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro at last week’s Worldwide Developers Conference — finally coaxed me out of iPad complacency.

I’m thrilled I finally wised up. The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is a beast of a machine that’s so fast, smooth and responsive that it makes me feel like I’m in a sci-fi movie interacting with a killer device that hasn’t been invented yet. It feels like the future!

Upgrades turn Logitech Circle 2 into versatile security camera (HomeKit coming ‘soon’)

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Logitech Circle 2 Wire Free
New features and accessories make the Circle 2 far more useful.
Photo: Logitech

Major upgrades to Logitech’s Circle cam — including HomeKit compatibility coming “soon” through a software update — turn it from a cute desktop camera into a bona fide indoor-outdoor security device.

Circle 2 packs a 180 degree wide-angle lens and brings 1080p HD streaming, night vision and two-way talk and listen. The updates come in the form of new, better power options and a handful of accessories that make the Circle 2 more useful in more environments than its somewhat limited predecessor.

Hardware, software and surprises: Key takeaways from Apple’s WWDC 2017 keynote

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Tim Cook WWDC 2017
Tim Cook uncorked a load of surprises during the WWDC 2017 keynote.
Photo: Apple

If you felt worried about Apple’s supposed lack of innovation, today’s action-packed WWDC keynote should have allayed your fears. Apple execs sprinted through a 2.5-hour technology showcase filled with hardware updates, serious software upgrades and even a whole new product category.

The whirlwind presentation showed the end result of a busy company with almost unimaginable assets. Far more than a sleepy kickoff to an annual developers confab, today’s stunning presentation showed the magical output of an innovation machine firing on all cylinders.

Anyone who pegged Tim Cook as asleep at the wheel better think again. Here are the key takeaways from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 keynote.

HomePod smart speaker will totally rock (and control) your house

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Apple's new HomePod smart speaker is ready to rock your house.
Apple's HomePod smart speaker will rock your house.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s upcoming HomePod smart speaker will “reinvent the way we enjoy music in the home,” says Apple exec Phil Schiller, who offered a sneak peek at the product today.

Calling it a “breakthrough home speaker,” he outlined how the 7-inch wireless speaker will work seamlessly with Apple Music — and totally rock the house, while also giving you a way to control your house.

Enter to win a Vader-worthy black AmpliFi HD Mesh Router [Giveaway]

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Winning a limited-edition black AmpliFi HD Mesh Router on Star Wars Day is easier than a trench run.
Winning a black AmpliFi HD Mesh Router on Star Wars Day is easier than a trench run.
Photo: Ubiquiti Networks

If the Death Star had Wi-Fi, it would run on something as powerful (and ominous-looking!) as this limited-edition black AmpliFi HD Mesh Router from Ubiquiti Networks.

Assuming you’re ready to surf like a stormtrooper, you’re in luck. Cult of Mac and Ubiquiti are giving away three of these amazing mesh routers in honor of Star Wars Day. How can you win? Glad you asked, buckethead!