Logitech Circle View Doorbell joins short list of HomeKit doorbells

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Logitech Circle View Doorbell: A HomeKit doorbell with a modern look.
The Logitech Circle View Doorbell wouldn't look out of place on a modern home like this.
Photo: Naomi Ellsworth/Unsplash CC

Logitech unveiled the Circle View Doorbell on Tuesday, calling it “the first wired video doorbell developed exclusively for Apple HomeKit.”

The $199.99 accessory features Face Recognition and Logitech TrueView video, and works with most wired doorbell systems, Logitech said.

Too late: AirPods Max’s hottest colors won’t arrive by Christmas [Updated]

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If you didn't order already, it's not going to be a blue AirPods Max Christmas.
If you didn't order already, it's not going to be a blue AirPods Max Christmas.
Photo: Apple

If you wanted AirPods Max in blue, pink or green, it looks like you’ll be waiting till well into 2021. Order one of the three hottest colors of the pricey new over-the-ear headphones now, and they won’t be delivered for 12 to 14 weeks, according to Apple’s online store.

Those shipping times slipped quickly after Apple launched the high-end headphones via press release early Tuesday morning. By late morning West Coast time, space gray AirPods Max delivery times had slipped as well — to December 31. Only the silver option still showed as being available for delivery prior to Christmas.

Act fast, and you can get them between December 15 and 17. But adding custom engraving pushes the delivery date to December 29 for that model. (Update 2: By midafternoon West Coast time on Tuesday, even the silver AirPods Max delivery window had slipped to December 31 – January 8.)

California’s COVID-19 exposure notifications go live Thursday

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COVID-19 contact tracing is about to get easier in California.
COVID-19 contact tracing is about to get easier in California.
Photo: Brian McGowan/Unsplash CC

California will launch a COVID-19 exposure-notification system Thursday that uses smartphones to track interactions with infected people.

The state “has partnered with Google and Apple to launch a #COVID19 exposure notification app, CA Notify,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday on Twitter. “Starting Thursday, you can opt in to get push notifications on your phone if you have been exposed to COVID-19.”

Mandalorian selfies, 21st century biz cards and more [Awesome Apps of the Week]

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What kind of lunatic wants to show up in Din Djarin's holopuck?1? Awesome Apps of the Week include Star Wars, HomePage, OmniFocus and SpotHero.
What kind of lunatic wants to show up in Din Djarin's holopuck?!?
Image: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

You can make like an intergalactic outlaw or keep in touch like a pro with two of the new apps and updates featured in the week’s roundup. And the other two featured apps show off the growing versatility of macOS Big Sur and CarPlay, two Apple platforms that deserve a little extra love.

Get the scoop in this week’s edition of Awesome Apps of the Week.

Behold, Apple’s best of 2020 [Cult of Mac Magazine 378]

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Apple picks the year's winners.
Apple picks the year's winners.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

It’s December, so it’s time to brace yourself for the annual onslaught of “best of” recommendations. Cupertino came out of the gate early this week, crowning its favorite 15 apps and games of the year.

Separately, the company also highlighted the biggest hits on Apple Music, diced in a variety of ways, as well as the best podcasts, books and audiobooks of 2020. And, like last year, Apple Music users can check out their own personal hit lists. Take a look at your Replay 2020 playlist for insight into what you streamed with abandon during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Get the lowdown in this week’s free edition of Cult of Mac Magazine. It’s loaded with the week’s top Apple news, plus plenty of how-tos for iPhone, HomePod and Mac users.

We’ve also got reviews of three new Apple TV+ shows this week: astonishing nature docuseries Earth at Night in Color, uplifting kids show Stillwater and Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special.

New MacBook Air is an ‘instant classic’ [Cult of Mac Magazine 377]

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M1 MacBook Air review: It's an instant classic.
The new M1-powered MacBook Air is a total joy.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Just how good is that new MacBook Air? Leander Kahney, our tab-hoarding editor in chief, calls it an “instant classic.” Read his full MacBook Air review to get some interesting insights into the incredible performance of this M1-powered laptop.

However, buyer beware: If you’re considering snapping up one of these new Macs with Apple Silicon inside, there are several things that could be deal-breakers, depending on your own particular needs. Be sure to check out our quick checklist of “6 reasons an M1 Mac might not be right for you.”

Read all that and more in this week’s free edition of Cult of Mac Magazine. Download it now for a slick reading experience on your iOS device.

Also: Don’t miss out on the great deals in the Cult of Mac Store’s biggest-ever event. Our massive Black Friday sale runs all weekend long.

New Apple gear … and the reviews are in! [Cult of Mac Magazine 376]

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iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 mini and HomePod mini reviews: So many Apple products, so little time ...
So many Apple products, so little time ...
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

With so much new Apple hardware arriving on doorsteps around the world, it’s like Christmas in November. That makes it a target-rich environment for reviews.

In this week’s free edition of Cult of Mac Magazine, we showcase a shootout between the year’s two most intriguing iPhones. It’s the iPhone 12 Pro Max versus the iPhone 12 mini in dueling reviews. And then there’s the HomePod mini

Our fearless leader Leander Kahney went nuts reviewing everything he could get his hands on this week. Grab the free mag to read on your iPad or iPhone. Or view the stories at the links below.

P.S. Like podcasts? We discussed all three of these devices, and the amazing new M1-powered Macs, on this week’s episode of The CultCast. It’s now available as a video, too.

First HomePod mini reviews: Superior audio that’s better late than never

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First HomePod mini reviews: Better late than never
Early reviews say the HomePod mini punches above its weight.
Photo: Apple

The first HomePod mini reviews almost universally praise the tiny smart speaker for outstanding audio quality. A wave of superlatives like “impressively powerful,” and even “startling” make HomePod mini sound like a total champ.

Across the board, the reviewers say Apple’s new $99 smart speaker offers stiff competition to other devices in that price range. And beyond audio, they deliver surprisingly positive assessments of the HomePod mini’s design and features. Even Siri earns accolades!