Start the holiday season right with Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues [Apple TV+ review]

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She's back for Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues
Mariah Carey, aka the "Queen of Christmas," returns with a breezy holiday special.
Photo: Apple TV+

Last Christmas, Apple TV+ made an important play for the hearts and minds of viewers: It gave Mariah Carey a Christmas special. This year, amidst a host of new original Christmas programs, Apple TV+ brings her back to sprinkle more of her magic on the holiday season.

Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues is a short but definitely stream-worthy follow-up to last year’s charmingly chintzy special. Honestly, can anyone get enough Mariah?

Dr. Brain plunges deeper into conspiracy and sci-fi [Apple TV+ recap]

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Dr. Brain recap: The truth is getting closer, and weirder, in this South Korean sci-fi show.
The truth is getting closer, and weirder, in this brain-melting South Korean sci-fi show.
Photo: Apple TV+

Dr. Brain, Apple TV+’s new series from visionary genre specialist Kim Jee-Woon, drives headlong toward answers, both disappointing and cathartic, in the second-to-last episode of the exciting first season.

Can brain-syncing scientist Sewon stop the far-reaching forces at work to destroy him before they succeed? Can Hong redeem himself after causing so much chaos and hurt? Apple TV+’s first South Korean series is poised for a strong close.

Time travel and weed take Dickinson to interesting new places [Apple TV+ recap]

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Dickinson recap: High times lead to laughs this week.
High times lead to laughs this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

Emily and Lavinia visit the future in this very special episode of Dickinson, Apple TV+s alt-history romp about the great poet. They head to 1955 while Austin gets desperate, Betty gets lonely, Henry gets creative, and Mr. and Mrs. Dickinson get high.

It’s a wild episode this week, rootless and maybe a little too cute, but that’s not unusual for Dickinson.

Swagger builds up to the big game [Apple TV+ recap]

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Swagger recap: Jace (played by Isaiah Hill) flies high as his team faces challenges.
Jace (played by Isaiah Hill) flies high as his team faces challenges.
Photo: Apple TV+

This week’s Swagger finds Jace, Ike, Jenna and Crystal at crossroads. The Apple TV+ basketball drama is all business this episode, showing us what the raised profile of their activism has done for the kids on Swagger, good and ill.

Jenna feels like coach Ike is letting her son down — and takes some drastic measures to try and take him off the pedestal on which Jace has placed him. But at what cost?

Lululook stand makes your iPad Pro into a tiny iMac [Review]

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Lululook Urban Magnetic iPad Stand review
Lululook’s iPad stand does an amazing job of turning an iPad into a desktop.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iPad Pro is the best tablet on the market, but it can be more. Add a stand and you have a pretty good desktop. And you’ll be hard pressed to find a better option for that than the Lululook Urban Magnetic iPad Pro Stand.

Read on to see why I freaking love this accessory.

The Shrink Next Door craps out a real party pooper [Apple TV+ recap]

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The Shrink Next Door recap: Sometimes parties are no fun at all.
Sometimes parties are no fun at all.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s true comedy The Shrink Next Door heads into its endgame this week. Manipulative psychiatrist Ike has all but moved into his patient Marty’s house in the Hamptons. And the bad doctor has started professionally throwing parties.

However, the longer the party goes on, the less fun it feels. The same is true of this show, which increasingly feels like it should have been a two-hour movie — if it needed to exist at all.

Conveniently mount your iPhone on your Mac with MagArm [Review]

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STM Goods MagArm review
Your iPhone is held at eye level next to your Mac screen by the STM Goods MagArm.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

STM Goods MagArm is an iPhone mount that attaches to your Mac display, either in the office or at a coffee shop. And not only does it hold the handset where it can be easily seen, slip in Apple’s MagSafe charging puck and the MagArm will charge the iPhone too.

I put the accessory for MacBook or Mac desktop to the test. How likely is it to drop the iPhone? Here’s what I found out.

Add Noopl 2.0 to your iPhone to hear better in crowded restaurants [Review]

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Noopl 2.0 review
Don’t struggle to hear in loud restaurants. Try Noopl 2.0 with your iPhone and AirPods Pro instead.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Noopl 2.0 works with AirPods Pro and your iPhone to help filter out crowd noise so you can hear conversations. It’s for people who aren‘t ready for hearing aids but would like help tuning into conversations in noisy environments.

I put the hearing enhancement accessory through real world testing. Here’s how it stood up.

Invasion gets gory as the alien mystery deepens [Apple TV+ recap]

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Invasion recap: We learn some interesting things about Trevante (Shamier Anderson) this week.
We learn some interesting things about Trevante (played by Shamier Anderson) this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

This week on Invasion, the humans and the aliens seem just moments away from some kind of break in their standoff, but fate is about to throw an 18-car pileup between them.

The Apple TV+ sci-fi series is about to bring back the fireworks in a big way. The Maliks are being shuffled to the Defense Department, Trevante is off to the hospital with Caspar and Jamila, and Mitsuki has to think hard about what’s floating in space.

Fill in Wi-Fi dead spots with this powerful wireless network extender [Review]

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Rockspace AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi Extender review
Don’t put up with Wi-Fi dead zones. Rockspace’s wireless range extender can fill them in.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Wi-Fi dead spots happen in many homes and businesses, and they can be so frustrating. The Rockspace AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi Extender fills in the empty spot(s) in your wireless network, and because it has Wi-Fi 6 it can provide up to 35 devices with speedy connections.

I tested this access point in my home office. Here’s how it stood up to a battery of real-world tests.