These bone-conduction smart glasses make headphones unnecessary [Review]

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Lucyd Loud review
For some people, Lucyd Loud smart glasses are a better option than AirPods.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Headphones are so ubiquitous we often don’t think about their disadvantages. Lucyd created a pair of smart glasses that let you listen to music or podcasts while still allowing you to hear what’s going on around you. This Bluetooth accessory also lets you access Siri from your iPhone, as well as make and receive calls.

Don’t miss our hands-on review of the Lucyd Loud tech frames.

Sutter Sling Pouch declares war on pockets [Review]

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Watch out pockets — the Sutter Sling Pouch is gunning for your crown.
Watch out pockets — the Sutter Sling Pouch is gunning for your crown.
Photo: Nuria Gregori

The Sutter Sling Pouch is a gentleman’s handbag that’s just big enough for you to empty your pockets into. It is also the end of pockets as we know them. What kind of dumbo would stuff their pants full of keys, wallets, multitools, iPads, Kindles and other uncomfortable gear when they can just dump it in the Sutter Sling instead?

A dedicated dumbo, that’s what kind. Smart folks will join me in acknowledging this as a turning point in history: The death of pockets as we know them. When our climate-decimated society is dug up by the Indiana Joneses of the future, they will look at the patches sewn all over our human trousers, and wonder what the hell we thought we were up to.

Pixelmator Photo first impressions: An amazing iPad image editor [Review]

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Pixelmator Photo should be on every photographer’s iPad.
Pixelmator Photo should be on every photographer’s iPad.
Photo: Nuria Gregori

Pixelmator Photo, a new image-editing app for iPad, gives you tons of tools for tweaking your images. The app lets you apply filters, crop, trim and generally making your photos look great.

In this regard, Pixelmator Photo is like a zillion other photo apps for iOS. What sets it apart are a) the now-expected Pixelmator polish, and b) machine learning that powers pretty much everything.

I’ve taken the app, which launches today, for a quick spin, and it’s pretty great. The photo-editing space is so crowded with great apps, though, that we’re spoiled for choice. How does Pixelmator Photo match up?

Braven’s rugged portable speaker can take whatever you dish out [Review]

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Braven BRV-105 review: This Bluetooth speaker is as active as you are. It’s up for biking, sailing ... you name it.
The Braven BRV-105 is as active as you are. It’s up for biking, sailing... you name it.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Braven BRV-105 can go anywhere and survive whatever you can. This palm-size speaker is waterproof and rugged without being too bulky. Attach it to your bike or belt and listen to music wherever you go without headphones.

We fully tested this Bluetooth accessory, so don’t miss our review.

This may be the best USB-C hub you can buy for your iPad Pro

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The sun finally came out, so I took this photo outside.
The sun finally came out, so I took this photo outside.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Ever since I got a 2018 iPad Pro last year, I’ve gone through a drawerful of USB-C hubs. And finally, I’ve found one that works. Or rather, one that works without any odd, annoying or inexplicable behavior. It’s the Kingston Nucleum, it doesn’t have quite enough ports, and it’s just great.

Logitech’s keyboard case puts the ‘pro’ in iPad Pro [Review]

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Logitech Slim Folio Pro review
iOS 13 will be huge for iPad users.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Amidst calls for a touchscreen MacBook, Logitech introduced the next best thing: a keyboard case that converts the 2018 iPad Pro into a laptop. The Slim Folio Pro has a backlit keyboard and a design that protects the tablet and the attached Apple Pencil.

We fully tested this just-released accessory for businesspeople and students, so don’t miss our review. Or our comparison of Logitech’s latest with the similar Apple Smart Keyboard Folio.

This dual iPhone and Apple Watch charger is a great AirPower alternative [Watch Store]

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ZENS Dual Watch Aluminum Wireless Charger for iPhone Xr iPhone Xs
The Zens Dual+Watch is all you need for charging.
Photo: Zens

Now that Apple’s AirPower charging mat has been cancelled, this dual iPhone and Apple Watch charger is perhaps the best alternative.

Like the AirPower, the Dual+Watch Aluminium Wireless Charger can charge three devices simultaneously, including the new wireless AirPods.

Best wireless iPhone chargers now that AirPower is dead

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Wireless chargers
Wireless chargers are easy to use and look stylish in any room.
Photo: Mophie

Owners of late-model iPhones (starting with iPhone 8) can stash all their old Lightning cables in a desk drawer and start charging their phone more easily with a wireless charger. Instead of sticking a wire into your phone and attaching it to a power adapter, you just place the phone on a small charger pad — or on a stand-up charging pad — and you’re good to go.

Now that Apple officially killed off its AirPower charging mat, it’s time to take the plunge and get yourself a third-party wireless charger. And if you’ve got one of those newfangled AirPods wireless charging cases, a charging pad is even more essential to your setup.

Here are our recommendations for best wireless chargers.

AirPods 2 make great a little greater [Review – updated]

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AirPods 2 with box on desk
You can already get your brand new AirPods for less.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Back in December 2016, I was ecstatic to receive my AirPods. In the first few days after they arrived, I had them in my ears almost every moment I wasn’t sleeping or in conversations with others.

Since then, I’ve worn my AirPods, on average, something like four hours every day. When they aren’t in my ears, they are in their case, in my front left pocket. They are as much a part of me as the iPhone they’re typically paired to.

With the second-generation AirPods (can we agree to call them AirPods 2?), Apple took the product I’ve loved dearly for the last 800-plus days, and made it just a little better.

Turn your iPad into a mini iMac with this minimal stand [Review]

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Wiplabs Slope iPAd stand
Wiplabs Slope stand is a great way to keep your iPad off the sticky, messy countertop in the kitchen.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

My family tends to smear our kitchen countertops with all kinds of gunk. No one has ever heard of the words plate or cutting board. So taking an iPad into the kitchen is a risky proposition: It inevitably ends up in some sticky mess.

Enter the Slope: a nice-looking stand that keeps my iPad out harm’s way.

Made from anodized aluminum, the Slope is good for the kitchen, desk or bedside. It keeps your iPad out of the muck when cooking, or at the perfect angle for work.