Apple product reviews and recommendations | Cult of Mac

Bad Sisters keeps killing it with icy murder plots and revenge [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆

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Bad Sisters recap: What will the Garvey sisters get up to this week?★★★★☆
What will the Garvey sisters get up to this week? A chilling plan!
Photo: Apple TV+

Bad Sisters, the Apple TV+ black comedy about Irish women who might have killed their terrible brother-in-law to save their whole family from him, takes a cold turn this week.

Becka has a new plan for offing John Paul. Ursula’s lover finds out about the blackmail. Gabriel thinks Eva betrayed him, Roger’s in hell. And John Paul is finally getting some of the revenge he deserves after a life of doling out misery to everyone else.

It’s highs and lows all the way to the grave with this one.

See ups the ante with cannibals and an evil power couple [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆

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See recap: You can't keep a crazy ex-queen down!★★★☆☆
You can't keep a crazy ex-queen down!
Photo: Apple TV+

It’s wedding bells for lovely new couple Sibeth Kane and Tormada on this week’s episode of See, the Apple TV+ show set in the not-too-distant future in a world full of blind people. The deposed queen has consolidated her power and is ready for her next move.

Elsewhere in this dystopian world, Lord Harlan recommends a fateful shortcut, Maghra’s done playing Mr. Nice Guy, Lucien’s luck runs out, and Baba Voss kills lots and lots and lots of people.

It’s an above-average outing for the Nietzschean, not-quite-samurai epic.

The Greatest Beer Run Ever is about as palatable as a warm PBR [Apple TV+ review] ☆☆☆

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The Greatest Beer Run Ever review Apple TV+:Zac Efron plays John “Chickie” Donohue, a good old boy on a mission in The Greatest Beer Run Ever, a film based on a true story.☆☆☆
Zac Efron plays John “Chickie” Donohue, a good old boy on a mission in The Greatest Beer Run Ever, a flat film based on a true story.
Photo: Apple TV+

With new movie The Greatest Beer Run Ever, Apple TV+ seems anxious to pick up some easy awards from industry insiders who prefer heartwarming tales of friendship and broad gestures over strong ideas and nuance.

Zac Efron leads an ensemble cast as John “Chickie” Donohue, a guy going nowhere in life during the Vietnam War who decides he’s going to finally do something with himself. Chickie’s crazy bid for respectability — via a wild trip to the war zone, toting beer for the demoralized troops — provides hope for his whole neighborhood back home.

Director Peter Farrelly, who won the Best Picture Oscar in 2019 for the risible Green Book, returns to the well of  hopelessly condescending middlebrow emptiness with The Greatest Beer Run Ever.

This iPhone game controller is designed for Xbox Cloud Gaming [Review] ★★★★

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This iPhone game controller is designed for Xbox Cloud Gaming [Review]★★★★
You're ready to play Xbox Cloud Gaming on your iPhone with the RiotPWR Controller for iOS (Xbox Edition).
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

RiotPWR teamed up with Microsoft on an Xbox-licensed game controller for iPhone. It’s nearly identical to one of Microsoft’s own but the RiotPWR Controller for iOS (Xbox Edition) connects through a Lightning cable and includes a mount to hold your handset. And it comes with a month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to get you started playing console games online.

I’ve enjoyed a couple of weeks of gaming on RiotPWR’s iPhone controller. Here’s why.

Rugged enclosure easily converts SSDs into external Mac drives [Review] ★★★★★

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Satechi USB-C Aluminum Tool-Free Enclosure review: For M.2 NVMe or SATA SSD★★★★★
Easily turn an M.2 NVMe or SATA SSD into a drive for your Mac or iPad with this enclosure from Satechi.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Satechi USB-C Aluminum Tool-Free Enclosure allows M.2 PCIe NVMe and SATA solid state drives to be easily added to a Mac or iPad. The rugged enclosure includes a USB-C port for wide compatibility.

I installed an SSD into Satechi’s enclosure and tested it in my home office. It was as simple as one could hope.

AirPods Pro 2: A must-have for Apple users and a solid choice for anyone [Review] ★★★★

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At a glance, they could be AirPods Pro, but they're AirPods Pro 2, with many internal upgrades.★★★★
At a glance, they could be AirPods Pro, but they're AirPods Pro 2, with many internal upgrades.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Cupertino’s second-generation AirPods Pro, which went on sale Friday in stores, look almost exactly like the original model released in 2019. But they’re upgraded in every way that matters most, thanks mainly to the new H2 processor.

Apple may not have gone as far as it could have in some ways, but the new AirPods Pro are among the best earbuds on the market and a worthy upgrade for almost anyone. They’re particularly great for those who use lots of Apple gear and love how seamlessly their devices can work together.

Let’s take a look at, and a listen to, the second-gen AirPods Pro, aka AirPods Pro 2.

Sleek 4-in-1 iPhone charging stand packs bright bonus [Review] ★★★★☆

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SwitchEasy MagPower 4-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charging Stand review★★★★☆
Get rid of cable clutter with the SwitchEasy MagPower multidevice charger.
Photo: Adel Neal/Cult of Mac

The SwitchEasy MagPower 4-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charging Stand can wirelessly power up a MagSafe iPhone while also juicing up an Apple Watch, AirPods and more. And it even has a nightlight as a bonus.

I’ve had the stand either on my desk or beside my bed for a couple weeks now. Here’s what it’s like in real-world use.

iPhone 14 Pro review: Dynamic Island and massive camera sensor offer something new ★★★★★

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A Silver iPhone 14 on a wet picnic table★★★★★
iPhone 14
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Out of the box, the new iPhone 14 Pro looks almost identical to its predecessor, the iPhone 13 Pro, with its frosted glass back, shiny steel band and triple-lens rear camera.

But switch it on, and you immediately see an obvious difference — the new Dynamic Island, a fun, interactive UI element that alone is almost worth the upgrade. But what cinches it is the new 48MP camera sensor, which takes absolutely fantastic pictures.

See gets back to its murderous best [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆

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See recap: It's massacre time on See, thank goodness.★★☆☆
It's massacre time again on See, thank goodness.
Photo: Apple TV+

It’s close quarters combat on this week’s See, and plenty of it. The Apple TV+ show about a dystopian society run by blind people hits a violent snag as Tormada comes for his bombs — and finds Baba Voss and his sword waiting for him.

Also, Haniwa gets an earful and an eyeful of destructiveness and it just about breaks her. Harlan has to say a messy goodbye to my favorite character, and Sheva brings out the big guns to protect her family.

New suspicions simmer on Bad Sisters [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆

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Bad Sisters recap: Gabriel (played by Assaad Bouab) saves John Paul's life, unfortunately.★★★★☆
Bad Sisters recap: Gabriel (played by Assaad Bouab) saves John Paul's life, unfortunately.
Photo: Apple TV+

Twisted Apple TV+ comedy Bad Sisters recovers from a few nasty falls this week. The series, which centers on Irish sisters determined to put their brother-in-law on ice, circles the wagons and waits for bad news as insurance inspectors get closer to the truth.

In a typically great episode from the show’s marvelous artistic team and cast, John Paul survives another murder attempt in the past, and Becka makes a shocking discovery.