Best List: Zens Power Bank is a great little Apple Watch battery [Review]

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Zens Apple Watch Power Bank
Zens Apple Watch Power Bank
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Update: The Apple Watch Powerbank by Zens is now available at the Watch Store with free shipping!

Best List: Apple Watch Powerbank by Zens

Most external batteries for the Apple Watch are BYOC — Bring Your Own Cable — and have bulky winding systems for tucking the cable away.

Not the compact Apple Watch Powerbank from Zens, perhaps the most portable external battery pack on the market.

iPhone 8 Plus brings solid improvements to an already-great device [Review]

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iPhone
There's no denying the iPhone 8 is a great phone, but can it shine through the iPhone X's shadow?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Compared to the radical redesign of the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 Plus looks quite familiar. With the exception of a glass back and a few superficial changes, it employs the same form factor that Apple’s been using since the iPhone 6 Plus. However, it packs some serious internal upgrades that make a difference in day-to-day use.

I picked up the 8 Plus on launch day and have been using it for just over a week. How does it rate? Get my take in the video and written reviews below. Also, don’t miss our huge iPhone 8 and 8 Plus case giveaway at the bottom of the post.

Outfit your Series 3 with a ballistic nylon NATO band [Review]

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Nyloon's Elysee Nylon Band for Apple Watch in navy, white and red has a comfortable, fabric-like feel.
Nyloon's Elysee Nylon Apple Watch Strap in navy, white and red has a comfortable, fabric-like feel.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Breathe new life into your existing Apple Watch or customize your new Series 3 with a cool, contemporary nylon band inspired by the original NATO strap of the 1970s. Best yet, these bands compare in quality to Apple’s nylon offering, and cost ten bucks less.

Nyloon started with the goal of making high-quality versions of the NATO straps created by the British Ministry of Defence in 1973. The result is a line of sporty, versatile and easily interchangeable nylon bands that sell fast.

Check out Watch Store’s full lineup of Nylon bands for Apple Watch, and read on to learn more about Nyloon’s must-have strap.

Best List: The iconic Speidel Twist-O-Flex bracelet for Apple Watch [Review]

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Speidel Twist-O-Flex
Speidel's classic Twist-O-Flex bracelet is now available for Apple Watch.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Best List: Speidel Twist-O-Flex stainless steel Apple Watch band

My grandfather, who fought in World War II, wore a beautiful mechanical watch. It had an eye-catching expansion band — a stainless steel link bracelet that stretched like elastic. He always took it off to play cricket, and I remember it dangled loosely around my skinny kid’s wrist when I tried it on. He loved that watch, and so did I.

Now I’m wearing a similar expansion bracelet on my Apple Watch courtesy of Speidel, the storied watch-band maker from Providence, Rhode Island. Introduced in the late 1950s, Speidel’s Twist-O-Flex Stainless bracelets are some of the most iconic bands in all of watchmaking. Now they’re available in three finishes for the Apple Watch.

Best shelf apps for iOS 11 so far

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shelf apps
Shelves are super-useful, in real life and in iOS 11.
Photo: Ismus/Flickr CC

iOS 11’s neat Split View and Drag and Drop implementation has spawned a new class of apps, for iOS at least: shelf apps. These apps provide a slide-out shelf, or junk drawer, into which you can drag items for temporary storage.

This proves useful for all kinds of reasons. You may want to gather up a whole bunch of files for different places before dragging them into an email. You may want to have oft-used files, or snippets of text, or URLs close to hand, or you may like to use a shelf to organize a project, keeping everything together.

However you use them, you can find several shelf apps on the App Store so far, with more arriving all the time. Here’s a look at the Cult of Mac pick for best shelf app (along with a few other options that offer different features).

Apple TV 4K is almost picture-perfect [Review]

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Apple TV Siri Remote
Apple TV Siri Remote
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple TV has finally caught up with the 4K revolution.

It may be late to the game, but Apple’s newest set-top box pulls out all the stops to be the best on the field. It’s packing incredibly powerful new hardware that leaves competitors in the dust, and a much-improved tvOS platform that is years ahead of its rivals.

It may seem pricey starting at $179, but with amazingly sharp videos and great apps and games all rolled into one, Apple TV 4K is well worth the upgrade.

Watch our Apple TV video review:

Apple Watch 3 reviews: LTE is big, but battery life suffers

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Apple Watch Series 3
Is Apple Watch 3 worth the upgrade fee?
Photo: Apple

Early reviews of the Apple Watch Series 3 are now dropping ahead of its official debut on Friday, September 22. If you’re still in two minds about whether you should upgrade, they should help you make that all-important decision.

The general consensus is that LTE is a great addition to Apple’s wearable lineup. Just don’t expect a drastically different experience, and prepare yourself for some early teething troubles.

Casetify’s nylon Apple Watch bands hit all the marks [Watch Store]

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casetify
These fabric-like, breathable nylon Apple Watch nylon bands from Casetify are scratch-resistant and sweat-proof.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Nylon bands for Apple Watch are in high demand for their comfort and versatility. Add in great engineering and style, and you’ve got the ideal strap to fit your everyday needs.

Enter Casetify, a company that believes in being radically unique, creating beautifully designed, made-to-order products that are hand-inspected from beginning to end.

The company recently launched its line of Nylon Fabric Bands for Apple Watch, and we’re now featuring them all in our Watch Store. A great value at $40!