Apple product reviews and recommendations | Cult of Mac

Liaison’s spy-versus-spy story gets extra-twisty this week [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★


Eva Green in ★★★
Things get ugly this week on Liaison.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ spy thriller Liaison hits a few snags this week on its way to justice and catharsis. A mostly great episode finds Alison, Gabriel, Dumas and Sophie Saint Roche making deals with unlikely allies on their mad scramble to prevent a private war against the whole of Europe.

Didier is desperate, Sabine is growing hopeless, Alison’s father is in critical condition, and Dumas grows a conscience. There’s blood in the water in this episode, entitled “Family Album.” Who will make it out alive?

Dear Edward gets its predictably boring happy ending at last [Apple TV+ recap] ★☆☆☆☆


Colin O’Brien and Taylor Schilling in ★☆☆☆☆
Yay, dear little Edward's smiling at last.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ series Dear Edward brings its tedious first season to a close this week. Edward winds up lost in the big city, sending his adoptive mom Lacey into hysterics. Plus, Dee Dee’s feeling very unappreciated, Shay and Edward get a second chance, Steve and Amanda have a choice to make, and there’s a party on the horizon.

The Dear Edward season finale, entitled “Shelter,” is a whiff of an ending to a whiff of a season. This show, supposedly about grief in the wake of a catastrophic plane crash, turns out to be largely about nothing at all.

Everyone wants a rocket ride on Hello Tomorrow! [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆


Billy Crudup in ★★★★☆
Salesman/serial liar Jack Billings (played by Billy Crudup) finally finds a situation he can't talk his way out of, this week on Hello Tomorrow!
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewHello Tomorrow! returns for more Space Age shenanigans — and a brutal comeuppance for one of Earth’s biggest liars. The Apple TV+ show about a guy selling bunk timeshares on the moon finally hits the pause button on momentum to allow a devastating realization to sink in.

Salesman/con artist Jack Billings may be more doomed than he thinks, even as he succeeds beyond his wildest dreams. Shirley and Joey have had enough, Myrtle gets the sign she’s been searching for, Herb makes good, and Jack has to save an old hero in this stellar episode, entitled “The Gargon Mothership.”

Extrapolations takes a go at geoengineering terror [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆


Edward Norton and Mia Maestro in ★★☆☆☆
Can Edward Norton save the world from climate change? Can anyone?!?
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ limited series Extrapolations steeps itself in sci-fi wonkery this week as members of a tech billionaire family find themselves on opposing sides of a terrorist action meant to move the needle on climate change.

Novelist Dave Eggers joins the show’s writing team this week, and Edward Norton, Indira Varma and Michael Gandolfini lead the cast.

While this isn’t a bad version of what Extrapolations set out to do, the show’s sprawling mission statement remains blinkered.

In Shrinking season finale, closure comes all too easy [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆


Devin Kawaoka and Michael Urie in ★★☆☆☆
Charlie (played by Devin Kawaoka) and Brian (Michael Urie) finally tie the knot in the Shrinking season finale.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewIt’s wedding time this week on the season finale of Shrinking, the Apple TV+ comedy where no one has problems — and everyone has to solve them anyway.

Brian’s dad has a short time to make his son’s day by agreeing to be his best man, even if the idea of a gay wedding makes him uncomfortable. Jimmy helps Alice get over her latest round of depression about her deceased mom. Sean and Liz head into business together. And Gaby looks for a second job with a little help from Paul.

It’s truly one half of an hour of TV — you can’t take that away from it.

Truth Be Told season 3 ends with confessions and a judgment call [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆


Octavia Spencer and Mekhi Phifer in a scene from the ★★★★☆
Poppy (played by Octavia Spencer, left) and Markus (Mekhi Phifer) wrap up loose ends in the Truth Be Told season three finale.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewEva’s been shot and might be dying on this week’s season three finale of Truth Be Told, the Apple TV+ show about a true crime podcaster.

After last week’s shooting, podcaster Poppy goes looking for the truth behind the recent grim series of events. Trini blames herself for Eva’s fate, and Markus has only one more chance to redeem himself. Can they catch the person responsible for all this misery before it’s too late?

The episode, entitled “A Kiss Not Mine Alone,” brings a nicely plotted, excellently performed close to a very fine season.

My Kind of Country courts a new breed of country star [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★


Ale Aguirre in ★★★
Ale Aguirre competes with musicians from all over the world in new Apple TV+ show My Kind of Country.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewNew Apple TV+ competition show My Kind of Country gives three celebrity judges a chance to train burgeoning country musicians in an attempt to turn them into superstars.

The talent is unconventional and the stakes are high in the show, which is executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Kacey Musgraves (and underwritten by Apple Music). Nashville better get ready. (And judge Orville Peck better take that thing off his face.)

Roy Kent scores twice in game of life this week on Ted Lasso [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆


Brett Goldstein in ★★☆☆
Roy Kent (played by Brett Goldstein, left) gets in touch with his emotions this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewTed Lasso, the Apple TV+ show about an American soccer coach killin’ em with kindness in London, finds a new player in the mix and new hurdles at work this week. AFC Richmond is being watched by an old adversary, Roy’s got big feelings for the first time in a while, and everybody’s buzzing about what happens next.

The episode, entitled “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea,” is an above-average outing for the mawkish football comedy. (It’s anyone’s guess if the upward trend will continue.)

OtterBox iPhone case’s pop-up handle plays nice with MagSafe [Review] ★★★★☆


OtterBox OtterGrip Symmetry Series review★★★★☆
The OtterBox OtterGrip protects your iPhone and adds a handle that doesn't impede wireless charging.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

OtterBox’s new OtterGrip Symmetry Series case protects your iPhone, plus it includes a pop-up handle. What sets it apart from the competition is the handle doesn’t interfere with MagSafe wireless charging.

I wrapped my own iPhone 14 Plus in an OtterGrip. I found a lot to like.

Future-proof your iPhone gaming with this Lightning and USB-C controller [Review] ★★★★


RiotPWR RP1950 Cloud Gaming Controller review★★★★
The RiotPWR RP1950 game controller is ready to play top-tier games on an iPhone or iPad.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The RiotPWR RP1950 Cloud Gaming Controller solves a problem for iPhone gamers: the controller plugs into the Lightning port in today’s models, but also into the USB-C port that will be in the iPhone 15. In the mean time, the controller can also be used with the many iPad models that use USB-C.

I field-tested RiotPWR’s latest controller and its removable iPhone mount. I understand why Apple likes it enough to put in the online Apple Store.