Dickinson finale is pure poetry [Apple TV+ recap]

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Dickinson finale: After an extremely strong third season, the show makes a graceful exit.
After an extremely strong third season, the show makes a graceful exit.
Photo: Apple TV+

Dickinson bids us farewell this week — too soon, but beautifully. What lies in store for Emily and her family in their final outing? Can she overcome history to find a happy ending denied her by fact and legacy?

The Apple TV+ alt-history show says goodbye on a sweet, lightly ambiguous note — and finds its strength in invention. Emily Dickinson we hardly knew ye.

Swagger’s stirring season finale goes down to the wire [Apple TV+ recap]

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Swagger season finale recap: What a way to end a season!
What a way to end a season!
Photo: Apple TV+

Team Swagger goes to the nationals in the stunning finale of Apple TV+’s incredible show about a basketball team and its players and satellites. Reggie Rock Bythewood and the incredible team of Swagger writers are prepared to send Ike, Jace, Jenna, Crystal and the rest of the team out with a bang.

A season’s worth of innuendo and tension is about to be unearthed and made real.

The verdict is in at last on The Shrink Next Door [Apple TV+ recap]

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The Shrink Next Door recap: Dr. Ike finally gets what he's got coming.
Dr. Ike (played by Paul Rudd) never really gets what he deserves.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s The Shrink Next Door, starring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd, mercifully comes to a close this week after eight very long episodes. Marty goes looking for the missing pieces of his life after 30 years under Ike’s care, and finds a lot of dead ends.

Can he repair his life after so long messing everything up? It’s an open question whether he, or anyone around him, will be willing to forgive him. This series finally parts ways with its central pair and lets them both off with a warning, in the grand scheme of things.

Home Widget is the HomeKit widget Apple doesn’t make [Review]

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Home Widget review
Home Widget lets you make your own HomeKit widgets.
Photo: Clément Marty

With Home Widget, it’s now possible to control your HomeKit accessories directly from your iPhone’s Home screen. Turn on and off lights or even run automated scenes with the quick push of a button. With the new app, you can make a bunch of HomeKit widgets to meet your needs.

I put Home Widget to the test in my smart house. I’m generally pleased with its usability.

The kids are alright as Dickinson approaches its poetic finale [Apple TV+ recap]

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Dickinson recap: The kids are alright.
The Dickinson siblings work things out.
Photo: Apple TV+

Reconciliations abound and new beginnings rear their heads on the penultimate episode of Dickinson, the alt-history Apple TV+ series about the great poet and her family and friends. And the show prepares to say goodbye in fine, fine form.

Dickinson finally answers its loose-end questions about Emily Dickinson’s place in history (and, indeed, the place of art and poetry in a more general sense). The show finally explores what it means to want to create during a destructive time — and it’s a shame the showrunners won’t be able to do more after landing in such a beautiful place. There’s still some sitcom business, but that’s less important.

Elago Sport band for Apple Watch is too good to be just $19 [Review]

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Elago Sport band for Apple Watch
A brilliant Sport band that won't break the bank.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Elago’s brilliant Sport band has quickly become my favorite activity band for Apple Watch. It’s well-designed and built like a tank from super-sturdy materials. And it’s unbelievably good value for money at just $18.99.

Want to know more? Here’s our full review.

Swan Song is smart sci-fi done right [Apple TV+ review]

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Mahershala Ali in Swan Song
Mahershala Ali in Swan Song
Photo: Apple TV+

Just before the end of the year, Apple TV+ has one more prestige item to push. New sci-fi movie Swan Song stars multiple Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali and multiple Academy Award nominee Glenn Close.

Swan Song, which premieres Friday on Apple TV+, is a number of things: an inspirational disease drama, a sleek sci-fi parable, a clone movie, and the feature debut of an Academy Award-winning short film director, Benjamin Cleary.

Arriving so soon after Tom Hanks’ ho-hum Finch, viewers could be forgiven for preparing for the worst. Thankfully, there’s no need.

Elevate your iPhone charging with Forté MagSafe stand [Review]

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Twelve South Forté review
Twelve South Forté
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Twelve South Forté turns Apple’s MagSafe iPhone charging puck into a stand. So rather than your handset lying flat on a table, it’s held up so you can more easily see the display. And the elevated charging mat swivels so you can pick your viewing angle for watching video or making FaceTime calls.

I put the Forté to use in my home office. Here’s what it’s like to use in real life.

Yobybo X-Boat Pro ANC earbuds: If the buds fit, (maybe) wear them [Review]

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The Yobybo X-Boat Pro earbuds come with a USB cable and a sleek
The Yobybo X-Boat Pro earbuds come with a USB cable and a sleek "open" charging case.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

I think it was a Kickstarter campaign that first drew my attention to the Yobybo X-Boat Pro noise-cancelling earbuds, “the first open-casing true wireless stereo headphones with LDAC,” the company said, referring to Sony’s hi-res codec. Well, while the sleek “open” case is super-cool and the buds’ sound is vibrant, some earbuds just aren’t for everyone.