3 apps to help you with your New Year’s resolutions [Awesome Apps]

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Finish Your Goals This Year
You can actually get it done — with this apps.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac
Awesome Apps

It’s already January 6th, but if you haven’t given up on your New Year’s resolution already, I have three apps that’ll help you through it. (I won’t hold you to it if you’ve slipped up in the first week.)

Whether you’re trying to exercise more, work more efficiently or change your daily habits, these three apps will help you make a better 2024.

Keep Apple devices ready to go with mophie’s convenient 3-in-1 travel charger [Updated review] ★★★★

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Mophie 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe version 2★★★★
The new version of the mophie 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe is even more capable.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Roll out the mophie 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe and it’s ready to juice up your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods. Just drop the devices on their appropriate wireless charging mat. And, to make it easier to take on the road, the accessory comes with a carrying case.

I used the original 2022 model, and mophie introduced a new version in late 2023. I retested the multidevice travel charger to see how quickly it wirelessly powers up a variety of Apple products and how easy it is to carry around. Here are my updated results.

Dream of ‘Brazil’ dies in For All Mankind‘s fraught episode 9 ★★★★☆

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For All Mankind season 4, episode 9, Kelly and Ed hug★★★★☆
Tears and hugs aside, Kelly Baldwin isn't falling for her dad's BS.
Photo: Apple TV+

Season 4 of For All Mankind entered its tense final phase Friday, with action heating up on Mars and on Earth ahead of climactic episode 10. Episode 9, “Brazil,” is all about setting up that endgame (and it really could be the End, as we await Apple TV+ news of season 5 renewal … or not).

But two characters won’t live to see that endgame. And many more lives are at risk as forces on Earth seek to control the fight in space over the Goldilocks asteroid’s vast mineral wealth — and maybe even the future of space exploration.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 8 drops down a giant hole … literally [Apple TV+ recap]

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'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters' episode 8 -- Cate Randa
The Randa family needs to learn to stay away from the titan tunnels.
Screenshot: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewMonarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 8 reveals why Lee Shaw is traveling around the world blowing stuff up, and also hits us with a big surprise. Then it drops some central characters down a huge hole.

Read our review/recap for Godzilla-size spoilers about the latest episode, plus some speculation about the show’s future.

Russian ghost haunts season 4’s ‘Legacy’ episode of For All Mankind ★★★★☆

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For All Mankind season 4 episode 7 Sergei★★★★☆
Sergei ducks deep cover to seek out Margo with Aleida's reluctant help.
Photo: Apple

Hopefully you were already onboard with For All Mankind‘s sometimes brazenly credulity-stretching alternative reality. The first woman president comes out as gay. Homegrown terrorists blow up NASA HQ. Agency director Margo Madison defects to the Soviet Union and then goes to work in its space agency, only to end up partnering with NASA.

If so, then you won’t mind if a Russian ghost comes back to mess with us now, too.

OK, he’s not a ghost. He’s Sergei, the Russian scientist who seemed to fall in love with Margo and got strangled in front of her to get her to give up U.S. space secrets. And as forces now align to mine the Goldilocks asteroid near Mars, he breaks cover on Earth to seek her out — and maybe not just for more romance.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 7 lays groundwork for future battles [Apple TV+ recap]

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'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters' episode 7 -- Lee Shaw blows stuff up
Colonel Lee Shaw gets to blow stuff up in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 7.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewMonarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 7 might not be the most exciting entry in the series, but it offers up important backstory for one of the best MonsterVerse films.

Read our review/recap for Godzilla-size spoilers about the latest episode, plus some speculation about the show’s future.

Best free weather apps for iPhone and iPad in 2023

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The Best Weather Apps
There are SO MANY weather apps to choose from, but these are the best free ones.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

In a world with about 10,000 weather apps — that’s an actual estimate, not a huge exaggeration — how do you choose the best free weather app for iPhone or iPad that you can trust and that includes the features you want most? It’s not easy. But a mix of full-featured free weather apps (most with premium versions) and specialty apps can cover all the bases for you.

We’ll go over some of the best weather apps below, whether you just want to avoid getting wet or if you’re a total weather freak who can’t get enough data, visual or otherwise.

For All Mankind episode 7 finds crisis across the picket line ★★★

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For All Mankind season 4 episode 7★★★
Ed Baldwin and Samantha Massey represent Helios workers in strike negotiations.
Photo: Apple TV+

For All Mankind, season 4, episode 7 — “Crossing the Line” — wastes no time getting into rancorous strike negotiations between Helios workers and NASA management at Happy Valley, Mars, as forecast by the previous episode.

That “line” in the episode title is a picket line, or maybe a reference to the disastrous result of management trying to bust a strike in space.

Everyone should use this simple clipboard manager for Mac [Awesome Apps]

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Maccy Clipboard Manager
If you don't have a clipboard manager already, your life is about to change.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac
Awesome Apps

Maccy is a fantastic macOS copy-paste manager that supercharges your clipboard history. It allows you to copy … and copy … and copy again, and still paste the first thing you copied. Of course, it works with cut-and-paste too. It’s super well-designed and very easy to use. With a simple keyboard shortcut, you can bring up a small menu to instantly paste something you cut or copied hours ago.

It’s a fantastic utility that will quickly become a must-have on every Mac you use. You can buy Maccy for just $9.99 on the Mac App Store, or build it from its open-source code yourself.

Space union forms in For All Mankind‘s ‘Leningrad’ episode ★★★☆☆

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Irina, Aleida and Eli chat in For All Mankind Leningrad episode★★★☆☆
Irina, left, Aleida and Eli discuss asteroid capture at the M7 summit in Russia.
Photo: Apple TV+

Friday’s sixth episode in season 4 of For All Mankind, “Leningrad,” ranks low on the deaths-and-hanky-panky scale of soap-opera criticism, but it’s not without a few revelations and highly emotional moments.

Namely, as plans unfold to capture the Goldilocks asteroid for lucrative mining, Mars may be getting its first union. Nice-guy Miles plays hardball with Ilya Brezhnev. And former NASA director Margo Madison reveals to the world she’s alive and working for the Soviet space agency.

This 17-inch, 4K touchscreen is the best portable monitor we’ve ever used [Review] ★★★★

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espresso 17 Pro -- simulated screen image★★★★
espresso 17 Pro offers just about everything you could want in a mobile screen.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The espresso 17 Pro checks every box in a premium portable display. It sports a 4K resolution, touchscreen with stylus support, and a sleek design ready for on-the-go use.

The 17-inch screen is brilliant as a productivity enhancement when away from the office, but it’s also intended for digital artists to use everyday. Or just anyone who’d like a touchscreen Mac.

I tested the espresso 17 Pro in my home office and while traveling. Here’s why I love it.

A Time Machine widget for your Mac desktop [Awesome Apps]

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Backup Status
Get simple desktop widgets for monitoring Time Machine.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac
Awesome Apps

Backup Status is a simple app that puts a Time Machine widget on your Mac desktop (or stows it away in your Notification Center). If you don’t want the Time Machine icon cluttering up your menu bar, this is a straightforward alternative.

Time Machine, of course, is Apple’s software that makes continuous backups of your files to a separate part of your disk, an external hard drive or network-attached storage. Everyone should use Time Machine.

And, after you set it up, you should try Backup Status, the fun little app that lets you easily monitor your Time Machine backups.

Macintosh buying guide: Choose the best Mac and accessories

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Mac buying guide: Choose the best model and accessories
We'll help you pick the perfect Mac.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

When you buy a new Mac, you will spend a decent stack of cash. So, whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, ensuring you choose the best Mac is key. While every modern Mac can handle casual computing with ease, some are a much better fit for certain use cases.

In our Mac buying guide, we’ll look at all of the models offered by Apple today, as well as some of the best Mac accessories you can get to go with them.

Best Apple Watch: Choose the right model and best accessories

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Apple Watch buying guide: Choose the best models and accessories
Gifting an Apple Watch for the holidays? We'll help you find the perfect pick.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch is almost an essential for any iPhone owner these days, so it makes the perfect gift for anyone who doesn’t already own one. It’s also one of the more affordable Apple devices you can buy with a range of options to choose from that start at just $249 (or even less if you shop around).

In this buying guide, we’ll help you choose the right Apple Watch for you or for someone else, help you find the best prices, and highlight some of the best Apple Watch accessories you can get.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 5 references you might have missed [Apple TV+ recap]

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'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters' episode 5: San Francisco after Godzilla fought two kaiju there.
This is San Francisco after Godzilla fought two kaiju in the heart of the city.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewMonarch: Legacy of Monsters episode five focuses on Cate Randa’s backstory from when she survived the battle between Godzilla and two kaiju that destroyed much of San Franciso. Plus, a betrayal!

Read on for monster-size spoilers about the latest episode, plus some speculation about the show’s future.

In between space disasters, emotional thrusters propel For All Mankind [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★

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Danielle in ★★★
Danieille handles news of the Goldilocks mission in stride, but soon she's screaming "F-You!" at Ed Baldwin. Twice.
Photo: Apple TV_

“Ground control, is that a negative on fatal space accidents in this week’s episode? Roger that. Initiate teardrops protocol.” For All Mankind‘s “Goldilocks” episode, number 5 in season 4, pushes plot lines forward Friday under the power of emotional cataclysms more than space-based action.

But it’s a meaty episode nonetheless. The whole season will turn on the importance of a certain newly discovered space rock named Goldilocks.

This Mac app directly beams files over the internet [Awesome Apps]

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Blip file transfers
Blip, a new app for Mac and Android, is a better way to transfer files.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac
Awesome Apps

Blip is a delightful utilty that lets you transfer files across the internet — directly from your Mac to theirs. There’s no middleman uploading to and downloading from a cloud, no pesky web app to sign into. It’s like beaming your files onto someone else’s computer.

It’s the easiest and most straightforward way to send someone large folders of files or complex projects from your Mac. And best of all, it’s totally free and secure.

Stay dry with Rainbow Weather’s hyper-local AI forecasts [Awesome Apps]

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Rainbow Weather: AI Forecast app
Avoid the raindrops -- or hurricanes, if it comes to that -- with the Rainbow Weather app.
Photo: Rainbow Weather
Awesome Apps

Tired of getting caught in the rain? Startup Rainbow Weather released its hyper-local rain-alert and hurricane-tracking app Rainbow Weather in November, giving you a great way to track weather tied to your precise location at all times via your iPhone.

Meow! Stray proves great gaming can happen on a Mac [Review] ★★★★★

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Photo of the Stray title screen on a Mac, with two cats sitting on the desk nearby★★★★★
Stray is a game for Mac gamers and cat lovers.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

In Stray, you play as a cat wandering through a cyberpunk version of the Kowloon Walled City, the most densely populated city in the world (and a fascinating footnote of history). In this future, though, the city teems with robots who dream of visiting the outside world.

It’s been out for PC, Xbox and PlayStation for a while, but the Mac version is out now on the Mac App Store.

Stray is a gripping game in an exquisitely designed and immersive world that proves gaming on the Mac is on the rise once again.

Edit video on iPhone and external drives with powerful LumaFusion [Awesome Apps]

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Edit video on iPhone and external drives with powerful 'LumaFusion'
With LumaFusion, you don't need storage space on your iPhone to edit huge video files on an SSD.
Photo: LumaTouch
Awesome Apps

With an iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max, you can record high-resolution video directly to an external SSD. And the latest version of the iPhone app LumaFusion lets you edit with the video still on the external drive, too. Don’t try that with any other video editor for iOS.

That’s on top of the many other features of the iPhone and iPad application, which offers multitrack video editing with a focus on controlling everything with touch.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 4 references you might have missed [Apple TV+ recap]

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'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters' Episode 4 -- Frost Vark Titan
It’s the Frost Vark Titan! Run!!
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review The fourth episode of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is out, and anyone who’s been dissatisfied about the amount of screen time kaijus got before will have nothing to complain about.

Read on if you’re ready for Godzilla-size spoilers about the latest episode, plus some speculation about the show’s future.

Space soap opera For All Mankind hits stride in ‘House Divided’ episode [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★

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For All Mankind, season 4, episode 4, Ed Baldwin sees Svetlana off.★★★
Ed got what might be a first and only kiss from Svetlana, headed for trial in India.
Photo: Apple TV+

Not much happens Friday on alt-history space soap opera For All Mankind season 4’s fourth episode, “House Divided.” Let’s see. Two Russians have a shoving match on Mars, almost killing one and nearly causing the return of the Cold War. The former head of NASA goes to work for the Soviets and immediately impresses her frighteningly KGB-connected boss. And longtime space heroes Danielle Poole and Ed Baldwin suffer a major falling out that could threaten peace in Happy Valley, Mars.

And by the way, geriatric Ed — the show wants us to believe Joel Kinnaman’s characters is now in his 70s — finally does get the tender smooch from a young cosmonaut threatened in episode 3. Alas, poor Miles Dale, despite sparks flying on Mars, doesn’t quite get to make out with his burgeoning love interest.

This is the USB-C game controller your iPhone 15 needs [Review] ★★★★

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GameSir G8 Galileo review★★★★
GameSir G8 Galileo makes iPhone gaming more fun.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Wrap your iPhone 15 in the GameSir G8 Galileo and you have the physical buttons, triggers and sticks needed for high-end gaming. And it has a USB-C port so it works with Apple’s latest handsets. Plus the game controller includes swappable sticks, pass-through charging, a headphone jack and more.

I tested GameSir G8 Galileo with my iPhone 15. I had a heck of a good time.