Add old-world charm to your iPhone with an Oakywood wooden case [Review]

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Oakywood Wooden iPhone Case review
Oakywood makes cases Norm Abram would be proud to own.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

An iPhone doesn’t have to look coldly technological. Oakywood cases add cherry or walnut to your phone, giving it a more natural appearance. And the cases add shock resistance to Apple’s handset.

I enjoyed wrapping my iPhone 12 in an Oakywood bumper case. Here’s why.

On The CultCast: M1 Macs are totally insane, our HomePod mini reviews, and iPhone 12 Pro Max vs. mini!

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M1 Macs
Apple's M1, destroyer of benchmarks!
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: Apple’s new M1 Macs are breaking all the benchmarks, and are now officially the fastest Macs ever made. The MacBook Air is outperforming the iMac — these M1 Macs are insane.

Plus: iPhone 12 Pro Max versus mini — we’ve got them both! Which one is the keeper? We discuss. And stay tuned for our HomePod mini review, and our favorite new gadgets in an all-new Under Review!

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

Apple works to bring Xbox Series X controller support to iOS and Mac

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Xbox Series X controller
An update is on the way.
Photo: Microsoft

Apple is working with Microsoft to make new Xbox Series X controllers compatible with iPhone, iPad, Mac and more.

Support for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and other controllers is already baked into the latest versions of iOS. It’s not yet clear if Apple will add support for the PlayStation 5’s new DualSense controller, too.

Today in Apple history: iTunes bags its first exclusive movie

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The producers of Purple Violets took a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
The producers of Purple Violets take a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
Photo: Wild Ocean Films

November 20: Today in Apple history: iTunes movie distribution begins with Purple Violets, the first film to launch on iTunes November 20, 2007: In a milestone for iTunes movie distribution, Purple Violets becomes the first feature film to launch exclusively on Apple’s platform.

A romantic comedy directed by Edward Burns, Purple Violets stars Selma Blair, Debra Messing and Patrick Wilson. With limited offers from distributors, the filmmakers pin their hopes on iTunes distribution as an alternative way to get their movie in front of viewers.

Pick the perfect cam to enhance your automobile

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Protect yourself and preserve your trip highlights with car-ready cameras, like this 170-degree wide-angle BlackBox with night vision.
Protect yourself and preserve your trip highlights with car-ready cameras, like this 170-degree wide-angle BlackBox with night vision.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Whether for safety, security or just to share your best road trips, cameras and cars go together surprisingly well. These four great cameras — three dash cams and one backup cam, all at big discounts — will help you get more from your car, new or old.

Apple squashes iPhone 12 mini Lock Screen bug with iOS 14.2.1

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iPhone 12 mini held up
If your iPhone 12 mini touchscreen has a Lock Screen bug, you need iOS 14.2.1.
Photo: Apple

Apple today released a small “bug fix” update for iPhones. iOS 14.2.1 takes care of problem that caused the iPhone 12 mini’s touchscreen to not always respond on the Lock Screen. A couple of other small problems were taken care of too.

In an unusual move, there is no iPadOS equivalent for this update. It’s iPhone only.

HomePod mini sounds pretty big for such a little guy [Review]

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HomePod mini
The HomePod mini sounds great for such a small speaker.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple has been doing some remarkable things with audio lately. The sound coming out of a new MacBook or iPad Pro is nothing short of amazing, given the tiny speakers they have. AirPods sound spectacular. And then there’s the original HomePods, which punch way above their weight and are some of the best speakers out there.

But what about the new HomePod minis, which cost $99 and pack the potential to give Apple a much-needed boost in the smart speaker game? Do they sound any good?

Shield your shiny new iPhone 12 with great cases, screen protectors

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Laut iPhone 12 cases
Check out Laut's new iPhone 12 lineup today.
Photo: Laut

If you landed something shiny and new from the iPhone 12 lineup, keep it safe and unscratched with a smart case from Laut. They come in a variety of styles, starting at a mere $19.99.

Check out the Shield case with its robust design if you’re particularly clumsy, and the brilliant Prime Privacy screen protector to prevent people from reading your texts and emails on the train.

Find these and more from Laut in the Cult of Mac Store today.