Rest easy with a high-tech sleep mask that shuts out light and sound

By

Gift idea! Treat someone to more sound sleep with this high-tech, Bluetooth-enabled sleep mask for only $20.
Enjoy more restful sleep with this sleep mask that blocks out light and noises for only $19.97.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If you want to have a better day, getting a good night’s sleep is crucial. That’s easier said than done for many of us, but there’s a hi-tech solution that’s on sale just in time for the holidays.

With Bluetooth technology and a form-fitting design, the Shut-Eye Wireless 3D Sleep Mask can calm restless sleepers in more than one way. And it’s now available for only $19.97 (regularly $49) through December 17.

Today in Apple history: ‘Let It Snow!’ becomes iTunes’ 25 millionth download

By

Today in Apple history: 'Let It Snow!' is iTunes' 25 millionth download.
It's a Christmas miracle for Apple! (Or just good marketing.)
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Today in Apple history: 'Let It Snow!' is iTunes' 25 millionth download December 15, 2003: Almost eight months after launching the iTunes Music Store, Apple celebrates its 25 millionth download.

The song in question? Appropriately enough for this time of year, a Frank Sinatra cover* of the Christmas classic “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”

How to set AirDrop to share iPhone photos with anyone [Pro Tip]

By

How to set AirDrop to exchange pictures with anyone's iPhone [Pro Tip]
Here's why you might be having trouble exchanging images with your friend's iPhone over AirDrop, and how to fix it.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

You’re at a holiday party and your friend takes a great picture. You ask them to AirDrop you a copy and the two iPhones won’t connect. So frustrating — what the %^#* is wrong? Why can’t you share iPhone photos the way you used to?

The problem might be because Apple changed the way AirDrop works last year. Here’s how to set the easy wireless file-transfer system so you can get that picture from your friend.

HD camera binoculars capture every detail from up to a kilometer away

By

Your favorite outdoor enthusiast can magnify and take pics at 12X with these $90 HD camera binoculars.
Get the hiker, adventurer or camper in your life these $90 HD camera binoculars.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

There’s nothing better than a good pair of binoculars for capturing the perfect outdoor moment. But if you really want to capture it, these HD Digital Camera Binoculars can actually preserve that glimpse of faraway nature.

They’re the perfect tech companion for hikers, hunters or anyone who likes to get the most out of their journey. Just in time for the holidays, they’re now priced down to only $89.97 (regularly $199) through December 17!

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

By

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]

By

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.

Score an Apple Magic Keyboard Folio for just $85

By

Gift this Apple Magic Keyboard Folio to an iPad 10th Gen user for the holidays, now only $85.
This might be the ultimate keyboard case for the 10th-gen iPad. And you can't beat the price!
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The Apple Magic Keyboard Folio is a great combo keyboard case for the iPad, but its high retail price puts it out of reach for some consumers. Not so with this hot deal on an open-box model that slashes the price by 67%.

For a limited time, you can grab a Magic Keyboard Folio for just $84.97 (regularly $249) with free shipping. However, you need to order today if you want to ensure it arrives on time for Christmas!

This fun golf simulator lets you practice anytime, anywhere

By

The TruGolf simulator will delight any golfer this holiday season, now only $173.
Give the golfer on your list the ability to hit the green whenever they like.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The golfer on your shopping list likely doesn’t need any more clubs, balls or polos. Why not surprise them with a golf simulator like the TruGolf Mini? It’s a hi-tech gift designed to delight golfers of any age.

You can gift any golfer the ability to hit the green anytime and anywhere with the TruGolf Mini. And it’s price-dropped to only $172.97 (regularly $399) through December 17.

Stunning view comes with top display and killer KEF sound [Setups]

By

David David Heinemeier Hansson's Mac mini setup with Pro Display XDR and KEF speakers.
Hansson's setup in Malibu, CA, features a Mac mini mounted behind a Pro Display XDR and a phenomenal set of KEF speakers.
Photo: DHH@X.com

Developer David Heinemeier Hansson, known for creating the Ruby on Rails web development framework, showcased his rather stunning Mac mini computer setup this week on X (formerly Twitter).

The extraordinary 6K graphics of his Studio Display XDR and the articulate sound of his highly recommended KEF speakers complement the ocean views through the glass walls of his California office.

Today in Apple history: AirPods arrive to conquer the audio world

By

Today in Apple history: They looked weird at first, but now it's impossible to remember a world without AirPods.
They looked weird at first, but now it's impossible to remember a world without AirPods.
Photo: Dagny Reese/Unsplash License

December 13: Today in Apple history: Original AirPods launch December 13, 2016: After months of anticipation and delay, Apple finally releases AirPods. The tiny wireless earbuds arrive in Apple’s online store just in time for holiday shoppers looking for stocking stuffers.

Like so many Apple products, they aren’t the first such earbuds to arrive on the scene. However, AirPods’ rapid success will fuel a wireless listening revolution.

Macintosh buying guide: Choose the best Mac and accessories

By

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.

Foodies love this 8-piece Japanese knife set

By

This Japanese knife set is the perfect gift for the chef in your life, now under $130 with guaranteed Christmas delivery.
Home cooks will love this Japanese chef’s knife set.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Want to indulge the chef in your life with an updated set of tools? This Seido knife set — featuring eight expertly honed, made-in-Japan blades — is now discounted to only $129.97 (regularly $429), with free shipping until December 17.

This isn’t just a regular knife set, either. These blades could unlock a whole new world of culinary possibilities. They will upgrade the kitchen arsenal for home cooks and professional chefs alike.

How to switch back to the old notification sounds on iPhone [Updated]

By

Did You Hear That?
Yes, the sounds in iOS 17 are a bit different. Here's how to get the old sounds back.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

In iOS 17, many of the default sounds for notifications, alarms and timers have been changed — but how do you get back the old sounds if you don’t like the new ones?

A lot of people get deeply attached to the sound effects. If you want the old noises back, you can change (most of them) back manually. I’ll show you how.

Update: The new iOS 17.2 makes a nice change to alerts in third-party apps. Read on for more details.

How to use grocery lists in Reminders on iPhone

By

Faster Shopping
Find your way around the store faster by converting your Reminders list into a grocery list.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

In iOS 17, you can use Apple’s Reminders as a grocery list app on your iPhone — and items you add are automatically sorted into common sections.

This proves incredibly helpful when you go shopping. Just open the Reminders app, and you can easily see if you’ve got everything you need as you’re making your way through the store.

I’ll show you how to use it, including how to share your Reminders app grocery list with someone else so you can both add items and check them off the same list.

Electric bike sale: Score a BirdBike e-bike for less than $750

By

Electric bike sale: Product shots of BirdBike e-bikes
Gift alert: The BirdBike e-bike is a two-wheeled steal ahead of the holidays!
Photos: Cult of Mac Deals

Whether you work in an urban area or just want to get around your neighborhood in a healthier and more eco-friendly way, electric bikes are a fun way to travel. You can experience the joys of an e-bike yourself — or gift an e-bike to someone special — with this great electric bike sale featuring BirdBike e-bikes.

This innovative brand has been leading the charge to a two-wheeled lifestyle for some time. And now, you can grab a BirdBike for only $749.97 (regularly $2,299) through December 17. If you need it by Christmas, order by December 14 to ensure on-time delivery!

Best Apple Watch: Choose the right model and best accessories

By

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.

Try App Store’s top apps and games of 2023

By

App Store
Find out which apps and games users downloaded most in 2023.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple listed App Store’s most-popular free and paid apps and games of 2023, citing year-end charts in more than 35 countries and regions.

App Store’s Today hub lists all those popular choices (also below) as well as the 2023 App Store Award Winners.

Today in Apple history: Apple IPO mints instant millionaires

By

Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
December 12, 1980, was an incredibly important day for Apple.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac/401Calculator

December 12: Today in Apple history: Apple goes public at $22 per share, minting instant millionaires December 12, 1980: Apple goes public, floating 4.6 million shares on the stock market at $22 per share. The Apple IPO is the biggest tech public offering of its day, and more than 40 out of 1,000 Apple employees become instant millionaires.

As Apple’s biggest shareholder, 25-year-old Steve Jobs ends the day with a net worth of $217 million. However, the big payday triggers internal tensions as it highlights Cupertino’s class divide.

Plug-and-play USB-C mic is perfect for podcasters, costs just $30

By

Holiday cheer sounds crystal clear with this $30 podcasting mic that's compatible with Mac and PC.
This sleek plug-and-play mic is the perfect gift for podcasters and other content creators.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

For budding vloggers, gamers or podcasters, getting the sound clear and audible is half the battle. And this plug-and-play microphone from Babbl is tailor-made for anyone who wants to sound better right out of the box.

Right on time for the holidays, you can gift yourself or a loved one a major recording upgrade for any creative pursuit. Through December 17, the Babbl mic is only $29.97 (regularly $69). Order by December 14 to ensure on-time holiday delivery!

How to start journaling with the new iPhone Journal app

By

Scrapbooking on your iPhone
Journal lets you build a scrapbook or a diary on your iPhone.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

A diary can be a great and invaluable record of your life, but who has time for that? Well, now you do: Apple’s new iPhone Journal app makes keeping a diary a breeze. Really, it couldn’t be any easier.

The new Apple Journal app released in iOS 17.2 lets you build a record of your life into a multimedia digital diary. Your iPhone will pull together details from your photos, locations and events to give you prompts for memories worth writing about.

Here’s the nitty gritty on using the new Journal app.

Solve this jigsaw puzzle for a shot at $1 million prize

By

Gift a loved the opportunity to win a $1 million prize with this $30 500-piece jigsaw puzzle.
This buzzy puzzle's $1 million top prize makes it a uniquely fun gift.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Feeling lucky? See if that touch applies to your gift list by giving someone a playful way to compete for an enormous payday with the 2 Million Dollar Puzzle. Each jigsaw puzzle offers prizes that range from $1 to $1 million, with two unlocking the ultimate prize.

Through December 17, the 2 Million Dollar Puzzle is on sale for only $30 with no coupon necessary.

Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch get new features in OS upgrades

By

MacBook, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Watch, HomePod
All these have new operating system updates ... and most of them include new features.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

If you own an Apple computer of any shape or size, odds are it just got an operating system upgrade. Monday brought the public launch of macOS Sonoma 14.2, iPadOS 17.2, iOS 17.2, watchOS 10.2 and tvOS 17.2.

And these aren’t simple bug fixes. There’s new features.

iOS 17.2 brings these amazing new features to your iPhone

By

Apple Journal on iPhone 15
Apple's Journal application arrives in iOS 17.2.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Nearly two months after iOS 17‘s release, Apple released the iPhone operating system’s second major point build Monday. iOS 17.2 introduces several new features and changes, with many that Apple first demoed at WWDC23 in June.

iOS 17.2’s marquee feature is Apple’s new Journal app, though it enhances several other aspects of the OS. Find out everything new in iOS 17.2 and iPadOS 17.2 below.

Slammin’ Mac Studio is just the start of this rig’s massive upgrades [Setups]

By

M2 Max Mac Studio setup with two 4K displays
This user went from a 2012 Mac mini to an M2 Max Mac Studio plus a MacBook Air.
Photo: PBRarq@Reddit.com

A big upgrade to a computer setup is a major boost to any user. And today’s featured rig, though it may look unassuming, got a doozy of a makeover. A Mac mini dating all the way back to 2012 finally retired after a long career. And a powerful new M2 Max Mac Studio took over, with a late-model MacBook Air riding shotgun.

But that’s not all. Read more about other bonuses in the rejuvenated setup besides the laptop, and check out the full gear list below.