Apple is allegedly in talks to buy Shazam

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Shazam has been an essential iPhone app for years.
Shazam has been an essential iPhone app for years.
Photo: Shazam

Apple is adding another key weapon to its war chest in the battle against Spotify, based on a new report that claims the company plans to acquire the app Shazam.

The popular app helps users identify any song, TV show or movie in seconds just by listening to it via a smartphone’s microphone. iOS integrated Siri with Shazam a few years ago, but it appears that Apple’s looking to bring the entire operation in-house.

Best Lightning cables to replace the one you already broke

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Apple's Lightning cable works great, right up until it doesn't. These are the best Lightning cables to replace it.
Apple's Lightning cable works great, right up until it doesn't.
Photo: Richard Unten/Flickr CC

Lightning cables are the most boring part of your iPhone or iPad kit, but one of the most essential. After all, without one your iPhone won’t last much longer than a day. Apple’s cables prove adequate, but we wouldn’t recommend buying one as a replacement or a spare. You can find several better (and cheaper) options for charging your iDevices. Here are our picks for the best Lightning cables.

Enter to win a dream Apple setup worth $3,000 [Deals]

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Tim Ferriss Apple dream setup giveaway
Supercharge your life with the Tim Ferriss Tribe of Mentors Dream Setup giveaway.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The New York Times best-selling author Tim Ferriss is widely regarded as one of today’s leading productivity gurus. His latest book, Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World, just dropped, and it’s full of great pointers for people looking to make the most out of their time and energy. To mark the book’s release, we’re sharing this giveaway of top-shelf Apple tech.

There are three chances to win, and entry is free. Read on for details on the three awesome bundles of Apple gear you could win.

Try these great emoji shortcuts on iPhone and iPad

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emoji iPhone quicktype
What dog doesn't like sushi?
Photo: Cult of Mac

Who doesn’t love emoji? People with bad eyesight, that’s who. Everyone else, everyone everywhere, loves the little pictures of medals, flags, headphones, eggplants, and feces. What we don’t like is finding them by swiping around the keyboard section of an iPhone screen. In some ways it’s a metaphor for human existence. We love to manipulate the meaning of symbols through context and juxtaposition, the way a standup comic does, but we’re too lazy to spend the time to do it properly.

Happily for the future of the human race, there are shortcuts to great emoji if you’re using iOS. Let’s take a look.

Lego mechanical keyboard is an awesome way to brick your Mac

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Lego keyboard
Yes, it actually works.
Photo: JK Brickworks

If you love Legos and the clicky feeling of using a mechanical keyboard then prepare to meet the keyboard of your dreams.

Lego master builder Jason Allemann revealed his latest creation today that transforms an old school mechanical keyboard into a fully customizable Lego creation. The Lego keyboard uses a Cooler Master Quick Fire Rapid keyboard as a base and replaces the frame and keys using 3D printed Cherry MX Lego compatible keycaps.

Take a closer look:

The Novel backpack oozes with awesome tech

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Novel backpack
Pack everything and keep it all powered up.
Photo: Visvo

Why bother with basic backpacks when you can buy one oozing with tech designed to make life a whole lot easier. Meet Novel, a new generation of bags that come packing everything you need on the road in the modern age.

Apple may be slashing iPhone X orders already

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iphone x
But shipments will remain strong through Q1 2018.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple suppliers claim that, having enjoyed a surge in orders for the iPhone X in September and October, orders are now starting to decline.

According to sources in Apple’s supply chain, orders weakened in November, and are dropping even further this month. Shipments for Q1 are reportedly around 30 percent lower than previously forecast.