How knockoff Apple Watch bands are nearly as good as the real thing

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Spot the difference. On the left is Apple's $450 Link Bracelet for Apple Watch. On the right, a $90 knockoff that gets 4.5 stars on Amazon.
Spot the difference. On the left is Apple's $450 Link Bracelet for Apple Watch. On the right, a $90 knockoff that gets 4.5 stars on Amazon.
Photo: Apple

The internet is awash with knockoff bands for the Apple Watch that are almost as good as the genuine articles.

Knockoff products are traditionally cheap and nasty, but tons of these replica Apple Watch bands are so good, they rival Apple’s own products — at a fraction of the price.

We’ve taken a tour of knockoff band land, and found that there are lots of cheap, inexpensive bands on eBay and Amazon that are high in quality and are getting glowing reviews from customers.

“My black Apple Sport band has started flaking off, while the third-party knock-offs still look brand new,” said Neven Mrgan, a designer for Panic software in Portland, Oregon who bought a less-than-half-price band on Amazon.

Apple Stores to start stocking accessibility products in 2016

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Apple's focus on accessibility isn't going unrecognized.
Apple is stepping up its focus on accessibility.
Photo: Apple

Apple is reportedly set to start selling new accessibility-related peripherals and accessories for both Mac and iOS in its brick-and-mortar Apple Stores as well as online.

The accessories, which are reported to be going on sale in the first quarter of calendar year 2016, are designed to help users with disabilities to better engage with Apple products.

Innovative sleeve will protect (and prop up) your iPad or MacBook

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Inateck's sleeve works with more than one device and serves more than one purpose.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

Just in time for the holidays is an impressive sleeve cover from Inateck that fits both the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and all 13.3-inch models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display. It’s up to you which one you pick to keep close when you’re moseying around.

If you were quick to get on board with the iPad Pro, you’re probably loyal enough to Apple that you own a MacBook too. With this sleeve you don’t have to worry about swapping out cases and accessories when you have to choose just one to accompany you on your travels.

It gets better: the sleeve transforms into a stand that accommodates either the iPad or laptop. Made from synthetic felt, the sleeve manages to be multipurpose while also extremely affordable.

Caseology review: Testing 4 of the nicest iPhone 6s cases available

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From left to right: Skyfall series, Wavelength, Vault and Savoy.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

Caseology is a fairly new smartphone case brand and the company was kind enough to send Cult of Mac four different cases from its iPhone 6s lineup to test out. With the vast majority of Caseology cases on Amazon receiving 4-star and 4 and a half-star reviews, I was eager to see if they lived up to the hype.

I got to use a navy blue and rose gold Savoy series case, navy blue and gold Wavelength series case, the silver and black Vault series case and the clear and rose gold Skyfall series case. In short, all of them ended up being four of my favorite cases to ever grace my iPhone.

This tablet stand solves one of the iPad’s biggest annoyances

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The Tstand redefines what it means to Netflix and chill.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

If you’ve had an iPad for at least a couple of years now, you’ve probably noticed one of the major ergonomic issues with it: there’s no perfect way to hold it. You can hold your iPad to use it which always feels just slightly awkward, place it on a table which hunches you over and strains the back of your neck, or put it on your lap and fold your legs up which just feels ridiculous. A Kickstarter project called the Tstand aims to solve this problem.

The Tstand is a new, adjustable tablet stand that can dramatically decrease muscle tension when you’re trying to do something as simple as watch a show on Netflix. The stand has a foldable, clamshell design that can match any viewing angle you need.

Catalyst’s new waterproof case will keep your iPhone 6s dry

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A waterproof case for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus can protect it in water up to 16 inches deep.
A waterproof case for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus can protect it in water up to 16 inches deep.
Photo: Catalyst

If you upgraded to an iPhone 6s, chances are the case on your old 6 fits just fine. But if the old case is waterproof, don’t go dropping that 6s in a puddle.

The iPhone 6s is taller, wider and thicker by 1/100th of an inch in either direction, hardly noticeable in hand but enough to compromise the protection on a waterproof case.

Catalyst, an accessories company favored by Apple users unafraid of a little water on their devices, has rolled out a new waterproof case for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

The new Apple-infused Beats Pill+ goes on sale

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Go get your prescription: the Beats Pill+ is out.
Photo: Beats

The latest entry to the Beats line of speakers and the first one under Apple’s supervision, the Beats Pill+ is now available. At $229, it’s $30 more expensive than its predecessor, the Beats Pill 2.0, but it has much more to offer. This Bluetooth speaker apparently has improved sound quality, a tweaked design, and unsurprisingly charges via Lightning cable.

Clever leather wallet case can turn iPhone 6s into a dock

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This Italian leather case also attaches with the Micro Dock from Nodus.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

I go through phases of different cases that I like to style my iPhone with. Back in the day I used to like clear cases just to show off the fact that I have an iPhone at all, but lately I’ve been really digging leather. That’s why I was particularly excited to try out the new Access Case 2 from Nodus, but it’s more than just good looks. It works as a compact wallet and dock for your phone as well. Yes, an actual dock.

4 iPhone 6s cases to show off your love for rose gold

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Can't get enough rose gold? Check out these iPhone 6s cases.
Photo: Apple

It seems iPhone 6s customers are having a love affair with the new rose gold color option. Numerous reports indicate that it’s the most popular color choice for this year’s iPhone release. It’s all shiny and new as soon as you get it, but ten minutes later you realize you’re probably in the market for a new case. And yes, it’s about to completely shield the rose gold goodness.

You sit back in your chair, sigh and begin to question if there’s even hope left in this universe. The good news is there are more than a few cases that will let you show off that new rose gold iPhone, or even just your deep passion for rose gold as a color and fashion statement. Take a look at a few of your best options.

As a bonus, all of these cases are less than 25 bucks each.

You’ll want this pretty leather sleeve for your iPad Pro and Apple Pencil

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The Pad & Pencil sleeve is for your iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.
Photo: Shawn Saunders

Well that didn’t take very long. A little over a week after Apple announces the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard accessories, a leather sleeve has emerged on Kickstarter to nicely pair your new 12.9-inch tablet with the stylus.

The new Pad & Pencil is a snazzy case for your iPad Pro made with high-grade, oil-tanned leather. It slips on and covers your entire iPad Pro, plus has an extending pocket on the side for safely storing your Apple Pencil.