Best Mac accessories for gift-giving [2017 Gift Guide]

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These best Mac accessories are perfect for any Mac owner on your gift list.
These accessories are perfect for any Mac owner on your gift list.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2017 Gift Guide bug Christmas creeps up on you quickly, so if you haven’t already started your shopping, it’s time to do something about it. Cult of Mac can help! In this guide, you’ll find a selection of stellar gifts that are perfect for the Mac lover in your life.

We have killer keyboards, stunning stands, super speakers and more!

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.

The best iPhone accessories

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iPhone accessories
Accessories can make your iPhone easier to use.
Photo: Twelve South

The iPhone comes in such a simple form that you could think of it as the core brain of a larger system. If you need to go underwater, you can get a case for that. If you want to turn it into a satnav for your bike or stroller, you can do that, too (see below).

The iPhone accessory market is huge, and there is a gadget or gizmo for almost anything. Here are some of our favorite iPhone accessories, for the new iPhone X as well as for older iPhones.

The best Bluetooth speakers for iPhone and iPad

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marshall bluetooth speakers
Bluetooth speakers are the default kind of speaker for today's cable-free iPhones. Here are some of the best.
Photo: Marshall

The speakers in iPhones and iPads get better with each new model, but they’ll never power a party, or even shift enough air to accompany an action movie. Bluetooth speakers are the way to go for most people. You skip the annoyance of wires, and you don’t have to deal with the hassle of AirPlay, which never seems to work right. Also, Bluetooth is universal, so you can also use the speaker with an Android device or PC.

Best iPhone 8 battery cases and backup batteries

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battery cases

Even the giant plus-sized iPhones run out of juice eventually, and that goes for the new iPhone 8 as much as any iPhone before it. You could carry a charger with you and spend the day hunting for available wall-sockets, but these days that’s as lame as using dodgy free Wi-Fi instead of reliable and fast LTE. Instead, you should take some backup power with you. There are two options: battery cases, great for really heavy phone users who always run out of power before lunch, and a spare battery with a USB cable that can charge your iPhone, or any device, but stays in the bottom of your bag until it’s needed.

Let’s take a look at the options. There’s also one very cool surprise feature in one of our picks that “wireless” charging fans are going to love.

Gadgets to make traveling easy [Tech Travel Tips]

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roost stand
Travel is a time to leave things behind, but some gadgets will make your trips a lot easier.
Photo: Roost

tech travel tips Welcome to Tech Travel Tips, a week of travel tips for vacationers. This week we’ll show you how to keep your devices safe while traveling, what apps to download before you go, what settings you should change before leaving the house and — kicking off the week — the best travel gadgets to take with you. Let’s get started!

5 affordable accessories that complement your red iPhone

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iPhone 7
Refresh your red iPhone with these awesome products.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Interest in the (PRODUCT)Red iPhone has died down since its release back in March, and the novelty has likely worn off already for those of you who picked one up. Now it’s time to make it interesting again!

We’ve put together a list of five brilliant red products, all under $30, to compliment the red iPhone and reinvigorate your love for its unique color. Check out the video along with details for all the accessories we’ve featured below.

Week’s best deals on iPhones, game consoles and other great gear

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iPhone 6
If you don't need the latest, greatest model, you can grab an iPhone 6 for a song.
Photo: Apple

There is virtually nothing you can’t buy on the internet, but finding the best tech at the lowest prices can take some major research. That’s why today we’re doing the work for you, and delivering this week’s best tech deals from around the web. Check it out.

Best iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch accessories for frequent travelers

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7 must-have accessories for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch owner on the go.
7 must-have accessories for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch owner on the go.
Photo: Unsplash

Anker’s New Astro 3 Battery Can Fully Charge an iPad for Just Fifty Bucks

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anker-astro-3

 

That’s right, $50 nabs you the Anker Astro 3, an external battery with three USB ports and 12,000 mAh, which is — in theory — enough juice to completely charge any iPad.

Why the in theory disclaimer? Because although the Astro 3’s 12,000 mAh capacity exceeds the 11,560 mAh capacity of the battery in the two latest iPads (the iPad 2’s battery is about half that of its successors), there’s always some energy loss when transferring energy from one battery to another.