Best USB-C accessories for Macs and iOS devices

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Anker PowerCore+ 20100 USB-C
USB-C battery packs, chargers, hard drives, cables and hubs will future-proof newer Macs.
Photo: Anker

USB Type C — it’s no longer a novelty but an emerging connectivity standard for Apple products. As a newer, more powerful variation of the same USB we all know and love (well, kinda), USB-C features higher power and faster data transfer than its predecessors via a smaller connector.

While older USB Type A and B were a great gift for Mac users — few mourned the passing of ADB and SCSI — USB is often finicky. Just plugging in an old-school USB cable can prove challenging, since you must position the connector just so for it to slide smoothly into the port. That often means several tries to achieve the proper angle and orientation.

Those obstacles disappear with USB-C because, in addition to its smaller size, it is designed to be reversible — with no up or down orientation, just like a Lightning cable — and the cables can have the same type of connector on both ends.

The best wireless chargers for your iPhone 8 and X

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Wireless chargers
Wireless chargers are easy to use and look stylish in any room.
Photo: Mophie

Owners of late-model iPhones — iPhone 8 and iPhone X — can stash all their old Lightning cables in a desk drawer and start charging their phone more easily with a wireless charger. Instead of sticking a wire into your phone and attaching it to a power adapter, you just place the phone on a small charger pad — or on a stand-up charging pad — and you’re good to go.

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.