| Cult of Mac

Will new HomePod dazzle our ears like the original? We hope so. [The CultCast]

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Two HomePods and the logo for
We've got our ears all cleaned out and ready to listen.
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: The first reviews of the 2023 HomePod make Apple’s updated smart speaker sound pretty formidable. We can’t wait to hear for ourselves. (Unfortunately, if you didn’t already place your HomePod order, you’re probably looking at a substantial hang time.)

Also on The CultCast:

  • An iPad with a folding screen might be just around the corner.
  • Retina alert: Apple Watch Ultra might get an even bigger, brighter screen next year.
  • Former Apple design chief Jony Ive’s latest creation is … a bright red nose!

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

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This sale on scratch-and-dent iPhones and Apple Watches ends at midnight

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Here's your chance to get a cosmetically imperfect iPhone 13 or other handset on the cheap.
Here's your chance to get a cosmetically imperfect iPhone 13 or other handset on the cheap.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The discount site Woot! is at it again with its great-deals-on-a-deadline thing. On Tuesday we noticed it’s offering cheap prices on a range of refurbished iPhone and Apple Watches that might show moderate wear, like minor scratches and dents.

Thing is, the sale ends Tuesday at midnight CT/10 p.m. PT. That’s just hours away.

Today in Apple history: Letterpad gives us a preview of Apple Watch gaming

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Letterpad was one of the first games we got to see on Apple Watch.
Letterpad was one of the first games we got to see on Apple Watch.
Photo: NimbleBit

January 21: Today in Apple history: Letterpad gives us a preview of Apple Watch gaming January 21, 2015: Months before the first Apple Watch goes on sale, users get a glimpse at what playing games might look like on the wearable.

Thanks to Apple making the WatchKit API available to third parties, game developer NimbleBit releases a mockup of its simple work-in-progess word game, Letterpad. Suddenly, we get a desire to play games on our wrist that we haven’t had since the days of the Nintendo Game & Watch three decades earlier.

Enter to win a charming Apple Watch Band from Goldenerre [Cult of Mac giveaway]

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Make a statement with this timeless piece for your Apple Watch
Make a statement with this timeless Apple Watch band.
Photo: Goldenerre

One lucky winner will get their hands on Goldenerre’s bestselling Apple Watch band in this week’s Cult of Mac giveaway. The gorgeous Goldenerre Herringbone band screams elegance, and it’s available in three stunning colors (gold, silver and rose gold).

Retailing at $148, the band fits all series of Apple Watch. It’s perfect for any Apple Watch owner wanting to add some glam to their wrist.

Here’s everything the Apple Watch buttons do

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What do the buttons do?
The buttons on the Apple Watch switch apps, activate Apple Pay, open Siri and more.
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch borrows a lot from the iPhone, but the biggest difference between them is down to the extra buttons. They each do different things whether you click, double-click or hold them down. What do the Apple Watch buttons do?

Here’s a quick guide to get you started.

Apple releases new watch band, wallpaper and more for Black History Month

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Apple Watch with Unity watch face and band alongside iPhone with Unity wallpaper
Apple’s 2023 Unity watch band, watch face and wallpaper have a really cool geometric pattern using Pan-African colors.
Photo: Apple

Apple has released a special new Apple Watch band, watch face and iPhone wallpaper celebrating Black History Month. Apple has done this every February in 2021 and 2022.

The Black Unity Sport Loop is available today in the online store and in “select Apple Store locations beginning January 24” Apple said in its press release. It will cost $49, the same price as other Sport Loop bands. The watch face and iPhone background will be released in a software update next week.

First Apple Watch with microLED screen could be on the way

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First Apple Watch with microLED screen could be on the way
A future Apple Watch Ultra might include a cutting-edge microLED screen.
Photo: Apple

Apple will bring a microLED screen to its wrist wearable, according to a reliable source of insider info. This would replace the OLED displays currently in Apple Watch.

A switch to microLED would bring an improved type of screen: brighter and less prone to burn-in.

No major AirPods, iPad or Apple Watch upgrades planned for 2023

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Apple logo with red background.
Apple seems to be focusing on the launch of its AR/VR headset this year.
Image: Rajesh

Every year, Apple has some significant hardware upgrades planned for at least a few devices in its product lineup. 2023 could be an outlier, though.

This year, Apple’s major hardware launches will include its first AR/VR headset and the iPhone 15 series. While other products in the company’s lineup will receive a refresh, they will be relatively minor upgrades.

How to use Water Lock on Apple Watch [Pro Tip]

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Person swimming underwater wearing Apple Watch
Apple Watch makes for a good fitness tracker underwater.
Photo: Apple

Pro tip bugApple Watch is highly resilient to being submerged in water. You don’t have to worry much about ruining the electronics inside — your biggest concern is the water triggering random stuff on the screen. If your Apple Watch feels like it’s not responding to your tapping, it’s probably in Water Lock mode.

Water Lock will make sure your Apple Watch doesn’t glitch out when you’re in the shower, having a bath or going for a swim. Read on to see how to (and how not to) use it.

Set your Apple Watch to ‘crunch time’ with this fitness app

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Set your Apple Watch to
Get 66% off this celeb fitness app for your Apple Watch.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

As we approach a new year, it’s time to start reaching our fitness goals. Yes, there are tons of fitness features to help you track your fitness and monitor your health on Apple Watches, but they’re not much good unless you actually do some exercise. If you need a little extra incentive to move in 2023, the Jillian Michaels Fitness App might be just the thing — especially now that you can get it for 66% off.