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Speidel’s black leather band is a tuxedo for your Apple Watch [Review]

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Speidel Royal English Leather Apple Watch Band review
The Speidel Royal English Leather Apple Watch Band is simply refined.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Simple. Elegant. These are the best words to describe the Speidel Royal English Leather Apple Watch Band. Supple black leather matches the style of Apple’s wearable, while adding a luxurious feel.

And it’s surprisingly affordable, given the quality of this band.

Apple Watch Ultra gets Day 1 bug-fix update

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Apple Watch Ultra
After buyers unbox the Apple Watch Ultra on Friday they can install an new watchOS version.
Photo: Apple

When the Apple Watch Ultra launches September 23 there’ll be a software update waiting for it. Apple on Thursday released watchOS 9.0.1 specifically to fix bugs in the new wearable.

Other Apple Watch models are expected to get their own update in the near future.

Apple Watch Ultra review roundup: Not just for extremophiles

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Apple Watch Ultra review roundup: For extremophiles
The Apple Watch Ultra is for those looking for adventure.
Photo: Apple

The first reviews of the Apple Watch Ultra praise the rugged smartwatch’s large display, its new Action button and its longer battery life. But a debate brews about whether the wearable is too big — there seems to be no agreement on this.

Anyone considering whether Apple’s sports-oriented smartwatch is right for them should read on. As the reviewers point out, this isn’t just for fans of outdoor adventure.

Slick new Apple Sport Loop is only a bargain by Apple pricing standards [Review] ★★★★☆

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Which one is the new Apple Sport Loop?★★★★☆
Which one is the new Apple Sport Loop?
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Whether or not you took the plunge and upgraded to a new Apple Watch Series 8 or SE, you can partake of something more affordable if you own any model of the wearable — Apple’s new lower-end Apple Watch bands. I picked up the new Apple Midnight Sport Loop for my Apple Watch Series 6.

I like the new band. But I found it interesting to compare it to third-party versions of similar quality that go for a lot less money.

Apple Watch Series 8 review roundup: Best smartwatch gets a tick better

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Apple Watch 8 is great. But it's not necessarily great enough to upgrade, given its minimal improvements.
Apple Watch 8 is great. But it's not necessarily great enough to upgrade, given its minimal improvements.
Photo: Apple

The upcoming Apple Watch Ultra garners most of the oohs and aahs, and the Apple Watch SE takes the cake as Cupertino’s best-selling wearable, but gosh darn it, people like the Apple Watch Series 8, too. And by people, I mean reviewers.

Early reviews of Apple Watch Series 8 started coming in Thursday morning. They tend to emphasize that it remains the best smartwatch you can buy, even though its upgrades over the Series 7 seem minimal.

Apple Watch SE review roundup: Amazing value

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Apple Watch SE 2022
Apple Watch SE 2022 is an outstanding value at $250.
Photo: Apple

The first reviews of the new 2022 version of Apple Watch SE highlight was a value the device is. Engadget calls it “a $400 smartwatch for $250.”

Considering your first model? Or an upgrade from an older one? Read on to see if the revamped Apple Watch SE is right for you.

This hybrid Apple Watch band makes leather fit for everything

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Mifa-Hybrid-Sport-Apple-Watch
Get yours for just $25!
Photo: Mifa

Mifa’s brilliant Hybrid Sport band for Apple Watch lets you enjoy the look and feel of vintage leather without the drawbacks.

A silicone backing means it’s ideal for both formal functions and the toughest workouts. It’s sweat-resistant, incredibly comfortable, and amazingly affordable. It also comes in a wide range of color options (including green and camouflage, which you don’t see all that often).

This tactical band is perfect for a space gray Apple Watch

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It's a go-anywhere, do-anything Apple Watch band.
It's a go-anywhere, do-anything Apple Watch band.
Photo: Mifa

Your search for a perfect sports strap for your Apple Watch could be over. The Mifa Nylon Sports Leather Apple Watch Band might just be the ideal go-anywhere, do-anything accessory for your wearable — especially if it’s space gray.

And through September 30, you can get 20% off the tactical, sporty utility band in the Cult of Mac Store. That’s a savings of $5.

How watchOS 9’s Low Power Mode boosts Apple Watch battery life

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watchOS 9 demo
watchOS 9 will introduce a new Low Power Mode to double your Apple Watch's battery life.
Image: Apple

Apple is introducing a new Low Power Mode in watchOS 9 to boost your Apple Watch’s battery life further. The company claims the new mode will double the Series 8’s battery life to 36 hours, and let the new Apple Watch Ultra last up to 2.5 days.

You will have to sacrifice some of the advanced features of your wearable to get the longer runtime, though.

Apple’s Far Out event packs plenty of surprises

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Apple's Far Out Event delivered plenty of hardware and some solid surprises.
Apple's Far Out Event delivered plenty of hardware and some solid surprises.
Image: Cult of Mac/Apple

Apple definitely over-delivered with Wednesday’s Far Out event. The rumor mill’s constant churn of leaks and speculation gave us a solid framework for our expectations, but Cupertino’s hardware and software wizards still whipped out a few surprises.

Here’s everything you need to know about the iPhone 14 lineup, second-gen AirPods Pro and the 2022 Apple Watch models — including that hot new Ultra version for extreme athletes (and couch potatoes with solid credit ratings).