HomeKit light switch makes your smart lights dumb again


instant switch
Did you ever dream that you'd be able to switch on a light from a wall switch?
Photo: iDevices

As if HomeKit and other automated home appliances weren’t bad enough, now you can buy a HomeKit-enabled light switch. That’s right. Instead of just walking into a room and flipping the switch on the wall to turn on the lights, you can now walk into a room, flip a switch on the wall to turn on the lights, and also deal with firmware and connection issues for the rest of your life.

How to pair your AirPods with your Kindle Oasis


kindle AirPods
A new Kindle software update adds AirPod-friendly Bluetooth.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Amazon is rolling out an update to the Kindle Oasis which activates a hitherto-dormant Bluetooth chip, allowing you to connect it to speakers and headphones. That includes your Apple AirPods, if you have some. Today we’ll see how to connect and use your AirPods with your Kindle Oasis, and take a look at the other new features in this recent update.

How to set up and use your brand new AirPods


AirPods. So, so, cool.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

If you’re a super lucky duck, then Santa may have left a pair of AirPods a) in your stocking of b) under your tree (depending on how good or bad you’ve been in 2017). We picked AirPods as Apple’s best product of last year, because they really do offer a huge upgrade on all previous headphones. They’re easy to use, and they sounds amazing. Here are a few pointers on getting the most out of your new AirPods.

Best wireless earbuds for iPhone and iPad


wireless earbuds
Wireless earbuds sometimes come with wires.
Photo: Beats by Dre

Wired earbuds still sound better than similarly priced wireless earbuds, plus they don’t usually require charging. But the wires are a big enough pain that going wireless is a one-way trip. Never again will you have to untangle your earbuds to listen to a podcast in bed. You won’t have to put up with rustling cables as you walk, or suffer having earbuds ripped out when the wire catches on your hand.

But not all wireless earbuds are worth the switch. And there are also several big differences in style and function that you should consider. Here, then, is your guide to the best wireless earbuds around.

The best iPhone accessories


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


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.

Up your mobile audio, photo and charging game [Deals]


This roundup of gear and gadgets includes awesome audio, video, and charging goodies.

Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Feel like spicing up the digital dimensions of your life? If so, today is your lucky day. That’s because we’ve rounded up massive deals on top shelf accessories, from Bluetooth speakers and headphones, to an awesome digital camera and portable power pack. It’s all discounted by nearly half off or more. Plus, you can get an additional 15 percent off when you use the coupon code “SAVE15” at checkout. Read on for more details:

Why Control Center no longer turns off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in iOS 11


Bluetooth in iOS 11
In iOS 11, AirPods (and other Apple accessories) remain connected, even when you hit the Bluetooth "off" switch.
Photo: Cult of Mac

It used to be so simple: If you swiped open the iOS Control Center and tapped the Bluetooth icon, then Bluetooth would be toggled on or off. That was it, and the same went for Wi-Fi.

In iOS 11, tapping the same Bluetooth button doesn’t do that. Instead, the Control Center Bluetooth button disconnects your iPhone or iPad from connected Bluetooth accessories, leaving the actual Bluetooth radio on. What’s more, not all accessories get disconnected. Just what in the blazes is going on here?