This week on Cult of Mac’ podcast: Super-sized drones, app-controlled robot bartenders, smart coffee mugs and the coolest of gadgets from CES 2016. Plus, don’t miss our picks for the absolutely, positively, you-should-install-them-today, most essential Mac and iOS apps.
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It’s been a busy week here at Cult of Mac as we all scrambled to get as much news as possible out of CES, the big electronics show that’s been chugging right along in Las Vegas. It’s one of the biggest trade shows in the world, so we had plenty of news to go around.
We had people on the show floor discussing everything gadgety — including the finer points of rejuvenating one’s vagina — and we had people at home trying to ignore how hilarious that was for long enough to crank out the rest of the news. While the stories were plentiful, our handy hub here ensures you don’t have to click around too much to get everything worth knowing from the show.
Here’s the huge collection of all of our coverage from CES 2016.
LAS VEGAS — You know your product’s hot when Chinese ripoff artists start selling knockoffs before your first unit rolls off the production line.
That’s the “flattering” situation the makers of Stikbox, the world’s “first” selfie stick case for iPhone and Samsung, find themselves in as they demo their only aluminum prototype on the CES show floor here. Stikbox’s Kickstarter campaign launched just two weeks ago, and the unique case hasn’t even been officially manufactured, yet already dozens of clones have popped up online.
“It just goes on,” Stikbox founder Yekutiel Sherman said as he scrolled through listing after listing of Chinese manufacturers selling Stikbox clones on Taobao, an e-commerce site owned by Alibaba Group. “Endless, endless,” he said, a mix of shock and dismay in his voice.
Welcome back to another week of amazing Cult of Mac action. We sent a crack team of staffers this year to Las Vegas’ all-you-can-eat buffet of technology, CES. Their on-the-spot reporting has resulted in a plate piled high with goodies, and we’re here to share it with you.
This week, we’ve got the best (and worst) of CES, a poll on which glitchy software Apple should fix, some more solid rumors about the upcoming iPhone 7, a quick look at some great knockoff Apple Watch bands, and a “one-click upgrade” that will double your MacBook’s hard drive.
Volkswagen is the first car maker to offer wireless CarPlay, but Apple doesn’t want them to show you how cool it is.
This isn’t a new feature; if you have an iPhone running iOS 9, it’s in there. But all CarPlay-compatible vehicles currently available go the wired route, making you plug your handset into your ride’s console to use the protocol. Volkswagen has managed to make the feature wireless, but Apple has forbidden the company from giving demos at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.
LAS VEGAS — Your body is an amazing energy creation machine but you’re not even using it to its full potential. All the walking, running, biking and other movements you make throughout the day all create kinetic energy, and now you can finally harness it to charge the most important gadgets in your life with Ampy.
Ampy is a wearable battery pack that can be charged via USB, but its superpower is the ability to recharge using motion thanks to a couple of magnets that bounce up and down inside coils. One hour of moderate exercise (jogging or riding a bike) will add up to five hours of standby battery life to your iPhone, or about 1 hour of regular usage. It’s not something you’ll want to use everyday, but it’s perfect for when you’re going on a hike, or experience a power outage.
The device comes with a strap and carrying band so you can place it on your arm or leg depending on what exercises you’re doing. It features a curved profile, making it a great fit for jean pockets, jackets, or anything other object that moves a lot. Priced at $100 the device comes with an accompanying iOS app so you can track how much power you’re generating. A slimmer, more power efficient model is on the way later this year.
LAS VEGAS — CES is the tech world equivalent of an all-you-can-eat dim sum buffet. Your eyes boggle at all the tantalizing-looking options, but you’re never really sure what you’re about to sink your teeth into.
Sometimes an exhibitor at this sprawling electronics show serves up the tech equivalent of a delicious shrimp dumpling. Other times you end up politely nodding and searching for the nearest napkin.
In today’s Cult of Mac CES 2016 roundup, we’ve got hoverboards, a game console for dogs, robots and other exotic offerings on the menu.
The iPhone camera is great at photos and videos, but if you want to take your shots to the next level, you need some extra gear. BeastGrip is the easy-to-use solution that enables photogs to attach all sorts of components like stabilizers, mics, lights, and DSLR lenses to the iPhone to make a custom, pro-quality camera rig.
Every aspect of BeastGrip’s modular system can be expanded to fit practically any piece of photography hardware you throw at it. Whether you’re shooting on an iPhone, Android, or Windows device, simply loosen some screws, slide in a new segment, and you’re ready to capture professional quality video from your smartphone.
Flexibility is BeatGrip’s biggest selling point. The body alone costs $115, but you can also buy a kit with the company’s DOF adapter that lets you mount Canon or Nikon DSLR lenses to your iPhone, giving you much better depth-of-field for really unique camera phone shots.