Week’s best Apple deals: Save tons by buying third-party!

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Looking for Apple deals? Sometimes it doesn't pay to go straight to the source.
Looking for Apple deals? Sometimes it doesn't pay to go straight to the source.
Photos: Apple, Belkin, Dynex

It’s no secret that Apple is expensive, which is why sometimes it’s a great idea to buy Apple items and Apple-compatible accessories elsewhere. See such deals on Apple Watch bands, cables and hardware in this week’s roundup of the best Apple deals.

Is Apple back to its best following WWDC 2017? [Friday Night Fights]

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Are you pleased with what you saw at WWDC 2017?
Are you pleased with what you saw at WWDC 2017?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

This year’s WWDC keynote was an early Christmas for Apple fans. It delivered the big updates to iOS, macOS, and watchOS we were eagerly anticipating; a 10.5-inch iPad Pro; updated Macs with Intel Kaby Lake processors, plus nice surprises like the iMac Pro and HomePod.

Friday Night Fights bugBut is this Apple back at its best, or do we need more out of Cupertino? Are fancy software updates enough to breathe new life into boring hardware? Is Apple’s new push into virtual reality and machine learning too little, too late?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over a bumper WWDC!

Hey, Apple! Thunderbolt isn’t the answer to everything

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The 2017 iMac family.
Want to run VR on a new iMac? Get ready to spend big money on an external GPU with a Thunderbolt connection.
Photo: Apple

The new Macs that Apple unveiled Monday bring welcome upgrades to Intel’s latest Kaby Lake processors. However, if you want to use the latest Apple computers for virtual reality, you’ll need to add an external graphics card in a pricey Thunderbolt 3 enclosure.

It’s yet another problem “solved” by Thunderbolt connectivity, but the do-it-all USB-C connector Apple is forcing down our throats isn’t the answer to everything.

Is Apple’s product lineup too confusing? [Friday Night Fights]

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streamlining Apple product lineup
Do you find it difficult to choose Apple products?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple currently offers more products than ever before. Whether you’re buying an iPhone, an iPad, a Mac, or even an Apple Watch, there are a bunch of options to consider before you hand over your cash in an Apple store.

Friday Night Fights bugHaving options is always a good thing, but has Apple’s product portfolio become too confusing for consumers? Does the company even have the resources to keep everything fresh and fully-supported, or is its larger lineup hurting its products?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over whether it’s time for Apple to streamline its product lineup.

Apple expands Mac Pro trademark to include augmented reality tech

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The Magic Toolbar could be a baby step toward augmented reality.
Could augmented reality tech arrive on a future Mac Pro?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple updated its Mac Pro trademark to include “augmented reality displays, goggles, controllers, headsets, and 3D spectacles,” alongside a range of other categories.

The additions come shortly after Apple acknowledged that its current Mac Pro doesn’t fulfill all the needs of its pro customers, promising that a new model with a modular design is currently in the works.

With some very interesting features, if this trademark update is to be believed!

Aggie fan’s Mac setup will have you seeing red [iSetups]

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Red is definitely the color of the day in Episode 2 of iSetups, our weekly showcase of readers' Apple setups.
Red is definitely the color of the day in Episode 2 of iSetups, our weekly showcase of readers' Apple setups.
Photo: David Meier

Some sports fans show their allegiance by decorating their cars or wearing team jerseys. For Cult of Mac reader David Meier, his favorite sports team, the Texas Aggies, is a major influence on his choice of a red color scheme for his desk setup.

His Aggies-themed Mac arrangement is one of several showcased in this week’s episode of iSetups, our new show that highlights the best Apple gear submitted by our viewers. (You’ll also get plenty of tips and tricks for how you can improve your own setup.)

iSetups Episode 2

Apple plans powerful ‘server-grade’ iMac for 2017

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iMac Apple
Start saving now!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s next-generation iMac with powerful new internals will start shipping in the second half of 2017, according to sources in the company’s supply chain.

Apple is also said to be preparing a “server-grade” iMac packing Intel Xeon processors, up to 2TB of NVMe solid-state storage, and a discrete graphics card that will be available by the end of the year.

Awesome Mac Pro concept packs expansion slots pros want

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Apple should steal ideas from this Mac Pro concept.
Apple should steal ideas from this Mac Pro concept.
Photo: Curved

Professional Mac users will have to wait until 2018 for a glimpse at the new Mac Pro Apple is working on, but if the next-gen computer looks anything like this new concept, it might be worth the wait.

German site Curved created a Mac Pro concept that shows how Apple could add modular features, allowing professionals to swap out pretty much every component. The concept artists even dreamed up a Cinema Display that packs plenty of ports for expansion.

Take a closer look: