What you should know about HomePod, before you buy, on The CultCast

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X-ray view of HomePod
Hearing is believing.
Photo: Apple

The HomePod reviews have been coming out hot and heavy, and they’re surprising. This week on The CultCast, we’ll tell you what people like, love and hate about Apple’s new speaker. If you’re planning on buying one, don’t miss our discussion. Plus: Something strange is happening at Apple HQ … we elaborate; 150 new kickass emojis are coming to your iPhone; and we pitch you the movies, gadgets and food we can’t get enough of in all-new What We’re Into!

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace.com website. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off any hosting plan.

Juice up your iPhone in style with these accessories [Deals]

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Take your iOS charging to the next level with these awesome accessories.
Take your iOS charging to the next level with these awesome accessories.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

iOS devices are sleek and stylish and exciting to use. But none of those terms usually apply to charging them up. So we’ve rounded up some of the slickest charging accessories for iPhone. From a walnut-lined Qi charger, to an understated wireless charging pad, and a pair of eye-catching Lightning chargers. There’s something here that can juice up anyone’s charging game.

Audiophiles compare HomePod to $85,000 speakers — we’ll tell you why on The CultCast

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cultcast

Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The HomePod presales have begun, but we’ll tell you why Apple’s new smart speaker may be a huge flop, this week on The CultCast. Plus: Audiophiles are comparing HomePod’s tech to speakers that cost $85,000; Apple adds some long-awaited features to iOS 11; how to back up your iCloud photo library to your PC (and why you should). And we wrap with another episode of Drone Chat! This time, we’ll tell you why DJI’s Mavic Air is the perfect drone for almost everyone.

Our thanks to Pitney Bowes for supporting this episode. Print postage from your office and take advantage of special shipping discounts at pb.com/cultcast, and beat the postage rate increase with exclusive discounts on letters. Plans start at just $5 a month!

How Apple’s going to spend its massive fortune, this week on The CultCast

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CultCast Tim Cook money
Apple's bringing home it's massive fortune.
Photo: Business Insider

This week on a very spicy edition of The CultCast: Tim Cook is thrilled with the new U.S. tax overhaul, and has some exciting plans to spend Apple’s massive fortune. Plus: Forget other smart speakers — we’ll tell you why we’re now even more excited for HomePod. And stick around for our favorite movies, shows and sausages in an all-new, very weird “What We’re Into!”

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace.com website. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off any hosting plan.

Custom-fit leather Apple Watch band bumps style up a notch [Watch Store]

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form function form
The adjustable length Button-Stud Apple Watch band fits virtually all wrist sizes — from the fleshiest to thinnest!
Photo: Courtesy of Form Function Form

Best List: Button-Stud Apple Watch Band by Form Function Form

Making Apple’s “most personal device ever” personal to you is super-serious business for one Florida purveyor of handmade leather goods.

Echoing the individuality of Apple Watch, Form Function Form takes customization to new levels in the design of its one-of-a-kind Button-Stud Apple Watch Band. This ingenious leather strap has 21 different size options, one of which is sure to fit even the thinnest or fleshiest of wrists. If it doesn’t, the company provides free size adjustments for the entirety of your life.

We’ve added seven new leather colors to the Watch Store lineup! Read on for my review:

Updated AirPods plus our picks for best TV of 2017, on The CultCast

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CultCast iPad

Photo: @YSR50

This week, on a holly jolly edition of The CultCast: The next-gen AirPods are supposedly coming in 2018; next-day delivery of iPhone X is a sprinkling of Christmas magic; how to listen to Youtube videos when your iPad or iPhone screen is off; and we wrap up with our favorite TV shows of 2017!

Our thanks to Backblaze for supporting this episode! Backblaze online backup is Mac native, unlimited, unthrottled cloud backup, and it’s only 5 bucks a month. Try it totally free for two weeks at backblaze.com/cultcast.

Hands on with Ottm’s wonderful wooden Apple Watch band [Video]

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Ottm Apple Watch Wood Band
Ottm's wooden Apple eWatch bands are good-looking and unique.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

In the world of watch straps, we think Ottm, a manufacturer of wooden Apple Watch bands, offers one of the best unboxing experiences.

The box itself is plain and simple, but the package is thoughtfully designed, containing extra links and a pin removal tool that makes it very easy to adjust your new band.

The bands are awesome, too. Made from zebrawood and/or sandalwood, each hand-finished strap is eye-catching, comfortable and unique.

We made a video to show you what to expect. Check it out above.

iPhone X: Our top likes, our top dislikes! Catch the discussion on The CultCast

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CultCast 309
What we like and what we don't—catch our unvarnished opinions on iPhone X.
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: The iPhone X may be Apple’s best phone, but it’s not perfect. Catch our first-week impressions to hear what we love (and what we don’t!) about Apple’s very spicy new iPhone. Plus: Our top reasons to not buy an iPhone X; how to use Apple Pay Cash to pay your friends and fam; and catch our list of X-rated tips, aka the really useful iPhone X tips and tricks you haven’t heard about.

Everything we know about iPhone X’s Face ID

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Face ID
iPhone X unlocks just by looking at it.
Photo: Apple

When the iPhone X arrives November 3, it will bring a new age of security with it.

Apple is ditching fingerprints for facial scanning when it comes to unlocking your device, thanks to the iPhone X’s all-new Face ID feature. Not all Apple fans are excited about this. But if Face ID works as well as Apple says it does, it could be the most innovative iPhone addition in years.

Here’s what you need to know about Face ID.