Microsoft exec claims iPad Pro is a Surface copycat

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You can thank Microsoft for this... apparently.
You can thank Microsoft for this... apparently.
Photo: Apple

In love with your new iPad Pro? You can thank Microsoft for that.

Microsoft executive Ryan Gavin claims Apple’s latest take on tablets wouldn’t have happened without the Surface Pro. It is a “clear example” that the company is following Microsoft’s move into ultraportable 2-in-1 machines.

Give your iPhone some great new tricks [Deals]

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We've got the gear to expand your iPhone's usefulness, from a dual stylus to a remote control camera and lots more.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Every iPhone contains multitudes of uses. But it’s only as versatile as the apps you load it up with, and the peripherals you connect it to. We’ve rounded up some great deals on stuff that’ll connect to your iPhone and offer it a whole new set of superpowers. We’ve got a sturdy phone tripod that’s also a case, a remote Wi-Fi camera, a Bluetooth speaker that’s also a dance party light show, and a precision 2-in-1 stylus. Everything is discounted by half off or more. Read on for more details:

Can Google Assistant beat Siri on iPhone? Let’s find out!

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Virtual Assistant
Which is better? Google Assistant or Siri... check out the battle in today's video.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Google Assistant for iOS was released at Google’s latest I/O event. Having never tried it (being an Apple fanboy and all) I thought it was only fair to put the two virtual assistants head to head.

There’s still a lot Google needs to fix such as being able to open apps other than it’s own. But check out the head to head battle in my video below.

Why I love Apple’s hideous Smart Battery Case

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iPhone case
Apple's Smart Battery case has got me charged!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s own battery case, cleverly titled the Smart Battery Case, has been on the market for over two years now. I had never really taken an interest in it;  it was just another battery case, only this one looked like it was pregnant with an iPod.

That was until last week, when I was desperately in need of some form of charger for my iPhone and decided to pick one up. Since then, my thoughts on what was just an ugly, overpriced battery case have totally changed.

Check out the video below to find out why it’s earned a place in my heart — and is now my favorite iPhone case.

Should iPhone 8’s Touch ID be on its back? [Friday Night Fights]

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A sacrifice worth making?
A sacrifice worth making?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Recently “leaked” schematics for Apple’s next-generation iPhone reveal the company could be returning to a sharper, squarer form factor similar to that of the iPhone 5. They also hinted at a big change for Touch ID.

Friday Night Fights bugWith Apple expected to eliminate the Home button from this year’s iPhone, its fingerprint scanner could be relocated to its back — like on many Androids. This would free up space on the front of the phone for a larger display, while maintaining the secure and super-fast biometric sensor we all love.

But is a rear-facing fingerprint scanner a smart move, or should it remain on the front of the iPhone? Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over the iPhone 8’s Touch ID button.

Nomad charging stand warps Apple Watch into the future [Watch Store]

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Nomad's Stand for Apple Watch is made from aircraft-grade aluminum with an anodized finish.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Nomad Stand for Apple Watch

While Nomad’s Stand for Apple Watch could easily be mistaken for a futuristic tchotchke, it packs high function in its curvaceous form. This sleek Apple Watch stand fits perfectly with the modern simplicity that marks Apple’s aesthetic.

Superslim MacBook bag holds more than name suggests [Review]

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Slim is in the name, but the limit of what this bag by booq carries is deceptively generous.
Slim is in the name, but the limit of what this bag by booq carries is deceptively generous.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

We all have that skinny friend with the appetite that belies their profile. No matter how many times you’ve sat across the table, you marvel and ask yourself, “Where do they put it?”

The Superslim, a laptop bag designed by booq for the rollout of the new MacBook Pro, is kind of like that friend.

Apple’s weirdest, wackiest and worst products, this week on The CultCast

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Let us remind you of the weird Apple products that time forgot.
Let us remind you of the weird Apple products that time forgot.
Photo: Hartmut Esslinger

This week on The CultCast: We laugh and cringe about Apple’s weirdest, wackiest and worst products of all time! Plus: How Michael Scott almost single-handedly destroyed Apple; the cool new features in the iOS and macOS betas; facial recognition is coming to iPhone; and a look at the beautiful prototypes that led to some of Apple’s most iconic products.

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 percent off any hosting plan.

10 apps for enhancing iPhone photos

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A good photo editing app can add mood and alter colors to clarify your vision of your dog or any of your photos.
A good photo editing app can add mood and alter colors to clarify your vision of your dog or any of your photos.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

One of my favorite observations by a now-forgotten sage explained the difference between writing and photography like this: A bad sentence can be massaged, but nothing helps a bad photo.

So true. However, I’ve experienced for myself how a good photo-editing app can salvage sloppy composition or bad exposure — and even teach you something along the way. So if you resolve to become a better photographer in 2017, you might want to add some tools to put a finer finish on your iPhone photos.