Why everyone loves the HomePod, this week on The CultCast

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Even audiophiles are surprised by HomePod.
Even audiophiles are surprised by HomePod.
Photo: Digital Trends

This week on The CultCast: Early reviews for the new iPad Pro and HomePod show Apple’s done it again. Plus: Someone in the Apple supply chain just accidentally leaked some of iPhone 8’s marquee features; speed tests show a big CPU boost in the new MacBook Pro; Apple finally offers us iCloud Storage sharing; our favorite unannounced iOS 11 features; and we’ll tell you what we like (and don’t) about the apps and gadgets we’re currently testing in an all-new Under Review.

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.

The New Yorker‘s stunning new cover was painted on an iPad

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CoverStory-Colombo-Basketball-872x1200-1495121111
Not bad for a picture painted with an iPad. Or with anything, actually.
Photo: New Yorker

Looking for more evidence that the iPad Pro can be used to create stunning artwork? The cover of the latest issue of The New Yorker might be just the proof you’re searching for.

Created by the magazine’s long-time art editor Jorge Colombo, it depicts kids playing basketball near to his home in Brooklyn. “This was a risky drawing to make,” he said. “I kept worrying that the ball would hit me or the iPad.” Not that he let that stop him from creating a stunning image!

Become a spreadsheet ninja with 15 hours of training [Deals]

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Microsoft Office Specialist Excel Certification Bundle
Certify your Excel mastery with this 15 hour pair of comprehensive courses.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

In the modern office, Excel spreadsheets are a part of daily life. Whether tracking invoices and expenses, organizing projects, doing advanced math or just keeping track of phone numbers, these days a mastery of Excel is one of the most portable and useful skills you can have. But let’s face it, for all the benefits of doing so, learning Excel isn’t something most of us have made time for. But with this pair of lessons in Microsoft’s mighty spreadsheet software, you can up your skills and get certified to prove it whether you’re just a beginner or already a pro. And right now, you can get the whole shebang for just $15 at Cult of Mac Deals.

We deconstruct the new iPhone 8 leaks, this week on The CultCast

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iPhone 5's straight edges could be making a comeback.
iPhone 5's straight edges could be making a comeback.
Photo: Sonny Dickson

This week on The CultCast: We deconstruct the latest iPhone 8 leaks! We’ll tell what we’ve learned. Plus: Apple starts testing the driverless car it’s totally not working on; and the best iOS apps for all you marijuana connoisseurs.

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.

The secret lives of iPhone factory workers, this week on The CultCast

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This week: an iPhone factory mole tells all.
This week: an iPhone factory mole tells all.

This week on The CultCast: Official new Nvidia drivers make your Mac compatible with the best GPUs on the market! Plus: A mole gives us our best look yet at what it’s really like to work in an iPhone factory; Apple’s working on a “breakthrough” diabetes treatment with the Apple Watch; and the saga of Ron Wayne, the forgotten Apple co-founder who traded his $22 billion of Apple stock for just $800.

Our thanks to Casper, maker of the internet’s favorite mattress, for supporting this episode. Learn why and save $50 off your order at casper.com/cultcast.

World’s thinnest iPhone case faces 21-foot drop test [Review]

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thinnest iPhone case Review
The Clear-Coat FUSION Bumper from Mobile Outfitters was put to the drop test. Did it survive?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Philadelphia-based company Mobile Outfitters is well-known for its ultra-strong iPhone screen protectors. Now it’s put all of its phone-protection know-how together to create the Fusion Bumper — the world’s thinnest iPhone case.

At 1.9 mm thin, the Clear-Coat Fusion Bumper case for the iPhone 6, 6s and 7 has been drop-tested up to 20 feet. But, can it really survive a drop from that sort of height?

Check out the video review below to see us really put it through the test.

Nike+ Run Club is borking my runs, and I blame Apple Watch

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Nike Run Club on Apple Watch Nike+
Does the Nike Run Club app for Apple Watch Nike+ go the distance?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

At the most essential level, a running app should provide a reliable way to log your workouts: when, where, how fast and how far you run. Fancy features are all very well and good, but let’s be honest — if an app doesn’t get the basics right, it sucks.

Nike has been busy adding new bells and whistles to its Nike+ Run Club app recently. Which is great if you want stuff like photo sharing and news feeds. But all I want is to log my runs, and thanks to my Apple Watch Nike+, that critical function has become pretty unreliable.

Updated MacBook Pro coming in 2017, this week on The CultCast

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New Apple hardware in March on The CultCast
New Apple hardware in March? Reports say yes, indeed.
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: 2017 might bring the super-charged MacBook Pro you’ve been waiting for — yes, another update! Then, a former employee says Tim Cook’s making Apple boring. Is it true? Plus: We get more evidence Apple will be making TV shows and movies; and iPhone 8 may be packing friggin’ lasers and facial recognition.

Lust List: Moshi wireless earbuds sound like a bargain [Reviews]

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Moshi's Mythro Air Bluetooth earphones
Moshi's Mythro Air are quality Bluetooth earphones at an affordable price.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Mythro Air wireless earbuds by Moshi

Moshi’s Mythro Air wireless earbuds look good and sound good. They offer all-day battery life, a clever magnetic clip to keep them in place, and a unique feature that allows you to share music from a single source to two sets of Mythro Air earbuds.

Best of all, they cost $69.99, and sound better than premium earbuds costing two or three times more.

AirPods alternatives and the best TV shows of 2016 on The CultCast

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AirPods aren't the only wireless buds in the game.
AirPods aren't the only wireless buds in the game.
Photo: TBS

This week on The CultCast: An honest look at Super Mario Run; we review better-sounding AirPods alternatives; the cool new stuff in the iOS and tvOS updates; and we reveal the hands-down best TV shows of 2016!

This episode supported by: Jamf Now, the affordable, cloud-based solution you can rely on to manage the iPads, iPhones and Macs in your workplace. Manage three devices for free at jamf.com/CultCast.