This may be the best USB-C hub you can buy for your iPad Pro

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The sun finally came out, so I took this photo outside.
The sun finally came out, so I took this photo outside.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Ever since I got a 2018 iPad Pro last year, I’ve gone through a drawerful of USB-C hubs. And finally, I’ve found one that works. Or rather, one that works without any odd, annoying or inexplicable behavior. It’s the Kingston Nucleum, it doesn’t have quite enough ports, and it’s just great.

How to see if your original AirPods updated themselves

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airpods
Your old Airpods aren’t dead yet.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you’ve updated your iPhone or iPad to iOS 12.2, and you own a pair of first-gen AirPods, the wireless earbuds probably got an automatic firmware update already. Today we’ll see how to check your AirPods firmware version, and learn what’s new in the update.

Spoiler: Some owners even report better battery life in their original AirPods.

Best leather Apple Watch bands, from most affordable to luxurious

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Find the perfect leather Apple Watch band for your budget without compromising style or quality.
Find the perfect leather Apple Watch band for your budget without compromising style or quality.
Photo: Strapa

High-quality leather is a universal way to look and feel classy, timeless and powerful. Deck out your beloved Apple Watch in something it deserves, regardless of price point. Whether you’re buying on a budget or searching for the perfect splurge, your internet scouring ends here.

Check out our watch store guide to finding the perfect leather Apple Watch band for your budget.

These Apple Watch bands fulfill your need for the caress of steel [Watch Store]

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link
Wiplabs' Link Apple Watch Bracelet is built from the same steel alloy as the Apple Watch.
Photo: Benjamin McKay/Cult of Mac

You don’t have to be an iron man or iron maiden to prefer some metal in your life, especially around your wrist. There are a lot of choices when it comes to holding your Apple Watch, but maybe you’re not hell-bent for leather or a fan of the Plastic Ono Band. You want a metal band and nothing else matters.

The Cult of Mac Watch Store has several metal Apple Watch bands available, from the affordable ($40 for a Rilee & Lo) to the high-end ($149 for a Juuk). Rush to check out a selection of these metal bands below.

Treat yourself to a stylish Apple Watch band [Watch Store]

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clessant
The delicate accent stitching looks great, but there's more to this Apple Watch band than meets the eye. Clessant uses prized Barenia leather from the Haas Tannery in France.
Photo: Clessant

Let’s face it: Simpler isn’t always better. Sometimes a watch band is just a watch band, but sometimes you’d rather it be a fashion statement. If you want understated elegance, there’s classic black leather. Or perhaps something bright and exotic is the ticket — say, orange ostrich.

Whether it’s because you need to spruce up for a big event, or you just want to look smashing, check out these luxurious and exotic bands, available at the Cult of Mac Apple Watch Store.

Triqtraq turns your iPhone into an amazing groovebox [Review]

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Triqtraq is almost too much fun.
Triqtraq is almost too much fun.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A week or so back, I took a long trip, and I figured I’d make some music on the journey. I wanted an app that would be simple to use, but powerful enough to get some real expression into these musical sketches. Plus, I wanted something called parameter locks, which I’ll explain below.

I quickly narrowed in on Triqtraq. It’s not a new app, but it’s so good you should check it out ASAP.

Trainiac is a fitness expert in the palm of your hands [Review]

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Trainiac Beats iPhone X
Trainiac connects you with a real personal trainer to maximize your fitness
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Have you ever felt sick and thought to yourself, “I should diagnose myself based on a web search,” later wishing you’d sought a professional instead? How about taking on an extensive home-improvement project, only to call in a contractor after struggling to make any real progress?

Getting in shape or losing weight shouldn’t be something you are stuck doing on your own, either. That’s where a personal trainer comes in.

Satechi USB-C hub adds the ports iPad Pro needs most [Review]

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Satechi USB-C hub for 2018 iPad Pro
A USB-C hub can’t make an iPad Pro into a full desktop but Satechi‘s really tries.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A new Satechi USB-C hub designed specifically for the 2018 iPad Pro adds all the the most-useful ports to Apple’s latest tablet. With it, you can add headphones, an external monitor and other USB-A accessories. All in a tiny package.

Those who want even ports can choose instead this company’s slightly larger but still slim USB-C hub designed for laptops. This also works with the new iPad.

Don’t miss our hands-on review of the Satechi Alumiunium Type-C Mobile Pro Hub, as well as the Slim Aluminum Type-C Multi-Port Adapter V2.

For $16, turn your Raspberry Pi into a game console, smart home controller and more [Deals]

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Raspberry Pi
Finally start creating your own DIY Raspberry Pi projects this weekend.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

When Raspberry Pi rolled out in 2012, people immediately hailed the low-cost, credit card-size microcomputer as a fun new toy for kids and tech tinkerers. Since then, forward-thinking Pi users adapted this “toy” into a surprisingly powerful piece of tech. Users create everything from home media networks to robotics to fully automatic timesavers.

Give big love and soul to your Apple Watch with these rustic, hand-crafted bands

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Partnered with the Apple Watch, Strapley is a product of elegant, rustic simplicity.
Partnered with the Apple Watch, Strapley is a product of elegant, rustic simplicity.
Photo: Kristal Chan/Cult of Mac

Sourcing the best Apple Watch bands and accessories for Cult of Mac readers is a huge priority for our Watch Store. We hit the mark with Strapley’s distressed-leather bands for Apple Watch, available at our Watch Store just in time for the holidays!

These stunning bands are crafted in-house and look like no other Apple Watch band on the market. Equally elegant and rustic, they’re versatile enough to elevate your Apple Watch. Don’t believe us? Check out our unboxing video: