Dear… is a timely reminder that we can do better [Apple TV+ review]

By

Oprah Winfrey reads a letter from a fan in Apple TV+ show Dear...
One episode of Dear... focuses on Oprah Winfrey.
Photo: Apple TV+

So far, the Apple TV+ shows affiliated with Oprah Winfrey (or approved by her) represent some of the streaming service’s safest offerings. And her spirit, to say nothing of her face, is all over the inspiring series Dear…

Each episode focuses on a single celebrity and the moving fan letters they receive highlighting the star’s impact on regular people. A such, it takes the form of part-biography, part-tribute to its famous subjects.

Dear… certainly does not stand out as one of the most hard-hitting journalistic exercises you’ll see. But as puff pieces go, the episodes prove both persuasive and reasonably inspiring. The show plays like a MasterClass with lessons about community building and standing up for yourself.

Why Apple still refuses to give the iPad a calculator

By

Craig Federighi explained today why there’s no iPad Calculator app.
Apple exec Craig Federighi helped unveil iPadOS 14 at WWDC 2020, but there was still no Calculator app.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple software chief Craig Federighi just answered a question that’s puzzled people for years: Why doesn’t the iPad come with a calculator app?

In a video posted Friday, he also explained why the iPad lacks a weather app.

Get online in those hard-to-reach places with handy Wi-Fi range extender [Review]

By

Rock Space AC1200 Dual Band Wi-Fi Repeater review
The Rock Space Wi-Fi Repeater brings internet to dead spaces in your wireless network.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Rock Space AC1200 Dual Band Wi-Fi Repeater is just right for anyone working or taking classes at home and struggling with a weak Wi-Fi signal. Plug this accessory into any wall socket and it’ll expand your wireless network’s usable area. It offers both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, it supports one-button setup with WPS, and you can connect to it via Ethernet.

I tested this Wi-Fi range extender in my own home, and share how well it stands up to daily use.

Adonit stylus both sterilizes your iPad and writes on it [Review]

By

Adonit Note-UVC review
Adonit Note-UVC does two jobs. It’s both an iPad stylus and a UVC sterilizer.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Adonit Note-UVC is certainly a product for its time. While this stylus lets you take handwritten notes on a range of iPad and iPad Pro models, the standout feature is a pair of ultraviolet lamps that kill the germs and bacteria on your tablet screen (or any other object). The release is timed just right, with COVID-19 making so many people worried about potential infections.

I tested the Note-UVC as a stylus, and looked into how effective it is at sterilizing surfaces. The results of both might surprise you.

Espresso Displays makes the gorgeous external touchscreen your MacBook needs [Review]

By

Espresso Displays looks great.
Espresso Displays makes an add-on screen you’ll be happy to use with your Mac for days at a time.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Espresso Displays produces premium external screens compatible with both MacBooks and iPad Pro. And these offer 10-point touch, creating the touchscreen Mac so many have asked for.

Studies have shown that a second display can make you up to 50% more productive. We tested a prototype from Espresso Displays to see if this very slim and light LCD monitor lives it up to its promise.

Defending Jacob nears boiling point in ‘Wishful Thinking’ [Apple TV+ review]

By

Betty Gabriel and Chris Evans anchor the uniformly strong crime drama Defending Jacob.
Betty Gabriel and Chris Evans anchor uniformly strong crime drama Defending Jacob.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ crime drama Defending Jacob nears its climax in Episode 6. The writers crank up the tension and the danger in ways that finally take the series out of the ordinary and into the more obviously fictional and generic.

Thankfully, director Morten Tyldum knows how to handle a flagrant crime show incident without it seeming more overblown than the series can handle. (Spoiler alert: Some key plot details will follow.)

This might be the coolest AirPods case money can buy [Review]

By

Elago-W3-AirPods-case
It looks like a tiny Macintosh!
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

AirPods won’t win any awards for their durability. Their shiny plastic case picks up scratches faster than a hip hop DJ’s latest vinyl. So you should protect them with a decent case.

And they don’t get much cooler than the latest offering from Elago. It’s like carrying a tiny little Macintosh with you wherever you go. And it costs just $15.30 (down from $17) for a limited time.

Here’s our full review.

How to find a COVID-19 testing station with Apple Maps

By

See all the local COVID-19 testing locations on a map.
See all the local testing locations on a map.
Photo: Capturing the human heart/Unsplash

As of yesterday, Apple Maps can now show you local COVID-19 testing stations, so you can find the nearest one and get yourself checked out. It’s really easy to do, but it does require a search to activate the new map layer.

Here’s how to find a COVID-19 test near you. Note: This currently only works in the United States.