Cult of Mac Magazine: Quirky product reviews + Mac and iOS Pro Tips + Black Friday



It’s one week away from Black Friday, and in addition to our killer live blog with up-to-the-minute deals, we’ve got a new magazine with all sorts of quirky products that our loving reviewers have taken the time to get to know.

We’ve got a funky clip-on lampshade for your iPhone, a Pro Tip to max out your iPhone battery, a conceptual piece on how Apple could fix the next version of its wristband, a secret messaging app that pulls in 1 million downloads every day, and (of course) our weekly gabfest about all things Apple, The Cultcast.

Here’s the rundown of what we’ve got for you in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine.

Prehensile Power Cable Lets You Charge Your iPhone Anywhere




As ever with many of Quirky’s excellent crowd-sourced designs, the Prop Power Pro inspires me to make my own. I’m pretty sure a regular extension cable plus a bendy wire coat-hanger plus a length of flexible tubing would do the trick. The thing is, by the time I’d bought all the parts (plus a roll of gaffer tape), I’d be in the hole for way more than the $25 Quirky want for its version.

Wow, This is The Most Minimalistic iPhone Case-Wallet Combo We’ve Seen




Boy, things are really heating up in the minimalist heck-with-all-this-crap-I-only-want-to-carry-one-thing space. Earlier this week, Distil Union unveiled Wally, basically a strip of leather that clings tenaciously to the back of your iPhone, with a small cavity you can fill with cards or cash.

But the $35 Crossover, created over at crowdsource-design site Quirky, looks like it might be even more minimalist than Wally — it’s just two silicone straps that grip the edges of your iPhone. And it comes in all kinds of colors to boot.

Quirky’s Power Pivot Mini Is A Power Strip In Your Pocket



The one big advantage of traveling in the U.S is that I get to use your crappy, cheap-ass two-pin power plugs. I love that these small pieces of junk can fold up even smaller. Compare this to taking a vacation to the UK, where the adapters are the size of 1980s-era cellphones and young citizens have to be trained in the use of their safety features.

All of which is a roundabout (and culturally insulting) way to say I love Quirky’s new Pivot Power Mini, a tiny lightbulb-sized adapter which converts a single socket into two USB ports and a pair of power-points.

Pivot Power, A Power Strip Which Makes All Of Its Holes Available



With the Pivot Power, every hole's a goal

Take a look under your desk at that power-strip. My guess is that, even though it is probably overloaded with another power-strip plugged into it, there are at least a couple of spare sockets. It’s not that you don’t need them — it’s that you can use them thanks to all the awkward-shaped adapters jammed into it. If only you could bend and twist your power-strip to get better access to its hard-to-reach holes…

‘Props’ Turns Earbuds Into A Redundant Technical Necklace


Man-jewelry that's as useless as real jewelry
Man-jewelry that's as useless as real jewelry

There appear to be a few ways to stop your earbuds from dropping to the floor when you unplug them from your waxy canals. One is to just run the cable from the iPhone/iPod in your front pants pocket up through your shirt/t-shirt/muscle-vest and out through the neck hole. Pop out the earbuds and there they dangle. This is so easy and well-known that even clueless teenagers can manage it.

The second method, I have just discovered, is to use the Props from Quirky.

Quirky Promises Clever Tangle-Proof Earbuds



It’s a first-world problem to be sure, but that doesn’t make tangled headphone cords any less annoying. Wrapping them around your iDevice helps, but you’ll probably do it too tight and end up breaking the cables. And those reel-em-in hand-cranked spindles so beloved of Sony in the 1990s have disappeared, probably because they’re too much hassle, or just kept getting lost.

Bluetooth promised to be the answer, but still sounds awful and requires recharging one more gadget. So Quirky’s new Wired tangle-free earbuds have got a lot to prove. Can they do it?

Quirky Digits Winter Glove Friendly Touchscreen Accessory for Your iPhone



Is it snowing where you live currently? Are temperatures well below freezing? Are you outside? If you answered yes to any of these questions then it is likely that you are wearing gloves right now. If you are just looking to keep warm that is okay, but if you want to use your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad you’re out of luck. The touch screens on these devices aren’t compatible with gloves so if you want to use them you’ll have to pull at least one of the gloves off and risk frostbite in order to use one of Apple’s popular devices.

Now there is a solution that will save your fingers, keep you warm, and still allow you to use your touch screens.