Hands-on: MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar gets rave reviews

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macbook pro
There's a lot to love about the new MacBook Pro.
Photo: Apple

The new MacBook Pro won’t ship for another 2-3 weeks, but members of the media who got their fingers on the new Touch Bar came away from Apple’s event with rave reviews.

Apple hosted a hands-on section after today’s keynote and based on the quick impression the new MacBook Pro made, it looks like Apple has another hit on its hands.

iPhone 7 review roundup: Great, but won’t put a ding in the universe

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jet black iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
Yep, this Jet Black option is going to cause some issues.
Photo: Apple

The first iPhone 7 reviews are starting to trickle in. The verdict? The things you thought would annoy you probably will (like the disappearing headphone jack), but the big camera and battery upgrades are every bit as good as you’d hope.

Oh, and Apple’s new jet black color seems like it’s going to lead to its fair share of criticism — even if everyone is being very nice about it right now.

Check out our roundup of the early iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus reviews.

Banging Bluetooth earbuds lose the wires without sacrificing sound [Reviews]

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nuforce
Fantastic-sounding audio without all the cable tangle.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Best List: NuForce BE6i by Optoma

Earbuds are essential for activities like running or working out, and they’re fantastic for those times when I don’t want to be wearing a heavy set of cans on my head.

Still, running when wired is an exercise in frustration for me, as I usually end up flailing at some point and yanking out the headphones in my ears via the trailing cord.

These NuForce BE6i Bluetooth earbuds solve both problems: they’re fantastic-sounding, good-looking in-ear headphones without the cord issue.

WWDC 2016 preview, Ken Segall talks to Kahney’s Korner podcast, best iPhone 6/6s cases out there, and more

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The Worldwide Developers Conference 2016 promises to be huge.
The Worldwide Developers Conference 2016 promises to be huge.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Get ready for next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2016! We give you a sneak peek of what to expect in Apple’s keynote on Monday in San Francisco. Plus, teenager earns scholarship to WWDC by creating his own news app.

Listen to former Apple ad man Ken Segall — who put the “i” in iMac — discuss what he learned in 12 years working with Steve Jobs on Cult of Mac’s brand-new podcast Kahney’s Korner.

All this, and much much more, in Cult of Mac Magazine, free for you right now.

Here are this week’s top stories.

Posture trainer has ways to make you sit up straight [Reviews]

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Upright posture trainer
You're a monster.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

“It’s alright,” I tell the Upright posture trainer, which is attached to the base of my spine. “I’ll do it right this time.”

I’m not looking at the device itself; that would be impossible. Instead, I’m looking at the three smiley-face icons in the thing’s companion app. The green one is lit up now, but I just slipped into yellow for a second before I caught myself, and if it hits the red one — either from me slouching or overextending my back — it will be unpleasant.

Union Square Apple Store, Steve Jobs ‘word’ painting, and more

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Cover

Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Take a peek at Apple’s most amazing store on the West Coast. The Union Square store promises to be every bit as iconic as Apple’s cube on Fifth Avenue, thanks to its incredible glass and metal design and a new prominent location in San Francisco’s popular luxury shopping district.

All this, and much much more in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine.

Here are this week’s top stories.

Big cargo bag makes light of your heavy load [Reviews]

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Waterfield's new Cargo Laptop Bag has a ton of space without sacrificing looks.
Waterfield's new Cargo Laptop Bag has a ton of space without sacrificing looks.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Best List: Cargo Laptop Bag by Waterfield

When choosing a bag to carry my most precious cargo (MacBook, iPad(s), camera, iPhone), I generally look for something that offers a balance between minimalist good looks and higher-carrying capacity.

Waterfield’s rather boringly-named Cargo Laptop Bag is a fantastic choice for the pro on the go, with capacious storage pockets and a gorgeously-designed outer and inner experience that never feels overstuffed, even when I filled it up with all of my gear.

Jamstik+ teaches you to rock (while looking like a dork) [Reviews]

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Jamstik Bluetooth guitar
The Jamstik looks like a toy, but it could teach you some serious skills.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

As a long-time player of console rhythm games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, I’ve had several people’s share of silly, plastic instruments laying around my house. And while they’ve all looked varying levels of authentic, none of them actually taught me anything about how to play the guitar other than the base concepts of “one hand pushes down here while the other one goes up and/or down.”

But the Jamstick+ aims to change that by being an odd-looking, toy-like instrument that actually has lessons (via apps) to show you the basics and help you learn strumming, plucking and finger assignment. It even has real-feeling strings and frets to help you translate your lessons into the real thing.

Other than those individual pieces, however, you might feel ridiculous holding it.

The many faces of Steve Jobs, ending ‘wrist rage,’ and the weird world of iPod collectors

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Art comes in many forms.
Art comes in many forms.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

But is it art? There’s a whole new way of looking at these works, in the form Steve P Jobs himself–or at least his likeness.

Learn all about these odd yet interesting portraits of the late Apple co-founder, including tattoos, technology-art, and the bubble wrap portrait you see above, as you browse this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine.

Inside this deliciously digital magazine-style app, you’ll find out more about possibilities for the new Apple Watch OS, how to retrain Siri to make better sense of your verbalizations, inside the weird world of iPod collectors, and all the reviews and how-tos you need to stay up to date on tech through an Apple lens.

Here are this week’s top stories.

Aluminum charging stand will elevate your Apple Watch [Reviews]

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Your Apple Watch will thank you for keeping it above the mess.
Your Apple Watch will thank you for keeping it above the mess.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Best List: Aluminum Apple Watch charging station by Satechi

I’ve got an Apple Watch problem. I need to keep it charged up, but it continually gets lost in the clutter on my dresser.

You might tell me to just clean up the top of my bedroom furniture, but I like that my new solution allows me to elevate my Apple Watch above the mess. The Satechi aluminum charging stand for Apple Watch keeps my wrist computer charged up and ready to go without getting lost in the cruft of my bureau’s disarray.