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

Lust 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

Lust 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.

Clever case makes carrying Apple Watch and its essentials easy [Reviews]

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Gather all your Apple Watch stuff with this clever case from Twelve South.
Gather all your Apple Watch stuff with this clever case from Twelve South.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: TimePorter by Twelve South

Traveling with Apple Watch is a fairly simple affair: strap on your watch and go.

Traveling with all the extra accessories, however, is a serious pain in the butt. There’s that 6-foot charging cable, for one, which always manages to get tangled up in my bag. Add extra Apple Watch bands and a wall plug, and you’ve got some serious carry, and we haven’t even mentioned dealing with the watch when you aren’t wearing it.

Twelve South has an answer to this conundrum, and it’s called TimePorter.

Backpack built for bikes lets you carry more on two wheels [Reviews]

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Get more out of your commute with one or two of these pannier backpacks.
Get more out of your commute with one or two of these pannier backpacks.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Convertible Pannier Backpack by Two Wheel Gear

When I commuted to my office via bicycle a few years back, I had two choices, a backpack or a pannier bag. The backpack usually won out, because who wants to carry around a massive set of bags when they get to the office?

But a backpack can get heavy and sweaty as it sits on my back while I pedal furiously across town to get to work, so I’d end up trying the pannier thing every once in a while, dealing with the awkward carry when I’d arrive.

Two Wheel Gear has a nice compromise, however, a convertible bag that’s made to connect to your rear bike rack, pannier-style, that also converts into a handsome, rugged backpack to easily carry around once you reach your destination.

It’s the best of both worlds, really.

Retro Apple collections, iPhone features you’ve never dreamed of, and more

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There are some amazing Apple collections out there.
There are some amazing Apple collections out there.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Take a trip down memory lane to see some amazing Apple memorabilia — if you’re in Prague, anyway. With a collection that spans the years 1976 to 2012, nearly every Apple computer, printer, mouse, joystick, and piece of software is represented.

Learn more about this fascinating museum and the story of its founders in this week’s jam-packed Cult of Mac Magazine. Plus, Tim Cook’s promises of undreamt-of future iPhone features, backing up an iPhone to an external drive, luxurious Apple Watch bands, and Mac spring cleaning.

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

Here are this week’s top stories.

Affordable vaporizer makes smoking ‘herb’ easy and discreet [Reviews]

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Simple to use, inexpensive, and oh-so discreet.
Simple to use, inexpensive, and oh-so discreet.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: AirVape

In the last couple of weeks of testing, I’ll admit, I have gotten a bit more baked than usual thanks to AirVape’s easy-to-use functionality.

I don’t always vape, but when I do, I’ll vape from this portable, inexpensive yet high-quality vaporizer.

iPhone drive adds storage, stays out of your way [Reviews]

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SanDisk iXpand flash drive
You'll barely even know the SanDisk iXpand is there.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Budget-minded iPhone owners have gotten used to making do with a meager 16GB of memory on their devices, but it’s annoying and may not be worth the money you’ve saved. But the market has no shortage of iPhone-friendly flash drives to make your life easier, and the new version of the SanDisk iXpand is one of the cooler ones we’ve seen.

Not only does it offer a bunch of different storage sizes and a really slick app to keep everything straight, but the makers also designed it to be as unobtrusive as possible. Basically, you can keep it plugged into your iPhone all the time, and you’ll barely even notice it. And that’s more than we can say about most of the phone accessories we carry around.