Former employee explains how Tim Cook made Apple boring

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Life at Apple is great for Tim Cook.
Tim Cook wants to keep peace at Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook’s kinder, gentler management style is the biggest reason why 2016 was one of the most boring years for Apple in recent memory, according to a former employee of the company.

Steve Jobs was notorious for inciting conflict and competition between top employees, which him a controversial leader but also birthed some of the most iconic tech products ever (iMac, iPod and iPhone). After Cook took over, he worked to eliminate conflict within Cupertino’s walls and made employees less passionate, claims ex-Apple employee Bob Burrough.

Pro tips for improving your app reviews

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App Store reviews
Here's how to harness the power of app reviews (even bad ones).
Image: MacPaw

Apple Music execs discuss the future of music streaming

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Bozoma Saint John
Bozoma Saint John is in charge of hyping Apple Music.
Photo: Apple

The future of Apple Music will be a lot less focused on music and more about pop culture, according to three of Apple’s top employees working on the project.

Beats One DJ Zane Lowe, marketing guru Bozoma Saint John and Apple Music’s head of content, Larry Jackson, sat down for a three-headed interview to discuss what fans can expect from the streaming service. Music will always be part of Apple Music, but Lowe revealed that other forms of entertainment are coming soon.

Vintage Mac Museum steers clear of Macs that sucked

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How do you like them Apples? Adam Rosen's home is the Vintage Mac Museum.
How do you like them Apples? Adam Rosen's home is the Vintage Mac Museum.
Photo: Adam Rosen

Cult of Mac 2.0 bug Adam Rosen’s collection of vintage Macs doesn’t make him a hoarder, but he acknowledges it doesn’t make him an obvious choice for a husband, either.

In several rooms of Rosen’s Boston home you’ll find a love story nonetheless. The rooms are shrines to a high school sweetheart that matured and grew more sophisticated with time, a friendly face still aglow with “hello.”

Seize power for all your gear and gadgets [Deals]

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3 outlets and 4 USB ports make this travel-friendly power strip a comprehensive charging solution.
3 outlets and 4 USB ports make this travel-friendly power strip a comprehensive charging solution.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The more we rely on our digital devices, the more chances there are to run out of juice at just the wrong moment. But the essential charging gadgets in this roundup can meet anyone’s thirst for power.

They include a portable, surge-protected strip with USB and standard outlets, a five-port dock that organizes your gizmos while they charge, a trio of extra-long, MFi-certified Lightning cables, and a wireless charging hub for Apple Watch and three other devices. Read on to learn more:

This pricey iPhone case is sharp enough for a samurai

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Element Case
The Katana attaches to your iPhone 7 or 7 Plus with steel screws.
Photo: Element Case

Maybe you begin to bristle when the price of a quality iPhone case goes above $40. If so, your eyebrows could reach new heights when you notice the price on the newest luxury covers for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus from Element Case.

Starting at $349, the Katana is not the most expensive luxury case on the market, but it is sure to elicit a gasp from budget-minded consumers.

AirPods haven’t taken the headphone market by storm … yet

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Airpods review 3
Apple's AirPods were super-rare upon their launch.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook has called the AirPods a “runaway success,” but what this means in terms of wireless headphone market share remains to be seen.

A previous report from Slice Analytics claimed that Apple’s new headphones captured a whopping 26 percent for wireless headphone sales in December. However, analysts at NDP Group think the real number is significantly lower — like, in the 2 percent to 3 percent range.

Why the difference?

Pokémon GO raked in almost $1 billion last year

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Pokemon GO
Pokémon GO made $800m faster than any other game.
Photo: Niantic

Pokémon GO raked in almost $1 billion in 2016, despite being available for only half of the year.

Niantic’s hit was downloaded over 500 million times in a few short months after making its debut last July, and it made $600 million faster than any other mobile game, according to the experts at App Annie.

Apple denies it will launch battery-replacement program for iPhone 6

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iPhone 6 Plus_9
Have you had problems with your iPhone 6 shutting down randomly?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Update: Apple has denied a report that it might launch a battery-replacement program to cover its iPhone 6 handsets.

The exact reason for the supposed battery-exchange initiative wasn’t revealed in Makotakara’s post, which was short on details. But the now-debunked rumor made it sound like Apple might expand the battery-replacement program in place for certain iPhone 6s handsets due to a fault that causes the units to randomly shut down.