Meet Ming-Chi Kuo, the best Apple analyst on the planet

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KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo has become the most accurate Apple seer around.
KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo has become the most accurate Apple seer around.
Photo: Digitmes

Over the past several years, one analyst has risen above the rest to become the most reliable voice on all things Apple. His name is Ming-Chi Kuo, and his ability to accurately prophesy Apple’s future product plans is unparalleled. Fittingly, he is also incredibly mysterious.

Kuo is back in the news with a report that the iPhone 6s — due in the fall — will have a new stronger case to make it less ‘bendable.’ The iPhone 6s will be made from the same tough-but-light 7000 series aluminum used in the Apple Watch (it’s also used to make bikes and planes). Kuo also predicts the 6s will come Rose Gold and a darker space grey, again, matching the near-black Apple Watch.

Last month, Kuo reported a long list of features coming to the 6s, including a better, faster A9 processor, a Force Touch screen, a 12-megapixel camera, better Touch ID, new gestures and more.

Kuo’s track record has elevated his Apple predictions to the level of gospel. He’s been called “the most accurate Apple analyst in the world” by Business Insider; and the “most reliable industry watcher on the planet when it comes to Apple” by BGR.

How did he become so good at knowing what Apple is going to do next?

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The best new apps you might have missed this week

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Awesome Apps of the Week

The App Store is a busy place, and it’s easy to miss an awesome new release, much less an update to an old app that makes it worthy of re-downloading.

That’s why we’ve done the work for you and collected the very best new app releases from the past week.

Spotify

Spotify made headlines this week with a massive update that brings video content, podcasts and tempo-adjusted running tracks to its iPhone app.

In an effort to beef up its service before Apple unleashes its Beats redesign this summer, Spotify is making headway by differentiating itself with more features. News publications like Vice and BBC are offering video content through Spotify now, and the app also lets you find and play fine podcasts (like The CultCast).

The temp matching for running is a little silly, but cool for runners who really like Tiësto (the popular DJ is doing custom upbeat tracks for the feature). Spotify’s overall app design changes a little too with this new update, and if you don’t have it already, it should be hitting your App Store soon.

Available on: iPhone

Price: Free (monthly subscription unlocks Spotify Premium)

Download: App Store

Instacast

One of the most popular third-party podcast apps released its Apple Watch app this week. Instacast now lets you control playback from your wrist, and its implementation is pretty slick. If you’re itching for a good podcast listening experience on the Watch, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Available on: iPhone/iPad/Apple Watch

Price: Free

Download: App Store

Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate

This entry brought to you by Wondershare, maker of Video Converter Ultimate.

Billed as "the most powerful video converter ever," this multi-featured Mac tool can edit, download, convert and burn all your videos and handle transfers between hard disks, optical media and the web.

Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate converts files quickly and supports more than 150 different video formats. It converts videos 30 times faster than competing apps and makes it easy to watch camcorder clips on your phone or tablet. It also lets you download videos from YouTube and other popular sites. It's perfect for getting your home videos off your camcorder and onto your smartphone or tablet.

Available on: Mac and PC

Price: One-year license costs $39.95; lifetime license is just 10 bucks more.

Download: Mac (.dmg) and Windows (.exe)

Apple Store

The official Apple Store app added Touch ID verification for viewing orders, accessing EasyPay receipts, and making Genius Bar reservations this week.

Two-step verification support was also added, which makes it nearly impossible for your Apple ID to get hacked. The Apple Store app is now available in several more countries too, including Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, New Zealand, Taiwan, Malaysia and Philippines.

Available on: iPhone/iPad

Price: Free

Download: App Store

Currencies 2

Currencies 2 is a completely rethought take on currency conversion, and it’s optimized for the Apple Watch.

If you’re an international jet-setter who deals with different kinds of money frequently, you may find the new Today View widget helpful. The app tracks your location and shows the local currency as an added connivence, and the Watch app uses dictation to convert values quickly.

Available on: iPhone/Apple Watch

Price: $4.59

Download: App Store

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Photoshop Touch gets axed on iOS as Adobe preps new retouching app

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Bye-bye, Photoshop Touch.
Bye-bye, Photoshop Touch.
Photo: Adobe

Adobe is killing off its mobile version of Photoshop, doubling down on its strategy of creating simpler photo apps focused on specific tasks rather than all-in-one photo-editing software.

In a blog post detailing its strategy for mobile apps, Adobe said Photoshop Touch will be taken off the App Store on May 28. A new retouching app codenamed “Project Rigel” is in the works and will be released later this year.

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Will Apple really make a TV set? Depends on who you ask

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The Loch Ness monster of Apple rumors isn't completely dead yet.
The Loch Ness monster of Apple rumors isn't completely dead yet.

Rumors surrounding Apple’s plans for TV have been picking up considerably as its Worldwide Developers Conference draws near in June.

But the idea of a standalone Apple TV set (not the little hockey puck that exists already) eventually becoming a reality is starting to look pretty bleak. Not everyone has given up hope, though. As the biggest proponent of the Apple HDTV rumor throws in the towel, one of the world’s most powerful investors remains convinced that it will happen.

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Snake Rewind and other awesome apps you might have missed this week

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Awesome Apps of the Week

The App Store is a busy place, and it’s easy to miss an awesome new release, an update that makes an old app worthy of re-downloading, or a hidden gem you didn’t even know you even wanted.

That’s why we’ve done the work for you and collected the most awesome new apps from the past week.

Snake Rewind

One of the most iconic games of all time has been reborn.

Snake Rewind combines elements from the original classic with updated visuals and touch-friendly modern controls. There are 10 levels with distinct challenges and music, and you can compete with others online. Relive your childhood and download this one.

Available on: iPhone/iPad

Price: Free

Download: App Store

Bleep

Worried about the NSA peeking at your nudie pics? Bleep is a peer-to-peer voice and text messaging built by the people behind BitTorrent.

You create a username that can be shared with anyone, and that’s it. No other details about yourself are given, and your messages are encrypted both ways. It’s kind of like Snapchat in that images can disappear after a few seconds, but the app is designed to be totally decentralized. That means you don’t have to put faith in any one private company to keep your data safe.

Available on: iOS/Android/Mac/Windows

Price: Free

Download: Bleep

Encrypto

In line with Bleep’s focus on private messaging, what if you could easily encrypt any file on your Mac?

That’s the idea behind Encrypto, a simple OS X utility that takes any file and applies AES-256 encryption with a required password. There’s even a way to embed password hints for the intended recipient, and files can be sent through Mail, AirDrop, Messages, and third-party apps like Dropbox.

Available on: Mac/Windows

Price: Free

Download: MacPaw

Duet Display

Duet Display has been on Cult of Mac before, and this week it got a noticeable upgrade. Already the best app for creating a secondary display out of an iPad, Duet Display now supports Windows PCs.

“The story for us really revolves around the iPad and what its purpose is for people,” explained Duet Display engineer Rahul Dewan and former Apple employee to Cult of Mac. “If you look at the top 10 paid/grossing apps, they're almost always games. It's been pretty difficult for many creators to use the device effectively.”

“I’m sure at some point iOS will become more powerful and capable of helping people work, but it's just not there yet. I'm hoping with duet, the branding and use cases will change by being able to use it as a powerful productivity device (while still getting the consumer benefit of an iPad). And because it comes with touch and is cross platform, it's not like a regular DisplayLink or USB display.”

You’ll need a free Mac and Windows companion app to use Duet Display with an iPad.

Available on: iPad

Price: $9.99

Download: App Store

Paper

Paper has been a staple app for creatives on the iPad for years, but now it’s starting to bring that creativity to the world of enterprise.

A major update to Paper brings Think Kit, a collection of three new drawing tools that let you easily create charts, presentations, and custom graphics to express your ideas in the boardroom or with clients.

Shapes intelligently snap together and become movable, and a freeform color tool lets you create detailed trend lines and pie charts. If the features themselves don’t sell you, Paper’s great video might.

Available on:iPad

Price: Free

Download: App Store

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The scientifically perfect way to organize your Apple Watch apps

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Is Apple Watch demand waning?
You're probably not organizing your Apple Watch efficiently, according to science. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch’s tiny screen has already proven to be a boundless landscape for creatively organizing app icons, but one obsessive reddit user has created the most scientifically convenient app layout we’ve seen yet.

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A few awesome apps you might have missed last week

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FULLSCREEN

Awesome apps you might have missed

The App Store is a busy place, and it’s easy to miss an awesome new release, an update that makes an old app worthy of re-downloading, or a hidden gem you didn’t even know you even wanted.

That’s why we’ve done the work for you and collected the most awesome new apps for iOS and the Mac from the past week. We’ve got brand new Mac and iOS apps along with some killer updates this go around.

Redacted

When well known developer Sam Soffes started making Redacted, he didn’t do it to make money. He made it to solve a problem he had: quickly blacking out or blurring parts of images and documents.

Tools like Photoshop can do this already of course, but Redacted makes it dead easy. It’s the perfect example of a well done Mac app doing one thing and one thing well.

Soffes got a lot of attention in the news last week for sharing his surprising sales numbers for Redacted in the Mac App Store. You can find out the gritty details here if you’re interested, but suffice to say that it didn’t make anywhere near as much money as expected.

Luckily, Soffes isn’t sweating. “If I break even on the time I spent working on it, that would be great,” he later told Cult of Mac in an email. “Not a big deal if not though.”

Available on: Mac

Price: $4.99

Download: Mac App Store

Flickr 4.0

Flickr has been steadily improving as a service since Marissa Mayer became CEO of Yahoo in 2012, but lately it’s become a little stagnant. That’s because a huge update has been in the works, and it finally launched to the world last week.

The biggest improvements are shared across the web and mobile app, but to really take advantage of your free terabyte of storage you’re going to want to download the new Uploadr tool on your desktop. It works basically like Dropbox by finding photos and uploading them in the background to a private Flickr album you can manage further whenever you please.

Beyond that, you’re going to notice smarter search, a greatly improved user interface that includes a new Camera Roll timeline of photos, and more.

Available on: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, web

Price: Free

Download: Flickr

TripMode

You’ve probably been there: you’re on the go with your Mac and no WiFi connection. What do you do? Tether from your iPhone, of course.

The problem is that tethering to your computer and quickly suck up a bunch of data, and if you’re not on an unlimited cellular plan, you could be in trouble.

That’s where TripMode comes in, a handy new OS X menubar app that monitors your network activity when your Mac is connected to a mobile hotspot. You can even turn off internet access temporarily for individual services, like Dropbox.

Available on: Mac

Price: $4.99 (launch sale, will go up to $7.99 — free trial available)

Download: TripMode

Dropbox

Dropbox has been getting better and better as a service, and now its iOS app is really getting some good attention.

One of my biggest qualms with Dropbox on my iPhone has been the inability to see a list of recent files, which has thankfully been added in this most recent update. The new home view on iPhone and iPad is now a list of the files you’ve interacted with recently, a welcomed change.

Commenting has been added to the iOS app as well, which means you don’t have to be using Dropbox on the web to add a comment on a file anymore. Like Twitter, just @ mention someone’s name or email address to bring them into the conversation.

Dropbox is clearly getting into Google Docs territory, as it’s planning to let users create full Microsoft Office docs in its app soon.

Available on: iPhone/iPad

Price: Free

Download: App Store

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How third-party bands are allowed to work with Apple Watch

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Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

One of the biggest questions surrounding the Apple Watch has been what kind of accessories will be allowed to work with the device. Several third-party companies have already started advertising their own bands and cases, but Apple has yet to introduce any kind of formal guidelines.

Until now.

Like its iPhone counterpart, the new “Made for Apple Watch” program outlines how third-party manufacturers can make their own bands. Here are some of the key takeaways:

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