(You're reading all posts by Buster Hein) Buster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.
About Buster Hein
The biggest snowstorm to ever hit New York City is pounding the Northeast today, and it doesn’t look like the blizzard is going to let up any time soon.
More than 2 feet of snow are expected to hit the area. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has already canceled school for tomorrow and the state announced all highways will be closed by midnight tonight. But before you hole up with your loved ones for the next few days, make sure to download these eight apps that will help you make it out alive.
Apple Pay has already invaded MLB stadiums and NBA games, but next up on the list of major sports to accept Apple’s contactless payments system will be golfers.
The city of Phoenix is gearing up to host the Super Bowl this week, but the PGA is hoping to steal a little thunder with the revelation this morning that Apple Pay will make its first ever debut on the golf course at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open this week.
Apple acquired TestFlight maker Burtsly last year and quickly added it to iOS in an effort to improve the iOS beta testing experience for both developers and testers. Now Apple plans to close the independent site TestFlightapp.com to Android users and everyone else, forcing iPhone and iPad owners to only test apps through the official TestFlight iOS app.
Apple enjoyed historic sales this holiday season, and while the company won’t reveal its official earnings until January 27th, based on the latest smartphone activation report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Apple dominated the holiday shopping season and accounted for 50% of all smartphone activations in Q4 2014.
Tim Cook is likely to announce another record breaking quarter as Apple nearly doubled the number of activations of its closest competitor Samsung, which accounted for a modest 26% of the market.
Check out the surprising graph below:
We love Sonos speakers here at Cult of Mac. In fact, we can barely make it through our Faves and Raves segment on the CultCast without Leander waxing poetic for the sleek wireless speakers.
The company just teamed up with Bruce Mau Design to create a new psychedelic logo that’s nearly as entertaining their HiFi systems that let you beam sound to any room in your house. If you scroll up and down the page you’ll notice a pulsing effect on the logo, similar to a bass thumping speaker.
There’s no mention on Bruce Mau Design’s website as to whether the optical illusion is intentional. If not it’s an awesome accident. Go ahead and wiggle the page up and down to experience the the visual effect yourself.
- Via BrandNew
iPad Pro rumors takeover the rumor mill…
We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.
The iPad Pro has seemed like a myth the last two years, but the rumor mill is heating up with new gossip that Apple might add a stylus to its giant tablet. We’ve also got a new report on the Apple Watch’s dismal battery life, plus pictures that appear to be our first look at the 12-inch MacBook Air.
Which rumors are the real deal and who’s just pretending? Step up to the crystal ball and find out.
Touch controls on the iPad?
The Rumor:You next iPad could have touchscreen controls on the back.
The Verdict: This doesn’t seem like the type of elegant solution Jony Ive would use, so don’t count on it. The iPad already has a display that can put a button in any spot you need. Adding dedicated buttons to the back is the opposite direction Apple’s design is moving.
Apple Watch doesn't have all-day battery?
The Rumor: Apple Watch will only get 19 hours of battery life.
The Verdict: This sounds about right to us. Some people are already complaining about Mark Gurman’s report that Apple Watch’s battery won’t last all-day. With as many features as Apple’s cramming into its first timepiece, we’re not shocked the battery is puny. Tim Cook already said you’ll have to charge it every day. It’s only a first generation device. If it lasts a full 19 hours we’ll be pleased.
Next up on Samsung's copy list?
The Rumor: Samsung plans to fix its glitchy fingerprint sensors by copying TouchID.
The Verdict: Definitely happening. The Samsung Galaxy S6 is supposed to be Samsung’s most innovative device in years because this time they’re not going to just copy Apple. It sounds like they still can’t make fingerprint readers easy to use though, so they’re copying Touch ID’s tap to scan feature.
Who wants a stylus?
The Rumor: The 12-inch iPad Pro will come with a handy dandy stylus.
The Verdict: This rumor is coming straight from the world’s most accurate Apple analyst, Ming Chi-Kuo. We have some serious doubts about it’s accuracy though. First, we don't even know if the 12-inch iPad is a real product, so adding a stylus onto it seems premature. Every analyst and blogger is busting out the “Steve Jobs said ‘if you see a stylus, they blew it,'” quote, but it wouldn’t be the first time el Jobso was proven to be fallible.
I still don’t think this is going to come true though, unless Apple has some really magical new features embedded in the stylus. Also, has anyone considered the 12-inch iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook Air might be the same product?
Is this the MacBook STEALTH?
The Rumor: First pictures of the 12-inch MacBook Air have leaked.
The Verdict: We’ll give 2/1 odds that these pictures are of the real deal. We already know Apple’s supply partner Quanta has specifications for the MacBook Air STEALTH in its inventory, so we’re probably just a few months away from the launch. Notice that the keyboard didn't leak though?
Apple’s stunning new store in Hangzhou China is drawing raves, even though no one has seen what it’ll actually look like. The outside of the store has been covered with a giant Apple Store sized mural during construction, only instead of throwing up another boring white box, Apple teamed up with famous calligrapher Wang Dongling to create a beautiful poem on the outside.
To celebrate the upcoming West Lake store, Apple published a video today going behind the scenes with Dongling and his creative process for creating the artwork on the store. Dongling is renowned for his experimentation in merging Western and Chinese forms to push calligraphy in a new direction.
“The lines in calligraphy need to have life in them”, Dangling says in the video. “They need to have an aesthetic feeling. They need to have a kind of magical energy endowed by nature.”
Watch the full behind the scenes clip below:
Angela Ahrendts was arguably Apple’s biggest hire of 2014, and according to the company’s latest SEC filing, luring the Burberry CEO over to Apple wasn’t cheap.
In 2014, Apple’s new SVP of retail and online stores was the highest paid executive at Apple. It’s the first time in Apple history that the highest paid person at the company is a woman, and Apple gave her a transition package that made even Tim Cook’s salary look like pittance pay.
Ahrendts made her move from Burberry to Apple in May of 2014. By the end of the year Apple paid her over $64 million more than CEO Tim Cook. In fact, Cook wasn’t even in the top 4 highest paid employees at Apple last year. Eddie Cue took home the second biggest salary with $24,445,739, while Jeff Williams (aka Tim Cook’s Tim Cook) took home $24,403,235.
Check out the full breakdown of executive compensation below:
Meet the world’s worst iPad thieves: Dillian Thompson (20) and Dorian Walker-Gaines (22). From “the money team.”
Houston police arrested these two geniuses after they uploaded a celebratory selfie video from Burger King to flaunt the cash they stole, along with an iPad, laptop and a couple other items left in someone’s unlocked car. The duo took a number of selfies and even uploaded a video to Facebook showing the $5,000 in C-notes they’d just stolen.
“This, my good people, is what we get from a good night’s hustle,” Dillian says in the video, completely oblivious to the wonders of iCloud and the felony theft charges that are about to follow.
Check out their video below:
Apple has agreed to accept the Chinese government’s demands to run network safety evaluations on all Apple products before they can be imported into the country.
Tim Cook met with the country’s Internet and Information office last December to discuss Apple’s plans in China, and has since consented to the government’s demands that they be allowed screen products for the fabled NSA backdoor. According to a spokesperson who was also present at the meeting, Cook has assured Chinese officials that Apple will fully cooperate with the governments wishes to have products inspected for security concerns.