(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.
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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.
Hollywood has long been the sparkling gem of entertainment in the U.S., but when it comes to making money, Apple is schooling the entertainment industry on how to bring in the cash with the App Store.
In 2014, iOS app developers earned more than Hollywood did from U.S. box office revenues, reports top Apple analyst Horace Dediu. According to Asymco’s number crunching, apps are now a bigger digital content business than music, TV programs, movie purchases and rentals combined.
Apple paid out approximately $25 billion total to developers, which means that not only is the App industry healthier than Hollywood, but also on an individual level, some developers are out earning Hollywood stars. The median income for developers is also likely higher than the median income for actors. If you’re looking to strike it rich, forget becoming the next Brad Pitt. Be the next Dong Nguyen.
Check out the chart below:
The list of annual Apple-focused conferences is drying up now that the plug has been pulled on Macworld/iWorld, but if you’re an Apple pro, MacTech is hosting its first ever MacTech Pro event series that will take place in nine locations across the U.S.
The regional events hosted by MacTech Magazine will be geared to helping professional Apple techs, consultants and support staff. The event packs tons of sessions into a full day of learning about everything from iCloud Drive, productivity tools, security, tech tool boxes, and more.
Microsoft just unveiled the future of Windows 10 today in Redmond. Along with some crazy holographic goggles that take on Google Glass and Oculus, company executives revealed the ambitious plan to make the next generation of Windows the first truly universal platform for desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones and more.
The 2.5 hour keynote was packed with new features coming to Windows 10 devices and the Xbox, but eagle-eyed Apple fanboys have already noticed a few ways Microsoft was influenced by some of Apple’s best features.
Here are 5 plays Microsoft stole from Apple’s playbook:
One year ago we were given some insight into which hard drives last the longest thanks to Backblaze media’s analysis of the tens of thousands of hard drives in their data center. The company uses regular consumer-grade hard drives due to the cheaper costs to power their unlimited storage offerings for customers, and this year they’re back with a new study revealing which 4TB hard drives are too big to fail.
After spinning 41,213 disk drives in its data center, Backblaze crunched the numbers at the end of 2014 to find that if want a hard drive with the lowest failure rate possible, go with an HGST drive.
Steve Jobs shunned trips to Washington, D.C., during his tenure as Apple CEO, but Tim Cook has been a frequent visitor to Capitol Hill to personally amp up Apple’s lobbying efforts, which have more than doubled since 2009.
A new report from OpenSecrets today revealed that Apple lobbied the White House, Congress and 13 departments and agencies including the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission in 2014. In 2009, Apple lobbied only Congress and six agencies and only spent $1.5 million compared to the nearly $3 million it spent from January to October 2014.