(You're reading all posts by Buster Hein) Buster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.
About Buster Hein
Dong Ngyugen’s highly anticipated follow-up to Flappy Bird finally landed on iOS last week, but after months of waiting for an addictive new 8-bit game, fans found Swing Copters to be Ngyugen’s most impossible game yet.
To make Swing Copters slightly less impossible and a few degrees more enjoyable, Ngyugen released an update this morning, tweaking the gameplay so that your little copter is able to make a few more corrections before flying through the diabolical maze of swinging hammers and propeller-annihilating green steel bars.
In today’s Cult of Mac TV video we go hands-on with the Swing Copters update that certainly doesn’t make the game easy, but does manage to put the gameplay on par with Flappy Bird’s addictiveness.
Check out the Cult of Mac TV hands-on review below:
Apple is still reliant on Samsung for many of the iPhone’s internal components, including the fabrication of its almighty A-series processors, but in an effort to secure more processor orders from Apple, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is already ahead of schedule with production of the next-generation A9 processor.
Picks of the week...
So you don't have to slog through a lake of reviews to find something you’re just going to put down after 10 minutes, Cult of Mac has waded through the iTunes Store to compile a list of the best new books, movies and music to come out this week.
This week we’ve been treated to an early release of Captain America the Winter Solider. We’ve also found some funky New Orleans rock for your earbuds, and a book about women soldiers that will change your outlook on the American war machine.
The Magician’s Land, by Lev Grossman
What it’s about: Outcast magician Quentin Coldwater returns to the magical college of Brakebills in search of a way to return to the magical realm of Fillory that he once ruled.
Why you should read it: It’s the final book in the Magician’s trilogy by Lev Grossman which has been dubbed as one of the best fantasy series in modern times.
iTunes - $11.99
The Zero Theorem
What it’s about: A mad genius computer hacker whose life goal is to discover the real reason for human existence.
Why you should watch it: The zany futuristic thriller packs an all-star cast of Matt Damon, Tilda Swinton, and Christoph Waltz, who gives his best crazy man performance since Django Unchained.
iTunes - $9.99
Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
What it sounds like: Vintage doom-metal.
Why you should listen to it: It’s got everything metal fans and non-metal fans could want: screaming vocals,catchy riffs, honey sweet hooks, bell chimes, and a psychedlic swagger that might just knock Mastodon off its perch as the best cross-over metal band.
iTunes - $8.99
Dear Committee Members, by Julie Schumacher
What it’s about: A down-on-his-luck college professor who can’t catch a break and uses letters of recommendations to divulge some of the most intimate moments of his life with uncomfortable honesty.
Why you should read it: The unique format of advancing the plot through recommendation letters will keep you laughing, thanks to the verbose but sympathetic voice Schumacher crafts for Professor Fitger.
iTunes - $11.99
Solider Girls, by Helen Thorpe
What it’s about: Three women deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and how it affected their friendship, personal lives and family.
Why you should read it: America has been at war since 2001. With a sizable percentage of that military force being women, Solider Girls highlights the huge roles women play in the military, and the how profoundly the service changes their lives and ours.
iTunes - $12.99
The King of Comedy
What it’s about: After failing to get on a popular talk show, Robert De Niro’s needy, wannabe comedian character (Rupert Pupkin) will go to any length to regain the spotlight. Even kidnap himself if that’s what it takes.
Why you should watch it: It’s not new, but it's the one Martin Scorsese movie you’ve probably never watched, even though it’s one of his deepest darkest movies.
iTunes - $3.99
Captain America 2: Winter Soldier
What it’s about: Coming off the high of saving New York City from an alien invasion in The Avengers, Captain Steve Rogers takes on an assassin with a bionic arm (the Winter Soldier), while also investigating Hydra’s deep link to S.H.I.E.L.D.
Why you should watch it: The action packed Steve Rogers and Scarlett Johansson scenes are truly popcorn-worthy, but it’s Anthony Mackie and his role as Falcon that will keep you entertain throughout the whole movie.
iTunes - $19.99
Wiz Khalifa - Blacc Hollywood
What it sounds like: Another Wiz album rapping about the fast life, women, and the love of his life: dank weed.
Why you should listen to it: Wiz Khalifa seems to have peaked with his third album, and while Blacc Hollywood doesn’t push the envelope creatively, it’s pretty much the best new hip-hop album you’re going to find this week.
iTunes - $12.99
Pretty much everyone already knows that the iPhone 6 is coming out next month, but one of Apple’s carrier partners in China just couldn’t hold onto the secret anymore, and announced to customers on Weibo that it will sell an unlocked iPhone 6.
The ad was quickly deleted, however, it did reveal that Apple plans to release a single version of the iPhone 6 that supports all the wireless networks in the China for the first time ever.
Apple has added 16 new countries and regions to the App Store’s Volume Purchasing Program today that allows businesses and schools to purchase mass quantities of a single app in just one purchase, and distribute it among multiple students or employees.
The list of new countries joining the program include Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, and the UAE.
The addition of the new countries was announced by the App Store team via the following email:
Apple’s expected to announce its first foray into wearables this October, but a new report out of China is adding to fanboy fears that the iWatch launch won’t take place until 2015, with claims that suppliers won’t even start delivering components until September at the earliest.
And then it’s going to take months just to assemble a few million units.
Foxconn factory employees have leaked the complete dimensions of the iPhone 6, according to iGen.fr, which posted photos of what appears to be Foxconn’s internal software listing the full dimensions for both the 5.5-inch and 4.7-inch iPhone 6.
The two new phones, code named N56 and N61, are expected to be announced next month, and if the leaked specs are right, not only will the 5.5-inch iPhone have more screen than your iPhone 5s, it will also be 60% heavier.
Apple is expected to reveal the iPhone in nearly three weeks, but according to a Reuters report, production has hit a snag, sending suppliers scrambling to get enough parts in time, thanks to a last minute design change.
To make the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 thinner than ever, Apple planned to shrink the backlight assembly by using a single layer of film — instead of the two used on the iPhone 5s display — but after running into some last minute problems with production, Apple decided to redesign the key component.
A hot stew of Apple rumors has been boiling all week…
The iPhone 6’s official unveiling is less than a month away, and even though we pretty much know what it’s going to look like, the rumor mill hasn’t let up on new details that could make their way into the iPhone 6.
Once again, we’re donning our finest gypsy apparel and stepping behind the crystal ball to divine the truth behind this week’s most plausible and impossible rumors to see if NFC really is coming to the iPhone, whether the iPad Air 2 will get a RAM upgrade, and if it’s true that iWatch is too hopelessly behind to launch in 2014.
Come stare into our crystal ball to see past the rumors and into the future…
Partially assembled iPhone 6
The Rumor: This partially assembled iPhone 6 is the best glimpse we’ve seen of the new device.
The Verdict: True. Feld and Volk shared images of an assembled front panel and rear shell this week that show pretty much exactly what Tim Cook will announce next month: a curvy iPhone with big display, recessed volume buttons, tweaked speaker holes, and a sapphire glass display.
iPad Air 2 gets 2GB of RAM
The Rumor: iPad Air 2 will get double the RAM.
The Verdict: True. The iPad Mini got a bump up to 1GB of RAM last year, putting it on par with the iPad Air 2, but 2014 will be the year the iPad Air gets bumped up to 2GB of RAM. And for good reasons too, as Apple needs all the power it can get to run the split-screen multitasking feature it stripped out of iOS 8.
iPhone 6 gets beefed up storage
The Rumor: The iPhone 6 will get up to 128GB of storage.
The Verdict: Believe it. Leaked schematics point to this being the year that Apple beefs up physical storage on the iPhone, and with NAND Flash modules being so cheap, adding a lot extra storage is the least Apple can do this year if sapphire displays are delayed until 2015.
5.5-inch rear shell leaks
The Rumor: These are photos of the 5.5-inch iPhone’s rear shell.
The Verdict: Finally. We’ve been inundated with leaked parts for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 all summer, but BestTechInfo got their hands on the first 5.5-inch shell we’ve seen. It looks like it’s now safe again to believe the iPhablet will land in 2014.
50% faster LTE speeds coming this fall
The Rumor: iPhone 6 will use Qualcomm’s MDM9625 for 50% LTE speeds.
The Verdict: Most likely. The guys at GeekBar claim the iPhone 6 won’t support LTE Category 6 like previous rumors suggested, but it will still get an LTE speed boost, topping out at 150Mbps, instead of the super-fast 300Mbps some fans were hoping for.
iWatch is too far behind schedule
The Rumor: iWatch is running too late for a 2014 launch
The Verdict: Too early to tell. Ming-Chi Kuo reiterated his position that the iWatch won’t land this year because it represents a much higher level of difficulty for component and system design. Apple could launch it at the beginning of 2015, but there’s no way they’ll miss out on a massive holiday shopping season, even if it means launching the iWatch with limited supplies for the first few months.
Lightning cables with a reversible USB port?
The Rumor: Lightning cables are about to get a reversible USB end too.
The Verdict: Definitely, and they may even be ready in time for the iPhone 6. The new USB Type-C standard imitates Lightning with a reversible plug, but Apple’s found a way to make USB Type-A cables reversible too by simply removing a buffer section.
NFC rumors won't die
The Rumor: Leaked schematics reveal NFC support really is coming to the iPhone 6.
The Verdict:INCONCEIVABLE! The NFC rumors just won’t die this year. You’re telling me Apple could have added an NFC chip to any iPhone over the last four years, but for some reason they’ve decided to wait until the end of 2014, when NFC has been practically forgotten by consumers?
It sounds slightly crazy, but there’s been so much evidence pointing to its inclusion in the iPhone 6, that even I am pretty much convinced it’s coming. If Apple is rolling out a new mobile payments system, NFC could be the star player.
Apple is nearly ready to become the go-to place for healthcare providers to get all your personal fitness data, and along with meeting with hospitals to talk about the benefits of HealthKit, Apple has been talking to the countries biggest health insurance providers about partnering with its health initiatives.