(You're reading all posts by John Brownlee) John Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.
About John Brownlee
As Black Friday and Cyber Monday come creeping up on us, so do some of the best app deals, as developers slash prices on their software to get us all geared up for the holidays. One of the first great deals of the season is now here: if you love turn-based-strategy and want to help the Earth repel a wave of alien invaders, XCOM: Enemy Unknown has dropped to just $9.99.
Reeder 2– the best RSS reader on iOS — is getting a beefy new update soon, hopefully in time for holidays. The app’s developer has just submitted an update to Apple for approval that adds some big new features — including themes, Safari Reading List support, and more — as well as tweaked features and a load of bug fixes.
Here’s what you can expect when Reeder 2.1 hits the App Store.
Few companies are better at keeping their games updated than Rovio, who’ve released more updates for its Angry Birds games than one can count. Add another grain of sand to the beaches of infinity, then, because the bird-vs.-pig physics strategy game has just gotten a new update, adding 30 levels to the core game as well as giving the bomb bird a new electric power.
One of our favorite toys here at Cult of Mac is the the Lytro, a bizarre and radically cool digital camera that allows you to refocus your images after you snap them. The Lytro is fairly big — it’s about the size of a small flashlight — and the pictures it outputs are pathetically low-resolution by modern smartphone standards, but the promise is obvious: with the Lytro, you might never take a bad photo again.
The Lytro’s so incredible that before he died Steve Jobs reportedly wanted to put its light field technology into the iPhone. Today, Apple has patented a method of doing just that.
Who sells the most iPhones of them all? It’s not a carrier or a third party: it’s Apple itself. In fact, the Cupertino company sells 25% of all American iPhone sales, combined. Even more staggering, though, is that Apple sells one in ten smartphones, too.
Back in 2010, Apple was seemingly randomly sued by an eccentric 70-year-old crank who claimed to have “come up with the idea” of the smartphone. That lawsuit has now come to trial, and the crank has lost, but what’s confusing is how torn the jury seems to have been by the decision, even going so far as to call the alleged smartphone creator a “little guy” crushed by big business.
In 1983, Electronic Arts released M.U.L.E., a seminal title in the history of gaming that not only was one of the first real-time strategy titles, but also one of the first multiplayer games. It’s a game that has been widely hailed for decades by gaming enthusiasts, but has never seen an official update… until now, as M.U.L.E. Returns has hit the iOS App Store.
Following up on the successful release of Final Fantasy IV on iOS back in 2012, publisher Square-Enix is following it up with a sequel, which follows up on the characters and events of that game twenty years later. It’s called Final Fantasy IV: The After Years and it’s available now on the App Store.
Instagram does photos on mobile better than anyone else. They also recently added video to that mix, but it doesn’t look like Instagram is going to stop there: rumor has it they are getting into messaging next as well.
When you look at iOS, you’re looking at a user interface more than an operating system. Beneath the animations, transparencies and rounded-corner icons is the core of the operating system… basically, a bunch of ASCII text, similar to a Terminal window, that is what iOS looks like before it puts its face on.
In a rather interesting twitch, Winocm — one of the hackers behind the iH8Snow iOS 6.1.3/6.1.4 jailbreak — has managed to get iOS’s core running on a Nokia n900 smartphone.