(You're reading all posts by John Brownlee) John Brownlee is Cult of Mac's Deputy 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
Mobileaks says the above render comes from a tipster who has seen the iPad mini 2 with Retina display. We’re not so convinced.
Apple’s got to keep the ever-mounting demands on its Siri servers down somehow, so here’s a new one. If you ask her something too long, Siri will respond with trite quotes upon the power of brevity, such as this one by William Strunk of Strunk & White fame:
A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
Of course, it’s not up to a voice-recognition program to dictate what is an unnnecessary word or sentence, any more than it is up to a pencil which line in a drawing is “unnecessary”, or an engine schematic which part isn’t needed.
But here’s something ironic! Take that exact quote above by Strunk and modify it into a question. “Siri, should a sentence contain any unnecessary words, or a paragraph any unnecessary sentences, for the same reasons that a drawing should not have any unnecessary lines or a machine any unnecessary parts?” And guess what! Siri will accuse Strunk of being long-winded. Take that Elements of Style!
- Source iLounge
Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield Recorded ‘Space Oddity’ Using GarageBand On His iPad! [Updated]
By now, you’ve probably see Commander Chris Hadfield’s tear-jerking farewell to the International Space Station: a cover of David Bowie’s classic space song, Space Oddity, filmed and performed by Hadfield himself in zero-g. In case you haven’t, we’ve embedded it above: it’s hard not to be proud of humanity after watching it.
But do you know how Hadfield actually recorded it? With his iPad, of course.
Jefferies & Co.’s Peter Misek is our favorite know-nothing analyst, having been proven hysterically, horribly wrong on about every major Apple prediction he’s ever made. He’s probably safe on this prediction, though: even Misek doesn’t think Apple’s going to surprise us with a new iPhone in June. But he’s still kind of an idiot, since it directly contradicts his own prophecies back in December.
What would a budget or mid-range iPhone mini look like with a radical new vision of iOS 7 installed on it, fronted by that skeuomorph-hating design perfectionist, Jony Ive?
Martin Hajek — one of the most talented Apple concept designers around — wanted to know, so he created a new budget iPhone concept that features bighter colors, a smaller screen, and a plastic backshell inspired by the iPad mini, then “installed” Dámaso Benítez’ “really nice concept” of how Jony Ive might flatten iOS 7.
On my part, I seriously doubt iOS 7 will look anything like this: Ive’s sense of design sophistication is not going to have him making app icons that look as if they would be right at home in a preschoolers sticker book. But it’s a nice concept none the less.
Some more images after the break to wet your whistle.
If you’re a Daft Punk fan who can’t wait to hear the random access beats of their latest album, Random Access Memories, it’s now streamingfree and live on iTunes here on a computer or iPad. You can also preorder the entire album for $11.99.
I’ve got to say, between this and David Bowie’s latest album, I’m liking this streaming trend Apple’s started.
- Source iTunes
Todd McLellan is an artist whose forte is taking things apart and arranging them neatly, peeling back the layers of an everday object and allowing you to see the shocking mechanical complexity within. He’s like one part Andy Warhol, one part .
This is McLellan’s dissection of a Macintosh Classic, every single piece separated from one another and neatly laid out for your examination. It’s part of his Things Come Apart series, in which “fifty design classics—arranged first by size and then by intricacy—are beautifully displayed, piece by piece, exploding in midair and dissected in real-time, frame-by-frame video stills.” You can see more of McLellan’s work here.
In addition, McLellan has a book coming out at the end of the month called Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living. The cover art for the book is actually the striking image above. If you want it, you can preorder it online from Amazon.
- Source Todd McLellan
Steve & Steve, an online graphic novel being undertaken by Patrick Sean Farley, has got to be the trippiest thing you’ll ever read about the friendship between Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, in their early HP/Atari days.
How trippy? Well, in the graphic novel, Steve & Steve drop acid in a strange geodesic dome in the middle of the woods, where they begin to debate the origins of technology, Steve Jobs called Arthur C. Clarke a degenerate, Wozniak eludes to a strange criminal past and fantasizes about kissing a girl in his chess club. Then, a Russian nuclear weapon is fired straight at Silicon Valley… or is it?
And that’s just the prologue. It’s beautifully illustrated and written, with some incredible typography. We’ve included a few panels after the jump, but check out the official Steve & Steve site for more. This is already shaping up to be the best Steve Jobs comic we’ve ever seen.
There’s a lot of talk about Apple going back to plastic for the budget iPhone, and while we’ve already seen some very attractive ideas about what that could look like, concept designer Ran Avni has another notion: an iPhone 6 that keeps the stark classicism of the current monotone iPhone color schemes, but adopts a plastic back which borrows design elements from the iPad mini. It’s an interesting look, and very Apple-like, but only time will tell how close this is to what Apple actually delivers.
It seems crazy that iOS is six years old now, and Apple still hasn’t introduced a way to trial apps before buying them. Apple’s motivations in this aren’t clear — are they concerned that trialing apps will give users less incentive to buy them, and therefore make it less likely for Apple to get a 30% cut? — but it seems obvious to me that trial versions of apps would ultimately be a boon to the platform, allowing app developers to command higher prices on apps than they currently can.
How would such a system be implemented, though? iOS and Mac developer Amy Worral has some really smart ideas. And the best thing of all, they’re simple for Apple to implement.