(You're reading all posts by Leander Kahney)

About Leander Kahney

Leander Kahney Leander Kahney is the editor and publisher of Cult of Mac. He is the NYT bestselling author of Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products; Inside Steve’s Brain; Cult of Mac; and Cult of iPod. Leander has written for Wired, MacWeek, Scientific American, and The Guardian in London. Follow Leander on Twitter @lkahney and Facebook.

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Why Apple Pay is the future

Apple Pay. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

About to test Apple Pay at the local Walgreens. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Critics are fond of saying Apple doesn’t innovate any more. But Apple’s new electronic payment system, Apple Pay, is innovation of the highest order. After a relatively smooth rollout this week, I honestly believe Apple Pay is the future of payments.

Even so, Apple Pay must clear some big hurdles if it’s to become the universal standard. For now, it’s limited to Apple’s latest iPhones and a relatively small number of retail partners, but the basic system — using your fingerprint to validate a purchase on your mobile phone — is the way we will pay for goods and services in the future.

Once again, Apple has shown the world how things should be done.

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Everything you need to know about the new Mac mini

macmini-price

After two long years sitting on the bench, Apple finally updated the humble Mac mini with faster processors, faster Wi-Fi and much better graphics. It also gets a modest price drop, now starting at a reasonable $499 — although you could probably buy two low-end Windows PCs for the same price.

However, the mini is a Macintosh, running OS X Yosemite, and not stinky Windows. It makes for a great media center PC or a starter machine. In fact, everyone here at the Cult of Mac offices is talking about buying one to put under their TV.

“People love Mac mini,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s head of marketing said in a statement. “It’s a great first Mac or addition to your home network, and the new Mac mini is a nice upgrade packed into an incredibly compact design.”

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iPhone prototype seller can’t wait for Apple to squash $100K eBay auction

Photo: kimberlyk1018

The auction for this prototype iPhone 6 is going crazy on eBay. Photo: kimberlyk1018/eBay

As a prototype iPhone 6 on eBay shoots above $100,000, the seller is just dying to hear from Apple.

Although the company might cancel the auction, as it has done with several secret prototypes in the past, the seller is such an Apple fan that he’s more excited about hearing from Cupertino than collecting $100,000.

“I don’t think the bids are real at this point,” the seller told Cult of Mac. “I’m excited about Apple getting in touch because I have loved their company for so long and this is just such an amazing opportunity.”

The seller’s name is Alex. He’s 24, lives in Los Angeles, and works in sales and marketing. He unintentionally purchased the prototype iPhone for his mother.

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iFixit’s CEO on iPhone 6 and ‘Bendgate’ — bend it back yourself

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iFixit’s CEO Kyle Wiens is ready to bend your iPhone back into shape. Photo courtesy iFixit

Kyle Wiens has seen the insides of just about every gadget under the sun, and he’s not surprised that the iPhone 6 Plus is susceptible to bending.

Wiens is CEO of iFixit, which is famous for its insightful teardowns of Apple products, and he says there’s nothing wrong with the design of the iPhone 6 Plus.

It’s long and thin. Duh — it’ll bend.

“I’m not surprised that it’s happening,” he told Cult of Mac in an email. “It’s thinner than other phones and metal bends.”

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Review: Smaller iPhone 6 proves bigger isn’t always better

iPhone 6 Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 6 is as good as gold. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

My first impression? My goodness, this is the small one?

The iPhone 6 is a big step up. It makes older iPhones look small. Ridiculously small. Even after a few days, my old iPhone 5s feels positively Lilliputian. The 6 dwarfs the 5s, which felt big and expansive at the time. Now it looks like a little dolls’ phone.

I’ve been really digging the 6. It’s a big bright slab of glass and metal. It feels impossibly thin, almost like an oversize credit card in your hand. But it’s solid and stiff — it’s not going to snap in my back pocket if I sit on it.

The 6 is not a gob-smacker like the 6 Plus, which stops people in the street. But it’s more manageable, especially with one hand.

I’m a big fan. I like it a lot, except for one design flaw that’s been driving me crazy.

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The clever way this guy got the first iPhone 6 in the world

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Dave Rahimi scored the first two iPhone 6s in the world. Photo: ARN

UPDATED: We got some comments from Dave Rahimi in Sydney. Blogger Dave Rahimi figured out a clever way to be the first person in the world to buy an iPhone 6.

Rahimi and his girlfriend, Jasmine Juan, flew thousands of miles from California to Sydney, Australia, to purchase the first two iPhone 6s to go on sale worldwide.

The couple just emerged from the Apple Store in Sydney, which was mobbed by a monster crowd of about 2,500 people. Some had camped outside the store for more than a week.

But Rahimi and Juan avoided the crowds and more or less walked right into the store.

Here’s how they did it.

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An illustrated history of the iPod and its massive impact

An illustrated history of the iPod and its massive impact

Editor’s note: The iPod has enjoyed a good long run as one of the world’s most revolutionary music machines, but the time has come to bid adieu to the click-wheeled wonder.

Apple quietly removed the iPod Classic from its website this week, so now is the perfect time to wax nostalgic. Cult of Mac is republishing this illustrated history of the iPod — put together to celebrate the device’s 10th anniversary, and originally published on Oct. 22, 2011 — to mark this solemn occasion.

An Illustrated History of the iPod

An illustrated history of the iPod and its massive impactThe iPod grew out of Steve Jobs’ digital hub strategy. Life was going digital. People were plugging all kinds of devices into their computers: digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 players. The computer was the central device, the “digital hub,” that could be used to edit photos and movies or manage a large music library. Jobs tasked Apple’s programmers with making software for editing photos, movies and managing digital music. While they were doing this, they discovered that all the early MP3 players were horrible. Jobs asked his top hardware guy, Jon Rubinstein, to see if Apple could do better.

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Did Tim Cook deliver? CoM says ‘Heck yeah’ on CNBC

Did Tim Cook deliver? CoM says ‘Heck yeah’ on CNBC

There are a lot of Apple skeptics out there. CNBC thinks the new iPhone 6 models are nothing special, and dis the Apple Watch because it doesn’t work with Android. Watch Cult of Mac editor and publisher Leander Kahney set them straight in the video above. See also our report card for Tim Cook’s first three years as CEO.

Here’s the first group picture of Apple’s new Industrial Design team

Apple's Industrial Design team is spotted after the Apple Watch unveiling. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple’s Industrial Design team is spotted after the Apple Watch unveiling. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

CUPERTINO, Calif. — This is the first group photo of Apple’s new Industrial Design team — the men and women behind the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and a long string of other hit products.

The group is super-secretive and rarely appears in public together. In fact, they’ve only been pictured once before. This picture was taken at the end of Tuesday’s launch event, when many of the journalists had been ushered out. In the middle is Jony Ive and the team’s latest and highest-profile hire, star designer Marc Newson.

The Industrial Design team is Apple’s idea factory. This is where Apple’s innovation comes from. They design and develop all of Apple’s products, and many of them were working at Apple before Steve Jobs returned in 1997.

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Clever trick will safeguard Apple Watch from thieves

A special sensor on the back uses infrared, visible-light LEDs and photodiodes to detect whether you are wearing the watch or not. This will also be used to secure the device against fraud. Photo: Robert Baldwin/The Next Web

A special sensor on the back of the Apple Watch uses infrared, visible-light LEDs and photodiodes to detect your heart rate. Photo: Robert Baldwin/The Next Web

CUPERTINO, Calif. — One of the big questions about the Apple Watch is how Apple will prevent thieves from ripping it off your wrist and using it to clear your bank account.

Because the Apple Watch is connected to Apple Pay — making purchases as easy as a quick swipe — what’s to stop miscreants from abusing it?

The answer wasn’t addressed at Tuesday’s unveiling, but an Apple staffer at the hands-on demo told me how the watch will be protected against fraud.

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