(You're reading all posts by 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.
About Leander Kahney
Happy holidays everyone, however you celebrate it: Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, kickin’ Kwanzaa and a tipsy New Year!
We trust you’re in the company of family and friends, stuffing your faces and giving and receiving in the best spirit of the holidays.
I’ve had mixed results with them, and none have became indispensable. The Microsoft Band, on the other hand, is rapidly becoming a fixture on my wrist. It’s a great omen for the Apple Watch, which is due in early 2015. The Apple Watch will be like the Microsoft Band on steroids, and if it works as well, it’s going to be awesome.
What do you get for the Apple nut in your life? You know the type. They live and breathe Apple — but they already have every Apple product under the sun. Plus all the accessories.
iPod? Got it. iPhone wallet case? Got it. Steve Jobs bobblehead? Got it.
Well, I’ll bet a testicle they don’t have some of this stuff.
Gay rights are the civil rights issue of our time, whether in the marriage chapel, the emergency room or the workplace.
That’s why Apple CEO Tim Cook’s decision to proclaim he is “proud to be gay” in a powerful personal essay is an important and truly historic act.
Pity Jony Ive. The poor bastard just can’t catch a break.
Ive and his design team at Apple have just released a pair of exquisite iPads — the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 — and yet are getting grief because the iPads offer nothing “new.”
“New” being things like face-tracking cameras, heart-rate monitors or — god forbid — a stylus. These are the kinds of things that get called “innovation.”
Instead, the new iPads look a lot like last year’s models, and those from every year before. This makes many tech reviewers yawn.
“Largely unnecessary,” says The New York Times’ lukewarm review. “More of the same,” writes Business Insider. “You might think I’d be pretty excited about them — but I’m not,” says Walt Mossberg at Re/Code.
Indeed, instead of adding new hardware features, Ive’s team has even removed them. The mute/lock button is gone on the iPad Air 2. Who removes features?
Well, Jony Ive does.
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.
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.”
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.
PALO ALTO, Calif. — Sunday was the third anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death. I drove my family down from San Francisco to Palo Alto to see if anyone had left tributes at his house or the local Apple store, which were scenes of remarkable memorials following his death in 2011.
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.”