(You're reading all posts by Leander Kahney) Leander Kahney is the editor and publisher of Cult of Mac, and author of three books about technology culture: Inside Steve’s Brain, the New York Times bestseller about Steve Jobs; 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
With the launch of two new iPhones, Apple’s top designer Jonathan Ive granted very rare back-to-back interviews with USA Today and Bloomberg Businessweek.
Having read everything he’s ever said in preparation for my book about him (due mid-November), I recognized the usual Jony Ive talking points; the striving for simplicity, the importance of caring, and so on.
But there are a couple of paragraphs in the USA Today that especially gave me a strong sense of Deja vu.
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Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner has been welcomed as a “major step forward” by Biometrics expert Philip Smith, whose company pioneered the technology a decade ago.
“It’s a huge milestone in bringing fingerprint-based biometrics to the mainstream,” he said. “I’m thrilled to see this.”
Of course a biometrics would welcome an advance like this. But Touch ID has already set off a firestorm of controversy among privacy advocates who say there could be lots of Big Brother implications, especially following revelations by Der Spiegel Online that the N.S.A. already has the ability to capture photos, GPS data, contacts and texts from iPhones.
Sir Jonathan Ive likes to recycle good ideas, as the Counternotions blog notes with the image above. The “Blue Dalmatian” iMac from 2001 is “separated at birth” from the brand new iPhone 5c.
Likewise, Jony Ive wanted the original iPhone to be a glass-and-metal sandwich with the antenna running around the middle. But his design and engineering teams couldn’t get the electronics to work. Everything was too new and untested. The design was shelved until things could be made to work, and it was reborn four years later as the iPhone 4.
A newly discovered Apple patent reveals how the iPhone’s redesigned Home button will work as a fingerprint scanner.
It’s widely rumored the iPhone 5S will include a fingerprint scanner built into the Home button. But putting a fingerprint scanner into the Home button presents Apple with a problem. The Home button is used as the primary navigation device. Pressing the Home button quits apps and returns the user to the Home screen. If the fingerprint Home button is used as an authentication device, to conduct a secure online purchase say, the user needs to avoid accidentally pressing it. The last thing they want is to quit the browser and be returned to the Home screen.
The solution is a capacitive ring built around the Home button that detects the user’s finger without a button press.
Want proof that Scott Forstall blocked Jony Ive’s vision for iOS? Here’s an early prototype for the iPhone, made in 2005 by Jony Ive’s industrial design lab. On the back it says “iPod” because it was based in the design of the old aluminum iPod Mini. Remember that dinosaur? But check out the icons on screen. Look familiar? The icons on the prototype’s screen look just like iOS 7!
Apple’s Find My iPhone led San Francisco police on a 90MPH car chase last night which ultimately led to the arrest of three suspected armed robbers.
My normally sleepy neighborhood in San Francisco has been plagued recently with a string of violent and scary armed street robberies.
For the last week or so, a gang of violent perps have been robbing people of gadgets like their iPhones at gunpoint. But last night, an iPhone hit them back.
Reviews from Sundance are sharing mixed opinions about the movie, but they all seem to agree that Kutcher portrays Jobs well.
In addition, MakerBot released a printer API and expects third-party software makers to create software for the iPhone and iPad to run its printers.
“I expect we’ll be building the moon base with them,” said Bre Pettis, MakerBot CEO after introducing the Replicator 2X to a scrum of press. “That’s where it’s going.”
It’s the first day of CES, and already visitors are destroying his booth. They keep ripping the display items from their stands. Instead of talking up his company’s new products, Marware’s director of marketing is busy trying to stop CES showgoers from destroying his booth.
One of the new items on display is Marware’s MicroShell Folio, a $35 hard plastic shell with a magnetic cover that doubles as a stand.
It shares the same name as an earlier product, but is a better design. I got a chance to play around with one on the show floor, and thought it was a nice, relatively inexpensive case for the iPad mini.