(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.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)

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.

Read the rest of this post »

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

Dave_Rahimi

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.

Read the rest of this post »

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.

Read the rest of this post »

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.

Read the rest of this post »

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.

Read the rest of this post »

Why the iPhone 6 looks like the best phone ever

I suspect could well be the iPhone 6 is the best phone ever made. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web.

I suspect could well be the iPhone 6 is the best phone ever made. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

CUPERTINO, Calif. — The iPhone 6 is about the only phone that can make your iPhone 5 look fat and schlumpy.

The first thing you notice when you get your hands on one is that the iPhone 6 is pleasing to the touch: The aluminum feels great, the screen is big, bright and beautiful. This is the total package, possibly the best smartphone ever made, and definitely the best in class. I’m not ashamed to say I tried to sneak out of Apple’s demo tent with one.

Read the rest of this post »

Once you get your hands on the Apple Watch, you’ll never let it go

Trust me, you'll want one. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Trust me, you’ll want one. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

CUPERTINO, Calif. — The Apple Watch doesn’t look like it comes from some distant future, where cars drive themselves and we never have to go through airport security again. Instead, it’s clearly the best smartwatch Apple could design based on knowledge gleaned from today’s experts — including those in arcane arts like metallurgy and horology.

And you will absolutely want one.

It may not look like it yet, but after trying out the Apple Watch, I’m convinced it will become an essential piece of kit – as important as your iPhone.

Read the rest of this post »

Shatterproof and water-resistant? Full iPhone 6 spec list contains surprises

iphone 6 back cover (1)

Bad news for anyone in the cellphone repair business!

A full list of the iPhone 6 specs we’ve received from a source in China says not only is the iPhone 6 water-resistant but that the screen is shatterproof.

Not “scratch-resistant” or even “scratch-proof,” but “shatter proof,” which suggests the new iPhone is nearly indestructible and could put a few repair shops out of business.

As far as we can tell, the spec list below is the most comprehensive list of features published to date.

Read the rest of this post »

Apple takes security to highest level for Sept. 9 event

CUPERTINO, California -- What's inside the mystery building Apple is fabricating for its big September 9 event?

Apple is taking security for its big Sept. 9 event to a new level. Phones are being searched, cameras are covered in special tape and everyone is “super-paranoid.” Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

With less than 24 hours to go, security precautions for Apple’s big press event Tuesday have been taken to unprecedented levels.

Apple has wired the entire event auditorium — the Flint Center for the Performing Arts — with a brand new, state-of-the-art security system to lock down access and prevent leaks.

The auditorium is crawling with 24-hour security personnel. Anyone working at the massive show, from caterers to construction staff and technicians, is required to submit their phones to Apple’s security team. The phones’ cameras are being covered in special tamper-proof tape, which changes color if removal is attempted.

“If it changes color, we’ll be fired on the spot,” said one person who is working at the show but asked to remain anonymous.

Read the rest of this post »