(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
My oh my, is Apple getting a lot of hate from professionals reviewers for the new EarPods. Gizmodo calls them “garbage,” and The Wirecutter’s mixed review says they are no better than $10 earphones. But lots of new iPhone 5 users on Twitter today are saying “ftw.”
I actually like them too. Then again, I liked Apple’s old earbuds as well. They were cheap and cheerful. The price to performance ratio was really good.
The new EarPods sound way, way better than the old ones. In fact, to my ears, the new EarPods have more bass than a pair of $160 Tour earbuds from Beats by Dr. Dre, which are marketed for their extra bass boom. And they cost $130 less to boot.
It’s been a rocking year for Tim Cook, his first as Apple’s CEO. Not only did he not fuck up; Apple shipped a bunch of hit products and became the biggest company ever.
He also defused a big crisis in Apple’s Chinese supply chain and has made Apple a little more open and relaxed (just a teeny bit).
Hit the jump for a great timeline of what Apple’s been up to under Tim Cook’s tenure. (Really, it’s a fascinating timeline and was a ton of work.)
MacKeeper is a strange piece of software. There may be no other app as controversial in the Apple world. The application, which performs various janitorial duties on your hard drive, is loathed by a large segment of the Mac community. Check out any blog, site or forum that mentions it, and you’ll find hundreds of furious comments condemning MacKeeper and Zeobit, the company behind it. We discovered this ourselves earlier this month, when we offered a 50%-off deal on MacKeeper. Look at all those furious comments on the post.
The complaints about MacKeeper are all over the shop: It’s a virus. It holds your machine hostage until you pay up. It can’t be completely removed if you decide to delete it. Instead of speeding up your computer, it slows it down. It erases your hard drive, deletes photos, and disappears documents. There are protests about MacKeeper’s annual subscription fees. Zeobit is slammed for seedy marketing tactics. It runs pop-under ads, plants sock-puppet reviews and encourages sleazy affiliate sites, critics say.
But what’s really strange is that MacKeeper has been almost universally praised by professional reviewers. All week I’ve been checking out reviews on the Web and I can’t find a bad one.
We have a source who claims to have seen a prototype Apple high-definition television set in action, indicating that Apple is readying the long-awaited device for market.
According to our source, who has asked to remain strictly anonymous, the Apple HDTV looks like Apple’s current lineup of LED-backlit Cinema Displays but is “much bigger.” It has a built-in iSight camera for making free FaceTime video conference calls. And it has Siri, the iPhone 4S’s voice-activated virtual assistant.
Apple’s iPhone dock looks good, but has a couple of big problems. It doesn’t accommodate cases and it hangs onto your iPhone and won’t let go. The ODOC stand fixes both these issues, and looks great too.
How Steve Jobs Got The NeXT Name From Bill Gates, Got Nelson Mandela To Think Different And Other Tales
Thanks to Ken Segall’s new book about Apple, Insanely Simple, we have heard about how Steve Jobs was willing to dress up as Willy Wonka, and how he felt about the negative reaction to the infamous hockey puck mouse.
Here are three more great anecdotes about Jobs from the book. They include Jobs asking the President to help with Apple’s Think Different campaign, the untold story of how NeXT got its name, and how Jobs almost integrated advertising into Mac OS.
Here’s an exclusive excerpt from a new book about Steve Jobs and Apple by ex-advertising Mad Man, Ken Segall. The book is called Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success, and it’s on sale tomorrow. In the excerpt, we learn about Steve Jobs’s great reaction to criticism of the infamous hockey puck mouse, how he responded quickly to mistakes, and his attitudes toward the “brand bank.”
Whenever Apple launches a major new product, massive billboards usually go up within days. I know this, because my commute along San Francisco’s 101 freeway passes three giant billboards on the way into the city.
Year after year, I’ve seen the ads go up within days of the new product’s launch. Last year, ads for the iPad 2 were posted almost immediately after the device’s introduction by Steve Jobs.
Thing is, those same iPad 2 billboards are still there. Two weeks after the launch of the iPad 3, the billboards along 101 are still advertising the old iPad 2.
It seems to be the same situation across the country. We’ve been talking about this for days, and no one on the Cult of Mac staff has seen a outdoor ad for the new iPad.
What does it mean?
Camping out for a new Apple product is a time-honored tradition. Outsiders think it’s crazy, and even some insiders do — couldn’t you preorder it this year — but waiting for the product is just part of the reason you do it. It’s really about the camaraderie, the friendship, the adventure.
Craig Fox, organizer of the upcoming JailbreakCon, is roughing it on the streets of London outside Apple’s flagship Regent Street Store. Even if you’ve never considered waiting in line for a new Apple product, his account of the experience might just change your mind.
Here’s his report:
It’s all about software.
Watch the video of this morning’s iPad event, and note how Apple’s execs spend more time talking about the apps that the new iPad can run than the new iPad itself.