(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
Apple’s Maps app is a bomb. A stinker. A sign of the company’s impending doom at the hands of Tim Cook, the CEO who replaced the irreplaceable Steve Jobs.
Landmarks are in the wrong place. Roads are missing. The 3D Flyover view looks like a collapsed sponge cake. There are no directions for buses, bikes or pedestrians. Entire cities are marked as hospitals, the Golden Gate Bridge is in the wrong place, and even Apple’s own retail stores can’t be found. It’s such an embarrasment, Tim Cook apologized for its suckiness.
But if you live in San Francisco, the Maps app rocks. I’ve been using Maps for weeks and I’ve fallen in love with it. I use it even if I’m *not* using it, just to watch the gorgeous 3D display unfold as I’m driving around.
Apple’s Maps app is by far the best maps sofware around. Tim Cook is a wussy. You’d love Maps too — if you lived in a geography where it works.
The first thing you notice about the 2012 fifth-generation iPod touch is how beautifully it’s made. Crazy thin, ridiculously light, yet sturdy as a slab of slate.
The fit and finish are extraordinary. There are no seams, screws, gaps, cracks or openings. It’s literally seamless. The buttons look like they’re part of the iPod’s case, not nubbins that poke through. Who makes stuff this good? Oh yeah, Apple.
Other reviews have complained about the price (it starts at $300) and some reviewers seem unimpressed by the touch. Who is it for, they wonder? Especially if you already have an iPhone.
Well, it’s for the kids. It’s a kids’ computer. Their first computer, if you like. It’s a relatively cheap, highly portable, extremely capable little handheld computer for children. It plays games, music and movies; surfs the net; communicates via text and Facebook; and hosts a bazillion apps for entertainment or homework. It also displays e-books, though let’s be honest: reading is the last thing it’ll be used for.
But $300 is a lot of money to spend on a kid. Is it worth it?
This is a guest post by Ken Segall, a Silicon Valley advertising executive who worked closely with Steve Jobs. Among other things, Segall put that little “i” in front of the iMac and helped develop Apple’s famous Think Different ad campaign. Segall is author of Insanely Simple, a very readable insightful account of what makes Apple tick.
Last time Apple went heavy on advertising in a sporting event, it didn’t exactly end well.
But let us not speak of the Genius anymore. All traces of that campaign have been hidden from our sight.
Now the baseball playoffs are here. And once again, Apple has made a very expensive media buy. This time, it’s blanketing the games with the new iPhone 5 ads.
But look. Someone else has moved into the neighborhood. Samsung showed up for the playoffs with equal force, in the form of its Galaxy S III ads. You know — the ones that make fun of the lost souls who line up to buy an iPhone, when they could just as easily have a much cooler Samsung phone.
If you’re reading this website on a new iPad or MacBook Pro with a Retina display, you may have noticed how crisp the logo is. Go on; take a good look. Zoom in with your fingers. Also check out the navigation bar, and the graphics for Reviews, Tips and How-Tos. See how clear and crisp they are?
That’s because we’ve upgraded the site to Retina — Apple’s marketing term for screens that are so dense with pixels, they’re practically invisible.
We think it looks really sharp. And next week, we’ll be giving the mobile site a complete overhaul to make it pretty for the iPhone 5.
Here’s what the site looks like on Retina and non-Retina devices.
Hit the jump for some of the geeky details:
Following reports that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is planning to move to Australia – a county which, as everybody knows, is located on the underbelly of the Earth and consequently has had its gravity reversed, resulting in a native race which walks around upside down — we’ve discovered that he’s already fitting in by using a topsy turvy icon and name text in his emails.
While you’re waiting for new docks for the iPhone 5 to come on the market, why not make your own? NYC filmmaker Casey Neistat (of iPod “dirty secret” battery fame; remember that?) shows you how. It’s perhaps the ugliest dock ever, but it works!
Don’t miss the video after the jump. Neistat always makes a good movie.
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.