(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.

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Jonathan Ive: iPad Mini Is a “Concentration Not a Reduction” [Video]

Why is the iPad mini $329 instead of $200? In the promo video above, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, the venerable Sir Jonathan Ive, gives an implicit explanation. The iPad Mini is not a reduced iPad, he says, but a concentrated one.

Here’s his rationale:

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First Impressions and Hands-On With the iPad Mini

First Impressions and Hands-On With the iPad Mini
The iPad mini is amazingly thin and light but not at all undersized. That’s the first impressions of reporters at Apple’s press event.

Reporters got their their first look at the iPad mini this morning, and the results are trickling in. Most emphasize how light and thin it is, and the quality of the build. And while it’s smaller than a regular iPad, it’s by no means tiny.

Here’s a sample of reporters’ first impressions:

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Bigger, Better Front-Facing Camera Coming to iPad? [Rumor]

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Pictures of a new and improved front-facing camera have emerged, but whether it’s for the iPad 3 or a future model is unclear.

BGR has posted photos purporting to be a new display assembly for the iPad. It features a bigger opening for the front-facing camera, suggesting a HD camera is coming.

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In Defense of Apple’s Awesome Maps App [Opinion]

In Defense of Apple’s Awesome Maps App [Opinion]

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.

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The 2012 iPod Touch: A Great Pocket Computer For Kids [Review]

The 2012 iPod Touch: A Great Pocket Computer For Kids [Review]

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?

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Ad vs. Ad, Who Is Winning The Apple-Samsung Playoffs [Opinion]

Ad vs. Ad, Who Is Winning The Apple-Samsung Playoffs [Opinion]

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.

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Do Not Adjust Your Set: We’ve Gone Retina!

Do Not Adjust Your Set: We’ve Gone Retina!

We’ve updated the Cult of Mac website for Apple’s latest devices with high-resolution Retina displays.

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.

Do Not Adjust Your Set: We’ve Gone Retina!

The Cult of Mac logo on non-Retina devices (left) and on new Retina machines like the latest iPad and MacBook Pro (right).

Hit the jump for some of the geeky details:

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Steve Wozniak In Australia = Upside Down Email Icon [Woz In Oz]

Steve Wozniak In Australia = Upside Down Email Icon [Woz In Oz]

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.

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How To Make Your Own iPhone 5 Dock, By Casey Neistat

How To Make Your Own iPhone 5 Dock, By Casey Neistat

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.

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iPhone 5’s New EarPods Have More Bass Than Dre’s Beats Earbuds [First Impressions]

iPhone 5’s New EarPods Have More Bass Than Dre’s Beats Earbuds [First Impressions]

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.

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