Why the departure of Apple designer Daniel Coster matters

Daniel Coster, fourth from left, is leaving Apple's vaunted industrial design team.
Daniel Coster, fourth from left, is leaving Apple's vaunted industrial design team.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

The departure of veteran Apple industrial designer Daniel Coster is significant because, like the Mafia, no one ever leaves Jony Ive’s design studio.

Coster, a core member of Apple’s design team for more than 20 years, is perhaps only the third member of Ive’s tight-knit industrial design group to leave in almost two decades. And one of the others died.

What Apple product launches say about Tim Cook’s leadership

Tim Cook Apple March 21 event
Under Tim Cook's leadership, Apple is innovating in a new way.
Photo: Apple

A cynic would call it greenwashing, but the most surprising thing about Tim Cook’s “Loop you in” event was what it said about how he’s running Apple.

When Steve Jobs was around, Apple’s product events were about the products, and little else. Yeah, Jobs would often start with corporate issues, but he usually boasted about how the company was absolutely crushing it.

By contrast, the first 25 minutes of Monday’s event — almost half of the hour-long presentation — focused on things only tangentially related to Apple products. Cook and his lieutenants discussed government snooping, privacy, recycling, the environment, renewable energy, creating platforms for sustaining customers’ health — and even protecting Chinese yaks.

Jobs used to touch on issues like these, but under Cook, they’ve taken center stage. Cook has turned Apple’s product events into showcases for corporate responsibility.

Nyne’s big, bulky speaker is a boombox for the Bluetooth age [Review]

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Nyne's new boombox is the biggest Bluetooth speaker we've ever seen. It's called -- what else? -- the Rock!
Nyne's new boombox is the biggest Bluetooth speaker we've ever seen. It's called -- what else? -- the Rock!
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

As a teenager in the 80s, I love a good boombox. The bigger, the better, like Radio Raheem’s.

That’s why I was keen to check out Nyne’s new Bluetooth Boombox, called — what else — the Rock. It’s the biggest Bluetooth speaker I’ve ever seen, promising to put out 65 watts of raw music power.

But does it rock — or not?

Beefy iPad Pro case is worth its weight in protection [Reviews]

As a working iPad, the Pro needs protection like Gumdrop's DropTech Case for iPad Pro.
As a working iPad, the Pro needs protection like Gumdrop's DropTech Case for iPad Pro.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Lust List: DropTech protective case for Apple iPad Pro by Gumdrop

Apple charges a whopping $599 to repair a broken screen on an iPad Pro. With its 13-inch screen, yeah, the Pro has a lot of glass, but 600 bucks is nearly as much as it costs to buy a new one. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either.

So I’m grateful that my iPad Pro is safely ensconced in the equivalent of a big, rubbery safety blanket. Gumdrop’s DropTech Case looks like a flattened tractor tire, with big ridges on the back for maintaining a grip. It’s not elegant by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m confident it’ll save me a trip to the Genius Bar.

Sony’s pico projector makes a big, bright picture

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Sony's $350 MP-CL1 Pico Projector is small and easy to use.
Sony's $350 MP-CL1 Pico Projector is small and easy to use.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

You should never take a video projector camping — it completely defeats the object of the great outdoors. Unless you have kids. Then it’s handy to beam a movie onto the side of a tent to keep them quiet while you drink.

Perfect for the job is Sony’s $350 MP-CL1 — a small, battery-powered pico projector. Not much bigger than an iPhone 6+, it beams a surprisingly sharp and bright image that belies it’s small size.

Hook it up to your iPhone via a HDMI cable and adapter, and you’re off to the woods.