Why the departure of Apple designer Daniel Coster matters

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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.

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What Apple product launches say about Tim Cook’s leadership

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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.

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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?

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

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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.

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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.

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Steel Apple Watch bracelet rivals Apple’s, but costs half the price

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Juuk Revo Apple Watch band
Juuk's stainless steel Revo wristband for the Apple Watch is a beauty.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Revo brushed stainless steel Apple Watch bracelet by Juuk

For nearly 20 years, watchmaker Eugene Ho has been making luxury timepieces for the likes of Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Timberland, Ecko and Reebok. Now he’s branched out on his own. His startup, Juuk (pronounced “juke”), makes beautiful, high-end bracelets for Apple Watches.

Juuk’s wristbands rival Cupertino’s aesthetics and quality — but cost half the price.

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CES Day 3: Hoverboards, doggie ‘brain puzzles’ and beer

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This Hoverboard is hot at  CES 2016.
This Hoverboard is hot at CES 2016.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac CES 2016 full coverage LAS VEGAS — CES is the tech world equivalent of an all-you-can-eat dim sum buffet. Your eyes boggle at all the tantalizing-looking options, but you’re never really sure what you’re about to sink your teeth into.

Sometimes an exhibitor at this sprawling electronics show serves up the tech equivalent of a delicious shrimp dumpling. Other times you end up politely nodding and searching for the nearest napkin.

In today’s Cult of Mac CES 2016 roundup, we’ve got hoverboards, a game console for dogs, robots and other exotic offerings on the menu.

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Cool connected footballs, distributed speaker systems, Bluetooth routers and more at CES

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IMG_0180

Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac CES 2016 full coverageLAS VEGAS — Who says everything at CES is rubbish?

Well, yeah, there’s a lot crap, but that’s why we’re here — to rummage through the rubbish and find the best stuff.

And we found plenty: smart footballs and running shorts that improve your game and gait; a coffee mug that instantly cools coffee that’s too hot; and a speaker system that uses all the iPhones in a room to create a distributed, shared sound system that sounds better than you’d imagine.

Check it out:

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Kia pledges to fully automate all vehicles by 2030

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Kia's concept for a fully autonomous car, which we'll all NOT be driving in 2030. Plus, we'll all be living in gleaming Sky Discs.
Kia's concept for a fully autonomous car, which we'll all NOT be driving in 2030. Plus, we'll all be living in gleaming Sky Discs.
Photo: Kia

Cult of Mac CES 2016 full coverage LAS VEGAS — It’s not gadgets that are making the news here at CES 2016, but cars.

For example, at a press event this afternoon the Korean car giant Kia said all of its cars will be fully autonomous by 2030. Not just its high-end vehicles — all the cars it makes. And that’s just 14 years away.

That means you be able to curl up in the back and sleep while the robot drives — or not be in the car at all. It’ll drive itself to the airport to pick you up.

Kia is joined by dozens of other companies with futuristic visions of the car. Both Detroit and Silicon Valley are here at CES 2016 to talk up future cars, which are mostly electric and autonomous. It includes Ford, VW, Toyota and lots of others.

It’s all good news for Apple, which is widely believed to be working on its own car.

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Booze bots, badass routers, high-flyin’ drones and more at CES

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The Vuze is a VR camera that captures scenes in 360-degrees. It'll be sold as a kit that includes a headset, and it's pretty cool.
The Vuze is a VR camera that captures scenes in 360-degrees. It'll be sold as a kit that includes a headset, and it's pretty cool.
Photo: Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac CES 2016 full coverage LAS VEGAS — CES 2016 is about to kick off. The world’s biggest consumer electronics show, which is held each January in Las Vegas, starts this week. At a press preview Monday night, we got a peek at some of the industry’s latest, greatest offerings.

Here’s some of the stuff we think is pretty cool. Check out a cocktail robot, a monster Wi-Fi router that promises to eliminate dead spots, and a fixed-wing drone that flies like a hawk.

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