(You're reading all posts by Luke Dormehl) Luke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.
About Luke Dormehl
Apple will be holding on to its top executives until at least 2019, if the granting of new stock options by the Apple board has anything to do with it.
Angela Ahrendts, Eddy Cue, Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, CFO Luca Maestri, VP of hardware engineering Daniel Riccio, lawyer Bruce Sewell and COO Jeffrey Williams all received stock grants potentially valued at a total of $27 million, based on the high closing price of AAPL stock Thursday.
Tim Cook has described his desire to bring Apple Pay to China as “top of the list” in terms of priorities.
Cook was quoted on Friday, following an interview he gave with China’s official Xinhua news agency. “China is a really key market for us,” he said. “Everything we do [in terms of services in the U.S.], we are going to work it here.”
If you’re looking for a fun puzzle game to play over the weekend you can do a whole lot worse than RGB Express, Apple’s “App of the Week” which has gone free in the App Store.
Arriving on iOS one month ago, the game is a charming strategy title in which you play the route planner for a fleet of trucks, responsible for plotting their paths through increasingly complex neighborhoods, always ensuring that every home receives its package.
Starting off simply but getting increasingly complex as the game goes on, it’s an entertaining challenge, spanning 200 levels in all, that’s sure to appeal to the kind of iOS gamers who also enjoy titles like Blek.
Tim Cook may be the Apple CEO we picture when we think of the mission to make Apple a “force for good” in the world, including enhanced accessibility for deaf users. But Steve Jobs was the person who first got the ball rolling.
During the Tampa Bay Business 100 awards last night — an event dedicated to honoring the 100 largest private companies in Tampa Bay, Florida — the CEO of a company which makes Internet video communication tools recalled how Jobs helped him use the so-called ZVRS technology with FaceTime.
Third-party keyboards like SwiftKey and Swype vastly improve touchscreen typing in iOS 8, but sometimes you need to go that extra mile to really express yourself. Sometimes you need to send text messages in Klingon, or get your point across visually with an animated GIF or an off-the-cuff doodle.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, showcased a Klingon Keyboard during last week’s iPad media event, and that’s just one of the amusingly offbeat keyboards flooding the App Store in this new era of freedom.
Cult of Mac talked with the developers behind the Klingon Keyboard and other wacky alternatives for this guide to the weird world of third-party iOS keyboards. You’ll never type the same way again!
When movies become video games...
Thanks to larger budgets, improved graphics, and more pop-culture respectability, video games are catching up with movies in the blockbuster stakes. However, while we’re closer than ever to the merger of cinema and video games, movie tie-ins can often leave a bad taste in your mouth.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. With the arrival of some truly superb new titles based on classic movies, we thought it was high time that we scraped through our gaming archives to find the games of the movies which truly did justice to their big screen counterparts.
With that in mind, trawl through our gallery to see the best movie video game adaptations of all time… and the worst.
The best: Alien Isolation
Any gamers who prefer Ridley Scott’s 1979 original movie over James Cameron’s action-packed sequel have, at some point, likely thought about how great a survival horror game based on the Alien franchise would be. Alien Isolation is that game. Right down to the authentic sound cues and retro-future look, it captures everything that made the original Alien so terrifying.
Forget hordes of aliens running blindly into your path as with the awful Aliens: Colonial Marines. Here, it’s just one alien, a handful of survivors, and some very big scares. Superb!
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
The only arcade game on the list (although it was later ported to home consoles), this title was a childhood favorite of mine.
A gun-based game, it managed a spectacular job of compressing the movie’s best set pieces into a frantic shoot-‘em-up. The graphics may, unsurprisingly, have aged over 20 years, but Terminator 2: Judgment Day still impresses in this capacity — largely due to the scanned sprites used. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Patrick, and Eddie Furlong all reprised their roles for title, which adds an extra bit of authenticity. This remains the best Terminator game of all time.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Set two years after Ghostbusters II, Ghostbusters: The Video Game was described as franchise creator Dan Aykroyd as “essentially the third movie.” He’s not lying either. In addition to using ideas originally designed for the never-made third film, Ghostbusters: The Video Game features a cast reunion including Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson — along with supporting characters like Max von Sydow as Vigo the Carpathian.
The gameplay is pretty outstanding too, with the ghost-trapping feature really putting you in the shoes of everyone’s favorite ghost hunters.
Not to be confused with the mediocre game that was The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the adaptation of Sam Raimi’s 2004 sequel was everything you could want in a Spider-Man title. Essentially acting as Grand Theft Spidey, the title gave gamers a fully-realized Manhattan to swing and run around — letting everyone's favorite Wall Crawler explore everything a fully realized NYC, down to the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park.
Frankly, it was a dazzling achievement for its time and remains impressive today: following the plot of the movie, but also opening up the world to be more than just a playable version of the scenes you’ve already watched on the big screen.
Even in an age of far more advanced First Person Shooters, GoldenEye 007 remains one of my favorites of all time; not just a great movie adaptation, but an almost perfect video game in its own right.
Level designs are varied, controls are great, and the number of unlockables ups replayability considerably. Oh, and it’s got one of the most fun multiplayer modes ever. Xbox Live and PlayStation Network might have taken this idea and run with it, but there was something unmatchably amazing about packing your friends around the same TV for some splitscreen death match fun.
And the worst: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Yes, that snot-green pixel block is indeed supposed to be loveable alien E.T!
Like GoldenEye 007, E.T.’s appearance on this list was inevitable — albeit for very different reasons. While GoldenEye stands as a benchmark for everything video games based on movies can get right, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is an ode to all that can go wrong. Granted, it came out in 1982, when video games were still in their infancy, but that’s no excuse for something which feels this lazy, broken, and mindless.
Critics at the time hated it, and it’s now widely considered the worst video game ever made. To underline the point, Atari made way too many copies of the game, and wound up burying most of them in a New Mexico landfill site. True story.
The Crow: City of Angels
City of Angels was a lame movie sequel to a flawless original, so it stands to reason that its video game adaptation would suck, too. However, it’s also the only official The Crow video game there’s ever been, so whether you’re a fan of the original James O’Barr comics or the Brandon Lee 1994 classic, you’re going to wind up playing this ungodly Sega Saturn, PlayStation and PC title from 1997 if you're dead set on playing a game version.
This is truly awful in every conceivable way — from the ugly color pallet to the repetitive bad guy sound bytes (“Hey clown face”), to the uninspired level design, shockingly bad action, and horrendous hit detection. The only thing that can be said vaguely in favor of this game is that its never-ending awfulness presumably does a good job of evoking the same horror that would accompany unwillingly being brought back from the dead.
Photo: Acclaim Entertainment
I’m a massive Paul Verhoeven fan, and couldn’t wait to pick up this video game adaptation of his underrated 1997 film Starship Troopers, back when it arrived on PC in 2005. Following in the wake of stunningly innovative FPS titles like HλLF-LIFE and Halo: Combat Evolved, could Starship Troopers give us a compelling action recreation of the movie’s epic bug hunts, while also incorporating some of the trademark Verhoeven satire?
In a word, no. All your fellow Troopers look the same, none of them can shoot properly, and they all repeat the same dialog over and over. On top of that, the graphics are ugly as sin, the weapons are weirdly balanced, and the title is the textbook example of dumb run-and-gun actioners. Which may be some kind of meta-joke, but I doubt it.Photo: Empire Interactive
How do you go wrong with a game about giant robots fighting huge, undersea creatures? Try repetitive missions and clunky brawling that feels like you're playing Tekken in treacle while wearing oven gloves. The mech customization features are kind of cool, but they’re not enough to save a title that could have been epic amounts of fun, and fell far short.
Kinect Star Wars
Missed opportunities are rife when it comes to video game adaptations of hit movies. Perhaps no more so, however, than Kinect Star Wars. Fans have been waiting for a motion control game that lets them handle a lightsaber since 1977, which is why this title was so endlessly frustrating. Rather than recreate the most memorable scenes from the movies, instead there’s a generic plot, featuring only a few of the best-known Star Wars characters — none voiced by their original actors.
Controls are inconsistent at best and downright awful at worst, and the whole thing just reeks of not giving a damn. Then, just when you think things are at their worst, you get the "Galactic Dance Off."
Because who needs a good lightsaber battle when you can have ridiculous dance-based mini games?
Photo: Photo: LucasArts
Tim Cook wasn’t kidding when he said that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were proving to be Apple’s most popular iPhones of all time.
Two new reports coming out of Apple’s Chinese supply chain today demonstrate the extent to which this is true. According to one report, Apple’s Chinese production line is on course to ship a total of 50 million iPhone 6 devices by the end of 2014 — referring only to the 4.-inch iPhone 6 and not including the 6 Plus.
By comparison, for the calendar fourth quarter of 2013, Apple sold a total of 51 million iPhones all-in, which itself marked an all-time quarterly record.
First arriving on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) way back in 1992, Final Fantasy V is one of the greatest RPGs ever made — and thanks to a new update by Square Enix, its iOS port is now more playable than ever.
Following on from Apple’s Handoff feature for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, the update similarly encourages you to pick up play on whichever iOS device is closest to you with a new iCloud save syncing feature. What this means is that game data saved using iCloud can now be shared across devices, so you can enjoy working through Final Fantasy V on an iPad at home and an iPhone while on the move.
There have been plenty of rumors and today we have confirmation: Christian Bale will play Steve Jobs in the upcoming movie adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s bestselling 2011 biography.
Confirmation of the casting was made by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) during an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang for an upcoming edition of Studio 1.0.
“We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that’s Chris Bale,” Sorkin said. He went on to observe that Bale didn’t have to audition for the role, although “there was a meeting.”
The film is said to begin shooting in the next couple of months, with Slumdog Millionaire‘s Danny Boyle attached to direct.
Here in 2014, news of a new Apple Store in the U.S. may be nothing special, but when you hear that Cupertino plans to open 25 retail stores in China in the next two years you sit up and pay attention!
According to Tim Cook, who was interviewed during his current China visit, Apple is set to greatly increase its retail presence in the country — from 15 stores currently, to 40 stores in 2016.
Cook also discussed China’s potential as the biggest Apple market in the world, saying that, “In the future China will become Apple’s biggest revenue contributor. It’s just a matter of time.”