All items in the category "Featured stories"

Full category list for displayed posts: Featured stories, Reviews, Top stories

Lust List: Gear that will take your adventures over the top

YouTube’s tech assassin has Apple Watch in his sights

Richard Ryan is a YouTube sensation for putting tech gadgets, like Apple products, through outragious torture tests. Photo: FullMag/YouTube

Richard Ryan is a YouTube sensation famous for putting tech gadgets, especially Apple products, through outrageous torture tests. Photo: FullMag/YouTube

Richard Ryan is friendly and easy-going — even when he’s behind a 50-caliber rifle, violently shredding an iPhone, iPad or, this week, the new Apple Watch.

Every neighborhood had that one kid who liked to build a model only to blow it up. Ryan, 33, is that kid, except with more firepower and a slow-motion camera. He delights in “blowouts,” meaning when a round completely shatters a device, and likes to admire the “peel back,” the path a bullet travels through a device’s metal casing.

“Very little, if any, practical knowledge comes out of this,” Ryan told Cult of Mac before shooting an episode where he tested the Apple Watch while skydiving in a wingsuit. “It goes back to that kid smashing that thing he just bought as soon as he gets outside the store. Yes, there is a cringeworthy feeling you get watching that device you and I both want get destroyed. But there is a visual payoff with the slow-mo. It’s entertainment.”

Read the rest of this post »

12 biggest surprises after a week with Apple Watch

The Apple Watch keeps surprising us. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch keeps surprising us. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Far from being a superfluous device strictly for hard-core Apple fans, the Apple Watch is a surprisingly delightful and useful device.

Now that we’ve spent enough time with the latest gadget from the mothership, we’re noticing quite a few sweet little positives (and a couple negatives) about Apple Watch.

Bottom line: The more you use this thing, the better it is.

Read the rest of this post »

In praise of the ambitious, indispensible Apple Watch

Apple Watch is a great early adopter device. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch is going to be a big, fat mainstream hit. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Most early reviews of the Apple Watch didn’t do it justice. It’s fine, they said, but not for everybody.

Come on! COME ON!!!!

The Apple Watch is the most exciting gadget for years. Its ambition is huge. It does a ton of stuff. It’s not some silly smartwatch — it’s a computer for your wrist. And I’m loving it.

Yeah, it has its quirks, and it’s far from perfect, but it’s a great vision, and it’s only going to get better!

It’s a ton of fun, and it works great — except when it doesn’t.

Read the rest of this post »

Video shows Apple Watch ‘Tattoogate’ in action

Using an Apple Watch with a tattoo gives some users a (s)inking feeling. Photo:

Using an Apple Watch with a tattoo gives some users a (s)inking feeling. Photo: guinne55fan

More Apple Watch owners with wrist tattoos are reporting problems using the device. The light sensors that enable the Watch to determine if it’s being worn apparently get confused by tattooed skin.

The problem — let’s call it “Tattoogate” — is possibly the result of metallic pigments used for the inking process, although nobody knows for sure. While the glitch affects only a small number of users, it’s definitely mauling the buzz of some frustrated Apple Watch early adopters.

Cult of Mac reader Michael Lovell spoke with us about his disappointing experiences with the Apple Watch, and even sent in a video demonstrating the problem. Check it out below!

Read the rest of this post »

10 of the weirdest Apple Watch apps

Berry Quest

Berry Quest is one weird game. Photo: Robot 5 Studios

There are plenty of great apps for the Apple Watch, but what about the weird ones?

Developers have some interesting ideas for what you’d want to do on your wrist. Here are some of the weirdest, goofiest and most downright bizarre Watch apps:

Read the rest of this post »

The best Apple Watch apps you probably haven’t heard of

What time is it? Time to submit your Watch app. Photo: Apple

Time to download some apps. Photo: Apple

There are already more than 3,000 apps for the Apple Watch, which makes it difficult to find all of the hidden gems. How do you find the best Apple Watch apps?

Luckily, there are plenty of third-party Watch apps that deserve attention, whether they tell you when it’s going to rain or help you get stuff done. Apple is promoting Watch apps heavily in the App Store, and while the big players (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) are obvious downloads, we’ve been on the lookout for some of the other apps for the Apple Watch you might not know about.

Here are some of the best Apple Watch apps to trick out your wrist.

Read the rest of this post »

Thin is in: The 2015 MacBook hands-on review

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

No USB, no problem. The new 2015 MacBook rocks. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Imagine an iPad Air sliced in half. The top half peels up to reveal a pin-sharp high-res screen. The other half has a full-size keyboard that’s almost flat.

This is the new MacBook; Apple’s latest crazy thin laptop that, as usual, is dividing the tech punditsphere.

With no ports but one, some think this machine is too radical, too new. It’s been called a glorified Netbook — short on features, and, to really rub it in, high on price.

But I’m smitten. We have one in here at the Cult of Mac offices, and I’ve been putting it through its paces. Here’s what I found:

Read the rest of this post »

Early phone’s bizarre mechanism had dialing pegged

This primitive dial phone was built by Western Electric in 1902 for communities too small for a fulltime operator service. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

This primitive dial phone was built by Western Electric in 1902 for communities too small for a full-time operator service. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

This week’s ode to a technological marvel of the past would be a better read on an iPhone 6. How else to fully appreciate the design of the device in your hand than to read about when function and form first met on the telephone?

Early phone’s bizarre mechanism had dialing pegged Among the many items found in my aunt’s home when she died last year in a small town in Michigan’s upper peninsula were two telephones that are examples of the first dial phone.

If the once-common rotary dial phone seems strange today, behold the calling function on this 10-pound candlestick phone. On a circular base are 100 numbers. In communities too small to have a full-time operator, each home was assigned a number.

Read the rest of this post »

Gold Apple Watch looks great on my wrist. If only I could turn it on.

The $10,000 gold Apple Watch Edition, the first and only time I will probably ever wear an expensive time piece. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

The $10,000 gold Apple Watch Edition, the first and only time I will probably ever wear an expensive time piece. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

CHICAGO — I grabbed the black suit jacket I was married in because I wasn’t sure how to dress for a private appointment to try on a $10,000 gold watch.

My look is challenging to class up. The clean-shaven head, long goatee and ample belly blend in better at a biker bar. But I felt halfway respectable-looking when I walked into the Apple Store in Chicago’s upscale Lincoln Park neighborhood for a Saturday morning hands-on showing of the Apple Watch Edition.

Not many Apple Stores are scheduling appointments for the 18-karat gold Edition, but the ones that do provide extra-special attention. I had a friendly guide, two floor supervisors who came by to shake my hand and thank me for my patience, and a couple of hawk-eyed security guards.

Read the rest of this post »