Merek Davis is not a coder. The developer never even made an app before 2013. Yet on his first iOS at-bat, he hit an App Store grand slam with Mextures, his photo-editing app that quickly became one of the top photo apps of the year.
Mextures is like Photoshop for your iPhone, only easier to use. The app’s editing tools and formulas let you tweak and re-tweak pics, adding light leaks, textures and color gradients that can turn even your crappiest pics into something majestic.
It’s a bona fide hit, with some of the most-followed names on Instagram using Davis’ creation. But it almost never happened.
Early doodles on the iPad looked a lot like this generation’s Etch-a-Sketch.
But in just a few years, after celebrated artists such as David Hockney have shown their iPad works in galleries, Apple’s revolutionary device has come into its own as a canvas.
The eclectic group of works above are finalists in the second annual Mobile Digital Art Exhibition (aka MDAC Summit 2014), an upcoming art-packed weekend of workshops and a celebration of digital art in Palo Alto, a stone’s throw from Apple headquarters. Take a gander and vote on them by July 31 for the People’s Choice Award.
Long-time rivals Apple and IBM partnered up this week to work together on enterprise software, but what does this mean for Siri? If Apple’s trusty voice assistant gets together with IBM’s extremely intelligent A.I. Watson, it could be a beautiful “relationship.”
Watch today’s Cult of Mac news roundup to hear all the latest news and rumors about this potential Apple-IBM hookup, possible trouble in the iPhone 6 sapphire glass pipeline, a toaster that burns your selfies into bread and the rest of the week’s biggest stories.
"I’m tall and shy -- so I can’t be inconspicuous. That means a lot of my traditional portraits are shot from the side or the back," Marcolina says. In this 2009 shot, he was able to compose it carefully, because the subjects weren't facing him, and it expresses his "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" no-cropping philosophy for analog photography.
"Mobile photography is more like sculpture - you're poking at the pixels to make them talk," he says. The color of the ribbons was amped up with app Snapseed afterwards, "making the story a little more intense." While he could've captured this from the doorway with a traditional camera, Marcolina walked in close with his iPhone and the man never stirred.
While it's generally easier to go stealth with an iPhone, "people are getting a lot more savvy about having their photos taken," Marcolina says.
"The traditional work is from a collection of standard film cameras ranging from Toy Holgas to 2x2 Rolleiflex to Canon 5d digital. This work is never manipulated and rarely cropped, what you see is what I got." In this portrait of a bride with MS, note the shadow of Marcolina in the foreground.
“You’d never get this shot with a traditional camera,” Marcolina says. “It would be weird to be so close as this guy does a handstand in front of his girlfriend.” With an iPhone, you can control the camera in creative ways, getting this sculpted look by with a slow shutter and rotoscope effect.
"Photoshop is a production tool, not a discovery engine in the same way apps are," he says. And while the bathroom darkroom may have gone the way of the daguerrotype, the bog can still serve as an editing room for digital images, along with the supermarket checkout line.
This is one of those shots, Marcolina says, where paring down the image digitally really made the shot.
During his 25-year career as a photographer, Dan Marcolina has captured moments of everyday despair and delight, from beaches and backyards to bus stations and wedding celebrations.
His work exhibits the ease of an inside joke or a knowing wink; the images are visual juxtapositions that live up to a high point of praise from Richard Avedon, who once commented that Marcolina makes images that aren’t “trying to be beautiful.”
While the iPhone 6 has sparked tons of speculation in the tech world, rumors regarding the alleged Apple smartwatch have as well. All the gossip and leaks about the long-rumored device, popularly referred to as the “iWatch,” have created big expectations for the company to meet.
In today’s video we take a look at all the rumors and get a good feeling of what an iWatch might look like when it’s revealed (possibly this October). If the reports are true, you’ll enjoy more than the average smartwatch as you track blood pressure, hold FaceTime calls and more, all on an amazing device that redefines wrist wear.
Jonathan Gillon, co-founder and CEO of Roost, wants to help you stash your stuff. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
SAN FRANCISCO — The latest innovation of the so-called sharing economy seems perfect for this city’s hypercompetitive rental market, where tiny apartments go for outrageous sums and space is at a premium.
Sort of like Airbnb for storage, new startup Roost connects people who need to stow some stuff — furniture, boxes of books, whatever — with individuals with room to spare in an attic or garage.
The company was founded by Jon Gillon, who came up with the idea after his older brother moved here from Texas with a Subaru full of stuff.
“We improvised,” Gillon told Cult of Mac. “I made room in my apartment in exchange for drinks and dinner. When his place was ready we were like, ‘This is a great idea.’ The light bulb went on.”
SAN FRANCISCO — There’s a new kind of gold hidden in the hills of this city: A mysterious Twitter account is leading locals on a treasure hunt for Bitcoin.
The folks behind @SFHiddenBitcoin, which has been active since July 1, are hot on the heels of @HiddenCash, the Twitter account that made news doling out the dough of a real estate mogul.
While judges debate whether Bitcoin is money and crashing economies around the globe fear the virtual currency’s wake, it’s the coin of the realm in certain circles here. If you can handle being a “cyphervegan,” you can basically already live on Bitcoin.
The Brompton’s not a new bike. It’s not even new to me. But it is the best folding bike around, and it will change how you travel long distances, too. I’ve had mine ever since I recovered enough from a broken leg (busted playing bike polo) to hobble up to the local bike shop and order one. That was a few years ago, and since then the bike has come with me to three different continents, traveling on planes, trains, trams, automobiles and buses.
You can even ride it to the airport and pack it up when you get there.
Myles Weissleder of SF New Tech. Portrait: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
SAN FRANCISCO — Myles Weissleder has witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to startup demos.
The former VP of public affairs at Meetup.com presides over SF New Tech, a showcase for disruptive hopefuls that he’s run for more than eight years. Over 750 companies including SkyBox, Twilio, Prezi, Flipboard and Twitter have come to his networking mixer to demo before a live audience in a trendy SOMA club.
In San Francisco’s competitive startup environment, you can demo your game-changing idea (or Pet Rock app) every night of the week, but SF New Tech is one of the longest-running and largest showcases. Wannapreneurs face a few hundred audience members — many of them from influential companies like Apple or venture capital firms like CMEA capital — where the mingling is fueled by drinks and tacos.
During a recent demo night, Cult of Mac sat down with the indefatigable Weissleder, who is as at home on the stage with a mic as he is hobnobbing at the bar, to get his top tips on how not to bomb when you take the stage with your great idea, hoping to find cash and connect with influencers.
iPad artist Matthew Watkins holds a finger painting titled It’s a long way up, which is featured in an exhibit in Verona, Italy.
Matthew Watkins has brought iPad finger paintings into the real world in more formats than any other artist we know.
His digital artwork has made the leap into the tangible on carpets, cars, plexiglass and the more usual prints, videos, books and live installations at fashion shows and art events. Watkins, who lives in Southern Italy — by way of Manchester, England, and a childhood spent in Toronto — uses his personal peregrinations as a source of inspiration for his ongoing series on imaginary cities, which hovers between utopia and dystopia.
“I’m drawn to urban decay and architectural artifacts,” Watkins says of the works that were on display in a recent exhibit at Verona’s Palazzo Gran Guardia. “I’ve drawn buildings and cities since I was a child. As a teenager I would draw my own imaginary worlds. I still do.”