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ICYMI: New Apple gear, real and imagined

01icymi

We’ve got a host of new stuff to show off this week, from Killian’s look at the new MacBook and iMac lines to Luke’s exploration of all things bacon (emoji). We’ve got Rob’s essential Apple Watch tips, a new credit-card sized cell phone, and Luke’s take on the new non-trivial QuizUp update.

All this, and a ton more, in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine.

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Meet the robot that will assemble your future iPhones – and everything else

Legos and pre-school toys today, your iPhone tomorrow.

Legos and pre-school toys today, your iPhone tomorrow.

UC Berkley researchers have hit a major milestone in the creation of usable AI. They’ve created a new set of algorithms that will allow robots to learn through trial and error — much like humans learn new tasks.

With this kind of educated automaton, there’s nothing they won’t be able to do. Think of mechanical beings assembling your next iPhone, building skyscrapers, or exploring Mars.

Is this where we see the first inklings of the robot apocalypse?

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Apple II and Cinema Display combine to create a retro gaming heaven

Did you know you can connect an Apple II to a Cinema Display?

Did you know you can connect an Apple II to a Cinema Display?

If you grew up in the 80’s one of your earliest video gaming memories was probably playing Oregon Trail on an old Apple II or Macintosh, but you haven’t experienced Oregon Trail until you’ve played it on a 27-inch Apple Cinema Display. In color.

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No lightsabers were used to carve these impressive Star Wars wax figures

"Do. Or do not. There is no try" at Madam Tussauds wax museum.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try,” at Madam Tussauds wax museum.

Voltaire was the first. Now Vader is a wax figure.

Madame Tussauds has been in the business of meticulously sculpting lifelike models of the famous since 1777. Now, in a gallery far, far away (well, London), the wax museum has produced 11 famous sets featuring 16 Star Wars characters. And a new video shows the tedious, behind-the-scenes creative process, which involves much more than just pouring hot wax into molds.

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Apple Watch on pace to beat iPhone’s first-year sales

The Apple Watch

Apple Watch sales are holding steady.

Apple Watch orders are currently coming in at a rate of around 30,000 units per day — according to analytics provided by Slice Intelligence, which combed through the e-receipts of around 14,000 online shoppers who used Slice’s services.

Although there was, unsurprisingly, a big drop-off from launch day, numbers appear to have been pretty consistent since then. So far, Apple has sold upwards of 2.5 million Apple Watches — more than the iPod, iPhone, or iPad sold during the same period of time in their first year.

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Apple wants local stations to stream on Apple TV

Apple's Web TV service might be delayed.

Apple’s Web TV service might be delayed.

Before Apple finally unveils its long-awaited update for the Apple TV, the company is reportedly looking to add a key new feature that rival streaming services don’t have: local TV.

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Kahney’s Korner: Are you ready for Cult of Mac version 2?

The Cult of Mac is ready for its upgrade.

The Cult of Mac is ready for its upgrade.

Believe it or not, it’s been nearly a decade since The Cult of Mac got published. The book, by our fearless leader Leander Kahney, took readers on a deep dive into the world of Apple fanatics around the world. It introduced us to the creative and talented tribe of individuals devoted to Macs, iPods and all things dreamed up in Cupertino.

Now that seminal work about Apple devotees is ready for an update. As he gets ready to embark on a year of fresh reporting before writing the next chapter in Cult of Mac history, he’s revisiting the original text. And having a laugh, as you’ll see in this week’s edition of Kahney’s Corner.

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Smell the bacon? It’s one of 38 new emojis on the way

Apple's on a hot streak with its new emoji.

Apple’s on a hot streak with its new emoji.

If you’ve long found yourself unable to communicate effectively with your friends because of the lack of “bacon,” “shark” and “man in tuxedo” emojis, you could be in luck next year.

That’e because the Unicode Consortium, aka the Mountain View, California-based organization that standardizes characters and emoji across different operating systems — is set to add 38 all-new emojis to its Unicode 9.0 update.

Arriving in June 2016, they should find their way onto iOS not long after. Here’s what you can expect:

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Apple-loving Kanye West could debut next album on Beats Music refresh

Could Kanye be the first Tidal music defector?

Could Kanye be the first Tidal music defector?

Kanye West is reportedly distancing himself from Jay Z’s Tidal music service and set to launch his next album — his seventh solo studio album — on Apple’s refreshed Beats Music service, rumored to arrive at this year’s WWDC in June.

Called SWISH, Kanye’s album currently has no official release date, although Wikipedia (for what it’s worth) claims it will drop on June 1. WWDC kicks off one week later on June 8 at Moscone West in San Francisco.

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Apple Watch users plagued by heart rate monitor failures after updating

If you look closely you can actually pinpoint the exact moment the Apple Watch heart rate monitor stops working.

If you look closely you can actually pinpoint the exact moment the Apple Watch heart rate monitor stops working.

Apple issued its first Apple Watch software update this week, adding new emojis, fixes for Siri and more. Unfortunately, hidden among the positives is one fairly big negative: Multiple users are complaining that the 1.0.1 update stops the device’s much-touted heart rate monitor from running as it should.

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