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Why Apple Pay is the future

Apple Pay. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

About to test Apple Pay at the local Walgreens. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Critics are fond of saying Apple doesn’t innovate any more. But Apple’s new electronic payment system, Apple Pay, is innovation of the highest order. After a relatively smooth rollout this week, I honestly believe Apple Pay is the future of payments.

Even so, Apple Pay must clear some big hurdles if it’s to become the universal standard. For now, it’s limited to Apple’s latest iPhones and a relatively small number of retail partners, but the basic system — using your fingerprint to validate a purchase on your mobile phone — is the way we will pay for goods and services in the future.

Once again, Apple has shown the world how things should be done.

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Everything’s better and faster. How could Apple be so boring?

Tim Cook bores the world with even more amazing Apple products. Yawn. Photo: Apple

Tim Cook bores the world with even more amazing Apple products. Yawn. Photo: Apple

Was Apple’s livestreamed iPad event really such a big yawn? Search Twitter for “#AppleEvent yawn” or “Apple boring” and you’ll see tweet after tweet bemoaning the boring nature of Thursday’s press conference. It got so tedious for some, there were dozens of photos of napping dogs.

“Most boring Apple event ever,” tweeted one. “Bring back the Chinese translation.”

Maybe some of those folks are being facetious, but there’s a grain of truth in the tweets: Nothing about Thursday’s event, except for maybe Stephen Colbert’s crackup comedy bit with Craig Federighi, was super-compelling on the surface. Many of the specs had been leaked (some even by Apple itself), and the rumor mill proved pretty accurate in the run-up to the presentation.

Still, this was no Phantom Menace. I mean really, what were people expecting? Jetpacks, aliens and electric cars?

This is Apple’s big dilemma right now: How do you top yourself when you make the best products in the world?

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When Twin Peaks enters the iPhone era, things are bound to get even weirder

Photo: Natasha Masharova/Flickr CC

How will director David Lynch bring Twin Peaks into the smartphone era? Photo: Natasha Masharova/Flickr CC

When Twin Peaks mesmerized us with its weird mix of mystery, mysticism and Americana in the early ’90s, smartphones didn’t exist. But even if the iPhone had already conquered the world, it’s possible nobody in the small Pacific Northwest town that served as the show’s setting would have owned one.

The forested fantasyland of Twin Peaks was a purposely backward backdrop upon which series creators David Lynch and Mark Frost could project their twisted vision of the darkness that lurks below the wholesome surface of American society. While the show was set in 1989, the small-town setting was a deliberate throwback to ’50s-style innocence, which was quickly shattered by the discovery of a beautiful teen’s corpse.

When Twin Peaks resurfaces in 2016 on Showtime, the cultural landscape will have changed radically from where the series left off a quarter-century ago. What kind of fascinating freak show will Lynch and Frost craft as they bring the show into the digital age?

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6 ways Apple could make the iPhone better than big

6 ways Apple could make the iPhone better than big

The iPhone 6 received rave reviews when Apple unveiled it at the Flint Center last month, but not many people have been eager to talk about it’s shortcomings, until now.

In today’s Cult of Mac video we breakdown the biggest disappointments iPhone 6 users have griped about since the device went on sale two weeks ago. What should Apple improve to make the phone better? Find out what the next generation iPhone still needs and more in this informative video.

Subscribe to Cult of Mac TV to catch all our latest videos.

Hey, Apple! What happened to ‘It just works’?

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users on iOS 8.0.1 could not get a cellular connection. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

A buggy iOS 8 update that killed cellular connections for iPhone 6 users is far more troubling than Apple’s other recent missteps. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

“It just works.”

Those three words are synonymous with Apple. It’s the slogan Apple fanboys use when trying to convince their Android-loving friends that iOS is a better option. And it was used over and over by Steve Jobs as he unveiled new products at Apple keynotes.

That makes it even more embarrassing for the Cupertino company when things don’t “just work.” Especially when it royally screws things up — as it did with the hideously half-baked iOS 8.0.1 update that rolled out to millions of users Wednesday morning.

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U2 and Apple crank marketing debacle up to 11

Apple delivers U2's Songs of Innocence to millions of iTunes users, but not everybody's buying the hype. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Apple delivers U2’s Songs of Innocence to millions of iTunes users, but not everybody’s buying the hype. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Thousands of angry iPhone users have found an album they weren’t looking for: U2’s Songs of Innocence.

Instead of making the band’s mediocre new album an opt-in freebie, Apple jammed it down the throats of a half-billion iTunes Store customers, enraging some of the company’s most loyal fans. Whether they wanted the album or not, it’s now showing up as “purchased” in individuals’ iTunes libraries on their computers and phones.

When Tim Cook trotted out the Irish rockers for a limp finale to Tuesday’s big Apple Watch announcement, he called giving away the band’s new record “the largest album release of all time” — but now it looks like one of the dumbest.

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Maybe tablets were better than desktops all along

sweet iPad setup

Is a notebook the best portable computer, or have we just gotten used to its quirks? Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

With Apple’s mobile and desktop platforms growing closer in iOS 8 and Yosemite, I started wondering: Is the laptop inherently better for computing than a tablet, or does it just seem that way because we’re so used to the folding form factor?

Could it be that, if the iPad had launched before the Mac and we’d spent the last 30 years using touchscreens, we would balk at using keyboards, mice and dumb screens to do our computing work? Or, in my time-reversed world, if Apple unveiled the Mac in 2010, would we all cling to our iPads and claim Cupertino was nuts for foisting OS X upon us?

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Google reveals its real face: unfocused, unoriginal and a little bit evil

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Wednesday’s Google I/O keynote offers a window into the search giant’s world. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Google’s keynote presentation at its I/O developer’s conference today offered a revealing picture of the company itself: meandering, unfocused, copycat and just a little bit evil.

The two-hours-plus keynote had a lot of everything, from a new version of Android to new phones, smartwatches, TVs, cars, Chromebooks and big data — but much of it was deja vu from Apple’s WWDC two weeks ago.

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Copy this please: 9 things Apple can teach Google about keynotes

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Siri: “How long should a keynote last?”

As anyone who watched Wednesday’s nearly three-hour livestream of the Google I/O kickoff, the answer to that question should be 90 minutes or less.

As the event dragged on, the tone on Twitter went from restrained interest about Google’s somewhat underwhelming announcements to reports of sleeping reporters and jabs at the ponderous presentation’s length. “Apple just launched a keynote shortener,” tweeted Dave Pell.

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You don’t need an appetite for gore to love these horror docs

Netflix Header

If you watch Netflix on your iOS device or game console, you know that the browsing function on those apps is a pain to use. And unless you know exactly what you’re looking for, it can be annoying to find something new.

So as a service, we’re going to recommend some things you can watch on Netflix right now. This time around, we have three fascinating documentaries about the horror genre. But even if you’re not a fan of scary monsters and super creeps, they still have plenty to offer.

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