If you think Apple’s packaging is good, wait until you see these

Apple doesn't have anything on the packaging for these products.
Apple doesn't have anything on the packaging for these products.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Opening a new Apple product for the first time is pretty close to a holy experience. Part of that is because Apple spends so much time perfecting product packaging so it’s simple, elegant and secure without compromising on intuitiveness.

However, it’s a mistake to think Apple is the only company that pours thought and care into something as basic as a box. In light of the recent rumor that Apple will be working with third-party accessory makers to co-design packaging for their products in Apple retail stores, it’s clear many other companies care as well. It’s about being eye-catching without straying from uniformity, it’s about being simple yet still adorned.

With this spirit in mind, take a look at some of the other electronic companies out there getting extremely creative with their product packaging. The goal for these seems to be making the boxes as gorgeous as the products themselves – and they succeed.

Running with Apple Watch, a beginner’s guide

For your first run, select an “open” goal
For your first run, select an “open” goal
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

If you bought an Apple Watch hoping it would help you get fit, but you haven’t been on your first run yet, maybe you need of a little more encouragement. So here’s some advice from a reformed couch potato.

The first workout is the hardest. It gets progressively easier and more rewarding from there. You just need to know how to get started.

Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ wasn’t worth all that Spotify drama

Photographers assigned to Taylor Swift concerts will be greeted by a friendlier photo contract.
Taylor Swift's '1989' album is finally available for streaming, so I was all ears.
Photo: GabboT/Flickr CC

No one has shut up about this album since it came out in October 2014. Taylor Swift’s “1989” sold over a million copies in the first week alone and continues to sell well even today, largely due to the fact that it was previously nowhere to be found on streaming services. That is until Apple Music launched and Swift suddenly had a change of heart.

Still, since everyone I know buzzed about this album and the media certainly buzzed about it given the Spotify melodrama, I had to give it a listen. I didn’t want to buy it because I truly didn’t care that much, but I cared enough to listen if I was already paying for a streaming subscription. Now that I’m officially an Apple Music member, I got to stream “1989” in its entirety while I was cooking my lunch.

A day with Beats 1: Eclectic, star-studded, but slightly meh

One of the best features of Apple Music in Beats 1.
Beats 1 Radio is live on Apple Music, but is it worth your time?
Photo: Apple

Open your iOS 8.4 Music app and start listening. Beats 1 radio went live today at 9 a.m. Pacific time or 12 p.m. Eastern time, one hour after the launch of Apple Music itself. But is it any good? I’m your fellow music lover here to answer that question in as much depth as possible based on some first impressions.

First, a little background: Apple’s own radio station billed as “programs from people who love music” will stay live 24/7, broadcasting in over 100 countries. The station promises interviews with A-list celebrities and even radio shows hosted by the celebrities themselves every so often. They’ll create their own playlists and mixes and broadcast some of their favorite tunes. Jaden Smith will have his own show, so prepare to have an existential crisis.

10 rules for classy apps – a developer manifesto

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Apps that do no evil
Apps that do no evil
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

If you ever dig into the privacy policies of app developers, be prepared for a shock. This is where they confess their sins: invading your privacy, selling your data, and pestering you with popups and unwanted ads.

As the App Store becomes increasingly crowded and competitive, many developers struggle to make a profit. Some turn their attention to alternative sources of revenue and the quality of their apps suffer as a result.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are the 10 rules for developers to keep things “classy.”