This week: Gobble gobble y’aall! Ever wonder what a Thanksgiving meal with Tim Cook might be like? Ok, probably not, but come imagine it with us anyway. Then: why Apple quietly included 4K support in iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2; Amazon is building an ad-supported Netflix streaming competitor; plus stay tuned for our favorite products of the year in the CultCast gifts-we’d-love-to-get gift guide.
Heartily guffaw your way through each week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the chuckles begin.
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Tim Cook has a lot to be thankful for. No wonder he looks happy. Photo: Apple
In between dessert and the traditional food coma on the couch, Thanksgiving offers everyone a great opportunity to take stock of the past year’s accomplishments.
When it comes to looking back at the previous year, sure you can stew over your failures and missed opportunities, but that’s for losers. And coming off one of Apple’s most successful years in history, Tim Cook is no loser.
So what’s Apple’s CEO going to be thinking about when he sits back in a carbohydrate-induced daze? Here are our best guesses.
You might want to think twice before giving Uber your data. Photo: Uber
Uber has been sideswiped by a ridiculous number of controversies lately, but things are about to get even worse for the ride-sharing service. A security researcher just reverse-engineered the code of Uber’s Android app and made a startling discovery: It’s “literally malware.”
Digging into the app’s code, GironSec discovered the Uber app “calls home” and sends data back to Uber. This isn’t typical app data, though. Uber has access to users’ entire SMSLog even though the app never requests permission. It also accesses call history, Wi-Fi connections used, GPS locations and every type of device ID possible.
We’re just hours away from Thanksgiving and all the family, turkey, football, and drama that comes with it, whether you’re prepared or not.
To help you get ready for the big day and dominate the feast, Cult of Mac has come up with 7 pro tips that will help you become a better cook, entertain the family, and most importantly, maintain your sanity.
Planning to pack on the pounds during tomorrow’s feast? PrepPad will help you cook and eat more responsibly by weighing your food and then connecting to a database of 350,000 items to tell you how much you should eat based on your nutritional profile. Combined with its companion iPad app, the Prep Pad becomes a full scale cooking platform, giving you precise info on how many carbs and calories you’re cramming down your throat. $149.95
Take your Thanksgiving feast to an all-new level with the App Store’s cornucopia of apps that will turn you into a Master Chef in no time. Epicurious has all the recipes you’ll need, while Substitutions will help you avert disaster if someone forgets an important ingredient. Bon Apetit has a special Turkey Day app out. Butterball will help you roast your bird to perfection. And if you’re dreading making a last dash to the grocery store, you can just use Instacart and get all the fixings delivered to your front door.
Belkin brings the power of the cloud to your kitchen with its internet-connected crockpot that can be turned on or off remotely, so you can keep your flag football game going without worrying about when you need to get home. The slow cooker crockpot comes with an iOS and Android app that lets you adjust the timer or temperature from anywhere. And it sports manual controls on the front for those that like to keep it old school. $129.99
You can take some of the stress out of cooking a 30 pound turkey by using iDevice’s kitchen thermometer. It comes with a two-probe digital meat thermometer and accompanying app. Just thrust one probe into your bird and the app will alert you when the meat reaches optimal temperature. - $81.49
Spending the entire day with your entire family can be a torture sentence, but some good games can make the time pass so much quicker. We’ve been absolutely addicted to Vainglory the past week, and with it’s Team mode, you can recruit your cousins or in-laws to band together and crush the Kraken.
If MOBAs aren’t your thing, Space Age is one of the best games of the month. Kingdom Rush Origins will also keep you busy for a few hours, and if you just need a great one minute game, download CrossyRoad.
Once the turkey’s been devoured and half the family has dropped into a tryptophan coma, it’s prime time to fire up the Apple TV and watch some movies (unless you’d rather watch crapass football). Pretty much everyone is going to love rewatching Guardians of the Galaxy now that it’s on iTunes. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes also dropped this week, but if you’d like to learn how your food went from the fields to your feast, check out Food Chains - a powerful new documentary about the farmworkers who pick your food.
You're going to snap a ton of pictures tomorrow. The iPhone’s camera app is great, but to unleash your camera's full potential try out Manual to capture your Thanksgiving festivities. Manual gives users full control of image exposure with DSLR-like controls that let you tweak the shutter speed, ISO, white balance, focus and exposure compensation, to help you bring out better pictures than the iPhone’s automatic camera.
For editing pictures, we swear by VSCO as the best all-around photography app. It’s got advanced camera controls and its editing features and filters are hard to top. For video, switch it up by using Hyperlapse to create buttery smooth video of all the action.
Gorilla Glass is the go-to material for today’s touchscreens. Photo: Corning
Corning’s relationship with Apple looked doomed earlier this year. Having manufactured the touchscreens for every iPhone since 2007, the Gorilla Glass bosses were all but sure they were being ditched in favor of synthetic sapphire crystal, set to be supplied by Apple’s hot new partner, GT Advanced Technologies.
But while Apple’s affair with GT has imploded spectacularly, Corning is back on Cupertino’s crush list after stepping in at the eleventh hour to create super-sized displays for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Now Corning is convinced its latest technological advance — Gorilla Glass 4, its toughest version yet — will banish sapphire suitors for the immediate future.
“Sapphire is a really, really nice material that’s very good for reducing scratches,” Dave Velasquez, Corning’s director of marketing and commercial ops, told Cult of Mac. “However, we feel very strongly that glass is the best material for touch panel cover glass. When you weigh up everything from cost to drop-testing, to the amount of energy that’s needed to make it, in our opinion Gorilla Glass is clearly the best material to use.”
Yep, Apple’s worth a whole lot of money right now. As if you didn’t know that already. Photo: Pierre Marcel/Flickr CC
AAPL shares sure have experienced a crazy roller coaster ride this year. Splitting 7-to-1 earlier in 2014, a fantastic run of product launches and announcements since then has driven Apple stock higher and higher. Earlier this month we noted that Apple was now worth more than the entire Russian stock market, and today it has hit a personal-best market cap of $700 billion.
This happened as Apple’s share price rose to the $119.65 mark, bringing it to a pre-split price of $837.13. For those keeping tabs at home, not only is this better than Apple’s last high point, when it was valued around $650 in late 2012, but it also represents a massive 50% increase since January this year.
What is happening with iCloud within Apple? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
iCloud was hailed by Tim Cook back in 2012 as “not just a product. It’s a strategy for the next decade.” Yet these days, iCloud is something of a mess: Not only has it not gained significant features since launch, but a slate of very public hacks have made it a rare black mark on Apple’s security record.
What the heck happened? According to a new report, iCloud isn’t living up to its potential because, organizationally, it’s an orphan within Apple.
The city of Cupertino’s website makes note of a schedule for the project, noting that earthwork is set to continue until the middle of next year, while construction on the building itself will be completed by late 2016.
From music to MacBooks, these gifts will resonate with students. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
You might think college students are tricky to shop for, but in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since they’re constantly swamped with homework and simultaneously managing a busy social life, all they want is stuff that makes their lives easier and more fun.
If you’re stressing about what to get the student in your life this holiday season, never fear. We’ve collected some great gift ideas, handpicked by college students for college students: