This week: the iPad Air 2 reviews are in, and not everyone’s feeling the love; Cult of Mac spends a day with Apple Pay; Yosemite and iOS 8.1 Continuity features delight; a potential cure for the painful #6PlusPinch; some welcome changes rumored for Beats Music; and we wrap with our favorite movie trilogies of all time on an all-new Get To Know Your Cultist.
Titter 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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We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.
We're one month into iPhone rumor season and even though the rumormill has been quiet about upcoming hardware this week, we've got plenty of rumors surrounding Apple Pay's future, as well as some gossip that Nike and Apple are working on making some wearable together. Step up to the crystal ball and see which of this week's juicy rumors are full of fluff.
The Rumor: Apple plans to launch an Apple Pay loyalty program in time for the holiday shopping season.
The Verdict: Probably. Getting retailers onboard in time will be a challenge, as Apple Pay just launched last week. We've already seen hundreds of companies jump at the chance to be a part of Apple Pay, and providing a rewards program for users would be a nice plus for merchants and shoppers alike.
The Rumor: Nike and Apple are working on a stealth and stylish fitness tracker.
The Verdict: Definitely. Nike discontinued its FuelBand project and dismissed the 70-person team behind it, but they've still got a weapon no other apparel company can match: Tim Cook sits on the board. What the the next Nike fitness tracker will look like is anyone's guess, but I'd wager it'll be a much improved version of the Nike+ sensor that can be slipped into shoes and clothes.
The Verdict: Maybe, but we won't see it soon. Apple patents a lot of ideas that it never uses, but having your car cabin automatically heat up when your walking to it, or locking/unlocking remotely would be handy, and probably pretty easy to integrate with CarPlay. Just don't expect to be able to drive your Hyundai with the iPhone anytime soon.
The Verdict: Definitely. A tap-to-buy button embedded in mobile ads could be huge for developers looking to make more money from their apps. Apple wins by making developers richer. And users win by getting higher quality apps than whatever they got on Android.
The Verdict: My bank account sure hopes so, but will Apple be able to pay musicians with the smaller monthly fee? Tim Cook said iTunes users spend about $60 a year - which works out to $5 a month - so Apple might believe lowering the price would more than double subscriptions.
Tim Cook has described his desire to bring Apple Pay to China as “top of the list” in terms of priorities.
Cook was quoted on Friday, following an interview he gave with China’s official Xinhua news agency. “China is a really key market for us,” he said. “Everything we do [in terms of services in the U.S.], we are going to work it here.”
Christian Bale is Steve Jobs. The Oscar-winning actor has officially signed on to play the late Apple co-founder in Sony’s upcoming movie based on Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay. Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle is attached to the project, but no other cast or crew members have been confirmed.
A lot of big Hollywood actors, including Leonardo DiCaprio, have been in talks to play Jobs at some point, but Bale’s name stayed in the hat till the very end. Looking at Bale as an actor, it’s easy to see why. Here’s why he will play the perfect Steve Jobs.
Craig Federighi praises the Klingon Keyboard during last week’s iPad launch. Photo: Apple
Third-party keyboards like SwiftKey and Swype vastly improve touchscreen typing in iOS 8, but sometimes you need to go that extra mile to really express yourself. Sometimes you need to send text messages in Klingon, or get your point across visually with an animated GIF or an off-the-cuff doodle.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, showcased a Klingon Keyboard during last week’s iPad media event, and that’s just one of the amusingly offbeat keyboards flooding the App Store in this new era of freedom.
Cult of Mac talked with the developers behind the Klingon Keyboard and other wacky alternatives for this guide to the weird world of third-party iOS keyboards. You’ll never type the same way again!
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Tim Cook wasn’t kidding when he said that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were proving to be Apple’s most popular iPhones of all time.
Two new reports coming out of Apple’s Chinese supply chain today demonstrate the extent to which this is true. According to one report, Apple’s Chinese production line is on course to ship a total of 50 million iPhone 6 devices by the end of 2014 — referring only to the 4.-inch iPhone 6 and not including the 6 Plus.
By comparison, for the calendar fourth quarter of 2013, Apple sold a total of 51 million iPhones all-in, which itself marked an all-time quarterly record.
A working motherboard for the Apple I, one of the rarest personal computers ever made. Photo: Bonhams
An ultra-rare working 1976 Apple-1 computer — thought to be one of the first 50 ever produced — has sold at auction for an incredible $905,000, between twice and three times the expected asking price.
The computer was part of Bonhams History of Science auction in New York City. It sold to the Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, a museum dedicated to showcasing the ingenuity and innovation that helped shape America.
“It’s very rare to be able to collect the beginning of something, but the Apple-1 is exactly that,” Henry Ford curator Kristen Gallerneaux told Cult of Mac, speaking after being onsite at the auction earlier today.
Apple appears to have acquihired the small team behind Pin Drop, a location-bookmarking app set to close down at the end of the month.
Based on redacted information, Cult of Mac has reason to believe that at least some members of Caffeinehit, the London-based development team behind Pin Drop’s iOS and Android apps, will soon be part of Apple’s iOS engineering team.