The time of year where we start looking for the best deals out there. The time of year where we want to get the most bang for our buck wherever we can. Well, Cult of Mac Deals has assembled quite the offer with The Black Friday Mac Bundle. You’ll get 11 killer Mac apps for the low price of $49.99 – a savings of 88%!
Apple flipped a switch this week and enabled customers at 254 U.S. Apple Stores to get spammed with micro-location based promotional nagging.
The new system, called iBeacon, is a low cost, low-energy way to achieve actionable “indoor GPS” in which “beacons” use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals to figure out exactly where you are and send messages relevant to that specific location.
But Apple Stores are probably the least-compelling iBeacon scenario I can think of.
Your typical Apple store is a glass box, a single room with a door in the front, a Genius Bar in the back and tables and shelves in the middle. It’s impossible to get lost in a regular Apple Store and trivially easy for customers to find any of the tiny number of products for sale. Also: Apple doesn’t do in-store promotional discounts except for one day a year (Black Friday).
Right now, you participate in the Apple Store iBeacon system by launching the Apple Store app (which I imagine most iPhone owners don’t know exists) and changing your iPhone’s settings to use iBeacon (which most iPhone owners don’t know how to do) and granting permission to get in-store promotions (which most iPhone owners probably have no interest in).
Once all that happens, iBeacon interrupts you to nag you about trading in your old iPhone, and offers help like Microsoft’s Clippy when you’re looking at a specific section of the store: “I see you are looking at iPads? Would you like to know more about the iPad?” (I made up the wording, but the intent of some iBeacon messages is identical to that.)
As a result, iBeacon in Apple Stores mostly annoys. I can think of a hundred scenarios where iBeacon could be incredibly great. But the greatest of these: My house.
This time on the CultCast: pro television editor and motion graphics artist Mike Gaines tells us the pros and cons of Apple’s new Mac Pro. Plus, Darth Vader has an iPhone 4; Apple makes your face your password; new patents tell a tale wireless charging for your Mac and iDevices; and we pitch our favorite new apps on an all-new Faves ‘N Raves!
Have a few laughs and get caught up on 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 adventure begin.
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The iPhone is a great travel tool, but making your smartphone travel actually smart isn’t about packing it up with dozens of apps you never use or that won’t get you out of the plane seat next to the loo on a crowded holiday flight.
Enter Cult of Mac Magazine. In time for your holiday travels (or maybe escaping from your loved ones for some beach or ski resort time?), we sounded out dozens of road warriors to learn what they really find necessary for the daily commute or continental flight. These black tees and easy-to-launder socks of the app world, if you will, include some surprising picks, many of them free.
If your travel is mostly of the four-wheel variety, you’ll want to read what happens when reporter Alex Heath took smart-driving app Automatic for a month-long spin. (Can it reform his gas guzzling, donut-making driving style?)
In our exclusive Ask an Apple Genius column, we answer your questions about how to get your Mac repaired on the road and how to handle assistance when you live in a town without an Apple store.
You’ll also find our picks for the best in apps this week and what’s really rocking the iTunes store when it comes to books, movies and music.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Apple touts its new iBeacon technology as a boon for retailers, but my first experience with the sensor system left me asking, “Is that it?”
The company activated its iBeacon tech, which uses Bluetooth low-energy, to track users’ iPhones as they roam an indoor space, at 254 U.S. Apple Stores this morning. I visited the Scottsdale Quarter store to see what Apple can do with the technology on its home turf. While you would think Apple would pull out all the stops for a truly spectacular iBeacon debut, I left unimpressed.
Many of the stats we have about iOS marketshare and demographics come from third-party companies, most of whom are tracking ad impressions within their network. As such, their stats have the potential of being inaccurate, and need to be taken with at least a little bit of salt.
Looks like online ad network Chitika can be trusted though. Earlier this week, we reported that Chitika was now tracking 74.1% of all devices as running iOS 7. Now, Apple is backing those numbers up, and it makes Google look pathetic.
This software solution offer far more than speech-to-text. With it you can create and edit documents, manage email, surf the Web, update social networks, and more – quickly, easily, and accurately – all by voice. Just read your text aloud and watch the magic appear before your eyes right on your computer screen.
Although not a new technology by any means, fingerprint scanners have historically been hamstrung by issues that have caused their sensors to degrade relatively rapidly, no longer being able to correctly read a fingerprint after only a few months.
When Apple introduced Touch ID with the iPhone 5s, they claimed to have solved that problem. Protected by nigh-indestructible Sapphire Glass, the Touch ID sensor is supposed to be able to read the curves and contours of your fingerprints at a resolution of up to 500 pixels per inch. But could Touch ID be just as susceptible to degradation issues over time as previous biometrics solutions?