New app promises to give your iPhone a 32MP camera

Photo: Apple

8 megapixels not enough for you? Try 32. Photo: Apple

How would you like an app that transforms your regular 8-megapixel iPhone 6 camera into a 32-megapixel one?

Okay, so it’s not exactly as miraculous as it sounds, but photography app Hydra is a worthy tool to add to your virtual camera bag. It works by taking a series of up to 60 small images and then stitching them together to form one super high-resolution picture.

While it isn’t true 32-megapixel photography, it’s still an altogether impressive app that only serves to underline just why the iPhone camera has been so embraced by users.

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Facebook’s iOS app will start recommending nearby places to you

Facebook's getting place recommendations. Photo: Cult of Mac

Facebook’s getting place recommendations. Photo: Cult of Mac

Facebook has been trying to go after Foursquare’s slice of the geolocation pie for a while now, and a new update to Facebook’s iOS app doubles down on that policy, providing Foursquare-style recommendations for places to visit in your area, based upon the suggestion of friends.

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Apple Watch spotted in the wild turns skeptic into true believer

The second you see an Apple Watch, you'll want one. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

The second you see an Apple Watch, you’ll want one. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

I’ll admit it: I don’t think I want an Apple Watch. I don’t need another screen to notify me about what’s happening on another screen.

That’s what I think now. But I’m not arrogant enough to believe Apple might not prove me wrong. They’ve certainly proven me wrong before.

Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you think the Apple Watch isn’t something you want, but you’re worried that the second you see one, you’ll want one. You’re right to be worried. Apple Watches are starting to be spotted in the wild. And the people who see them are immediately turning into believers.

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Midnight Rises uses video game tricks to supercharge comics

Charlie (left) and Cromax, a hyper-evolved Cro-Magnon and chief engineer on the Joplin. Photo: Mike Choi/Industrial Toys

New comics app Midnight Rises introduces Charlie (left) and Cromax, a hyper-evolved Cro-Magnon and chief engineer on the science spaceship Joplin. Photo: Mike Choi/Industrial Toys

Mike Choi, a talented, experienced comic book artist, was drooling.

We were talking on the phone about Midnight Rises, a new digital comic app that explains the rich sci-fi backdrop of Midnight Star, an upcoming first-person shooter for mobile devices from Industrial Toys.

Choi had just had some teeth pulled, and was still kind of loopy when we got to chat with him and two other Industrial Toys execs, President Tim Harris and CEO Alex Seropian (you may know him as one of the co-founders of Bungie Software) about their first iOS app, a re-visioning of what visual storytelling can do.

Most digital comics are just a reformatting of traditional print comics to fit on a touchscreen. Midnight Rises goes further, using the tricks of video games to tell a comic-book style story.

“We hate motion comics,” said Choi. “This was way more work than just turning the canvas on its side.”

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This iPhone-controlled Batmobile is the toy Batman deserves

This Batmobile is the one every iPhone owner deserves. Photo: Soap Studio

This Batmobile is the one every iPhone owner deserves. Photo: Soap Studio

I don’t care who you are. I don’t care if you don’t even like Batman. This beautiful, remote-controlled, iPhone-compatible Batmobile? It’s the toy that Gotham — hell, everybody! — deserves.

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Why Jeff Williams is Apple’s unsung hero

The man described by Fortune as "Tim Cook's Tim Cook"

The man described by Fortune as “Tim Cook’s Tim Cook” Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Coming off a record-breaking financial quarter — largely thanks to the astonishing success of the iPhone 6 — it’s worth asking who Apple owes its present success to.

While everyone is quick to mention the usual suspects (Tim Cook and Jony Ive being two of the most prominent), a name you don’t hear bandied about so much is Jeff Williams. He’s Apple’s operations whiz, the VP whose job it is to make sure products get manufactured, shipped and delivered on time, and with the highest possible standards.

Ever wonder how Apple was able to go from shipping 10 million iPhones in the whole of 2008 to 74 million in the past quarter alone, without missing a beat? That would be Jeff Williams, the guy Fortune once called “Tim Cook’s Tim Cook.”

Here’s why he deserves your respect — and the $24.5 million he took home last year.

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Rest in Pod: Apple no longer reporting iPod sales

Dressing up as an iPod becomes a Halloween sensation. Photo: Maria Ly/Flickr CC

If we were going to the iPod’s funeral, this is how we’d dress up. Photo: Maria Ly/Flickr CC

Although the iMac generated a whole lot of buzz for Apple upon Steve Jobs’ return in the late 1990s, it was the debut of the iPod in October 2001 that truly dispatched Apple on its path to astronomical levels of success: a path it hasn’t strayed from in the near decade-and-a-half since then.

Which is why it’s kind of sad to realize that on Apple’s most recent quarterly filing, the “little MP3 player that could” has been unceremoniously shuffled (get it?) into the “Other Products” category, along with such “hobby” project as Apple TV.

To be fair, Apple had warned everyone this would happen back in October 2014, but seeing the iPod no longer mentioned with Apple’s flagship products is a reminder of how the once mighty have fallen — and how much Apple’s core business has changed since the millennium.

Alas, poor iPod! We knew you well!

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ICYMI: iPad haters’ initial complaints seem ridiculous 5 years on

Hater's gonna hate. Cover design: Stephen Smith

Hater’s gonna hate. Cover design: Stephen Smith

This week, Luke details all the ways those original iPad haters were utterly wrong on the fifth anniversary of Apple’s category-busting tablet, Luke has a sneak peek at the stunning mural for a new Apple retail store in Chongqing, China, Evan takes us into the bizarre world of the latest Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell game, Buster slams through the seven biggest reveals in Apple’s record-smashing quarterly earning’s call, and Rob writes up five super easy tips to master iPhone, with a huge assist from video auteur, Stephen Smith.

Be sure to catch all of these stories and many more in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine, available for free right now.

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Take a sneak peak inside Apple’s gorgeous new Chongqing Store


Apple’s latest Chinese Apple Store will open this Saturday. Photo: MacX

As China continues its march to become one of Apple’s most important markets, the country’s press have been given a special advance preview of the company’s forthcoming second Chongqing Apple Store, set to open at 10am local time this Saturday, January 31.

Not dissimilar to the concept behind Apple’s Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York, the new Chongqing Apple Store features a stunning glass structure emblazoned with the Apple logo, leading to an underground shopping area. In doing so, the store recycles the design Apple first created for its Pudong retail store in Shanghai.

Check out some some other beautiful inside images after the jump.

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Tax proposal may let Apple bring its massive cash pile home again

This could be Tim Cook, if only he's allowed to bring his money back home. Photo: AMC

This could be Tim Cook, if only he’s allowed to bring his money back home. Photo: AMC

Apple’s got more money in the bank right now than you or I could ever make if we were giving thousands of lifetimes. Due to tax laws, however, most of it is kept overseas — a not unusual business practice for major multinationals, although that hasn’t stopped it earning Apple a ton of bad press.

Two U.S. senators have a plan to bring the money back to the United States, though — along with similar (smaller) cash piles held by other tech giants like Microsoft and Google.

And for once it’s a plan we think Cupertino might actually be happy to consider.

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