The App Store makes more money than Hollywood

App Store is now the world's top entertainer. Photo: Buster Hein

App Store is now the world’s top entertainer. Photo: Buster Hein

Hollywood has long been the sparkling gem of entertainment in the U.S., but when it comes to making money, Apple is schooling the entertainment industry on how to bring in the cash with the App Store.

In 2014, iOS app developers earned more than Hollywood did from U.S. box office revenues, reports top Apple analyst Horace Dediu. According to Asymco’s number crunching, apps are now a bigger digital content business than music, TV programs, movie purchases and rentals combined.

Apple paid out approximately $25 billion total to developers, which means that not only is the App industry healthier than Hollywood, but also on an individual level, some developers are out earning Hollywood stars. The median income for developers is also likely higher than the median income for actors. If you’re looking to strike it rich, forget becoming the next Brad Pitt. Be the next Dong Nguyen.

Check out the chart below:

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MacTech Pro event series lets you get your Mac on

mactech-pro

MacTech Pro Events are coming to a city near you. Photo: MacTech

The list of annual Apple-focused conferences is drying up now that the plug has been pulled on Macworld/iWorld, but if you’re an Apple pro, MacTech is hosting its first ever MacTech Pro event series that will take place in nine locations across the U.S.

The regional events hosted by MacTech Magazine will be geared to helping professional Apple techs, consultants and support staff. The event packs tons of sessions into a full day of learning about everything from iCloud Drive, productivity tools, security, tech tool boxes, and more.

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Future iPads could have PS Vita-style touch controls on the back

Your next iPad? Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Your next iPad? Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

As we use our iOS devices for more and more tasks in daily life, a big question facing Apple is exactly how to squeeze more functionality out of limited screen real estate. The iPhone 6 Plus and the rumored 12-inch iPad Pro offer the simplest answer to this conundrum: make the devices bigger.

But a new patent application published today offers another potential way around the problem, without compromising the gorgeous one-button simplicity of Apple’s mobile devices.

Filed in August 2014, the “Configurable Input Device” patent application describes how Apple may consider incorporating sensor regions for user input on the back of iPads, thereby opening up a whole new way of using your favorite apps.

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How a grandma with a bum hip sparked a shopping revolution

Jane and Ned Snowball shopping online in 1984. Photo: Courtesy of the Aldrich Archive

Jane and Ned Snowball shopping online in 1984. Photo courtesy Aldrich Archive

A 72-year-old grandmother with a broken hip started the revolution with a television remote in her hand. She pointed it at the screen in her living room in 1984 and bought eggs, cornflakes and margarine.

How a grandma with a bum hip sparked a shopping revolution Jane Snowball of Gateshead, England, spent a few pounds and became the first online shopper. In 2013, online shopping generated more than $1.2 trillion worldwide (with the promise of higher figures when 2014 numbers are reported).

Snowball did not use the computer as we know it. She used a device called Videotex, which merged media and business information systems and made them available to “outside correspondents.” She pressed a button on the remote with a phone icon and was able to connect to her local Tesco supermarket with a telephone number. The store received her list and delivered the items to her door.

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Netflix calls Popcorn Time, the ‘Netflix for pirates,’ a direct competitor

The Popcorn Time app on Android. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The Popcorn Time app on Android. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Popcorn Time, the app for Mac and jailbroken iOS devices that allows you to stream movie and television torrents from the cloud, has often been heralded as “Netflix for pirates,” thanks to its easy-to-use interface and huge selection of content. Turns out that’s enough for Netflix to consider Popcorn Time a direct competitor.

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Logic Pro X just got its biggest update yet

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A year and a half after Logic Pro X hit shelves, Apple has released the biggest update to its pro music software yet. The 10.1 update focuses on electronic dance music and hip-hop, adding new tools, drummers and more for the would-be Kanyes and Skrillexes out there.

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Rdio for iOS updates with New Music station, enhanced sharing and more

The official Rdio app just updated with a new station and sharing capabilities. Photo: Cult of Mac

The official Rdio app just updated with a new station and sharing capabilities. Photo: Cult of Mac

Rdio may be the underdog in the streaming media wars when compared to Spotify, but for my money, they still have the best software around. And it’s just gotten even better.

Today, Rdio for iOS was updated to version 3.1, bringing a new station for just-released music, enhanced sharing abilities and a load of other features and bug fixes.

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MegaUpload founder brings video calling to your browser

Steve Wozniak's Recent Meeting With Kim Dotcom.

Kim Dotcom, as pictured with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Photo: Kim Dotcom/Instagram

The infamous brains behind MegaUpload, Kim Dotcom, has just launched the beta version of his latest product: a browser-based encrypted video calling and file-sharing service he hopes will take on the Microsoft-owned Skype.

Called MegaChat, the service uses what is called User Controlled Encryption (UCE), meaning that you get a decryption key provided, and are then free to send it to people so that they you can trade files with them. Like the Web-based MegaUpload, no software installation is required, although there are Chrome and Firefox extensions which aid with improved performance and security.

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You can now use WhatsApp on your Mac, but there’s a catch

You can now use WhatsApp on your Mac, but there's a catch. Photo: Cult of Mac

You can now use WhatsApp on your Mac, but there’s a catch. Photo: Cult of Mac

WhatsApp is a great alternative to iMessage, except in one regard: iMessage lets you send messages from your Mac. That means if you hate tapping in text messages on a touchscreen, you can use your keyboard instead.

But that’s changed. The long-awaited ability to use WhatsApp on your Mac has finally arrived. But there’s a caveat: It only works if you don’t have an iPhone.

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5 short films that will blow your mind during your daily subway ride

Ever wanted to see the world through Superman's eyes? Photo:

Ever wanted to see the world through Superman’s eyes? Photo: Corridor Digital

Okay, so we live in something of a great time for epic movie storytelling — where a combination of the home video market, multiplex theaters, and multi-part franchises mean that filmmakers are no longer pressured to squeeze giant stories into single 90-minute movies.

But while that’s all well and great in some ways, there are definitely occasions upon which we wish movies were a bit more manageable in length: the kind of thing you can comfortably watch over, say, a lunch break.

With that in mind, here are five superb short films you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t watch. They may be short on running-time, but you’ll be surprised at just how many insane stunts, great plot setups and, err, creepy Russian robots they can manage to whip out during 5 or 10 minutes.

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