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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.