If you think Apple’s packaging is good, wait until you see these

Apple doesn't have anything on the packaging for these products.
Apple doesn't have anything on the packaging for these products.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Opening a new Apple product for the first time is pretty close to a holy experience. Part of that is because Apple spends so much time perfecting product packaging so it’s simple, elegant and secure without compromising on intuitiveness.

However, it’s a mistake to think Apple is the only company that pours thought and care into something as basic as a box. In light of the recent rumor that Apple will be working with third-party accessory makers to co-design packaging for their products in Apple retail stores, it’s clear many other companies care as well. It’s about being eye-catching without straying from uniformity, it’s about being simple yet still adorned.

With this spirit in mind, take a look at some of the other electronic companies out there getting extremely creative with their product packaging. The goal for these seems to be making the boxes as gorgeous as the products themselves – and they succeed.

3 easy ways to record Beats 1 audio onto your Mac

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beats-1-radio-shows-day-one - 1

Screen: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

Beats 1 is live 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it’s a fantastic way to get your dose of what’s happening right now in urban music.

Problem is, just like the terrestrial radio that it uses as its model, Beats 1 doesn’t have an archived recording of its shows. If you want to hear a specific DJ or interview, you have to tune in.

There are ways, however, of recording the audio stream with varying degrees of “free” and “easy.” Two of them involve some technical know how while the third will require you to drop some cash. Check it out.

How to kill Facebook’s annoying app sounds on your iPhone

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Tired of the new bleeps already? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Tired of the new bleeps already? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

You may have noticed recently that the Facebook app makes sounds. Like a post? Chirp. Refresh the news feed? Swoosh. It’s like your iPhone got suddenly chatty and wants you to know that you’re tapping on the screen with every blip and bloop.

Surely you’d like to turn these things off. You could just mute your whole iPhone with the sound toggle button, but if you want to have other audio come through, like video, music, or (gasp) phone calls, you can dip into your Facebook app settings and soon experience the bliss of a blip-free Facebook browsing experience.

Here’s how.

How to master Messages in iOS 8

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Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Tons of new features make iOS 8's Messages app more powerful than ever. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I’ve pretty much become a full-time texter these days, using Apple’s Messages app on my Mac and iPhone to send iMessages (to friends and contacts who use iOS or OS X) as well as regular text messages (to people outside the Apple ecosystem).

iOS 8 brings great new changes to the mobile version of the Messages app, some of which might not be immediately apparent. Here’s a look at the new features and how best to use them.