BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS – This year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was pretty disappointing from a gadget-lovers point of view. Samsung was there, but didn’t announce anything new. Microsoft didn’t even have a stand, and even the once-great App Planet section is little but a business-service wasteland (albeit with the best tea, coffee and beer in the show).
Still, even a pile of crap has variations in its texture, and so we bring you the “Best” of Mobile World Congress 2013.
Apple was on fire in 2012. Along with the incredible iPhone 5, we saw the first retina tablet and the pocketable iPad mini. This was also the year in which Apple let the iPod touch out to play, giving it features on a par with the iPhone 4S instead of using leftover components from Google’s leftover Nexus parts bin.
But not everything from Apple made it into our top ten. The Retina MacBook Pro, despite being an amazing machine, is still a laptop, albeit one with a hi-res screen and no DVD player. And the new iMac’s most interesting contribution to tech is the HDD/SSD Fusion Drive. Sure, it’s skinny, but who really cares about a thin desktop machine? It’s like making the world’s thinnest lawnmower.
Most of the rest of my picks reflect the fact that high-tech consumer electronics are now as utterly mainstream as the iron or the microwave oven. Sure, us nerds still love to play with the latest crap, and there will always be plenty of ill-informed consumers who are suckered into buying cheapo Android tablets, but these days gadgets generally Just Work, and the differences are in the little details.
That’s why we have fitness widgets alongside fancy portable speakers and implausibly good-for-the-price headphones.
So, should you be in the mood to read yet another end-of-year best-of list, carry on.
As we near the end of 2012, Cult of Mac has taken a look back at some of the best iOS apps that have hit the App Store over the last 12 months. There have been some terrific releases this year, and we could have named a hundred that are well worth your hard-earned cash. But we’ve managed to whittle our list down to just ten titles that have really stood out for us this year. Check out our best apps roundup below.
One of the better Yuletide traditions is the venerable holiday Advent Calendar, in which each day of December leading up to Christmas is marked off on a special calendar by opening its corresponding door to find a small gift, toy or chocolate squirreled away inside.
This year, we here at Cult of Mac decided we wanted to give our readers their very own Apple-themed advent calendar, filled with the year’s best apps, gadgets, stories and other curios. So each day in December, we’re going to lovingly peel back the door on the Cult of Mac 2012 Advent Calendar to reveal another delicious morsel, something really special that came out this year that we think every one of you should enjoy.
Day 23 is here, and today, we’re talking about JamBox’s bulkier big bro: the Big JamBox.
It’s August, and you’re either on vacation, or leaving soon. The problem? You just tried to fit into last year’s swimsuit and – worse – you did it in front of the mirror. While it might be a little too late to lose that belly before you hit the beach this summer, take steps now and you’ll be a slimline hottie in time for Christmas and New Year, ready to undo all that good work in a week or two.
To help you, here’s our list of the best fitness gadgets around.
The earbuds that came with your $600 iPhone are junk, and if you bought an iPad, Apple didn’t even include a pair in the box. It’s time to upgrade.
Trouble is, there are all kinds of cans out there. How do you know what set is right for you? Some people (like me) seem to have a pair for every situation. For everyone else, here’s our guide to the best.
Things have gotten a lot more complicated than “VHS or Betamax?”
It used to be that video came to our homes in one of two ways: through the TV, or through a VHS tape. Then came DVD, then came the internet, and then came mediageddon.
Now we can get anything we want, any time we like. That’s the simple part, because now we also have to decide how we want to watch it. Luckily, we have put together a list of neat video hardware that will help you convert and push your media around the home, and even outside.
It’s nearly Father’s Day, the time to say thanks to the man who took you fishing, taught you to ride a bike, built a radio for you from something called a “cats’ whisker” and was standing at your side when you killed your first deer. And maybe your second.
Or he just used to sit you in front of a DVD, while he microwaved dinner for both of you. Either way it’s time to give something back. And if you’re anything like us, that “something” will be an awesome iGadget. So sit back, add this page to your Instapaper, make yourself a bottle of milk with a tot of rum in it and enjoy the Cult of Mac Bumper Father’s Day Gift Guide. You’re welcome.
We know that you Cult of Mac readers are also a bunch of photo nerds, so we thought that this week’s best-of list could be about cameras. You’re iPhone might be great (and even makes it into this list) but sometimes you need something more powerful, more rugged or just plain better. Here’s our list of the best cameras out these.
Now there really is no excuse not to retro-fy your iPhone
Cult of Mac’s favorite iPhone case for photographers — the Gizmon Rangefinder Case — has just been improved with new functions, plus a leather strap. And what’s more, it’s actually cheaper than it used to be.