Elio Motors’ three-wheeler is easy on the eyes — and the wallet. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
LAS VEGAS — It’s hard to say what’s most amazing about Elio Motors’ three-wheeled car: its sexy frame, its extreme fuel efficiency or its jaw-dropping $6,800 price tag.
That princely sum — a little less than a 12-core Mac Pro costs — gets you a sleek two-seater that looks like something you’d see in a sci-fi flick. It’s got two wheels up front, one in back and a built-in holder for your iPad.
And on the International CES show floor here, Elio’s got a team of breezy boosters who tout its many forward-looking features with the quick-witted humor of the best car salesmen.
“For $6,800, we ought to charge you for the air in the tires,” Elio Motors rep Don Harris told Cult of Mac when we asked if the iPad was included in the purchase price.
Will the iPad rebound in 2015? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Apple did amazing things in 2014, but when it comes to growth, the iPad wasn’t exactly a blockbuster success. In fact, they’ve been slumping. Although Cook views slowing iPad growth as a “speed bump,” iPad upgrades are inarguably closer to the upgrade rate of laptops than smartphones.
Cook’s optimistic. “Because we’ve only been in the market for four years, we don’t know how long the upgrade cycle will be for people,” Cook said during the October earnings call. “So that’s a difficult thing to call.”
So what does 2015 hold for the iPad? Sadly, it’s not clear.
You now have to pay more to become an App Store developer. Photo: Apple
Apple has today increased the annual subscription cost of its Mac and iOS Developer Programs in several countries across Europe. While the prices remain the same at $99 in the U.S., Europeans can now expect to pay anything from $96 to $121, depending on where they live.
Did you know this is the first product Jony Ive ever designed for Apple? Photo: Portfolio Penguin
Apple hasn’t built a device requiring a stylus since the heyday of the Newton in the 1990s, largely because Steve Jobs hated them. But a new patent published today suggests that Apple could be changing its mind — or is making a conscious effort to lead rivals and copycats astray.
Described as a “communicating stylus,” the patent describes a stylus featuring built-in accelerometers, wireless transmission, and storage — with the aim of sending hand-written notes and drawings from one device to another.
Developed by former Apple engineers, Duet Display is the first iPad app that lets you use the tablet as a secondary display for your Mac via a Lightning cable. Other apps have tried streaming over WiFi to turn the iPad into an extended display, but then you usually have to deal with bad lag and poor frame rate.
Because you connect the iPad via a 30-pin or Lightning cable, Duet Display claims to be capable of powering a Retina display at 60 frames per second with zero lag.
Its developers claim that the app works with all iOS devices on iOS 6 and up along with all Macs capable of running OS X 10.9. I wasn’t able to test it because my Mac is running the 10.10.2 Yosemite beta, which is currently super buggy.
Duet Display sounds like a great tool for making use of an old iPad you may have lying around the house. Support for older iOS 5.1.1 devices is being worked on for a future update in the App Store.
Algoriddim is known for making Djay, the most popular consumer DJ app out there. While the software already supports professional-grade turntables and DJ gear, Algoriddim has taken another big step into the world of pro DJing with the release of Djay Pro, it’s new Mac app.
This app is a powerhouse with 64-bit support, multi-core track analysis, a design that look great on Retina and 5K displays, and 60 frames-per-second graphics rendering.
The design looks pretty similar to what existing Djay users know, expect now there are even more features, like the ability to mix four tracks at once. The biggest feature addition by far is integration with Spotify. Premium Spotify subscribers have full access to their playlists, saved music, and the entire service’s catalog. Djay Pro is the first app to integrate with Spotify this closely, and it shows. It’s pretty cool to be able to switch seamlessly between your iTunes and Spotify libraries inside the app.
Djay Pro is trying to be the Final Cut or Logic of DJ software, Algoriddim CEO Karim Morsy told Cult of Mac in an interview. This new app is aimed squarely at the pros out there who also want a simplistic, powerful design. “This is what they’ve been waiting for,” he said.
Available on: Mac
Price: $49.99 introductory price (will eventually go up to $79.99)
If you’re someone who lives and dies by group texting, this is a great app to try out. From the same developers behind Launch Center Pro, Group Text+ allows you to “mix and match contacts, groups, images, and text snippets to quickly compose messages.”
You can add things like current location, the content of your clipboard, or a song to the group text as well. What you get with this app is an experience tailored to group messaging that’s built on iMessage and SMS, so you don’t have to worry about signing people up for some proprietary messaging service.
The interface is pretty simple, and there’s a handy extension to use the app throughout iOS.
Made by the same people behind the previous app, Email+ is the same group messaging approach applied to email. If you live in group email threads all day, this app could be the breath of fresh air you’ve been waiting for.
Amazon is determined to be the one-stop shop for just about anything you could need, and it’s new Prime Now app is for getting those things to you as quickly as possible.
With “tens of thousands” of items available for sale, Prime Now will ship to Amazon Prime subscribers within one to two hours.
The experiment is similar to Prime Pantry, Amazon’s same-day grocery deliver service that’s being slowly rolled out across the country. Prime Now is only available in Manhattan right now, but Amazon has plans to bring it to other cities.
Available on: iPhone
Price: Free with Prime subscription (One-hour deliveries cost $7.99 and two-hour deliveries are free)
The holidays are upon us, but never fear: we’re here for you with another amazing issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Cover design: Stephen Smith
It’s hard to believe that the holidays are already upon us, with Christmas arriving next week and Hanukkah already in full swing.
Our very own Leander Kahney weighs in this week with a fantastic gift guide for all those crazy Apple users in your world. This clever gift guide will help you find that special stuff your fanatic probably doesn’t have.
That, plus a fairly tasty gift guide for the cooks in your family or friend group from resident foodie Lewis Wallace, a quick and easy How To on reformatting your Mac’s hard drive from video and graphics whiz Stephen Smith, and some news on the recent spotlight aimed at Apple’s continued problems with Asian labor conditions.
Be sure to see below for these engaging stories and more. And Happy Holidays!
Keeping music on iOS weird. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
If there’s one thing we humans like to do, it’s make music. Seriously, we’ve been doing it since prehistoric times, so it’s no big surprise that we’d find many ways to bring music to our latest tool: the iPhone and iPad.
While there are a ton of different ways to play or make music on your iOS device of choice, here are nine rather weird ones, plus some fantastic videos to hear and see just how its done.
Penguins love iPad apps too. Screenshot: Cult of Mac
We all know that cats love playing with iPads. It turns out they’re not the only ones: the penguins at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California love playing with iPads so much it can help them get pregnant.
One of the most cerebral Mac games is now on iPad. Photo: Lucas Pope
As promised — and after a tiny storm of controversy over Apple’s initial rejection of the app over so-called pornographic content — the award-winning dystopian document thriller Papers, Please is now available for iOS.
A new app called Workflow aims to close the divide between the power of OS X and the convenience of iOS. By offering curated and custom workflows, the app can automate just about anything you’d want to do on the iPhone or iPad — along with actions you probably haven’t thought of before, like calling an Uber car to take you to your next meeting with one tap.
It’s an ambitious undertaking for any developer, but what makes Workflow even better is that it was created by two brilliant teenagers with great aspirations for making mobile devices as powerful as they can be.