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.
Leaked promotional shot for the canned McLaren phone, Microsoft’s flagship Lumia that was supposed to come out in time for the holidays. Photo: Baidu
If you needed any more confirmation that Windows Phone is dead in the water, two of its most high profile supporters have abandoned it for the iPhone.
Veteran Microsoft journalists Ed Bott and Tom Warren both published essays this week in which they criticized Windows Phone for its shortcomings and announced that they’ve stopped using Windows Phones personally. Citing a lack of carrier and third-party app support, both agreed that Windows Phone has missed its shot at being a real competitor in the smartphone market.
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.
The wallet-free future Apple promised with the iPhone 6 might finally be upon us in 2015, but only if you live in Iowa.
The state’s Department of Transportation says it will be the first state to ever allow citizens to use an official state app that will serve as a drivers license and ID. Iowa’s mobile app will reportedly contain all the same information found on the plastic license in your wallet, plus they’re adding a scannable bar code that links to DOT databases so all your info is up-to-date.
Seriously, I don’t want to have to ignore your call on three devices. Photo: Alex Heath/Cult of Mac
I love the idea of being able to answer a phone call on my Mac, or even on my iPad. The convergence of this communication technology seems like it has great potential.
In reality, though, I end up getting three rings for every call, each slightly time-shifted from the rest, as I sit in my office/living room with my iPhone, iPad and Mac. You’d think that such an intelligent system would know that I had all three devices in one room, and only ring through to one specified device. Until Apple figures that out, maybe in an iOS update or OS X 10.11, there’s only one thing you can do: Disable the heck out of it.
Smartphones have been linked to rising crime in New York and San Francisco thanks to their allure among thieves, and according to the FCC it’s getting even worse, with a new study finding 10% of all robberies now involve the theft of a smartphone.
For iPhone owners there is some good news though. The FCC says theft of iOS devices has been on the decline ever since Apple added Activation Lock in iOS 7. Thieves in San Francisco are reportedly passing up on the iPhone now that users have a kill switch, leading to a 38% decline in iPhone robberies.
iPhone thefts in New York City were also down 19% in the first five months of 2014, and in London they’ve dropped 24%. Android owners aren’t as lucky though.
According to the Chinese financial publication Jiemian, Foxconn is facing numerous difficulties building robots capable enough to carry out the kind of precision needed for constructing Apple devices. First and foremost is the fact that the bots are simply too clunky to do the work required of them — primarily because they were designed for automotive work rather than for assembling iPhones.
The current crop of bots reportedly have a production accuracy of 0.05mm, making them a little shy of the 0.02mm accuracy needed to build Apple products.
Sources in Apple’s Chinese supply chain think the iPhone will shrink again next year. We’re not convinced. Photo: Apple
Many people haven’t even gotten their iPhone 6 devices yet, and already the rumors are starting up about what Apple has planned for its next generation handsets.
One slightly sketchy rumor, citing sources in the Apple supply chain in China, suggests 2015’s iPhone lineup could include a 4-inch model, in line with the size of the iPhone 5 and 5s. According to the report, the idea would be to appeal to “female users” who are put off by the larger screen size of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
The rumor doesn’t elaborate on whether Apple would create a new 4-inch iPhone from scratch, or refresh a previously launched model instead.