Tools like hands-free kits and Siri might mean that you don’t have to have your face constantly buried in your iPhone, but for most people the reality is that using a smartphone suggests your focus is not entirely on the real world around you.
Tackling this problem head-on is a place called Foreigner Street in Chongqing city, China, which has installed a special walking lane for smartphone users — just as might be the case with a cycle lane elsewhere.
The big iPhones are here at last, and so – as surely as indigestion follows a burrito – are the oversize iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases. Also new on the scene this week: a game controller for all your iDevices, plus some sweet retro-style cameras.
A big-ass phone needs a big-ass case, and the Waterfield Spinn is both big and sits by your ass. The leather holster clips to your belt, the bottom is open for hooking up headphones and hearing the speaker, and the closing clasp doubles as a winder for unused headphone cabling. Pretty cool for a dorky holster. $59
Fujifilm’s successor to the amazing X100S changes little. You get refined buttons and dials, and more of these can be given custom functions. You get a double-resolution LCD on the back, plus Wi-Fi inside, and a sweet new hybrid viewfinder that can overlay a digital rangefinder on the pure optical view. $1,300
The Tivo Mega really is mega, with 24TB of DVR storage for 4,000 hours of HD and 26,000 hours of SD programming. At roughly 20 minutes each, that’s enough space to keep the entire series of Big Bang Theory 490 times over. It’s rack mountable, has six tuners and you can stream direct to your phone. How much? $5,000
Grovemade puts a lid on its gorgeous wooden iPhone cases with the new Maple & Leather model for the 6 and 6 Plus. It has the usual bumper-like wooden surround, but with a new leather flap on the front that doubles as a kickstand, thanks to a stiffening wooden liner. It looks gorgeous. $129
What could be a better accessory for your new iPhone 6 Plus than the Moga Rebel, a Bluetooth game controller for your iPhone or iPad that boasts an adjustable arm and clamp to hold even a giant phone? $80
Leatherman By The Numbers is a range of 10 new tools that each pack at least four tools into one lightweight little package. There are no moving parts (except on the No. 4, which has a removable screwdriver bit), and you can pick the combo that best suits your needs. From $11
Quit trying to squeeze a cylinder into your bag with your computer and books – try the book-shaped Memobottle instead. These plastic water bottles slide straight into your bag, and come in A4, A5 and U.S Letter sizes. Made from dishwasher-friendly Tritan, the only problem might be drinking from them – probably a two-handed task. From $22.
Forget full-frame digital. The way to get maximum photographic quality is medium-format film. Then you can proceed to ruin that film with the plastic-fantastic Lomo LC-A 120, a relatively tiny medium-format camera with automatic exposure, four-zone manual focus and a square format. $430
Put all your photos of eggs on a single SD card, with SanDisk's new 512GB Extreme Pro SDXC card. Pointless for photos, the super-fast UHS Speed Class 3 card is better for capturing video from your movie-making DSLR. Just $800.
The Aeroclam switches a saggy, baggy saddle bag that rattles on the rails of your racing seat for a tightly-fitted clamshell bag that stays permanently – and tightly – attached to your undercarriage. There’s space for a patch kit and maybe a multitool, but not a pump. Fits most non-Brooks saddles. NZ$50
Bumpies are so small, you almost can’t see them. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
Bumpies border upon the nonexistent, and that’s why they are better than most other iPhone cases. Not that you could really count Bumpies as a case: They’re little stick-on corners that protect your iPhone’s extremities, and do it almost invisibly.
When it comes to mobile communication chips, Qualcomm has cemented itself as Apple’s go-to supplier.
The San Diego-based semi-conductor company dominates the mobile chips business like Apple dominates tablets, but Intel is ready to steal a large chunk of it, and according to the president of Intel Korea, Lee Hee-sung, it’s only a matter of time before Apple converts.
Has Apple made the right choice to ditch the i-naming scheme for new products? The man who named the iMac thinks so. (Photo: Business Insider)
From books to phones, Apple’s named everything with the same “i” moniker since 1998. With the Apple Watch and Apple Pay, however, it looks like that convention is set to change.
Cult of Mac reached out to Ken Segall — the former Apple employee who started the tradition with the original iMac — for his surprising reaction to Apple ditching his naming convention for new product categories.
One of iOS 8’s new wallpapers on the iPhone 6. Photo: Apple.
With its latest iOS 8 beta, Apple added a bunch of gorgeous new wallpapers. Some of them appeared on stage during the company’s special event on Tuesday, and others can be seen on the its website decorating the home screens of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.
But you don’t need to wait until iOS 8 goes public next week to get your hands on them, because they’re all available to download right here.
Apple Watch's Milanese Loop strap is identical to that of the Ikepod Solaris.
The Ikepod Megapod's stainless steel bracelet appears to have inspired Apple's Link Bracelet.
Apple Watch's Link Bracelet also shares the same clasp design as the Megapode.
Apple's Sport Band is identical to the Ikepod Hemipode's rubber strap in almost every way.
They don't just share the same buckle, either.
Both straps look identical when closed.
Apple Watch's Leather Loop strap looks like it may have been inspired by the Ikepod Seaslug's strap.
The Apple Watch looks far more elegant than the rectangular smartwatches we’ve already seen from competing companies, but we couldn’t help noticing that some of its straps look a little… familiar.
In fact, several of Apple’s new strap designs look almost identical to straps from luxury watchmaker Ikepod, which not so coincidentally used to be run by Marc Newson, an Australian industrial designer who recently became a part of Apple’s design team.
Widget, widgets, widgets. Boy, have we got some widgets for you. And text. Plain text. Plain old text, turned into a calculator. And widgets. Did I mention those? Weather widgets. Battery widgets. And yes, text widgets.
Read all about these new widgets and other new apps in this week's App Watch.
WunderStation from Weather Underground hooks into thousands of privately owned weather stations and presents their data in an iPad app. The smoothly animated graphs are beautiful and can tell you way more than you’d ever want to know about rainfall, barometric pressure and even UV. If you have stations near you, it’s pretty rad. If not, no biggie – the app is $Free
Filthy name, great app. Droool is a “photo gallery for your social networks.” Browse pictures from Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook and more, and index pictures from iCloud and other local folders without moving or copying the files. It’s fast, simple and looks great, and it’s free with in-app purchases. $Free
Terrible name, great app. iBetterCharge monitors your iOS devices’ battery level over your Wi-Fi network, using the same connection that iTunes Wi-Fi sync would use, if you still synced your iPhone with your computer in the space year of 2014. It can pop up warnings when the battery drops to a preset level, and a click on the menu bar shows you the level of all the devices on the network. $Free
This is what the Internet is made for. Photogrammar puts 170,000 Depression-era photos in a searchable, browsable archive. Explore on an interactive map, search or get into the Labs section and browse by metadata sourced from the U.S. Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information archives. Warning: serious time-sink. $Free
PlainTextMenu takes the text on your Mac’s clipboard and transmogrifies it into something useful. It strips out formatting, so you never get big ugly Comic Sans when pasting from a colleague’s Word report, and it can turn the text to uppercase, lowercase or title case along the way. From the school of One Thing Well. $1
Web service re/spin takes Spotify playlists and transforms them into Rdio playlists. If someone’s going to share a playlist, it usually comes from Spotify, and re/spin works with published Spotify playlists. Or you can just paste in a track list copied right from the app. It also works with Last.fm. Remember when PCs couldn’t read Mac floppy disks? It’s like fixing that all over again. $Free
You know all those hard drives grafted onto your Mac? Keep a close eye on them with StorageStatus, an app that turns hard drives into traffic lights in your menu bar and changes their colors when they do something. It knows when they are sleeping, it knows when they’re awake, and it knows when they’ve been good or bad. $3
Not new, but awesome nonetheless. Calca is as close as you’ll get to a plain text calculator. Tap in complex formulas or simple sums and see the results right there in a plain text document. Set variables or just add numbers. And see all your pages synced over iCloud between Mac, iPhone and iPad versions, as well as Windows(!). I love Calca for its balance of simplicity and power. From $3
Finally, a version for the iPad. TVShow Time tracks your favorite TV shows and tells you when they’re on. Browse shows and show synopses, and get notifications when something is about to air. See the shows on a calendar, view news about your shows and read about new shows. It’s pretty comprehensive, and looks great on the big iPad screen. $3
“One more thing” returned at this year’s iPhone keynote. Photo: Apple.
We love it when Apple live-streams its keynotes so that we can watch along with those lucky enough to have gotten an invite, but yesterday’s was nothing short of a disaster. It was down more than it was up, and it made Tim Cook and Phil Schiller sound like Chinese girls. But if you missed anything, you can now catch up on-demand and uninterrupted.
You’re gonna want one of these. Probably both, though. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
That like-new iPhone 5s in your pocket? Obsolete. How about that smartwatch or fitness band you’ve been carting around on your wrist for the past six months? Old news. If you whip out your leather wallet and try to pay with a rectangle of plastic — at least at the corporate stores Apple works with — chances are you’ll be looked at like an old fogey.
Apple has, once again, thoroughly owned the mobile category, expanding the ways we communicate, live and transact business in our daily lives.
This domination of the smartphone, smartwatch and mobile payment categories, as revealed in today’s big iPhone 6 and Apple Watch event, has us ready to hand over another load of cash to the Apple mothership, and gladly. As usual, there were some surprises — some awesome and some not so much — but here are the main takeaways.