The Apple Watch might be Cupertino’s most hotly anticipated product, but for my money, the two releases I’m most excited about this year are the 12-inch MacBook Air and the 12-inch iPad Pro. Outside of a few leaked images, though, we still have not seen either of these rumored devices in the flash.
Conceptual designer Martin Hajek is no stranger to turning rumors of upcoming Apple products into blisteringly sexy 3-D renders, and now he’s done it again with a series of renders showing the iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook Air going head to head. Call it the battle of the 12-inchers, if you will!
We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.
The iPad Pro has seemed like a myth the last two years, but the rumor mill is heating up with new gossip that Apple might add a stylus to its giant tablet. We’ve also got a new report on the Apple Watch’s dismal battery life, plus pictures that appear to be our first look at the 12-inch MacBook Air.
Which rumors are the real deal and who’s just pretending? Step up to the crystal ball and find out.
The Verdict: This doesn’t seem like the type of elegant solution Jony Ive would use, so don’t count on it. The iPad already has a display that can put a button in any spot you need. Adding dedicated buttons to the back is the opposite direction Apple’s design is moving.
The Rumor: Apple Watch will only get 19 hours of battery life.
The Verdict: This sounds about right to us. Some people are already complaining about Mark Gurman’s report that Apple Watch’s battery won’t last all-day. With as many features as Apple’s cramming into its first timepiece, we’re not shocked the battery is puny. Tim Cook already said you’ll have to charge it every day. It’s only a first generation device. If it lasts a full 19 hours we’ll be pleased.
The Rumor: Samsung plans to fix its glitchy fingerprint sensors by copying TouchID.
The Verdict: Definitely happening. The Samsung Galaxy S6 is supposed to be Samsung’s most innovative device in years because this time they’re not going to just copy Apple. It sounds like they still can’t make fingerprint readers easy to use though, so they’re copying Touch ID’s tap to scan feature.
The Verdict: This rumor is coming straight from the world’s most accurate Apple analyst, Ming Chi-Kuo. We have some serious doubts about it’s accuracy though. First, we don't even know if the 12-inch iPad is a real product, so adding a stylus onto it seems premature. Every analyst and blogger is busting out the “Steve Jobs said ‘if you see a stylus, they blew it,'” quote, but it wouldn’t be the first time el Jobso was proven to be fallible.
I still don’t think this is going to come true though, unless Apple has some really magical new features embedded in the stylus. Also, has anyone considered the 12-inch iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook Air might be the same product?
The Verdict: We’ll give 2/1 odds that these pictures are of the real deal. We already know Apple’s supply partner Quanta has specifications for the MacBook Air STEALTH in its inventory, so we’re probably just a few months away from the launch. Notice that the keyboard didn't leak though?
Apple certainly hopes so, because it’s reportedly piling on the pressure on to get Quanta Computer, its Taiwan-based manufacturer, to ramp up volume production of the notebook. The MacBook Air is set to be unveiled by Apple in the first quarter of this year, and to meet that kind of schedule Quanta is recruiting more workers for its production line.
And it’s not just a few workers it’s looking for, either!
Photo courtesy of @Withhearts, the prince of Instagram
This week: As promised! With over 430,000 Instagram followers, photographer Cory Staudacher, aka @withhearts, joins us to talk mobile photography, his favorite photo apps and gear, and his tips for capturing beautiful images with your favorite iDevice. Plus, someone tries to burn down the Mrs. Doubtfire house—time for a drive-by fruiting; prepare thy wrists, the Watch may cometh in March; and details on a radically new Macbook Air.
Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. Squarespace 7 is live, and it’s their biggest update in years. Now building a beautiful website is faster and easier than ever. Learn more at Squarespace.com/seven and use code “CultCast” at checkout for 10% off any order.
If you’ve cooked your notebook this much, it may be beyond help. Photo: Wikipedia/Secumem CC
Reading that someone decided to put their MacBook Pro in the oven and then set about drilling holes in it sounds like one of those inane YouTube videos showing someone destroying a perfectly good computer for no reason whatsoever.
For iFixit employee “Sterling,” however, it was not a way to destroy his MacBook at all, but rather a means by which to extend the life of a dying machine.
“Unconventional electronics repair tools they may be, but that’s how I saved my MacBook Pro with a drill and an oven,” Sterling writes.
Don’t worry: Xiaomi isn’t being this brazen with its Apple-inspired designs. Yet. Photo: Gizmochina
The Apple blogosphere was ablaze yesterday with reports that the ripoff artists at Xiaomi had come up with the Chinese company’s most brazen copycat product yet. A supposedly leaked image showed a MacBook Air lookalike that was virtually indistinguishable from Cupertino’s offering with the exception of a Xiaomi logo.
Well, the picture is a fake, according to a Xiaomi representative.
While it’s great to hear that Apple’s intellectual property is upheld in this instance, however, it’s still less than ideal for Xiaomi for one very simple reason: just how believable the rumor was.
Xiaomi plans to ripoff the MacBook Air next. Photo: Gizmochina
Xiaomi just rode Apple’s coattails to the biggest startup valuation in world, but it appears the Chinese smartphone maker is ready to take its copying to new heights by getting into the laptop game with, you guessed it, a MacBook Air knockoff.
HP’s new ultra-light laptop definitely isn’t a MacBook. Photo: HP
HP just announced its newest business laptops today – the HP EliteBook Folio 1020 – and even though the company is touting them as the thinnest and lightest ‘business-class’ notebooks ever made, they certainly look a hell of lot like the MacBook Air.
This isn’t the first time HP’s design team ripped off Apple’s work, but the copycats have fine-tuned the design of their previous MacBook Air rip-off, the 1040, by removing the unsightly ventilation fan on the side, so it looks even more Apple-esque.
From music to MacBooks, these gifts will resonate with students. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
You might think college students are tricky to shop for, but in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since they’re constantly swamped with homework and simultaneously managing a busy social life, all they want is stuff that makes their lives easier and more fun.
If you’re stressing about what to get the student in your life this holiday season, never fear. We’ve collected some great gift ideas, handpicked by college students for college students:
Microsoft has been taking so many shots at Apple as of late that you could be forgiven for thinking we’ve slipped back through a wormhole to 1996. This tendency doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, either, if you go on Microsoft’s latest ad.
Called “Let’s dance,” the ad compares Lenovo’s Yoga 3 Pro convertible laptop to Apple’s MacBook Air, showing them side-by-side and comparing them on size and features. And, wouldn’t you know it, Microsoft’s preferred option comes out on top.