Apple grabs lion’s share of 2016 smartphone profits

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Samsung got dominated by Apple in 2016.
Samsung got dominated by Apple in 2016.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

When it comes to making money off of smartphones, no company is doing it as well as Apple.

The latest data on profits made by smartphone manufacturers reveals that while the iPhone doesn’t dominate the global marketshare, it takes home nearly all of the profits.

YouTube is killing 30-second unskippable ads

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YouTube's most annoying feature is going.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Google has confirmed plans to scrap 30-second unskippable ads on YouTube in 2018.

The clips, which users are forced to watch before their chosen video, are seen as a nuisance to viewers. Google will instead focus on “formats that work well for both users and advertisers.”

Working a side gig or two? This bundle’s for you [Deals]

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Plenty of us need to work a side gig to pay the bills. These tools and lessons are here to make the gig life easier,
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Like it or not, we all live in the age of the side gig. None of us does just one thing anymore — pretty much every digital professional must act like an entrepreneur, finding new opportunities and creating some for themselves.

If you’re wearing a bunch of different hats, we’ve got great stuff that can help you out. From educational courses on digital skills like social media marketing to must-have tools like domain hosting and animation software for websites, you’ll want to check out our latest deals for surviving — and thriving — in the gig economy.

Those fuzzy feelings you have about Apple are by design

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Apple nail art
Trading up iPhones was such a big deal to Lauren WIlkin, she artistically marked her nails for the occasion.
Photo: Lauren Wilkin

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ uncompromising demands and brutal assessments of products in development paint a picture of a CEO who cared little about his colleagues’ feelings.

That’s because he was obsessed with yours.

A report published this week points to this and shows what is arguably the most brilliant and enduring part of his legacy.

What happened to Apple’s marketing magic?

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When will we see another "1984?"
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Chances are you can vaguely remember the last Apple ad you saw, but do you remember it in the same way you remember the company’s “1984” commercial for the original Macintosh, or its wonderful “Think Different” campaign? It’s been a while since we saw anything quite as iconic.

Friday-Night-Fights-bug-2Apple still creates great commercials we can’t help but talk about, but many fans would say those ads aren’t as good as they once were. Has Apple lost its marketing magic, or is it just too difficult to create truly iconic ads in the digital age?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight between Cult of Android and Cult of Mac as we battle it out over these questions and more!

Instagram is about to hit you with ads whether you Like them or not

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Instagram ads
Get ready to see this stuff all the time.
Photo: Progressive (via Instagram)

Are you tired of your Instagram feed being low on sponsored posts from companies trying to sell you things? If so, here comes the best news you’ve ever heard.

The company has opened up its advertising code to make it easier than ever for partners to get ads all up in the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app.

Image is everything as restaurants plate their food for Instagram fame

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Food photography
Restaurants try to take advantage of the free marketing Instagrammers provide when they share food photos.
Photo: Brigham Young University

Some restaurants take pride in offering perfect food and wine pairings. Others think more in terms of food and phone pairings.

Yes, you can blame Instagram if your restaurant is a little brighter and the presentation of the food is a bit fussier. Restauranteurs are trying to cash in on our obsession with photographing our meals by giving Instagram users better lighting and compositional conditions to make more appetizing shots.

Sweat sensor could make iWatch most personal device ever

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iwatch

Design questions aside, the true mystery about Apple’s long-rumored iWatch lies in exactly what types of health-related sensors the wearable might include. A recent report claims the iWatch will sport an astonishing 10 different sensors, including one for sweat.

While pedometers, accelerometers, thermometers and every other o-meter Jony Ive can get his hands on might all make sense for a smartwatch, we’re wondering what Apple could do with a sweat sensor? Other than verify that, yes, your sweat glands are pouring out more fluid per minute than Niagara Falls during your jog?

It turns out that adding sweat sensors would do more than differentiate the iWatch from smartwatches by LG, Motorola and Samsung right out of the gate. It could make the iWatch the most “personal” device you’ve ever shackled yourself to, with surprising applications that go far beyond fitness and health.

Why no one cares about your app and what to do about it

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Arnold Kim, of MacRumors, listens as a developer explains her app at the AltConf Journalist Pitch Lab in San Francisco, CA, June 3, 2014. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Tara Zirker shows the StayAtHand travel app to MacRumors' Arnold Kim during AltConf's Journalist Pitch Lab. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — You created an app. You think it’s awesome. Your friends say so too. Something nags at you, though: You have zero reviews, your downloads don’t outnumber your Facebook pals, and you need to make rent.

There’s a fancy name for your problem: “discoverability.” Millions of good apps face it, gathering dust between bogus fart apps and Flappy Bird clones.

“It’s hard to make a living in the App Store,” says Michael Yacavone, founder of Individuate, which makes personal-development apps Ace It! and Affirmable.

But there is definitely money to be made in the App Store, to the tune of $15 billion Apple has paid developers so far. Apple recently vowed to improve discoverability by adding an “explore” tab to the App Store, but whether users will search for new and exciting apps remains to be seen. The basic problem remains for most developers: Nearly everyone is ignoring you. Journalists can help, but you have to know how to deal with them.