Apple Watch is a great early adopter device. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Apple Watch is the most confounding device to come out of Cupertino since Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone. Is is it a watch? Is it a tiny computer on your wrist? It’s both — and it’s so much more.
After four days playing with the Apple Watch, we’ve found it to be far more futuristic — and far more fun — than we could have imagined. (It’s even more impressive if you’ve tried any of the other smartwatches on the market.)
Apple Watch isn’t without its disappointments, though. If you’re still unsure whether to shackle yourself to Jony Ive’s fabulous timepiece, here’s our take on what works — and what doesn’t.
Sometimes the grass isn’t greener on the other side.
Almost from the start, iPad users have begged and pleaded with Apple to add a missing feature: split-screen multitasking.
Split-screen multitasking is the ability to run two or more apps simultaneously, side by side, just like you can on a desktop computer. But iOS, of course, is the antithesis of traditional multitasking. You can have only one app on the screen at a time.
That may be about to change. Apple is rumored to be adding multitasking to the iPad in iOS 8, which is expected to be shown to developers at next month’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference.
With split screen multitasking, you could write a paper in Pages on the left while researching in Safari on the right. You may even be able to drag and drop items between the two apps, like photos or chunks of text.
For some, this would be nirvana. Better multitasking would turbocharge the iPad, especially for work, right?.
Microsoft loves to crow about the Surface 2 tablet’s ability to multitask, which in Redmond’s eyes makes the tablet appear more suited for work than watching cat videos. Some iPad users have been lobbying for it for years. The feature has been the subject of plenty UI mockups, design videos, and jailbreak tweaks.
Quick-connect iPhone lenses are certainly less bulky than typical camera gear, but there’s a price to be paid for convenience. Photos: Charlie Sorrell/Cult of Mac
One December years ago, in London’s Piccadilly Circus, a Santa Claus sat in a pavement cafe eating lunch with an elf. Santa had a pint of beer in from of him. I raised my old film SLR, which was prefocused and had the exposure already dialed in, and took a couple of shots.
I hoped they’d turn out well.
“Who are those pictures for?” said a guy, shouting as he jogged toward me. He’d come from somewhere nearby because it was too cold for just a shirt on a December afternoon in London, and he wasn’t wearing a jacket. I ignored him — there are a lot of nutters in Piccadilly any time of the year.
The Galaxy S5 is trying to win a game the iPhone isn’t even playing.
One of several themes at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has been cellphone cameras (the others were waterproof phones, crappy smartwatches, and NFC). Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S5 ups the pixel count from 13MP 16MP, and adds 4K video capture. Nokia’s handsets can now shoot RAW pictures (or rather, record RAW pictures, as all photos are RAW to begin with) and Sony was showing off new camera modules (the iPhone uses a Sony camera).
As I was walking around the show and shooting everything with my iPhone 5, I started to wonder: who cares?
I just switched back to the full-sized iPad – in the form of the iPad Air – after over a year of exclusive iPad Mini use. The reason? I can’t get on with the Retina Mini. The Mini is great in many ways, and so you’d think that an A7 Retina-ized version would be even better. But almost since I bought it, the new hi-res Mini has been driving me crazy.
To quote the all-seeing Strobist, “Memo to @Nikon: THIS is how you do a retro-dialed digital camera.” Take a look. These are the official product shots of the Fujifilm X-T1, an SLR-style mirrorless camera joining Fujifilm’s X-Series lineup. Isn’t she purdy?
There’s a funny fact in the world of iOS apps: Whereas one-man shop can manage to have a radically new version of its app available day and date with a big iOS update, giant software companies seem to take years to get things done. Spotify took (literally) years to come up with a ho-hum iPad app, and Instagram still isn’t on the iPad. One can only assume it will never be designed for the tablet.
And speaking of Instagram, this new iOS “update” is a sham.
With last week’s iOS 7 launch, Apple also released iTunes Radio, its long-awaited internet radio service that’s available for free on all iOS devices and iTunes on the desktop. While iTunes Radio was thought to be a Spotify-killer before Apple’s Eddy Cue unveiled it at WWDC in June, how it works is more similar to Pandora. You listen to stations based on artists or genres you like, and more importantly to Apple, you can quickly buy played songs through iTunes.
I’ve had access to iTunes Radio all summer through the iOS 7 beta, and I maybe used it for a total of 10 minutes. Since everyone got access last week, I’ve tried using it more to see how well it works post beta. My experience was largely one of frustration. It’s obvious that iTunes Radio still has a lot of growing up to do.
Eliminate the bezels, and the big iPad isn’t that much bigger than the mini.
There will almost certainly be new iPads this fall, and the Apple Predictotron in the CoM basement says that we’ll see a Retina-screen iPad mini, plus a thinner, smaller iPad 5 – a kind of enlarged iPad mini, complete with tiny side bezels.
Which might create a dilemma. You see, Like many folks I have all but ditched my large iPad for the mini. I still long for that amazing screen whenever I pick up the Retina iPad 3, but the mini is so just so damn convenient I choose it over the big version every time.
But what if the iPad 5 is small enough to compete with the mini?
No one’s quite sure what Project Daisy actually is, but Cook seems interested in it. It could be a music discovery engine, à la The Echo Next. It could be a streaming service like Rhapsody or Spotify. No one except Iovine and Cook know for sure.
The story about Apple and Beats’ CEOs meeting made me wonder. Apple has been a major player in the digital music business for 12 years now… yet they have never once delivered a pair of premium headphones the likes of which Beats has become known for. Why not?