Apple Watch, inbound! And now that it is, we’ll take a look at some of the most useful Watch apps available, and just for fun, some of the stinkiest. Plus: the noteworthy differences between the Sport and steel editions; why those “scratch test” videos shouldn’t trouble you; and finally, you’ll never believe what our ol’ pal and ex-Apple exec Scott Forstall is up to now…
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We’re starting to learn more about what excommunicated Apple executive Scott Forstall is up to after years of flying under the radar. The former head of iOS is an advisor to Snapchat, and although he will likely continue to be involved in the tech scene, his interests are quite eclectic.
The man who was famously kicked out of Apple after numerous disputes that ended in the Apple Maps disaster is now a Broadway producer.
The greatest Apple mystery of the last few years hasn’t been the next iPhone or Apple Watch, but a man named Scott Forstall.
Since getting kicked out of Apple in late 2012, the former head of iOS and friend of Steve Jobs has had absolutely no profile in the tech scene whatsoever. He rarely even gets spotted in public. It’s like he’s fallen off the face of the earth.
A buggy iOS 8 update that killed cellular connections for iPhone 6 users is far more troubling than Apple’s other recent missteps. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
“It just works.”
Those three words are synonymous with Apple. It’s the slogan Apple fanboys use when trying to convince their Android-loving friends that iOS is a better option. And it was used over and over by Steve Jobs as he unveiled new products at Apple keynotes.
That makes it even more embarrassing for the Cupertino company when things don’t “just work.” Especially when it royally screws things up — as it did with the hideously half-baked iOS 8.0.1 update that rolled out to millions of users Wednesday morning.
Phil Schiller and possibly Scott Forstall are expected to make witness appearances for the next round of the Apple v. Samsung trial, when the two companies return to court in California in late March.
As Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Schiller was the highest-profile witness to take the stand during the first jury trial in the patent case between Apple and Samsung in August 2012.
The City College of New York is investigating its use of former Apple exec Scott Forstall’s photo in advertisements for the school’s student ID card.
Cult of Mac contacted the college Wednesday afternoon about Forstall’s strange appearance on the promotional materials. “I’m not commenting,” said Ellis Simon, City College’s public relations director, who added that he was aware of the situation but needed time to “get all the facts straight” before talking about the apparent mixup.
A lot of the speculation is paranoid: Google wants to track everyone offline as well as online, and Nest’s thermostat and smoke alarms give the Googleplex motion sensors right in peoples’ homes.
But wouldn’t Apple be a more natural fit for the home-automation startup? Nest was co-founded by two former Apple staffers, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. Fadell was one the fathers of the iPod — a key hardware engineer who led the music player’s development over 17 generations. Rogers was one of Fadell’s top lieutenants.
With great design and easy interfaces, Nest’s combination of hardware and internet software services makes its products very Apple-like. And as home automation is poised to take off (thanks largely to the iPhone and iPad), Apple is surely interested in this potentially huge market.
So why didn’t Apple didn’t pick up the company? Maybe it’s because Jony Ive, Apple’s head designer, was responsible for getting Tony Fadell pushed out of Cupertino.
All’s quiet on the Scott Forstall front — and pretty much has been since the former SVP of iOS was unceremoniously fired from Apple back in October 2012 for refusing to sign an apology for the Apple Maps fiasco.
Well, there’s an update on the horizon for Forstall watchers: and it involves the former Apple exec spending much of the last year traveling to Italy and South Africa, advising a handful of startups, and getting more involved in philanthropy work — mainly focused on education, poverty, and human rights.
Continuing its slow purge of felts, leathers and woodgrains the UI of iOS 7, Apple released an iBooks for iOS update today that finally dismantles the woodgrain shelves championed by former iOS Cheif Scott Forstall, and tosses them in the woodchipper.
The update features the same minimalist UI that Apple has embraced throughout iOS 7 and its other apps, though it doesn’t look like Apple actually added any major new features. Apple also released an update for iTunes U today with an all-new look and feel. Both app updates are available for free in iTunes now.
Apple and Samsung are headed back to San Jose on November 12 to clash again over the retrial of their billion-dollar patent lawsuit that Apple won in 2012, and it looks like Scott Forstall might be coming back to testify as a witness for Apple.
The jury originally rewarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages, but after finding some errors in the awards, Judge Lucy Koh has cut $450 million from Apple’s award. Samsung and Apple filed a joint pretrail statement that listed the potential witnesses that might be called and both Scott Forstall and Apple’s marketing chief, Phil Schiller appeared on the list after both were witnesses at the orignal trial, before Forstall was fired.