This week: warm up the telly—Woz is getting a tech-tastic reality TV show; we divulge our favorite new iPhone and Mac apps; we answer some ridiculous listener questions in an all-new Get To know Your Cultist; and finally, Steve Jobs denies Leander Kahney’s attempted handshake not once, but TWICE. Leander recounts the tale. We die laughing.
Quietly chuckle your way through each week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the chuckles begin.
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Woz shows how the iPhone makes hotel keys obsolete. Photo: SPG
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is about to become a reality TV star. If you’re curious to see what watching The Woz might be like when it airs, Starwood Hotels just shot a quick video of Woz demonstrating their SPG app to magically unlock his hotel room at the W in Hollywood.
The SPG app seeks makes hotel keys obsolete by giving visitors a Bluetooth key upon checkin within the app, allowing you to skip the front desk altogether and unlock your room with the iPhone 6’s new NFC chip. The new SPG keyless entry system has only been around for a month, but Woz says its so easy to use, you don’t even need someone to teach you what to do.
Watch Woz demo the keyless entry app in the video below:
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak standing with the Apple II. Photo: Robert Scobble
Steve Wozniak has played a lot of roles over the last three decades – engineer, Apple co-founder, Segway polo champion, and university professor – but Steve is about to jump into an all new realm: Realty TV show host.
The Apple co-founder is reportedly tag-teaming with Mythbusters’ co-host Kari Byron for a new reality TV show about all-things tech called The Woz.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has long been an unabashed believer that Cupertino should release a bigger iPhone. Around the time of the iPhone 5, he said Apple should have released two different models, one “regular” and one jumbo-size, to better compete with Android superphones
Now that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are here, Woz is glad. But he’s still being hard on Apple, saying they’re three years too late with the big phones. And he’s not too crazy about the Apple Watch either.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak stands beside an Apple II. Photo: Robert Scoble
With today’s tech devices becoming obsolete so quickly, it’s easy to think older models are forgotten by their creators the moment a follow-up rolls off the factory floor.
While this may be true in some instances, it’s apparently not the case for Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. In a recent email exchange with a vintage computer expert, Woz revealed that almost 40 years after the Apple II shipped he still agonizes about ways it could have been improved.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak standing with the Apple II. Photo: Robert Scoble
Steve Wozniak changed the world when he co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs to create the first personal computer. Now, after revolutionizing the tech world, he’s ready to impart his wisdom upon the top tech minds in Australia.
University of Technology, Sydney announced that it’s hired Woz on as an adjunct professor for the school, where he’ll start teaching in December.
For 30 years, Macworld has chronicled all things Apple-related. Photo: Macworld cover, December 2011
The closing of Macworld is the end of an era. Thirty years ago, the publication was the midwife to the launch of the Macintosh.
Cult of Mac has a series of exclusive recollections by the magazine’s founder Dave Bunnell, which chronicle the journalist’s close encounters with a young and volatile Steve Jobs, the Mac’s difficult gestation and the birth of modern desktop computing. It’s a great trip down memory lane — with plenty of outbursts, last-minute changes and even a cameo by Ella Fitzgerald.
There aren't many consumer electronics companies that win kudos for their excellence in other realms.
Apple did just that recently when it earned an Emmy in the Creative Arts category for its commercial "Misunderstood." Apple has been named the most admired, most innovative company and the best brand too many times to count. Its leaders, designers and products have been feted more than a prize calf at the state fair.
Here are some of the other high honors and quirky tributes Apple has racked up over the years — plus one title that no one at Apple seems to merit.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were crowned National Medal of Technology and Innovation laureates by Ronald Reagan in 1985 for "their development and introduction of the personal computer which has sparked the birth of a new industry extending the power of the computer to individual users."
It was the first year of the award; other winners included IBM and AT&T Bell Laboratories. Not bad for a pair of college dropouts.
Apple first got its hands around the winged statuette in 2001 with a Primetime Engineering Award earned for FireWire.
"Transferring data at up to 400Mbps, FireWire delivers more than 30 times the bandwidth of the popular USB peripheral standard," Apple's press release boasted at the time. "With its high data-transfer speed and 'hot plug-and-play' capability, FireWire is the interface of choice for today’s digital audio and video devices, as well as external hard drives and other high-speed peripherals."
While the fuzzy, wacky, colorful Muppets might seem aesthetically at odds with, well, everything Apple does, there's been a mutual appreciation dating back to the "Think Different" campaign, which featured Muppet maestro Jim Henson.
The Jim Henson Honors go to folks who make the world a better place by inspiring people to celebrate life.
"Steve Jobs has been a leader in the ongoing efforts to develop technologies that allow users to effortlessly express themselves," said Lisa Henson when the award was handed to Jobs in 2010.
Sir Jonathan Ive has won armfuls of honors, including the knighthood, for his groundbreaking designs. But not everyone can get a Blue Peter badge from the beloved BBC children's program of the same name.
“Ive is an inspiration to children around the world and we were ecstatic to hear his comments and design advice to our viewers who will remember such feedback for a lifetime,” said Ewan Vinnicombe, acting editor of Blue Peter.
In 2002, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences gave Apple a technical Grammy, the first ever awarded to a computer maker.
“We love music and are thrilled to play a part in how music is created and enjoyed,” said Steve Jobs. “We are honored to be receiving our industry’s first Technical Grammy and we look forward to making many more contributions in the years ahead.”
Steve Wozniak was awarded the Isaac Asimov Science Award in 2011.
"While most people would know Wozniak from his days at Apple, he continues to exhibit his ingenuity and generosity in other settings. A noted philanthropist, Wozniak is a committed advocate for science and computer education," organizers said, citing his funding of science schools in Los Gatos, California, and a summer camp for tech-minded kids.
He shares the title with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Robert Sapolsky and Eugenie Scott.
This is one of those honors you'd expect Apple to win. But alas, no. According to Walter Isaacson's biography, Steve Jobs thought he was up for consideration the year the magazine's editors decided to go with the personal computer instead of a person. Jobs gave access to the reporters for what he thought was a cover story and found the profile they wrote about him "so awful that I actually cried."
In 2012, Tim Cook was in the running, but had to settle for third runner-up status. "Like an Apple product, Cook runs smooth and fast," the magazine wrote. Just not enough to compete with Barack Obama, who edged him out for the title.
Gadget-loving Steve Wozniak sounds like he won’t be queuing for the iWatch on its day of release.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has called the wearables product category — of which Apple’s eagerly-anticipated iWatch will be one — “a hard sell.”
In an email exchange with CNet on Wednesday, the routinely outspoken Woz (who recently turned 64) noted that smart watches are “go-betweens for your smartphone, but are an extra piece and need special advantages that the smartphone doesn’t have, in my opinion. If they are just a Bluetooth go-between then it could wind up in the category of Bluetooth headsets: Fun to wear and show off for a day.”