Pope’s arrival in America greeted by a sea of smartphones

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popes-arrival-in-america-greeted-by-a-sea-of-smartphones-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads20150921646304072_7f298bf6fa_h-jpg
Pope Francis gets engulfed by eager smartphone users in Washington, DC.
Photo: IIP Photo Archive/Flickr CC

Pope Francis landed on U.S. soil for the first time last week on Tuesday, September 22. He has talked to victims of sexual abuse, spoke out about his views on immigration and gave several moving speeches across the country. However, the pope was also able to impact American culture in a way that is completely unintentional: he put the mobile phone revolution on giant display.

The last time a pope visited the United States was back in April 2008 when Pope Benedict XVI was still at the reigns of Catholicism. A lot has happened in seven years. Modern smartphones were only starting to become prevalent back then. Apple had just released the first iPhone less than a year ago and Android was still in development.

The change in our culture needs no explanation because photos of crowds swarming Pope Francis through his journey across America manage to say it all. Crowds glow with endless displays.

Satechi external batteries are like lightning in your pocket

The Satechi SX20 portable power station can charge up to four devices.
The Satechi SX20 portable power station can charge up to four devices.
Photo: Satechi

If your device dies, you can usually find a place to plug in. But that’s only if you carry your charging cord and even if you’re lucky enough to have it on you, you’re stuck at the outlet until you’ve got enough juice to go.

The electronics accessory company Satechi has made it easier to stay charged on the go with three new portable energy stations for pretty much anything with a USB port.

Tablet market growth is shrinking, and iPad is the weakest link

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iPad Air 3 will be the smartest iPad yet.
Will the iPad rebound in 2015? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tablet sales are on the decline, and the iPad is “the weakest leak,” according to the latest report from International Data Corporation.

The organization has scaled back its five-year forecast for tablets, expecting market growth to come to a near standstill. With 234.5 million units expected to be sold in 2015, the tablet market will only gain a modest 2.1 percent year-over-year.

iPad haters’ initial complaints seem ridiculous 5 years on

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The dream to give ever student in the L.A. schools district an iPad has officially come to an end. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
The iPad is one of Apple's greatest inventions, but at launch, people couldn't stop complaining. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Five years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced the iPad. A giant screen with one button, the iPad represented possibly the purest distillation of Jobs’ tech dreams. Yet at the time it was met with derision. “I got about 800 messages in the last 24 hours,” Jobs told his biographer, Walter Isaacson. “Most of them are complaining…. It knocks you back a bit.”

Half a decade and multiple iterations on, the iPad is an established part of Apple’s ecosystem. While it’s had its ups and downs, nobody’s flooding Apple’s inbox with iPad-related hate mail anymore.

So what were people complaining about? We hopped in our time machine to take a look at the original criticisms — and what, if anything, Apple’s done about them in the years since.