Leander Kahney

Happy 20th birthday to Safari, Apple’s browser that blossomed late


The original logo for Apple's Safari web browser with the headline,
The first version of Safari, running on Mac OS X Panther. At launch, Apple's browser was fast but buggy.
Image: Cult of Mac

The Safari browser turns 20 years old today, and I remember excitedly firing it up for the first time.

When Steve Jobs introduced Safari at Macworld 2003, he described the brand-new browser as a speed demon and way easier to use than competitors.

“Buckle up,” he said with a smile. “We have done our own browser and it’s hot … it’s sweet.”

A few weeks later, I deleted it in disgust. Safari wasn’t sweet. It sucked!

iPhone 14 Pro review: Dynamic Island and massive camera sensor offer something new ★★★★★


A Silver iPhone 14 on a wet picnic table★★★★★
iPhone 14
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Out of the box, the new iPhone 14 Pro looks almost identical to its predecessor, the iPhone 13 Pro, with its frosted glass back, shiny steel band and triple-lens rear camera.

But switch it on, and you immediately see an obvious difference — the new Dynamic Island, a fun, interactive UI element that alone is almost worth the upgrade. But what cinches it is the new 48MP camera sensor, which takes absolutely fantastic pictures.

Hermès intros two new Apple Watch bands (and a horsey face)


Apple Watch Hermès will debut two fancy new bands and a horsey watch face.
Apple Watch Hermès will debut two fancy new bands and a horsey watch face.
Photo: Apple

Rumors that Apple is discontinuing its partnership with Hermès appear to be completely wrong.

Among the flurry of announcements during Wednesday morning’s ‘Far Out’ event was news that the French fashion house is introducing two fancy new Apple Watch bands, plus a new watch face that celebrates the house’s equestrian roots.

Apple unveils Watch Series 8 with new body temp sensor, focus on women’s health


Apple Watch Series 8
The Apple Watch Series 8 focuses on women's health with a new body temperature sensor that can detect ovulation.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple just unveiled the Watch Series 8 with a focus on women’s health, including a body temperature sensor that can help with advanced cycle tracking.

The new watch, available to pre-order today and shipping September 16, also features car crash detection, a new low-power mode, international roaming and new faces and bands.

Pricing starts at $399 for GPS, and $499 for cellular.

Humane’s upcoming iPhone-killer looks to be a projection device


Humane's teaser video has a strong
Humane's teaser video has a strong "1984" vibe.
Photo: Humane

It looks like Humane’s upcoming iPhone-killer will be a laser-projection system after all, based on a cryptic teaser video that dropped Friday.

Humane is a San Francisco startup staffed with a glittering roster of ex-Apple talent, many of whom were instrumental in developing the original iPhone.

The company hasn’t yet announced its first product, but patents hint Humane is working on a smart, screenless device that projects information onto the environment around the user.

With Jony Ive gone, Apple’s design team deserves more glory


Apple's Industrial Design team at the Apple Watch unveiling.
Apple's Industrial Design team at the Apple Watch unveiling.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Now that Jony Ive and Apple have finally severed ties completely, it’s time for Cupertino’s current Industrial Design team to get the recognition it deserves.

Ive’s old Industrial Design team at Apple has been doing stellar work in his absence, but without getting the full credit. As long as Ive was still an Apple consultant, the credit was muddied: Was this Ive’s work or someone else’s?

Jony Ive slips Apple’s golden handcuffs


Former Apple design chief Jony Ive talks up big ideas in his virtual commencement speech.
Jony Ive has ended his partnership with Apple, ending a very productive 30-year relationship.
Photo: Nick Knight

Jony Ive’s 30-year partnership with Apple is over.

Ive and Apple have reportedly severed ties completely, ending a relationship that spanned more than three decades and resulted in some of Apple’s biggest products, including the iPhone, iMac, Apple Watch, spaceship campus, numerous retail stores and much more.

Apple’s new biometric Passkeys may kill passwords for good


Apple's new Passkey system on a MacBook
Apple's Passkeys promise to kill passwords forever.
Photo: Apple

WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac XIf passwords are the bane of your life, Apple’s got some good news. The company just introduced Passkeys, a new biometric system that can’t be phished, stolen or compromised.

“We’ve helped create a next-generation credential that’s more secure, easier to use and aims to replace passwords for good,” said Darin Adler, VP internet Technologies, during Monday’s WWDC22 keynote.

Why the iPod was the signature music device of its era


Cover of the Cult of iPod book
The cover of The Cult of iPod, my book that documented the gadget's cultural impact.
Photo: Leander Kahney/No Starch Press

The following is from the introduction to The Cult of iPod, my 2005 book about the massive impact of the tiny music player. Introduced in 2001, the iPod quickly became one of the most important gadgets of all time. It transformed Apple and it brought a lot of joy into people’s lives. All told, Apple sold about 400 million iPods before officially pulling the plug on the device Tuesday.

I hope this intro captures why I loved the iPod, as did millions of other people.

Excerpt from The Cult of iPod

Fire, the wheel, and the iPod. In the history of invention, gadgets don’t come more iconic than Apple’s digital music player. The iPod is to the 21st century what the big band was to the ’20s, the radio to the ’40s, or the juke-box to the ’50s — the signature technology that defines the musical culture of the era. And what a marvelous technology the iPod is. Inside Apple’s little white box is magic, pure magic, in the guise of music.

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