Killing the Apple car is depressing and sad


Front view of a glossy white luxury car with an Apple logo
Alas, we'll never get to tool around Cupertino in one of these.
AI image: Midjourney/Cult of Mac

Apple’s reported cancellation of its electric car project strikes me as one of the most demoralizing decisions the company has ever made. And I’m not sure which is worse, the Apple car cancellation, or the revelation of how Cupertino plans to reroute most of Project Titan’s brainpower.

The long-rumored Apple car was never a done deal, obviously. But it stood out as a moonshot project capable of transforming transportation and improving our everyday lives.

Now we find out that Apple won’t be going to the moon. Instead, Cupertino might be taking a me-too detour to Gibberish City.

Apple car crashes to a halt


Apple car canceled
Apple pulls the plug on one of Silicon Valley's worst-kept secrets: its self-driving electric car project.
Photo: Precious Madubuike/Unsplash License/Modified by Cult of Mac

In a somewhat shocking development, Apple reportedly completely canceled all development on its self-driving car program on Tuesday.

The company is shifting its emphasis to artificial intelligence, instead.

Chrome browser taps AI for new ‘Help me write’ tool


Google Chrome 'Help Me Write' AI writing tool
"Help Me Write" uses AI to improve your writing online.
Image: Google

Google Chrome uses artificial intelligence in a new experimental tool that makes it easier to start writing or improve something already written online. “Help me write” can punch up the content of any text field in the browser.

It’s coming to Mac and Windows, and is just the latest AI addition to Chrome.

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Apple tests AI software to transform images into video


Apple tests Keyframer, AI software to transform images into video
Keyframer is only a research project, but it confirms that Apple is hard at work on LLM-based AI software.
Screenshot: Apple

The latest demonstration of Apple’s AI expertise is Keyframer, software that turns an image into a video based on natural language instructions.

It offers an early glimpse at the type of AI tools that might come bundled into future versions of macOS or iOS.

AI tax app that can find every deduction is a lifesaver for freelancers


This $50 AI tax app is a lifesaver for freelancers and can find every tax deduction.
Get FlyFin to let AI do your taxes for you, now only $50.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The transition to the gig economy has been hard on first-time freelancers for many reasons, but the learning curve is especially steep during tax time. Even in the best-case scenario, taxes are a pain. But when they’re not automatically taken out? You need all the help you can get — and this AI tax app offers plenty!

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Whipsmart: Apple buys 32 AI startups in 2023


artificial intelligence startups
It's another sign Cupertino is very serious about competing in artificial intelligence.
Photo: Cult of Mac

When it comes to deploying artificial intelligence in products, companies like Google might seem quicker on the draw than Apple. But no major tech company bought more AI startups than the iPhone-maker in 2023, according to a new report.

That suggests Apple might soon become a leader in generative AI rather than playing catch-up.

New Apple AI model can edit images per your instructions


Apple MGIE demo
In this demo, MGIE transforms a cottage into a mansion.
Photo: Apple/

Apple researchers released an open-source artificial intelligence model called MGIE that responds to a user typing natural language — simply saying what they want — to alter an image. Apple’s new AI image editing tool could wind up making it easy for iPhone or Mac owners to tweak photos.

MGIE — short for MMLM-Guided Image Editing — can handle Photoshop-style tweaks, global photo optimization and local editing. But output quality remains limited for now. And only Apple knows what it plans to do with its AI image editor.

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Image: Cult of Mac Deals

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Tim Cook: Apple’s AI revolution is coming later this year [Updated]


Apple’s AI-driven voice-controlled digital assistant Siri
AI-upgrades could make iOS 18 among the biggest OS releases ever.
Image: Apple

CEO Tim Cook teased Apple’s upcoming AI features during the company’s Q1 2024 earnings call Thursday, saying the company’s efforts will start to bear fruit later this year. It is rare for an Apple executive to provide even hints of the company’s future plans, but Cupertino has something to prove when it comes to artificial intelligence.

Google, Microsoft and other tech giants have invested heavily in AI, while Apple has little to show. However, the release of iOS 18 later in 2024 could change this. Cook says he’s “incredibly excited” about what’s to come.

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Take advantage of end-of-year pricing on this AI-powered resume builder and set your sights on a new career in 2024.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

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iPhone up, China down: 7 nuggets from Apple’s earnings call


Photo of an glass Apple Store with the words
Apple eked out a win thanks to strong iPhone sales last quarter. But not everything was rosy.
Photo: Karl Baron/Flickr CC/Modified by Cult of Mac

Apple’s holiday quarter financial results offer good news for investors. iPhone is doing great! And CEO Tim Cook talked about AI. But there’s rotten news coming out of China.

We pored over the results, and listened to the call Apple executives held Thursday with Wall Street analysts, so you don’t have to. Here’s the information you ought to know.

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Learn how to rule AI-powered art bots with this $30 e-learning bundle.
Rule AI-powered art bots with this $30 e-learning bundle.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

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iPhone can’t compete in ‘new paradigm’ of high-end phone design, analyst says


Folding iPhone Prototype
Does Apple really need a folding iPhone to be successful in 2024?
Photo: KJMX

iPhone’s lack of two key features — generative AI and a foldable design — could cause a significant decline in shipments in 2024. TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says without these advances, the iPhone will fall behind amid a “new paradigm in high-end mobile phone design.”

Kuo cites supply chain sources to back up his predictions. However, there are numerous reasons to doubt his opinion.

How does Apple use AI and machine learning?


Siri on an iPhone
Apple takes a different approach to AI from many of its competitors.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

As artificial intelligence and machine learning become mainstream in business, large tech firms like Amazon and Facebook look to introduce AI features that transform the way we engage online through predictive purchase models and other algorithmic means. But how does Apple use AI?

This post is brought to you by Web Oracle.
In contrast to competitors’ high-profile activities, Apple lays low on the AI revolution. In fact, the company scarcely mentioned AI at all until recently. You’d be forgiven for thinking Cupertino might not even be involved in the buzziest tech around.

But it definitely is. Apple’s business teams are cooking up many AI and ML opportunities. Still, Apple takes on AI challenges from a different angle with a more intuitive approach. Let’s look behind the scenes at the world’s largest tech company to see how tomorrow’s ideas are shaping today’s products.

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Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

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Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

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Explore worlds old and new with Aztec Mystery Magic AI app [Awesome Apps]


Ancient Aztec Mystery app
It's a fun way to engage with an AI chat.
Photo: Zviadi Tumanishvili
Awesome Apps

The new Aztec Mystery Magic app for iPhone and iPad released Thursday dresses up artificial intelligence (AI) chat in a cool Aztec costume.

It doesn’t do a whole lot, but it looks cool and it’s free. It answers questions, makes predictions and offers ancient Aztec riddles you can solve to get amulets. And hey, you might learn something.

iPhone 16’s superior microphones could help deliver better AI-powered Siri experience


Apple’s AI-driven voice-controlled digital assistant Siri
But these improvements will come at a price.
Image: Apple

Apple reportedly plans to use upgraded microphones on the iPhone 16 series for a better Siri experience. The new mics might feature a better signal-to-noise ratio and improved water resistance.

The improved hardware likely would boost manufacturing costs for Apple. But a better Siri — fortified with artificial intelligence — could gives Apple’s reputation a boost when it comes to AI.

Streamline your professional dealings with this AI meeting assistant


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Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Ever feel like you could use a personal assistant in your life to deal with fast-tracking responsibilities and tasks? You may not be able to hire a secretary, but advancements in artificial technology make it simple to consistently sustain a narrower focus and appeal to more customers.

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Even more reasons Humane’s Ai Pin is a total bust


On-screen text says
Why Humane's introductory video for the Ai Pin begins with co-founder Imran Chaudhri shuffling a series of boxes stacked like a snowman I do not understand. And that is just the first five seconds of the dreadful presentation.
Photo: Humane

In a tedious and awkward 10-minute video released Thursday, buzzy startup Humane gave a more thorough introduction of its Ai Pin. The video all but confirms my feelings that we are seeing the next hilarious Silicon Valley failure play out in real time.

Since co-founder Imran Chaudhri’s TED Talk earlier this year, where we got a vague introduction to the supposed iPhone-killer’s features, there remained a slim chance — one in a hundred — that the then-unnamed device wasn’t a total waste.

Any ounce of doubt has been washed away as this new video doubles down on the Ai Pin’s flaws and walks back its only positives. In fact, the introductory video clearly demonstrates why the device will fail: The AI gave completely wrong answers and provided no way to check their accuracy. It’s absolutely untrustworthy.

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Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

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Tim Cook commits Apple to generative AI


AI-generated image of Apple CEO Tim Cook sitting on an ornate golden throne.
An AI-generated image of Tim Cook is appropriate for an AI-related article.
Image: Canva

Apple’s CEO made the clearest statement yet about his company’s plans for generative AI. Tim Cook said Thursday that “we have work going on.” And he made additional comments, too.

The executive also promised that Apple’s efforts on artificial intelligence are being carried out responsibly.

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