Alphabet

Google Pixel Buds Pro could go toe-to-toe with AirPods Pro

By

Google's top new earbuds will come in several colors.
Google's top new earbuds will come in several colors.
Photo: Google

Google brought out a range of new Pixel devices to compete with Apple products at its I/O developer conference Wednesday. They include Pixel Buds Pro, premium earbuds with a number of AirPods Pro features.

But Google’s new buds, available July 21, will cost about $50 less than Apple’s top wireless earbuds.

Google shows a possible killer feature for AR glasses

By

A screen shot from Google's video shows language transcription on the screen.
A screen shot from Google's video shows language transcription on the screen.
Photo: Google

Years ago Google failed to find a broad audience for Google Glass, its internet-connected glasses. But now the tech giant’s trying something new. It previewed augmented reality (AR) glasses Wednesday that translate language, Bloomberg reported.

The company conducted a brief demonstration at its annual I/O developer conference and released a video on Twitter, below.

Apple employees overwhelmingly back Biden over Trump

By

Election contributions by Apple employees for heavily toward Democrats
Political contributions by Apple employees show a clear preference for Democrat candidates.
Photo: Pixabay/Pexels CC

Apple employees show they lean to the left in the clearest way possible: with their wallets. Election contributions by Apple employees inclined strongly toward Democrats in the 2020 presidential race.

It’s not even close. Apple employee contributions to Joe Biden’s campaign were more than 13 times greater than they were to President Donald Trump’s, for example.

YouTube wants to take on TikTok with upcoming ‘Shorts’ feature

By

2020 is the year everyone wants to be TikTok famous.
Big tech is setting its sights on taking down TikTok.
Photo: Aaron Yoo/Flickr CC

TikTok, the popular video-sharing app that is especially popular among young people, is going to get some fresh competition from Google later this year.

Google is reportedly planning to create its own version of TikTok with a new Youtube feature called “Shorts” that will live inside the platform’s apps on Android and iOS.

Google splashes $2.1 billion on Fitbit to fight Apple Watch

By

Fitbit
Fitbit will soon be a Google company.
Photo: Fitbit

Google has confirmed plans to buy Fitbit as it looks to step up its fight against Apple Watch. The deal, worth approximately $2.1 billion, will bring new Made by Google wearables to market.

“Together, we aim to spur innovation in wearables and build helpful products to benefit more people around the world,” Google said.

Google’s massive cash pile is now bigger than Apple’s

By

Google
Apple's been spending cash lately while Google's been hoarding it.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple’s decade-long run as the company with the world’s largest cash pile has finally come to an end.

Financial paperwork filed by Apple and Google’s parent company Alphabet revealed that the search engine giant now has $15 billion more in the bank than the iPhone-maker does.

Tim Cook made massive donation to keep Trump out of White House

By

Tim Cook
Tim Cook was an outspoken Hillary supporter.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook fought harder than any other Apple employee to make sure Donald Trump didn’t become president.

A study of all the political donations made by Apple employees found that Tim Cook contributed more than any other employee to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election campaign with a $236,100 payment to the Hillary Victory Fund fundraising committee. Tim’s favoritism towards Democrats isn’t surprising, and the study found that an overwhelming majority of Apple employees are following his lead.

Apple drops a spot in Fortune 500 rankings

By

European Commission could get even tougher on tech in 2020
Apple's revenues need to get bigger if it wants to rise in the rankings.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Despite closing in on becoming the country’s first trillion dollar company, Apple took a small drop in the annual Fortune 500 rankings.

The rankings released this morning put Apple in the number 4 spot as ExxonMobile leapfrogged the iPhone-maker and Berkshire Hathaway to claim the number 2 spot.

Amazon could beat Apple to $1 trillion market cap by one week

By

Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
Apple remains no. 1... for now.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Amazon could beat Apple to become the world’s first $1 trillion company, a new report suggests.

While Apple’s market cap currently stands at $893 billion to Amazon’s $752 billion, the online retail giant is rapidly closing the gap. By current trajectories, it will beat Apple to the $1 trillion mark by a mere week.

Amazon tops Apple for title of best-managed company

By

Amazon is on fire.
Amazon is on fire.
Photo: Amazon

American tech companies are a some of the most effectively managed businesses in the world, according to a new landmark system that ranked the top 250 companies.

Even though Apple is the world’s most profitable company, the rankings found that Amazon is actually the most efficiently run business. But Apple follows at a close second.

Google co-founder’s flying car gets internet debut

By

Weekends at the lake will never be the same.
Weekends at the lake will never be the same.
Photo: Kitty Lake

Forget self-driving cars. A startup backed by Google co-founder Larry Page is aiming to reshape transportation by giving us flying cars, and the company finally gave the internet a teaser today.

Kitty Hawk posted the first video of its all-electric aircraft today. The vehicle is only designed to fly over water, but the company says you won’t even need a pilot’s license to fly it.

Check out the teaser:

Apple hires satellite experts for mystery project

By

Is Apple thinking about making satellites?
Is Apple thinking about making satellites?
Photo: NOAA/Flickr

A pair of new Apple hirings may hint that the company is setting its sights on the sky.

Two of Google’s top satellite executives have reportedly left the Alphabet-owned company in recent weeks and were hired by Apple. What they’ll be working on isn’t clear, but their experience indicates Apple could be getting serious about satellite internet.

Apple plans to fight climate change despite Trump agenda

By

One of Apple's many solar farms.
One of Apple's many solar farms.
Photo: Apple

While President Donald Trump gets busy gutting the Environmental Protection Agency, many of America’s largest companies plan to fight climate change without his help, including Apple.

During the reign of Tim Cook, Apple has made renewable energy and going green one of its top priorities. According to a new report, that won’t change now that there’s a new administration in the White House.

Apple signs Silicon Valley’s open letter bashing Trump’s travel ban

By

Donald Trump signing document
President Trump signing an executive order.
Photo: The White House/Facebook

Apple will join other tech companies, including Alphabet, Facebook and Uber, in penning a letter opposing President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.

News of the letter comes shortly after an interview Apple CEO Tim Cook gave to The Wall Street Journal, in which he described the “heart-wrenching” messages he had received about Trump’s executive order, which potentially affects hundreds of Apple employees.

Check out the draft of the open letter to Trump below:

Android creator plans new device to challenge iPhone

By

Galaxy Note 7
Samsung and other Android smartphone makers are about to get some new competition.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Former Google VP Andy Rubin is in talks with carriers about selling a new smartphone he has created with his startup, Essential.

Rubin left Google two years ago after creating Android and the leading the team behind it for eight years. Now that he’s had time away from the search giant, Rubin is planning to take on the iPhone and Android handsets with a new type of smartphone that specializes in artificial intelligence.

From tiny innovations to big brawls, this is how Apple rolled in 2016

By

Thank Jobs, 2016 is finally over!
Thank Jobs, 2016 is finally over!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac 2016 sent Apple for a wild ride full of fantastic new products, crazy controversies and tons of extra drama with its rivals.

Tim Cook and his colleagues probably can’t wait to jump into 2017. But before we start looking toward Apple’s future, let’s take a quick look back at all the stories that made 2016 a year Apple fans will never forget.

Google’s self-driving minivans are finally here

By

Meet Waymo's self-driving minivan.
Meet Waymo's self-driving minivan.
Photo: Waymo

Waymo offered a first look at its fleet of hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivans today, showing off vehicles that pack an array of sensors and software that enable autonomous operation.

The self-driving fleet of 100 minivans from Waymo (which is run by Google’s parent company, Alphabet) will hit the streets in early 2017.

Apple joins government task force to kill robocalls

By

Apple adds 5 new vice presidents to its executive lineup
Apple is teaming up with top tech companies to end the scourge of robocalls.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

The scourge of robocalls may be coming to an end, thanks to a new task force comprised of over 30 top tech companies, including Apple.

The U.S. government has enlisted the help of Apple, AT&T, Alphabet, Verizon, Comcast and others to crack down on unsolicited, automated, prerecorded phone calls that have become the most frequent complaint the U.S. Federal Communications Commission receives from citizens.

Google has a secret plan to take over public parking and transit

By

Google is coming for your city.
Google is coming for your city.
Photo: Google

A shadowy subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is planning to completely revolutionize public parking and transportation, according to a new report that shines a light on the ambitious initiative.

The mysterious company is Sidewalk Labs, and it has begun offering cities its high-tech services, which claim to make it easier to drive and park by creating a hybrid of public and private transportation options that utilize ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

Boston Dynamics’ freaky new robot can clean your kitchen

By

This robot is a total neat freak.
This robot is a total neat freak.
Photo: Boston Dynamics

Alphabet-owned Boston Dynamics robots are ready to invade your kitchen.

The company unveiled its newest robot, SpotMini, an all-electric version of its Spot robot. Taking some design cues from its bigger sibling that weighs 160 lbs, SpotMini is a simplified model that is smaller and lighter, allowing it to roam your house with more dexterity than Boston Dynamics’ previous bots.

It’s a total neat freak and can clean your house, too, thanks to an elongated neck extension:

Tony Fadell is leaving the Nest

By

Fadell
From the sound of things, Nest CEO Tony Fadell learned quite a bit from working with Steve Jobs.
Photo: Nest

Nest co-founder and CEO Tony Fadell revealed today that he’s taking flight and leaving the company he created.

The godfather of the iPod hit a grand slam with the launch of his smart-thermostat company that was bought by Google, but it appears he’s ready to call it quits just six years into Nest’s run.

Tim Cook to talk business at startup conference

By

Tim Cook
Tim
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook is set to make another major public appearance in the lead up to WWDC next month.

Startup Fest Europe revealed that Cook will be the opening speaker at the conference on Tuesday May 24th. It’s unknown what Cook’s keynote will focus on, though his remarks may touch on his mastery of streamlining processes for business and possibly enterprise, which has become a bigger focus for the company recently.

Why you can’t trust ‘lifetime guarantees’ on the Internet of Things

By

why-you-cant-trust-lifetime-guarantees-on-the-internet-of-things-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads2016042981086612_84b3902cc2_o-jpg
The looming shutdown of Revolv has some home-automation fans questioning the Internet of Things.
Photo: Andrew Stawarz/Flickr CC

Revolv smart hubs will no longer be supported as of May 15. Even though subscribers have known this was coming since February, there wasn’t a lot of attention until an author’s highly critical piece was published on Medium.

That story has spurred conversations questioning investment in the Internet of Things, or IoT, and prompted Nest to consider compensating users who were early investors in the Revolv hub.