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

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.