| Cult of Mac

Here’s why people are learning to love Apple Maps


Apple Maps' use of 3D imagery led the way, but in other ways it trailed Google Maps.
Apple Maps' use of 3D imagery led the way, but in other ways it trailed Google Maps.
Photo: Apple

After its launch in 2012, Apple Maps performed so badly that Apple CEO Tim Cook actually apologized for the service and fired the company’s head of software (for the disastrous launch and other reasons). But now, many people actually choose Apple Maps over Google Maps and other services, according to a new report.

The internet won’t stop ragging on Vision Pro’s price tag


Apple Vision Pro price tag: $3,499.
That $3,500 price tag certainly got people's attention.
Photo: Apple

The $3,499 price of Vision Pro, the long-awaited AR/VR headset Apple rolled out at WWDC23, startles some people. You can find audience reaction videos out there with audible gasps when the price was announced (including among Apple employees, some posts claim). And mainstream headlines are joining in, too.

And of course social media hasn’t let up on the jokey memes. See below for a few choice examples.

Apple buys AR headset startup Mira


Mira headsets have been used in different industries, the military and in the Mario Kart ride at Super Nintendo World.
Mira headsets have been used in different industries, the military and in the Mario Kart ride at Super Nintendo World.
Photo: Mira

Just a day after Apple unveiled its Vision Pro AR/VR headset at WWDC23, news came along Tuesday that the company acquired Los Angeles-based AR headset startup Mira.

Mira makes headsets for other companies — notably Super Nintendo World theme parks — and holds contracts with the U.S. military.

Here’s your chance to work for Apple as an AI engineer


Siri desperately needs some ChatGPT-like smarts
There's a lot Siri doesn't understand. And that's a problem.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Want to make Siri smart again and help boost Apple’s artificial-intelligence chops across the board? A recent Apple job posting shows it seeks “machine-learning engineers with a background and/or interest in conversational and generative AI.”

“This role will play a critical part in helping Apple change the way humans learn about learning,” the listing noted.

Hard to say if the new engineers will inject more gray matter into Siri, but one source suggests they might work on device-based apps for Apple’s AR/VR headset, expected to show on Monday at WWDC23 Monday.

Meta squeezes in VR headset tease ahead of WWDC23


Meta Quest 3 is
Meta Quest 3 is "coming this fall."
Photo: Meta

That’s some interesting timing on Meta’s press release Thursday for a VR headset not expected to come out until at least late September. Mark Zuckerberg and company wedged in a tease for Meta Quest 3 just four days ahead of WWDC23, when Apple is expected to unveil its much-anticipated AR/VR headset.

The Meta press materials even appropriated “we can’t wait,” one of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s trademark phrases.

Rumored 4K screens could let Apple VR/AR headset offer real world-like clarity


Apple VR/AR headset concept from Ahmed Chenni
Apple's mixed-reality headset could pack seriously impressive micro OLED displays.
Concept: Ahmed Chenni/Freelancer.com

Rumored specs of the micro OLED panels Apple plans to use in its upcoming VR/AR headset indicate the device could deliver ultra-realistic clarity that makes virtual worlds look real.

The headset, which could be called “Reality Pro” or “Reality One,” will use two 1.41-inch micro OLEDs with a pixel density of 4,000 PPI, according to a respected display analyst.

Apple’s dream of lightweight AR glasses remains elusive


Apple Glass concept from the Hacker 34.
The technology to make Apple AR glasses like these doesn't exist yet.
Concept: the Hacker 34

The VR/AR headset roughly the size of a pair of ski goggles that Apple is widely expected to introduce next month isn’t even close to CEO Tim Cook’s original goal for the project, according to info leaking from the company. Instead, Cook wanted a slim pair of AR glasses that could be worn all day,

As it stands now, that lightweight version of the product remains years away.

5 reasons to get excited about the Apple VR/AR headset


An AI-generated image of Tim Cook wearing an Apple-branded VR headset.
We don't yet know what the Apple VR/AR headset will look like, but that doesn't mean it's too soon to get excited about it.
AI image: Midjourney/Cult of Mac

Multiple sources predict Apple will launch its first VR/AR headset three weeks from today at WWDC23. As the company’s first major new product category to launch since Apple Watch, there’s a lot riding on the headset. And yet not everyone’s buzzing with anticipation.

For those who aren’t yet feeling excited, here are five reasons you should look forward to the big reveal next month.

Apple VR/AR headset remains on course to launch at WWDC23


Apple VR/AR headset concept created by Ahmed Chenni.
We might not be waiting much longer.
Concept: Ahmed Chenni/Freelancer.com

Production of Apple’s first VR/AR headset is in “the final sprint,” according to a new report out of Taiwan. This falls in line with earlier leaks indicating that Apple will unveil the device at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

The latest info even suggests the mixed-reality headset will begin shipping before the end of that month.

Can Apple’s ‘Reality’ headset spark an AR/VR revolution? [The CultCast]


A woman wearing a VR headset, with The CultCast logo and Episode 591.
Many have tried to make AR/VR a sparkling reality. So far, nobody's nailed it. Can Apple?
Photo: Sara Kurig/Unsplash License/Modified by Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: The latest leaks about Apple’s AR/VR headset — possibly called the “Reality” — get us thinking about real-world applications. Will this thing kick-start a mixed-reality revolution, or flop harder than the Pippin?

Also on The CultCast:

  • The new Apple Card Savings account pays high interest — and we’re definitely interested!
  • WWDC23 might bring additional new hardware beyond the headset.
  • It’s your last chance to snag a limited-edition Sunset Moment iPhone case from Pitaka.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.