Merry CultCast, boys and girls! This week: Santa gets a little “grabby”; Apple wins a major lawsuit; our iPhones deserve “rollover” data plans; the incredibly low payouts artists get from Spotify; and the high-end gifts we really want but will never get on an all-new Get To Know Your Cultist.
Thanks to Audible for supporting this episode. Audible, the home of over 150,000 audio books from practically every genre in existence. Grab our Leander Kahney’s book, Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products, for free with a 30-day Audible trial.
Catch the full show notes ahead.
Read receipts. They’re the first thing I turn off when I get a new messaging app or iOS device. But Facebook is doubling down on read receipts in the new Facebook Messenger, which has new, blisteringly fast notifications showing you exactly what’s going on with your message after you send it.
With iOS 8, Apple has been showing a lot more indecision about what kind of app extensions, keyboards, and widgets are and aren’t allowed under the developer guidelines. This has caused even popular apps like PCalc and Drafts to have to scale back features, because they have inadvertently stepped over some invisible line in Apple’s mind about what a third-party app should be allowed to do.
Now, there’s another fatality of Apple’s weird App Store waffling. Jormy, the developer behind the popular (and absolutely insane) iOS 8 keyboard Nintype, has been informed by Apple that he needs to remove one of his app’s most useful functions in a future update.
Awesome Apps of the Week
Every weekend Cult of Mac brings you a roundup of the past week’s greatest new apps and updates.
This week, we’ve got what looks like the best app yet for using an iPad as a secondary desktop display, the best app for DJing on the Mac, and more.
Without further ado, here are this week’s awesome apps you need to check out.
Developed by former Apple engineers, Duet Display is the first iPad app that lets you use the tablet as a secondary display for your Mac via a Lightning cable. Other apps have tried streaming over WiFi to turn the iPad into an extended display, but then you usually have to deal with bad lag and poor frame rate.
Because you connect the iPad via a 30-pin or Lightning cable, Duet Display claims to be capable of powering a Retina display at 60 frames per second with zero lag.
Its developers claim that the app works with all iOS devices on iOS 6 and up along with all Macs capable of running OS X 10.9. I wasn’t able to test it because my Mac is running the 10.10.2 Yosemite beta, which is currently super buggy.
Duet Display sounds like a great tool for making use of an old iPad you may have lying around the house. Support for older iOS 5.1.1 devices is being worked on for a future update in the App Store.
Available on: iPad
Price: $9.99 (requires free Mac installer)
Download: App Store
Algoriddim is known for making Djay, the most popular consumer DJ app out there. While the software already supports professional-grade turntables and DJ gear, Algoriddim has taken another big step into the world of pro DJing with the release of Djay Pro, it’s new Mac app.
This app is a powerhouse with 64-bit support, multi-core track analysis, a design that look great on Retina and 5K displays, and 60 frames-per-second graphics rendering.
The design looks pretty similar to what existing Djay users know, expect now there are even more features, like the ability to mix four tracks at once. The biggest feature addition by far is integration with Spotify. Premium Spotify subscribers have full access to their playlists, saved music, and the entire service’s catalog. Djay Pro is the first app to integrate with Spotify this closely, and it shows. It’s pretty cool to be able to switch seamlessly between your iTunes and Spotify libraries inside the app.
Djay Pro is trying to be the Final Cut or Logic of DJ software, Algoriddim CEO Karim Morsy told Cult of Mac in an interview. This new app is aimed squarely at the pros out there who also want a simplistic, powerful design. “This is what they’ve been waiting for,” he said.
Available on: Mac
Price: $49.99 introductory price (will eventually go up to $79.99)
Download: Mac App Store
If you’re someone who lives and dies by group texting, this is a great app to try out. From the same developers behind Launch Center Pro, Group Text+ allows you to “mix and match contacts, groups, images, and text snippets to quickly compose messages.”
You can add things like current location, the content of your clipboard, or a song to the group text as well. What you get with this app is an experience tailored to group messaging that’s built on iMessage and SMS, so you don’t have to worry about signing people up for some proprietary messaging service.
The interface is pretty simple, and there’s a handy extension to use the app throughout iOS.
Available on: iPhone/iPad
Price: $1.99 launch sale)
Download: App Store
Made by the same people behind the previous app, Email+ is the same group messaging approach applied to email. If you live in group email threads all day, this app could be the breath of fresh air you’ve been waiting for.
Available on: iPhone/iPad
Price: $2.99 (App Store bundle Group Text+ included costs $3.99)
Download: App Store
Amazon Prime Now
Amazon is determined to be the one-stop shop for just about anything you could need, and it’s new Prime Now app is for getting those things to you as quickly as possible.
With “tens of thousands” of items available for sale, Prime Now will ship to Amazon Prime subscribers within one to two hours.
The experiment is similar to Prime Pantry, Amazon’s same-day grocery deliver service that’s being slowly rolled out across the country. Prime Now is only available in Manhattan right now, but Amazon has plans to bring it to other cities.
Available on: iPhone
Price: Free with Prime subscription (One-hour deliveries cost $7.99 and two-hour deliveries are free)
Download: App Store
Now, with Dragon Dictate for Mac 4, you can give your own quaint keyboard a well deserved rest. Get this revolutionary software for your Mac for just $99.99 at Cult of Mac Deals.
Universal Pictures is eyeing Kate Winslet to play the lead female role in Aaron Sorkin’s movie on Steve Jobs, reports Variety.
It’s still unknown what character the Titanic star might play, but after a couple of other Oscar-nominated actresses have dropped out of the project, Winslet’s addition could be the extra jolt needed for the movie that’s expected to feature Jobs’ daughter Lisa as the heroine.
This post is brought to you by IdeaSolutions, creator of KYMS.
What better way to keep your media safe than to encrypt your files and hide them behind an iOS app that appears to be nothing more than a stylish calculator? KYMS (Keep Your Media Safe) encrypts all your multimedia files, photos, documents, passwords and much more, then stashes them inside a military-grade vault that’s hiding in plain sight.
As we watch the hordes of moviegoers heading out to see the final film in The Hobbit trilogy, The Battle of the Five Armies, we can’t help but rejoice a little that this
endless epic journey is about to end.
In this parody trailer for the previous installment, The Desolation of Smaug, you can “Rejoin Middle Earth’s other, shorter, less interesting fellowship as they continue their slow journey to Scrooge McDuck’s vault,” as the gravelly-voiced narration actor says in the hilarious trailer.
Check it out below.
Tim Cook has told Apple employees he’s “deeply offended” by the BBC’s critical documentary Apple’s Broken Promises that investigated working conditions inside Apple’s supply Asian supply chain.
In an email obtained by The Telegraph from Apple VP Jeff Williams to the company’s workers in the UK, Williams said he and Cook are offended by the BBC’s suggestion that Apple broke promises with workers in the supply chain, and that no other company is doing “as much as Apple does to ensure fair and safe working conditions.”
Williams also countered the BBC’s claims that Apple uses tin sourced through child labor in Indonesia, saying Apple is spearheading the movement to hold the tens of thousands of artisanal miners more accountable, rather than getting out of the country altogether.