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About Alex Heath

Alex Heath Alex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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Apple might have snatched up Pin Drop team to boost Maps

pindrop

Photo: Ste Smith/ Cult of Mac

Apple appears to have acquihired the small team behind Pin Drop, a location-bookmarking app set to close down at the end of the month.

Based on redacted information, Cult of Mac has reason to believe that at least some members of Caffeinehit, the London-based development team behind Pin Drop’s iOS and Android apps, will soon be part of Apple’s iOS engineering team.

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Now Fantastical can truly replace Apple’s Calendar app in iOS 8

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 1.22.29 AM

A Today widget, optimizations for the latest iPhones, and more.

Thanks to how apps can hook into each other with Extensibility in iOS 8, third-party developers are able to rival the systemwide functionality of Apple’s stock apps like never before.

So is the case with Flexibits, maker of the popular calendar app Fantastical. In a big 2.2 update today, Fantastical has not only been optimized for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but it’s received a number of iOS 8-only features.

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Early reviews of latest iPads praise new hardware, but wish for more

Order your new iPad now! Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

Preorders for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will start arriving on doorsteps as soon as tomorrow, and now a flood of early reviews has hit the web.

There’s a general theme throughout these dozen or so reviews of Apple’s newest tablets: boring. While these are unequivocally the best iPads every (like every year since the original), that’s not quite enough anymore.

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Apple explains how to keep yourself safe from phishing hacks on the web

The trusty green lock you should be paying attention to while surfing.

The trusty green lock you should be paying attention to while surfing. Screenshot: Alex Heath/ Cult of Mac

Recent reports of iCloud phishing attempts in China illustrate just how important it is always verify that you’re logging into legitimate websites before you enter your precious passwords.

To help, Apple today outlined how users can protect themselves from phishing attacks, in which bad guys pose as legitimate entities in an attempt to gain sensitive data on the web. Apple’s simple PSA page shows how web surfers can verify the authenticity of any website.

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Dark Sky is the best weather app for iOS 8

widget-precip

This morning I woke up and slide my finger down my iPhone’s lockscreen to see the weather. With a single line of text, Dark Sky told me what it felt like outside and that it would be overcast for at least the next hour. No need for sunglasses then.

There are a lot of weather apps out there to choose from, and I’ve tried a lot of them. But in terms of features, design, and actual usefulness, none comes close to being as good as Dark Sky.

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Apple Pay works abroad if you have a U.S. credit card

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While Apple Pay is technically limited to the United States, iPhone owners around the world are having luck using the service with cards issued in the U.S. Reports out of Australia show Apple Pay working like normal at NFC terminals down under.

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Apple Store app updated with support for Apple Pay

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 1.54.10 PM

Screenshots: Apple

The first iOS app to receive Apple Pay integration is of course one of Apple’s very own. The official Apple Store app has been updated with “easy one-touch checkout with Apple Pay” on Touch ID-equipped iOS devices.

Using Apple Pay requires iOS 8.1 and a credit or debit card on file in Passbook. While NFC in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is required for making Apple Pay transactions at physical stores, online payments only require Touch ID. That means you can use Apple Pay through apps on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3.

Several other apps should be updated with Apple Pay support any minute now, including Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Groupon, Instacart, OpenTable, MLB.com, Panera Bread, Target, and the Disney Store app.

Get iOS 8.1 now for Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library and more

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple just released iOS 8.1, bringing Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library and other new features to the mobile operating system.

Available now via Software Update, iOS 8.1 will let you quickly set up Apple Pay on compatible devices. Upgraders running OS X Yosemite will also notice additional Continuity features that let iOS 8 work with the latest version of the Mac operating system.

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Retina iMac RAM is user upgradable, reveals iFixit

Photo: iFixit

Photo: iFixit

The folks at iFixit have already gotten their hands on a new 27-inch Retina iMac, and their teardown reveals everything you need to know about the machine’s innards.

Thanks to a rear access door, the RAM in the new iMac remains user upgradable without needing to open the case. Most of the iMac’s internal design has stayed the same from last year’s model.

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Tips for getting the most out of OS X Yosemite

Yosemite's "dark mode." Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

“Dark mode” is just one of OS X Yosemite’s great new features. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

OS X Yosemite packs a lot of new features inside a cleaner, flatter interface on the Mac. It’s a big upgrade, and there’s a lot to take in at first glance.

Whether you’re a Mac novice or a seasoned expert, there’s plenty to explore in the latest version of OS X. Wondering how to get started? Here are some of the best tips and tricks for getting the most out of Yosemite: 

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