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About Alex Heath

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a journalist and co-host of The CultCast who lives in Lexington, Kentucky . 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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Instagram’s new Layout app has an unsettling secret

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Layout from Instagram? That name sounds oddly familiar. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

What happens when a multi-billion-dollar social network steals your app’s name?

Independent developer Mike Swanson asked that question Monday when he learned that Instagram had released Layout, the Facebook-owned company’s new iPhone app for creating photo collages.

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Fantastical 2 gets fresh design, new features for OS X Yosemite

Week View

The best calendar app just got way better on the Mac.

Fantastical has been my go-to calendar app for years. It’s interface and ease of use is second to none, especially Apple’s terrible Calendar app.

But Fantastical hasn’t received much love on the Mac in awhile. While the iOS version has continued to steadily iterate, the app’s design and basic feature set on the desktop has basically stayed the same.

Today Fantastical 2 for Mac arrives, bringing a complete design revamp for OS X Yosemite and several major new features.

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Apple buys boring database company you’ve never heard of

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Not every Apple acquisition is exciting.

Apple has bought a boring database company you’ve never heard of called FoundationDB. While not as sexy as buying Beats, the acquisition is good news for Apple’s increasingly important cloud services.

The Virginia-based startup, which has raised a little over $20 million in funding, specializes in handling large chunks of data very quickly. TechCrunch first reported news of the acquisition.

Apple could definitely use help on the server side, especially after its cloud services just recently suffered the worst outage in their history. With the iTunes Store, App Store, iCloud, iMessage, Siri, and a forthcoming TV service, Apple needs all the data power it can get. Hopefully FoundationDB will help.

You can wear a virtual Apple Watch right now

Photo: Alex Heath/ Cult of Mac

But why would you? Photo: Alex Heath/ Cult of Mac

You can’t get an Apple Watch until April 24th. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pretend to have its fine metals rubbing your naked wrist right now.

By printing out a tiny piece of paper and downloading an app, a horrible render of the Apple Watch will appear on your wrist like magic.

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Apple could take location tracking to the next level

Apple Maps could benefit directly from peer-to-peer location sharing. Photo: Apple

Apple Maps could benefit directly from peer-to-peer location sharing. Photo: Apple

You’re driving home late one night with your friend following. You lose him at a red light and, realizing he doesn’t have your address, need to tell him where to go.

You ask Siri to share your route with your friend, and voila, he’s able to follow your location as you drive with the Maps app.

Such is the kind of scenario that could arise in the future, thanks to a new Apple patent.

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Steve Jobs’ high school classmates cash in on their yearbooks

There's a new gold rush for a remnant of the late CEO's upbringing.

There’s a new gold rush for a remnant of the late CEO’s upbringing. Photo: eBay

Those lucky enough to have gone to high school with Steve Jobs are starting to cash in on their connection to the late Apple co-founder.

The world’s obsession with all things Jobs has extended to his days as a young, long-haired high schooler. A 1972 Homestead High School yearbook with Jobs’ senior picture sold today for over $12,000, and now more yearbooks are being auctioned off at hefty prices.

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Square Cash introduces the best bet to kill checks

Photo: Square

Photo: Square

Square Cash is one of those few apps I can show my non-techy friends and immediately get a wide-eyed, “whoa” kind of response. Its ability to quickly send and receive money is super slick.

Today two big changes to Square Cash will make it an even more attractive peer-to-peer payments service. First, anyone can now create a web profile for accepting money without needing a standalone app. Second, businesses and nonprofits can get in on the action.

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NeuBible and other awesome apps you might have missed this week

Steve Jobs rudely snubbed Neil Young’s peace offering

Photo: Wikipedia

Neil Young. Photo: Wikipedia

Steve Jobs didn’t like Neil Young.

That much is evident from an excerpt from Becoming Steve Jobs, a highly anticipated book on the late Apple co-founder that comes out Tuesday. Jobs’ hatred for Young was so strong that he even refused a peace offering from the multi-Grammy-winner.

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Inside Apple’s top secret health lab

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Where no camera crew has gone before. Photo: ABC News

Apple rarely gives tours of its facilities, but it showed ABC News the inner workings of its top secret health lab for the purpose of hyping the upcoming Apple Watch.

Located in an unassuming lot near its Cupertino headquarters on 1 Infinite Loop, Apple employees have been working out for years in secret to collect valuable health and fitness data.

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