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About Alex Heath

Alex Heath Alex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like 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. All DMs excepted.

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Apple releases iOS 8 beta 5 to developers

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Apple has released iOS 8 beta 5 as an over-the-air update for developers. The update comes after beta 4 was released two weeks ago.

Beta 5 also accompanies OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 5 in the Mac App Store and a new beta seed for the Apple TV.

Apple hasn’t said what’s new in the betas, but we’re downloading the updates now and we’ll have the usual roundup of changes and tweaks to show you shortly.

People save and change lives in Apple’s newest iPhone 5s ad

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Apple has a new TV ad out for the iPhone 5s, and it’s the fourth installment in its “You’re More Powerful Than You Think” campaign. The ads have previously shown people using the iPhone to do stuff like play music, workout, and parent.

Titled “Dreams,” the latest spot is a collection of ways people are using the iPhone around the world to make a real impact in the lives of others. Using a combination of hardware accessories and apps, the iPhone is seen helping doctors, firefighters, and more.

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President Obama makes smartphone unlocking legal again

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A new smartphone unlocking bill has made its way through the Senate and House of Representatives, and now it’s getting the seal approval from President Obama.

Today The White House announced that Obama will sign the “Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act” into law, which gives the right to unlock your phone after your contract is up and take it to another carrier.

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Wunderlist 3 ships with brand new design, new pro features, and more

Wunderlist 3

One of the App Store’s most beloved to-do apps, Wunderlist, has received a major redesign and a ton of new features.

Wunderlist 3 boats a more polished design on desktop and mobile, new icon, 30 new backgrounds, real-time sync, smart lists, and new gestures. There’s an emphasis on collaboration for the app’s pro users, including unlimited task assigning, file uploads, and subtasks.

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Free in-flight TV and movies land on Delta’s iPad app

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Who needs a tiny screen behind the seat in front of you when everyone has a smartphone or tablet?

Beginning today, Delta is rolling out free in-flight movies and TV shows for flyers through its Fly Delta app. The service is being called Delta Studio, and it follows the trend of other airlines like United delivering free content to flyers’ personal devices.

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Apple taps Beats Music CEO to run iTunes Radio

Beats Electronics president Luke Wood (left), Beats Music exec Trent Reznor (center), and Ian Rogers. Photo by Art Streiber for Time

Beats Electronics president Luke Wood (left), Beats Music exec Trent Reznor (center), and Ian Rogers. Photo by Art Streiber for Time

Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats was finalized this morning, and it’s up to Apple to determine what will happen to the hundreds of remaining Beats employees it hasn’t laid off.

Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine have already said that they’re joining Apple, and now it’s being reported that the head of Beats Music, Ian Rogers, will oversee iTunes Radio as well.

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A tour of Bolt, Instagram’s new one-tap messaging app

Instagram soft-launched Bolt this week, its new app to take on Snapchat. The app is only available in Singapore, New Zealand, and South Africa right now while Instagram squashes bugs and gets it ready for everyone else in the world.

That doesn’t mean you can’t see what Bolt is like now. Cult of Mac reader @ravirajim sent us a bunch of screenshots of Bolt in action, which you can view above. We’ll let you know when Bolt ships to the App Store in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Japan’s tax hikes likely slowed Apple’s growth last quarter

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Apple Store in Japan. Photo by Flickr user “HEI”

Apple’s sales in Japan have been skyrocketing quarter after quarter, but then the company reported “dampened” growth during its most recent earnings call.

Japan has been one of Apple’s fastest-growing countries, so what happened? A big increase in Japan’s federal taxes is not only effecting Apple, but competitors like Amazon.

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Instagram trial runs Bolt, its one-tap messaging app aimed at Snapchat

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Instagram has begun rolling out a brand new app called Bolt. After the app’s name and icon recently leaked, Bolt has become available for download in the New Zealand, Singapore, and South African App Stores.

Bolt is basically a direct competitor to Snapchat, as it’s designed to send photos and videos to friends that disappear after viewing.

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Confirmed: Apple acquires podcast recommendation app Swell

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It was recently reported that Apple was buying Swell, an iPhone app that took a Pandora approach to playing podcasts. The acquisition was said to cost around $30 million, and the app has since been taken off the App Store.

Now Apple has confirmed the buy, which bodes well for its own Podcasts app.

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