The Jot 8.5 eWriter brings notepads into the digital age [Reviews]

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Still better than a "smart" refrigerator.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

Nowadays it seems like we’re ready to replace just about every standalone device with a smartphone app or add a Wi-Fi connection to it, when the reality is that plenty of these devices work perfectly fine already. (I’m looking at you, Wi-Fi-enabled refrigerators.) So it was refreshing to be able to review a product that’s confident in what it is and what it isn’t: the Boogie Board Jot 8.5 eWriter.

The Jot 8.5 is an ultra-thin display that lets you write or draw whatever you want on it, then instantly erase all the contents at the push of a button. Think of it as a practical Etch-A-Sketch that doesn’t suck.

iOS 10 concept video has everything we want at WWDC

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Federico Vittici and Sam Beckett brought a better Control Center and more to life.
Photo: Federico Vittici/MacStories, Sam Beckett

Since there is still much to learn about the upcoming iOS 10 debut presumably at WWDC this year, Federico Vittici of MacStories and concept designer Sam Beckett took it upon themselves to bring their dreams to life. They worked together to design an incredible concept video that fulfills Vittici’s wishes for the next version of iOS. The video is nothing short of stunning and their implementation of his (completely reasonable) feature requests will have you absolutely drooling.

Facebook videos are about to get extremely intelligent

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Facebook is killing your battery.
Automatic tagging is coming to video.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Facebook is upping its game with video. Soon, Facebook will be able to automatically identify friends in videos and tag them. Better yet, it’ll store this information so when you want to find that moment again, you could find the video by searching for your friend’s name and then jump straight to when they appear in frame.

Circle with Disney is a near-flawless parental control system [Reviews]

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Someone didn't quite think through that Circle is mostly square.
Photo: Circle

I recall at WWDC 2011 when Steve Jobs introduced iCloud he talked about how up until that point, managing and syncing content across devices was driving everybody nuts. You’d take one photo on one device and would have to plug it in and sync it to another device, which would then offer up some of its own photos and meanwhile none of them are even on the third device yet. It truly was an insane world. But in 2016, the new Circle with Disney aims to solve a surprisingly similar problem.

Managing content across devices has gotten much easier, yet managing the people who use those devices has not. Circle is a brand-new product from Disney that wants to unify your family’s entire online experience. It allows you to set time limits for individual family members, block websites based on your child’s age, and even pause Internet access entirely when it’s time to log off.

Instagram comes to life with this inexpensive printer

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A printer that doesn't suck.
Photo: Epson

Epson’s new all-in-one printer, the Epson XP-430, positions itself as an affordable wireless printer that also integrates with the photos on your social networks. You can use the included Epson Creative Print software to link your Instagram account and print out your photos, plus scan and share photos directly to your Facebook. It’s pretty nifty, considering printers are typically some of the most tedious gadgets on the planet.

Intelligent app monitors your lending portfolios across multiple marketplaces

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See your LendingClub, Prosper and Funding Circle portfolios at a glance.
Photo: LendingRobot

LendingRobot today launched a pretty important mobile app for peer lenders. It’s LendingRobot Dashboard, and it lets these lenders monitor all their portfolios across three separate services: LendingClub, Prosper and Funding Circle. It’s the only mobile app available that allows investors to connect from across multiple marketplaces and see their portfolios at a glance.

Phew! Instagram update restores log out button

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You're not trapped in the same account forever after all.
Photo: Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Head into the App Store and get the latest Instagram update because it solves a huge problem: You can finally log out of your account. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a breakthrough new feature, but it is now if you’ve been severely confused about how to escape lately.

New app keeps you motivated by turning chores into one big game [Reviews]

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Achi really likes when I'm productive.
Photo: MotivAction

Sometimes no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to get the motivation to do anything productive. I can make to-do lists and download productivity apps, but if the drive to complete my tasks isn’t there, I probably won’t get much done. A new app called MotivAction recognizes the real problem of lacking motivation and offers some guidance by combining a to-do app and motivational game in one.

Videos on Instagram just got four times longer

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And you can throw in multiple clips, too.
Photo: Brigham Young University

Once an app only for photos, Instagram is now greatly extending its video capabilities. Coming soon, users will be able to share videos up to 60 seconds in length. Instagram started rolling out this change today and says more improvements to video are coming in a future update.

One such improvement Instagram says will arrive sooner rather than later is the reemergence of multi-clip video on iOS. This means that you’ll be able to import multiple video clips from your Photos library and stitch them together for a single Instagram video. It might sound familiar because Instagram actually used to have this feature… before taking it away.

Apple TV app lets you see the weather without opening it [Reviews]

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Think Dark Sky for your Apple TV.
Photo: Forecast Bar

For several months on my new Apple TV I’ve been searching for a decent weather app that doesn’t cost too much, and truth be told I really haven’t been able to find any. My go-to weather app has been Carrot Weather for quite some time, but I don’t love the interface on a big television screen. So I was eager to try out Forecast Bar for Apple TV, which offers some standout features and lots of forecast detail.

We reviewed Forecast Bar for Mac back in September and declared it the closest thing possible to getting Dark Sky on your Mac, and it still is. Dark Sky, known for its down-to-the-minute precipitation forecasts, has become a favorite weather app on iOS and Android. So let’s see if Forecast Bar for Apple TV is the closest thing to getting Dark Sky on the big screen.