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.
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)
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.
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.
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 now, thank us later. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
The word “app” has always described Apple’s executable programs, but it wasn’t until the App Store appeared in 2008 that the term really took hold as a way to describe the little programs that help make our smartphones not just smart, but also useful and totally fun.
At this point, “There’s an app for that” has become a phrase you’ll hear pretty much everywhere.
We’ve taken a look at our favorite new apps, some of which have been featured on Cult of Mac previously, and chosen the year’s best. Now get downloading!
2014 has been an intriguing 12 months for movies. With no obvious breakout Oscar winners (a la 12 Years a Slave) or billion-dollar box office smashes (like The Avengers), it’s easy to think it’s been a forgettable year.
But that’s not really true. Peer beneath the surface and it has, in fact, been a very strong year for movie fans — from emotional masterpieces like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and returns-to-form like Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street to action-packed blockbusters such as Guardians of the Galaxy, there’s truly been something for everyone.
So what are our picks for the 10 “must see” movies of 2014? Keep reading to find out.
Get the chef in your life something special for the holidays. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Surely you know one of these people: They’re not intimidated by a complicated recipe, and they can turn a handful of random ingredients into something delectable.
They stare dreamily at the windows when they walk by Sur La Table or Williams-Sonoma, and they’d rather whip up a meal on their own than go out for a dinner and drinks.
They’re serious about food and drink, and they’re not afraid to try new things. Well, serious cooks need serious tools. If you’ve got one of these masters of the culinary arts on your list, these gifts will tickle their tastebuds.
There are tons of reasons why you might need to reformat your Mac: It’s slowing down, filling up with too many unneeded files to delete manually or suffering from major technical issues that can’t be fixed otherwise.
Or maybe you’re just selling it as you move on to a better, faster Mac and need to remove everything.
Devs are generally pleased with what they can do on the Watch, but you might be surprised at how much is off limits. Photo: Apple
Third-party developers are already making apps for the Apple Watch, but they’re doing so with one hand tied behind their backs.
Coders that Cult of Mac spoke with are pleasantly surprised by the opportunity to bring apps to the Watch so early, but many note they must abide by severe limitations to get their apps ready for the Apple wearable’s launch next spring.
Readdle is known for making quality productivity apps like Scanner Pro and Documents. Its new PDF Office app is all about creating and editing PDFs on the iPad.
But wait, doesn’t Readdle already make a popular PDF viewer for iOS? What’s the difference?
“PDF Expert 5 is more of a reader, annotation app, whereas PDF Office is an all-in-one tool for document conversion and creation,” explains Readdle Marketing Director Denys Zhadanov to Cult of Mac. “If a person has to create PDF documents, forms, congrats, notes, etc., PDF Office is definitely the right choice.”
You can scan documents with the iPad’s camera and turn them into fully editable PDFs, which is a great way to clear out the office. Most people probably won’t need all the power that PDF Office provides, but for those who could benefit from the best PDF tool on the iPad that money can buy, it’s definitely worth considering.
Readdle is offering the app through a subscription system, and you should read this blog post if you want to understand why.
Available on: iPad
Price: $4.99 per month/$39.99 per year (Existing PDF Expert users get a year for free)
The next generation of stock trading is upon us thanks to Robinhood, a new iPhone app that came out this week.
Most brokerages charge between $7 and $10 for individual stock trades, but Robinhood eliminates fees entirely by cutting out the middleman. You’re in charge of your trading, and you don’t have to be well versed in the ways of Wall Street to use the app.
The interface is dead simple, and it makes the possibility of trading stocks a reality for more people than ever before. There’s a pretty huge waitlist right now, so you won’t be able to use it right away. But if you’re interested, claim your spot in line.
The official Google app got updated with Android’s new Material Design philosophy, which is interesting to see on iOS. The design is based on traditional ink and paper with a reliance on animations to create depth, so it’s pretty different from where Apple has been headed with mobile post iOS 6.
You can see your recently visited businesses, start a new search from the center Google button, and use Street View without leaving the app on iPhone. The app has also been optimized for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Vemedio released Instacast 2 for Mac, a complete visual overhaul for OS X Yosemite.
“We redesigned the entirety of Instacast's interface, including the app icon, the MiniPlayer and each individual dialog in Instacast's settings,” said Vemedio’s Martin Hering. “The MiniPlayer's interface looks fantastic with Yosemite's dark mode too. We also added the new episode lists from Instacast 5 on iOS, including list syncing via Instacast Cloud.”
Instacast is already a fantastic solution for streaming podcasts on iOS, and this new Mac update means that it’s one of the most attractive cross-platform podcast clients available.
Those with an existing Instacast Membership ($14.99 per year) get version 2 for Mac free along with all in-app iOS purchases. A standalone license for Instacast 2 on the Mac costs $19.99, and an upgrade from version 1 costs $5. There’s also a 15-day free trial available to try.
Available on: Mac
Price: $14.99 per year for subscription that also unlocks premium iOS app, or $19.99 for single license
Slacker’s big redesign makes it a highly compelling take on internet radio. Not only does the new interface look gorgeous, but Slacker is debuting new partnerships with celebrities and content creators like Tyler Oakley, Rooster Teeth and Nerdist Industries.
In total, there are nearly 400 stations to choose from, and new customization features allow you to fine tune personal stations by artist, song, and genre.
Slacker is free to use on the web or mobile, but $3.99 per month gets you unlimited skips, no ads offline listening, and custom feeds from the likes of Disney and ESPN. A $9.99 per month subscription basically turns Slacker into a Spotify competitor with full access to its catalog of music.
Available on: Web/iPhone
Price: Free (with $3.99 and $9.99 subscription options)
People await the arrival of dirigibles at the edge of Mars’ Victoria Crater in Erik Werquist’s short film Wanderers.
You can wait until the 2030s when NASA hopes to land astronauts on Mars. Or, if you have four minutes to spare right now, you can see what it is like to stand on the edge of the red planet’s Victoria Crater or catch a Martian sunset.
Erik Wernquist will even throw in a side of rings — Saturn’s that is — for watching his awe-inducing short film, Wanderers, which is embedded below.
“I am always inspired by reading about astronomy, and planetary astronomy in particular,” Wernquist told Cult of Mac. “And when I read about, or see pictures from places, I often fantasize about what it would … feel like to actually be there.”
A new app called Workflow aims to close the divide between the power of OS X and the convenience of iOS. By offering curated and custom workflows, the app can automate just about anything you’d want to do on the iPhone or iPad — along with actions you probably haven’t thought of before, like calling an Uber car to take you to your next meeting with one tap.
It’s an ambitious undertaking for any developer, but what makes Workflow even better is that it was created by two brilliant teenagers with great aspirations for making mobile devices as powerful as they can be.