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These 3 handy apps put a photo scanner in your pocket

Scanning apps will let you turn a pile of photos into a useful digital archive. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Scanning apps will let you turn a pile of photos into a useful digital archive. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

The 1940s hockey photos we found among my aunt’s possessions are a mystery she took to her grave. But with a little internet research and some sharing through social media, I figured I could put names to the players’ faces and stories that would bring the photos to life.

I needed a photo scanner. My smartphone and the right app puts one in my pocket.

For the hockey project, I tested three photo-scanning apps, each of which allowed me to digitize and share old photos without the need for computer equipment, Photoshop or the expense of a scanning service.

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Shoulderpod’s chunky S1 grip makes iPhone camera far easier to use

One handed-selfies are now even easier. Photos Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

One handed-selfies are now even easier. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Do you like to wander the streets, camera in hand, ready to catch an amazing shot? Have you ever missed that shot thanks to the time taken to fumble your iPhone from your pocket and fire up the camera? Even if the answer to these questions is “No,” you should probably take a look at Shoulderpod’s S1 anyway – it’s not only a great camera grip, but also the best value you’ll get spending $30 on an iPhone accessory.

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Cheap LED flashlight is light enough to clip onto a baseball cap

The Clamplight MINI goes anywhere. Photos Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Clamplight MINI goes anywhere. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You know those cheapo gadgets you pick up at the dime store or from the racks by supermarket checkouts? That’s the kind of throwaway gadget you think you’ve got when you pick up the Clamplight MINI from Blackfire. Which is a shame, because it’s actually pretty good.

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Use these apps to get iOS 8’s great new photo features now

Use these apps to get iOS 8’s great new photo features now

iOS 8 packs in a bunch of great new photo features, in both the Camera app and the Photos app. You now get a lot more control over your photography at the front end, with manual exposure and even a time-lapse mode, and you can edit and find your photos with a little more precision than before.

iOS 8 is still a few months out, but you don’t have to wait: Use these currently available apps to add all these new functions to your iPhone (or iPad) today.

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Finally, a leather Pad & Quill case that’s light enough for an iPad Air

Plain and simple. Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Pad & Quill’s beautiful Walden case keeps things plain and simple. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Walden is the first of Pad & Quill’s top-notch cases that I would actually use. That’s because it ditches the wooden frame of the company’s usual bookbindery cases, instead offering a minimal slipcover that uses adhesive strips to hold an iPad Air in place.

The result is a case as beautiful and classic as other P & Q cases, but slim and light enough to match the slender Apple tablet it protects.

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OS X 10.10 Inside Look: Yosemite’s beauty isn’t just skin deep

Apple has finally revealed the latest version of OS X, and it’s one of the biggest updates for the operating system in years. In today’s video, we take a quick look at OS X Yosemite in action and provide a quick overview what it has to offer.

Subscribe to the Cult of Mac YouTube channel so you get all our latest videos, seven days a week.

Escape Amazon’s evil Kindle empire with the cheeky Kobo Aura

Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Kobo’s ebook reader trumps even the best Kindle on several fronts. Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I just switched from Kindle to Kobo. Why? Amazon. It’s currently extorting publishing house Hachette by delaying orders and refusing to allow pre-orders for certain titles. The exact machinations are secret, but many people agree that Amazon is demanding discounts on ebooks.

I don’t want to see authors forced to get a second job to survive, so I switched. No more Kindle ebooks. I switched to Kobo, which has a great e-ink reader, a deep book catalog, and – most importantly – breakable DRM.

The results are mixed, with ups and downs for both the service and the hardware.

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Belkin’s meeting room UFO offers some serious juice

The Belkin meeting room power center with 4 AC power outlets and 8 USB ports. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Belkin meeting room power center has 4 AC power outlets and 8 USB ports. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Modern day meetings around the conference table may be a rare occurrence in our often-mobile and telecommuting world, but when they happen, the incoming mass of iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks need a lot of electricity.

Instead of making all your employees figure out where the outlets are (under the table? behind them on the wall?), why not provide a big fat power center in the middle of the action? The Belkin Meeting Room Power Center aims to do just that, with a huge, round UFO-looking power hub that sports four actual plugs and a generous eight USB ports.

That’s a lot of power.

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Uncanny X-Men: Days of Future Past provides fun mutant action for story purists

Days of Future Past

Maybe you’ve just seen the latest X-Men film. A lot of people have, so odds are pretty good. And if it left you wanting to know more about the original Days of Future Past storyline, but tracking down the trade paperback and then, like, reading it sounds like a lot of work, here’s a game you’ll want to check out.

Uncanny X-Men: Days of Future Past by GlitchSoft
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: $2.99

Uncanny X-Men: Days of Future Past is out now for your favorite iOS device, and it aims to faithfully re-create the source material the way it originally appeared. This means that it’s the assassination of Senator Kelley that brings forth the robopocalypse (that character died in the first film, so he wasn’t available to die in the new one), and it’s Kitty Pryde, not Wolverine, who goes back in time to set things right.

Sure, you can play the whole game as Wolverine if you want, but if you’re a purist, you have a chance to do it “right.”

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Highly specialized Booqpad is either perfect or pointless

Highly specialized Booqpad is either perfect or pointless

Getting work done. Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I started German language school a few weeks back, and I was looking forward to testing out the Booqpad. The combination iPad case and paper notepad seemed ideal for using in class. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. Not only is the case oddly tacky – especially weird given the build quality of Booq’s other gear – but it is awkward to use.

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