This time on the CultCast: pro television editor and motion graphics artist Mike Gaines tells us the pros and cons of Apple’s new Mac Pro. Plus, Darth Vader has an iPhone 4; Apple makes your face your password; new patents tell a tale wireless charging for your Mac and iDevices; and we pitch our favorite new apps on an all-new Faves ‘N Raves!
Have a few laughs and get caught up on each week’s best Apple stories. Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below adventure begin.
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The iPhone is a great travel tool, but making your smartphone travel actually smart isn’t about packing it up with dozens of apps you never use or that won’t get you out of the plane seat next to the loo on a crowded holiday flight.
Enter Cult of Mac Magazine. In time for your holiday travels (or maybe escaping from your loved ones for some beach or ski resort time?), we sounded out dozens of road warriors to learn what they really find necessary for the daily commute or continental flight. These black tees and easy-to-launder socks of the app world, if you will, include some surprising picks, many of them free.
If your travel is mostly of the four-wheel variety, you’ll want to read what happens when reporter Alex Heath took smart-driving app Automatic for a month-long spin. (Can it reform his gas guzzling, donut-making driving style?)
In our exclusive Ask an Apple Genius column, we answer your questions about how to get your Mac repaired on the road and how to handle assistance when you live in a town without an Apple store.
You’ll also find our picks for the best in apps this week and what’s really rocking the iTunes store when it comes to books, movies and music.
Mr. Reader, the best RSS news reader app for the iPad, is now fully iOS 7-ready, letting me (finally!) get the last non iOS 7 app out of my dock. As you’d expect, it now looks great, and adds a few neat new features.
One of the most popular series of games for home consoles is Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed, in which a 21st Century cyberpunk is tasked with recovering memories of his ancestors from the past. The plot doesn’t make a lot of sense, frankly, but it doesn’t have to: it’s just the framing mechanism that allows players to take on the role of a number of assassins throughout history, from 15th Century Florence to ancient Jerusalem and Colonial America.
The latest game in the Assassin’s Creed series, Black Flag, brings the backstabbing and throat-slitting to the high seas, but it’s only available on the Xbox and PlayStation. No fear, though, because a companion game called Assassin’s Creed: Pirates has just been released on the App Store for iPhone and iPad users.
Great news for corrupt restaurant employees and criminal scum everywhere: you can now use the latest Google Wallet app to skim credit cards right into your iPhone. In theory at least. And without actually recording the magnetic strip. But “Google Wallet update allows easy addition of credit cards using the iPhone camera” doesn’t have the same link-baiting ring to it. So scum and villainy it is.
Bokeh is an iPhone app (and web service) for easily “lifeblogging” your photos and thoughts. And because nobody but you really cares about the mundane details of your days, Bokeh can be used as a private diary, too, albeit a private diary that you access via the web. So what’s the gimmick? What sets Bokeh apart from all the other lifeblogging apps out there? It has a great calendar view, making it easy to browse and zero-in on the exact memory you forgot.
RotoView is an app that lets you zoom in super close on your iPhone photos, and then scroll around them by tilting the iPhone itself. It is also a great example of how iOS 7-native design can help an app look great, when otherwise it would very likely look awful.
Jottacloud, the “Norwegian Dropbox,” has added automatic photo uploads to its iOS apps. This means that you can not only access your desktop files on the go, but you can also backup and browse your mobile photos, too. Better still, it backs up all you pictures, not just your Camera Roll.
Great news for Lightroom users who both own iPads and love the Java runtime: The Mosaic app can now do two-way sync with Lightroom on your Mac, letting you load photos onto your computer and then sit down in your favorite easy chair with a cup of coffee to rate and reject your pictures using the iPad.
Liquid looks set to be a fixture on my Mac. It’s an app which lets you carry out transformations and operations on any selected text, which doesn’t sound like much unless you write for a living, or just have to wrangle lots of letters. It’s actually been around for quite a while (the current version is 4.3), but I figured that if I hadn’t heard of it yet, then maybe you hadn’t either.