Widget, widgets, widgets. Boy, have we got some widgets for you. And text. Plain text. Plain old text, turned into a calculator. And widgets. Did I mention those? Weather widgets. Battery widgets. And yes, text widgets.
Read all about these new widgets and other new apps in this week's App Watch.
WunderStation from Weather Underground hooks into thousands of privately owned weather stations and presents their data in an iPad app. The smoothly animated graphs are beautiful and can tell you way more than you’d ever want to know about rainfall, barometric pressure and even UV. If you have stations near you, it’s pretty rad. If not, no biggie – the app is $Free
Filthy name, great app. Droool is a “photo gallery for your social networks.” Browse pictures from Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook and more, and index pictures from iCloud and other local folders without moving or copying the files. It’s fast, simple and looks great, and it’s free with in-app purchases. $Free
Terrible name, great app. iBetterCharge monitors your iOS devices’ battery level over your Wi-Fi network, using the same connection that iTunes Wi-Fi sync would use, if you still synced your iPhone with your computer in the space year of 2014. It can pop up warnings when the battery drops to a preset level, and a click on the menu bar shows you the level of all the devices on the network. $Free
This is what the Internet is made for. Photogrammar puts 170,000 Depression-era photos in a searchable, browsable archive. Explore on an interactive map, search or get into the Labs section and browse by metadata sourced from the U.S. Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information archives. Warning: serious time-sink. $Free
PlainTextMenu takes the text on your Mac’s clipboard and transmogrifies it into something useful. It strips out formatting, so you never get big ugly Comic Sans when pasting from a colleague’s Word report, and it can turn the text to uppercase, lowercase or title case along the way. From the school of One Thing Well. $1
Web service re/spin takes Spotify playlists and transforms them into Rdio playlists. If someone’s going to share a playlist, it usually comes from Spotify, and re/spin works with published Spotify playlists. Or you can just paste in a track list copied right from the app. It also works with Last.fm. Remember when PCs couldn’t read Mac floppy disks? It’s like fixing that all over again. $Free
You know all those hard drives grafted onto your Mac? Keep a close eye on them with StorageStatus, an app that turns hard drives into traffic lights in your menu bar and changes their colors when they do something. It knows when they are sleeping, it knows when they’re awake, and it knows when they’ve been good or bad. $3
Not new, but awesome nonetheless. Calca is as close as you’ll get to a plain text calculator. Tap in complex formulas or simple sums and see the results right there in a plain text document. Set variables or just add numbers. And see all your pages synced over iCloud between Mac, iPhone and iPad versions, as well as Windows(!). I love Calca for its balance of simplicity and power. From $3
Finally, a version for the iPad. TVShow Time tracks your favorite TV shows and tells you when they’re on. Browse shows and show synopses, and get notifications when something is about to air. See the shows on a calendar, view news about your shows and read about new shows. It’s pretty comprehensive, and looks great on the big iPad screen. $3
Facebook is experimenting with a feature allowing you to more easily search through old posts.
As more and more of our lives are lived on social media, the importance of being able to efficiently search through content is greater than ever.
With that in mind, Facebook is currently user-testing a new feature letting mobile users sift through old posts by friends using keywords — allowing them to more easily find content that would otherwise be lost.
The feature, which only counts for posts you’re allowed to see (meaning that private posts won’t show up) has currently only been rolled out to a select few, but will likely be officially added into an update of the Facebook iOS app in the near future.
Do you hate the fact that Facebook is forcing you to install the Facebook Messenger app if you want to send or access messages on your iPhone or iPad?
We do too. But luckily, it turns out that right now, there’s an easy way to get around the restrictions and access your Facebook Messages through the vanilla Facebook app again. But better move on it: Facebook’s not likely to let this loophole stay open for long.
It’s hard to know what to make of an app update that promises to “cut crash rates in half.” If you’re a glass-half-full kind of guy, you’re happy with the increased stability. If you’re a glass-half-empty guy, though, you wonder why the hell they can’t get around to fixing the other 50 percent of unexpected software crashes.
I’m sort of a glass-half-empty kind of guy, at least when it comes to Facebook. So when they announce that their latest update to the Facebook for iPhone and iPad app has “solved a long-term mobile debugging problem and reduced the crash rate for people using the Facebook for iOS app by more than 50%,” I wonder why the hell a multibillion dollar corporation can’t fix the other half.
For at least the last year, rumor has had it that Facebook would soon require anyone who wished to message a friend through its official iPhone app to install a tertiary app, Facebook Messenger, instead.
Up until now, Facebook has held off on that threat. But as the social networking giant tries to spread its services across an entire ecosystem of apps, it looks like the House that Zuckerberg built might finally make good.
Instagram has accidentally leaked that it’s planning to launch a thunder strike against Snapchat with a new “one tap photo messaging” app of its own called Bolt.
A banner announcing the new messaging app was accidentally posted for some users on Android to see last night, but was taken down about 15 minutes after it appeared. The Free link button on the banner directed users to the Google Play Store, but the page was not available.
Long-time rivals Apple and IBM partnered up this week to work together on enterprise software, but what does this mean for Siri? If Apple’s trusty voice assistant gets together with IBM’s extremely intelligent A.I. Watson, it could be a beautiful “relationship.”
Watch today’s Cult of Mac news roundup to hear all the latest news and rumors about this potential Apple-IBM hookup, possible trouble in the iPhone 6 sapphire glass pipeline, a toaster that burns your selfies into bread and the rest of the week’s biggest stories.
Facebook’s ‘make a bunch of apps and see which ones stick’ strategy for mobile has unleashed a new app for the iPhone this morning, and it’s supposed to make interacting with famous people on Mark Zuckerburg’s social network easier than ever, but you’re probably not cool enough to use it.
Apple and Google may reign supreme as the top two tech companies in the U.S., but when it comes to attractiveness, Amazon and Microsoft employees are absolutely slaying them.
After crunching the numbers from its social-networking app for professionals, Hinge found that employees from Amazon are the most sought-after on network, topping both Google, Facebook and Microsoft, with Apple’s young professionals coming in dead last.