Watch today’s Cult of Mac news roundup for details on how one popular group of protesters are picketing Steve Jobs and Apple itself. Plus, get info on a new Snapchat clone from Instagram, news on unlocking your iPhone and even how one KickStarter is turning MacBooks into huge touch-enabled tablets.
Instagram soft-launched Bolt this week, its new app to take on Snapchat. The app is only available in Singapore, New Zealand, and South Africa right now while Instagram squashes bugs and gets it ready for everyone else in the world.
That doesn’t mean you can’t see what Bolt is like now. Cult of Mac reader @ravirajim sent us a bunch of screenshots of Bolt in action, which you can view above. We’ll let you know when Bolt ships to the App Store in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Instagram has begun rolling out a brand new app called Bolt. After the app’s name and icon recently leaked, Bolt has become available for download in the New Zealand, Singapore, and South African App Stores.
Bolt is basically a direct competitor to Snapchat, as it’s designed to send photos and videos to friends that disappear after viewing.
“I could probably track my interest in toys via Star Wars,” Larner says. “When I was a kid in the early ’80s, I was completely swept up by the original Kenner 3.75-inch range. Then, in the ’90s, the remastered movies came out along with whispers of the prequels so the Star Wars toy range was reintroduced, so that caught my interest again. However, it was when Lego had the bright idea of making Star Wars Lego sets in 1999 that I really got sucked in and I haven’t looked back since!”
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.
Merek Davis is not a coder. The developer never even made an app before 2013. Yet on his first iOS at-bat, he hit an App Store grand slam with Mextures, his photo-editing app that quickly became one of the top photo apps of the year.
Mextures is like Photoshop for your iPhone, only easier to use. The app’s editing tools and formulas let you tweak and re-tweak pics, adding light leaks, textures and color gradients that can turn even your crappiest pics into something majestic.
It’s a bona fide hit, with some of the most-followed names on Instagram using Davis’ creation. But it almost never happened.
Eric is a Stormtrooper who escaped the exploding Death Star and wound up on Earth.
Now he wears jeans, enjoys lavender-scented bubble baths, drinks Johnnie Walker whisky and sings a song about his tomato allergy.
No longer a member of the Galactic Empire guard, Eric serves as muse to British photographer Darryll Jones, a self-described 39-year-old child who has turned his fondness for toys — especially Star Wars action figures — into a Force on Instagram.
“I have always loved toys,” said Jones, a food and lifestyle photographer who does work for the Tesco supermarket chain when he’s not taking pictures of toys. “I recall quite vividly setting up little dioramas in my room or in the garden and playing out the scenes in my mind, imagining that the little plastic figures could come alive.”
Instagram was the golden standard for not only sharing, but shooting mobile photography in its early days. But since then, more complex tools like VSCO Cam and Camera+ have come onto the scene. Nowadays, getting the perfect photo isn’t often as simple as just tapping a filter.
Today Instagram is releasing a big update in an attempt to tap into the evolved state of iPhoneography it has been missing out on. New editing tools are being added that let you adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, and more.
Cole Rise has nearly one million followers on Instagram and the hottest new photography app in the App Store. He also made seven of Instagram’s built-in filters, which explains where the name for the “Rise” filter originates.
His app, Litely, is less than a month old with over 3 million downloads. Considering he was one of the first 100 people on Instagram, he really gets mobile photography and where it’s headed. During our conversation, Rise goes behind the scenes of Litely’s development, shares his influence on Instagram during its early days, and gives some great advice on how to take better pictures.
Bart van Olphen thinks he can conquer your fear of cooking fish if you’ll just give him 15 seconds.
The seafood chef from Amsterdam uses Instagram’s relatively new video feature for Fish Tales, which is probably the world’s fastest cooking show in this golden age of refined eating.
“People really like the simplicity of the recipes,” van Olphen told Cult of Mac. “You really can learn how to cook in only 15 seconds.”
Cooking shows have been simmering since the early days of television, with pioneers like James Beard and Julia Child unraveling the mysteries of the kitchen. With the emergence of the Food Network in 1993, the format boiled over into a ratings bonanza, turning chefs like Emeril Lagasse and Rachel Ray into celebrities. Now YouTube is home to dozens of shows featuring entrepreneurial cooks seeking to cash in on the foodie craze.