Handy new app turns Notification Center into messaging machine

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Select a pre-written message and send it straight from Notification Center.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

“I’m leaving” is a message I probably send way too often, but not as often as “I’m here.” It’s just become routine whenever I’m making plans or picking someone up. It’s not necessarily a burden, but it’d be a nice luxury to be able to quickly send friends these repeat messages automatically to save a little bit of time. You’re smart so I bet you know where I’m going with this.

Yes, Written is a new app for iPhone that lets you write out five of your most commonly used phrases and save them for easy access in Notification Center. Then when you pull down the Today view from the top, you see the Written widget with your five messages. Tap one to send it along to your favorite contacts. It works with the Messages app and even WhatsApp.

Square’s new app gives retailers real-time sales data

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Square's new Dashboard app lets business owners track and compare real-time sales.
Photo: Square

Square continues to add to its lineup of small business tools, especially for owners and managers who want an overall better grip on their businesses. It’s introducing a new Dashboard app that does just that: it lets owners track sales in real-time right from an iPhone. Still, the only requirement is a free Square account.

Radar Cast lets you Watch for bad weather

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Radar Cast can make you feel like a meteorologist on the five o'clock news.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

If you’re like me, you spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to pick out the perfect weather app for your iPhone. Apple’s Weather app just doesn’t cut it and it’s very hard to find something that has a little bit of every detail without being cluttered or downright ugly. That happy medium for me is Carrot Weather but unfortunately it’s been crashing on the iOS 9 developer beta. In its place I’ve been testing Radar Cast, a slightly unusual weather app that attempts to deliver all the most crucial information to your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

Amazon takes on Dropbox with Cloud Drive app

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Amazon's Cloud Drive app made its debut on iOS.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

Amazon is getting more serious about taking a piece of the cloud storage action. Over the holiday weekend, the company released its Amazon Cloud Drive app for iOS, letting you finally access your files in Amazon’s cloud from your iPhone or iPad.

The app competes with the likes of Dropbox by enabling you to view your files anywhere, but falls short in a number of key areas.

Apple Watch app lets you call for help during a seizure

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Greg Pabst, who has epilepsy, developed an iOS app for people with seizure disorders to send out emergency alerts. Photo: SeizAlarm
Greg Pabst, who has epilepsy, developed an iOS app for people with seizure disorders to send out emergency alerts. Photo: SeizAlarm

Greg Pabst and his neurologist were trying to get a handle on his adult onset epilepsy when the doctor’s mention of the newly announced Apple Watch gave Pabst an ah-hah moment.

The doctor was discussing tools for Pabst to chart his seizures and send alerts to emergency contacts.

“Then he said, ‘It’s only a matter of time before somebody does that for the Apple Watch,’ ” Pabst, 38, recalled. “Then I thought maybe it should be me.”

Pabst, of Orlando, Fla., and a developer friend quickly went to work creating SeizAlarm, which appeared in the iTunes store for the iPhone last week and is available for the watch, the pre-orders for which begin arriving Friday.