New group-messaging app Bindle tries to un-suck the group messaging experience. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Chris Toy was an Everquest geek in the early days, playing the addictive open-world video game somewhat obsessively.
It wasn’t slaying the monsters or leveling up that really motivated Toy, but the social aspects of the game.
“I was honestly pretty isolated,” the Hong Kong native told Cult of Mac by phone, “and talking to people via Everquest or World of Warcraft felt better than talking to real people.”
That’s when he realized that being able to text chat with other people wherever they were was the future of messaging, and perhaps even communication itself. Fast-forward to now, and Toy and a high-tech team living in San Francisco have created Bindle, a new group-messaging app designed to create this very same future.
A non-cable news show just for you. Photo: Reuters
I don’t watch cable TV. I pay a little more each month to purchase stand-alone Internet from my provider. I watch Netflix, Amazon, stream via my PS4, Apple TV and on my iOS devices. I hate commercial TV with a passion.
In 2013, 6.5 percent of American households quit watching cable or satellite TV, instead opting for a streaming-only experience, a 4.5 percent jump over the number of households that cut the cord in 2010. This is an audience that continues to grow.
Now Reuters TV, a fascinating new service from a reputable news outlet, promises to provide mobile TV news via an iOS app. Will other news empires follow suit?
Facebook’s getting place recommendations. Photo: Cult of Mac
Facebook has been trying to go after Foursquare’s slice of the geolocation pie for a while now, and a new update to Facebook’s iOS app doubles down on that policy, providing Foursquare-style recommendations for places to visit in your area, based upon the suggestion of friends.
This Dropbox app is an NES and SNES emulator in disguise. Photo: Touch Arcade
Every once and a while, someone slips a cool emulator past Apple’s App Store guardians in the guise of a seemingly inoffensive app. Well, just in time for Christmas, it’s happened again! Meet Floppy Cloud, an app by developer Kyle Hankinson that is actually a Nintendo and Super Nintendo emulator in disguise.
Finding love, life lessons and community in online games isn’t as rare as you’d think. Photo: Ramona Pringle/Avatar Secrets
Can you truly find yourself in a video game? Canadian filmmaker and professor Ramona Pringle thinks so. After her mother got sick and she broke up with her New York boyfriend, she spent a year playing World of Warcraft, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
During that time, she found many pearls of wisdom, which she’s condensed into 10 “avatar secrets,” which inform her app-based documentary film of the same name.
Video games are an unlikely place to find wisdom, yet, within them, we can find camaraderie, experience the sting of defeat, and help each other become our best selves. Rather than simple time-wasters, social video games like World of Warcraft and Second Life mirror the human condition.
While Pringle doesn’t log in to WoW much these days, the game had an undeniable impact. “This project very much changed my life, my career and my perspective,” she said during a telephone call with Cult of Mac.
If you haven’t been using If This, Then That (IFTTT) on your iPhone or iPad, you really ought to be.
It’s a really amazing way to connect up all the things you do on your devices, putting them together in new ways for new uses.
Want to send all your iOS photos to OneNote or Evernote? There’s a recipe for that. How about making your Phillips Hue lightbulbs flash a specific color when you pull up into your driveway? There’s an IFTTT recipe for that, too.
Chances are, if you can think of it, you can make it happen, connecting different services and apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, your iOS Photos app, location services, and the like in fantastically useful new ways.
There’s a new update for the iOS app, and it’s got some pretty spectacular new stuff to check out.
If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop to aggregate all your recent updates from various social networks, you may want to take a look at the newly-launched Recents iOS app.
Currently supporting Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, the app features a clean interface optimized for viewing different types of content — whether that be an article from Facebook or Twitter, or a photo or video from Instagram or Tumblr.
Think Apple’s “Misunderstood” Christmas ad would have been improved with the addition of a random piano drop, ghost bride, or chainsaw-wielding madman?
If so, you can re-create the commercial your way using Picadelic’s FxGuru: Movie FX Director app. Previously an Android exclusive, the app lets you incorporate a variety of Hollywood-style horror, sci-fi and action movie effects to any iPhone video — with virtual guidelines showing you how to incorporate effects seamlessly, while 24 different “Cinematic” filters allow you enhance the atmosphere of any scene.
Ahead of the 86th Academy Awards show, the Heads Up! app dreamed up by this year’s host Ellen DeGeneres has received a timely update — offering questions related to the Oscars.
Joining existing game categories including Celebrities, Animals, Accents, and Characters, the new time-limited Oscars game deck offers users a chance to brush up on their movie trivia knowledge in the most time-pressured setting imaginable. “It’s perfect perfect for your viewing party, or preparing for the big night starring Ellen,” the app’s developers state.