Customer reviews on the App Store are good for business. It’s not just that good reviews can improve your app’s ranking. Reviews have also helped me build a better app.
But with all the fake reviews and haters out there, it’s sometimes hard to see the wood from the trees. The trick is to know exactly which reviews to pay attention to — and the secret is all in your stars.
The Netflix of piracy is coming to iPhone. Photo: Popcorn Time
Sometimes described as “Netflix for pirates,” the video streaming service Popcorn Time is coming to iPhone. The standalone Popcorn Time iOS app will launch imminently — quite possibly as early as today — and will allow users to watch pirated TV shows and movies on the move.
While it won’t be allowed in the App Store for obvious reasons, a workaround means users can install the app without having to jailbreak their handsets first — although, for now, you’ll need to have access to a Windows computer.
The AirBrowser app lets you use your TV as a web browser, without all the usual hassles. Photo: IdeaSolutions
This post is brought to you by IdeaSolutions, creator of AirBrowser.
Would you like to surf the web, watch streaming videos, read newspapers and do everything else you normally do on your Mac browser, in full screen on your TV? Pinch to zoom, swipe, bookmark pages — all using your iOS device as a remote control?
AirBrowser let’s you do all these things. You can get the full desktop browsing experience on your television, with all the sites you visit optimally scaled to fit your TV’s screen size. Read on and watch the AirBrowser video for more info on this easy-to-use app.
Readdle is known for making quality productivity apps like Scanner Pro and Documents. Its new PDF Office app is all about creating and editing PDFs on the iPad.
But wait, doesn’t Readdle already make a popular PDF viewer for iOS? What’s the difference?
“PDF Expert 5 is more of a reader, annotation app, whereas PDF Office is an all-in-one tool for document conversion and creation,” explains Readdle Marketing Director Denys Zhadanov to Cult of Mac. “If a person has to create PDF documents, forms, congrats, notes, etc., PDF Office is definitely the right choice.”
You can scan documents with the iPad’s camera and turn them into fully editable PDFs, which is a great way to clear out the office. Most people probably won’t need all the power that PDF Office provides, but for those who could benefit from the best PDF tool on the iPad that money can buy, it’s definitely worth considering.
Readdle is offering the app through a subscription system, and you should read this blog post if you want to understand why.
Available on: iPad
Price: $4.99 per month/$39.99 per year (Existing PDF Expert users get a year for free)
The next generation of stock trading is upon us thanks to Robinhood, a new iPhone app that came out this week.
Most brokerages charge between $7 and $10 for individual stock trades, but Robinhood eliminates fees entirely by cutting out the middleman. You’re in charge of your trading, and you don’t have to be well versed in the ways of Wall Street to use the app.
The interface is dead simple, and it makes the possibility of trading stocks a reality for more people than ever before. There’s a pretty huge waitlist right now, so you won’t be able to use it right away. But if you’re interested, claim your spot in line.
The official Google app got updated with Android’s new Material Design philosophy, which is interesting to see on iOS. The design is based on traditional ink and paper with a reliance on animations to create depth, so it’s pretty different from where Apple has been headed with mobile post iOS 6.
You can see your recently visited businesses, start a new search from the center Google button, and use Street View without leaving the app on iPhone. The app has also been optimized for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Vemedio released Instacast 2 for Mac, a complete visual overhaul for OS X Yosemite.
“We redesigned the entirety of Instacast's interface, including the app icon, the MiniPlayer and each individual dialog in Instacast's settings,” said Vemedio’s Martin Hering. “The MiniPlayer's interface looks fantastic with Yosemite's dark mode too. We also added the new episode lists from Instacast 5 on iOS, including list syncing via Instacast Cloud.”
Instacast is already a fantastic solution for streaming podcasts on iOS, and this new Mac update means that it’s one of the most attractive cross-platform podcast clients available.
Those with an existing Instacast Membership ($14.99 per year) get version 2 for Mac free along with all in-app iOS purchases. A standalone license for Instacast 2 on the Mac costs $19.99, and an upgrade from version 1 costs $5. There’s also a 15-day free trial available to try.
Available on: Mac
Price: $14.99 per year for subscription that also unlocks premium iOS app, or $19.99 for single license
Slacker’s big redesign makes it a highly compelling take on internet radio. Not only does the new interface look gorgeous, but Slacker is debuting new partnerships with celebrities and content creators like Tyler Oakley, Rooster Teeth and Nerdist Industries.
In total, there are nearly 400 stations to choose from, and new customization features allow you to fine tune personal stations by artist, song, and genre.
Slacker is free to use on the web or mobile, but $3.99 per month gets you unlimited skips, no ads offline listening, and custom feeds from the likes of Disney and ESPN. A $9.99 per month subscription basically turns Slacker into a Spotify competitor with full access to its catalog of music.
Available on: Web/iPhone
Price: Free (with $3.99 and $9.99 subscription options)
I just recently got into writing in Markdown, a special syntax that lets you easily convert to HTML for publishing on the web. There are several decent Markdown editors out there, but the best one I’ve used has to be Typed, a new app from Realmac Software.
The discreet word count view, keyboard shortcuts, and preview options are all great, but my favorite feature is Zen Mode. Typed goes fullscreen and plays six ambient, soothing music tracks in the background to help you focus. Don’t knock it till you try it.
Realmac is most well known for making Clear, a quality todo app for iOS that’s pretty popular. Typed serves a little more of a niche market, but for those interested in a minimalist, easy to use Markdown editor for the Mac, it’s an excellent choice.
By bringing together some of the best mobile app designers out there, Themeboard has created an attractive repository of custom keyboard themes for iOS 8.
Once granted access in Settings, Themeboard lets you install new keyboard designs and layouts from designers all over the world, and many of the available themes look quite good. Keyboards function the same as Apple’s default layout with predictive text support and everything, and there’s an optional Emoji Bar add-on that displays your most used emojis in a row above the keys.
Themeboard is slick, and while it won’t necessarily give you any extra typing functionality, your keyboard will stand out from the rest.
Available on: iPhone/iPad
Price: Free (with in-app purchases for certain themes)
Telltale Games, maker of the famed Walking Dead game series, is back with a Game of Thrones role playing game that looks amazing.
Based on the first book in George R.R. Martin’s saga, A Song of Ice and Fire, the first installment of Telltale’s six-episode release is called, "Iron from Ice.” Reviews have praised it for masterfully inserting itself as a side story surrounding the infamous Red Wedding (if you know, you know).
Several actors from the show lend their voices to the game, and although App Store reviewers have noted some early bugs in the game itself, the general consensus is that playing it feels just as gripping as watching the TV show. So buckle up for a couple of hours and play through this bad boy before the next episode from Telltale comes out.
When Square bought the food ordering service Caviar, it wasn’t immediately clear if the functionality would be baked into an existing Square app or continue to operate on its own.
The latter turned out to be the case with the release of the new Caviar iPhone app. See mouthwatering pictures of local dishes and have them delivered right to your door with the ability to track a delivery in transit.
Hungry yet? Too bad you can only use Caviar if you live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Manhattan, or Brooklyn. The service is still in the early stages, but here’s to hoping it expands to more cities soon.
Junecloud’s alternative to Apple’s stock Notes app has been updated with a design makeover for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. We’re big fans of Deliveries at Cult of Mac, and Notefile is another quality app by Junecloud that usually doesn’t get as much attention.
iCloud Drive integration, easier access to share, export, and delete options, Dynamic text support, and a visual refresh are just a few of the updates you’ll find on the iOS and Mac version.
Hyperlapse, the new time-lapse video app from Instagram, is taking the Web by storm. In today’s video, Cult of Mac goes hands-on with the free app to show you exactly how to use it to make incredible videos.
We also explain why Hyperlapse beats out iOS 8’s built-in time-lapse feature, and we’ll show you some of the best videos made with Instagram’s new app so far.
A premium update to nutrition app Wholesome lets you do more than just see what’s in your food. The base app — with all its nutritional information — is still free, but for $2.99, you can unlock the “My Nutrition” and “Food Diary” features.
These give you tools to track your intake of hundreds of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and isoflavonoids. I had to look up what isoflavonoids are, but I definitely haven’t eaten any today (they’re in peas).
Winter Olympics fans rejoice, for theScore is here to deliver unique sporting content and breaking news direct from Sochi to your iPhone. The app has its own team of news hounds who will push news on heats, medals, and podium positions in real time right to the app, which has been updated for this specific feature.
The app will show new in little bites that break down the big stories in to easily digestible snacks. Each update will come in on top of the previous, along with images, animated gifs, videos, and tweets from the events.