Why freemium apps suck for everyone (and how Apple is killing paid apps)

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Only one of the top 200 grossing apps is a paid app
Paid apps are an endangered species: Only one of the 200 top-grossing apps on the App Store is a paid download.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

I work on an iPhone app called Reps & Sets as a hobby project in my spare time. This week, my partner and I came to the conclusion that there is no future for our app as a paid download, so we have reluctantly decided to make it free.

This was an incredibly tough call, because we have invested literally thousands of hours in developing our app over the years. Giving all that hard work away for free is heartbreaking. But we didn’t feel we had much choice.

Week’s best Apple deals: Super-low prices on iPad minis

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Snag great deals on tiny Apple tablets, a third-party Apple Watch band and an essential iOS app.
Snag great deals on tiny Apple tablets, a third-party Apple Watch band and an essential iOS app.
Photos: Apple, Cambond, Duet

We’ve got iPad minis for every budget (as long as your budget falls between $220 and $325). You’ll find those, plus a super-affordable third-party Apple Watch band, in this week’s roundup of the best Apple deals.

This pillow is sleep-inducing music to your ears [Review]

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Dreampad is a pillow that joins forces with your iPhones to help you sleep.
Dreampad is a pillow that joins forces with your iPhones to help you sleep.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

A good night’s sleep could start with a good pillow. But the part of our bed designed to rest our head doesn’t do anything to shut it off.

But what if it could?

The Dreampad along with an iPhone app promises to do just that. The firm and fluffy pillow uses a patented technology that delivers relaxing music through the pillow that can be heard only by you and not the sleeper next to you.

Revamped iPads and next-era Apple tech, this week on The CultCast

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Apple's bold vision of future tech inches closer to reality.
Apple's bold vision of future tech inches closer to reality.
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: Revamped iPads coming this spring; Apple lays the groundwork for the next era of personal technology; how smart homes get hacked; Google’s Pixel phone versus iPhone 7; and we reveal our favorite new iOS and Mac apps!

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to build a website that looks beautiful on any device that visits at Squarespace.com. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10 percent off.

Week’s best Apple deals: More refurb and open-box MacBooks and iPads

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refurb and open-box apple deals
Embrace "new to me" and you'll save big with refurbished and open-box Apple gear.
Photos: Apple, Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Discounts on not-new laptops and tablets continue to shine this week, with Apple itself offering its legendary factory-refurbished MacBook Pros, and eBay offering an open-box 10-inch iPad Pro. You’ll find these deals and more in this week’s roundup of best Apple deals.

Set up your new Apple Watch to max out your fitness gains

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Get in shape with your new Apple Watch
Get in shape with your new Apple Watch.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If you’ve just bought a shiny new Apple Watch Series 2, hoping it will help you get in shape, then here’s some advice: Invest a little time setting it up so your wearable is tailored to your personal fitness level and goals.

These quick and easy setup tips will help you get the most out of your Apple Watch fitness routine.

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from the new Cult of Mac Fitness Handbook. It’s coming soon, loaded with iPhone and Apple Watch fitness tips — and it will be exclusively free for Cult of Mac readers.

Is Apple Watch Series 2 a good option for runners?

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Apple Watch Nike+
There's more to a great running watch than GPS, but it's a good place to start.
Photo: Apple

With the addition of GPS, you might imagine Apple Watch is now a credible runner’s watch. Not so fast.

It may have made a big splash with swimmers, but to appeal to runners, there are more issues that Apple needs to address. Like a screen that stays on while you are running, and controls that still work when you get really sweaty.

Recover, back up and restore your iPhone without touching iTunes

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Dr.Fone iPhone data recovery
Dr.Fone gets under the hood of iOS to make iPhone data recovery simple.
Image: Wondershare

Why did Nike ruin its beautiful running app?

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Nike has turned its running app into a dodgy mashup of Instagram and Snapchat
Nike has turned its running app into a dodgy mashup of Instagram and Snapchat
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

All hell broke loose last week when Nike relaunched its much loved Nike+ Running app with a new offering called “Nike+ Run Club.” Plagued with bugs, sluggish performance and missing features, this update has infuriated some of Nike’s most loyal users, including me. Nike+ Running used to have an impressive 4.5 star rating on the App Store. Since the update, this has plummeted to just 1.5 stars. And Nike’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are now flooded with gripes.

So what happened? How could a single update turn one of the best iPhone running apps into one of the worst?

How much does in-house app development really cost?

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How much does in-house app development really cost?
Putting a price tag on in-house app development can be tricky.
Photo: MacPaw