The holidays are upon us, but never fear: we’re here for you with another amazing issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Cover design: Stephen Smith
It’s hard to believe that the holidays are already upon us, with Christmas arriving next week and Hanukkah already in full swing.
Our very own Leander Kahney weighs in this week with a fantastic gift guide for all those crazy Apple users in your world. This clever gift guide will help you find that special stuff your fanatic probably doesn’t have.
That, plus a fairly tasty gift guide for the cooks in your family or friend group from resident foodie Lewis Wallace, a quick and easy How To on reformatting your Mac’s hard drive from video and graphics whiz Stephen Smith, and some news on the recent spotlight aimed at Apple’s continued problems with Asian labor conditions.
Be sure to see below for these engaging stories and more. And Happy Holidays!
App Santa is back for the holidays with a very impressive collection of over 40 discounted iOS and Mac apps. You can score up to 80% off on some real gems, including Clear, Tweetbot, Day One, and Deliveries.
Organized by Realmac Software, App Santa represents an extremely high caliber of indie app developers. And if you’ve been holding out on buying any of their apps, now is the time to pounce. The promotion lasts today through December 26th.
The app, from beloved Mac and iOS developer Panic, allowed you to upload content from iCloud Drive, which is seemingly obvious functionality for a file transfer and FTP app like Transmit to have. But Apple objected, and not only made Transmit pull the “Send to iCloud” option, but the ability to send documents to other services and apps.
But good news! Transmit’s back on the App Store with the “Send to iCloud Drive” functionality restored.
A new app called Workflow aims to close the divide between the power of OS X and the convenience of iOS. By offering curated and custom workflows, the app can automate just about anything you’d want to do on the iPhone or iPad — along with actions you probably haven’t thought of before, like calling an Uber car to take you to your next meeting with one tap.
It’s an ambitious undertaking for any developer, but what makes Workflow even better is that it was created by two brilliant teenagers with great aspirations for making mobile devices as powerful as they can be.
iOS 8.2 beta is here. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Apple surprised us with the untested iOS 8.1.2 update yesterday, but this morning Cupertino is dropping something a bit more exciting with the second beta release of iOS 8.2 that brings WatchKit to the iPhone.
The iOS 8.2 beta is available now in the Dev Center along with an Xcode 6.2 beta. The release notes don’t mention any new features, but there are tons of bug fixes, plus some improvements made to WatchKit. We’ll let you know if we find anything new once we install it.
Developers can pick up the beta as an over-the-air update if you’re already on the iOS 8.2 beta 1, or you can get it from the direct download links below:
Seriously, I don’t want to have to ignore your call on three devices. Photo: Alex Heath/Cult of Mac
I love the idea of being able to answer a phone call on my Mac, or even on my iPad. The convergence of this communication technology seems like it has great potential.
In reality, though, I end up getting three rings for every call, each slightly time-shifted from the rest, as I sit in my office/living room with my iPhone, iPad and Mac. You’d think that such an intelligent system would know that I had all three devices in one room, and only ring through to one specified device. Until Apple figures that out, maybe in an iOS update or OS X 10.11, there’s only one thing you can do: Disable the heck out of it.
In a very strong year for iOS games, inventive platformer Leo’s Fortune was one of my undisputed favorites — a game that Cult of Mac described in its review as “one of the most beautiful iOS games” we’d seen in ages.
Acompli’s powerful email app is now owned by Microsoft. Photo: Acompli
Microsoft is digging its roots deeper into iOS and Android this week with the announcement that it has acquired the popular cross-platform email app Acompli.
News of the Acompli acquisition was posted today on Microsoft’s company blog, with VP of Office, Rajesh Jha, saying the company plans to integrate the app into the Outlook redesign his team is currently working on.
Every weekend Cult of Mac brings you a roundup of the past week’s greatest new apps and updates.
This week, we’ve got what looks like the best app yet for using an iPad as a secondary desktop display, the best app for DJing on the Mac, and more.
Without further ado, here are this week’s awesome apps you need to check out.
One of the most frequently asked questions I hear is, “What’s on your iPhone homescreen?” Fellow Apple geeks love to know each other’s favorite app layouts, and there’s a new app specifically for showing them off.
Homescreen by betaworks (the great company that brought Digg back to life) is a simple app that takes a screenshot of your homescreen, analyzes it, and lets you quickly share it on social media. The neat trick is that it attaches App Store links to the third-party apps you’re using so that, when someone hovers over the icon, there’s a description and link to download. Sometimes the app links it chooses can be wrong, but all in all it’s a nifty enough app to try out at least once.
For a little additional reading, check out betaworks CEO John Borthwick’s insightful Medium post on how people are using smartphone apps these days.
What if you could nuke every screenshot in your Camera Roll with the tap of a button? That’s the premise behind Screeny, a great new app released this past week.
After scanning your Camera Roll, you can choose which screenshots to delete if you’d rather not delete everything at once. Screeny shows you how much space you’ve saved once the deed is done. Give it a try. If you take as many screenshots as I do, you’ll feel better after.
Canopy is the new iPhone companion app for the website of the same name, which specializes in surfacing beautiful things on Amazon to buy.
Think of Canopy like a curated hipster boutique of Amazon’s massive catalog, now in your pocket. There’s a trending section based on popular purchases from other Canopy users, and you’ll enjoy browsing different categories like “Art & Design Books” and “Bar.”
You have to create a free account to like and save products to your collection.
1Writer is an all-in-one writing tool for iOS, and this past week it got optimized for iOS 8 and the iPhone 6/6 Plus.
With support for the Markdown syntax, 1Writer lets you write with a custom extended keyboard layout, different themes/fonts, a built-in browser, and syncing with iCloud Drive and Dropbox. Touch ID can be used to protect your files, and there’s a Notification Center widget to quickly access your most recent documents.
Here at Cult of Mac, we’re big fans of GBA4iOS, an app by developer Ryan Testut that allows you to play Gameboy and Gameboy Advance titles on your iPhone or iPad. But pretty soon, it’s possible that GBA4iOS won’t be the only way to play emulated Gameboy games on your iOS device: Nintendo looks like it might be moving into the iOS emulation scene too.