Which fliers to search? There’s a $1.4 million app for that

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iPad Pro
An iPad will be used to help determine your fate at the airport.
Photo: Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac

Whether it’s airlines dropping flight manuals for iPads or iBeacons being used at airports, the aviation industry isn’t shy about embracing Apple products.

But it seems the Transportation Security Administration has yet another use in mind: It spent $1.4 million on a TSA iPad app to determine which passengers to randomly search when they’re about to board a flight.

iPad math app comes with real human tutor

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The Tabtor Math app doesn't leave you alone with your iPad. A personalized tutor is assigned to each student.
The Tabtor Math app doesn't leave you alone with your iPad. A personalized tutor is assigned to each student.
Photo: Tabtor Math

The fifth-grader who just last year was at least one grade behind in math is now a year ahead and helping his classmates. Sebastian Johnson’s grasp and meteoric understanding of math did not happen because of the tutor he met with twice each week.

It was, his father Fred said, because of an iPad app called Tabtor Math, a tutoring program that assesses skills, analyzes learning snags and designs a personalized curriculum to raise math proficiency in students grades K-8.

Smart email app Spark coming to iPad and Mac

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Your Apple Watch is never going to be the device from which you reply to most of your messages, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have its part to play in helping you stay on top of your Inbox.Unlike the functionality of Apple’s own Mail app on the Apple Watch — which lets you only flag messages, mark them as unread, or delete them — Spark allows you reply to messages using quick responses or dictation. The accompanying iOS app is a great email tool in its own right.Download: Spark by Readdle (free)
Hopefully email will start to suck less on more devices.
Photo: Readdle

Readdle’s beloved Spark email app for iPhone and Apple Watch is also coming to the iPad and Mac. A spokesperson for the company confirmed that development is underway for the apps in an email to Cult of Mac. The iPad version will likely make its debut next month in December, while a Mac version is a little further down in the pipeline since it’s only currently in the planning stages.

Weather Network app claims it can tell you when it is going to rain

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Back to the Future Part II weather network app
The Weather Network's latest app update might make this a reality.
Photo: Universal Pictures

We’re not quite through 2015 yet, so app developers still have time to make the prophecies foretold by director Robert Zemeckis’ documentary Back to the Future: Part II come true. And to that end, The Weather Network’s latest app update uses radar and algorithms to predict when, exactly, it is going to start and stop raining.

The new feature, appropriately called “Rain Start Stop,” claims to give you a few hours to finalize the details on your outdoor activities.