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!
Keeping music on iOS weird. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
If there’s one thing we humans like to do, it’s make music. Seriously, we’ve been doing it since prehistoric times, so it’s no big surprise that we’d find many ways to bring music to our latest tool: the iPhone and iPad.
While there are a ton of different ways to play or make music on your iOS device of choice, here are nine rather weird ones, plus some fantastic videos to hear and see just how its done.
Penguins love iPad apps too. Screenshot: Cult of Mac
We all know that cats love playing with iPads. It turns out they’re not the only ones: the penguins at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California love playing with iPads so much it can help them get pregnant.
One of the most cerebral Mac games is now on iPad. Photo: Lucas Pope
As promised — and after a tiny storm of controversy over Apple’s initial rejection of the app over so-called pornographic content — the award-winning dystopian document thriller Papers, Please is now available for iOS.
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.
Prince George, iPad Heir to the throne. Photo: Santabanta
President Obama’s not the only world leader to be a big iPad fan. According to a new report, Apple’s tablet also has a devotee in the world’s most famous royal toddler and future King of England, Prince George.
The revelation was made by the U.K.’s Prince William during his trip to the United States, while meeting with tech company littleBits, which is responsible for manufacturing electronic modules and magnets for kids.
“He told me that his son George has been playing iPad games and loves them, and that this was a good way to teach him the inner workings of electronics,” CEO Ayah Bdeir told reporters.
The deal first stalled back in July, after which it was reported that former Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent John Deasy and his then-chief deputy, Jaime Aquino, had been unlawfully discussing the deal with Apple up to two years before the bidding process was finished and contracts were approved.
Chromebooks are only going to get more popular. Photo: Acer
Apple and Google are very interested in taking over the U.S. education market from Microsoft, but when it comes to capturing marketshare, the Chromebook is teaching Apple an important lesson: Price matters.
For the first time ever, Google has passed Apple in the U.S. education market, according to IDC data obtained by The Financial Times, which shows Google’s Chromebook laptops are more popular now in the K-12 classrooms than the iPad.
This week: Gobble gobble y’aall! Ever wonder what a Thanksgiving meal with Tim Cook might be like? Ok, probably not, but come imagine it with us anyway. Then: why Apple quietly included 4K support in iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2; Amazon is building an ad-supported Netflix streaming competitor; plus stay tuned for our favorite products of the year in the CultCast gifts-we’d-love-to-get gift guide.
Heartily guffaw your way through each week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the chuckles begin.
Our thanks to Fracture for supporting this episode. Fracture prints your photos directly onto glass so they really pop. And they come ready to hang on a wall or sit on your desk and make great gifts. Check them out at Fracture.me and save 15% off any order with code CultCast.
Every weekend Cult of Mac brings you a roundup of the past week’s very best new apps and updates.
This week, we’ve got what you need to make awesome PDFs, trade stocks, and more.
Without further ado, here are this week’s awesome apps 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.