Make light paintings on your iPhone with this amazing app

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Air Pencil is an amazing app that lets you recording light paintings in the air.
Air Pencil is an amazing app that lets you recording light paintings in the air.
Photo: AdTile

Light paintings are a fun technique, dating back to the 19th century and used by luminaries such as Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko and Andy Warhol. By waving a light source, like a flashlight, in front of a camera set for a long exposure, you can seemingly create static paintings of light in mid air.

Your iPhone is both a camera and a flashlight, but you usually need two of them to make a light painting. Now a new web app called Air Pencil is set to change that, allowing you to create incredible three-dimensional light paintings, no external camera required.

The secret messaging app getting millions of downloads

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SOMA Messenger is gaining popularity around the world for free and secure communication.
SOMA Messenger is gaining popularity around the world for free and secure communication.
Photo: Instanza Inc.

Harvard classmates Lei Guo and Oliver Hayen created what could have been just another messaging app. They knew they had something unique, as every app development team claims, so they put it in the hands of 2,000 people and hit launch.

Within 30 days, their app SOMA Messenger had 10 million users and has been growing since. They’d love to brag about who is using it, except they can’t because of security measures built into the app that prevents even them from knowing SOMA’s users.

Bing’s redesigned iPhone app focuses on instant answers

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bing-iphone-app-redesign - 2
Bing's new app is both pretty and powerful.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft released a completely revamped Bing app for iPhone today with a redesigned home page and a much larger emphasis on instant answers to search queries. Finding what you’re looking for now takes much less time.  It’s possible that this release is a stepping stone to the iOS debut of Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Google Now.

Apple Maps trains its eye on Amtrak routes, Boston transit

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Amtrak in Apple Maps
Amtrak routes are now available in Apple Maps.
Screengrab: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

The next stage of Apple Maps’ Transit roll-out is live today. The latest update includes public transportation in Boston and, more interestingly, select Amtrak train routes in the northeastern U.S.

OK, well it’s all pretty interesting. But, you know. Trains.

PAUSE your iPhone for stress relief

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PAUSE is a guided meditation app that aims to get you to relax and refocus.
PAUSE is a guided meditation app that aims to get you to relax and refocus.
Photo: UsTwo

Stress is making our heads a scattered mess and among some of the many suggested remedies is forcing ourselves to unplug from our devices. But one idea actually assigns meditative properties to our iPhones.

A new app simply called Pause use interactive graphics and soothing sounds to concentrate the mind on the present with the goal of providing relaxation and renewed focus. The app invites the user to place a finger on a slowly pulsating splotch of color and follow it as it moves slowly on screen, rewarding you with pleasant sounds, like chirping birds.