Widget, widgets, widgets. Boy, have we got some widgets for you. And text. Plain text. Plain old text, turned into a calculator. And widgets. Did I mention those? Weather widgets. Battery widgets. And yes, text widgets.
Read all about these new widgets and other new apps in this week's App Watch.
WunderStation from Weather Underground hooks into thousands of privately owned weather stations and presents their data in an iPad app. The smoothly animated graphs are beautiful and can tell you way more than you’d ever want to know about rainfall, barometric pressure and even UV. If you have stations near you, it’s pretty rad. If not, no biggie – the app is $Free
Filthy name, great app. Droool is a “photo gallery for your social networks.” Browse pictures from Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook and more, and index pictures from iCloud and other local folders without moving or copying the files. It’s fast, simple and looks great, and it’s free with in-app purchases. $Free
Terrible name, great app. iBetterCharge monitors your iOS devices’ battery level over your Wi-Fi network, using the same connection that iTunes Wi-Fi sync would use, if you still synced your iPhone with your computer in the space year of 2014. It can pop up warnings when the battery drops to a preset level, and a click on the menu bar shows you the level of all the devices on the network. $Free
This is what the Internet is made for. Photogrammar puts 170,000 Depression-era photos in a searchable, browsable archive. Explore on an interactive map, search or get into the Labs section and browse by metadata sourced from the U.S. Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information archives. Warning: serious time-sink. $Free
PlainTextMenu takes the text on your Mac’s clipboard and transmogrifies it into something useful. It strips out formatting, so you never get big ugly Comic Sans when pasting from a colleague’s Word report, and it can turn the text to uppercase, lowercase or title case along the way. From the school of One Thing Well. $1
Web service re/spin takes Spotify playlists and transforms them into Rdio playlists. If someone’s going to share a playlist, it usually comes from Spotify, and re/spin works with published Spotify playlists. Or you can just paste in a track list copied right from the app. It also works with Last.fm. Remember when PCs couldn’t read Mac floppy disks? It’s like fixing that all over again. $Free
You know all those hard drives grafted onto your Mac? Keep a close eye on them with StorageStatus, an app that turns hard drives into traffic lights in your menu bar and changes their colors when they do something. It knows when they are sleeping, it knows when they’re awake, and it knows when they’ve been good or bad. $3
Not new, but awesome nonetheless. Calca is as close as you’ll get to a plain text calculator. Tap in complex formulas or simple sums and see the results right there in a plain text document. Set variables or just add numbers. And see all your pages synced over iCloud between Mac, iPhone and iPad versions, as well as Windows(!). I love Calca for its balance of simplicity and power. From $3
Finally, a version for the iPad. TVShow Time tracks your favorite TV shows and tells you when they’re on. Browse shows and show synopses, and get notifications when something is about to air. See the shows on a calendar, view news about your shows and read about new shows. It’s pretty comprehensive, and looks great on the big iPad screen. $3
Before and after photos show the Mac’s radical reinvention of our desktops. Image courtesy BestReviews
Remember your desk from the ’80s? If you were even alive back then it probably featured an old Macintosh surrounded by a disgusting mess of books, letters, a telephone, a fax machine and probably even a Rolodex. But thanks to the rapid pace of technology, you’d be hard-pressed to find any of those items on the modern college student’s desk.
Wouldn’t it be great to use your Lightroom develop presets on iOS? Here’s how to make it happen. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
I can’t tell you how much I love Adobe’s Lightroom Mobile. But like an insatiable lover, I want more. Specifically, I want to add my own presets. LR Mobile ships with a selection of the desktop app’s image presets built in, but unlike the desktop version, you can’t save your own settings as a preset, nor can you add any made by third parties. Or can you?
In this tutorial, we’ll see how to add any preset to Lightroom Mobile, using any and all of the image-editing tools available in the Mac version and making them available on iOS.
If you make something private, obviously you want it to stay that way. But with hackers trying to get at your data, you need to be prepared. Following the recent iCloud hacking that leaked tons of private celebrity photos, there’s a renewed focus on security.
In today’s video, we show you how to enable two-step verification on all your Apple devices so you’ll have a better chance of keeping everything that’s near and dear to you private and secure.
This Labor Day holiday we take things easy. Whether stargazing with Starwalk 2, taking a walk and remembering the hot spots along the way with Rego, getting a recommendation for a good read with Bookvibe, or adding so retro-style light leaks to our photos with a new set of Prolost Lightroom presets.
If you follow at least a few half-intelligent folks on Twitter, Bookvibe will help you out with recommendations for what to read next. It’s a service that monitors your Twitter feed and winkles out any mentions of books, sending an occasional list via email. Sometimes it’s tricked by a mention of something that sounds like a book, or presents a subject of Twitter ridicule (or Twittercule) as a recommendation, but overall Bookvibe is solid, and I’ve found a few titles from it. $Free
Rego bookmarks places. Add them from a map, from an address search, from your contacts or even by pulling in location data from a photo in your Camera Roll. Make collections, view your places on a map, add stars and customs map-pins, and share. A companion website pulls in Foursquare info and other details. Never forget a place again. $5
UpTime adds every keyboard shortcut you could need in an iPad browser. If you ever find yourself hitting a desktop shortcut on a keyboard hooked up to your iPad, and nothing happens, then you need UpTime, a simple iPad browser that can be driven entirely from the keyboard. Scrolling, searching, tab-switching and even Tweeting can all be done without once touching the screen, and it’s just $4
Your Eyefi card can now send photos straight from your camera to, well, to anywhere. Evernote, Flickr, Tumblr, OneNote… Even your Great Aunt Flo. Thanks to the new Eyefi IFTTT channel, any photos that’s uploaded from your Wi-Fi-capable card to the Eyefi cloud can be routed to any IFTTT destination that accepts photos. $Free
Jottacloud’s Drive web app pulls together all your cloud services into one beautifully-designed place, including Jottacloud’s own secure, secret, Norway-based version of Dropbox. Now you can take any photo from any of these services (Dropbox or Flickr, say), and edit them right there in the browser. $Free
Quotebook is a place to collect quotes and other text snippets. The Universal app integrates with your browser, your Mr. Reader RSS reader, IFTTT and even with Instapaper’s own highlights feature, and turns those snippets into searchable, organizable quotes. New in v3.0 is auto-lookup of sources (you get an icon and description for authors) and x-callback URL support to work with apps like Drafts. $5
When Lightroom Mobile accepts custom presets, there will be no need for any other photo editing app on iOS. Until then, you can switch back to the desktop to use things like Prolost’s fantastic Light Leak presets, a set of 480 different faux light leaks, 120 from each of four different vintage-camera styles. Just install, run your mouse over the list on the left of your Lightroom screen and hit the one that catches your fancy. Next up: a plugin that fakes leaving the lens cap on for the entire roll of 36 photos. $30
Perspective icons aren’t an app. They’re a bunch of icons to use in your OS X Omnifocus, but they’re so beautiful, simple and flat that you might want to use them elsewhere, too. For instance, I plan to add them to Scrivener so I don’t have to use the hideous 1990s-era stock icons included with that otherwise amazing app. Perspective icons come retina ready, and cost $10
Starwalk 1 was the app for showing off your iPad back when it first launched. Starwalk 2 adds new views and graphics to the stargazing guide. Hold your iPad up to the night sky and see a map of the stars overlaid on the sky using motion-tracking. You can now see a 3-D view of heavenly bodies from any point-of-view, and add satellites, deep-space objects and more via IAP. So put that bourbon down and use the nighttime for something more useful instead. $3
While looking at social media on your favorite iOS devices is smooth, making the transition to the Mac just isn’t quite the same. Though there are plenty of top-notch applications for looking at Twitter or Snapchat on iOS, the social media gems on Mac can be hard to find.
In today’s video, we’ll show you the top social media apps for Mac so you can transport the fun from iOS to your desktop in the most efficient ways possible. Here’s how to enjoy the fun of Snapchat, Instagram and more, all on your Mac by downloading some killer social apps.
Oculus Rift headsets might become the next big thing of the future, so to make it easier for Mac developers to actually get their apps onto Rift, Oculus is finally making it possible to compile Rift-compatible apps on a Mac.
Google today rolled out a new Chrome beta for OS X — officially dubbed Chrome Canary — which finally takes advantage of the 64-bit processors built into the latest Macs. The change should mean better performance when browsing the web, but it isn’t quite ready to become your daily driver just yet.
Over the years, I’ve seen rumor after rumor that Apple would eventually abandon Intel chips in favor of ARM chips. And time after time, I’ve refuted those arguments, saying that a Mac running ARM processors is not likely to happen anytime soon.
But maybe I’m wrong. Former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée — himself a longtime skeptic of Apple’s transition to ARM chips for its desktop and laptop computers — says he’s recently been convinced, and even believes that Apple could release ARM-based Macs as soon as 2016.
Five juicy new rumors await you behind the crystal ball.
We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.
This week the rumor mill has been busy spitting out new details on practically every Apple product. From delays with the Apple TV revamp, to clues a new Mac Minis and 27-inch iMacs waiting for launch. Of course there are also some new iWatch rumors and a possible launch date for the iPhone 6, but you’ll have to slide up to crystal ball to see which of these rumors has what it takes to go all the way, and which ones about to fade away like ghosts.
The Rumor; The huge Apple TV revamp has been delayed again thanks to stalled negotiations with cable companies.
The Verdict:This looks promising. We’ve heard about Apple’s supposed redesign of the Apple TV for two years now, but the cable companies keep getting in the way, and it looks like this year the Time Warner-Comcast merger is making some executives drag their feet on inking the deals Apple needs to create the service it wants.
If a new Apple TV doesn’t come by the end of 2014, expect to hear about it at the beginning of 2015. Maybe that will give Apple enough time to add third-party apps and a SDK. Pretty please?
The Verdict: Don’t get your hopes up, yet. We’ve seen the NFC rumor pop up quite a few times already during this year’s iPhone rumor season, and even though these bare logic boards provide the most convincing evidence yet, until we see an actual NFC chip, or hear the words “near field communication support” stumble from Tim Cooks lips, we just can’t find any hope in our hearts that 2014 is really going to be the year the iPhone gets NFC. And at this point, I’m pretty sure no one wants it - unless it’s all tied into Apple’s incredible mobile payments service.
The Verdict: Probably not. Apple Store employees are kept completely in the dark on new product launches until they’re announced. It’s rumored that the iPhone 6 announcement will happen in mid-September, putting its launch date about two weeks later if Apple follows it normal routine. The company also prefers to launch new iPhones on Fridays to take advantage of sales over the weekend, but October 14th is a Tuesday, making it horribly unsuitable for a launch date.
The Rumor: At least half of finished iWatch products will ship with glass covers instead of sapphire.
The Verdict: Too early to tell. Along with lowering his estimate of iWatch sales for 2014 down to 3 million, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that not all iWatches will get a sapphire glass display because of production issues with the ultra durable glass.
We’ve heard for months that sapphire production issues have plagued both the iWatch and iPhone 6. It seems that GT Advanced Technologies has finally come up with a solution to make a sapphire protective film, but it might not be ready for mass production until early 2015.
The Verdict:Believe it. Apple left a smoking gun on its support forums that it plans to release a new Mac Mini and 27-inch iMac by the end of the year. Both will probably just be modest hardware upgrades, though we wouldn’t mind seeing a sleeker Mac Mini and Retina iMac if Jony’s got them ready in the design lab.