New use of 3D Touch lets you zoom through online maps

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Poison Maps exposes more potential in 3D Touch.
Photo: Poison Maps

The developers of the Poison Maps app figured out a new way to implement 3D Touch that goes above and beyond what we’re used to seeing. They use two patent-pending gestures called “context zooming” and “context panning.” The first lets you quickly see the surrounding area of a particular location you’re zoomed in on without leaving that location, while the latter lets you move around in the surroundings and effortlessly focus in on somewhere new.

These gestures work using long presses. Since 3D Touch can sense varying amounts of force, Poison Apps cleverly uses the technology to adjust the zoom based on how hard you press.

Pro Tip: Quick way to find stores that take Apple Pay

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Apple Pay is awesome, but where do they accept it?
Apple Pay is awesome, but where do they accept it?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugApple Pay is showing up in more places these days, but if you live in a town like mine, it can be hard to know exactly where those places are.

Want to know whether that hip restaurant down the street or your local pharmacy supports Apple Pay before you get there? Here’s a super easy trick using either your iPhone or your Mac.

Apple’s semi-creepy patent lets you keep a closer eye on your friends

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"Mr. Bond, I've been expecting you."
Photo: USPTO/Apple

With its pro-privacy stance, Apple’s pretty good at treading the line between usefulness and creepiness, which other tech companies can struggle with.

A newly-published patent, however, may challenge that assertion — describing a method for monitoring another person’s location, via their iPhone, with constant user notifications sent to alert you of any changes in their progress along a route.

Presumably so you can hop in a chair, grab a white cat for your lap, and sit facing the door to greet their arrival with the line, “Mr. Bond, I’ve been expecting you.”

Apple Watch features showcased in 6 cool new ads

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Are Apple Watch expectations just too high?
This is why now is the perfect time to get an Apple Watch.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Thanks to its arrival at major retailers like Target and Best Buy, the Apple Watch is going (more) mainstream — and Apple wants potential customers to know exactly what they’ll be able to do with their new wearable devices.

In six cool new ads, Apple shows off nifty Watch features like Apple Pay, Siri, Maps, voice messaging, fitness tracking, and more.

Check them out below.