Pope’s arrival in America greeted by a sea of smartphones

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Pope Francis gets engulfed by eager smartphone users in Washington, DC.
Photo: IIP Photo Archive/Flickr CC

Pope Francis landed on U.S. soil for the first time last week on Tuesday, September 22. He has talked to victims of sexual abuse, spoke out about his views on immigration and gave several moving speeches across the country. However, the pope was also able to impact American culture in a way that is completely unintentional: he put the mobile phone revolution on giant display.

The last time a pope visited the United States was back in April 2008 when Pope Benedict XVI was still at the reigns of Catholicism. A lot has happened in seven years. Modern smartphones were only starting to become prevalent back then. Apple had just released the first iPhone less than a year ago and Android was still in development.

The change in our culture needs no explanation because photos of crowds swarming Pope Francis through his journey across America manage to say it all. Crowds glow with endless displays.

Spotify will make you pay for music by destroying its free plan

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Rap Genius is partnering with Spotify.
Spotify is finally listening to the labels.
Photo: Spotify

Spotify is planning to introduce a new “gated access” model that will make its free streaming plan a lot less attractive, according to a new report. Those who choose to opt out of paying for the service could see it become extremely limited, with access to just one or two songs from big album releases.

Pixelmator update brings desktop-class photo repair to iOS

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Paint away the stuff you don't want in your photos with ease.
Paint away the stuff you don't want in your photos with ease.
Photo: Pixelmator

If you’re looking for a best-in-class photo retouching and editing app, you can’t go wrong with Pixelmator, available both for Mac and iOS.

The mobile version is utterly fantastic, letting you engage in the same sort of high-end photo editing, painting, and graphic design that you find in the desktop version for a fraction of the price.

The new update, which came out on Tuesday, ramps up the photo Repair tool to something that’s five times as fast, and even more precise. There’s also a new Dynamic Touch system, which lets you use the tip of your finger for thin strokes and the pad of your finger for thicker lines.

You won’t see this kind of subtlety and power in any other photo app, especially for $4.99.

Game devs keep it casual as they jump from console to mobile

Bad Dinos is the fourth casual mobile game from the veteran development company.
Bad Dinos is the fourth mobile game from veteran development company Insomniac Games.
Photo: Insomniac Games

Console game developers are trying to break into mobile, and they’re using casual genres to break into the scene.

For instance, when gamers hear about Insomniac Games, they might think of classic platform games like Ratchet and Clank, first-person shooters like Resistance: Fall of Man or next-gen console title Sunset Overdrive. What those hypothetical gamers might not think of is a match-three or endless runner iPhone game. But game makers can’t afford to ignore the mobile scene these days and Insomniac is no different, as evidenced by the company’s new tower-defense game, Bad Dinos.

“It’s obviously a huge market,” Brian Hastings, chief creative officer at Insomniac Games, told Cult of Mac, “and we’re seeing an entire generation of players who are getting into mobile first, before anything else.”