iOS 10 hands on: Everything that’s new in Apple Music and Apple News


News and Music ios10
Apple News and Apple Music get much-needed redesigns in iOS 10.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iOS 10 brings much-needed design overhauls for the Apple Music and Apple News apps.

The big iOS update, which is currently in beta but should hit iPhones and iPads this fall, brings huge changes to the Apple Music UI as well as minor improvements to navigation in the music app. To see all the changes in action, watch the Cult of Mac video below.

4 apps that fix Apple Music’s shortcomings


Want to enhance your Apple Music experience? Try these 4 apps!
Want to enhance your Apple Music experience? Try these four apps.
Photo: Ally Kazmucha/The App Factor

Apple’s new Music Memos app makes songwriting chimp-simple


Easy to use music creation app means the end of complex demos.
Easy-to-use music creation app Music Memos does away with complex demos.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new app, Music Memos, is hands-down the best free music-creation app I’ve ever used on my iPhone. The amount of tech packed into this tiny little iOS app is nothing short of amazing, and it shows Apple’s continuing commitment to the creative community.

Music Memos lets you sit down with your iPhone, tap the screen, and record music. Then it will totally figure out what you played, and supply fairly decent drum and bass tracks to complement your chords. Wow.

I’ve played in live bands that can’t even do that.

Take my word on this: If you can play even rudimentary guitar, piano or even ukulele, you owe it to yourself to give Music Memos a try.

Is this the first ‘official band app’ for Apple TV?


Just as good as real medicine.
Just as good as real medicine.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Androgynous English rockers Placebo just claimed the honor of landing the first “artist” app on the new Apple TV. The free Placebo app is designed to deliver an “immersive” experience for fans while they remain ensconced on their couches.

Ultimately the app, which was released Monday, lets you watch music videos, live video of the band and “exclusive content” from the Placebo archives, all in your very own home.

Unique keyboard app turns your boring messages into music


The most melodious way to type.
Typing "LOL" and "WTF" has never been so melodious.
Photo: SoundKey

SoundKey is a clever keyboard app that plays instruments as you type to create melodies from your words.

Developed by two French students who wanted to incorporate music directly into people’s daily use of the iPhone, it’s an unusual twist on the custom iOS keyboards we’ve come to know and love.