I can’t wait to reply to App Store reviews in iOS 10.3

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App Store reviews can make or break an app
App Store reviews can make or break an app. Soon, developers will get a chance to answer their critics.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Skip the gym: Get in shape with the complete CultFit Home Workout

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Complete CultFit Home Workout
Devote 10 minutes a day to the CultFIt Home Workout, and you'll be in shape in no time.
Image: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

CultFit Home Workout You don’t need a pricey gym membership to get in shape. With the CultFit Home Workout routine, you’ll use simple exercises, common household items and your iPhone (and Apple Watch if you’ve got one) to build muscle and increase flexibility.

It’s free, it’s easy and it takes only about 10 minutes a day. So what are you waiting for? Get started with the complete CultFit Home Workout using the four lessons below.

Anyone can get in shape in 2017 with the CultFit Home Workout

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Get fit in the privacy of your own home using everyday objects
Get fit in the privacy of your own home using everyday objects
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

CultFit Home Workout If your New Year’s resolution is to get in shape in 2017, but you spend all your waking hours in front of your MacBook, we’ve got the answer: our new CultFit Home Workout.

All you need is your iPhone, plus your Apple Watch if you have one, and some everyday objects you’ll find around your home or office. No gym membership required. It’s a great way to get started on your fitness journey, and it only takes 10 minutes a day.

Add new exercises to your fitness routine with CultFit Home Workout

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Give your fitness a lift in 2017 with our CultFit Home Workout
Give your fitness a lift in 2017 with our CultFit Home Workout.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

CultFit Home Workout With New Year’s Eve a distant memory, your resolutions for 2017 should now be well underway. To help keep up your good work, here’s Week 3 of our CultFit Home Workout. (If you missed it, it’s still not to late to start with Week 1).

All you need is your iPhone, plus your Apple Watch if you have one, and some everyday objects you’ll find around your home or office. No gym membership is required. It’s a great way to get started with your fitness journey — and it only takes 10 minutes a day.

Supersets will take your fitness to the next level with CultFit Home Workout

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It's crunch time for your fitness resolutions.
It's crunch time for your fitness resolutions.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

CultFit Home Workout It’s the fourth and final week of our CultFit Home Workout. Congratulations if you have made it this far. (If you missed it, it’s still not to late to start with Week 1).

For this easy home workout, all you need is your iPhone and some everyday objects you’ll find around your home or office (plus your Apple Watch if you have one). No gym membership is required. It’s a great way to get started with your fitness journey — and it only takes 10 minutes a day.

Why freemium apps suck for everyone (and how Apple is killing paid apps)

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Only one of the top 200 grossing apps is a paid app
Paid apps are an endangered species: Only one of the 200 top-grossing apps on the App Store is a paid download.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

I work on an iPhone app called Reps & Sets as a hobby project in my spare time. This week, my partner and I came to the conclusion that there is no future for our app as a paid download, so we have reluctantly decided to make it free.

This was an incredibly tough call, because we have invested literally thousands of hours in developing our app over the years. Giving all that hard work away for free is heartbreaking. But we didn’t feel we had much choice.

Fitness apps are not for beginners

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Fitness apps can tell you how to do an exercise, but they can't check whether you're doing it right.
Fitness apps can tell you how to do an exercise, but they can't check whether you're doing it right.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

New research suggests that iOS fitness apps stink at giving you a complete workout. As the developer of one such app, you might think I would disagree. But I don’t. In fact, the only thing I would challenge is the researchers’ conclusion that app developers could do better. They can’t.

Fitness apps can be indispensable if you already know what you are doing, but If you are new to exercise, you should not rely on them to get you started.

Why Apple’s Active Calories don’t add up (and how you can change that)

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In Apple's fitness apps, active calories are not the same as Move ring calories.
In Apple's fitness apps, active calories are not the same as Move ring calories.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Have you ever noticed that some of your workout data is missing from the Health app on your iPhone?

Apple’s Health app is designed to provide a central hub for all your fitness apps to save and share their data. You might assume this means all your Active Calories are added together, regardless of which app you use to log them. But the truth is not that simple — although you can tweak some hidden settings to customize what you see.

For developers, WWDC means more work but not necessarily more profit

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WWDC_day_one004

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Worldwide Developers Conference brings new opportunities and new threats for indie developers. If you’re lucky, Apple introduces an API that could enhance your app. If you’re unlucky, Apple launches a new feature that renders your app obsolete.

One thing is certain: Whatever Apple announces at the annual conference will mean a lot more work for indie developers just to stay in the game. And since developers can’t charge for updates on the App Store, most of that work will go unrewarded.

How App Store reviews can help indie developers

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The NASAViz Universal app. Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flicker CC
Five-star reviews are great, but there's another type of App Store review that's truly stellar. Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flicker CC

Customer reviews on the App Store are good for business. It’s not just that good reviews can improve your app’s ranking. Reviews have also helped me build a better app.

But with all the fake reviews and haters out there, it’s sometimes hard to see the wood from the trees. The trick is to know exactly which reviews to pay attention to — and the secret is all in your stars.