Turn any PDF into a beautifully readable digital presentation [Deals]

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Flip PDF easily transforms simple PDF documents into beautiful digital books.
Flip PDF easily transforms simple PDF documents into beautiful digital books.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

PDFs are convenient and used by almost everybody, but flipping between preview windows is not a very attractive or engaging way to view content. Flip PDF for Mac makes it easy to create beautiful digital books and presentations out of your PDFs, perfect for designers, photographers, advertisers, anyone who could benefit from a beautiful digital presentation of their work. And right now, you can get a copy for a tenth of the normal price, just $9.

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Apple brings award-winning synth back from the dead

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The new Alchemy synthesizer is center-stage in today's updates to Logic Pro X and MainStage 3.
Photo: Apple

Apple released updates today for Logic Pro X and MainStage 3, adding a famous synthesizer and other fun goodies. This synthesizer, called Alchemy, for the most part isn’t an Apple original – it was previously an award-winning piece of software from Camel Audio, which Apple acquired at the beginning of the year. Now it has officially resurfaced in Apple’s professional audio apps.

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Twitter for Mac’s anemic update is a total slap in the face

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Twitter for Mac got an update no one asked for.
Photo: Twitter

Good news: the official Twitter app for Mac finally got some attention today for the first time in almost a year. It now supports direct messages without the 140-character limit. Bad news: that’s the only feature added in the update, rendering it so totally insignificant you’re probably considering donating a new coffee machine to the Twitter for Mac team.

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Apple seeds OS X 10.10.5 and iOS 8.4.1 betas to developers

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iPhone continues to rock across the globe.
Both iOS and OS X get new betas today.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Apple seeded two new incremental updates for developers today, one for the current version of OS X Yosemite, 10.10.5, and another for iOS 8.4.1, the current version of iOS available for consumers on iPhone and iPad.

“The OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 update improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac,” writes Apple in its release notes. Further details on iOS 8.4.1 are as yet unavailable.

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Want to make your own Toy Story?

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The software that made this happen is now free. Photo: Pixar
The software that made this happen is now free. Photo: Pixar

Steve Jobs was, of course, formative to developing the software for the Mac, iPhone and iPad, but he was also formative to the development of another company and its software: Pixar, the computer animation studio behind Toy Story, Ratatouille, Up and more.

Now Pixar has released RenderMan, the company’s in-house rendering software, to the public for free. It’s the tool that gave the world Toy Story and countless other modern day classics, and it is now totally free to download for non-commercial use on the Mac, as well as Windows and Linux.

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How to rid your Mac of adware in a flash

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As OS X becomes increasingly popular, it’s only natural that it becomes a bigger target for hackers, scammers and advertisers. We’re seeing a rise in complaints about adware programs built for OS X, which can take over your computer and prevent you from doing things like open up your browser. But don’t worry — it can be really easy to get rid of.

In today’s video, I’ll show you how to remove all traces of adware from your Mac in less than two minutes using an excellent tool called AdwareMedic.

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How to use two powerful tools to collaborate on writing projects

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scrivener
Literature... and latte. Photo illustration Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

 

These days you can easily share data and collaborate on almost anything, from Rdio playlists to photo streams. But when it comes to plain old written text, your options are terrible. You’re pretty much caught between working on a shared file in Google Docs or shuttling versions of your work back and forth via email. Add more than one collaborator and this becomes a total nightmare.

Thankfully, tools exist to smooth the process of collaborating on writing projects. I’m currently editing the second draft of a novella, and I’m looking for a way to work with “beta” readers. I’m testing several pieces of software, and so far one called Draft is in the lead. Not only does it let you share a document with other people, it lets the team comment on any part of the source document and also allows them to edit a copy. Then, when they submit their versions, you can preview any changes before accepting or rejecting them.

Better still, because Draft can sync with a document in Dropbox (as well as several other cloud services), you can sync the edits from your beta team with a local app, like Scrivener. Here’s what you need to make the collaborative magic happen.

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Facebook fixes long-standing iOS bug, eliminating 50 percent of app crashes

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It’s hard to know what to make of an app update that promises to “cut crash rates in half.” If you’re a glass-half-full kind of guy, you’re happy with the increased stability. If you’re a glass-half-empty guy, though, you wonder why the hell they can’t get around to fixing the other 50 percent of unexpected software crashes.

I’m sort of a glass-half-empty kind of guy, at least when it comes to Facebook. So when they announce that their latest update to the Facebook for iPhone and iPad app has “solved a long-term mobile debugging problem and reduced the crash rate for people using the Facebook for iOS app by more than 50%,” I wonder why the hell a multibillion dollar corporation can’t fix the other half.

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