Zwift wheels its virtual bicycle racing platform into open beta

Journalists and bike geeks gather at the Rapha Store in San Francisco for Zwift’s launch in September 2014.
Journalists and bike geeks gather at the Rapha Store in San Francisco for Zwift’s launch last September.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Zwift, which calls itself an “online fitness entertainment gaming platform,” has finally opened up its virtual roads for anyone with a bicycle on a trainer to ride.

The virtual bicycle racing platform lets riders hook their two-wheelers up to their computers (Mac or PC). Then they receive real-time data about their ride — including speed, cadence and even power — and can match their performance against another rider who is using Zwift at the same time.

The best March Madness apps for iPhone, iPad and Mac

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March Madness is here. Will your bracket survive? Photo: Cult of Mac

It’s that time of year when office work comes to a standstill for weeks thanks to the NCAA’s annual celebration of sweat, leather and nylon nets. The brackets have been set and teams are en route to play the 67 basketball games that will take place over the next few weeks, with Kentucky being the undisputed favorite to walk away with a perfect season.

Thanks to the glories of technology, you can follow all the action this year even if you don’t have a cable subscription. With the right combo of apps, you can get expert insight into your favorite Cinderella team, watch every game — and maybe even pick the perfect bracket.

Dominate March Madness this year with these apps for Mac and iOS:

The virtual bicycle race is on

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Journalists and bike geeks gather at the Rapha Store in San Francisco for Zwift’s launch in September 2014.
The official Zwift launch took place simultaneously in all three Rapha Cycle Clubs locations: San Francisco (pictured here), London and New York. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

New bicycling game Zwift cruises along at the crossroads where video game nerds, bike fanatics and the land of the long winter come together. Launched in beta today, Zwift lets you compete with friends in a massively multiplayer cycling game designed to turn indoor rides into something more exciting.

The basic premise is this: You pick your avatar, pick your whip, pick your kit, pick your route and then pedal with/against your friends, no matter where they are in the country. You watch the action on the virtual terrain on a computer (most any reasonably modern desktop or notebook will do).

How to install iOS 8’s most wicked widgets

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The ability to add widgets to your Notifications dock is easily one of iOS 8’s most useful additions. The new functionality puts some of your favorite apps’ features right at your fingertips.

Only a limited number of apps offer widgets currently, but with developers hard at work you can be sure many more are on the way. In today’s Cult of Mac video, we show you how to install widgets in iOS 8 so you can get started enjoying what’s available now.

In this instructional video, we also give you a look at some of our personal favorites. See how widgets can make managing your to-do list, journaling and checking out your favorite teams’ sports scores easier than ever.

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