LoopField, SnafWho, GTA Vice City and other amazing apps of the week

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What a treat we have for you this week.
What a treat we have for you this week.
Photo: Cult of Mac

This week we check the size of our suitcase with easyJet’s AR, find expert advice with SnafWho, make music by sampling everyday sounds in LoopField, and go back in time with GTA: Vice City.

Stepz – Step Counter & Tracker

Stepz removes the today widget from the paid version.
Stepz has removed the today widget from the paid version.
Photo: Stepz

Stepz is the first of this week’s updates, and it is also the first one to avoid. It’s revamped, and looks nicer, etc. But the important thing is that you now have to upgrading to the paid tier to continue using the Today View widget. That is, this update removes one of its primary features without warning — when I updated the app, the only description of the new version was that it had been completely redesigned. There was no mention of it removing the most important part and then charging for it. That would be fine, of course, but don’t hide the fact.

I deleted it and reinstalled Pedometer ++, which is way better anyway.

Price: Free

Download: Stepz – Step Counter & Tracker from the App Store (iOS)

SnafWho

SnafWho connects you with consultants.
SnafWho connects you with consultants.
Photo: SnafWho

Sponsored: The best way to find out how to do so this is to ask an expert. But clearly finding a true expert on the internet is almost impossible. That’s where SnafWho comes in. It’s a service that lets you connect with consultants and freelancers, via video chat, audio chat, or IM. The consultants get paid, and the user gets solid advice.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Download: SnafWho from the App Store (iOS)

easyJet: Travel App

easyJet’s app is tight as its plane’s legroom. EasyJet’s app is tight as its plane’s legroom.

European low-cost airline easyJet added AR to its app. Why? You’re going to love this: It lets you measure your carry-on bags to make sure they conform to the maximum size limit. easyJet is one of the better low-cost operators, and its app is probably the best one I’ve used.

Price: Free

Download: easyJet: Travel App from the App Store (iOS)

MIDI Guitar

MIDI Guitar 2’s interface only takes up half the screen.
MIDI Guitar 2’s interface only takes up half the screen.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Another update, this time for an app that takes the sound of a guitar and converts it to MIDI so you can play synthesizers (or any other MIDI instrument). These can either be apps inside your iPad, or hardware devices connected to it. The update fixes some problems the old version had with iOS 12, but also brings an entirely new interface. And a good thing, too, as the old one was confusing as hell. This is the best guitar-to-MIDI app on iOS.

Price: Free

Download: MIDI Guitar from the App Store (iOS)

Pixelmator

Pixelmator supports the Apple Pencil 2 — at last.
Pixelmator supports the Apple Pencil 2 — at last.
Photo: Pixelmator

Pixelmator is one of the premier image and photo editing apps on iOS, so it’s pretty mind-boggling that it has taken until now to update the flagship iOS app to support the 2018 iPad Pro, and the Apple Pencil 2. To be honest, I find the app too annoying to use except for in emergencies. They took all the bad Unser interface ideas from Apple’s iOS iWork apps, and applied them to a photo app.

Price: $4.99

Download: Pixelmator from the App Store (iOS)

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Just six years after launching on iOS, GTA: Vice City has gotten an update to enable full-screen support on the latest iPhones and iPads Pro. Our own games expert Killian “Bizzle” Bell had this to say about it:

It might look a bit dated to someone who has only played the later installments of the game, but it’s still surprisingly impressive on an iPhone screen. And, hey, a game is about more than just the way it looks! Either way, Vice City is an undisputed classic.

Price: $4.99

Download: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City from the App Store (iOS)

Loopfield

LoopField is the funnest iOS music app in a long time.
LoopField is the funnest iOS music app in a long time.
Photo: Cult of Mac

LoopField is an addictive music tool. It samples sounds from the real world through the iPhone’s microphone, and loops them into 1-4 bar loops. These loops can be combined with a rhythm track (built-in, or import your own). You can speed up your loops, or slow them down, and add rhythmic effects.

It also interacts with other music apps on your iPhone. Or iPad, and can export your loops to be used as samples anywhere else. Highly recommended.

Price: $3.99

Download: Loopfield from the App Store (iOS)

Atmosphere Weather

Try not to look away from the Atmosphere Weather app.
Try not to look away.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Atmosphere Weather is an ugly iPhone app that puts the weather forecast around the edge of a 24-hour clock. This is designed to make it easy to read. The app also integrates with your calendar, adding to the confusion by overlaying your day’s appointments onto the weather.

Price: Free

Download: Atmosphere Weather from the App Store (iOS)

Celebrate President’s Day with new gear, lessons, and apps [Deals]

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Observe President's Day by saving big on some awesome gear, apps and lessons.
Observe President's Day by saving big on some awesome gear, apps and lessons.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Happy President’s Day! If it’s not an occasion that brings you joy, well, we can’t blame you. But that can change in round two of our roundup of deals on gear, apps and lessons. From a heads-up display for your car to a powerful video processor, and a massive course in iOS 12, we’re leading the free world in deals.

Today in Apple history: Apple introduces ‘world’s fastest’ PowerBook

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The PowerBook 3400 certainly lived up to its name.
The PowerBook 3400 certainly lived up to its name.
Photo: Apple

February 17: Today in Apple history: Apple introduces 'world's fastest' PowerBook February 17, 1997: Apple launches the PowerBook 3400, a laptop the company claims is the fastest portable computer in the world.

After a rough few years for the PowerBook, this model throws down the gauntlet to rivals. It packs a PowerPC 603e processor capable of running at speeds up to 240MHz. Speedier Apple laptops will quickly overtake it. However, at the time, the PowerBook 3400 matches the speed of some impressive desktop Macs.

AirPods 2 in a new color could soon launch alongside AirPower

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AirPods 2 might look something like this artist’s concept.
AirPods 2 might look something like this artist’s concept.
Photo: Caviar/Cult of Mac

The design of Apple’s AirPods is about to get a tweak, according to a new unconfirmed report coming out of Asia. Expect a fresh choice of color and a coating that will make these earbuds harder to drop.

This refresh is reportedly tied to the release of the AirPower wireless charger which is expected to launch at the same time.

Art of the commute: Dina Alfasi’s iPhone pix are a trip [Cult of Mac Magazine No. 284]

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Dina Alfasi’s stealthy snaps of her fellow commuters are a trip.
Dina Alfasi's award-winning iPhone pix are a trip.
Photo: Dina Alfasi; cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Photographer Dina Alfasi’s stealthy snaps capture commuters in all their intimate glory. She tells us what informs her award-winning art in the latest issue of Cult of Mac Magazine.

Plus, get the latest on Apple’s upcoming TV shows and subscriptions services, plus how-tos that will help you make the most of your Apple gear. Grab your free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine for iOS. Or hit the links below to get the latest news, reviews and how-tos from our website.

Score sweet deals on apps and gear for Presidents Day [Deals]

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Ring in Presidents day with big savings on cloud storage, wireless charging, and more.
Ring in Presidents Day with big savings on cloud storage, wireless charging and more.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Looking for a reason to celebrate on Presidents Day? We’ve got it, in the form of a pair of roundups of awesome gear, software and lessons, all at big discounts. From a cloud hub to a sleek wireless charger and more, read on for details.

Today in Apple history: Pismo PowerBook is a multimedia powerhouse

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Apple Pismo PowerBook raised the bar for laptops.
The Pismo PowerBook raised the bar for laptops.
Photo: CG Hughes/Flickr CC

February 16: Today in Apple history: Apple introduces the February 16, 2000: Apple introduces the “Pismo” PowerBook, the best of its G3 laptops. In the view of many, it’s one of Apple’s best laptops ever.

The Pismo PowerBook is the first not to include SCSI or an Apple Desktop Bus connector. Instead, it utilizes USB and Apple’s Emmy award-winning FireWire. Optional AirPort wireless support, tremendous battery life and a gorgeous curvy design just make it better.

Apple’s latest acquisition could give Siri a crucial boost

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Apple
The company that made Barbie a conversationalist has been bought by Apple.
Photo: ToyTalk

Apple’s latest acquisition could give Siri a better chance at competing against Amazon’s popular voice-power assistant, Alexa.

Pullstring, a San Francisco-based startup that specializes in helping developers design, prototype and deploy voice apps has reportedly been purchased by Apple. The company’s platform helps create voice apps for Alexa and Google Assistant, and will likely help Apple make more tools for Siri.

Depth Control starts feud in funny new Apple ad

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“Did you just bokeh my child?!”
Photo: Apple

Depth Control is one of the best features on the new iPhones, but Apple shows that you might want to be careful about who you choose to use it on.

Apple just drop a hilarious new ad highlighting the new the feature that lets you adjust the amount of blur in a Portrait Mode photo. The funny 30-second ad shows two moms who start beefing with each other when one of them notices their child has been bokeh’d.

Get ready to giggle:

Get a colorful HomeKit smart bulb for just $27 [Deals & Steals]

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Koogeek WiFi Smart LED light bulb E26
Jump on the HomeKit bandwagon.
Photo: Koogeek

Amazon’s daily deal on Koogeek HomeKit smart bulbs means you can get colorfully creative for just $27. And if you want to stick it to your ISP, you can do it the smart way by snagging a cable modem for just $45.

Those are today’s hottest new buys in our Deals & Steals roundup. However, you also can find big ongoing discounts on Apple gear like MacBooks, iMacs, iPads, Apple Watches and HomePods. Time to get saving before these deals disappear!