LiquidText PDF Reader gives paper the upgrade it needs

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LiquidText
Using paper is so old-school. Your iPad is capable of much more!
Photo: LiquidText

Paper’s great for some things, but when it comes to reading and taking notes, the traditional medium is mediocre at best. And when iPad apps try to replicate paper, things get even worse.

“It doesn’t work,” said Craig Tashman, developer of the LiquidText PDF Reader app, which Apple showcased in an iPad ad this week. “They end up inheriting the deficiencies of paper without really inheriting the things that make it work.”

Tashman talked with Cult of Mac about his quest to reinvent paper, and the massive benefit of having a $945 billion tech giant giving an indie developer some props.

Stylish new ads showcase how iPad can simplify your life

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iPad
The iPad and Apple Pencil is a winning combo.
Photo: Apple

The iPad is an extraordinarily versatile productivity tool, and Apple is keen to showcase that fact in a series of stylish new ads. The 15-second spots demonstrate the way that Apple’s tablet — alongside the Apple Pencil — can be used to make it easier to deal with your paperwork or computing on the move.

Check them out below.

iPhone might soon offer handwriting recognition

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iPad and iPhone handwriting recognition is a real possibility
Apple is investigating including handwriting recognition in the iPhone and iPad.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple is actively working on a handwriting recognition system. This raises the distinct possibility that you might someday enter text by writing words on your iPhone or iPad screen, rather than tapping out letters on a virtual keyboard.

Some will remember that Apple’s tried something similar before and it didn’t go well.

iWork for iOS gets audio recording, greater Apple Pencil support

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Smart Annotations in Numbers on iPad
Improvements to smart annotations in Pages are just one of myriad changes in iWork for iOS and Mac released today.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Updates to all the apps in the Apple iWork for iOS suite boast many additional features. Pages’ and Numbers’ ability to record, edit, and play audio is just the start. In both those, and Keynote too, an Apple Pencil can be used to select and scroll. And the are plenty more.

There are also enhancements in iWork for Mac.

Sell us your used Apple accessories: Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard and AirPods

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Sell your Apple accessories to us! The Cult of Mac buyback program will buy your used Apple Pencil, AirPods and Smart Keyboard.
Sell your Apple accessories to us!
Photos: Apple, Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The Cult of Mac buyback program just got bigger and better than ever: Now we pay cash for your used Apple accessories, including Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard and AirPods.

Although we are huge fans of all three of these accessories, we won’t judge you if you decide to unload them. And we promise to make it as easy as possible if you’ve decided it’s time to sell used Apple accessories.

Inexpensive Logitech Crayon iPad stylus debuts just for students

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Logitech Crayon
The Logitech Crayon was designed for the classroom. It saves schools quite a bit of money compared to the Apple Pencil.
Photo: Logitech

Logitech’s $49 active stylus for iPad unveiled back in March just debuted. However, at this point the Crayon can only be purchased through Apple’s Education channel.

This accessory for students was created to be a cheaper alternative to the Apple Pencil, which schools can buy at $89.

Microsoft will take on the iPad with a low-cost Surface tablet

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Microsoft Surface to take on iPad
Microsoft’s next Surface tablet wants to make difficult for iPad.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft plans to take on Apple’s popular 9.7-inch iPad with a low-cost Surface tablet, according to a new report.

The device, which will be powered by Intel processors and priced at around $400, is expected to go on sale in the second half of 2018. It will be accompanied by more affordable versions of Microsoft’s keyboard cover, mouse, and Surface Pen.

How to search Google using Apple Pencil and handwriting

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google handwriting apple pencil
Only one of these can be used to search Google.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Did you ever open up Google on your iPad, and wish that, instead of just typing your query using the always-accessible keyboard, you could write it anywhere on the Google home page using a finger, or an Apple Pencil? No, me neither. But that doesn’t make the possibility any less real. Now, with a simple settings tweak, you need never type a Google query ever again.

New iPad ads showcase Apple Pencil versatility

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iPad ad
Apple is keen to show off the Apple Pencil.
Photo: Apple

Apple wants everyone to know about the Apple Pencil compatibility with this year’s 9.7-inch iPad refresh — and a new series of ads aims to help with that mission.

Appearing on Apple’s U.K. YouTube channel, the short ads demonstrate how the Apple Pencil can be used for image markup, writing and drawing. The spots are set to NONONO’s track “Masterpiece.” Check them out below.

The best Apple Pencil apps that aren’t for drawing

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apple-pencil-jar
Don't leave your Apple Pencil in the jar.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You have a new iPad, and you have a new Apple Pencil. Time to learn how to draw, right? Not necessarily. Just like a regular pen or pencil, there are ton of other things you can do with an Apple Pencil. You can write, of course, but you can also play games, compose musical scores, do coloring in books, edit photos, and even play the Apple Pencil like a musical instrument.

Let’s take a look at the best non-drawing apps for Apple Pencil.