How to type Slack-style keyboard emojis on Mac

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rocket icon
Rocket will change the way you use emoji on your Mac.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Users of chatroom (and time-wasting tool) Slack will be familiar with typing out emoji reactions. To insert a smiley face, for example, you just type :smile:, and your text will be replaced by a smiley-face emoji when you hit enter.

If you ever find yourself missing this handy feature anywhere else on your Mac, you should take Rocket for a spin. It’s a macOS app that exists to make emojis easier.

App Store and Google Play raked in $60 billion last year

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iOS 11
iOS 11 made big changes to the App Store.
Photo: Apple

Slow iPhone? Here’s how to check the health of your battery

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iPhone battery
Brazil demands easy iPhone battery replacements.
Photo: iFixit

With all the fuss about depleted old batteries slowing down iPhones, it might be a good idea to at least check the health of your iPhone’s battery. To do this, you can use a free tool called coconutBattery. This handy app digs into your iOS and Mac devices to tell you how old they are, and how strong your battery is compared to when it was new.

Majority of first responder apps may have gaping security flaws

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Department of Home Security 2
The Department of Homeland Security carried out the investigation.
Photo: Department of Homeland Security

First responder apps may help save your life, but they’re in drastic need of a security overhaul, a new report the Department of Homeland Security says.

Released this week, the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate “Securing Mobile Applications for First Responders” report said that discovered glaring security flaws on almost every app that it examined.

Selfissimo!, Life is Strange, and other awesome apps of the week

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Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend, everyone!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Layton’s Mystery Journey a gets a big festive discount

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laytonsgame
The latest instalment in this acclaimed series.
Photo: Level-5

With Christmas coming, it’s probably not the time of year to be spending a whole lot of money on yourself — knowing that there’s plenty of other things you may need to splash your cash on.

Which is why it’s great news that Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy, one of my previously recommended best games of the year, has slashed its $15.99 price tag for the holidays.

Facebook brings augmented reality to its Messenger app

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Messenger
Who will know you love your dog if you don't add a giant digital heart over its head?
Photo: Facebook

Apple highlights its best apps, games, movies, and music of the year

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best of the year
Apple has released its 'best of' list for 2017.
Photo: Apple

Apple has released its yearly “Best of” list, highlighting its picks for the top apps, games, albums, movies, podcasts, books, and TV shows — just in time for your holiday purchasing!

As is always the case, the lists combine Apple’s own hand-curated picks and popularity-driven charts, based on purchases in Apple’s various services such as iTunes, the App Store, iBooks Store, and Apple Music.

Clean Text tidies up messy text on iOS

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clean text
Clean Text does what it say on the... name.
Photo: Apimac

Don’t you just hate messy text? Text with extra spaces between words. Text with carriage returns inserted in the middles of lines. Text with lots of %-encodes and %nbsp mixed in. Text with > symbols at the beginning of every line. Filthy, dirty, unclean text? What you need is Clean Text, the smiter of hinky formatting, and quasher of non-smart punctuation.

Apple Heart Study, GRID Autosport, and other awesome apps of the week

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Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac