Ableton puts a synth inside your browser

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Ableton has put a synth school into the browser.
Ableton has put a synth school into the browser.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Did you ever wonder how a synthesizer works? It’s all just “electronic noise,” right? Well, yes, it totally is. But if you’d like to know a bit more than that, Berlin-based Ableton will teach you. The electronic music giant launched a website that puts a synthesizer inside your browser, and uses it to teach you exactly how a synth works.

The synth simulator works great in Mobile Safari, too, but if you use Google’s Chrome, you can hook up an actual keyboard to your Mac and use it to play. That’s thanks to Chrome’s support for Web MIDI, which Safari doesn’t offer.

Let’s have a quick look at this cool teaching tool.

For a limited time, get a discount on this highly rated language iPhone app [Deals]

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With this Mondly subscription, you will save 95% on a lifetime of language lessons backed by AI, AR and other innovative features.
Save 95% on a lifetime of language lessons backed by AI, AR and other innovative features.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Languages are better than passports. When you learn a new one, a whole new world opens up wherever you go, even if you never leave the country. So this chance to pick up five language lessons at once is a way to bring the world to you.

Learn a new language with this highly rated app [Deals]

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Using speech recognition, native speakers and even AR, this app takes mobile language learning to a new level.
Using speech recognition, native speakers and even AR, this app takes mobile language learning to a new level.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

It’s easy to put off learning a new language. But adding a language app to your iPhone can help. Since your device is always with you, you can learn a language anywhere.

Language apps are perfect for plane rides or waiting for your date at the restaurant — and Mondly raises the bar.

Give your brain a workout with Brilliant [Review]

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Brilliant iOS app on desk with switch and tv remote
Quit wasting time and learn something with Brilliant.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Whether you’re addicted to Twitter, obsessed with Fortnite or wasting the day away on Netflix, you can kill hours on your iPhone without ever doing anything useful or productive.

Instead of mindlessly killing time, Brilliant gives you a way to expand your mind and learn something new every day.

The wait is over for iPad version of Minecraft: Education Edition

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Minecraft: Education Edition can teach math, science, history, and more.
Students can now download Minecraft: Education Edition for their trusty iPads.
Photo: Microsoft

Kids love Minecraft and iPad. Teachers love applications that turning learning into a game. All of these come together with an iPad version of Minecraft: Education Edition. 

After being announced last month, this application just debuted in the iOS App Store.

Apple lays out its powerful vision for the classroom of the future

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2018 iPad and Apple Pencil
Apple's new entry-level iPad is just the tip of the educational iceberg.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

CHICAGO — Apple’s vision for the future of the classroom is clear: Students armed with iPads and quality apps, and instructors leveraging creative teaching methods. Laying the groundwork for a combination of interactive group projects, immersive audio and video experiences, and some gamification, Apple thinks students will find greater success in schools through the use technology.

With yesterday’s big educational event behind us, we know a lot more about Apple’s vision for the classroom of the future.

AudioStretch slows down songs and videos to make learning music easier

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The AudioStretch audio transcription app works for videos, too.
AudioStretch may be the only slow-downer app that does video.
Image: Cognosonic

AudioStretch is a “music transcription tool.” It’s a universal iOS app that slows down music, and/or changes its pitch, so you can learn to play songs. We’ve covered another of these, Capo Touch, before on Cult of Mac, but AudioStretch is easier to use. Plus, a recent update added the ability for the music transcription app to work its magic on video.

The best Apple Watch apps for cheating at math and science

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iMathematics puts infinite cheat sheets on your wrist. Photo: Mobixee
iMathematics puts infinite cheat sheets on your wrist. Photo: Mobixee

Cheaters in school these days have it too easy. In my day, we had to program cheat sheets of formulas into our giant graphing calculators. Now that the Apple Watch is coming out, the cat and mouse game between students and teachers is about to change.

Mobixee’s educational suite of Apple Watch apps are giving students a faster/subtler way than ever to find “that formula” when you’re doing tests homework.

By bringing iMathematics, iPhysics, and iChemistry to Apple Watch, you won’t have to pull out your iPhone to search for formulas again. Just whisper a word to Siri like “derivative” and a list of formulas related to the topic will pop up.

Check it out:

Controversial math apps won’t help kids cheat

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The girl at work. Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac
My daughter wishes these math apps worked better. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

My math-averse daughter wanted to cheat on her algebra homework. So we downloaded PhotoMath, a free app that lets you take a picture of your mathematical and algebraic equations, solving them for you and showing the steps to the solution.

PhotoMath has been at the top of the App Store charts for a couple of weeks, hitting number one on the Education, Kids Games and Top Apps lists. Small wonder, as it seems like a great way to get out of doing homework.

However, despite the concerns of some parents and teachers, apps like PhotoMath just won’t help when it comes to cheating — they’re far too limited. Still, it’s a promising technology that, once it matures, might actually turn into the type of wonder tool for education we’ve long been promised, turning our iOS devices into useful educational tools that will help kids actually learn math, rather than simply giving them a shortcut to homework answers.