| Cult of Mac

Free app boosts iPhone internet speed and privacy


Cloudflare's app makes web browsing faster and safer.
Switching your DNS server to makes web browsing faster and safer.
Photo: Cloudflare

A new application has the potential to speed up internet access on your iPhone. And Cloudflare’s app certainly makes everything you do online more private.

What it’s doing is a bit technical, but we’ll do our best to explain the benefits without too much jargon.

AI boosts Microsoft Translator for iPhone


Microsoft Translator
Need to talk to the waiter in a French restaurant? Microsoft Translator wants to help, even if you're offline.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Microsoft Translator has been around for a while, but this app is getting a huge improvement: artificial intelligence-powered translations even when the iPhone is offline.

Using translation apps in a foreign country can be nerve wracking.  Such software almost always depends on remote servers to do the hard work. Microsoft, however, has squeezed the necessary AI into a mobile app.

Heroes: Reborn prequel debuts as iOS exclusive


Phoebe channels the darkness in the new Heroes: Reborn prequel.
Phoebe channels the darkness in the new Heroes: Reborn prequel.
Photo: NBC

Excited about the new Heroes: Reborn series coming back to television? Want to relive highlights from the original Heroes series in preparation for the reboot set to air this fall?

How about an entire prequel series that explains how the world has changed since Heroes? You’re in luck, then, as NBC has created a digital series that does just that: Heroes Reborn: Dark Matters.

If you want to see it, though, you’ll need to download the Heroes: Reborn app, which is only on iOS.

Share in a loved one’s care with GrandmaSays app


GrandmaSays helps families coordinate care with medical alerts, task lists, a visit tracker and a place to share memories. Photo: GrandmaSays
GrandmaSays helps families coordinate care with medical alerts, task lists, a visit tracker and a place to share memories. Photo: GrandmaSays

Anastasia Medrano was anxious about her father’s health and it was an iPhone app that helped deliver peace of mind within seconds of the doctor giving him a good prognosis.

When the doctor said the cancer was in remission, her brother immediately alerted Medrano and another sibling with a new app called GrandmaSays, which allows families of a sick or elderly loved one to communicate medical updates, coordinate visits and share memories with text and photos.

“We’re kind of scattered and it falls on my one brother to take my dad to appointments,” said Medrano, of Irvine, Calif. “Rather than make severals calls, he can share the information in one place. We were hoping for the all clear and it was nice to get that ping on my phone.”

Radiohead’s trippy app delivers unexpected new tunes


Screen grab from iPhone: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Screen grab from iPhone: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

UK-based rock band Radiohead just updated their Polyfauna app, originally released at the end of this past January, with all new audio and visual content.

The What’s New section of the iTunes description says, simply, “Entirely new.”

If you’re a fan of the ambient tech-inspired music of Radiohead’s seminal Kid A album, you’re going to love these new tracks. Here’s a video (below) to whet your appetite.

Write And Record A Song Right On Your iPhone With Tunedra



Wow, is this app fantastic. Even if you’ve never written a lyric or performed music, you’ll be able to create and share a professional-sounding song recording with new music app, Tunedra.

As a musician, I’m simply stunned by the ability to quickly prototype and edit a song right on my iPhone.

Simply plug in some headphones, tap Record, and start singing. Tunedra will tune your voice and add backing tracks in a variety of styles that match the melody you’re singing. Once you’ve recorded your masterpiece, you can play it, edit it to make it sound less–or more–auto-tuned, and then share it with other Tunedra users or on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and email.

You Won’t Believe What This Free App Can Teach You In Less Than an Hour


Coding, son!
Coding, son!

While all of us aren’t destined to get our heads buried deep in lines of programming languages, chances are that most of us, and especially our children, will benefit from knowing the basics of how the most ubiquitous devices in our world operate.

Despite the current backlash against the “coding for all rhetoric,” teaching kids the basics of programming can’t be a bad thing. Heck, teaching ourselves to code may be a fantastic lead in to a rewarding hobby, a new career path, or both.

That’s the idea behind the “Hour Of Code,” a national initiative set to run December 9 – 15, 2013 that’s designed to take kids through the basics of programming in their schools. This new app from Codeacademy is specifically tailored to the process, so even if your kids (or you!) don’t have a school that’s participating in the Hour of Code, they can still get the benefit.