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This app uses a community database of spam and scam callers to help keep them from getting through.
This app uses a community database of spam and scam callers to help keep them from getting through.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Brilliant iPhone camera app takes long exposures without tripod

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Capturing the path of light and motion with Spectre Camera.
Ex-Spectre the unexpected.
Photo: Spectre

Halide, an iOS camera app that entered a flooded photo app category in 2017, quickly rose above most of the others as a must-have tool for serious iPhone photographers.

The creators, wanting manual camera settings and a RAW shooting option, rolled out a new app this week bringing ease to the otherwise complicated task of light and motion painting with long exposures.

The new app, Spectre, requires no technical skill – or even a tripod – to bring the streams of light to urban scenics shot on iPhone.

Apple approves India’s controversial Do Not Disturb app

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India3
Apple and India’s government worked out their differences on an iOS app before iPhone was banned from that country.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple today made an anti-spam application developed by the Indian government available on that country’s version of its App Store. The software is designed to help prevent an avalanche of commercial phone calls and texts, but Apple had previously expressed concerns that it revealed too much information about users to the government.

The version of TRAI DND – Do Not Disturb just approved appears to deal with Apple’s concerns.

Chinese translation app censors words – but not on iPhone

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Chinese censorship
If using a translation app while in China, you may not get help with politically sensitive topics.
Photo: Hitesh Choudhary/Pexels.com CC

A translation app widely used in China appears to censor politically touchy terms, such as “Tiananmen” or “ Taiwan independence.” It even refuses the name of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

However, the app’s censoring of those forbidden phrases happens only on Android. The iOS version answers the query on all three.

Pixelmator preps AI-powered photo editor for iPad

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Pixelmator Photo will offer a wide sweep of image-editing tools, many enhanced through machine learning.
Pixelmator Photo will offer a wide sweep of image-editing tools, many enhanced through machine learning.
Photo: Pixelmator

Pixelmator makes image editing software for Mac and iPad, and it’s hard at work now on a new iPad application that uses artificial intelligence to improve its photo-editing capabilities.

The new app — dubbed Pixelmator Photo — will employ Apple’s Core ML (machine learning) technology to intelligently improve the exposure and cropping of images.

New Pokémon Go feature makes exercise enticing

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Pokémon GO Adventure Sync rewards you for exercising with the Candy needed to Power Up and evolve your pocket monster.
Pokémon GO Adventure Sync rewards you for exercising with the Candy needed to Power Up and evolve your pocket monster.
Photo: Niantic

Playing Pokémon GO requires you to get off the couch and explore the world. The game now takes that idea and runs with it (pun intended) by rewarding you for exercising even when not hunting virtual monsters.

Serious GasBuddy bug locks up iPhones [Updated]

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GasBuddy makes it easy to see where refueling will cost you less.
Ordinarily, GasBuddy shows you nearby fuel prices. Right now, it might lock up your iPhone.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Avoid using the latest version of the GasBuddy app on your iPhone. The developer admits it is causing problems and has temporarily withdrawn it from the App Store until a fix can be released.

UPDATE: A fixed version of GasBuddy is available on the App Store. Users of this service should install this new version immediately.

GasBuddy lists crowdsourced gasoline prices. It’s free and useful enough to make our list of 50 essential iOS apps.

Netflix Smart Downloads manages TV shows for you

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Netflix iPhone
Want to watch the next episode of your favorite show on the subway? Netflix Smart Downloads makes it easy by automatically replacing each watched episode with the next one.
Photo: Netflix

A new feature in the Netflix app will automatically download episodes of your favorite shows. This means they’re waiting on your phone or tablet when you’re ready.

Netflix already allows users to download episodes to watch later. The improvement announced today just makes it easier.