Neural networks make Google Translate app smarter, more accurate while offline

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Google Translate is now better, even offline
On-device learning should make the Google Translate app much better at its job.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Neural machine translation (NMT) has made the online version of Google Translate more accurate for years. Today, this AI feature was added to the iOS and Android apps so it can be used offline.

NTM allows the software to learn over time to create better, more natural translations. And this function is available while traveling without a local data plan.

Explore your interests through pictures with Instagram [50 Essential iOS Apps #20]

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Cult of Mac Instagram profile
Instagram could soon offer original shows of its own.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Workflow appThere are tons of social networks to choose from. Some help you stay up-to-date with news, while others are focused on friends or family. Instagram is the social network for seeing the world and keeping up with your interests through images. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, Instagram lets photos do the majority of the talking.

Make Twitter great again with Tweetbot [50 Essential iOS Apps #17]

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The Cult of Mac profile in Tweetbot on iOS
Tweetbot for iOS is clean, easy-to-use, and isn't cluttered like the Twitter app.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Tweetbot for Twitter app Over the years, the Twitter app has changed significantly. What started as a container for Twitter’s mobile website has grown into the jumbled mess that it is today.

During that time, many third-party Twitter clients blossomed, providing a more streamlined, logical experience. While many faded away, a select few managed to stick around. For several years now, Tweetbot has been one of the best Twitter clients on iOS. It offers a clear design, simple gestures, and provides a better Twitter experience.

Podcast app Castro adds most-requested features

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Castro 3 playing the CultCast podcast
Podcast app Castro addresses several missing features with version 3
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

With podcasts increasing in popularity, Castro has been one of the top third-party podcast players on the market. In version 2, Castro changed the way users manage their unplayed episodes with their podcast triage system. While it was a great update, and included some gorgeous design touches, it was missing some key listening features. With version 3, Castro adds in users most requested features to make it a truly great podcast player.

Embrace automation with Workflow [50 Essential iOS Apps #13]

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Workflow app Webpage to PDF action
Workflow can make the most basic of tasks incredibly simple.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Workflow appNot all tasks are simple or straightforward. Sometimes a task involve multiple complex or repetitive steps. Having the ability to use a “program” to do these tasks quickly and easily makes you more efficient. Unfortunately, we aren’t all programmers. Workflow for iOS makes performing complex or repetitive tasks a breeze, all without needing to know a programming language.

Turn your device into a programming powerhouse with Coda [50 Essential iOS Apps #12]

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Coda html code editor iPad
Coda makes it easy to edit code, no matter where you are.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Coda FTP Shell Code appThe iPhone and iPad are arguably one of the most powerful computers most of us own. While much argument has been had as to whether you can do real work on iOS, apps are a proving ground for what an iOS device is capable of. Coda for iOS harnesses the power of iOS to make a feature rich programming app, turning your iOS device into a shell terminal, FTP client, remote file viewer, and pocketable coding app.

Google Lens lets iPhones identify books, flowers, more

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Google Lens in action
Google Lens can pull the contact information out of a business card.
Photo: Google

The image-identification technology in Google Photos is now in the iOS version of this software. Google Lens can find objects and text in pictures and then provide more information. For example, by examining a photo of a business card, the artificial intelligence can pull out all the contact information.

Alexa brings free phone calls to iPad

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Alexa Calling
iPads can now make video calls to Amazon Echo devices.
Photo: Amazon

Although people most often use Alexa to ask about the weather or play music, Amazon’s smart assistant is capable of much more, including connecting with friends and family.  A convenient Alexa calling feature is now available on a range of tablets, including the iPad. This allows the tablet to make voice or video calls to an Amazon Echo.

All that is required is the Amazon Alexa app for iOS (and giving Alexa access to your list of contacts).

Former Apple photo guru releases powerful iPhone camera app

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iOS
Harness RAW Power with your iPhone or iPad.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

A “Gentleman Coder” who is the former director of the Apple photo apps teams has launched an IOS app for the photographer who prefers to shoot RAW images.

RAW Power for iOS hit the App Store this week from software company Gentlemen Coders LLC, which was founded by Nik Bhatt. His 14-year stint in Cupertino included being Senior Director of Engineering for the Aperture and iPhoto teams and later the Chief Technical Officer of the Photo Apps group.

Hollywood’s fave iPhone app supports Apple’s go-to video format

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iPhone filmmakers get HEVC support in Filmic Pro update.
iPhone filmmakers get HEVC support in Filmic Pro update.
Photo: Filmic

Filmic Pro, the gold standard iPhone app for filmmakers to achieve near-cinematic quality, released an update today to support the new HEVC format in iOS 11.

HEVC stands for High-Efficiency Video Coding (also called H.265), a compression standard that reduces the file size of videos while retaining much of the quality. This means users can store twice the number of videos on their iPhones or iPad Pros.