This free weather app is a perfect storm of features

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The WeatherBug free weather app serves up lightning alerts and other real-time info.
The WeatherBug free weather app serves up lightning alerts and other real-time info.
Photo: Pixabay CC

Half app converts your JPEGs to space-saving HEIC files

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Use the Half app to convert JPG to HEIC, saving space without losing quality.
The Half app converts JPG to HEIC, saving space without losing quality.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The iPhones 7, 8 and X all capture images in the new HEIC format, which creates images much smaller than JPEGs, with the same quality.

All new images you snap, and movies you capture, will be saved in the new HIEC and HVEC (for movies) formats. But what if you want to convert your older images from JPEG to HEIC to save some space? That’s exactly what Half App does.

iPhone becomes a reliable light meter with Lumu Power [Review]

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Lumu Power light meter
Is that an iPhone or a light meter? It's both.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Lumu Power light meter for iPhone

The iPhone democratized photography and disrupted the video and camera industry. Now a new product that plugs into the iPhone’s Lightning port aims to replace an important photographer’s tool — the handheld light meter.

The Lumu Power light meter is a small, plug-in photodiode that looks like a pingpong ball cut in half. The light meter, a product of Lumu Labs from Slovenia, rose out of a Kickstarter campaign in 2015. It’s won favorable reviews from photographers and photo websites as the company works to improve the companion app.

Feed Hawk hunts down YouTube channel RSS feeds for you

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feed hawk
Feed Hawk makes subscribing to your favorite sites super easy.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Are you still using RSS? If you are (and you should be, as we’ll see in a moment), then you should use the Feed Hawk app on your iPhone and iPad. Feed Hawk puts itself in your iOS Share Sheet and locates the RSS feed(s) from any website you visit. If you want, it can automatically subscribe you to the RSS feed in your RSS reader of choice.

The latest version of Feed Hawk can even find feeds for YouTube channels. That, in case you’re wondering, is huge.

Raindrop.io is a slick new bookmark-organizing app for iOS

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raindrop ipad app
Raindrop's web page looks way better than its iOS app.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Raindrop.io is a new bookmarking service for Mac and iOS, and the web, and Android. It lets you save your bookmarks into folders, known as Groups, and those bookmarks are then available from anywhere. The main selling point of Raindrop.io seems to be the slick interface, and the myriad beautiful ways you can arrange the bookmarks therein.

Best looper apps for iPad and iPhone

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looper apps iPad
You don't need a pedal, or even a guitar, to make amazing music with a looper app.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A looper is a great musician’s tool, for practice and for making songs. Looper apps are also fantastic fun for anyone who wants to take a crack at creating a tune. Just hit record on a looper app, and make some noise. Then hit the button again, and your recording is played over and over, in a loop.

Then you then build on this, adding more layers. A guitarist can chop out drum beats, then some chords, and play a melody over the loop. A beatboxer can boom, boom, chick and spit into a microphone to build up what the kids call “sick beatz.” And Jimmy Fallon can sing a duet with Billy Joel.

There are many looper apps for iOS. Here are a few of the best.