Cult of Mac Magazine: 50 Essential iOS apps and more

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Get our 50 Essential iOS Apps to boost your iPhone or iPad experience.
You need these apps now!
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

After wrapping our “50 Essential iOS Apps” series, we sorted the winners to make it easier for you to download the best of the best. (Plus, we added Cult of Mac readers’ picks for must-have alternatives.)

You’ll find that list and much more in this week’s issue of our magazine. It’s free and it looks great on an iPad or iPhone. Get your free subscription to Cult of Mac Magazine from iTunes now. Or read on for this week’s top stories.

Cult of Mac’s 50 Essential iOS Apps [The complete list, sorted!]

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50 Essential iOS Apps
The best and most useful apps for iPhone and iPad
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

With our 50 Essential iOS Apps series, the goal was to help you find some of the best apps for iPhone and iPad. Picking the finest offerings from the more than 2.2 million iOS apps in Apple’s App Store proved challenging. But we highlighted apps that offer excellent features or make life easier in various ways.

To wrap up the series, we’ve sorted the apps by category to make the list easier to browse. We’re also showcasing Cult of Mac readers’ alternatives to our picks.

(You’ll find reader faves linked at the end of this post. That’s especially helpful since one of our must-have apps is about to die an unceremonious death.)

Scriptable controls your iPhone with JavaScript

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Scriptable works a lot like Siri Shortcuts, only more difficult.
Scriptable works a lot like Siri Shortcuts, only more difficult.
Photo: Scriptable

Now that you’re finally getting used to iOS 12’s new Shortcuts app, here comes Scriptable, a new automation app that runs JavaScript. It can make powerful and deep connections with your iPhone or iPad — working with the Files app, for example, or Reminders.

Why would you want such a thing? Well, maybe you know how to program JavaScript. Scriptable lets you take your code, and integrate it with iOS. You can make your own scripts and use them to automate iOS. For instance, how about creating something as simple as a custom save menu that lets you rename files as you save them?

Set up your new iPhone XS the right way

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iPhone Xs
Get your new iPhone set up the right way.
Photo: Apple

For many people, the iPhone XS will be radically different from previous iPhones. Despite this, the iPhone setup process hasn’t changed much. However, while you might find yourself on familiar ground, there are still plenty of little things you really ought to do before you fire up your new phone for the first time (or pretty soon thereafter). Let’s take a look at how to set up your new iPhone XS the right way.

How to stream NFL games on Apple devices in 2018

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How to watch NFL draft 2017
It's never been easier to stream NFL games.
Photo: Skitterphoto/Pexels CC

By Chris Brantner

With the football season heating up, it’s time to make sure you have a way to catch all the biggest matchups. Luckily, watching NFL games no longer requires you to pay for an overpriced cable subscription. And Apple users have a plethora of options to stream pro football without cable this season.

No matter which Apple device you use, you’ll find a wide range of apps to let you watch NFL football. Here’s a rundown of some of the best options for streaming NFL games this season.

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.

Drafts is finally coming to the Mac

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Drafts for Mac
Drafts is on its way to the Mac.
Photo: Agile Tortoise

Drafts, the best text notes/writing/wrangling app on iOS, is coming soon to the Mac. Drafts, for those who haven’t tried it, is a kind of universal inbox for text. Whenever you want to write something — a note, an email, a blog post or an essay — you launch Drafts and start typing.

It’s always ready with a blank page. Then, when you’re done, you can use Drafts’ many, many actions to send that text elsewhere — beautifully formatted for the Notes app, as a list to the Reminders app, as a post to Twitter, a task in Things, etc. The list is almost endless thanks to a shared directory of new actions that can be installed with one click.

Until now, Drafts has been iOS-only. But soon, probably later this year, it’s coming to the Mac.