iOS apps

Apple still wants control of sideloaded iPhone apps in the EU

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Sideloading means no Apple App Store
Sideloading means no Apple App Store, but Apple isn't giving up all control.
Graphic: Apple/Cult of Mac

Although the European Union requires Apple to allow sideloading of iPhone applications, Cupertino reportedly hopes to review apps before they become available for installation from outside the App Store.

Apple also expects developers to voluntarily send a percentage of all revenue generated through sideloaded iOS applications.

Protect up to 6 devices for life with this $33 VPN deal

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Save $130 on this VPN service that can be applied to six devices.
Stay safe, and avoid regional streaming restrictions, with $130 savings on this versatile VPN.
Photo: StackCommerce

You can’t be too safe online, and a trustworthy VPN can help make sure your private information isn’t exploitable.

Rather than go through each day as a vulnerable internet user, lock down online protection with lifetime access to BulletVPN. Normally sold for $162, this plan (which works for up to six devices) is available for only $32.97 through January 28.

Capable, low-priced PDF editor is optimized for iOS 17

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PDF Editor free offer
If you want a high-quality, feature-rich PDF editor but don't want to pay top prices, PDF Editor PDF Book Reader could be for you. Claim your free one-year subscription now!
Image: PDF Editor PDF Book Reader

For anyone who only needs a PDF editor to occasionally sign or modify a document, paying Adobe Acrobat’s monthly price may be too much. So it’s a good thing you have less-expensive yet feature-rich apps like PDF Editor PDF Book Reader to try.

People have relied on the app for years, and now it’s optimized with new features to work brilliantly on iPhones with iOS 17 and on iPads with iPadOS 17. Plus, Cult of Mac readers can get a free one-year subscription to the app (details below).

How to take fabulous fireworks photos with your iPhone

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These tips will help you take better fireworks photos.
These tips will help you take better fireworks photos.
Photo: Richard Dongses/Flickr CC

Last year’s fireworks made you say ooh and ahh, but when you look at your iPhone photos from that night, the sound you make is more of an ugh. Want to shoot better fireworks photos this time around?

Don’t blame Siri or some engineer in Cupertino for previous photo fails. The iPhone camera, as mighty as it is, can’t do all the thinking for you — especially in challenging lighting conditions like a fireworks display. But with a little thought and preparation, you can make this holiday worth reliving on your iPhone camera roll.

Below are some simple tips to make your iPhone fireworks photos sizzle.

How to track Santa from your Mac, iPhone or iPad

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How to track Santa from your iPhone or iPad
Tracking Santa as he flies across the world delivering toys is easy.
Photo: Cult of Mac

It’s Christmas Eve, and Santa Claus is on his way. You can find out exactly where he is with the help of NORAD and your Mac or iPhone. You can even track Jolly Old Saint Nick’s progress in real time.

Here’s how to keep an eye on Santa’s progress.

Best free weather apps for iPhone and iPad in 2023

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The Best Weather Apps
There are SO MANY weather apps to choose from, but these are the best free ones.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

In a world with about 10,000 weather apps — that’s an actual estimate, not a huge exaggeration — how do you choose the best free weather app for iPhone or iPad that you can trust and that includes the features you want most? It’s not easy. But a mix of full-featured free weather apps (most with premium versions) and specialty apps can cover all the bases for you.

We’ll go over some of the best weather apps below, whether you just want to avoid getting wet or if you’re a total weather freak who can’t get enough data, visual or otherwise.

AnyTrans lets you migrate data between iOS and other devices with a tap

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Gift easy management of data and content between iOS devices, iTunes and iCloud with AnyTrans®, now only $20.
Make data management a breeze with AnyTrans.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

AnyTrans is a file-management app every Apple user should own. Users can effortlessly transfer and manage all their digital content between their Apple devices and accounts with this tool, whether they have every Apple device on the market or are simply trying to streamline their lives.

Through December 25, it’s on sale for only $19.97 (regularly $79).

Edit video on iPhone and external drives with powerful LumaFusion [Awesome Apps]

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Edit video on iPhone and external drives with powerful 'LumaFusion'
With LumaFusion, you don't need storage space on your iPhone to edit huge video files on an SSD.
Photo: LumaTouch

Awesome AppsWith an iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max, you can record high-resolution video directly to an external SSD. And the latest version of the iPhone app LumaFusion lets you edit with the video still on the external drive, too. Don’t try that with any other video editor for iOS.

That’s on top of the many other features of the iPhone and iPad application, which offers multitrack video editing with a focus on controlling everything with touch.

3 reasons you shouldn’t close your open iPhone apps

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Should You Quit Your Apps?
Betteridge's law of headlines says no.
Image: CollegeDegrees360/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

It’s good to know how to close apps on iPhone for those times when an app is acting buggy or becomes unresponsive. It’s really easy — just swipe up to see your running apps and swipe up again to close them.

Does this mean you should you quit open apps? No, not at all. Despite what you may have heard, quitting apps on iOS makes things worse, not better. It’s a myth that quitting apps will save battery life, make your iPhone run faster or free up memory. Overall, it makes things worse.

Here are three reasons why.

Podurama app uses AI to make podcasts better than ever

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It's hard to find great podcasts, but not if you use the Podurama app.
It's hard to find great podcasts, but not if you use the Podurama app.
Image: Podurama

The world of podcasts is wide and deep, so finding great ones in the wilds of the internet can be daunting. But with the AI-powered Podurama app, you can find and organize podcasts to your heart’s content — and sync them for listening on various devices.

SPONSORED
This post is brought to you by Podurama.
Better yet, you can use Podurama for free. And if you want all the features, you can buy the lifetime premium version for half off right now!

Use your iPhone to instantly identify plants with this AI-powered app

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Identify any plant in seconds with Plantum for iPhone, now $14.97.
For a limited time, this plant ID app for iPhone costs just $14.97 for life.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If you love gardening or you’re just curious about nature, Plantum is a must-have addition to your iPhone. It can instantly identify all kinds of plants just by taking a simple photo.

For a limited time, you can get lifetime access to this AI-powered plant ID app for only $14.97.

Get in the habit of reading, track flights, and use iPad as a monitor [Awesome Apps]

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iPad screen showing three apps: Flighty, Reading Time and Orion.
This week’s Awesome Apps: Reading Time, Orion and Flighty.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Awesome AppsIn this week’s Awesome Apps roundup, we have a book-reading app that will help you make reading a habit; a free app that turns an iPad into an external monitor for game consoles or cameras; and a great travel app that puts critical flight information on your Apple Watch.

Build a reading list and track your progress [Awesome Apps]

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Reading Time for iPhone
A smarter way to keep your reading list organized.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Awesome AppsReading Time for iPhone and iPad lets you build a library of books, then tracks your progress as you read. It encourages reading by making everything easier and more fun.

You can easily scan books by their barcodes to add them to your library. When you start a reading session, a Live Activity will show up on your Lock Screen, in the Dynamic Island or in StandBy.

The Reading Time app keeps track of your progress with detailed stats — like your reading speed, and estimated time until you’re finished — in an organized dashboard of books.

Hit the slopes, amuse your dog, and run a freelance biz [Awesome Apps]

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Jolly Pet dog game running on an iPad with dog looking on.
Jolly Pet is popular iPad game for canines -- and some humans too.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Awesome AppsThis week’s Awesome Apps include a comprehensive skiing and snowboarding app with a ton of features, an app for running every aspect of a freelance business, a social network for photographers that isn’t Instagram, and a simple iPad game for dogs that also helps some humans with their anxiety.

Scanning app lets you digitize any document with your iPhone or iPad

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Scan any doc from your iOS device with this $30 tool for a limited time.
Turn your iPhone into a document scanner for just $30 during this sales event.
Photo: cult of Mac Deals

If you don’t work in an office equipped with a physical scanner, it can be frustrating to digitize your documents. But if you’re like us, you like to use your iPhone for just about everything — and this iOS scanning app is right up your alley.

iScanner turns your iPhone or iPad into a professional-level scanner you can use whenever you wish. And a lifetime subscription is on sale for just $29.97 (regularly $59) through October 15.

Skiers and snowboarders, hit the updated Slopes app [Awesome Apps]

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The Slopes tracking app for skiers and snowboarders is now updated for iOS 17 and watchOS 10.
The Slopes tracking app for skiers and snowboarders is now updated for iOS 17 and watchOS 10.
Photo: Slopes

Awesome AppsAs fall rolls toward winter in much of the world, it’s time for skiers and snowboarders to get ready to hit the slopes. And major updates in the popular Slopes tracking app offer a lot of great new features for just that.

The app’s slogan is “Track your edge,” and the new version gives you plenty of ways to do it with iOS 17 and watchOS 10.

Great ways to find the movies, songs, eSIMS and beers you need [Awesome Apps]

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Awesome Apps for the Week: App icons for Untappd, Numero eSIM, Callsheet and BBC Sounds.
These apps will thrill movie buffs, music fans, frequent flyers and beer fanatics.
Image: Cult of Mac

Awesome AppsIf you love movies, TV, music, beer or international travel, the apps in this week’s Awesome Apps roundup will knock your socks off. If you happen to love all those things … well, first off, congratulations on being a person of many and varied interests.

Secondly, you’d better get downloading so you don’t spend another precious moment without these apps.

Make your video streams look stellar with FineCam Pro

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Take multi-cam footage from any device with FineCam Pro, now only $49.99.
Give your videos a professional gloss with this $49.99 software.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

When you’re video conferencing, well-shot presentations can be a powerful way to sway new clients and impress employers. And despite what you might think, you don’t need a studio full of expensive gear to knock people’s socks off. FineCam Pro is virtual camera software for recording video and video conferencing.

Cult of Mac readers can score lifetime access to FineCam Pro, which works on Mac, iOS, Windows and Android, for only $49.99 (regularly $84) for a limited time.

A lifetime subscription to this password manager costs just $19.97

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Ensure your online privacy with help from Sticky Password Premium for only $19.97.
Upgrade your password protection with Labor Day savings on this proven lifetime service.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

No normal human can keep track of the hundreds of complicated passwords required to avoid falling prey to hackers. To keep them all straight, you need a password manager cable of generating complex passwords and storing them securely on all your devices.

If you’re tired of playing Rain Man, this password manager deal is for you. Protect your identity and your bank account with a lifetime subscription to Sticky Password Premium at a surprisingly low price. During our Labor Day Sale, you can get complete coverage for only $19.97 (regularly $199) with no coupon.

Robokiller blocks annoying spam calls and texts, gives you sweet revenge on telemarketers

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Take $70 off this reactive call blocker and take the fight to spammers.
Infuriate telemarketers with this ingenious spam blocker.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If telemarketers and spam texts annoy the crap out of you, you’re not alone. Telemarketing is a global industry worth more than $30 billion. And that doesn’t even account for what scammers hope to trick you out of.

You can’t fight all those nasty spammers alone. But you can enlist a top-rated app that takes an active and satisfying approach: Robokiller. It doesn’t just block spam calls and texts. You’ll feel a wicked sense of satisfaction knowing that it gives spammers a taste of their own medicine.

Today in Apple history: Dev defends I Am Rich, his totally useless $1,000 app

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I Am Rich
The I Am Rich app could be yours for the bargain price of $999.99.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

August 10 Today in Apple history: Dev defends I Am Rich, his totally useless $1,000 app August 10, 2008: The developer of I Am Rich, a pointless iPhone app that sold for a whopping $999.99, defends his notorious creation as “art.”

After Apple removed I Am Rich from the App Store in the wake of controversy over the app’s outrageous price and total lack of usefulness, its creator, German developer Armin Heinrich, says he made it as a sort of joke.

Digitize your documents in a snap with iScanner

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Save $20 on lifetime access to iScanner and handle important documents while on the move.
This easy-to-use document scanner works as a phone app and comes at $20 off.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Even in the digital era, papers can pile up and become scattered or lost if you’re not careful. So we’re serving up a solution to keep all those important items accessible.

During our Back-to-School Sale, a lifetime subscription to the iScanner app is marked down to only $39.99 (regularly $59) with no coupon required through Aug. 13. That’s 33% savings on a service that will make digitizing and tracking documents much more manageable for years to come.