Last chance: Turn long books into quick shots of information [Deals]

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CoM - Instaread
With Instaread, you can cut down on needlessly lengthy reads and get straight to the heart of bestselling books.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

It’s a lot easier to create a reading list than it is to make progress on one. For many people, the time and energy to get through a book is harder and harder to find. Luckily, you don’t always need to read every word of a book to catch its meaning.

Instaread has rolled this principle into a popular app. It provides summaries of more than 500 New York Times Bestseller books, condensing them into digestible overviews with key takeaways that can be consumed in just minutes, by reading or listening. And for the last time, you can get a lifetime subscription to Instaread for $49.99 at Cult of Mac Deals.

iPhone app gives digital shooters a taste of film

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FB
This app may inspire you to grab an old camera and shoot a roll of film.
Photo: Filmborn screenshot/Mastin Labs

What is the best way to convince a global community of mostly digital photographers that they should pick up an old camera and shoot film? Put film on the iPhone.

That is exactly what Seattle-based Mastin Labs has done with its new film emulation app for iOS, Filmborn.

Wikipedia app update will keep you pleasantly occupied for hours

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The latest Wikipedia mobile update brings exploration to the fore.
The latest Wikipedia mobile update brings exploration to the fore.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Whether you’re into a quick search for needed information or a deep dive down the rabbit hole of a massive topic of your own choosing, chances are you’ll spend a bit of time on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia’s new iOS app update today will help you with both use cases, letting you drill down to a single bit of knowledge as well as leaning back and enjoying your exploration of the online portal’s over 36 million articles.

New iPhone app Yallo lets you record your conversations

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Get Yallo in on your phone conversations.
Get Yallo in on your phone conversations.
Photo: Yallo

When I first became a reporter, I bought one of those little mics you could suction-cup to a telephone to record interviews. That was some gadget, except for having to tape it to the handset because the suction cup sometimes popped off.

You can still buy this kind of microphone or use your smartphone with an app called Yallo. A simple interface lets you record incoming calls, share the recorded conversation with an associate or have recordings transcribed and automatically sent to email.

New iPhone app helps you form your dream band

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The app made by a musician for musicians may just help get you discovered.
The app made by a musician for musicians may just help get you discovered.
Photo: Encore Music/iTunes

Alex Gorokhovskiy is like a lot of musicians – broke and in search of compatible bandmates. But instead of investing in recording demos or outfitting his own group, he’s spending on everyone else who has ever wanted to play music and be in a band.

Gorokhovskiy created the social media app Encore Music, which is a kind of place for musicians to gather. But to call it a social media platform, understates the potential business value of the app.

App lets you keep shooting photos when your iPhone is full

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Avoid this message with the IceCream app, which quickly helps free your storage to continue shooting photos.
Avoid this message with the IceCream app, which quickly helps free your storage to continue shooting photos.
Photo: IceCream

You’ve got the perfect photo lined in your sites and so you push the button on your iPhone camera. Instead of a memory etched in pixels, you get a message saying “Cannot take photo. There’s not enough storage.”

An iOS app called IceCream lets you quickly free up space without deleting photos, instead saving them to a secure cloud server with the tap of a button.

Clever sensor tells your iPhone whether your favorite restaurant is full

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The Density sensor can be mounted to a door frame to track people moving in and out of  a businesses, like a restaurant or your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Density sensor can be mounted to a door frame to track people moving in and out of a businesses, like a restaurant or your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
Photo: Density

Your iPhone can help you find a good brunch place, with reviews on Yelp that indicate a restaurant’s best dishes. But there really isn’t any real-time help, except maybe calling or taking your chances and just showing up, to find out if you and your friends can get a table at a local hot spot.

A company called Density has developed a door-frame sensor that monitors the coming and going of people and then reports to an iPhone app whether your favorite place is full. It collects data on people’s movement at various hours of the day and recommends windows of time when you can get right in.

Uber’s new video game puts you behind the virtual wheel

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Is it really this glamorous and fun?
Is it really this glamorous and fun?
Photo: Uber

Uber, the disruptive (and controversial) ride-sharing service, has a real problem. If you want to corner the market on the backs of a global workforce of what are essentially freelancers, how do you ensure that they all know how to use your system? And, more importantly, how do you replenish your supply of willing Uber drivers.

The San Fransisco company thinks that a video game may be the answer. Called UberDrive, it will be available on the App Store for anyone who wants to take a virtual trip as an Uber driver.

“UberDRIVE is a compelling representation of what it’s like to be an Uber driver-partner on the platform,” said Mike Truong, a senior product manager at Uber, in a statement. “Through the course of playing the game you can get a sense of how much money you can make using your own car and driving on your own time. With the sign-up flow embedded directly into the game it makes it really easy to start the sign-up and screening process right then and there.”

Cruiseable cuts through the hassle of high-seas vacations

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Find a cruise that matches your style and budget without a lot of travel industry tricks.
Find a cruise that matches your style and budget without a lot of travel industry tricks.
Photo: MSC Cruises

If you’ve ever tried to book a cruise through a portal like Cruise.com or — heaven forbid — via a cruise line’s website, you know that it can be an incredibly confusing and costly experience.

The thing is, though, that it doesn’t have to be. Cruisable is a startup that hopes to take the obfuscation away and let you find affordable and/or incredibly fantastic cruise vacations with a website and app that won’t try to trick you.

“Cruises can be cheaper than other getaways,” said CTO and co-founder Giacomo Balli, “as low as a couple hundred dollars.”