Introducing “50 Essential iOS Apps”, a series on the best iOS apps around

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

Twitter won’t break third-party apps (at least not yet)

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Twitter
Twitter delayed a controversial change that may squeeze out third-party apps.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Twitter today pushed back a change to its service that will prevent third-party applications from offering notifications to their users. The services that Talon, Tweetbot, Tweetings, and Twitterrific depend on will still be shut down. It just won’t happen when originally planned.

The replacement Twitter is working on might be completely unsuited for the needs of these third-party developers. And deliberately so. They’re trying to get the company to change course.

Today in Apple history: World’s first third-party iPhone app arrives

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Hello World
An intrepid hacker gets the iPhone to say "hello." While the message is simple, the meaning is profound.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

July 20 Today in Apple history July 20, 2007: Just a month after the original iPhone goes on sale, the first app gets compiled and launched for the new platform.

Called “Hello World,” the software serves more as a proof of concept than a serious tool. But it demonstrates that third-party apps will become a cornerstone of the new iPhone economy. It’s a shame Apple doesn’t get the memo.

iPhone app gives treasured photos new life [Review]

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PicScanner
Pic Scanner Gold and an iPhone will preserve treasured family photos.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

For longer than I have allowed myself to believe, the iPhone has been called a scanner that fits in your pocket. But if I wanted a high-quality copy of an old photograph, I still sought out a flatbed scanner, presuming the results would be superior to taking a picture of a picture with a phone.

But the iPhone camera, as maybe you are tired of hearing, improves with each generation and the so-called scanner apps prove more valuable as a way to copy a photograph for sharing and even printing. One such app is the new Pic Scanner Gold.

How to get fit with Pokémon Go

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Catching them call could help get you in shape
Catching them all can help get you in shape
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

Unless you’ve been snoozing like a Snorlax, you can’t have escaped the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go. The smash hit instantly revolutionized mobile gaming (and rejuvenated Nintendo’s fortunes), and it’s also helping Pokéfans around the world get in shape.

You see, Pokémon Go is more than just a game: It is actually a fitness app in disguise. And with the help of these top tips from a Pokémon Master, you can ensure you are maximizing your fitness gains while you pocket the best Pokémon at the same time.

App world goes bananas for art app that turns photos into Van Goghs

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Prisma
The Prisma app for iPhone lets you apply the painting style of a famous artist.
Photo: Prisma

Put your fitness to the ultimate test with Apple Watch

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Get set to test yourself to the limit with your Apple Watch.
Get set to test yourself to the limit with your Apple Watch.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If you want to get in shape, the best way to get started is with some fitness testing. That might sound challenging, but luckily your Apple Watch is all you need to test yourself to the limit.

Fitness tests enable you to establish a baseline so you can see how your physical condition improves over time. And if you are already a fitness fanatic, regular testing enables you to identify areas of weakness and optimize your training program. Here’s how to make the Apple Watch a part of your essential fitness testing.

Made in China: These apps are killing it on iPhone

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Everywhere you look in China, young people are tapping away at apps.
Everywhere you look in China, young people are tapping away at apps.
Photo: Virginia Werner/Cult of Mac

Made_in_china_bugMainland China is Apple’s second biggest market, and will one day be its first. The company is making a big push on the mainland, opening new stores and investing in home-grown companies. Why the interest? Because China is the new Japan — it’s where the future is happening. All this week we take a look at the cutting-edge apps that define mobile life on the mainland.

SHANGHAI CITY, China — Just like their U.S. counterparts, Chinese youth obsess over their smartphones. But while the phones they use look the same, the apps are quite different: China has its own must-have apps that keep users’ eyes glued to screens at all hours of the day.

Some Chinese apps seem quite similar to their Western counterparts, but others boast innovative and intriguing features. Apple’s clearly interested: While slowing growth in China put a dent in APPL stock, Cupertino recently made a strategic $1 billion investment in Chinese Uber rival Didi Chuxing.

What other apps in China might grab Apple’s attention? Tim Cook could start his due diligence with this list of powerhouse Chinese iPhone apps. The country’s young people use these apps to listen to music, make purchases, get around town, interact with others and maintain their online identities.

These Chinese apps are impressive and convenient, and they are showing us the future of mobile: a world where everything is at our fingertips.

How to unlock your Mac with an iPhone or Apple Watch

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Tired of dealing with login passwords on your Mac? Skip them altogether with MacID!
Tired of dealing with login passwords on your Mac? Skip them altogether with MacID!
Photo: Ally Kazmucha/The App Factor