New use of 3D Touch lets you zoom through online maps

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Poison Maps exposes more potential in 3D Touch.
Photo: Poison Maps

The developers of the Poison Maps app figured out a new way to implement 3D Touch that goes above and beyond what we’re used to seeing. They use two patent-pending gestures called “context zooming” and “context panning.” The first lets you quickly see the surrounding area of a particular location you’re zoomed in on without leaving that location, while the latter lets you move around in the surroundings and effortlessly focus in on somewhere new.

These gestures work using long presses. Since 3D Touch can sense varying amounts of force, Poison Apps cleverly uses the technology to adjust the zoom based on how hard you press.

Pro Tip: Quick way to find stores that take Apple Pay

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Apple Pay
Apple Pay could take on PayPal next.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugApple Pay is showing up in more places these days, but if you live in a town like mine, it can be hard to know exactly where those places are.

Want to know whether that hip restaurant down the street or your local pharmacy supports Apple Pay before you get there? Here’s a super easy trick using either your iPhone or your Mac.

Apple’s semi-creepy patent lets you keep a closer eye on your friends

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"Mr. Bond, I've been expecting you."
Photo: USPTO/Apple

With its pro-privacy stance, Apple’s pretty good at treading the line between usefulness and creepiness, which other tech companies can struggle with.

A newly-published patent, however, may challenge that assertion — describing a method for monitoring another person’s location, via their iPhone, with constant user notifications sent to alert you of any changes in their progress along a route.

Presumably so you can hop in a chair, grab a white cat for your lap, and sit facing the door to greet their arrival with the line, “Mr. Bond, I’ve been expecting you.”

Apple Watch features showcased in 6 cool new ads

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Are Apple Watch expectations just too high?
This is why now is the perfect time to get an Apple Watch.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Thanks to its arrival at major retailers like Target and Best Buy, the Apple Watch is going (more) mainstream — and Apple wants potential customers to know exactly what they’ll be able to do with their new wearable devices.

In six cool new ads, Apple shows off nifty Watch features like Apple Pay, Siri, Maps, voice messaging, fitness tracking, and more.

Check them out below.

How Apple could use 3D Touch to bring Maps to life

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3D Touch might be just what Apple Maps needs.
Photo: Apple

3D Touch was the most widely-praised feature of the new iPhone 6s, and something that has the potential to be a real game-changer going forward.

In a newly-published patent, Apple explains how 3D Touch-style technology could revolutionize maps, by letting users animate the screen with different levels of touch.

Apple snaps up company to improve its Maps

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iOS 9 transit maps
iOS 9's Transit functionality in Maps could just be the beginning.
Photo: Apple

A new acquisition from Apple suggests that the iPhone maker might be getting into the map-making business.

The company paid as much as $30 million for a 12-person San Francisco startup that specializes in parsing location data into visualizations, according to reports.

HopStop shuts down after Apple sucks the life out of it

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With Transit coming in iOS 9, HopStop doesn't need to exist anymore.
Photo: Apple

It looks like HopStop is doing the walk of shame back from Apple’s apartment. The city transit mapping service is shutting down as of this October. Apple acquired HopStop in 2013 and seems to have used up just about all of the data it wants for its own Maps app, so the folks in Cupertino have apparently moved on.

Radar Cast lets you Watch for bad weather

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Radar Cast can make you feel like a meteorologist on the five o'clock news.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

If you’re like me, you spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to pick out the perfect weather app for your iPhone. Apple’s Weather app just doesn’t cut it and it’s very hard to find something that has a little bit of every detail without being cluttered or downright ugly. That happy medium for me is Carrot Weather but unfortunately it’s been crashing on the iOS 9 developer beta. In its place I’ve been testing Radar Cast, a slightly unusual weather app that attempts to deliver all the most crucial information to your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.