Inside Oddmar, the Viking follow-up to the lovable Leo’s Fortune

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Oddmar
The game's gorgeous visuals started out on paper.
Photo: Senri & Mobge

Creating a spiritual successor to 2014’s lovable platformer Leo’s Fortune was a labor of love for its developers. Now, four years later the Norse-themed platformer Oddmar finally debuts on iOS. (Check out our review here.)

“The story is set in a Viking universe and is our take on Norse mythology,” designer and director Ozgur Taskin told Cult of Mac. “Developing this game gave us a great opportunity to imagine the environments of the North through art and animation.”

Cult of Mac got a look behind the scenes of a future gaming classic.

HomePod inventories pile up after early demand dies quickly

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Apple HomePod volume controls
HomePod sales are already suffering.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has been forced to cut HomePod orders as inventories continue to build up in its retail stores, according to a new report.

The $349 speaker enjoyed a promising start when it made its debut in February, but demand has fallen quickly as smart speaker shoppers turn to more affordable options from the likes of Amazon.

How to collect vintage Macs and other computers for fun (and maybe profit)

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Once you start collecting computers, it's hard to stop!
Once you start collecting computers, it's hard to stop!
Photo: David Greelish

Some people only care about the latest technology. For others, collecting the significant computers of the past — whether it’s an iconic first-gen Macintosh or iPhone, or failures like Apple’s short-lived Pippin games console — is fun in its own right.

If you fall in to this second group, you’ll love these five computer collecting tips to get the most out of your hobby. They will help you turn your passion for vintage Macs into an eye-catching computer collection.

Apple beefs up Safari security with iOS 11.3

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IOS 11.3 Safari
iOS 11.3 Safari doesn't automatically fill in user names and passwords.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The just-released iOS 11.3 requires Safari users to tap in web pages to AutoFill their user names and passwords. This means extra work for you, but it’s also more secure.

Another change in the latest version of iOS adds warnings when entering private information onto non-encrypted web pages.

How to stop Facebook eavesdropping on your conversations

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facebook eavesdropping microphone
Learn how to stop apps from accessing your iPhone's microphone.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A few months back, we started hearing a lot of creepy stories about folks having real-life, in-person conversations with friends, and then getting Facebook ads on the same subject soon after. Was Facebook using their iPhone/iPad’s microphone to eavesdrop on them, then serving ads based on what it heard? Technically, it’s not much different to Google scanning your email and serving ads based on their content. In reality, it’s a whole ‘nother level of creepy.

Take your running to new heights with the altimeter in Apple Watch Series 3

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Workout segments in watchOS 4, combined with the altimeter in Series 3 males your Apple Watch the perfect companion for hill training.
Workout segments in watchOS 4, combined with the altimeter in Series 3 males your Apple Watch the perfect companion for hill training.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Are you taking full advantage of all the neat new features in your shiny Series 3 Apple Watch? Cellular connectivity grabbed the headlines, but that isn’t the only hardware addition Cupertino managed to cram into a wearable that was already bristling with sensors.

Apple Watch Series 3 models also boast a barometric altimeter. If you think you don’t need one of those, think again. The altimeter makes Series 3 watches the ideal companion for hill workouts. That’s a type of training you really should be doing but probably aren’t.

For augmented reality maps to succeed, just add accuracy

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ARkit
New AR framework makes it easier to build mapping apps.
Photo: Dent Reality

The augmented reality revolution sparked by Apple’s ARKit needs a dash of accuracy if it’s really going to catch fire — especially when it comes to mapping.

That’s why London developer Andrew Hart created a location-aware toolkit that uses artificial intelligence to punch up the precision in apps built with ARKit.

“One problem with AR location experiences is the low accuracy of phone GPS and compasses, which makes it difficult to ensure that things line up,” Hart told Cult of Mac. “The toolkit uses computer vision techniques to recognize landscapes from tagged imagery, and then aligns the AR environment upon recognition. It works in different weather conditions, and means you can have really precise experiences.”

These smart glasses get me excited about how cool Apple Glasses could be

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Trying out the Vuzix Blade augmented reality smart glasses at Mobile World Congress 2018.
The Vuzix Blade AR smart glasses offer a glimpse of the future.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Mobile World Congress 2018 BARCELONA, Spain — The best product I’ve tried out at this year’s Mobile World Congress is the Vuzix Blade AR glasses. These smart specs superimpose a sharp, high-definition display over your regular vision, making real life resemble an awesome Xbox game.

The Blade basically delivers on everything that Google Glass tried to do, but without sucking. I was skeptical about the rumors that Apple is developing its own augmented reality glasses. But what I saw through the lens of a Vuzix Blade showed me how far this technology has come — and just how cool Apple AR glasses could be.

Pro Tip: Drag and drop text between apps on iPad

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drag and drop text ipad
Dragging text works just like dragging anything else on iOS 11.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug Do you want to grab a chunk of text from Safari and put it into your Notes app? Do you want to clip sections from a long Word document and comment on them in email? Or maybe you just want to collect snippets of text for research. If so, you should try drag-and-drop text on iPad.

It’s so easy and useful to put two apps side-by-side on one screen, and drag text between them, that you’ll wonder how you got by without it.

How to get VIP email pushed to your iPhone instantly

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vip email
There's more than one way to "push" mail.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

We’d all rather that folks sent short messages via iMessage, or WhatsApp, or another civilized format that encourages brevity, but they insist on email. But what if your emails could pop up on your iPhone’s lock screen and be as easy to reply to as an iMessage. If you set it up right, your regular iPhone Mail app can do exactly that, using Push and VIP email. Let’s take a look.