The greatest apps you might have missed this week

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If you're appy and you know it, check our list!
Looking for recommendations for the weekend?
Photo: Cult of Mac

Looking for an app or two to while away the weekend? Then you’ve come to the right place, my friend!

From reading apps to Terminator navigation tools to gorgeous RPGs, we’ve got everything you need to know about the latest must-have apps.

Check out our top picks below:

A beautiful, elegant app to check your iPhone’s battery on your Apple Watch

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Save yourself energy while checking your iPhone's power.
This is the simplest, most elegant app for checking your iPhone's battery on your Apple Watch.
Photo: Thientam Beck

We all know that the Apple Watch doesn’t exactly have great battery life. At best, it’ll get you through the day. But, of course, one of the big sells of the Apple Watch is that it’ll save your iPhone battery life, because you don’t have to pull it out as much.

Of course, then you end up in a Catch-22. Your Apple Watch depends on your iPhone to work properly, but without pulling out your iPhone, you can’t tell how much battery you have left, therefore risking both your Apple Watch and your iPhone crapping out on you in the middle of the day. If only the Apple Watch could tell you your iPhone’s battery level.

It can’t, but luckily, there’s an app for that. And it might be the loveliest one yet.

Gadget roundup: The week’s best gear for travelers, campers and chefs

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The week's best gadget announcements, rolled up into a nougaty gallery.
The week's best gadget announcements, rolled up into a nougaty gallery.

[avocado-gallery ids=”280613,280606,280604,280605,280607,280608,280610,280609,280611,280612″]

Cooking, charging, camera-ing and generally staying out-of-doors are the themes this week. But if you are stuck inside out of the sun, don’t worry – we have you covered too.

This week we get cooking with a gadget-charging camping stove and a slick, iPhone-friendly food thermometer. We also do DIY projects (without tenderizing our thumbs) with the German Latthammer, charge our flagging phones with a purse that packs a built-in battery, and record everything using the super-dorky Lifelogger camera. Is the sun shining? Yes it is!

This Halo portable charger looks good, works even better

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Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

The portable battery from Halo is perfect for those times when I want to go stealth, keeping my iPhone 5 as free of those bulky, heavy battery cases as possible.

Between running levels of Hodappy Bird and checking Twitter for any vanity retweets, slapping photos of my meals up on Instagram and surreptitiously reading Facebook posts from ex-girlfriends, I am a battery killer.

With the Halo charger available, I found myself grabbing it and a lightning cable on my way out the door all the time, whether heading to the coffee shop or just for a quick bike ride along the Coastal Trail in Anchorage. It’s a perfect way to ensure I have the power I need on demand without strapping my iPhone into some fat case like the Mophie.

Handy Keyboard Shortcuts To Shut Down Mac Or Make Mac Sleep [OS X Tips]

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Mac OS X Keyboard

Back in the day, I used to care for a couple of labs full of Macs. Invariably, I’d find myself in the lab at the end of the day, shutting them all down for the night. I’d run up and down the rows of eMacs or whatever they were at the time, and hit the power button, then click on the Shut Down button. Or, if I was feeling frisky, I’d just hold down the power button until they shut off.

This took some time, needless to say. I wish I’d known of these useful keyboard commands to shut down or sleep the Macs, saving myself several minutes each day.

Solarpad. Finally, A Proper Solar Charger For Hikers And Bikers

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At an RRP of $200, the Solarpad isn’t the cheapest solar charger for your iPhone, but it does aim to be the best. Every detail has been tweaked to squeeze the last drop of juice from the Sun’s photons, from the battery itself (the same kind as Tesla uses in its cars apparently), through the efficient charge controller (form Maxim) to the cables themselves (fatter, to let the current flow more easily, says the blurb).

What’s more, you can pitch in early on Kickstarter and get a full setup for just $158 (right now anyway – the campaign only just launched).

Prehensile Power Cable Lets You Charge Your iPhone Anywhere

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As ever with many of Quirky’s excellent crowd-sourced designs, the Prop Power Pro inspires me to make my own. I’m pretty sure a regular extension cable plus a bendy wire coat-hanger plus a length of flexible tubing would do the trick. The thing is, by the time I’d bought all the parts (plus a roll of gaffer tape), I’d be in the hole for way more than the $25 Quirky want for its version.

FlameStower: Charge Your iPhone Using a Campfire

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overFireStower.jpg

The FlameStower looks like a clever way to keep your iPhone charged while you’re camping in the wilderness. Just fill its reservoir with water, stick the other end into the flames of your campfire and plug your chosen gadget into the USB port. Relax with the charred meat and beverage of your choice, and—just three hours later—your iPhone will be fully charged.