| Cult of Mac

Make your selfies pop using this TikTok-proven formula


Editing a selfie using TikTok’s recommended filters
There’s a lot of filters to brighten your pictures, but sorry, there’s not a filter that makes you look like you’re in your 20s.
Image: Levi Clancy/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Viral clips on TikTok show you how to edit your selfies for a more stunning, popping image on your iPhone. I live in a part of Ohio that’s perpetually overcast, but you would think I’m on my way to the beach with the warm hues this method gives your pictures.

Read on for detailed instructions on how to use TikTok’s winning selfie formula, apply the same filters in bulk on all the pictures from a photo shoot, and my recommended selfie stick for taking great group shots and landscapes.

Edit videos quickly and creatively with Wondershare Filmora 12


Wondershare Filmora 12 is fun and easy to use for video editing.
Wondershare Filmora 12 is fun and easy to use for video editing.
Image: Wondershare

If you create content for YouTube and TikTok, you know the quality of your video is key to getting your work noticed. But not just anyone can make great videos — unless they have the right tools. One of the best tools you can use to easily put your creativity to work making videos quickly is Wondershare Filmora.

What makes it great? Anyone at any skill level can use Filmora to import and edit video, add special effects and transitions, and share the finished product. And the new version of the software, Filmora 12, adds more than a dozen great new features.

Be careful using browser built into TikTok


Be careful using browser built onto TikTok
Be careful you're not revealing more to TikTok than you mean to.
Photo: TikTok

The web browser built into the TikTok iPhone app can monitor your keystrokes. A developer who researched the software called it “the equivalent of installing a keylogger,” and warns that it can potentially grab passwords and credit card info.

A similar warning went out recently about the browsers built into Facebook and Instagram.

iMovie 3.0’s new features make short work of social videos


iMovie 3 Storyboard feature
Storyboards provide a shot-by-shot guide to the most common social videos.
Photo: Apple

iMovie has long been Apple’s default tool for creating quick, gorgeous videos on your iPhone or iPad. With Tuesday’s update to iMovie 3.0, Apple added a pair of new creative tools designed to help “aspiring content creators and moviemakers learn to edit and improve their video storytelling skills.”

The ultimate goal? To make creating compelling videos easier than ever.

TikTok tests new feature that will finally make it easier to find lost videos


TikTok on iPhone
A new 'watch history' feature is in testing.
Photo: Solen Feyissa/Unsplash

Don’t you just hate it when you accidentally refresh TikTok and lose the video you were watching? It can be incredibly difficult to track down the video again if you don’t know which account posted it. But a solution could be on the way.

TikTok is finally testing a new “watch history” feature where you’ll find all the clips you’ve recently consumed. It’s only available in the beta version of the TikTok app for now — but it could soon roll out to everyone.

iBook G3 mod makes the coolest iPad case you’ll ever see


It's a little big, but that's the price you pay for retro-cool.
It's a little big, but that's the price you pay for retro-cool.
Photo: skipperfilms@tiktok

Apple users do the darnedest things with old gear. Recently a guy stuck a USB-C port in an iPhone X and got $86,000 for it on eBay. We profiled a Romanian developer who designs games for souped-up vintage Macs. Then there was the guy who merged an M1 Mac mini with an iMac G4.

And now we find a clever TikTok user crafting a retro-cool iPad case with an Apple Watch charger out of a classic iBook G3 laptop.

TikTok Boom tells how video-sharing app blew up the App Store [Q&A]


TikTok continues to dominate the App Store in 2020.
TikTok has dominated the App Store for over a year.
Photo: Kon Karampelas/Unsplash CC

TikTok is big. Almost unfathomably enormous, actually. The product of Chinese parent company ByteDance, the social media video-sharing app has remained a fixture at the top of the App Store charts for more than a year now — with no sign of it losing that position any time soon.

Journalist Chris Stokel-Walker is the author of a new book, titled TikTok Boom: China’s Dynamite App and the Superpower Race for Social Media. It launches today in Europe and worldwide, with a US launch coming September 30.

Stokel-Walker spoke with Cult of Mac about what makes TikTok, well, tick, the app’s face-off with Donald Trump, and why it’s no longer exclusively an app for teens to show off their dance moves.

TikTok comes out on top for yet another month in the App Store


U.S. investigations of TikTok gather steam.
TikTok was the top, most downloaded, non-gaming app in the App Store last month.
Photo: Kon Karampelas/Unsplash CC

TikTok has completed yet another victory lap as the most downloaded, non-gaming title in the App Store, this time for the month of May. According to app analytics platform Sensor Tower, TikTok enjoyed more than 80 million monthly installs across both iOS and Android that month. This time, Brazil was the no. 1 market for TikTok, followed by China, where the app is called Douyin.

On iOS, TikTok was followed by YouTube in second place, then Instagram, then video editing app CapCut, then WhatsApp, Facebook, Zoom, Messenger, Google Maps, and Gmail rounding out the rest of the top 10.

Keyboard app’s meteoric rise shows the power of TikTok


All hail Techin Park, developer of Paste Keyboard and new king of the App Store.
All hail Techin Park, developer of Paste Keyboard and new king of the App Store.
Photo: Techin Park

A simple copy-and-paste app called Paste Keyboard shot to the top of the App Store charts this week after languishing in obscurity for years.

Made by 28-year-old South Korean developer Techin Park, the keyboard app hitched a ride on TikTok’s massive success — and then dethroned it as the most popular app in the United States.

“Everyone is curious how such [a] simple idea, copy and paste, has trumped the almighty TikTok in app rank,” Park told Cult of Mac. “Copy and paste is a feature we all use at least once daily. Not many think it’s special. But in reality, increasing efficiency [when it comes to] how we copy and paste can save a lot more of our time than we possibly think.”

And, apparently, score you crazy numbers of downloads, too.