The iOS 12 Shortcuts App Part 1: An Introduction …

Recently we showed you how the new Siri Shortcuts can add Siri voice commands to a variety of apps that were previously “left out” of Apple’s intelligent assistant. Today we’re taking iOS automation a step further with an introductory look at the new Shortcuts app. Be sure to keep your browser pointed to the Rocket Yard for additional installments in this series that will dive deeper into the workings of this surprisingly powerful automation tool.

A few years ago, a third-party developer made an app called Workflow that allowed iOS users to create their own automated mashups of various apps. For example, you could tap a Workflow app and have the iPhone grab text from a web page and then paste it into a Notes document. Workflow brought a number of programming tools into the mix as well, allowing for entry of data by the user, analyzing conditionals, and so

(The Shortcuts Library, showing individual shortcuts that have been created)
(The individual actions that make up a shortcut)
(The Settings page for a shortcut)

Continue reading “The iOS 12 Shortcuts App Part 1: An Introduction …”

How to monitor and cancel Apple app subscriptions

A handshake

Apple opens new Michigan Store earlier this year

Apple is pushing developers to offer their apps on a subscription basis. All those subscriptions quickly add up, so I thought it might be useful to quickly share how you can keep an eye on the subscriptions you take and also how to cancel them once you’ve stopped needing them.

How to monitor and cancel Apple app subscriptions

If you’ve ever subscribed to MUBI on your Apple TV, taken out an Apple Music membership, or signed-up for subs-based games then you’ll already have a subscription or two listed in your iTunes account. The only challenge is finding where they are kept. Here is everything you need to know:

The easiest way to check your App Subscriptions

Tap this link to open your iTunes page relating to your subscription accounts (you may need to log-in with your Apple ID.

Top-grossing Mac App Store app steals users’ browser histories

Adware Doctor is a top app in Apple’s Mac App Store, sitting at number five in the list of top paid apps and leading the list of top utilities apps, as of writing. It says it’s meant to prevent “malware and malicious files from infecting your Mac” and claims to be one of the best apps to do so, but unbeknownst to its users, it’s also stealing their browser history and downloading it to servers in China.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Objective-See

App of the day: HazeOver, Mojave edition

Making Mojave Great Again

This app fixes a Dark Mode problem

Apple’s soon-to-ship macOS 10.14 ‘Mojave’ OS has a new Dark Mode feature everyone seems to love and can’t stop talking about – but there’s a small snag that’s easy to fix, thanks to Maxim Ananov’s HazeOversolution.

What is HazeOver?

Dark Mode is a really nice space to work in, but it has one slight problem. You see, most of us like to use the mode at night, or when trying to prevent ourselves being distracted by background apps. The thing is, when working in the mode the white areas in those background apps themselves become visual distractions.

HazeOver fixes this by applying a dark film across all the background elements on-screen, effectively putting a mute button on background mode distraction.

What does any of that mean?

The easiest way to describe what that means is to share this video:

It shows Continue reading “App of the day: HazeOver, Mojave edition”

Facebook pulls iOS VPN app following Apple’s privacy objections

Apple’s increasingly tougher stance on app privacy has led Facebook to pull one of its iOS apps. The Wall Street Journal has learned that Facebook is removing its VPN-based Onavo Protect program from the App Store after Apple warned the social network that it violated stricter policies (enacted in June) that limit how and why software collects data. Onavo Protect’s collection and analysis of user activity beyond the app reportedly violated the new data collection limits, a source said. It also broke a clause in the developer agreement forbidding apps from using that data for either unrelated purposes or advertising.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Matthew Panzarino (Twitter)

macOS Mojave Kills Back to My Mac Network Feature

Back to My Mac is an iCloud feature that allows users to network remotely with other Macs. We’ve written at length about the benefits of the Back to My Mac feature such as remotely controlling a Mac or retrieving files.

However, Apple has announced in a support document that Back to My Mac will no longer be available beginning with macOS Mojave, which will arrive sometime in September.

Apple’s support document makes the following recommendations for alternatives to Back to My Mac:

  • Access files across your devices with iCloud Drive
  • Access your other Mac with screen sharing
  • Manage your Mac remotely with Apple Remote Desktop

We outline more about Apple Remote Desktop in this article, but it’s worth noting that the app costs $79.99 in the App Store and hasn’t been updated since 2017.

Do you have alternative solutions for networking remotely with a Mac? Let us know

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“Natural” birth-control app dogged by unwanted pregnancies gets FDA approval

Enlarge (credit: Natural Cycles)

An app to prevent unwanted pregnancies by tracking a woman’s body temperature has scored a first-of-its-kind marketing approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the agency announced.

The US stamp of approval—which clears the way for similar apps to get the green light—lands as the app’s Swedish maker faces investigations by European authorities into its advertising claims, plus criticism from health experts and reports of dozens of unwanted pregnancies.

The sleek mobile app, called Natural Cycles, boasts 900,000 users worldwide as well as approval from the EU to act as a form of contraceptive. Yet it’s essentially riff on an old-school “natural family planning” method dressed up for the digital age. An $80 annual subscription for the app comes with an oral thermometer and relies on a user’s basal body temperature (BBT) to estimate the time of ovulation (when an egg is released from

Continue reading ““Natural” birth-control app dogged by unwanted pregnancies gets FDA approval”

InfoWars fans flock to apps following recent bans

While a number of tech companies have purged their sites of Alex Jones podcasts and accounts over the last couple of days, not all InfoWars-related content has been taken down. And what’s still available continues to attract interest. CNBC reports today that the InfoWars app, which is still available through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, is being downloaded quite a bit, taking the fourth spot in Apple’s chart of top free news-related apps. As of writing, the app was number 12 in Google’s chart of top free news and magazine apps.

Via: CNBC, 9to5Mac

This app puts iPads at the heart of live event broadcasting

I’ve been playing with a promising new app called Cinamaker. So far it seems like it might be a great way for low-budget event streaming and video production, though it has features beyond its price.

What does it do?

The application is a pro-quality live streaming and video production app that links up cameras of all kinds, from smartphones to DSLR cameras. You can then use these different inputs to create live streams and on-the-fly “live-edits” – and all from an iPad.

Think about it — with a camera-toting DJI drone, a few iPhones and a little creativity you could even make your local charity dog show look cool!

How does it work?

The developers say their solution is enabled by a patented technology called

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Continue reading “This app puts iPads at the heart of live event broadcasting”

Anchor’s iPad app is an all-in-one podcast studio

Back in February, the audio social network Anchor relaunched as a one-stop podcast-making shop. Now it’s introducing an iPad app that’s designed for the larger device’s touch interface. Best of all, it includes editing tools, enabling users to trim, cut and drop in segments and effects at their whim. Get it now for free in the App Store.

Mojave Updates App to 64-Bit, Allows for DVD Playing on Macs

As we warned you in March, 32-bit apps will lose full support in macOS 10.14 Mojave when it’s released in September. Among the 32-bit apps that are included in macOS is DVD Player. While new Macs no longer feature a built-in optical drive, it is still possible to use CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs with external optical drives.

Some customers were reasonably concerned that Apple would kill off support for the DVD Player app along with other 32-bit apps. However, as points out, the Mojave beta features a 64-bit version of the DVD Player app with a fresh icon.

This means that those with 2012 MacBook Pros and 2010-2012 Mac Pros with internal optical drives and those with external solutions will be free to watch DVDs on their Mac. If you have a Mac without an optical drive, check out OWC’s selection of external solutions


Continue reading “Mojave Updates App to 64-Bit, Allows for DVD Playing on Macs”

The new Mac App Store is inspired by iOS

Apple has revealed a redesigned Mac App Store at WWDC 2018, which takes clear design cues from the iOS version of the shop. You’ll notice right away that it now looks a lot like the one on your iPhone and iPad, featuring a “Discover” tab that will highlight a wide range of curated content, anything from “best apps” lists to tutorials and behind-the-scenes stories from developers. Ratings and reviews of applications are now front and center, too, while video previews are making its debut on the Mac App Store for the first time — that’s a feature that launched on iOS in 2014.

Apple approves first Telegram update since Russia ban

Apple has finally rolled out the latest version of Telegram on the App Store, a day after company chief Pavel Durov said that the tech giant has been blocking its updates since April. Telegram version 4.8.2 will make the app GDPR-compliant — something that it should’ve been since the EU enforced the data protection and privacy law on May 25th. It also adds features that’ll allow you to stop updating your contacts and to delete your synced ones, as well as to disable link previews in Secret Chats.

Source: Reuters

Are you using Leonardo DiCaprio’s fantastic art recognition app?

A friend of mine is a history of art student. She asked for help finding a solution that would be able to recognise art she comes across in her studies that isn’t named in the text — a big problem for anyone trying to learn this kind of stuff. I did a little digging and came across this fantastic iPhone/Android app that is able to do exactly that. It’s called Magnus, and I think it should be installed on every smartphone.

What is Magnus?

Magnus is a free app.

It works like Shazam for art.

You point your smartphone running the app at a piece of art — or direct it to a photo of the piece that you may possess on your device, or even a screenshot (edited to get rid of background clutter), ask the app to do its work, and — usually within a second or

The Story of Art
Art History For Dummies
Art That Changed the World
Art History Volume 1 (5th Edition)
Art: A World History
The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern (Annotated Series)
Art History Vol 1 (6th Edition)

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Apple pledges to disclose government app takedown requests

Tech titans have been refining and expanding their transparency reports: Google made its biannual documents easier to read, while Facebook added inquiries related to copyright, trademark and counterfeiting. Today, Apple released their report, and nestled inside is a pledge to disclose government requests to remove applications from the App Store in the future.

Via: 9to5Mac, ZDNet

Source: “Report on government and private party requests for customer information, July 1 – December 31, 2017”

Apple will shut down Texture’s terrible Windows app

Apple bought Texture, the ‘Netflix for magazines,’ back in March as a clear bid to get in on an uncluttered media provider niche. The service gives subscribers unlimited access to a number of publications — but now, you won’t be able to use it on Windows devices. Without explanation, Apple informed users that the Texture app will be pulled from the Microsoft Store after June 30th. As of now, it will still be available for Android, Amazon Fire, and iOS.

Via: The Verge

Source: Texture (Microsoft Store)

Apple Updates Mac App Developers on Mandatory 64-Bit Support in June

Apple sent developers a reminder on Wednesday that Mac apps need to support 64-bit by June 4. The company sent the following message outlining the details. 

“With the recent release of macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, the first time users launch an app that does not support 64-bit they will see an alert that the app is not optimized for their Mac.

As a reminder, new apps submitted to the Mac App Store must support 64-bit, and starting June 2018, app updates and existing apps must support 64-bit. If you distribute your apps outside the Mac App Store, we highly recommend distributing 64-bit binaries to make sure your users can continue to run your apps on future versions of macOS.”

Apple also indicated that users of 32-bit apps will see the message pictured above when launching the app for the first time in macOS 10.13.4. For

Continue reading “Apple Updates Mac App Developers on Mandatory 64-Bit Support in June”

Apple warns Mac users that 32-bit apps will soon stop working

Starting tomorrow, you’ll see an alert box when you open a 32-bit app in MacOS 10.13.4. The one-time-per-app warning is designed to encourage users — and developers — to update their apps before Apple’s full transition to 64-bit. It’s not clear when the complete switch will happen, but when it does, all support for the legacy architecture will cease and apps that haven’t been updated will stop working.

Source: Apple

All you need for a Volvo XC40 subscription is your iPhone

Getting a new car is getting even easier these days. BMW, Lexus and Volvo have all started selling cars via subscription. The Care by Volvo program gives you an all-wheel drive XC40, insurance, routine maintenance, roadside assistance and no money down for $600 a month. That sounds pretty great, but it’s also super easy to sign up. Now you can sign up and pay for your monthly car sub via an iOS app and Apple Pay.

Source: Volvo/App Store