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Josh Centers

Josh Centers

Josh Centers is the managing editor of TidBITS, as well as the author of Take Control of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, Take Control of Notes, Take Control of Apple Home Automation, and Take Control of Apple TV, and co-author of Take Control of Preview. He's also a contributor to The Prepared and USA TODAY.

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Pirated Apps Sneak into the App Store

Jon Lipsky, the lead developer on TouchDraw, received an email complaint about a competitor’s app. He helpfully looked up the correct contact information, only to find that the competing app, Diagram Touch, was in fact a cracked and repackaged version of TouchDraw. Lipsky went on to discover a pirated version of OmniGraffle that was repackaged in the same way. Other developers have voiced the same issue in his post’s comments. Until Apple gets this under control, watch what you buy, and don’t take any wooden nickels!

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PCWorld Magazine Drops Print for the Web

It’s the end of an era. The August 2013 issue marks the final U.S. print version of the venerable PCWorld magazine, founded in 1983. However, PCWorld will still publish on the Web, and the print magazine will continue in some other countries. PCWorld’s sister publication, Macworld, will continue to arrive on newsstands each month for the foreseeable future.

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Your iPhone Is Making You Fat, Too

It was bad enough to learn that your iPhone is making you timid, but now researchers say it may be hurting your fitness as well. Researchers at Kent State University have identified a correlation between heavy smartphone use and a more sedentary lifestyle among college students. Those who spent large amounts of time on a smartphone — up to 14 hours per day — were less fit than those who averaged only 90 minutes a day.

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FunBITS: Desert Bus for iOS

Can’t take a vacation this summer? Now you can simulate all the fun of a road trip on your iPhone or iPad with Desert Bus — and support a great cause at the same time.

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Your iPhone Is Making You Timid

According to a study performed by Harvard Business School, your iPhone is sapping your will. Due to the contracted body posture required to operate a smartphone or tablet, users actually grow less assertive than when using desktops or laptops. The reason is that your posture and gestures actually affect your body chemistry, decreasing testosterone and increasing cortisol levels. So sit up straight!

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Dropbox’s Datastore API Takes Aim at iCloud

Dropbox is beefing up its developer APIs to enable Dropbox-savvy apps to improve syncing and integration. But will the new Datastore API be able to replace Apple’s beleaguered iCloud syncing? We talked to some prominent Mac and iOS developers to find out.

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An Analysis of the App Store’s Featured Apps

Ever wonder how Apple picks which apps to feature in the App Store? Dave Addey has published an extensive analysis of the company’s choices. Despite being a small minority in the App Store, games dominate the featured list, while business apps are rarely featured. Which apps are featured also differs by country. Brazil gets music apps, Asian countries see finance, education, and photography apps, while Germans and Austrians are presented with iPhone lifestyle apps. It’s a unique view of the world.

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Celebrate Five Years of the App Store with Free Apps

Apple is giving away ten of the best iOS apps to celebrate the App Store’s fifth birthday. Josh Centers provides a detailed list.

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ReadKit for Mac Is Almost the Perfect Reading App

ReadKit offers all of your online content in one place, along with plenty of bugs. Josh Centers explains why ReadKit is great, in spite of its current flaws.

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FunBITS: Star Walk for iPhone and iPad

If you’re in need of some family fun this summer, the classic iOS app Star Walk is a great way to enjoy a starry night.

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Christa Mrgan’s Critique of iOS 7

Christa Mrgan, a designer for Rogue Amoeba, has written a thorough critique of iOS 7 for Macworld. While she applauds Apple’s bold design choices, she points out several concerns with the design. Be sure to scroll down to read user Hamranhansenhansen’s long comment (click Show More), which features a well-argued defense of iOS’s previous skeuomorphic designs.

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A Guide to Photographing Fireworks

Last week featured Independence Day in the United States, and that means fireworks! As beautiful as they can be, they’re tricky to photograph. Darren Rowse of Digital Photography School has a list of tips so you can take the best firework pictures possible.

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Computing Pioneer Douglas Engelbart Is Dead

Douglas Engelbart, who invented the computer mouse, among much else, has passed away at the age of 88. It’s hard to imagine what the world of technology would be like without his contributions.

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Making the Case for an iWatch

Looking beyond the rumors, a variety of facts support the claim that Apple is making a watch. Josh Centers presents the evidence and speculates on what we might expect an iWatch do.

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Apple Launches Back to School Sale

Despite it being barely the end of the school year in some places, Apple’s annual back to school sale is now live, offering a $100 App Store gift card with the purchase of a Mac and a $50 card with the purchase of an iPad or iPhone. To qualify, you must be a college student, a student accepted into college, a parent purchasing for a college student, or a teacher of any grade level. Educational pricing also applies to Mac purchases, potentially saving you up to $200.