Skybound Games will finish the final season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Skybound Games will finish the final season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead

The final season of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead game will be completed. The failed studio reached a deal with Skybound Games to finish the season, the development of which was halted when the studio laid off most of its employees at the end of September.

At New York City Comic Con, Kirkman told a panel that his company had come to a deal with Telltale to complete the story. According to Variety, Skybound will work with “members of the original Telltale team to finish the story,” although that hasn’t been finalized yet.

In a tweet, Skybound Games — the gaming division of Skybound Media, which was founded by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, confirmed that it will wrap up Clem’s story, and that it will have more details soon.

In September, the company abruptly laid off approximately 250 of its employees, several months after co-founder and former CEO Kevin Bruner sued the company and after reports of the studio’s toxic culture surfaced. In the aftermath of the layoffs, the studio said that it was working to find a new studio to complete the season of the game, which just launched last month. The studio shortly thereafter pulled the final season from retailers.

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Is Surface Laptop 2 a 2-in-1?

Best answer: No, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is not a 2-in-1 device, nor is it a convertible. It is a clamshell notebook, meaning the display does not detach or rotate around to tablet mode. For a true 2-in-1 device, check out the new Surface Pro 6.

Unlike a standard clamshell notebook with a lid that opens up, at most, about 180 degrees, a 2-in-1 device has a keyboard portion that can be removed. This opens up the possibility of using the remaining display as a tablet, which is one of the main draws of the Surface Pro lineup.

When combined with a Surface Pen, the tablet becomes a versatile pad for drawing, sketching, and writing out notes. Yes, an active pen can still be used with the Pro 6 when a keyboard is attached.

A convertible laptop, which is a term often used interchangeably with 2-in-1, generally points more toward a device that can convert into tent, stand, and tablet modes thanks to a 360-degree hinge system. The display on a convertible cannot be completely removed from the keyboard portion.

The Surface Laptop 2 is neither a convertible nor a 2-in-1, but if you’re looking for a traditional notebook, it will certainly fit your needs.

Does the Surface Laptop 2 have pen support?

Despite not being a 2-in-1 device, the Surface Laptop 2 has a touch display that does support the Surface Pen. You get most of the same perks here as you would on other Surface devices, including 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, palm rejection, and use of the end as an eraser.

How does performance compare between the Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Pro 6?

Both the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 come stocked with 8th Gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors (CPU), up to 16 GB of RAM, and up to a 1 TB solid-state drive (SSD). We’ve yet to take an inside look and run our own benchmarks, but it’s expected that they should both perform similarly.

You’ll likely be able to get better battery life from the Surface Laptop 2, but only the Surface Pro 6 has a built-in microSD card reader. Keep these features in mind when making a final decision.

Stick with the Surface Pro 6 for a true 2-in-1

The Surface Pro 6, with removable Type Cover keyboard an and adjustable kickstand, is a real 2-in-1 device with the hardware inside for great performance.

2-in-1 laptop

Surface Pro 6

The latest Pro device from Microsoft.

With 8th Gen Intel Core CPUs, up to 16 GB of RAM, and up to a 1 TB SSD, the Surface Pro 6 has the performance to tackle a day’s work. It’s now also available in a black color alongside the original silver option.

Clamshell notebook

Surface Laptop 2

Microsoft’s latest traditional notebook.

The Surface Laptop 2 isn’t a 2-in-1 device, but it still has a beautiful touch display, Surface Pen support, and performance hardware inside. If you’d rather stick with a clamshell notebook, this is your best bet.

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PS Plus October 2018 UPDATE: New PlayStation Plus games and news

PS Plus October 2018 UPDATE: New PlayStation Plus games and news

The current crop of PS Plus Games are available to download across all available platforms.

And it appears we have received more news on what Sony has planned for their subscription service.

According to the latest announcement from the tech giant, new exclusive content is being released via PlayStation Plus.

This includes content for Red Dead Redemption 2, both in October and November 2018.

It has now been confirmed that both Red Dead Redemption 2 and its multiplayer experience, Red Dead Online will come with PlayStation 4 benefits.

PS4 players will be able to customise Arthur Morgan with the Grizzlies Outlaw Outfit offline and grab new weapons and content online.

“Come November with the launch of Red Dead Online, PS4 players will get 30 days early access to the versatile Arabian horse featuring a custom Alligator skin saddle, and the High Roller double-action revolver,” a message from Sony confirms.

“Make sure that you have an active PS Plus subscription so that you can access Red Dead Online and check out these awesome items.”

That last bit is very important, as only those with a PS Plus October and November account will be able to earn these add-ons.

It also looks like new PS Plus games have been leaked early by Sony this week.

They’re only the PS4 games, but it appears next month’s selection may have already been revealed.

Fans could be getting a bumper selection of free PS4 games if the latest information proves to be true.

New PlayStation Plus line-ups tend to be revealed towards the end of the month, but the next one looks to have gone live early on an official PlayStation site.

An official Sony website was advertising the PS Plus November 2018 line-up.

And these free PS4 games for PlayStation Plus are Yakuza Kiwami and Bulletstorm Full Clip Edition.

Bulletstorm Full Clip Edition is a remaster of the Gearbox and People Can Fly game that originally launched on the PS3 and Xbox 360.

While Yakuza Kiwami is a remake of the first ever Yakuza game that SEGA launched on the PS2 in 2005.

For those who want to know about PS Plus subscriptions, the content you have downloaded as part of your PlayStation Plus subscription is only accessible as long as you are an active subscriber.

The exceptions are free themes and avatars, which you will continue to have access to, even if you are no longer a subscriber.

Anything you have purchased (even if you bought it at a discount) will remain available to you even if your subscription ends.

Also, different countries have different rights, release schedules and, have different things available on their PlayStation Store for this reason.

So this is why you may hear about different games being available in Asia, Europe and North America when it comes to some PS Plus announcements.

Even following the official announcement this week, fans will still have plenty of time to grab the current batch of PS Plus games before they disappear.

Fans can currently download Friday the 13th: The Game and Laser League on PS4, with The Bridge also available on PS3, PS4 and PS Vita.

Other games this month include Rocketbirds 2: Evolution and 2064: Read Only Memories on PS Vita and PS4.

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AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX and 2920WX slated for October 29

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX and 2920WX slated for October 29
Through the looking glass: Software at the operating system level could be key to managing many-core CPUs. AMD is launching two more Ryzen Threadripper CPUs, but Dynamic Local Mode is a performance-enhancing software feature exclusive to the 2990WX and 2970WX.

Just a few short months ago AMD released the almighty second generation Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX and 2950X. As promised, the 2970WX and 2920X will complete the series with an October 29 debut.

Arriving with 24 cores and 48 threads, the 2970WX is nearly identical to the 2990WX sharing the same clock frequencies, cache, and TDP. Likewise, the 2920X shares specs similar to the 2950X but holds 12 cores and 24 threads with a boost frequency 100MHz less at 4.3GHz.

  Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX Ryzen Threadripper 2950WX Ryzen Threadripper 2920WX
Cores / Threads 32C / 64T 24C / 48T 16C / 32T 12C / 24T
TDP 250W 250W 180W 180W
Base / Boost Frequency 3.0 / 4.2 GHz 3.0 / 4.2 GHz 3.5 / 4.4 GHz 3.5 / 4.3 GHz
L3 Cache 64 MB 64 MB 32 MB 32 MB
MSRP $1,799 $1,299 $899 $649

Although the hardware is relatively similar, software is going to be a differentiator between models. AMD is introducing a piece of software called Dynamic Local Mode that is exclusive to the 2990WX and 2970WX. Essentially, applications that work better with quicker access to DRAM with be relocated to cores with local memory access for execution on the fly. Software that can better take advantage of the many cores will be encouraged to take full advantage of all the resources available.

Running as a background service on Windows 10, Dynamic Local Mode determines which threads are the most compute intensive. Priorities are ranked and threads deemed most demanding are shifted to cores with direct access to memory.

Although not every piece of software will be faster, AMD is showing some significant gains in certain games and select benchmarks. Battlefield 1 running with DirectX 12 with Ultra preset on a 2990WX shows a 47 percent increase in performance. FarCry 5, PUBG, and Alien Isolation also show double digit improvements thanks to Dynamic Local Mode being enabled.

Until benchmarks are out, it is hard to accurately gauge how the two newest processors will compete knowing that software is going to make a difference. At some point in the future, AMD plans to implement the feature into chipset drivers to make it standard for all users with supported hardware, but that is more of a long term goal.

Both the new Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX and 2920WX CPUs will become available on October 29. AMD Ryzen Master will automatically configure Dynamic Local Mode with an update that will also be pushed out on October 29 for systems containing a 2990WX or 2970WX processor.

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iFixit says independent Mac repair is alive and well – at least for now

iFixit says independent Mac repair is alive and well – at least for now

Earlier this week, a report explained a new repair policy for MacBook Pro and iMac Pro models with Apple’s new T2 chip inside. Essentially, Apple distributed a new repair document among its authorized service providers explaining that a machine would be “inoperable” following repair unless its proprietary System Configuration software was run. This requirement would mean the death of independent Mac repair in many instances.

iFixit has now taken a closer look at the new repair policy, and found a mix of results.

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

In a blog post, iFixit explains that its lab testing has found that “independent (and DIY) repair is alive and well, but it is under threat.” The repair experts describe the new System Configuration requirement as sort-of an ‘E.T phone home’ type requirement:

AST 2 is only provided to Apple stores and a very few select ‘Authorized Apple Service Providers’ (AASPs) that are under strict confidentiality and business contracts mandating what parts they can use and what they charge. This shift will leave third-party repair shops out to dry, not to mention the rest of us that are accustomed to fixing our own hardware.

To test the new requirement, iFixit purchased a new 2018 MacBook Pro, disassembled it, and swapped displays with another 2018 MacBook Pro unit. After that repair, both MacBook Pros functioned normally – even when updated to Mojave.

After that success story, iFixit swapped logic boards between the MacBook Pros and saw the same results. This signals hope for independent Mac repair – at least for now.

This service document certainly paints a grim picture, but ever the optimists, we headed down to our friendly local Apple Store and bought a brand new 2018 13” MacBook Pro Touch Bar unit. Then we disassembled it and traded displays with our teardown unit from this summer. To our surprise, the displays and MacBooks functioned normally in every combination we tried. We also updated to Mojave and swapped logic boards with the same results.

Ultimately, iFixit explains that even though Apple outlined its new requirement in a document sent to technicians this week, it doesn’t appear to be live just yet. Of course, it’s possible that a very near software update could retroactively render the “incomplete repairs” inoperative, the site notes.

iFixit speculates that the software Apple is using in post-repair tracks serial numbers and other parts data as a way of “keeping their authorized network in line.” In other words, independent Mac repair could soon be no longer.

What do you think of Apple’s requirement impending repair requirement changes? Is it the right move for security reasons? Let us know down in the comments!

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Yes, your selfies look different on the iPhone XS. Here’s why

Yes, your selfies look different on the iPhone XS. Here’s why

If you’ve taken a selfie on the iPhone XS, you might think it looks a little different to other selfies you’ve taken in the past, especially from previous iPhones.

We already know the cameras on the iPhone XS are different from those on the X.

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Explaining the iPhone XS ‘beauty mode’


But some users on Reddit and YouTube have claimed that the camera on the iPhone XS has a “beauty mode” effect on faces that smooths imperfections. Several apps like Snapchat, Instagram and FaceTune actively offer filters that enhance or retouch facial features.

Here’s why selfies look different on the XS, but not for the reason you might think.

Cameras don’t see like our eyes do

If you’re taking photos of a high-contrast scene, it’s hard for a camera sensor to capture all the detail in highlights and shadows. Think of a photo taken from indoors, looking out to a window with lots of light streaming in from the outside. Most cameras end up exposing for either the indoor light (which means the window light blows out completely) or the outside light (meaning the indoor scene is dark and underexposed).

One solution is high dynamic range (HDR) images. HDR blends multiple exposures — usually an underexposed, overexposed and correctly metered photo — into one. This helps capture a greater dynamic range in photos, so shadow and highlight detail is evened out. Take this photo from the iPhone XS with HDR on (left) and off (right) and notice the extra detail retained in the window.

Without HDR, phone cameras can struggle to expose for both shadow and highlight detail, so you often end up with blown highlights or muddy-looking shadows.

Why HDR looks different

Many photographers have used HDR techniques to achieve what can look like “hyper-real” photos. With the right kind of processing, at the most extreme end of the scale photos can look overly saturated and almost like they’re illustrations, or airbrushed versions of reality.

Apple’s version of HDR on the iPhone XS, XS Max and the forthcoming iPhone XR, is called Smart HDR. It’s on by default for photos taken on both the front and rear cameras. (FYI if you want to turn it off, go to Settings > Camera.)

At Apple’s iPhone XS launch, Phil Schiller used an example of a photo taken of a moving subject to explain how Smart HDR works. The A12 Bionic chip first captures four frames as buffer, then takes additional “inter frames” at different exposures to bring out highlight details. It also takes a long exposure to grab shadow detail. Then, all the frames are analyzed and it works out how to merge the best parts into one photo.


A selfie taken on the XS (left) and X (right) in outdoor light. Even without Smart HDR active, the XS photo looks more balanced and with an even spread between shadows and highlights compared to the photo from the X. Also notice there’s no loss of detail or “smoothing” effect on the skin on the XS image.

Abrar Al-Heeti/CNET

With Smart HDR turned on, the XS generates a blended image. But even without Smart HDR turned on, the XS is already using computational photography to merge exposures, perform local tone mapping (a technique to map colors to achieve an HDR effect) and recover highlight detail on regular photos.

It’s also important to note that merging multiple exposures and blending images isn’t unique to Apple. Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones do similar things in their own HDR modes.

So what’s with the smoothing effect?

Two things. You might think that an HDR image looks “airbrushed,” particularly when comparing it to a photo taken on a phone that doesn’t have HDR turned on. Take, for example, the portrait below taken on the rear cameras of both the iPhone XS (left) and iPhone X (right). The XS image may look softer to you because the glowing highlights have been reduced, thanks to blending exposures and less contrast.

Secondly, to make an HDR image, you need at least three images taken at the same time. Unless you hold the phone incredibly steady or ask your subject to hold their expression (try that with kids), you’ll likely introduce some sort of shake. The way to get around this is to have the camera take photos at incredibly fast shutter speeds.

But to get a good exposure at a fast shutter speed of hundredths of a second, especially in low light, the camera needs to crank up the ISO (light sensitivity). This introduces a lot of noise, which can look like speckles, or grain on your photos. It’s only magnified by having a small sensor like that found on a front-facing camera.

Cameras often apply noise reduction to get rid of this noise, but the tradeoff is photos can look smoothed out. Below is an example of a photo taken on a DSLR in low light at ISO 3200, with a lot of noise (left). On the right, the same photo with heavy noise reduction applied in Lightroom. As you can see, the image on the right looks a lot smoother and loses some detail. It’s an extreme example, but gives you an idea of what noise reduction can do.

Here’s an important caveat with the iPhone XS: if you’re taking selfies or photos from the front-facing camera in good lighting, the camera doesn’t appear to apply much noise reduction at all, at least from my tests. In low light, the noise reduction seems to be more aggressive, hence a smoothing effect.


Spot the difference: iPhone X on left, XS on right. Both photos were taken indoors in low light.

Lexy Savvides/CNET

And it’s not just faces where this applies — If you look at photos taken of other subjects in low light, especially with the front-facing camera, you may notice the same effect.

Sebastiaan de With, designer of popular third-party camera app Halide, explains the changes in the XS camera in this piece. One important conclusion to glean from his deep dive is this:

“The iPhone XS merges exposures and reduces the brightness of the bright areas and reduces the darkness of the shadows. The detail remains, but we can perceive it as less sharp because it lost local contrast.”

What about shooting in raw?

Since iOS 10, iPhones have been able to capture raw images from the rear camera. Raw files are photos captured straight from the image sensor without processing applied. This means no HDR effects, no noise reduction and an untouched image.

However, de With found that if you’re shooting in raw on the XS, the sensor noise is stronger than it was on the X, so the noise reduction is more aggressive. Third-party apps will need to optimize specifically for the new camera, or users will need to shoot in manual mode and deliberately underexpose.

Where to from here?

One way that this effect could potentially be tweaked is with a software update to offer different levels of Smart HDR, or to reduce the intensity of the noise-reduction algorithm for all photos.

Turning off Smart HDR makes more of a difference for photos taken with the rear camera than it does the front camera. And as already discussed, the XS camera is taking photos in a different way than earlier iPhones, through computational photography and merging exposures. So photos already look different, even without Smart HDR on.

But a big part of this entire discussion is how we see photos differently — especially of ourselves. Many people I showed selfies to preferred the XS because their photos looked more even and slightly softer. Others deferred to the X because it appeared to retain more detail to their eye, even if the image had more noise. As always, your personal preference may sway one way or the other. But neither image is wrong: they’re just different.

iPhone XS review: A notch above the iPhone X

iPhone XS specs vs. XS Max, XR, X: What’s new and different

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Exploit the power of iOS 12 and your new iPhone XS with these ten apps

Exploit the power of iOS 12 and your new iPhone XS with these ten apps
You’ve got a new phone, now make it word hard for you. With every iPhone update there comes a flood of new iOS apps and upgrades. Some of them are essentials, some just show what the new iOS is capable of —and a very few are both. AppleInsider picks the ten most notable new or significantly updated apps.

Most of the major iOS apps have added Siri Shortcuts

For yourself, there are apps that are more like essential tools that should be on your iPhone —and some of them already are. This week’s highlighted apps, though, are all ones that are brilliant at demonstrating to others what the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max can do. These include updates to AirMeasure, Evernote, WaterMinder, Things, Citymapper, Drafts, PCalc, Halide Camera, Overcast and 1Password.

AirMeasure 1.9.5

AirMeasure for iOS 12

Next time someone asks you why you spent so much money on a phone, show them this. Apple already provides a measuring tool in iOS 12 and you know how impressive that is, but it just looks like a line with a dot on it. Use this third-party alternative instead and whoever you’re with will see a familiar tape-measure on the screen.

Also unlike Apple’s tool, this one can be used to measure buildings from a distance so you can settle arguments over whether your neighbor has exceeded planning permission or not.

Speaking of neighbors, AirMeasure can also tell you their height before you decide to get into too big an argument with them.

Get it for iOS: $0.99. Requires iOS 10.0 or later and iOS 12 for the latest features.

Evernote 8.16.3

Evernote for iOS 12

Fresh from a recent visual overhaul of the iPhone and iPad app, Evernote has come out with an iOS 12 update that only adds Siri Shortcuts —but adds it very well.

Now whenever you search for a note in Evernote, the app displays the results plus a button for creating a Siri Shortcut. Tap that, record a voice phrase and from now on you can tell Siri to do that Evernote search for you.

That works on the titles of notes regardless of which version of Evernote you have. If you’ve got the paid Premium edition, though, the search also works on the contents of notes.

Plus you can then pick a note and tell Siri to make a PDF out of it.

Get it for iOS: Free with optional premium subscription. Requires iOS 10.3 or later. and iOS 12 for the Siri Shortcuts.

WaterMinder 3.7.2

WaterMinder for iOS 12

This is a health app that tracks your water intake. It’s already a very visual tool with each glass of water you have being shown as an amount of liquid filling up an outline body. Only, it used to be entirely dependent on you remembering to open the app and report what you’ve just drunk.

Now with iOS 12, WaterMinder comes with some pre-baked Siri Shortcuts so that you can tell Siri to “Log 500ml of water” and that will be entered into your daily intake. It’s particularly smart at offering shortcuts that match the preferred measurement units you’ve set.

Get it for iOS: $4.99. Requires iOS 9 or later and iOS 12 for Siri Shortcuts.

Things 3.7.2

Things 3 for iOS 12

All To Do apps have the problem that you don’t always record your tasks in them. Things and rivals such as OmniFocus are predicated on making task entry so fast that you never put it off to later. For iOS 12, Things 3 has adopted Siri Shortcuts.

You’ve long been able to use Siri to add to Apple’s Reminders app and then have Things automatically retrieve those tasks into its own database. It worked and we didn’t complain, but now you can skip this workaround completely. Just tell Siri that you want to add a task to Things and say what it is.

Similarly, you can now get Things to show you individual lists such as the one for your shopping, the one for your bridge building project. If you bump into Al in the street, you can tell Things to show you all the To Do tasks you’ve tagged as needing to be discussed with him.

Get it for iOS: $9.99 for the iPhone version. The separate iPad version costs $19.99 and there’s a Mac edition for $49.99 which has been updated for macOS Mojave.

Requires iOS 10 or later and iOS 12 for Siri Shortcuts.

Citymapper 7.115.247

Citymapper for iOS 12

The very first Siri Shortcut we tried was saying “Next Bus” and having Citymapper tell us when that was, where the nearest bus stop is and the times of the next few departures.

Citymapper is a transit app and if you set where your home and work locations are, you can then also ask it to detail today’s journey to the office.

We then added it into convoluted Siri Shortcuts that combined bus information from Citymapper with geographic data from Apple Maps and train itinerary news from TripIt. While we were within an area that Citymapper covers, and while we had a forthcoming departure listed in the TripIt travel service, it worked brilliantly.

Only, Citymapper does not cover every region. It’s currently in 39 cities around the world so make sure you’re also in one of them before you breezily ask it to “check my commute”.

Get it for iOS: Free. Requires iOS 10.0 or later and iOS 12 for Siri Shortcuts.

Drafts 5.4.1

Drafts 5 for iOS 12

Drafts is a plain-text editor whose chief benefit is how you can start writing the instant you open it: there’s no creating a new document or naming one. Then if you go for the paid subscription version, you also get a second boon which is what are called Drafts Actions. You can automate sending your text out as an email, a Message or part of a much more complex workflow.

Now with iOS 12, you can of course use Siri Shortcuts. Even with the free version of Drafts, you can say “Capture clipboard” and the app will create a new note with the contents of the system clipboard. So if you’re compiling information from a variety of places, you can select-and-copy it and then get Siri Shortcuts to file it away in Drafts.

If you have the paid version with access to all of Drafts’ Actions, then you can do more such as telling the app to start taking dictation.

Get it for iOS: Free with optional pro subscription from $1.99 per month. Requires iOS 11.0 or later and iOS 12 for Siri Shortcuts.

PCalc 3.8.2

PCalc for iOS 12

It’s just a calculator yet for a decade or more, if you wanted to see new Apple technology in action, this has been the app to try. That’s as well as it being a first-class calculator that features every science and math functions you can think of. It’s even got one you might not have thought of: Reverse Polish Notation. Try that once on PCalc and you’ll be hooked.

Naturally, then, PCalc has adopted Siri Shortcuts but it has done so just remarkably, even astonishingly well. There isn’t a single function in the entire app that you can’t use in Siri Shortcuts —and while that’s impressive, it’s not what’s superb.

What’s superb is how PCalc exploits Siri Shortcuts to the full and then works around issues Apple’s software can’t yet do. Siri Shortcuts is really only for issuing commands: you say something and an app gives you back a text, verbal or visual result. Apps can’t ask you a question and listen for the answer, for instance.

What apps can do, though, is work with your iOS clipboard and PCalc does that. Copy a number and you can then tell Siri Shortcuts to do something with it.

Say you’re writing an email demanding money in US dollars and for some reason need to know what that is in Britain’s pound Sterling. Write the dollar amount, select and copy it, then you can say something like “Convert that” —and PCalc will.

Get it for iOS: $9.99. Requires iOS 9.0 or later and iOS 12 for Sir Shortcuts.

Halide Camera 1.9.1

Halide Camera for iOS 12

If your friends are now weary of you talking to your phone and expecting them to be wowed by all that it can do, try them on something visual instead. Halide Camera is an alternative to Apple’s own photography app and it aims to bring professional tools to everyone.

Consequently most of the clearest benefits of Halide will be visible just to you as you’re composing a shot. That means you get fast switching between all of the options that your iPhone’s camera lens is able to give you. And showing people the results you get from even a quick snap will at least intrigue them.

To convert them into fellow Halide fans, swipe your finger across an image you’ve taken and show them how you can both quickly and finely make improvements.

Or set your iPhone up on a tripod, walk away from it and casually call back “Hey, Siri, take the shot”. Halide can instantly take a photograph when you do this with an iPhone XS.

Get it for iOS: $5.99. Requires iOS 11.0 or later and iOS 12 for Siri Shortcuts.

Overcast 5.01

Overcast for iOS 12

Apple’s own Podcasts app is not the company’s most popular software but it works and until now it’s also had an advantage none of its rivals have. You can be driving and call out to Siri to play a certain podcast. Say its name and Apple’s Podcasts will play it. No other podcast player was plugged into Siri like that —until now.

Now Overcast gets that feature by how you can set up voice commands that only work within it. Tell Siri Shortcuts that when you say “Next Podcast” you want to involve Overcast’s Skip feature and that’s what you’ve got.

It’s provided quite a fine degree of control into Siri Shortcuts. So you can skip episodes, but you can also change the playback speed and turn an audio boost feature on or off.

Get it for iOS: Free with optional annual subscription. Requires iOS 12 or later.

1Password 7.2

1Password for iOS 12

Possibly you shouldn’t go around showing everyone this app but that’s because as excellent as it is, it’s entire job is to keep your passwords and credit card numbers safe. If you really trust these friends of yours, though, show them how AutoFill works.

This is an iOS 12 feature that binds password managers such as 1Password into the system just a little bit more. Now if you are logging into a website or opening an app that requires a password, iOS 12 will offer you the option of entering one you’ve got stored in 1Password.

Beyond how it plugs into iOS 12, the 1Password app now also keeps itself in sync with the 1Password service whether or not you open either of them. So long as you’ve signed in to the service in the app, you now know that your passwords are up to date regardless of when you changed any on, say, the iPad edition.

Get it for iOS: Free to download but thereafter is a subscription service starting from $3.99 per month. Requires iOS 12 or later.

Keep up with AppleInsider by downloading the AppleInsider app for iOS, and follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider and Facebook for live, late-breaking coverage. You can also check out our official Instagram account for exclusive photos

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