iPhone Life magazine

Top 3 App Deals of the Week

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As new iOS apps flood the App Store every day — recently topping 1,200,000 — we know it’s tough to tell which ones are worth their salt. But thanks to our Weekly Scoop, you can have the best for free! Here you’ll find a weekly roundup of the coolest apps free or at a discount for a limited-time only. Each week features the best and brightest from websites like Free App Report, AppsGoneFree, AppieDay, AppShopper, and more.

Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!



Best Buy Offering $80-$100 Off iPad Air Nov. 21 & 22

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Like Walmart, Best Buy is already beginning to offer Black Friday deals, notably $80-$85 off the WiFi iPad Air for the 16, 32, 64, and 128 GB models. That means you're paying $320 for the 16 GB iPad Air, which isn't quite as good as Walmart's offer of a $100 gift card with the purchase of the $397 16 GB iPad Air. 



iPhone Life's 2014 Rugged Gear Gift Guide

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In this day and age it's become commonplace for us to do just about everything with our iDevices, which means that we need gear that can keep up with us on any outlandish escapades, as well as on our day to day grind. The items featured here represent some of the best in their respective categories; built tough and designed with integrity and durability to handle the  adventures that lie ahead. Many of the products featured here have impressive MIL-STD or IP ratings, which you can learn more about by clicking HERE.

Here at iPhone Life we love turning people on to great gear that fits their specific purpose and need and we're hoping that these reviews will make your holiday shopping that much easier. Whether as a present for yourself, or as gift idea for family or friends, this list of exceptional products will help you find the perfect accessories.



Tip of the Day: Change Your Default Search Engine for Greater Privacy

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You likely know that Google and other search engines keep a record of your searches so that search results and ads are more relevant to your interests. You can read Google's privacy policy here. In general, they don't share your personal information. If they share your aggregate information with one of their partners, they say they don't include personally identifiable information. That means I may be shown ads for products that interest me, but the company putting the ad on the web page I'm visiting doesn't have my name or contact information. Still, many people don't like the fact that so much information is gathered about them as they use the Internet.



Walmart Black Friday Deals Set to Begin Nov. 21 -- a Week Early

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Many people are waiting until the great deals available on Black Friday to make their purchase of an Apple product. And if Walmart's deals on the iPhone and iPad interest you, you won't have long to wait. According to AppleInsider, Walmart is kicking of their Black Friday deals on Friday, November 21. As I noted in an earlier post, those deals include a 16 GB iPhone 6 for $179 plus a $75 gift card, meaning that your final price is effectively $104 (with a two-year contract). They'll also have the new 16 GB iPad Air 2 for $489 with a $100 gift card. You'll be able to get an iPhone 5s for $79, with a $75 gift card. Also, if you're an AT&T Next or Verizon Edge customer, you can get the iPhone 6 or iPhone 5s for $0 down.



There's No Such Thing As a Free App in the App Store Anymore

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What a difference a word makes. The European Union objected to Apple's use of the word "Free" for apps that have In-App Purchases and ordered them to change it. Yesterday, they did. But Apple changed the "Free" button to "Get" for all no charge apps, even those that don't have In-App Purchases. I would have preferred that they left such apps as "Free," but at least they have text, in gray, below apps that say "In-App Purchases" if applicable. The headlines still read "Top Free Apps" so they haven't eliminated the word free entirely. The change in verbiage may not do much to stop users from downloading such apps, and eventually making purchases. After all, the top grossing apps tend to be "Freemium" apps with In-App Purchases.



More Drama for Second Steve Jobs Movie

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The first Steve Jobs movie, released shortly after his passing, didn't pass muster with a lot of Apple followers, including Steve Wozniak. Admittedly, it wasn't based on the official biography by Walter Isaacson, and the making of it seemed rushed. It also didn't cover modern day Apple, just ending upon Steve's triumphant return to the company he founded, after being kicked out, much like Moses in the wilderness. The "official" movie, based on the "official" book was expected to get the full Hollywood treatment. Christian Bale, fresh off success as Batman and coming soon as Moses, appropriately, was slated to play Jobs. He has the build, face, and occasional beard, not to mention temper, to pull it off. Seth Rogan would take on the role of Wozniak. I loved that the guy who played Batman was going to team up with the guy who played the Green Hornet, since those superheroes teamed up occasionally.



Corning Gorilla Glass 4 tries to head off Sapphire

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It was long rumored that Apple was looking to use sapphire to replace Corning's Gorilla Glass for the iPhone 6. That didn't happen, and Apple's partner in sapphire production went bankrupt. Corning is taking advantage of the situation and promoting their next-generation product, Gorrilla Glass 4. While sapphire is still used by Apple, for camera lens covers and potentially the Apple Watch, the advantage is how difficult sapphire is to scratch.



Tip of the Day: How to Add a Third-Party Keyboard in iOS 8

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One of the most-requested features for the iPhone and iPad was the ability to add third-party keyboards, and Apple responded to that request in iOS 8. Popular keyboards such as Swype ($0.99) and SwiftKey (free) add many features, and can speed up text entry.



What to Expect from the Apple Watch Based on Apple's Release of WatchKit

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As my fellow blogger Todd Bernhard noted in this earlier post, Apple has now released WatchKit to developers, enabling them to develop apps for the forthcoming Apple Watch. This is of interest even if you're not a developer because it has revealed details about the watch that Apple hadn't yet announced. According to AppleInsider, the larger 42 mm watch will be 312 x 390 pixels and the smaller model 272 x 340 pixels. However, AppleInsider notes that the dimensions refer to the case rather than the display size, so the pixel density is unknown.



WatchKit Is Here! Creating Apps for the Apple Watch

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As promised, Apple has delivered its first version of WatchKit, which allows you to create apps for the upcoming Apple Watch. In a surprising move, Apple released information regarding its new WatchKit in a web page open to the general public.



Find the Best Black Friday Deals With These Five Apps

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Black Friday is almost upon us and while retailers are hoping for lots of "ka-ching" in the registers the day after Thanksgiving, shoppers are making their plans to nab the best deals. The circulars will be coming out in newspapers soon, but you can download some great apps right now that will show you where to get the best bargains.



Dear Apple, Please Copy This Android Smart Lock Feature

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It's a given that if Apple has a good feature, it will find its way into Android and vice versa. "Good artists copy, great artists steal" is the line Steve Jobs stole from Picasso, so we don't need to argue over who stole what. It happens. So I am hopeful that Android's new Smart Lock features (enhanced in Android 5.0 Lollipop) will end up in iOS in one form or another. This feature lets you determine when your smartphone should remain unlocked by more than just a time setting. Trusted Devices allows for unlocking via a nearby device, like a smartwatch.



What To Do If Your Device Gets Stuck in Recovery Mode

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In a recent post I noted that iOS 8.1.1 is now available for download. This morning I added a sentence to that post reminding people to BACK UP FIRST. That's because it's not uncommon for something to go wrong when one updates. For example, when I updated to iOS 8, I encountered an error, and the only way to get my iPad out of it was to restore to factory settings. Doing so means that everything is lost. Fortunately, I had backed up first, so it wasn't a problem.



Apple WatchKit Now Available for Developers

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Apple is encouraging developers to get ready for early spring when the Apple Watch is expected to ship. To maximize the number, and quality, of apps available on that date, Apple released their new WatchKit, along with a beta version of Xcode and iOS 8.2. This release is available only to developers, but interested parties can view a new video from Apple with more details. In the meantime, here's what Apple had to say on the subject:



Tip of the Day: Delete Mail Faster in iOS 8

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In iOS 7, deleting individual emails from your inbox in the Mail app was a multi-step process. You had to swipe left on the email preview and then choose Delete from the options that appeared. It's much faster in iOS 8.



The Internet of Things Now Includes Sugared Water

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When Steve Jobs lured John Sculley to run Apple, he asked the CEO of Pepsi if he really wanted to sell "sugared water" for the rest of his life, or change the world at Apple. We all know how that went, but ironically, in January 2015, Coca Cola will be releasing an update to their Freestyle app and dispensers that will allow users to customize their beverage, with 3 combinations of 100 different choices plus their choice of percentages, to create a unique mix. Living up to the Freestyle name, users can experiment with different flavors and find the perfect combination to soothe their tastebuds. The experimentation is likely to result in extra revenue given how many tries a user might have to attempt to get their personal favorite. They can then share that concoction with friends.



What to Watch for with Apple Watch Apps

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I had the opportunity to interview Sumit Mehra, CTO of Y Media Labs, whose clients include PayPal, Salesforce, and Sesame Street. Y Media Labs helps businesses with their mobile roadmap, artwork, programming, cloud services, testing, and maintainence. As a large digital agency, they keep a close eye on emerging technologies and markets. The Apple Watch is just such a device worth considering, so I asked him about it.



Tip of the Day: Hide the Predictive Text Feature on Your iOS 8 Keyboard

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When Apple announced that their keyboards would now have a predictive text feature in iOS 8, the general reaction was, "About time, Apple!" But it turns out there are some iOS users who find the feature really annoying. Fortunately it's easy to turn predictive text off in the native iOS 8 keyboard:



iOS 8.1.1 Now Available — Improves Performance on Older Devices

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Apple has released the iOS 8.1.1 update, which is now available for download. It fixes some minor bugs, but more important, it improves the performance of iOS 8 on older devices, such as the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4s. Many users of older devices regretted upgrading to iOS 8, especially those with an iPhone 4S. Hopefully iOS 8.1.1 will take care of the performance problems people had been experiencing.