iPhone Life magazine

Expert Blogs

Trap The Doge: How a Meme Becomes an Enjoyable Game

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How do you take a popular internet meme and extend its life that much more? The answer lies in a new game called Trap The Doge (free)



Kid Screen Time Establishes Healthy Device Usage Habits for Your Kids

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As parents, it can be hard to strike a balance between enough screen time and too much screen time for our kids. ThinkStorm LLC has introduced an answer in the form of the app Kid Screen Time (free). This app allows parents to keep track of how much time kids are spending on their devices by sending alert messages to any phone or through email during the following events:



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!



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.



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.



Run a Bar or Restaurant? Jon Taffer to the Rescue with BarHQ!

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I have a good job. I get to review apps and accessories, often before they hit the market. But today that good job is a great job, as I had the opportunity to interview Jon Taffer, host of two of my favorite shows, Spike TV's Bar Rescue and Hungry Investors. Unlike most "reality" TV shows, Taffer's programs are truly real (although condensed for practical purposes) examples of bars and restaurants that need help, and get it, from one of the industry's most renown experts. Jon walked me through how the unscripted shows are produced, without his meeting any of the players in advance. The one thing we don't see is his crew of more than fifty working in parallel to rebuild each bar from the inside out, in less than five days. But this interview wasn't just about his TV shows.



Automatically Categorize All Your Images with PhotoTime

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Orbeus, the company behind various image and video indexing tools, has added a new photo gallery alternative to the iTunes store. Using image recognition capabilities, PhotoTime (Free) identifies who or what is in the photo and groups them by keywords.



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!



Organize Your Items & Inventory with Sortly

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If you are like me, then I bet you are perpetually wasting a good amount of time overturning everything trying to find the thing that you swore you kept some place which you cannot recall at that moment.



Wellograph Tries to Find a Niche Between Fitness Band and Smart Watch

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There has never been a better time for fans of smart watches and fitness bands. The Apple Watch validates the market, yet has enough shortcomings that it leaves room for competitors. I've worn a Pebble since they were available and I appreciate many of the features it offers, but it's getting a little long in the tooth. It doesn't offer any of the health sensors that are so popular these days.



Review: Inbox by Google App

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Google has changed Gmail again.

This time, I had to wait a few weeks to get invited to the "Inbox" club—Google's new app for Gmail—which has turned my email on its head. Once I got the invite, I was finally able to log into the app with my Google account.



Swift Programming 101: Advanced Collections

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Swift's advanced collections can help you model more complex objects in your apps and create an API that is easier to understand and use. In this post, I model a chessboard using Swift's subscripts and also cover tuples and multidimensional arrays!



Popular Third-Party Onscreen Keyboard Swype Free Until Friday

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One of the great features of iOS 8 is the opportunity to use third-party keyboards instead of Apple's onscreen keyboard. Swype (free until 11/14/14) had long been extremely popular in the Android world, and many users rejoiced when it became available on the iPhone and iPad. It greatly speeds text entry. Instead of tapping individual characters, you simply make a continuous swipe around the keyboard. In addition, the more you use it, the more it becomes familiar with the words you use — and anticipates the words you're entering. Whether you swipe or type, your text entry will likely be faster.



Google Maps Gets a Makeover, Adds Uber Integration

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Last Wednesday, Google announced a new version of Google Maps (free) that gives it a new design and a more intuitive interface. Google refers to the new style as their "Material Design" with brighter colors, bolder textures, the use of surfaces and shadows to emulate the real world. Their announcement says that "layers and buttons come to life so you know just where to touch to get directions, recommendations, and imagery."



The Best Note Taking App for iPad

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I first witnessed the MyScipt Calculator at the Mobile App Showdown a couple of years ago at CES. Iwas frankly blown away by the fluid math solving prowess of this app, and it was not surprise when it won the top honors that year. MyScript did not stop there. They kept right on creating innovative extensions of this technology, particularly the hand-writing recognition now baked into a number of MyScript apps. I do not exaggerate when I say that MyScript Smart Note (free), is an amazing note-taking application for iPad See it in action in the embedded video following the break.



Amazon Echo Wants to Be the Centerpiece of Your Smarthome

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Amazon may have stumbled with the Kindle Fire Phone, due to pricing missteps and other issues, but they're not done innovating and working on integrating their technology into our daily lives. Today, Amazon preannounced the Echo, an unassuming speaker that does a lot more than play music. The cylindrical device sits in your home and is always listening for verbal commands. Similar to Siri, you can ask Echo for weather reports, to play music, etc. The gadget has omni-directional speakers and microphones that can listen to commands even if they come from far away.



2048 Shapes: A Clever Spin on a Hit Game

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Whether you are stuck in traffic, anticipating a long wait in the dentist’s office, or simply bored while lining up to pay for your groceries, this new puzzle game can help you kill time.



Lost Civilization Game Review

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I try not to generalize, but when folks besides Big Fish Games or G5 put out hidden object games they tend to be not much more in-depth than moving from scene to scene to find a list of objects. Lost Civilization ($4.99) fits right in with the best titles from the two aforementioned companies, with a strong storyline, interesting characters, and game play that goes far beyond simply uncovering a bunch of items in a few panoramic scenes.  Phoenix Online Studios already made a strong stand in the iOS adventure game world with the Cognition series, and now they’ve shown that they know a good hidden object game when they see it as well.



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