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Expert Blogs

ABC and Apple Offer More TV Choices

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While pundits continue to look for a new Apple TV box that lets users break with their cable companies, perhaps Apple's approach is to slowly offer cord-cutting features with the existing Apple TV and iOS devices. Each new feature takes a step in the right direction. Instead of cutting the cord with a Samurai sword, we have the equivalent of death by a thousand paper cuts. Case in point, ABC now lets users watch full-length episodes on the Apple TV or iOS device, even if they don't have a cable subscription.



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!



This Week's Gaming Distraction: Zengrams

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We're spoiled for choice when it comes to games nowadays; new apps come out every week, and there are hundreds of development companies working around the clock to create the most addicting, entrancing, and entertaining distractions possible. Games are as old as humanity itself, but we haven't always had such a wide variety of them; for thousands of years, we made do with just a handful of brain-teasing puzzles. These games were challenging enough to carry on down through the generations, and their influence is still occasionally seen today. Zengrams ($0.99), by Gameblyr, is one such example; it takes inspiration from ancient Chinese tangram puzzles. Translating to “seven boards of skill,” tangrams consisted of seven flat geometric shapes; the goal was to use all of the pieces to completely fill a larger outline. Tangrams are some of the most famous dissection puzzles on earth; from the seven standard shapes, there are over 6500 configurations currently known.



Swift Programming 101: The Power of Extensions

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Extensions are one of Swift's best features. Extensions allow you to add behavior to existing classes, including classes in the Cocoa Touch Framework. Apple can't add every feature you want to their framework classes, but they have provided a tool to allow you to do it yourself! In this article, you will learn practical uses for Swift extensions you can use immediately in your iOS projects.



Replace Your Native Reminders App with Checkmark 2

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I have written about native app replacements before when it was time to change your calendar. Now, it's time to change your Reminders app.



BabyTime App Helps Parents and Care Givers Track Baby’s Health and Well-Being

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You can talk to any parent and they can surely tell you a thing or two about the "adventures" of taking care of a baby. Every parent wants to figure out how they can ease and comfort their little bundle of joy so as not to wake the whole block or to sneak away for some moments of that precious thing called sleep.



Discover the Hottest Twitter Trends, Mentions, and Photos in Your Area Through Zoom Social

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For an entrepreneur, data from social media sites can be a gold mine as they can present unlimited opportunities if the information tapped is handled efficiently and effectively. But this data can most often be overwhelming especially to the untrained eye. Whether you want to know what’s hot and what’s not for business or simply out of sheer curiosity, the new free app named Zoom Social can deliver these straight to your hands in a neat little package, ready to be devoured as needed.



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!



Get Close to the Cosmos with Redshift Discover Astronomy!

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There are a few astronomy sims on the App Store, and none are quite as comprehensive as the amazing Redshift, which has 100,000-plus celestial objects in its imagery database. Redshift turns your iPad into an intergalactic portal so you can fly to another galaxy or take a tour of the Jovian moons. People who want to explore the universe, but don't want to spend $10.99, will be happy to know you can instead get Redshift Discover Astronomya scaled down version for just $2.99.



Your Guide to Choosing a Third-Party Keyboard

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If you haven't gotten into the third-party keyboard craze yet, now's your chance to try! A lot of keyboards are under two dollars (or free), so download a couple of apps to see what you like. They are easy to install.



Game Centered Special Edition: Top iOS Games for Console Gamers

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The following dozen games are either ports of popular console titles, or iOS games that shine in their own right as being console quality. To be included on this list, a game must either be a new release as of this year, or it must have been updated recently to support iOS 8 and Apple's advanced new programming interface known as Metal. With the introduction of iOS 8 and Metal, alongside the powerful A8 and A8X processors that are inside the latest iDevices, Apple has leveled the virtual playing field. It would be ignoring the facts for a core console gamer to say that iOS can't support video games that are on par with console or PC titles, especially if you indulge in iOS' streaming capabilities that allow us to play these great games on a large screened TV. With the graphic capabilities of iOS 8 and the exciting titles currently available for the platform, it's easy to see how Apple's iOS is leading the way in a mobile eSport industry that is on track to bring in a revenue of over 24 billion dollars this year, and set to overtake PC and console gaming's revenue in 2015. As the holidays are upon us again, don't forget that you can gift any of these apps to your favorite gamer via the App Store.

 



Ozobot Is the Future of Smart Toys

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At the last CES, iPhone Life awarded Best of Show to Ozobot, an emerging technology toy and educational robot system that had great promise. Ozobots ($49.99) are now shipping and we've had a chance to play (and learn) with them over an extended time. Ozobot is a programmable tiny cute robot that resembles the top half of everyone's favorite droid, R2D2. The domed robots can be customized with different color tops so kids can play with several at a time and still tell them apart. The robots get their programming not from a keyboard but via an optical sensor on their bottoms. The Ozobots "read" colors and commands that tell it to go straight, turn one way or the other, or reverse, etc. Kids can "program" the robots by literally drawing with markers on a page of paper. It's a fun way to program without ever touching a keyboard!



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.



Apple's Web Preview Still Lists Apps as Free

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As a follow-up to my article on Apple changing the wording from "Free" to "Get," I noticed that the word hasn't changed everywhere. While iTunes and the App Store display "Get" for apps that don't have an initial price, the App Store preview pages, which are displayed when web sites link to an app, still show "Free" for such apps. Eventually, Apple may get around to fixing this, but it is a glaring inconsistency from a manufacturer that usually takes their entire web store down to make changes.



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.



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