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Expert Blogs

Weather : Universal Forecast Is an Elegant and Functional Weather App

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There are a lot of free weather apps, including the built-in one, so if you're going to download or even buy one, it has to offer something special. I downloaded the Weather : Universal Forecast (free) app, from Moveo and it does have some nice features.



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 11: The Photo Library

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Do you have an idea for an app but lack the programming knowledge to begin building it? In this weekly blog series, How to Unleash Your Inner App Developer, I will take you, the non-programmer, step by step through the process of creating apps for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Join me each week on this adventure, and you will experience how fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 11 of the series. If you're just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here(This post has been updated to Swift and iOS 8)

Now that you have some of the basics of Swift programming under your belt, it's time to dive into some deeper coding territory. To get the latest version of iAppsReview, select this link



Decals May Help Attract Apple Pay Customers

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Apple Pay is off to a good start, but it's not always apparent that a retailer accepts it. The other day, I asked if I could pay with Apple Pay at Staples, and they said yes. At my local Panera Bread, two of the three registers are set up to accept it, but one isn't. Apple is trying to address this by making Apple Pay decals available to retailers. There's no catchy phrase like "Follow Us" or "Check In" or even "Access Us," just "Pay" preceded by the Apple Logo. In a way it reminds me of the movie They Live and their subliminal signs like "SUBMIT" and "OBEY," except Apple's command is "PAY!"



Review: Soundprism Electro Mini—Make Your Own Tunes with Ease!

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Audanika has developed several trippy music applications that turn your iPad or iPhone into a synth and MIDI powerhouse. The coolest part is that even without musical training or ability, you are still likely to be able to bang out a better than passable melody just by selecting a few random tiles in the app, and it's engrossing and fun to try! Read on to learn how the new SoundPrism Electro Mini ($2.99) brings more synth magic to your iPhone!



Samsung Bows to Users and Google and Makes Bloatware Removable

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Bloatware is the term for undesired apps that fill up a brand new computer or device. PC makers have added bloatware for years because they would get compensated by software makers for doing so. As margins on PCs diminished, this became a valuable revenue stream. But it was relatively easy to delete unwanted programs or ignore them on a PC with hundreds of gigabytes of storage. 



Review: Forge Sketching App from Adonit

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There is a whole host of note-taking and drawing apps for iPad especially, and a lot can be done with a free app and a cheap stylus.



Apple Selling Sugared Water, Thanks to Apple Pay

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Steve Jobs was a great salesman. Perhaps too good. He lured John Sculley away from the CEO spot at Pepsico by asking him if he really wanted to be selling sugared water for the rest of his life. Sculley became Apple's CEO and within a year, Steve Jobs was kicked out of Apple. He formed NeXT, which Apple ended up acquiring and Jobs returned to Apple, like Moses returning from the wilderness and the rest is history. But that sales pitch hit home during Apple's Spring Forward keynote. Tim Cook showed a slide of a Coca Cola machine that accepts Apple Pay. The very next day, I saw one of those machines at a college campus, and it occurred to me that Apple is now "selling" sugared water!



Apple iOS 8 Adoption, By The Numbers

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Apple's iOS 8 is chugging along quite well, as Apple now reports that 77 percent of iOS devices are using iOS 8. AppleInsider is citing Apple's App Store statistics, stating that Apple's iOS 7 still commands 20 percent share of iOS devices, at least of those that visited the App Store. That means 97 percent of app customers are using the current (2014) or last generation (2013) operating system. This is important to developers, myself included, as it means we can focus on the latest features without leaving too many potential customers behind.



Interesting Microsoft News for Apple Users

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Microsoft is reinventing themselves, and using Apple as a blueprint in some ways. Today's news has them making Windows 10 a free upgrade, albeit for a year, for existing Windows 8 customers. Even users of pirated copies of Windows, which are reportedly 75 percent of China's Windows users, will be allowed to upgrade for free. Apple also does this, but they make money on all of the Mac hardware. Microsoft needs to keep Windows' market share high, and fight off Chromebooks on the low end and gain inroads against Android tablets and iPads as well. Plus Microsoft is now in the hardware business and has been for some time. So they can afford to make less profit on the operating system.



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 10: Social Media and Collections

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Do you have an idea for an app but lack the programming knowledge to begin building it? In this weekly blog series, How to Unleash Your Inner App Developer, I will take you, the non-programmer, step by step through the process of creating apps for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Join me each week on this adventure and you will experience how fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 10 of the series. If you're just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here (this post has been updated to Swift and iOS 8.)

In my previous post, you learned the basic mechanics of calling methods on an object. There's very little you can do in Swift, the language of iOS development, without calling methods. In this post, we're going to put into practice what you have learned about calling methods and integrate social media into the iAppsReview app we've been working on in this blog. I'm also going to introduce a new Cocoa Touch Framework concept known as collections. You can get the latest version of iAppsReview from this link.



Apple TV Rumored (Again) to Get Cable Channels

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Every year, analysts predict the Apple TV will offer a la carte Cable TV channels, and every year they are wrong. Sure, some channels like HBO and ESPN have added "apps" or buttons to the Apple TV, and the HBO NOW announcement, during Apple's Watch event, help Apple inch along towards a set top box replacement. This year is no different, as the Wall Street Journal is getting a little more specific and stating Apple could add about 25 channels and could do so this fall.



Pronto and Peel Let You Use Your iPhone, and Apple Watch, to Control Your TV

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I had the chance to try the Pronto Smart Remote ($49.99). It's a nice, affordable way to turn your iPhone into a universal remote control, and it will get better when the Apple Watch is available. The makers promise to make the app work with the Apple Watch, so you can control your TV and A/V equipment from your wrist! How cool is that? The Peel iPhone app also works as a TV guide, but it would be nice if it could leverage the full screen of an iPad. The app talks to the Pronto base station that sits within line of sight of your A/V equipment.



Get Early Access to Beta Software

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Are you chomping at the bit to get an Apple Watch? Are you the type that can't wait for access to the next version of iOS or OS X? Well, you can't get an Apple Watch yet, but Apple is letting the general public gain access to beta versions of their operating systems. Apple started this early access program last year, and it is a way for them to test features in the real world before it is considered FCS (First Customer Ship) ready.



May the Force Touch Be with You and Your next iPhone

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At the March 9 Apple event, Apple introduced "Force Touch," which is basically a binary version of touch sensitivity, for the trackpad in the new MacBook as well as for the Apple Watch. Those devices can now distinguish between a touch and a hard touch. This isn't exactly the kind of touch sensitivity that a Wacom tablet would offer, where it recognizes multiple degrees of force. That can be great for artists who want heavier and lighter lines based on pressure. 



Review: Real Time Data Usage Tracking from DataMan

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If you’re like me, always on your phone, you’re likely always obsessing over how much data you’re using, especially if you’re on a family plan and need to account for everyone else’s data use, too!



Apple Watch App Rundown

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Thanks to the Apple Watch, we can now get apps everywherefrom our MacBooks on our lap and the iPad on the desk, to our iPhones in our hands and our Apple Watches on our wrist.



March 9 Apple Announcement: Medical Research Apps Will Help Researchers Cure Diseases

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Small sample sizes, frequency of data, subjective data, and one-way communication have always been issues in the Medical Research field. Research Kit is a software kit built in to iPhone that allows researchers to collect data about certain diseases right from iPhone users who have these diseases.



Tip of the Day: How to Work with PDFs on Your iPhone or iPad

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There are a few ways you can work with PDFs in your native Mail app. When you open the email, you should see the PDF attachment.



Seconds Play a Role in Last Minute News About Apple Watch

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It's almost time to set our watches ahead one hour, which could be the last time many of us need to do that manually, if we own an Apple Watch by this time next year. Last minute rumors coming out of Cupertino offer a little more insight into how the Apple Watch will be used. Apple has allowed a select group of developers into their secret laboratory in order to test their apps on the device. This is a top-secret lab that is harder to break into than a political candidate's private email, and certainly harder than Sony Pictures!



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 9: Calling Methods

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Do you have an idea for an app but lack the programming knowledge to begin building it? In this weekly blog series, How To Unleash Your Inner App Developer, I will take you, the non-programmer, step by step through the process of creating apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Join me each week on this adventure, and you will experience how fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 9 of the series. If you're just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here (this post has been updated to Swift and iOS 8.)

In my previous post, I taught you how to write your very first line of code. In the process, I touched on the concept of calling methods in Swift. In this post, we're going to take a closer look at the important concept of calling methods, and we will also work on converting the prototype iAppsReview into a fully-functional app.



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