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Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 19: Core Data Wrap Up

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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, 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 much fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 19 of the series. If you are just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here.

Now that you have learned the basics of Core Data and have learned how it works behind the scenes, we're going to finish implementing the main pieces of Core Data in the iAppsReview project and show you how to distribute a pre-populated database with your apps. In the process, you will also learn how to use Xcode's refactoring functionality and how to make rounded rectangle buttons appear disabled at run time. You can download the project we have created so far from this link.



Tip: Quick, Easy Fix for Unresponsive Home Button

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This little trick to fix a sluggish home button has come in very handy for me. It’s about as easy as it gets, and it can solve a common problem that can be quite debilitating when it comes to using your iPhone. It may be especially relevant to older iPhone models like the iPhone 4 and 4S.
 
For various reasons, the home button on your iPhone can start to act sluggish and unresponsive. The first thing I would suggest trying is to simply reset your iPhone. To do this, simultaneously hold down both the power button and the home button steadily and firmly for about 7-8 seconds or until you see the screen go black and the Apple logo appear. This simple move alone will often cure whatever seems to be ailing your iDevice.



Tip: Charge Your iPhone Faster in Airplane Mode

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If you are like me, your iPhone runs low on power by mid-afternoon, sometimes sooner. I am guilty of waiting until the last minute to recharge, so when I came across this tip, I was delighted.

If you switch your iPhone to Airplane Mode (Settings > Airplane Mode> On), it will charge significantly faster, some say in half the amount of time.

I just discovered this tip from a great source, Quora.com. It's an amazing curation site for all sorts of information. It is a site that encourages you to ask any type of question and get immediate answers from real people with real experience. This particular tip came from a threaded question, "What cool things can one do with an iPhone and iPad that most people don't know about?"



How Young is Too Young for a Smartphone?

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We live in an increasingly tech-driven world. Computers have replaced many functions we used to use our brains and hands for. Since the tech boom in the '90s, kids often absorb technology the quickest and know more than their parents at a very young age. With that in mind, it can get a little dicey to determine the right time for children to earn their first smartphone. On one hand, smartphones can add a level of safety. On the other hand, it can cause more than a few problems at home or in school. Ultimately, it is up to a parent to decide when their child is ready, but here are a few factors to consider that may help you make an informed choice. 



Sharing Apple ID and iCloud Accounts With Your Family: A Parent’s Guide

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In this age of multi-device households, sharing accounts with family members can be a little stressful. Add a tween or teenage into the mix, and it might be enough to push you over the edge. If you’ve ever had your phone ring with a FaceTime call from your 12 year-old’s best friend or received the “iCloud is full” error message after adding a new device to your household, this article is for you.

First, it’s important to know a little bit about your Apple ID and iCloud. Your Apple ID is what gives you access to iCloud, FaceTime, iMessage, iTunes, the App Store, and Game Center, among other services. Since these are the most-used services in my house, they are the ones I’m going to talk about here. Some families choose to share an Apple ID for some services and use separate Apple IDs for others. There is no “one size fits all” cure for family device management—it all depends on your family's preferences.



Reliable CPU Usage Measurements on iDevices

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This article is meant for advanced users and programmers.

Today, I've started investigating the CPU usage of the software decoders of the iOS multimedia players I'm reviewing for my forthcoming iOS Multimedia bible. (Of which the work-in-progress feature & benchmark measurements chart, in OpenOffice format, is already public. It's quite a bit messed up (again, it's a chart I'm actively working on) but you may already find answers to even your most unique questions.) For this, I've reviewed all the CPU measurement techniques available on iOS – a very important parameter of the players if you want to have as good battery life and low device temperature as possible. (There may be huge differences in the efficiency between even custom audio – for example, OGG or WMA – decoders, let alone video ones.)



4 Tips for Taking Better iPhone Pictures Of Your Kids

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Let's admit it — kids are tough to photograph with your iPhone. That is, unless they're sitting still and posing for you during the "magic hour" of light professional photographers often talk about. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your iPhone pictures. 

1. Take Video, Convert to Screenshots



Getting Your Questions Answered in Friendly Online Forums

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Every iPhone and iPad user occasionally has questions about using his or her device. Often a quick Google search will answer the question. But if not, then consider getting help online. I'm always impressed by the online communities of people who are sincerely eager to help you with any question or problem you might have. In Apple's support forums, questions are often answered within minutes. In this post I want to encourage you to get help whenever you have the slightest question and to direct you to some of the most helpful communities. You'll get so much more out of your device if you get in the habit of asking questions.



Top 5 Tools for Developing Multi-Platform Mobile Apps

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When developing mobile apps, it's no longer optional to have an interface that works with not only iPhones, but iPads, iPad minis, and the many other mobile devices used widely today. For small businesses especially, managing multiple platforms brings a whole new level of complexity to mobile app development.

However, you can find a great deal of support in developing cross-platform mobile applications by using the tools I've listed below.



The Perils of the Jailbreak

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As an iOS device owner, it can be tempting to "free" your iOS devices from Apple's seemingly stringent limitations. I have never jailbroken my iPad or iPhone, but two of my personal pet peeves include the inability to download files greater than 50mb over 3G, or to delete Passbook and Newsstand from the home screen. I can resolve both of these issues through jailbreaking, yet I remain hesitant.



How to Make Money with Mobile Apps

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Warning: This article could provoke deep insight and ‘aha’ moments.

Developing a mobile app is a piece of cake if you have a good idea and a killer team of developers. But designing a foolproof monetization strategy that works — not just for you, but also for your users — is another challenge altogether.

Even though each monetization model can work incredibly well, the way you apply each strategy will make a noticeable difference to your bottom line. And let’s face it, if you can make another 20-30 percent revenue, then it’s worthwhile to read the rest of this article, right?



Tip: What To Do When You Can't Connect Your iPhone or iPad to Wi-Fi

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Keep these simple troubleshooting tips up your sleeve for the next time you have problems connecting your iOS device to a Wi-Fi network. Here are some basic steps borrowed from a short article in Macworld.



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 1: Getting Ready

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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. This is Part 1 of the blog series. Join me each week on this adventure, and you will experience how fun turning your ideas into reality can be!

So you want to be an app developer! As I mentioned in my first post, giving yourself permission to test the waters is the first step in the process. In this week's post, I'll discuss the details of how to get yourself and your computer ready to create apps.



How To Unleash Your Inner App Developer: Intro

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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, Unleashing 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 on this adventure each week, and you will experience how fun turning your ideas into reality can be! 



Your New iPhone: Five Features You Have To Know About

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So, you just bought an iPhone. It's shiny and beautiful and everyone is saying, "welcome to the club!" But you don't know what all the fuss is about... yet. Here are the five things you need to know about your iPhone before you can truly fall in love with it. 



Higher Order Thinking with iPads (Part #7 - Assessment)

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"Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time." - Rabindranath Tagore

Assessing higher order thinking can be tricky because you and your student may see issues from different perspectives. The safest strategy is to assess the form of the expression rather than it's content.



Higher Order Thinking with iPads (Part #6 - Assigning Projects)

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Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.” - Will Durant

Assigning projects is a critical point in engaging students in higher order thinking projects with or without iPads. It just has to be done right.



New Magazine Column: Ask the Experts!

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Announcing a new column in iPhone Life magazine: Ask the Experts!

Got a burning question about your iPhone or iPad? Curious about how your new device works, or just looking for awesome new app recommendations? Let us know! 

We’re launching a new magazine column that will address questions from readers like you. So what is it you’ve been dying to know? Go ahead, ask us anything! From broad Apple-related topics to super-specific technical questions, we’ll give you our take and feature the best questions in the magazine.



Pairing the iPad Mini with VW Jetta BT to make Skype calls

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While I have been preparing for T-Mobile LTE here in Maine I thought that it might be useful to provide a tip if you would like to connect your iPad Mini to your car's Blue Tooth system to make Skype calls.  In my case I'm connecting my iPad Mini to my 2012 VW Jetta TDI using the following set up.  With the Jetta turned off, have your iPad Mini's BT set to "On" so that it is discoverable, make sure that you do not have another BT device paired (the VW owners manual does not mention this) or it will not discover your iPad Mini, start your Jetta and the iPad Mini will recognize your Jetta's BT system and prompt you for a password - it is four zeros



iPhone Life's Holiday Gift Guide for the Road Less Travelled

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Welcome to this comprehensive gift guide to the best of the best in rugged gear, accessories and apps for iOS. Featuring over 20 different companies that make high-quality, ruggedly contructed and durable gear, or apps suited to outdoor and survival skills. Read on after the break for more details (and over 30 useful links) about some of the most exceptional adventure-ready products on the market...



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