Apple has now made available its 2013 12 Days of Gifts app for free download in the App Store. In the past Apple has offered this app in other countries, but for the first time this year it's also available for download in the US. From December 26 to January 6, you'll be able to download a free gift each day: songs, apps, books, movies, and more. Each gift will only be available for 24 hours, so you'll want to check the app every day to see what's available.
Holiday shopping may have gotten a bit smoother thanks to the news from e-commerce giant PayPal. They have announced a new 'Digital Gifts Store' service, and the first product that's available? iTunes. One caveat? The Digital Gift Store can only process transactions within the United States, so international customers are left out for now. While the store doesn't have much besides Apple's media service to offer, it might not matter when seen in a broader scope.
The latest issue of iPhone Life magazine is available digitally on December 11 and at newsstands on December 17!
The Jan-Feb issue features the best fitness accessories for the iLifestyle, iUser profiles, tips on designing apps for iOS 7, product reviews, and other magazine-exclusive content you won't want to miss including:
Healthy New You
It happens every New Year—millions of people resolve that this is the year they are finally going to get fit and healthy, but find themselves going back to old habits within a few months. iPhone Life has got readers' backs with this roundup of expert tips, app recommendations, iUser success stories, and more to help you lose weight, eat healthily, and achieve balance in 2014.
A big thank you to everyone who entered our iPad Air Giveaway! We had so much fun hearing from everyone who entered that we wish we could give an iPad to all of you.
And the winner of the iPhone Life iPad Air Giveaway is...
How does a picture of actor Morgan Freeman wind up featured here on iPhone Life? Well, while he is undoubtedly a respected and immensely gifted performer, the reason you see his face here is because this image was created with only fingertips, talent, an iPad, and an amazing app called Procreate ($5.99). It really is a painting, though the detail rendered is mind-blowing, even when you zoom in on it. As an artist in my own right I can honestly say I've never seen such an amazing portrait, much less one created on an iPad.
We have many months to go before a new iPhone launches, and already there are rumors aplenty, a number of which I've reported here. Minyanville has helpfully collected the rumors to date in a single post. The most frequent rumor may be that the iPhone 6 will have a larger screen, with sources saying that Apple is testing iPhones with 4.7-, 4.9-, and 5.5-inch displays. I think it's likely we'll see a larger iPhone next year. All the other rumors seem to have less credibility but aren't without substance. It's been rumored that the iPhone will have a curved display, perhaps similar to the picture of the Samsung Galaxy Round that accompanies this post. See my earlier post for more detail on why such a display may be useful.
A number of days ago, Apple quietly began making a new option available for those interested in purchasing an iPhone 5s. You can now buy an unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 5s. As you likely know, this entails paying the whole price of the phone up front, but you avoid having to commit to a two-year contract. Note though, they're only offering GSM, which limits the phone to being used on AT&T's or T-Mobile's networks. You'll need to get your SIM card directly from one of those carriers. The price is $649 for the 16GB iPhone 5s, $749 for 32GB, and $849 for 64GB.
Today, November 29, only, Apple is offering a $75 gift card if you purchase an iPad Air and a $50 gift card if you purchase an iPad 2 or the first-generation iPad mini. There's no gift card available for the purchase of the iPad mini with Retina display or an iPhone. It's great to see this offer, but one can't help but wish these were discounts rather than gift cards. And one can't help but observe that you'll get a better deal at Target, which is offering a $100 gift card on the purchase of an iPad Air, plus a price of $479 for the 16GB WiFi model, effectively bringing down the price to $379.
If Australia's Black Friday offerings from Apple are any indication, and most people are assuming they are, then it looks like tomorrow Apple will be offering a $70 gift card on the purchase of an iPad Air. But you'll be paying the regular price. Apparently there won't be any gift cards for the iPhone or the iPad mini with retina display, but there will be gift cards for the first-generation mini and the iPad 2 (probably about $45). So it looks like you'll get a better deal at the big-box retailers such as Target and WalMart.
You already have a ton of options when it comes to cloud-based music, including iTunes Radio, Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, Amazon Cloud Player, and more. Yet you might want to consider Google Play Music, since it offers a combination of features not otherwise available. As you know, services like Pandora and iTunes Radio let you listen to songs similar to what you like, but you're unable to request specific songs. And subscription services such as Spotify and Rdio let you request a particular song and typically charge a monthly fee of around $10, but they don't store your personal collection in the cloud. Then there are services like iTunes Match and Amazon Cloud Player that let you upload your collection to the cloud and stream music that you already own. Google Play Music combines the ability to request specific songs (like Spotify and Rdio) with the ability to upload your music collection (like iTunes Match and Amazon Cloud Player).
Apple has posted a Black Friday page on their website alerting people to special sales coming up. But they give no detail. They'll be hard pressed to match the great deals being offered by big-box retailers such as Target and Walmart.
DigiTimes, which has connections in Apple's supply chain and which is frequently a source of rumors, reported today that the Taiwan-based company Quanta has been tapped by Apple to manufacture the rumored 12.9-inch iPad, which some are calling the iPad pro. The report says the larger iPad will be targeted toward the education and enterprise markets. And it notes that Quanta is facing some serious design challenges with the larger iPad that could limit its availability. The report says the new iPad is expected to launch in the second half of next year. Interest in larger tablets seems to be increasing, so it wouldn't be a surprise if Apple jumped into this arena.
We know you've come to rely on the bloggers at iPhoneLife.com for helpful reviews of all the best offerings in the App Store. With over 1 million apps for your iPhone and over 475,000 apps for your iPad, deciding which apps to download can be overwhelming. That's why we asked all of our bloggers to vote for their favorite apps released or updated in 2013. Here are their top three in seven categories!
If you're in the market for a new iPhone or iPad, Black Friday (Nov. 29) is the day to take the plunge. Actually, many of the great deals start as early as Nov. 28 and continue through the weekend. In a previous post I mentioned two websites tracking Black Friday deals and summarized the best deals. I wanted to also point you to the continuously updated comprehensive roundup posted on MacRumors. Plus, they summarize the best deals in a chart at the top of the page. Some remarkable deals are to be had: iPad Air for $379 at Target, iPad mini (first generation) for $199 at Walmart, iPad 2 for $299 at Target, and iPhone 5s for $114 and iPhone 5c for $0 at Walmart. MacRumors also offers shopping tips, such as which online retailers charge local sales tax in which states.
Great news iPhone Lifers! Lifeproof, the manufacturer of the some of the most rugged, durable, and versatile iPhone cases on the market, has extended a special, exclusive offer to all of our iPhone Life readers. Read on to learn all about this great offer, which comes just in time for the holiday shopping season.
Apple posted a new page on its website this past week titled Life on iPad that shows the amazing range of uses for this device. It offers a two-minute overview video (embedded below) that shows snippets of people using an iPad for maintaining wind turbines, harvesting crops, assessing athletic performance, tracking inventory, accessing recipes, navigating in vehicles, driving race cars, doing surgery, playing games, drawing, performing music, accessing augmented reality, climbing mountains, and more.
We're going to have months of rumors regarding the next iPhone, but already they're starting to converge around a common theme: the iPhone 6 will have a larger screen. According to AppleInsider, the latest rumor comes from a popular Chinese technology blog, which reported that Apple is field testing an iPhone with a 4.9-inch display. Earlier Bloomberg had reported Apple was developing phones with curved 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays. In the past I've read that in fact Apple typically tests a variety of different models before settling on a particular one, so that may be what's going on here. But it does seem to indicate that Apple is serious about adding a larger iPhone to its line. In 2014 we may therefore see both a larger iPad and a larger iPhone.
Since there's so much video available for free online, I avoid paying for content. Therefore, my main use for my $99 Apple TV device has been to use the AirPlay feature to stream free content from my iPad. Most of the best channels that come with Apple TV require a subscription, such as Netflix and Hulu, or they require that you already have a cable TV service (which I don't). So it was a real revelation when I tried the two new channels that Apple TV added Tuesday: Yahoo Screen and PBS. Each offers a trove of content—and all of it is free. These two channels may be the most compelling reason yet to get an Apple TV if you're someone who's considering cutting your cable subscription.
It's now a lot easier to shop in Apple's online store via your iPad thanks to Apple's new free app Apple Store for iPad. It does a good job of using the larger screen space of the iPad to enhance your shopping experience, while having some useful features.
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