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Enter the iPhone Life Photo Contest: Deadline Feb. 21!

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Mt. Rainier from Crystal Summit

It's photo contest time again. We know you enjoy taking occasional artistic shots with your iPhone, so why not get rewarded for it! Enter our iPhone Photography Contest for a chance to win awesome prizes and a spot in our magazine! 



Korean Giant, Actoz Soft, releases In a Space in Canada

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Canada seems to be the test bed for big developers. As you all know, Supercell launched Boom Beach in Canada and now South Korean gaming giant, Actoz Soft, has also followed suit with In a Space.



Flappy Bird: The Short Life of the World’s Biggest Little Superstar

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In July of 2012, an independent game developer named Dong Nguyen from Vietnam, inspired by what could only be the same angelic muses that visited Poe and Hemingway during their creative slumbers, decided on a whim to create a game consisting of birds smashing into green plumbing.

In all seriousness, the brilliant mind behind the indie craze Flappy Bird created a game similar to others he designed within his .GEARS game development team: a repetitive and difficult throwback to 8-bit retro console games popular in Japan. As someone still addicted to Super Hexagon, VVVVV, and Super Meat Boy, I can attest that with Flappy Bird Nguyen hit a home run out of the park.



iBeacons Installation in Baseball Stadiums Has Begun

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Major League Baseball announced on Friday that installation of iBeacon transmitters in two stadiums has now been completed as part of a project to install the technology in over 20 ballparks by the start of the season in late March. Some 65 iBeacon transmitters were installed in Dodger Stadium and Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. So what will it do for you? You'll need to load the MLB.com At the Ballpark app (free) on your iPhone or iPad, and then as you approach specific locations within the park, you'll receive messages on your device. Typically you'll receive offers for discounts at nearby concessions. Also, some parks are planning to use the technology to help guide you to your seat. And some will likely use it to offer information about points of interest within the ballpark. For example, a demo of the technology last fall at Citi Field, home of the Mets, used iBeacon to offer fans digital coupons as they entered the team's store. The demo also brought up an informational video when walking near the giant Apple in the stadium. Different parks will use it for different purposes.



Wall Street Journal Offers More Clues About Forthcoming Apple TV

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In a previous post, I reported on the story from Bloomberg that Apple was closing in on a deal with Time Warner and was hoping to introduce a new Apple TV device by April. That's starting to look unlikely. An article in the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that one source familiar with Apple's plans said Apple hopes to release a new device by June, and another said it may not be ready until several months after that. The WSJ article also helps to clarify the earlier reports of Apple's possible deal with Time Warner. The question was whether Apple was still trying to make a deal that would allow it to offer its own cable channels or if it's simply hoping to offer the cable companies a better set-top box. Apple had earlier wanted to offer full seasons of TV shows along with live programming. However, the article says Apple has given up on that idea, given the resistance of the cable providers. Most recently Apple is asking just for the five most recent episodes of TV shows. It's also possible, the article says, that Apple would simply sell the new Apple TV devices to the cable companies, who would then rent them as set-top boxes to subscribers, rather than Apple selling the device directly to consumers.



Bloomberg Reports Apple Planning New Apple TV Device by April

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There's been an odd coincidence of events this week, with Bloomberg reporting on Wednesday that Apple was negotiating a partnership with Time Warner and hoped to announce a new Apple TV by April. Then on Thursday news reports said that Comcast had agreed to buy Time Warner, causing observers to wonder what that will mean for Apple's deal with Time Warner. In any case, the Bloomberg report had some interesting details, citing "people with knowledge of the matter." The report said the updated Apple TV would have a faster processor and a new interface. The report also said Apple had also been in talks with Comcast and Direct TV, but they were reluctant to partner with Apple.



Five Apps to Help You Win at Valentine's Day

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February 14 is known as the most romantic day of the year. If you want to win over your love and make Valentine's Day a success, check out these five free apps.



Rumor: Apple Testing Bezel-Free iPhone 6

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When Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, it was dramatically different. Smartphones back then were covered with buttons, and typically had a keyboard on the front, like the Blackberry. Apple's iPhone was almost free of buttons, and unlike most phones at the time, used much of the face of the device for the display. There were bezels (or borders) around the edge to give you something to hold on to and avoid inadvertent touches of the display. Then Apple figured out how to recognize and ignore inadvertent touches, and therefore make the bezels narrower. Now the latest rumor, via The Korea Herald, is that Apple is testing a prototype of the iPhone 6 that has no bezel at all. The display would be the entire width of the phone.



Opinion: Snowden Leak about App Data Collection Leads to Question: 'What? Me Worry?'

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Purported Hack of Rovio Angry Birds Website (listed on Google as unverified)

Every week now there seems to be some new revelation about how our information is being collected by U.S. Government agencies for reasons that range from vague to useless to nefarious.  In late January, former NSA Edward Snowden suggested that Angry Birds, along with a number of mobile apps, were the source of intelligence information.

As with previous documents provided by Snowden, the NSA did not deny or confirm what information sources they use, but rather said that any communications they did collect not associated with “valid foreign intelligence targets” was not of interest.



More Evidence for iWatch; Apple's Sapphire Crystal May Be for iWatch, Not iPhone

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MobiHealthNews posted a number of iWatch scoops Monday based on sources with "limited but direct knowledge of Apple's plans...." They reported that Apple has over 200 employees working on the project. That suggests Apple is really serious about this new device, not just experimenting with prototypes.



Confirmation of New Apple TV Device; Beatles Channel Added

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Rumors continue to swirl regarding the Apple TV set-top box. One rumor is that Apple will be adding gaming and an App Store for the device sometime within the next six weeks. My hunch is that there's a good chance for this happening. In addition, there have been rumors that we'll see a new Apple TV device in the first half of this year. Now, according to a post on 9To5Mac, we have confirmation of a new device. Buried in iOS 7 is a reference to the forthcoming device, alongside references to the already-available versions. It's referenced as AppleTV4,1, with the previous iteration being AppleTV 3,2. The post says that the jump in increment to 4 suggests that the box will be a major upgrade rather than a minor update. 9To5Mac also notes that the previous Apple TV was introduced in March 2012, so it would make sense that March would be the month for the announcement for a new generation of the device.



Apple Ramping Up for Huge Sapphire Crystal Production

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Often Apple rumors are speculation based on comments from individuals in Apple's supply chain. However, the news about Apple's forthcoming use of super-hard sapphire crystal isn't rumor. The manufacturing facility has been built in Arizona and is expected to go into production this month, with 700 full-time employees. According to a report on Bloomberg, Apple will be able to produce as much as two times the current world capacity of sapphire crystal. Citing the mayor of Mesa, Arizona, where the plant is located, Apple will be able to make enough sapphire for 80-100 million iPhones. The question is, of course, what will Apple use the sapphire for?



Steve Wozniak on Steve Jobs, Wearables, Android, and the NSA

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Last week I had more fun than one person should be allowed to have. At appsworld in San Francisco, I had the privilege of meeting Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple.
 
When you think of Apple, it's natural to think first of Steve Jobs and the tremendous task he performed taking Apple, a company near the brink, and completely turning it around to become one of the world's largest companies and most coveted brands. However, if there were no Steve Wozniak, there would have been no Apple. Wozniak is the wizard who designed and built the first highly successful mass-produced personal computer.



TYPO Keyboard CEO Talks About BlackBerry Lawsuit Threats, Working With Ryan Seacrest, and More [Exclusive Interview]

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I don't know about you, but if BlackBerry tried to sue me, I wouldn't remain as calm and collected as Laurence Hallier. I got the chance to chat with the veteran entrepreneur, who is currently the CEO of TYPO Keyboards, and I asked him about their new TYPO keyboard case (which many critics say looks like a BlackBerry keyboard—inlcuding BlackBerry itself), what it was like working with Ryan Seacrest, how he feels about BlackBerry, and what's next for this young product venture. Enjoy!

 



Concept Video Shows Rendering of iPhone 6 and Forthcoming iPhone "Phablet"

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The evidence so far for the next iteration of the iPhone has converged on the expectation of a 4.7- or 4.8-inch iPhone 6 and a 5.5-inch iPhone, which would fall into the "phablet" category (a combination phone/tablet). The phones will likely have the same aspect ratio as the current phones (that is, have the same shape), but will have larger displays. One rumor claimed the iPhone 6 will have HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and that the phablet will be a 2K device, with 2,272 x 1,280 pixels. Several rumors have said that the iPhone 6 will arrive on the same schedule as usual for a new iPhone, which would mean a September launch, with the phablet having a separate launch sometime later. If you're curious what the new phones might look like and how they compare in size with the current phone, BGR has posted a concept video comparing the various sizes. It gives you a clear idea how much larger the new phones will be.



Last Chance to Enter our February 10th Giveaway!

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Don't forget to enter this weekend's Giveaway Contest! 

Here's how it works: Every other weekend we raffle off tons of great apps and accessories for FREE then announce the winners through iphonelife.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. To enter, go to iPhoneLife.com/giveaways. If you win an app, we will email you the promo code. If you win an accessory, we will ask you for your mailing address.

 

This weeks featured items are:



Apple Job Posting Seeks Exercise Physiologists, Giving More Evidence for Apple's New Direction

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What is Apple up to? The evidence just keeps mounting for a major focus on health and fitness. Today Apple posted a job listing seeking exercise physiologists. We already know they've hired a number of top people with expertise in areas such as medical sensors and health-monitoring equipment. The people being recruited by today's ad, which has now been taken down, would be asked to "design and run user studies related to cardiovascular fitness & energy expenditure, including calories burned, metabolic rate, aerobic fitness level measurement/tracking and other key physiological measurements…" The website 9To5Mac has posted a screen shot of the ad. Qualifications for the positions include experience with health-monitoring equipment, measuring calorie expenditure, key fitness indicators, and exercise testing. 9To5Mac says the ad suggests that Apple is moving into the development phase, which will entail product testing. 



Sleep Expert and Other Apple Hires Strongly Suggest iWatch Coming

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Since 2012, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been saying there are new products in the pipeline. Yet so far we've only had updates for existing products. But it's self-evident that they're up to something health-related, given the people they're hiring: a former executive vice-president of medical affairs, an expert on health sensors, an engineer who's a specialist in health-monitoring equipment, and, most recently, a sleep expert. You don't have to be too bright to infer that this suggests they're working on a product related to health monitoring. Plus, they hired a former CEO of Yves Saint Laurent. Why would they hire a fashion designer if not to help create a fashionable wearable device? All of this points to an iWatch or some other sort of wearable computer.



Jamaica's Olympic Bobsled Team: Cool Runnings Redux

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The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia will undoubtedly be full of triumphant moments and inspirational stories taking place. Perhaps one of the most inspiring will be a story that is both new and still familiar to many people out there. It's the story of the Jamaican Bobsled Team and their journey to these Olympics. It is partly an ode to determination and partially a gaze into the possibilities of digital currency and crowdfunding on a global scale. 



Apple to Jump on the Mobile Payment Bandwagon?

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In a recent report on mobile payments, the Wall Street Journal said,  “Apple Inc. is laying the groundwork for an expanded mobile-payments service, leveraging its growing base of iPhone and iPad users and the hundreds of millions of credit cards on file through its iTunes stores.” This report does not raise eyebrows, but simply states the inevitable fact. Apple's entry into this market will undoubtedly raise the bar, with major players already fiercely competing to gain market traction over how people pay through mobile devices.



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