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Tip of the Day: How to Teach iOS Autocorrect New Words

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Autocorrect is awesome at turning your garbled typing into coherent messages, notes, and more.

Except when it's not. 

Here's how to make the awesomeness of autocorrect work for you:



Wall Street Journal: Apple Has Ordered 5 to 6 Million Apple Watches Prior to Launch

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The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Apple has ordered 5–6 million Apple Watches from its suppliers in advance of the April launch. Citing "people familiar with the matter," the report said that half of this initial order will be the low-end Sport model and another third will be the mid-tier watch. The initial order for the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition is relatively small, but the article says that after this first order Apple will be asking suppliers to make 1 million per month. Most are expecting the high-end model to sell for at least $4,000, while the entry-level version will start at $349, according to Apple's announcement.



The Apple Watch That Never Was

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We will be getting the Apple Watch soon, but it may not be the watch we could have had. As powerful as the Apple Watch will be, Apple reportedly had more ambitious plans for their first generation wearable, but they were axed for several reasons, including regulatory approval. If Apple were to start making medical claims, they would need approval from the FDA. While the watch will have a heart rate sensor, the dropped features include tracking of blood pressure and stress levels. Apple apparently couldn't guarantee accurate results, as there are too many variables, such as how tightly the watch is worn.



In Praise of Flip Phones

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It turns out that flip phones are still popular. Who knew? Actually, I did, as I often run into users with Flip Phones at trade shows where I'm promoting my apps. Nothing shuts down an app developer like "I use a flip phone!" But it turns out that while there are many users who just want a simple phone, without apps or a fragile, exposed touchscreen, there are flip phones that are quite advanced. And they're big in Japan.



Apple Beats Android, Barely

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Apple's iOS has been playing second fiddle to Google's Android in terms of market share since 2012. While Apple was doing quite well in terms of profits, they had been losing on volume to Android devices which tend to be much cheaper and even free with a contract. But a new report indicates that has changed with the larger iPhone 6 (and more affordable iPhone 5 models.)



Swift Programming 101: Creating Self-Registering Swift UI Controls

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What’s the best way to create controls that respond to notifications without interfering with existing messaging mechanisms? In this article I demonstrate a Notification Proxy class that helps you add functionality to existing iOS UI controls using a practical example: Adding placeholder text to the text view control.



Tip of the Day: How to Send Messages with Subject Lines

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We're all used to sending emails with subject lines. It lets the receiver know what the email is about, which increases the odds they'll read it, and it makes it easier to keep track of multiple email exchanges on the same topic. It turns out you can also add subject lines to text messages and iMessages sent from your iPhone—which can be especially handy if you know you'll want to refer back to the conversation at a later time, since you can easily search for the message's subject. Here's how you can turn this feature on:



Wall Street Journal Reports Apple Developing a Car

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What do you do if you have $180 billion in cash? If you're Apple, you develop a car. A number of reports in recent days have said that Apple is working on a design for an electric car and that it's expected to have self-driving features.



Counting Steps is Lame. Count Jumps with VERT!

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My daughter is participating in the American Heart Association Jumprope for Heart program. To prepare, I've had her try the VERT Jump Tracking Device ($124.99). While it's meant for professional and serious athletes, it gave her the feedback and encouragement needed to keep working. The VERT is a belt-clip wearable that's made in the U.S. and if you don't have an outfit that accommodates a belt-clip, they include an elastic belt as an option.



Another Apple TV Prediction

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Groucho Marx used to say "Live every day as if it were your last, because one day, you're going to be right." Likewise, Piper Jaffray's Gene Muster is always proclaiming that "this year" is the year Apple will ship its own full-size Apple TV and not just a hockey puck-sized set-top box. He still thinks a full-fledged television is coming from Apple, but in the meantime, an updated Apple TV should ship in 2015. That is a safer bet (and a far safer one than Apple shipping an automobile.)



Twitter Blames Apple and iOS 8 for Loss in Users, Then Backtracks

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Whenever Apple releases a new major version of iOS, it sends developers scrambling. They have to make sure their apps are compatible and aren't relying on "deprecated" code that no longer works or will stop working soon. But sometimes Apple changes things just enough in ways that don't break an app, but have an impact nonetheless. Twitter has just found this out the hard way.



Tip of the Day: Quick Charge Your iPhone Battery

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Your ankles hate you. Go back to spin class. Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

The other day, I was about to head out on the trails for my annual attempt at completing a couch-to-5K program, when I realized that my iPhone battery was almost out of juice. I didn't want to risk having my phone die while I was out on the relatively deserted trails (what if I got attacked by angry squirrels and needed to call for help?) And I needed to leave the house soon or I wouldn't be able to complete the workout before sunset.



Tip of the Day: Manage Your Apple ID Account in Settings

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Apple has worked hard to make sure you can do everything from your iPhone and iPad without having to connect it to your desktop computer. Over-the-air system updates and backups via WiFi were a culminating step in this direction. In addition, you can also now manage your Apple ID account from your iPhone or iPad.



Tip of the Day: How to Share Your Shopping List Using iCloud

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Thanks to iCloud, you can create things like shopping lists or to-do lists in Reminders at home on your iPad and then access and edit those lists on your iPhone while you're out running errands or shopping. But what if you want someone else to have a copy of the list on his or her device and you don't want to use the Family Sharing Reminders list or that person's not part of your Family? Here's how you can share your shopping list with another person using iCloud.



Why Apple Will Not Make an Apple Car

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Once again, Apple watchers (not to be confused with Apple Watches) are getting giddy about the concept of an Apple car. Every so often this prospect gets some traction, in part because of Steve Jobs and Jony Ive's appreciation for cars. There was some work with Volkswagon, dubbed the iBeetle, but that was more of a branding promotion. The reason people think Apple might be making its own car, now, is that they have been trying to poach employees from Tesla. This is hardly a reason to draw such conclusions, however.



Tip of the Day: How to Use iOS 8's Manual Exposure in Camera

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Automatic exposure (which determines how light or dark our images should be) is so convenient and accurate most of the time, but then there are those times when we end up with  overexposed or underexposed images that make us cringe. After all, our cameras are pretty advanced, but it's still impossible for them to recognize when we want our focal point darker (such when shooting silhouettes) or lighter. 



Legend App: Make Beautiful Gifs and Videos in Seconds

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If you're the friend who likes to share inspirational quotes, then the iOS app Legend ( $1.99) is for you. I was able to test out the app before it launched on the App Store today, and I love it! 



Valedo Makes Fitness Fun

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The fitness tracker movement reminds me of that saying about the weather. Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. Pedometers and trackers are helpful, but they are observers. I discovered a cool gadget at CES that actually improves your health. The Valedo is a two-piece wearable that sticks to your chest and lower back using the 100 included disposable stickers. The two lightweight sensors work together to determine your posture and position, while you "play" a 3D interactive game.



Preview: Alto's Adventure (Endless Runner Game)

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Next week, Snowman will release an endless runner app that you won't be able to put down. I've been playing Alto's Adventure for a few weeks, and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite iOS games EVER (and I download a lot of apps).



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