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Top 3 App Deals of the Week

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As new iOS apps flood the App Store every day — recently topping 1,000,000 — we know it’s tough to tell which ones are worth their salt. But thanks to our Weekly Scoop, you can have the best for free! Here you’ll find a weekly roundup of the coolest apps free or at a discount for a limited-time only. Each week features the best and brightest from websites like Free App ReportAppsGoneFreeAppieDay, AppShopper and more.

Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!



Apple Quietly Makes Some Macs More Affordable

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Apple didn't really make any hardware news during their Worldwide Developers Conference. Two weeks later they haven't released entirely new machines, but they have made some pricing moves. The iMac is now even more affordable, with the lower cost of entry starting at $1099 (and $50 less for Education customers.) Apple TV and the venerable Mac mini have also seen their price drop, overseas at least. Power users might scoff at the specs on these entry level systems, but for surfing the web, checking email, using iTunes, Netflix, etc., they could be ideal.



June 30th Biweekly Giveaway!

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This is the official announcement of the iPhone life Biweekly Giveaway! Be sure to enter the giveaway at iphoneLife.com/giveaways to win prizes, which we'll announce June 30th! We are raffling off tons of great accessories for FREE.

Here's how it works: Every other Friday we will announce the prizes we're giving away through iphonelife.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. To enter the giveaway, go to iphoneLife.com/giveaways and tell your friends to enter too! On the following Monday morning, we will randomly select the winners. If you win an app, we will email you the promo code to redeem the app for free. If you win an accessory, send us your address and we will mail it to you.

This weeks featured items are:



Tip of the Day: How to Dial Extensions on Your iPhone

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Adding a contact's phone number to your iPhone is simple. But what about adding phone numbers with extensions? You could manually dial the extension after calling, but fortunately that's not necessary. Here's how to set up a contact's phone number so that your iPhone dials an extension automatically:



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 iOS 7.1)

Now that you have some of the basics of Objective-C programming under your belt, it's time to dive into some deeper coding territory. However, first let's talk about the homework assignment I gave you last week. I asked you to enhance iAppsReview so that it pulled the name of the app from the Write Review scene's text field. 



Kanye West Weighs in on Apple Beats Acquisition

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In a surprise appearance at the Cannes Lions International Creativity Festival, rap superstar and reality television celebrity Kanye West shared some of his thoughts on the recent acquisition of Beats Music by Apple. West compared Apple's buy-out of the company co-founded by Dr. Dre to Samsung's tapping the popularity and cultural influence of Jay-Z when they partnered with him last year to give away a million free copies of his latest album to Galaxy phone buyers. In fact, West suggests that the Apple Beats deal wouldn't have happened if not for the success Samsung saw from leveraging Jay-Z's popularity for promotion.



T-Mobile Wants You to Test Drive an iPhone 5s

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The always aggressive T-Mobile is adding more marketing programs to entice users to switch to their network. The latest campaign is a cheekily-named "7 Night Stand" that lets potential customers test drive a new iPhone 5s for a week. This should give wary users a decent chance to test the phone and the coverage where they live and work. I know Verizon and AT&T customers that regret their decision, based on coverage in their house or office. It's a neat idea that T-Mobile hopes will turn those one-week stands into at least starter marriages if not something longer!



Game Centered Special Edition: Introducing GodFire: Rise of Prometheus.

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Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. Among the App Store’s myriad games, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the greats. Each installment of Game Centered will take a close look at a select few worthy of special recognition. Typically Game Centered features several different games, but this week we've got a summer blockbuster on our hands, so this edition is devoted entirely to the highly anticipated GodFire: Rise of Prometheus.

 



Tip of the Day: How to Set Speakerphone as the Default for Hands-Free Calling

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If you spend most of your free time elbow deep in garden soil, if you have a long commute, or if you otherwise need to take calls on your iPhone hands free, you will probably be pleased to know that it is possible to set your iPhone to automatically answer calls in Headset or Speakerphone mode.



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 iOS 7.1.)

In my previous post, you learned the basic mechanics of sending messages. There's very little you can do in Objective-C, the language of iOS development, without sending messages. In this post, we're going to put into practice what you have learned about messages 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 News: Amazon Fire Phone Brings the Heat for Apple

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Competition is a good thing, and Amazon just raised the bar. Amazon's Jeff Bezos wasn't satisfied with just revolutionizing shopping for books, music, movies, or anything. Today he announced the Kindle Fire Phone, a 4.7-inch Android device that is more than just a phone. Like everything Amazon does, the Fire Phone is designed to make it easier to shop, for music, movies, TV shows, and physical products. Their integrated Firefly app recognizes over 100 million items, by image or audio. There's a dedicated button for Firefly. Amazon also has an SDK to allow third-party developers to integrate with this feature. [Full disclosure, I have developed an app called AllAccess.US that recognizes logos and launches that brand's info.]



Top 4 iOS Game Controllers Introduced at E3 2014

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Mobile games usually come in second behind console and PC titles at E3. Fortunately, iOS gamers weren't completely forgotten. And while the focus of this year's expo still didn't rely heavily on the iOS platform, there were a few gaming accessories on display that may be of interest to iOS gamers, including several MFi controllers. Companies like Mad Catz and Razer had styles that fit the iPhone, while others had controllers large enough for the iPad. Here's a look at a few of them:



What I played this week: Mostly Free Games

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This week, starting on Father's Day, I discovered a veritable trifecta of great and mostly free games. First is the momentous Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous ($2.99 now, but was free), which is so awesome, it should be an iTunes Gaming Essentials! Next up is Semi-Automatic (free), a kookie retro time-stress zapper. Tap, slap, and spin to stay ahead of a pixelly robot attack. Last but not least is Pure Pinball ($1.99), which brings realistic pinball action to your idevice. Read on for the low down.



Apple Releases Update to iOS 8 Beta

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WWDC was two weeks ago, and beta versions of Apple's new operating systems iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite and of Apple TV were made available at that time. Now, Apple has made updates to those betas, including an update for Apple TV that supports iCloud Family Sharing. The Apple TV can now access content from multiple iTunes accounts in a family. Apple requires that those accounts share the same credit card, which should help with piracy concerns. However, a lot of families that let kids use iPads, iPods, and iPhones don't want them to have a credit card on file. For those users, I always recommended an iTunes gift card with a finite value. That would put a limit on purchases, however it would make them ineligible for Family Sharing.



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 9: Sending Messages

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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 iOS 7.1.)

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 passing messages in Objective-C. In this post, we're going to take a closer look at the important concept of passing messages, and we will also work on converting the prototype iAppsReview into a fully-functional app.



Tip of the Day: How to Quickly Invert Colors for iPhone Use in Low-Light Situations

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A few days ago I was on a late night stroll with my dog, when I received a text from my daughter that needed a reply. During the exchange that followed, I dictated my texts instead of attempting to type out a reply while walking or holding an energetic puppy still; but even so, I had to take a moment after sending each message to stop and let my eyes readjust to the darkness.

I could have gone in to my settings and selected Invert Colors, but I didn't feel like stopping and taking the time. "If only there were a way to quickly invert the colors of my screen," I thought as I squinted into the glare of my iPhone's screen.



Stressed Out? 5 Apps to Help You Relax

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In times of stress, you can turn to your iPhone.

Your body’s natural reaction to stress — known as the “fight or flight” response — can negatively affect your health, according to the American Psychological Association, and can make already existing health problems even worse. And while it’s normal to experience some stress throughout the day, even just a little bit can have an effect; for instance, you might get a stomach ache when you’re nervous for an exam at school.



Use Your iPhone to Build a Successful Business

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In this article you will learn how to connect to your purpose and manage your time, two critical critical components of building a successful business. The apps you need for the exercises in this article are Pic-Collage (free) and Producteev (free) (or a similar task management system.) 



Apple Updates App Store Sales Tracking Tools

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Apple has created an entire growth industry, thanks to the App Store. But as a developer, it hasn't always been easy tracking sales, which is important for marketing, planning and pricing. In the past, I've used services such as AppViz from IdeaSwarm, AppFigures, Flurry, Distimo, and App Annie, in addition to Apple's iTunesconnect, of course. Recently, there has been a flurry (pun intended) of activity on this front.



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