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Review: Anker TC930 Ultra-Thin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air

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 Anker TC930 Ultra-Thin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air ($29.99)  

The Anker TC930  Ultra-Thin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air is very similar in style to the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover. It's not exactly a knockoff, but it's close: black plastic keys and tray, metal back, and magnetic attachments. The Anker keyboard one ups the Logitech keyboard with a pop-up stand that activates when the iPad enters the mounting slot, rather than relying on gravity for stabilization



Stand Tall: 5 Tips for Purchasing an iPhone Case for Video Viewing

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“Can I watch a video?” my three-year-old son asks.

Ever since my mom turned him on to YouTube cartoons on her smartphone, this has become a frequent request, albeit one my wife and I decline more times than not. We aren’t opposed to watching television, but we view it as more of a special event than an everyday diversion. Despite our perspective on this, he still asks, and asks.



Adventure-Proof Your iPhone with Catalyst's New Touch ID Compatible, Waterproof Case

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I've consistently been impressed with Catalyst iPhone cases, ever since their first iteration of waterproof protective cases for the iPhone 4. Each version of the Catalyst protective case has gotten better, with marked improvements over the previous model. The Catalyst + Survivor case saw the company team up with Griffin to provide not only some of the best extreme-duty iPhone protection on the market, but also one of the most affordable, premium rugged cases available. Now with the new Catalyst case for the iPhone 5/5S with Touch ID ($64.99), the company has upped the ante and introduced their latest model of iPhone cases. How does this case compare to its predecessors, and to the other high-level protective cases that are also available? Read on after the break to find out!



Stylus Update: The Lynktec Apex & Nomad Mini 2

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When a company creates an input accessory for a device that isn't designed for one, they need to decide what the accessory is going to do that the device's normal input method doesn't. The iPad was designed to use a finger as an input device, and although it supports multi-touch, the iPad's sensors see the finger as a rather blunt instrument. So the stylus market developed with two main branches: The first aimed to be a different or better kind of finger and the second added a feature, usually pressure sensitivity, that the iPad was not designed to accept.



Tip of the Day: Siri Can Flip a Coin, Roll Dice, and Make Hard Parenting Choices for You

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Siri can flip a coin, roll dice, or pick random numbers for you.

These may seem like amusing but ultimately useless tricks, unless you are a parent. In which case they can help you navigate all the tricky situations you deal with on a daily basis. 



Apple News: Watching for an iWatch

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All signs point to an Apple iWatch being released around October. Apple's boosting their Sapphire manufacturing, which could make iPhone screens more durable, but more importantly, it could make an iWatch that handles the bumps and grinds common to watches. Indeed Sapphire is commonly used already for traditional watch screens, and unlike iPhones, most people don't put their watch in a protective case!  



Adobe Releases Ink & Slide for iPad

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Adobe made the jump into hardware on Wednesday, and for iPad users that means a few more tools to hone your design skills. The Adobe Ink & Slide ($199.99) work in tandem as a stylus and ruler for creating digital works of art.

Adobe has been hinting at the stylus and ruler concepts for a little over a year. Dubbed Project Mighty in the early planning stages, the final product hopes to give design professionals "greater creative control." 



Swift 101 - Swift Meets the Cocoa Touch Framework

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Even though Apple has provided the new Swift programming language for building iOS apps, one thing remains the same—we still use the Cocoa Touch Framework libraries to build iOS functionality into our apps. However, since the Cocoa Touch Framework is written in Objective-C, how is this accomplished? In this article I'll show you the mechanics behind how Swift accesses Objective-C code, and how the Cocoa Touch APIs (application programming interfaces) change when you access them from Swift.



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.]



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