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Tip of the Day: How to Zoom While You're Shooting a Video on Your iPhone

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If you've ever tried to capture your kids being adorable or hilarious on video, you know that super stealth is often required. If a child notices that he is being filmed, the cuteness usually ends immediately. Fortunately, zooming is not just for static picture taking. 



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Gets Updated to iOS 7.1

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Blogger Kevin McNeish has been writing his Unleash Your Inner App developer series for over a year now, sharing his app development expertise with nonprogrammers who have a great idea for an app but don't have the programming skills to build it. The series has been very popular as a result of Kevin's easy-to-follow, in-depth instructions. Now the series is being updated to reflect the most recent version of iOS 7 and we'll be posting an updated post every weekday starting today.



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 2: Your First Taste of Xcode

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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 2 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.)

After introducing the tools you'll need to develop apps in my previous postI assume you've installed Xcode and are ready to get a taste of app developmentI find there is no better way to learn than by doing, so let's dive in and start creating an app.



What to Expect from Apple's Keynote Monday at WWDC

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Apple's stock continues to jump up, and there's a tremendous amount of enthusiasm as everyone looks ahead to Apple's keynote on Monday at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Stock analysts and fanboys have been wondering if Apple still has its mojo in the post-Steve-Jobs era, and CEO Tim Cook has continued to promise that new product categories are coming. Everyone seems to be anticipating we will indeed get something new on Monday—if not hardware, then almost certainly a new platform or two. Let's take a look at what we know is coming, what seems likely, and what's rumored.



Adventure-Proof Your iPhone with the Affordable and Rugged Dualtek XT.

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There are an abundance of iPhone case on the market that claim to be heavy duty; and while many may meet the rigorous Military Standard criteria, some are better than others. Recently one of my associates in the PR industry turned me on to the Dualtek XT from Pure.Gear ($49.99), and I have to say, overall I was quite impressed. Read on to get the complete scoop as well as to hear about the pros and cons of this new, ruggedized, "extreme terrain" iPhone case.



Top 3 App Deals of the Week

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As new iOS apps flood the App Store every day—recently topping 900,000—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!



Last Chance to Enter our June 2nd Giveaway!

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



What We Can Expect Now That the Beats Acquisition is Official

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The worst-kept secret in Apple's recent history (post iPhone 4 leak) has been the multi-billion dollar acquisition of Beats by Dre. It finally was announced, yesterday, just days before Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. This gave the newest Apple employees, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, a chance to participate in the Re/code conference. Iovine spoke with his new boss, Apple's Eddy Cue, on a range of topics.



The Graphite Boa Flow from booq Will Change the Way You Think About Backpacks

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I've been a big fan of booq's bags for a long time now. In my experience, booq's products are both well constructed and stylishly designed, and their newly released Boa Flow Graphite ($225.00) backpack is certainly no exception. Read on for my full review of one of the best backpacks I've come across this year.



From Compton to Cupertino: Apple Buys Beats and Hires Dr. Dre.

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It's probably snowing in Hades right now. The rumors turned out to be true; Apple has purchased Beats for $3 billion dollars, and they are about to officially place one of the most popular and profane rappers of the genre on their executive board. As Apple's Tim Cook said in an interview with the New York Times; Dre and his partner Jimmy Iovine (who was also hired in this deal) are "really unique" and that it's "like finding the precise grain of sand on the beach. They're rare and very hard to find."



The iPad Reading Apps Battle: Round 2

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A few weeks ago, I wrote an article called "iPad Reading Apps: Kindle vs. iBooks" which received a lot of reads and comments. And I thank the many people who not only read the article but who took the time to respond. I enjoyed your many comments. Since that time, I have learned some new things about reading eBooks on the iPad.



This Writer Has a New Favorite Writing App: Introducing Matcha.

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Well, I knew it had to happen sooner or later. As they say, “All good things come to an end" and "when one door closes, another is opened.”  After years of loyal devotion to iA Writer ($4.99), which is an absolutely excellent app for writing, my new primary writing tool is Matcha ($4.99). Matcha is a new, feature-rich writing app designed to make your work flow as smoothly as silk. Matcha (formerly Wisdom Writer) takes the best elements of iA Writer and combines them with some of the best attributes of other top writing apps to create my new favorite streamlined composition app available on iOS.



SMS Says These Are the Headphones You Are Looking For

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I'm always on the lookout for quality headphones, and since I'm also a huge Star Wars fan, when I saw the SMS Street by 50 Star Wars line ($199.95) at the Consumer Electronics Show, I was very excited, and snapped a photo! 50 stands for 50 Cent, the rapper turned branding sensation, and he is apparently a Star Wars fan, too. At CES, he was paired up with a couple of Stormtroopers to announce these new headphones. The phones are available in Light or Dark Sides, with Vader, Stormtrooper, Rebel Alliance, or Boba Fett variations.



How to Watch Apple's WWDC Keynote

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Apple has announced it will televise its WWDC Keynotewhich will take place at 10 a.m. Pacific time on Monday. Specifically, the announcement will stream to Apple TV users via a channel that will appear Monday morning. And visitors to Apple.com can watch it using recent versions of Safari on a Mac or iOS device, or Quicktime 7 on Windows. If you have the WWDC app and an iOS or Mac OS developer account, you should have access the keynote as well as all the videos of the conference sessions, once they are posted. 



Report: Apple to Announce Smart Home Platform Next Monday

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As my fellow blogger Todd Bernhard discussed in this post, there was a report out Monday from The Financial Times saying that Apple will be announcing a new Smart Home platform during next Monday's keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Apple has been working on an integrated home system for at least several years, with a number of patent applications indicating what they have in mind. In this post from January of 2012, for example, I pointed to a patent application that described a single device that would automatically detect appliances available for it to control. This would include TV, video disk player, stereo, computer, and home device controls, such as security, lighting, thermostat, and a wide range of other devices that are now Internet connected, such as the intelligent thermostat from Nest and smart light bulbs from Hue.



The Ghost Archives: Haunting Of Shady Valley HD Game Review

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Well, it’s time for another review of a G5 hidden object game. Don’t worry, though, because this won’t sound just like the last few that I wrote. It’s not that I didn’t like The Ghost Archives: Haunting Of Shady Valley HD (Free with $6.99 unlock), because I am enjoying it so far. Compared to a number of their other releases in the last couple of years, however, this one is fairly average when it comes to game play. There was also an odd bug that I ran into that did not make me very happy, but more on that later.



Tip of the Day: Take Vertical Panoramic Photos

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Panoramic photos are great for capturing an expanded view of a beautiful landscape by moving your iPhone from left to right or right to left as you take the photo in Pano mode. But what about when you want to capture a really tall building like the Eiffel Tower or a sky-scraping landscape feature? Did you know that you can take vertically oriented panoramic photos with your iPhone?



Another Processor Switch? Apple to Use Same Chip for iOS and MacBook Air?

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Apple has switched processors before. Apple switched Macs from the original Motorola 68000 series of CPUs (Central Processing Unit) to the PowerPC RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) chip codeveloped by IBM and Motorola, and later to the Intel x86 family made popular by Windows PCs. But it was not without controversy, and they had compelling reasons to do so, such as performance and availability. As if by clockwork, there is another rumor that Apple might do it again, this time with the ARM chip used in their iOS product line. Apparently, according to Apple Insider, Apple is testing a MacBook Air type device running with an ARM chipset.



What's The Matter Apple, Did You Forget About Dre?

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Lately I've been writing a lot about the rumored acquisition of Beats by Apple. In fact, I'm one of the few pundits who has focused specifically on the nature of Apple possibly joining forces with Dr. Dre. If Apple expected anything other than controversy from the good Doctor then I can only suggest that perhaps they did not fully vet their candidate for their executive board. In any case, Apple executives are said to be hot under the collar about Dr. Dre's release of a celebratory video in which he and actor Tyrese are toasting to the Apple acquisition and Dre's status as hip hop's first billionaire. This flies blatantly in the face of Apple's notoriously tight-lipped, and understandably controlling policies on disclosure. Now the same Internet that was all abuzz just days ago about the impending buyout, is all abuzz with rumors that the delay in an official announcement could signal that the deal (or at least Dre's part in it) is in serious jeopardy.



Apple News: Smart Watch, Smart TV, Smart Home?

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Apple's WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) is less than a week away, and while most of the anticipation is around the rumored Beats acquisition, Apple may have "one more thing" to surprise us with. Apple TV is due for an update; and rather than focus just on entertainment, according to the Financial Times via MacRumors, it looks like Apple is working on a Smart Home platform, and the Apple TV could be one component of that. TV-based competitors like Time Warner offer "Intelligent Home" that lets customers control smart devices such as lights, thermostats, and webcams from apps. Apple already has a section on its online store labeled "Connected Home."



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