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Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 5: Next Steps

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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 5 of the series. If you're just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here.

In my previous post, you learned about navigating between different scenes in your app, and learned about using custom user-interface controls in your apps. We started building the Write Review scene (shown on the left side of Figure 1), which we will finish in this post, and we'll move on to the App Category scene shown on the right side of Figure 1. (This post has been updated to iOS 8, Xcode 6 and Swift). 



Product Obsession: WaterField Designs American Made Bolt Briefcase

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Meet my new product obsession. It's the new Bolt Briefcase from WaterField Designs (starting at $249) and I want one in the worst way.



CES 2015: Nate's Last Roundup of Cool CES Stuff!

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I promise this will be my final CES post up—not they we ever want CES to end, but it does tend to clog up our main pages with "CES-this" and "CES-that" and after a week, it's time to move on. I will attempt to mention a few of the vendors we might have missed in our main show coverage, and possibly a few other cool non-iPhonethings as well. Just dive in, as it will mostly be pictures, with a quick blurb explaining each item (and maybe a vendor link if I felt like it or grabbed a press kit). If I missed your product at the show, I apologize. At CES, there are too many things to see, and not enough time to write (see all of our show coverage here)..



Tip of the Day: How to Find Missing Apps

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Have you ever lost an app on your iPad or iPhone? It's easier to do than you might think. Maybe you stuck it in a folder in an effort to unclutter your home screen, or even deleted it in an effort to create space for the latest iOS update, and then forgot. Or maybe you just have so many apps it's lost in the crowd. Here's how to find where that app is hiding.



iPhone 6s Rumors Begin: Possible Dual-Lens Camera, Force-Touch Display

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Now that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are out, and now that we're in a new year, it's time for the next stage of the rumor cycle: leaked tidbits about the forthcoming iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. According to AppleInsider, which cites a Taiwanese website, sources in Apple's supply chain have said that Apple is considering a dual-lens camera for the new phone — which would make it possible to have an optical zoom feature. It would also improve performance in low-light situations. Already the iPhone camera is excellent, with the iPhone 6 Plus featuring phase-detection autofocus and optical image stabilization. A dual-lens camera would certainly take it up a notch and put the iPhone even farther ahead of competitors.



We Have a Winner! Announcing the Results of our iPad Air 2 Giveaway

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A big thank you to everyone who entered our iPad Air 2 Giveaway! We had so much fun hearing from everyone who entered that we wish we could give an iPad to all of you. 

And the winner of the iPhone Life iPad Air 2 Giveaway is...



This Week's Gaming Distractions: Mujo

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As puzzle games become more ubiquitous, developers need to have a hook to really nab a player. Mujo is evidence of what happens when the market is saturated; its gameplay is fairly standard for a puzzle, but the design around it is both creative and frustrating.



Samsung Copies Apple Again, to the Dismay of Android Users

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It's hardly shocking when Samsung copies features from Apple (or when Apple copies Samsung and Android) but it is noteworthy that the recent revelations from Samsung, at CES, indicate that their next Galaxy S6 smartphone borrows heavily from Apple's design choices. Specifically, Samsung's next phone should have a metal back, like Apple, which is a good thing. But Samsung may be copying some of the features even loyal Apple fans don't appreciate. The next Samsung phone will have a non-removable battery and non-expandable memory. Instead of leveraging their advantage over Apple, with removable batteries and expandable microSD storage, Samsung is eliminating that distinction.



Tip of the Day: How to Format Notes

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Apple's Notes app has long been pretty basic, but happily iOS 8 added some new features. You can now insert photos in your notes as well as apply the text attributes of bold, italic, and underline. It's not real fancy, but it's great to have some more options.



CES 2015 Recap: Creative Cases

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After a long week at the Consumer Electronics Show, it's time to reflect on what we just experienced. CES isn't really just a show anymore; it's a show of shows, each with its own theme. When I get back each year, my friends and family ask me what was "The Big Thing?" Because the show is so big, I've decided to break down the "theme" into multiple themes. This year, the different "big things" were as follows:



The PopSLATE e-Paper Screen Comes to the iPhone 6

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You might be asking yourself how a second screen on the back of for your iPhone 6 could possibly be advantageous. But, it turns out the popSLATE actually serves a variety of functions that justify the premium $129 price tag.

So, what kinds of things can be accomplish with the case? More than you may think.



The Best of CES: iPhone Cases

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Walking around the Consumer Electronics Show this year allowed me to see some of the best iPhone cases on the market right now, as well as what's coming up later in 2015. Here are my favorite iPhone cases from CES 2015.



Tip of the Day: Answer Your iPhone Hands Free

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There are several hands-free ways you can answer a ringing iPhone while your hands are covered by bulky, hard-to-remove gloves. You could start by wearing touchscreen-sensitive gloves. Or using a stylus. Or plugging in a pair of headphones. But what if your gloves were chosen not for their touchscreen compatibility but for their ability to keep your hands warm while the polar vortex is in town? What if you don't have a stylus or a pair of headphones quickly accessible in your winter gear and you really want to take that incoming call? There's a simple solution; just be prepared for some funny looks.



WINNERS of the iPhone Life January 12 Biweekly Giveaway

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Thanks to everyone who entered the January 12 iPhone Life Biweekly Giveaway! Every other week we give away three amazing prizes, so if you didn't win this time, make sure you enter the January 26 giveaway and tell your friends to enter too!

And the winner is... (drum roll please):



ChaChinga App Sparks Family Conversation on Financial Responsibility

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Missouri frugal blogger Enza Ketcham recently teamed up with her co-worker, Andy Walleck, to create a new app for both kids and adults. The app is a fun game that you can play with your children to bring up the topic of financial responsibility–avoiding credit cards and shopping when products are on sale. The free ChaChinga app is available now in the iTunes store



Momentum Builds for Apple Watch and HomeKit as New Details Emerge

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This year is shaping up to be an exciting one for Apple enthusiasts. Both Apple Watch and HomeKit hold the potential to be revolutionary in the same way the iPhone was eight years ago. The Wall Street Journal has a great article on the Apple Watch. Bottom line: just as the iPhone freed us from the desktop and made communication and information more mobile, so too will the Apple Watch take things to another level by making information and communication more convenient and easier. 



CES 2015: Imagination Technologies Demonstrates Their SoC Prowess

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The best of the CES show is often not on the beaten path. One key vendor we make sure to lock in on every year is the Imagination Technologies meeting rooms in South Hall at CES 2015 (way back in the corner). These guys are one of a select number of innovators that design the low-power, system on chip (SoC) technology needed to run our smart homes, smart cars, and smart mobile devices.



Xvida Creates A Safe Solution for Using Your iPhone While Driving

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I do a lot of driving here in Vermont and it has recently become illegal to handle a phone while behind the wheel. I have tried many different dash mounts and like the functionality of magnetics, which have a magnet on the mount and a metal plate on the phone so that you don't have to fiddle with buttons or gripping mechanisms. All you do is hold your phone up to the mount and it snaps in place.



Tip of the Day: How To Accept Invites in the Calendar App

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We recently showed you how to create events and send invites with the Calendar app, but what do you do when you're on the receiving end of those invites?



Suffering from iPhone Separation? Research Shows Your Suffering Is Real

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Fortunately I'm not addicted to an iPhonebut only because I don't have one. I do, however, tend to go through withdrawal if I don't have my iPad with me. It turns out, these gadgets have become so much an extension of ourselves that scientists have found that we suffer cognitive and physiological impairment if we're separated from them. A new study by University of Missouri researchers put iPhone users in a situation where they were separated from their phones while taking a cognitive test. Not only did they do worse on the test compared to their performance when they had their phones with them, they also had a significant increase in anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure. 



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