I love video games, which is convenient since I play a lot of them as I research my Game Centered column. Typically Game Centered focuses on breaking iOS-related game news and new releases, but in this special edition I'm going retro, with a Top 5 roundup of some of my old favorite iOS games. The following are enduring classics which still occupy precious space on my iDevices, and in my gamer’s heart.
Thanks to everyone who entered the May 19th 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 June 2nd giveaway and tell your friends to enter too!
And the winners are... (drum roll please):
I like Siri, but Google Search (free) is definitely an alternative worth considering. Last week Google released version 4.0 which now lets you have a "smarter conversation with Google." For example, you can ask, "What's the weather like?" and Google will return information about the current weather. But then you can ask a follow-up question that depends on the earlier question for context. You can say, "How about this weekend?" and the app will understand that you're asking what the weather will be like this weekend. The ability of Google Search to use previous questions as context for understanding is an impressive step in adding intelligence to these handy voice-controlled assistants. A review on ZDNet says that the capabilities of Google Search "embarrass Siri," which the reviewer now finds to be "woefully inadequate."
A lot of iOS users prefer music apps like Pandora or Spotify to Apple's Music app. But sometimes you want to listen to music. Right now. And that's where the native Music app has the advantage.
Not with a bang, but with a whimper. That's how the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States ended and how the ongoing litigation between Apple (and NeXTstep) and Google's Motorola Mobility unit appears to have ended. The longstanding suits and countersuits stem from claims of each party infringing on the other's patents. This goes back to when Steve Jobs threatened "thermonuclear war" after Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, who sat on Apple's board, allegedly leveraged that insider position to create what is now Android. (Full disclosure, I worked at Sun Microsystems from 1988 to 1993, when Schmidt was Sun's Chief Technology Officer.) Alas, Steve is gone, and the more practical Tim Cook may have decided enough is enough. To Microsoft's credit, unlike Google, they did license Apple technology and Windows Phone is indeed quite different from iOS.
The Foursquare team hinted at impending changes to their check-in app back in early May. The resulting app, called Swarm, provides a quick and easy way to check in with friends who are nearby.
Do you have a gadget-loving iDad? Does he get excited to show you all of his new accessories for his iPhone and iPad? If so, we have a few gift ideas for every budget that'll make you Dad's favorite this year on Father's Day!
When Apple announced CarPlay, their new technology for automobiles, the big question was whether it would only be available on new cars, or if older cars could also take advantage of it. Then to the relief of many, two different companies announced forthcoming aftermarket CarPlay systems, with the one from Pioneer to be the first to hit the market. As noted by AppleInsider, Pioneer has been offering hands-on demonstrations of its NEX car infotainment system to the media this week, including CNBC, Macworld, and Digital Trends, which has a very detailed hands-on review of the system. Pioneer's CarPlay system offers Phone, Music, Maps, and Messages. See an earlier post for a bit more detail.
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 Report, AppsGoneFree, AppieDay, AppShopper and more.
Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!
The hulking beast of an app that is iTunes has been updated. This has nothing to do with Apple's expected acquisition of Beats, instead iTunes 11.2 primarily adds enhancements for podcasts. If you subscribe to a lot of podcasts, iTunes will now let you automatically delete them as they are listened to, which will help free up space. To demonstrate just how big iTunes has become, the latest version requires 400MB. That's almost half a gigabyte of space! These days, iTunes does much more than handle music, podcasts, or even movies. iTunes is also responsible for browsing the mobile app store from a desktop computer. Apple has a separate Mac OS App Store app for browsing Mac apps.
'Tis the season for graduations! High school, college, whatever your family member or friend is graduating from, spring is the time to watch them walk across that stage and celebrate their accomplishments. And then, of course, buy them a gift to say congratulations! Here's my list of the best Graduation gifts for iDevice users.
Don't forget to enter this weekend's Giveaway Contest!
Here's how it works: Every other weekend we raffle off tons of great apps and accessories for FREE then announce the winners through iphonelife.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. To enter, go to iPhoneLife.com/giveaways. If you win an app, we will email you the promo code. If you win an accessory, we will ask you for your mailing address.
This weeks featured items are:
Not all hotels are the same, even within the same chain. That means different amenities, features, and services. In order to avoid getting caught figuring out a solution to a problem that could have been avoided with planning, scope out your hotels before you arrive and supplement their configurations by bringing what you need to make your room work for you.
I will be using my stays recent stays at two UK Holiday Inn properties: Norwich, and London, Bloomsbury, as a examples.
If you somehow managed to miss out on one of the largest App Store sensations this year before it was pulled by its developer, you're in luck. Flappy Bird is set to return to the App Store with some new features that'll make a seemingly overnight success an even bigger deal than it was before.
Apple's handheld devices are reaching the point where just about everyone has one, and I mean everyone. If everyone in your home has an iDevice, but only one computer with which to sync and manage devices, then you might need a few extra USB ports. Enter Satechi's 10-port USB hub ($59.95). Overkill? Maybe. Useful? Definitely.
At this late stage in the development of the iPhone 6, I'm not sure Apple would still be testing various display resolutions, but that's what the latest report on 9To5Mac is saying. According to the in-depth article, which cites sources familiar with at least one model being tested, Apple is considering a display resolution of 1704 x 960 pixels, which would give a pixel density of 416 ppi and an aspect ratio of 16:9. This compares to a resolution of 1136 x 640 on the iPhone 5s, with a pixel density of 326 ppi and the same aspect ratio of 16:9. The article explains in detail why this rumored resolution would be proportionately larger, making it easier for developers to scale up to the larger size.
Some enterprising students may have done what others have yet to do, namely eliminate the barriers between Apple's iOS and Google's Android. The project is called Cider, and through some clever porting of iOS frameworks to Android, native iOS apps can run, although slowly, as native apps on Android. App developers don't have to do anything special (although not all frameworks and features work, such as hardware-specific features) but for a college project, it's quite impressive.