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Listen to Your Favorite Band While on the Run with the Bandshell Case

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These days, to get me interested in your iPhone case, you gotta have a gimmick. I expect your case to offer protection, especially a raised lip that rises above the front glass. What else you got?

How about a kickstand to make it easy to view movies hands free? Maybe a way to redirect audio so instead of projecting sound down, it is projected towards me? And make sure you offer it in lots of colors.



Apple Now Selling iPad Air Refurbs; iPad Air 2 Expected to Have Touch ID

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Apple's online store recently began selling factory-refurbished iPad Airs, with the 16GB starting at $419 and the 32GB starting at $509. That's $80 or $90 off the price of a new iPad Air and comes with a one-year warranty, a new battery, a new outer shell, manuals and accessories, and new packaging. I'm not sure what they mean by an outer shell, but it sounds like you can expect the iPad to be in new condition cosmetically. They also have a ton of other refurbished iPad models, including iPad minis and fourth-generation iPads. 9To5Mac points out that WalMart actually has a lower price on refurbished iPad Airs, with the 16GB model starting at $399. But they only offer a three-month warranty and are refurbished by a third party. However, the customer reviews are quite positive, with at least one saying that he actually received a new iPad Air.



Unleash Your Inner App Developer Part 39: 7 Steps to Being a Better App Developer

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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, I will take you, the beginner app developer, 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 much fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is part 39 of the series. If you are just getting started, check out the beginning of the series here

Are you proud of the code that you write? Are you using a set of best practices that allows you to develop well-designed, stable apps that can adapt to change?



Tip of the Day: Siri Will Get You There Faster

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According to a survey by Intelligent Voice last fall, only 15 percent of iPhone users have used Siri in iOS7. If you're not already using Siri regularly, you should be. Why? Because Siri makes doing certain things on your iDevice so much faster.

For example, many of iPhone Life's Tips of the Day start by saying something like "Go to Settings>General>Accessibility." This requires you to open and scroll through two different menus. With Siri, all you have to do is say, "Siri, open Accessibility Settings." or Message Settings or Privacy Settings, you get the idea.

Other things that are much faster with Siri include:



Lifedge Offers Waterproof, Heavy-Duty Protection for iDevices.

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Lifedge is a relatively new company on the iDevice case manufacturing scene. Based in the UK, their products can be purchased both locally and abroad. Lifedge specializes in creating classy, low-profile, ruggedized waterproof cases for iDevices. Currently their catalog of cases consists of an iPhone 5 version, (which is compatible with the 5s, though without allowing Touch ID use) and an iPad 2–4 compatible case. As of yet, they do not offer a case option for the iPad mini or mini with Retina, nor do the have an iPad Air case, but hopefully we will see a wider case selection of iDevice cases from this fledgling company in the near future. Stay tuned to iPhone Life and I'll keep you posted as their product line continues to grow. In the meantime, let's take a closer look at some of the details and specifics of these waterproof and highly durable iDevice cases.



Lower cost 8GB iPhone 5c available in some markets

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Several markets, including China, Europe, and Australia, are getting their hands on a lower cost 8GB iPhone 5c. The $99 (subsidized) 16GB model was apparently still priced too high for many users, and Apple would rather they don't embrace Android instead. With an 8GB model, Apple can hit price points below $50, or even free for subsidized customers and achieve lower no-contract pricing. This new model hasn't been announced in the United States, and that might not happen. In fact, some vendors like BestBuy have offered the 16GB iPhone 5c for free with a two year contract! Wal-Mart has the 16GB iPhone 5c for $29 with a two year contract.



Peterson Birds, Regularly $9.99, Currently Available for $0.99

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The Peterson Birds app, which regularly sells for $9.99, is currently available in the App Store for $0.99. This is a great deal on a great app. Having a bird app on your device is so much more convenient than schlepping a book, especially since you typically have your device with you. Plus, unlike books, birding apps also have recordings of their songs. You simply tap on the illustration to hear the song. The Peterson Birds app includes information from eight different Peterson Field Guide Books, such as the very popular Peterson Field Guide to North America, giving you details on over 800 species of North American birds. The app offers illustrations, range maps, bird songs, and nest photos, and claims to give you more detail than any other bird app. It also claims to be the only one that lets you compare similar species by sight, song, and range from one screen. The QuickFind index lets you go to information on a particular bird with a single tap—letting you avoid having to type in the bird's name. 



The Wait is Over! Lifeproof's New iPad Cases are Available Now.

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There are a good many rugged, heavy-duty, protective cases on the market for our iDevices, and over the years I've tried out most of them. Again and again I am reminded that case maker Lifeproof consistently produces the most reliable, high-quality all-purpose protective case you can find. Not only do they manufacture some of the best waterproof iDevice cases on the market, they manage to do so while keeping their case designs in line with the Jobsian vision of a sleek, low-profile, and elegantly beautiful pocket computing device. Allowing full functionality and interactivity with your iDevice, the Lifeproof cases are, simply put, what the iPhone and iPad would look like, if Jobs had designed them to be shock proof, dirt proof, and liquid proof. No more, no less. Lifeproof just released their long anticipated line of cases for the iPad Air as well as the iPad mini. Continue reading to find out how these new cases deliver on their promise to provide total protection for life on the go.



Make Your Stylus Your Own with Jaymo's PixStylus

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Anyone can make a stylus, and with the popularity of touchscreen devices, just about everyone has. But they all pretty much look the same. Now, thanks to the good folks at Jaymo, you can leverage their personalization tools to make your stylus unique.

I've used their website before to customize iPhone and iPad cases, but at the recent Consumer Electronics Show, I got to see their latest product, the PixStylus. It's actually a combination pen and stylus, with different tips on each end. 



Tip of the Day: Make Text Larger & Easier to Read

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Image copyright Goodluz, Shutterstock, Inc.

If your eyesight isn't what it used to be, you may find the small text on your iPhone or iPad hard to read. But there's no need to strain your eyes. And fortunately for you, I got my first pair of glasses at age six, so I'm way ahead of you on this being blind thing. Here are several tricks I use to make reading on an iPhone or iPad easier on the eyes:



How to Produce and Sell a TV Show Shot Entirely With an iPhone (Interview with Kristian Day)

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There's really no limit to what you can do with your iPhone. In this interview, I get the opportunity to talk to Kristian Day, a filmmaker from Iowa who managed to shoot an entire TV show with his iPhone, and sell it to a local network. He talks about how he got started, the best apps for filming, and overcoming rejection. Check it out below!



Apple's Design Guru Sir Jony Ive on Apple and Competitors

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Apple usually reserves appearances by Sir Jonathan Ive, their head of design, for polished videos shows at product introductions, but he spoke with The Sunday Times in the UK this week to discuss Apple's philosophy and contrast it with the competition. The full article is available on Time.com Jony Ive's comments can be read as cheerleading or trash talking, depending on the reader's perspective, but he makes some interesting points. For example "We’re surrounded by anonymous, poorly made objects. It’s tempting to think it’s because the people who use them don’t care—just like the people who make them."



Reports Suggest Microsoft Office for iPad Coming March 27

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Microsoft's stock jumped 5 percent Tuesday on the rumor that Office for iPad will be arriving March 27. There had been rumors that the suite was ready, and that it would be coming this month. Given that new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will be hosting a media event scheduled for March 27, many are expecting him to introduce Office for iPad. Both The Verge and ZDNet have reported that their inside sources have confirmed that Office will be arriving this month. According to rumors, the suite for the iPad will include the ability to create and edit documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. How much will it cost? It's a free download, but you'll need a subscription to Office 365. For example, Office 365 Home Premium costs $99.99 per year. It lets you install Office on up to 5 Macs or PCs and on up to 5 mobile devices. In addition, a subscription comes with 20GB of OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) cloud storage and 60 minutes of Skype calls per month. According to a separate article on ZDNet, Microsoft also recently announced Office 365 Personal, which will let you install Office on a PC or Mac and on one tablet. The price will be $69.99 per year, or $6.99 per month. I believe that in every case Microsoft offers a free trial subscription.



Freemium vs. Premium: Best and Worst Games in the App Store!

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We do enjoy the games at iPhone Life. What's not to love about having something like a kabillion titles to choose from?! So, we decided to run a series amongst the gamers here that highlight our favorites over the years (some of us been swiping, tapping, or joysticking since the 1970s), and expound a bit on our opinions about freemium, downloadable content (DLC), and regular old-school purchase models. Siva Om has regularly covered this area (and does a superb job) in his column, but the other iPhone Life gamers thought maybe we would each throw in our two cents as well. Here is mine...



Apple Lets Go of iPad 2, Makes iPad 4 the Low-End iPad

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While the newest Apple products usually get all of the attention, remember that Apple often keeps the previous generation of products around to achieve a lower price point. The third generation iPad introduced the Retina display but still had the 30-pin connector. Then the fourth generation offered a Lightning interface. The iPad Air was thinner and had a narrower bezel.



Tip of the Day: Create Customized Vibration Patterns

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If you find yourself checking your phone every time any phone in your vicinity vibrates, it may be time to create a custom vibration pattern to set your iPhone's ringtone apart from the pack.



Forthcoming Healthbook App Revealed; iPhone 6 May Include Weather Sensors

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9To5Mac has yet another scoop: details and images of the forthcoming Healthbook app that will be part of iOS 8. They say the information and images come from individuals working directly on the project. This confirms the rumors that Apple is taking a major step toward integrating mobile healthcare and fitness into its iOS line. The screenshots show that Healthbook will let you track blood work, heart rate, hydration, blood pressure, physical activity, nutrition, blood sugar, sleep, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and weight. According to 9To5Mac, the Fitness feature will be similar to other fitness-tracking apps that record information such as how far you've walked and how many calories you burned. The Weight feature will let you track body mass index and body fat percentage. The Nutrition feature lets you record the food you eat and helps you maintain a diet.



Alleged Specs for iPhone 6 Leaked

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According to the website TechnoBuffalo, some recent posts via Twitter may have revealed more specs for the iPhone 6, which most people are expecting to arrive in September or October. The posts come from Sonny Dickson, who was the first to post bona fide leaked photos of the iPhone 5s and 5c last year. He says the forthcoming phone will be .22 inches thick, compared to .3 inches for the iPhone 5s. That's a significant difference. In addition, he says the phone will have an "Ultra Retina" display, at 389 pixels per inch compared to the current 326 for the iPhone 5s. That's full HD resolution. The A8 processor will be clocked at 2.6ghz, meaning that the iPhone 6 will see a speed bump even beyond that of the speedy 64-bit A7 processor in Apple's latest iOS devices.



A Case That's a Work of Art, from Strong N Free

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Steve Jobs didn't like the idea of keeping an iPhone in a case. So much effort went into making a functional work of art, that hiding it in a case was sacrilegious to him. Maybe he needed to get his eyes on the Berlin and Sydney Birdcage Designer Cases from Strong N Free.



Tip of the Day: Use Siri to Get Directions from Google Maps

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Apple Maps has improved a lot since its disastrous debut. But many people still prefer to use Google Maps as their go-to navigation app. The problem is, when you ask Siri for directions, it'll automatically use Apple Maps as the default app for turn-by-turn directions. If you want to use Google Maps or some other navigation app with Siri instead, try this handy trick:



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