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.
With iOS 8, you can send and receive audio messages to and from other iOS 8 users. This can let you send brief recordings of music, a voice birthday message, and more.
I gave blood today. No need to thank me, I did it for the free snacks and t-shirt. But seriously, it was an opportunity to get my heart rate measured by an expert and compare it to my Apple Watch. The good news? Both the watch and the American Red Cross nurse said my heart rate was fine. The nurse measured me at 68 Beats Per Minute and my Apple Watch measured 67 BPM, which is well within the margin of error. So I've got that going for me!
Welcome to Game Centered. Usually our Game Centered column focuses on iOS gaming apps, however this time we're taking a slightly different tack and focusing on iOS gaming gear, specifically exceptional headphones for iOS gaming. This roundup has been a long time coming. Over my years writing for iPhone Life magazine I've gotten hip to many great headphones, but only a handful would I consider optimal for the iOS gaming environment, as many factors go into making a pair of headphones optimal for the core gamer. The headphones featured here all fit that bill and address the fact that more and more core gamers are looking to their iOS devices to provide their gaming fix. It's rare that I come across reviews or roundups that focus on great gaming gear solely for the iOS gamer, and this aims to do just that. So if you are an avid, core gamer who loves playing on iOS, this one's for you!
Using Siri to call or send messages to people can be very convenient during those times when your hands or eyes are otherwise occupied. Just don't try to call any friends or family members who have an unusual name, because if Siri doesn't know how to pronounce that name, the virtual assistant won't understand what you are asking. This can be extremely frustrating and lead to you yelling at your iPhone in public (don't ask me how I know), and it's why it can be worth it to take the time to teach Siri how to pronounce names correctly.
The DX-FREE ($69.99) from uNu Electronics is a 2400mAh external battery case that is surprisingly thin and light. The two-piece construction gives superior protection that is practically seamless once installed. So much so that I almost couldn't uninstall it!
Many apps have been updated to provide an Apple Watch version since the watch started shipping last week! Here's a roundup of a few apps that have released their Watch version. To download Apple Watch apps, open the Apple Watch app and tap Featured to view and purchase Apple Watch compatible apps. If you have automatic downloads enabled in the Apple Watch app (My Watch > General > Automatic Downloads > Automatically Download Apps), you won't have to do anything else in order to have the app show up on your watch. Otherwise, under My Watch, scroll down to and tap on the app icon and toggle Show App on Apple Watch on.
Instead of a traditional unboxing video, I thought I'd compile some photos I took last Friday when I received my Apple Watch and turn them into an animated GIF. I did the same with the screenshots from the Apple Watch App installation process. Enjoy!
Take me to level five, Siri.
Do you prefer to text in complete, grammatically correct sentences? Are you one of those people who know when you should use a comma versus when you should use a semicolon? Did you know that you can use Siri to punctuate your texts and emails like a pro?
MOBI gave me the opportunity to try its MOBI Cube White Bluetooth Speaker with 360° Light Show ($29.95) and I'm glad I did. So is my daughter, who liked the fun light show that the speaker offers. In fact, the light show has five modes and can be synced to your Bluetooth or wired music source. The MOBI Cube is surprisingly well-built given the price point of just around $30. Plus who wouldn't like how cute the MOBI Cube is. It reminds me of my Rubik's Cube—which I was a champion at solving, by the way! And when it's turned off, the MOBI Cube is still pretty stylish and wouldn't be out of place in an Apple Store or the Museum of Modern Art!
The Apple Watch uses some clever algorithms to detect if it is on your wrist. For example, through the use of sensors, including a camera, the Apple Watch can detect blood flow and react differently than if it was on your desk. This is important for Apple Pay and fitness notifications. When the watch is removed from your wrist, you need to re-authenticate on your iPhone to use Apple Pay. This way, if the Apple Watch is stolen, it cannot be used indefinitely to make payments.
This is Part 2 of a two-part Indie Project Corner featuring the Libre wireless keyboard from Casestudi (see Part 1 here). In part 1, we queried Peter Ho (Casestudi Founder) on the gory specifics about his fancy new thin keyboard that works with PC, Android or iOS! In this part, we actually kick the tires (or kick the Libre, as it were) on this spotlighted Kickstarter effort!
Apple Pay has done quite well by any standard, but until now it had not been officially accepted at Best Buy nor had Discover supported it with its cards. The momentum behind Apple Pay is strong, though, and those barriers have been or are about to be broken. AppleInsider reports that Discover Card announced that it will support Apple Pay and in an analyst call, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that Best Buy customers will be able to use Apple Pay at its terminals later this year.
It's like the Interrupting Cow joke that delights school-age kids everywhere; you activate Siri and start speaking your request, only to be interrupted by, "Here's what I found on the web." At which point you probably say something like "If you'd just let me #$@%ing finish, Siri, you'd know I'm trying to call my wife, not do a web search!"
I can't help you with your anger issues, but I do have a very simple solution to your problems with Interrupting Siri:
As you read this, Apple has already begun shipping legions of shiny new Apple Watches to eager fans around the globe. For all of you at home, poring over early reviews and the variety of styles online, it's time to enter iPhone Life's contest for a chance to win your very own Apple Watch!
You can imagine the consternation felt by owners of a new $500 stainless steel Apple Watch when they notice scratches on the casing. According to a report on 9To5Mac, while it does indeed appear that this model is easily scratched, it can also be easily fixed. The article says that such scratching is actually common for stainless steel items and that the scratches can be removed via buffing. A video shows how it's done and gives a good before-and-after comparison of a scratched watch appearing like new again.
This is the second edition of the Indie Project Corner, where we highlight the coolest new crowdfunded projects; and this time we have selected the Libre Keyboard from Casestudi for our project spotlight. Peter Ho, Casestudi Founder, thinks we need a thinline, wireless backlit keyboard that is both affordable and universal (and I agree). He designed his own multi-OS-compatible Bluetooth keyboard and funded it on Kickstarter, and is now headed for stretch goals.
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 much fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 14 of the series. If you are just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here. (This post has been updated to Swift 1.2, iOS 8, and Xcode 6.3)
Core Data is the technology that allows you to store and retrieve information on an iOS device. Although it is an advanced technology often difficult to grasp, my goal in this post is to simplify Core Data so it can be easily used by beginners.
I had the opportunity to try LifeProof frē Case ($79.99). LifeProof also makes a more expensive nüüd line which does not use a screen protector yet manages to be waterproof just the same.
It was painful to watch, but CNET put the Apple Watch Sport through a torture test I wouldn't wish on a $10 watch, let alone a hard-to-get $349 Apple Watch. The watch is put through a series of likely and unlikely tests like water, boiling water, a cheese grater, drops, stomps, and more. I held my breath for most of the video!