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Tip of the Day: Use Siri to Set an Alarm, Set the Timer, and Tell You the Time

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I'm continually amazed at how useful Siri is to control the various functions of my iPad. I often use it to set an alarm or a timer. Doing so is so much faster than interacting with the Clock app itself. You can also use Siri to tell you the time and date, as well as the time at a specific location around the world. And you can ask Siri to tell you the date for a particular day of the week.



Seven Percent of iPhone Users Planning to Buy Apple Watch

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According to AppleInsider, which cites a survey by the investment firm Piper Jaffray, some 7 percent of iPhone users say they're planning to buy an Apple Watch. That doesn't sound like a lot, except that over the past 3 years Apple has sold over 450 million iPhones worldwide. So 7 percent of that figure is 31 million. That's a significant number, and some analysts are predicting that Apple will sell that many Apple Watches in 2015. Interestingly, that figure of 7 percent is a slight decline from the 8 percent who said after the September Apple Watch announcement that they were planning to buy. AppleInsider suggests that consumers have a wait-and-see attitude toward the Apple Watch: they're waiting until they have more information before making a decision.



Holiday Crunch Time: Last Minute Deals

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Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Those days are in the past. It is now the week of Christmas and any hopes of getting a gift in time require either spending a fortune in shipping, buying a virtual gift online, or, my preference, buying local. If I needed a reminder of this, all I had to do was look at my inbox this morning. While it's normally full of app review requests, today I saw a ton of "Last Chance" emails!



iPhone Life Blogger's Choice Awards: Best Games of 2014

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We know you've come to rely on the bloggers at iPhoneLife.com for helpful reviews of all the best offerings in the App Store. With over 1 million apps for your iPhone and over 475,000 apps for your iPad, deciding which apps to download can be overwhelming. That's why we asked all of our bloggers to vote for their favorite apps released or updated in 2014. Here are their top two apps in each of six categories!



Apple Pay Off to Strong Start, Has More Active New Users Than PayPal

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All indications are that iPhone 6 users love Apple Pay, finding it both convenient and secure. In fact, new users of Apple Pay use the service approximately three times more frequently than new PayPal users, according to a report by ITG Investment Research. Their analysis found that "60 percent of new Apple Pay customers used Apple Pay on multiple days through November, suggesting strong customer engagement. In comparison, New PayPal customers used the service on multiple days during the same time period just 20 percent of the time." The top five locations where people used Apple Pay in the first six weeks of its availability were Whole Foods, Walgreens, McDonalds, Panera Bread, and Subway.



Holiday Gift Guide: Smart Gifts for a Smarter Home

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The best part about buying a gift for family members is you get to enjoy the gift yourself, if you play your cards right! So gifts that make your home smarter are perfect for those who share a home with you! Here are some smart home tools that I use to make our home smarter.



Tip of the Day: How to Display Song Lyrics in the Music App

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Car rides with my kids have gone from me cranking the stereo up and singing along to my 14-year-old commandeering my stereo and playing music from his iPhone. Sometimes this results in him getting into trouble for having inappropriate songs on his phone. The conversations usually start with, “What is this?!” and end with “pull up the lyrics.” 



Gift Guide for Tweens and Teens

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As our kids get older, their wish lists seem to get smaller and more expensive. No more asking for Barbie dolls and Matchbox cars—we're on to iPads, iPhones, and Bluetooth accessories.



Holiday Gift Guide: A Stylus for Your iOS Device

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Every iOS user can use a stylus once in a while, no matter what Steve Jobs said. Some games are easier to play if your finger (and hand) don't obstruct the view. Sometimes you might need to draw or sign a signature. Here are some styluses that work well:



Tip of the Day: Make Text Larger and Bold, and the Display Brighter

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I use reading glasses for some things, a concession to middle age, but fortunately I don't ever need them when I'm using my iPad. That's because I've adjusted the settings so that the text is larger and bolded, making it much easier to see. These settings apply to all of Apple's apps and to third-party apps that support Apple's Dynamic Type. Previous to iOS 8 you could make adjustments to these settings, but they were located in different places. With iOS 8, however, Apple has gathered text size, bold, view, and brightness into a single panel in Settings.



Danalock Review: Smart Door Security for the Connected Home!

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The Poly-Control Danalock is a Bluetooth-enabled smartlock ($159, varies by model) designed to work with your existing dead bolt. Once installed, you can control the dead bolt from your iPhone, configure it to auto-unlock when you are in proximity to the door, and allow others to similarly lock/unlock your doors. I had to wrestle with it a bit to get it installed and working, but the concept works well once it is configured.



iPhone Life's 2014 Rugged Gear Gift Guide

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In this day and age it's become commonplace for us to do just about everything with our iDevices, which means that we need gear that can keep up with us on any outlandish escapades, as well as on our day to day grind. The items featured here represent some of the best in their respective categories; built tough and designed with integrity and durability to handle the  adventures that lie ahead. Many of the products featured here have impressive MIL-STD or IP ratings, which you can learn more about by clicking HERE.

Here at iPhone Life we love turning people on to great gear that fits their specific purpose and need and we're hoping that these reviews will make your holiday shopping that much easier. Whether as a present for yourself, or as gift idea for family or friends, this list of exceptional products will help you find the perfect accessories.



ABC and Apple Offer More TV Choices

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While pundits continue to look for a new Apple TV box that lets users break with their cable companies, perhaps Apple's approach is to slowly offer cord-cutting features with the existing Apple TV and iOS devices. Each new feature takes a step in the right direction. Instead of cutting the cord with a Samurai sword, we have the equivalent of death by a thousand paper cuts. Case in point, ABC now lets users watch full-length episodes on the Apple TV or iOS device, even if they don't have a cable subscription.



Holiday Gift Guide: Chargers

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We love our iPhones, and use them so much that we often run out of power. What to do? Carry a spare battery pack. These are some of my favorites. TYLT makes some attractive accessories and one that deserves a spot in your gadget bag is the TYLT Energi Travel Charger. It replaces the USB wall charger that comes with your iPad or iPhone, but what sets it apart is it includes a battery. You need to carry a wall charger anyway, so why not carry one that incudes a battery. You can double the life of your iPhone battery while on the go.



Tip of the Day: Use Siri to Find and Launch Apps

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I have a lot of apps on my iPad Air, and I can't always remember what folder I've put them in. Also, sometimes I do remember where the app is located, but it means swiping through a bunch of screens to get to the app. I'm finding that there's a much faster way to launch apps: simply ask Siri. Not only can you use Siri to launch apps, Siri can also help you find and download apps of interest.



Top 3 App Deals of the Week

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As new iOS apps flood the App Store every day — recently topping 1,200,000 — 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!



Survey Finds Apple Is Top Brand in Wearables — Despite Fact Apple Watch Not Yet Available

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Other manufacturers must find it difficult competing with Apple, a fact that's clearly in evidence in a new survey showing that Apple is the top brand in wearables — even though the Apple Watch isn't out yet. The survey, by Ipsos, asked the over 2,000 respondents which brands they would consider purchasing in the wearables category. Apple led the way, with 62%, followed by Google (44%), which has Google Glass, and Samsung (43%), which has the Galaxy Gear watch. According to Ipsos, this is because the dominant consideration when consumers purchase a wearable is integration across devices, and Apple has long led the way in this regard. Consumers want to be able to easily integrate their wearable device with their smartphone, computer, and tablet. Other important factors are brand confidence and reliability. The survey found that 70% will only choose a brand they trust.



December 29 Biweekly Giveaway

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This is the official announcement of the iPhone Life Biweekly Giveaway! Be sure to enter the giveaway at iPhoneLife.com/giveaways to win prizes, which we'll announce December 29! We are raffling off tons of great accessories for FREE.



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