iPhone Life magazine

Recent App Reviews

iGrill mini Joins the Line of Smart Cooking Tools from iDevices

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If you were hesitant to try the iGrill when it was first released at $80+, the new iGrill mini might make a believer out of you.  At $39.99, the mini is an affordable tool to monitor the temperature of your expensive steaks and could pay for itself. In fact, the iGrill mini won an iPhone Life Best of Show award at CES. Unlike the big brother iGrill and the new $99.99 iGrill 2, both of which have four probes, the iGrill mini has one probe, which should suffice for most grillmasters. Unless you're cooking significantly different kinds of meat, like turkey and hamburgers and steaks, one probe might be enough.



Popular App Currency Converter Free Through Jan 16

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Currency Converter HD is available for free January 15 & 16. This popular app claims to be the most powerful currency converter in the App Store. It covers over 150 currencies and offers real-time currency conversion with up-to-the-minute exchange rates. The app has three different views: calculator, chart and list view. It also has an offline mode using saved rates, so that you can find the exchange rate when traveling abroad even if you don't have an Internet connection.



Top 3 App Deals of the Week

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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 ReportAppsGoneFree, appsfire, and more.

Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!



CES 2014: Free FlipSquare App Provides Puzzle-Solving Downtime at CES!

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I can call this a CES mini game review, because I was able to enjoy a bit of a gaming break here at the show while at the Venetian at CES (which I desperately needed). The FlipSquare concept at first look seems way too simple and easy, but after I blasted through a few levels, it became apparent I needed to put on the old thinking cap. Starting position is key, but basically this block connection style game requires clever thinking and pattern visualization skills to master. Once you select a block direction to fill, you have to fill the entire row before going in another direction. The developers are offering the first 75 levels for free (unlock 100 with a $0.99 IAP, and 4 extra hints also cost $0.99). It looks boring, but I stayed through at least 14 levels and still wanted to keep going (later levels add new block types and conditions)... Ah, back to the show, darnnit! Grab the already popular FlipSquare at the link above.



New Free App from Yahoo Offers Summary of the Day's News

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I like news apps, and Yahoo has just recently released Yahoo News Digest (free), which is one I'm definitely going to be using. There's already a plethora of news apps, but this one has two distinguishing characteristics. First, there are just two daily editions, one in the morning and one in the evening—unlike other news apps that tend to be updated throughout the day with random bits of news. The advantage of just having two editions is that it's a true summary of the most important news, not simply the latest news across the wire. A second distinguishing characteristic is that the news is curated. An algorithm helps assemble the news, but the news summary is also curated by hand. I like that. One reason I still enjoy newspapers and magazines is that they present curated content: I feel confidant my time will be used more efficiently, since someone has organized the content beforehand. It's not as frenetic as the stream of news items that come across a typical web-based news service.



CES 2014: Korus speakers bring 100 Watt sound with wireless innovation!

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I like things that are simple. No wires, no fussy setup and updates. Just plug it in and press play. Korus is producing speaker technology to go head to head with other boutique wireless speaker products, and doing so without annoying lag or cumbersome setup. The V600 ($449.99), and V400 ($349) speakers were both on display at the show, and we got an up-close look and listen of these attractive new speakers. The sound of course was as superb as touted (as much as listening to them on the show floor is possible), but the cool thing is that they use neither Bluetooth nor WiFi to stream, but a frequency-hopping algorithm patented by their engineering team.



CES 2014: Fitbit Force

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The Force ($129.95) is the latest sleek wristband from Fitbit sporting an attractive OLED status screen, and on display here at CES 2014 in force (pun intended). Not only does the latest wearable activity tracker keep tabs on your health stats including sleep quality, and waking motion, but also tracks calories burned, motivates you to stay active, compete with friends, monitors incoming calls, and leverages Bluetooth 4.0 to keep everything in sync (wow, what a mouthful)! 



Great Multimedia Player BUZZ Player. 5.0.2 is Out – But not Necessarily Worth Updating to

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In many of my older articles (like this one), I've praised BUZZ Player. ($3.99) and BUZZ Player HD. ($3.99). Up until 4.0.2, which royally messed up the player's MKV playback capabilities, making it one of the worst choices for MKV playback.

(A quick note: note the full stop after the name of both the iPhone and the iPad-specific apps. I've explained the cause for this seemingly amusing name HERE.)

In the meantime, newcomers to the iOS multimedia player scene, nPlayer ($4.99; read my latest review) have become the most important “go to” player for everyone looking for MKV playback and not wanting to play back DTS audio.



2 Apps to Keep Writers and Readers Productive

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My two big resolutions for this year were 1. to read more books, and 2. to write more creatively. While I've been on break from school it's been easy to carve out some time for reading and writing, but I know once classes start up again next semester I will have to be more diligent with my time. So I’ve been on the hunt for apps that will make both endeavors easier. Here are the two I found to be most exciting and helpful. 



Top 3 App Deals of the Week

image

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 ReportAppsGoneFree, appsfire, and more.

Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!



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