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App Store Cuts Weed-Growing Game, Is Okay with Violent Shooting Crime-Themed Games

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Apple is an American success story. And 'merica is all about freedom. Free Speech. Free Press. Freedom of Religion. Even Freedom Fries. Lately, that includes the freedom to smoke marijuana in a few states. Mind you, drugs have never been for me, nor are games that glorify drug dealing, but they exist and give people a (vicarious?) glimpse into the underworld that is the illegal narcotics business. Breaking Bad made a ton of legitimate money off illegitimate activities. Likewise for The Sopranos or The Godfather. I love those movies and TV shows, and would hate to have had some censor decide not to let me watch them.



Honestly, I Want to See Microsoft be Brave

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As much as I love Apple, I like what Microsoft is trying to do. But, heaven help me, I can't stand their commercials. "Honestly" starts each actor's fake testimonial. As if it wasn't obvious that these are primarily actors (except Seattle Seahawks player Russell Wilson) reading someone else's lines, by using the same words and format, Microsoft is being phony from the beginning in commercials that start and end with the word "Honestly." It insults the intelligence of the audience. Not to mention the valid charges of sexism. Interestingly, when searching using Yahoo (powered by Microsoft's Bing) none of the negative articles about the commercials show up, but under Google, they do. Whose search engine is being honest, now?



Game Centered Retro-Edition: 5 Classic iOS Games I Can't Quit Playing!

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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.



Apple News: iTunes Gets Updated, Is Still an Unwieldy Beast of an App

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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.



Apple News: Run iOS Apps on Android?!

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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.



Beach Hero Game Review: Fight Off An Infinite Invasion

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Most of the time, I review a game because either I ask a developer if they want a review or because someone asks me to write a review.  Occasionally, however, I just feel compelled to write a review on my own, usually because I simply can’t stop playing the game that I’m reviewing.  Beach Hero (Free with IAP) is just such as case.  I honestly probably wouldn’t have even given the game a second thought had I not coming across it while compiling a list for a different article; but ever since I first launched the game, I find myself spending more time with it than just about anything else on my device. As a result I decided it was time to share it with iPhone Life's readers.



Will iOS 8 Include Split-Screen Multitasking for the iPad?

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Apple has never shied away from copying a competitor's feature, if it's a good one. Indeed, a good one that Windows offers is the ability to run a couple of apps simultaneously in separate windows. There are many times when I am writing a blog post, such as this, on my iPad and I need to browse the web for a photo or text to quote. Switching between apps is cumbersome. Microsoft found a way around it, and they have been using that distinction in advertising. It's a valid differentiator. However, that may change soon, according to 9to5mac.



Which Glass Screen Protector Is Right For You?

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Glass screen protectors for mobile devices are becoming very popular, with a variety of manufacturers offering their own take on the product. I had the chance to try out three, each from different brands, and each brings something different to the table.



Apple's Love-Hate Relationship with Samsung

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Apple and Samsung have had a love-hate relationship for quite a while. Despite the ongoing litigation between them, they are codependent on each other for the iPad's success.  A new report, referenced by cnet, shows that Apple relies on Samsung for a majority of the iPad's screens, with LG responsible for a smaller percentage. While both parties are trying to use the courts and the free market to gain an advantage, Samsung still profits from every iPad, and Apple needs a thriving Samsung to meet demand. This seems crazy, but it's the highly leveraged, co-opetition model that is prevalent in so many industries today.



Gear Review: Take Better Selfies with HISY

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Mashing your thumb down on a soft or hard button (or attempting to) can ruin an otherwise great picture or video. Stabilizing the camera continuously through the shot will result in better pictures and videos, and make your loved ones more likely to want to view your photo roll without rolling their eyes. You could buy a tripod or stand, which are also handy for group photos (a GorillaPod is a good portable choice), but why not consider a simpler solution? Get a HISY ($24.99.)



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