iPhone Life magazine

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Apple News: iTunes Features Indie Game Developers

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With the success of independent game apps such as Flappy Bird, it was past time for Apple to highlight independent developers and small firms creating some terrific games. Now, iTunes has a button that takes you to a curated list of such developers, labeled Indie Game Showcase. As Apple says, "Often made up of just a few dedicated members, independent studios prove that what really matters is the size of your dream. In each Indie Game Showcase, we celebrate a popular game and its creative team, highlighting the developer's titles along with their favorite games from other studios."



Sleep Well (or Run Well) with SleepPhones (and RunPhones)

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Lots of folks like to fall asleep to ambient sounds or soft music or to run to inspirational music. However, most earbuds and headphones aren't a great solution. Enter the doctor-created SleepPhones ($39.95) and RunPhones ($39.95). These devices embed small speakers in headbands and connect either via traditional wires, or flexible and strong wires, or even Bluetooth, depending on your needs.



Apple News This Week: And What a Very Interesting Week It's Been...

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It's been a busy and exciting week in the world of Apple. From the “nonsense” of the new Apple tell-all book, to the introduction of some welcome but surprising entries into the Apple catalog, to Apple being acknowledged for their status as a global brand leader, there's been no shortage of interesting news concerning our favorite tech company. And of course, the rumors continue to swirl surrounding the upcoming 2014 iPhone, whatever it may end up being called (iPhone 6? iPhone Air?). It's been a week chock full of important developments, so read on for the full scoop!



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."



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...



3 Apps to Fill the 'Flappy Bird' Void

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Several interesting new apps have emerged from the iOS store and at first glance they may seem to be of the same family as the infamous Flappy Bird app, yet these apps take on a different approach to the ever-widening pipes in Flappy Bird.



Apple News: iOS 7.1 Is Just a Little Bit Safer When It Comes to In-App Purchases

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I have a love-hate relationship with In-App Purchases (IAPs.) As a developer, Apple has been encouraging me to adopt IAPs. In theory, IAPs seem like a way to make a living off apps while giving users a free taste. As a user, I don't like them. I think when you download an app, you should own it and all the promised features. So in the PRO versions of my apps, there are no IAPs. And in the past, my free apps had advertisements with the only "upsell" being a link to the PRO version for unlimited features without ads. But Apple representatives told me personally at the Worldwide Developers Conference and at their Tech Talk Tours that I really should be using IAPs. When Apple talks, I listen. So some of my apps now have such purchase options. But on the IAP selling page, I rebel against the machine and tell users that the best deal is to buy the PRO version!



New Features of iOS 7.1 Include Default HDR Mode in Camera App

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When I tried to download the iOS 7.1 update for my iPad Air in the evening, it took three hours. This morning when I downloaded it for my iPad mini, it took five minutes. Lesson: always download updates as early in the morning as possible. Blogger Todd Bernhard and I have outlined some of the changes in iOS 7.1 in previous posts. In this post I want to highlight several useful new features. One important new feature is ability to have HDR mode be automatically available on the iPhone 5s. It's previously been available, but you had to turn it on when you wanted to take advantage of it. HDR stands for high dynamic range, and I'm guessing many people, especially those who aren't camera buffs, don't really know what this is. So I think it's a good thing that you can now have it turned on by default. HDR can have a dramatic effect on the quality of certain photos.



The Siberia Elite: An Early Contender for Best Over-Ear Headphone of 2014

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SteelSeries has garnered an international reputation as a leading company in both cutting edge personal listening gear, as well as gaming accessories, including what is in my opinion, the best MFi iOS game controller on the market, the StratusTheir Siberia Elite headphone ($199.99) are already considered a high-level, gaming-specific headphone, but read on to find out how they stack up as a dual purpose headphone, one that shines as both a gamer’s premium headset, as well as an audiophile’s dream headphone.



Thecus N2310 NAS Review

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The rising tide of portable devices over traditional laptop and desktop computers is being facilitated by systems that used to be associated with those mature platforms. Case in point, Network-Attached Storage (NAS) devices, which are essentially purpose-built computers that serve files from the hard drives connected to them. This review takes a look at an economical, full-featured NAS from Thecus ($159) with model number N2310.



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