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In-App Purchase Problems Lead to Refund Option

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Apple just sent out a quick notice offering a mechanism to get a refund for unauthorized in-app purchases by a minor. It should have been sent to all iTunes users who made an in-app purchase, but it's easy to miss, so I've included the text below. Despite Apple's efforts to limit in-app purchases to a 15 minute window without requiring re-entering a password, a lot of damage can be done in those 15 minutes. I've written about my troubles with IAPs before.



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."



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!



Tales of the Sanctuary: Chapter 1 Won't Make The Big Players Sweat

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With G5 and Big Fish Games on the iOS scene there is certainly no shortage of quality hidden-object and adventure games for your Apple-centric gadgets. With all the AAA titles available, though, it does make it a lot harder for the small developer to compete. Tales Of the Sanctuary: Chapter 1 ($0.99) makes an admirable attempt at doing something different, and I will admit to gleaning an odd sense of enjoyment from the game. In the end though, the game felt a bit too piecemeal for me. A bit more coherence would have gone a long way with this tale.



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.



Game Centered: Featuring a New MFi Gaming Accessory and Brand New Games.

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Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. Among the App Store's myriad games, it's all too easy to overlook some of the greats. Each installment of Game Centered will take a close look at a select few worthy of special recognition. In this week's installment we'll take a look at some intriguing new games that recently landed in the App Store, as well as a competitive new MFi game controller that's about to hit the market.



Game Centered: Special Kids' Games Edition

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Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. Among the App Store’s myriad games, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the greats. Each installment of Game Centered will take a close look at a select few worthy of special recognition. This edition of Game Centered features fun and entertaining games that are perfect for young children.



Freemium vs. Premium: A Generation Too Young To Know Better?

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The success of the freemium model is impossible to deny. Taking a look at the top grossing games in the App Store paints a clear picture. In 2013 all ten of the overall top grossing games were freemium titles. The highest grossing paid game, Minecraft ($6.99) only ranked 18th in overall top grossing games.

If you migrated to iOS gaming from a dedicated gaming device like XBox, Playstation, or even PCs then the freemium game model is most likely not that appealing. Likewise, if you came into iOS gaming as a veteran gamer of the 90s or early aughts, then overall the freemium game system is very likely viewed by you as a travesty.

And yet, this hotly debated new gaming modality is undeniably bringing in the big bucks, at least for certain developers and gaming houses. Enough game developers are making money exploiting the freemium model that the trend continues much to the dismay of what seems like the majority of dedicated gamers.



Best iPad Games, Reviews, Free iPad Games

The best iPad games, reviews, and free iPad games are always hard to find, especially when you don't know where to start.  Tons of reviews on 'the game that must be played' are written right here on this page.  We are constantly looking for ways to improve and the article on the NBA 2K12, is just one example of what we do.

Here is a brief description of the article:  “In iOS world, there’s an App for everything, and everything has an App.  Until recently, the only exclusion was that of a true NBA game.  Well thanks to NBA 2K12, by 2K Sports, throwback fans of “The Hick from French Lick” and his more modern counterpart of “The Candy Man” now have their favorite teams and players in reach of both thumbs.  This is 2K sports first edition (in iOS format) for this #1 selling basketball game.  Did they do right by iOS users?  In short, “Yea baby”, they did.”

We try and keep the articles lively and informative.  Although not all of them are based on sports.  Skillz is one example that has become one of the most addictive and an overall fun game that has recently hit the market.  The concept matches many other popular music games that test your rhythm, tap speed, and ability to rock the turn tables.  It’s similar to Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but much more difficult which makes it appealing. 

Another key point in choosing the best iPad games are the graphics.  Shadowgun is a new game that is pressing the boundaries of the new graphic cards.  The linked article even has a video for you to see what it actually looks like.  It's a first person shooter that guides the gamer through an intense story line out in space.

All reviews, like the ones linked above, are the best iPad games that we can find.