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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.



Stabilize Shaky Vids with Emulsio

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Camera phone videos, particularly of outside activities, are often rolling and jerky enough to make one practically lose their lunch when viewing them, which is why a camera tripod is a great tool. You can't lug one everywhere however, and it's usually impractical for your iPhone. Apple has added software image stabilization into the iPhone, but there are limits to its effectiveness. You can save yourself and your loved ones some replay discomfort by adding a more robust video stabilizer app to your iPhone library. There are online tools available on sites like YouTube, but for a finer level of control, you might try Emulsio (free), which was just updated on February 24.



Game Centered: Hot New Freemium Games with a Freakish Twist.

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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.

If you read my recent article about freemium games it's possible you came away with the impression that I'm a freemium hater, which really couldn't be further from the truth. Though the current modality of freemium games could use a shot of ethics and integrity, there are nonetheless some awesome games out there that won't cost you a penny and even though they may offer plenty of in-app purchases, they don't limit your free-flowing enjoyment of the game.

This week’s Game Centered will make you feel like Halloween is just around the corner, instead of almost eight months away, and features three excellent and eerie entries in the freemium category.



Bluetooth for the Audiophile: The Parrot Zik Over-Ear, Luxury iDevice Headphones

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Recently at CES I met with the folks at Parrot and among all of their flying drones and hopping and spinning robots, one of the things that stood out most for me at their display area was the elegant, stylish, and technologically advanced Zik Over-Ear Bluetooth headphones ($399.95).

I'll admit, I'm somewhat of a headphone snob; and it can take a lot to impress me, especially when it comes to Bluetooth personal listening accessories. I review a lot of great headphones for iPhone Life, and one of the side-effects to that is the fact that a pair of headphones has to be quite exceptional to get really high marks from me. Well, the Zik not only impressed me, they totally blew my mind and exceeded any expectations I may have had.



BOOMBOTIX REX Review: Can It Survive the Ultimate Ruggedness Test?

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I was recently given a BOOMBOTIX REX ($119.99-$129.99) trial unit to experiment with. I warned the folks at BOOMBOTIX that I was going to be rough on it, but I honestly had no idea just how roughly that little speaker was going to be treated. You see, when it arrived, my infant son instantly appropriated it as his own—he LOVED the silky smooth, grippy texture the speaker had, and he also completely dug the cool geometric shape of the thing. It was light enough and small enough that his little baby hands could hold it and turn it over and over, while I tried to keep him from gnawing on it with his new front teeth. Read on to find out just how the REX fared under the baby torture test...



Review - Jongo S3 Wireless Speakers

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Pure is an audio speaker division under Imagination Technology, the wizards of low-power, high-performance SoC technology including PowerVR—the graphics capability we enjoy in our iOS devices. It might seem surprising that their tech portfolio includes a line of wireless speakers until you consider the low-power, performance, and portability of the Jongo lineup. Pure has wireless streaming speaker products ranging in the 20–100W range of output, all of which are attractively styled and innovative inside and out. The Jongo S3 ($229) is the 20W "little speaker" of the family that can be paired up with partner speakers of the same ilk. Don't let their size fool you, these scrappy little speakers produce quality sound at almost any volume!



Review: Do the SMS Sync On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones Live Up to Their Reputation?

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We’re pretty big fans of SMS headphones here at iPhone Life. My colleagues and I have all written favorably about these headphones in the past, and you can read our various reviews by clicking HERE, HERE and HEREThese premium quality cans are very deserving of their “Studio Mastered Sound” name; they not only sound phenomenal, they rival some of the best studio headphones on the market. And as if that weren't enough, they are extremely durable and well-constructed so as to last for many, many years. This time around I'll be focusing on SMS Sync On-Ear Bluetooth headphones ($229.95), and while they are undoubtedly excellent headphones, you'll have to read on to find out if they are really worth their price tag.



Lost Echo: Engaging Story But Needs More Interaction

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When I first played Lost Echo ($2.99) I got to the trigger event that causes everything else to unfold and while the game seemed like it had a lot of potential it didn’t really hook me. Now that I’ve revisited the game several months later I’ve realized that it’s actually a really interesting interactive story. Much like a chapter of the Twilight Zone mythos, this sci-fi romp manages to provide more adult-oriented themes à la Cognition: Episode 1 or Yesterday. I think it has a lot to offer adventure game fans, though it might not be as “hands on” as one might like.



Twelve South’s BookBook Travel Journal Classes Up Your Carry-ons

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Twelve South sent me their $99 BookBook Travel Journal (4 stars out of 5) as a companion for my many trips. I now take it everywhere, but I don’t exactly use it as intended. But let me share intentions first.



iPad Reviews, News, Tips and Tricks

Searching for the best iPad reviews, news or tips and tricks on accessories, apps, gadgets and more is just as important as figuring which apple product you should get in the first place. iPad reviews and news on different products allow you to make a more conscientious decision, but where should you look.  Here at iPhone Life Magazine we work towards answering these very questions.  This page is dedicated to iPad reviews, news, tips and tricks.  This is just one example of a review that we have online (The Green Figure iHolder iPad Stand).

Another great thing about doing research is that sometimes you will find something that you weren't looking for and that can help you.  For example, our page on The Best of 2011 shows our reviews for some of the best products that came out this past year.  This link gives you just a taste of some of the concrete examples of reviews that we do.

Now, the iPad 2 has been around for several months and there have been several companies that have based themselves around the needs of this tablet.  However, it is still a competitive world in the market of accessories.  Anyone could be easily overwhelmed by all the available stands, apps, cases or any of the other niche markets.  We would definitely recommend doing some research and checking out some iPad reviews to get an idea of whats available and how you are going to use your device. The market has several options to choose from today.

Such examples as IK Multimedia, have been on a roll lately, with a slew of hardware and software products tailored for amateur and prosumer musicians. Whether its stands and clips for iPhones and iPads or multitrack recording and sampling software for the iOS platform, IK has been expanding their catalog at a prodigious rate. Their latest releases include a MIDI hardware connector for the iOS platform, a sound sampler app and a iPad version of their popular VocaLive software. These iPad reviews will take a closer look at each.

Whatever you may be searching for, we too are looking for answers and want to help you find them.