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Apple News: CarPlay Coming to a Car Near You

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Apple's "iOS in the Car" was first discussed at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June of 2013, but at this week's Geneva Motor Show, it was formally introduced and rebranded as "CarPlay." The system lets Apple compete with Microsoft, BlackBerry, and Livio Radio and bring the Apple experience inside the car, fresh from the factory.



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.



4 Apps to Keep You Safe on the Road

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Safe driving saves lives. Everyday we hear about accidents caused by drunk driving, careless driving, and texting. Luckily there are apps that can help you become a better driver and help you out in case of an accident or emergency. 

Here are four great apps to help you stay safe on the road:



GBA4iOS Version 2.0 includes iPad Support and iOS 7 Redesign

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The popular Game Boy Advance emulator GBA4iOS has been updated to 2.0, bringing a host of new features and improvements. Unlike the previous release, GBA4iOS can be downloaded from the official website without the need for a jailbroken iPad or iPhone.

The latest update comes with a brand new design scheme for iOS 7, along with a built-in web browser for downloading games. Version 2.0 was designed “with the goal of making everything not only look better, but simpler to use.”



Freemium vs Premium: The Rise of Pay-to-Play Games

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Image source, Distimo Report March 2013, "How The Most Successful Apps Monetize Their User Base"

Let me start by saying, not all freemium games are bad. There are some notable titles that don't intentionally extort dollars from gamers. Freemium games rely on what has been referred to as the "friction point," the point in which a game has limited your progress and you either have to wait for your energy to recharge, pay more money to continue, or proceed to grind away at a lower, less challenging level while scraping credits together to gain a more competitive edge. The challenge for many freemium game developers is walking that line between frustrating the gamer enough that they are willing to throw down real-world money to advance and not frustrating the gamer so much that they put the game down and don't come back. Distimo released an interesting report in March 2013 showing just how profitable it is for developers to walk this line.



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!



Game Centered: Popular New Titles and a New App to Track MFi 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.


Now Hear This... Better, using the Zoom iQ5 microphone!

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Apple has improved the camera in their iPhone with each iteration, but the microphone hadn't changed much. Sure, there's noise cancelation, but the position of the microphone is problematic, and it certainly doesn't pick up stereo audio.



Nommons Is a Math Game Your Kids Can Sink Their Teeth Into

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I had the opportunity to preview Nommons: Math Universe before it was released, at a press event in Los Angeles, during the App Developers Conference where I was speaking. I'm glad I got the chance, because as it turned out, my daughter was struggling with math at that very time. I knew an app ought to help her somehow, as it can be much more interactive than flash cards.



Best iPhone Apps, iPad Apps, iPod Touch Apps | iPhone Life Magazine

We review the Best iPhone Apps, iPad Apps, and iPod Touch Apps.  Whether you want to play a game (like Chillingham Manor), navigate with GPS, or discover new apps, you can easily get lost.  There are so many on the market and the number is increasing on a daily basis.  So where to begin?  The following examples are just a few of what is out there.

The Head Finder is one of the iPhone apps around. It is a task management or schedule management that helps you organize all the different things you have to do.  It has a very simple user interface and it seems they designed all the most common functions to be done with as little tapping and typing as possible which is a real time saver.  Several time management apps, in the past, have seemed to waste more time entering events and tasks into the app than you might save by being more organized.  With Head Finder you can have a new task entered in less than thirty seconds with their quick three tap process to create a reminder.

Another one of the best Iphone apps we've seen is The JumiCam. This app allows you to view streaming video from any web cam you want with ease.  It's easy to set up the software on your PC and then connect your phone to see what's going on at your house.  The JumiCam also works very well on either a 3G connection or WiFi. This app allows you to connect to as many different web cams as you want so you can monitor your entire house while you're away if you want.  It can really take the place of an entire security service if you wanted it to.  There are many ways to use this, from keeping an eye on a babysitter while you're out on a date to making sure your pet is safe at home while you're at work.

As the name describes, U.S. Traveller is made for travelers that call the United States their home and travel to countries outside their own. In opening the iPhone app, on the "Countries" tab, you are presented with a list of countries & their correlating flags. The added flags next to the country names are a nice touch, especially since most people can quickly find a country based on visual representation versus textual representation. You can travel from the U.S. to numerous countries - Chile, Argentina, Germany & Italy to name a few. This may not adequately prepare you for the countries you visit, but this will for sure help you. The amount of information and the ease of access it gives to people is incredibly invaluable.