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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...



Forthcoming Healthbook App Revealed; iPhone 6 May Include Weather Sensors

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9To5Mac has yet another scoop: details and images of the forthcoming Healthbook app that will be part of iOS 8. They say the information and images come from individuals working directly on the project. This confirms the rumors that Apple is taking a major step toward integrating mobile healthcare and fitness into its iOS line. The screenshots show that Healthbook will let you track blood work, heart rate, hydration, blood pressure, physical activity, nutrition, blood sugar, sleep, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and weight. According to 9To5Mac, the Fitness feature will be similar to other fitness-tracking apps that record information such as how far you've walked and how many calories you burned. The Weight feature will let you track body mass index and body fat percentage. The Nutrition feature lets you record the food you eat and helps you maintain a diet.



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.



Optrix Offers More Ways to Record Your Extreme Video

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While GoPro gets all the attention, I've found a better way to record action-packed video. Instead of paying $300 or more for a dedicated camera and accessories, why not use your existing iPhone? That way you can edit your video right on the device that recorded it, using iMovie and other video FX apps. And of course you can share your video using iMessage, Mail, AirDrop, and more.



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!



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.”



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.