You just bought a new iPhone, or better, received one as a holiday gift. It comes in a perfectly wrappable white box, complete with headphone, a charger and a cable for charging and data interchange. It even comes with a bit of iCloud storage for backups and file access.
What more could you want?
I use reading glasses for some things, a concession to middle age, but fortunately I don't ever need them when I'm using my iPad. That's because I've adjusted the settings so that the text is larger and bolded, making it much easier to see. These settings apply to all of Apple's apps and to third-party apps that support Apple's Dynamic Type. Previous to iOS 8 you could make adjustments to these settings, but they were located in different places. With iOS 8, however, Apple has gathered text size, bold, view, and brightness into a single panel in Settings.
The claim was pretty outlandish: "The Best Tablet Stand in the world." Well, I had to try it. And for the most part, that claim was pretty much on target. One exception is the name, "Plinth," which doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. And the fact that it ships from the U.K. making it a little harder to get. But that could be remedied if Plinth ($32) gets a U.S. distributor or retail outlet.
Ah the dilemma of an early adopter... We get the latest gear, but when Apple introduces an entirely new form factor, as with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, we lose out on some of our favorite cases. So I was very happy to see a new package from Alto Collective ($35-$45). They make beautiful etched-wood cases, by hand, in Canada. I've tried other wooden cases, but while they look and feel great, they don't have the protection and precision that Alto does. Alto combines a custom wood back with a rubberized, textured border. This provides grip and protection and it should last better than other wooden cases.
Already the iPhone 6 is selling so well that some websites are down, and shipping time is now 3–4 weeks. The carriers, recognizing that the iPhone 6 is going to be a big seller, are offering great deals in an effort to poach customers from other carriers. According to CNN Money, Sprint has rolled out a deal just for the iPhone 6 that offers you unlimited talk, text, and data for $50 per month. Plus, with their new iPhone For Life Plan, you get the iPhone 6 for $20/month, iPhone 6 Plus for $25/month — with no money down. The iPhone for Life Plan also guarantees a new device every two years. According to Bloomberg, Verizon initially launched an offer of a free iPhone 6 if you traded in your old iPhone. However, the article says that Apple complained, and so Verizon changed their offer. You can get a $100 gift card for a 16 GB iPhone 4S up to a $300 gift card for a 16 GB iPhone 5s.
This week, starting on Father's Day, I discovered a veritable trifecta of great and mostly free games. First is the momentous Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous ($2.99 now, but was free), which is so awesome, it should be an iTunes Gaming Essentials! Next up is Semi-Automatic (free), a kookie retro time-stress zapper. Tap, slap, and spin to stay ahead of a pixelly robot attack. Last but not least is Pure Pinball ($1.99), which brings realistic pinball action to your idevice. Read on for the low down.
Notification Center, which was introduced in iOS 5 and expanded in iOS 7 with several tabbed views (Today, All, and Missed), will now be greatly enhanced in iOS 8, with new customization features including the ability to add third-party widgets to the Today view. In the current beta, the default in the Today view is Today, Traffic Conditions, Calendar, Reminders, Stocks, and Tomorrow Summary. A new Edit button lets you somewhat rearrange this list and also hide items. Developers of apps can now also develop widgets associated with their apps that you can choose to display on your Today screen. You'll be able to add widgets such as weather, sports scores, and current eBay auctions.
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 closer look at a select few worthy of special recognition. This week we'll take a look at some of the newest fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled action games to hit the Apple App Store.
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...
If you go to Apple's website today, the home page is exclusively a 2-minute video honoring founder Steve Jobs on the anniversary of his passing. The menu bar across the top appears once the video finishes. After the video plays, the image fades and a message from CEO Tim Cook appears noting the anniversay of his death and praising what he achieved. It's a moving video, and all tastefully done -- a fitting tribute.