Tag Archive: ios

See How it All Ends From the Beginning in ‘Spoiler Alert'

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Spoiler_Alert_IconStart the New Year off right with a change of scenery. Instead of playing a game from beginning to end, why not try playing it from end to beginning? Sounds crazy, but you’re able to do just that in Spoiler Alert. Gamers have already had a chance to enjoy this console style game on other platforms, but tinyBuild has finally brought this title over into the iOS world.

Put your console gameplay to the test in this retro style game. Once you start playing Spoiler Alert, you’ve already conquered it. The real test is to see if you can retrace your steps to see how it all started. In your quest to see the story from the beginning, you must accurately retrace your steps or you create a time paradox. When this happens, you must restart this stage from the beginning and work your way back again.

The idea is to have as few time paradox’s as possible on each level, which will result in the shortest amount of time completing each stage. Levels aren’t very long, so it’s not impossible to make your way through each world fairly quickly. If each level were as long as those in Super Mario Bros, you’d be pulling your hair out with frustration. Rest assured, they aren’t.

Each new world introduces new villains as well as fun scenery to check out. Spoiler Alert reminds me of playing video games as a kid, but with tons better graphics. I love the nostalgic feel of Spoiler Alert, but I’m glad they made it look visually pleasing too.



Indie App 'Pyramid Jumble' Grabs Your Attention

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Pyramid_Jumble_IconWith Kevin out of the country for a few days, he asked me to step in and deliver some content in his absence and I’m honored to help out. If you haven’t read my articles here on DGB, you can get a taste of what I’ve posted by clicking here. The website I run is iOSetc.com where we focus on making life better one app at a time. In our quest to making your life a little better, we seek out indie apps you may not know about to expose you to something you might not find on the front page of the App Store. One indie app we’ve recently reviewed is called Pyramid Jumble. This word puzzle game offers up numerous challenges amongst many different categories.

My love for word jumble games goes way back to my teenage years when I’d get my hands on a newspaper. I’d always skip over the crossword puzzle section, which I still do today, and find the word jumble. I always got a kick out of trying to figure out the four or five words which then gave you letters to help solve the mystery phrase for the picture associated with the puzzle. When I was contacted by the developer of Pyramid Jumble, I immediately was drawn to it from my love for word jumble games.

Pyramid Jumble starts with three categories you must solve to collect three different colored gems. These gems are used to unlock other categories in subsequent rows. Once you solve a certain percentage of words in any given row, you unlock another row of categories.

In most cases, the categories don’t change too much from row to row, besides getting a little more difficult. There are cases when the category changes in the next row you unlock. I got a little too comfortable with some categories and was surprised when a new row was unlocked to find a new category. My strategy was thrown off a little bit.

When you’re stuck on a word, Pyramid Jumble can give you a hint. It does come at a price though. When you elect to reveal a letter, Pyramid Jumble takes away some of the allotted time you have to solve words in this category. Bonuses are given when you solve words efficiently without using hints. When you use a hint, you lose the time bonuses so make sure you use your hints wisely.



'Album of the Day' Will Save You Some Cash [App Review]

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AlbumOfTheDayIconIf you’re like me, you enjoy looking for a lot of cool stuff to fill up your iOS device. Whether it’s amazing apps, music, or photos, you simply enjoy engaging with your iOS devices. There’s a great new app available in the App Store that allows you to capitalize on great deals on music. If you follow iOS Etc on Facebook or Twitter, you know we report about apps that are being offered for free or on sale for a very limited time. Well, now you can use Album of the day to receive notifications on some great music from Sony Entertainment that’s being offered for a discounted price.

Album of the day is amazingly simple to use. Simply open the app and the most current album on sale is displayed with a current count down showing when the deal expires. In addition to this, you’re able to find out more information about the artist and the album on sale. For example, one of the albums recently on sale was Billy Joel: The Hits. For those requiring information the artist and the album were able to read, “‘The Hits’ is the place to start: a definitive collection on an iconic pop-rock songwriter.” Furthermore, the description provided in Album of the day illustrates Mr. Joel’s songwriting styles and the overall style of music he provides listeners. The information area is a great place to gather some details about the artist and the album before navigating over to iTunes to purchase.


Dominate the World with QuizUp [App Review]

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QuizUpIconTwo things always bring people to the table, food and table games. Since your iOS devices cannot put actual food on the table, it can bring you to a virtual table where others are playing a trivia game worldwide called QuizUp. This game is available for free in the iOS App Store and will gives you access to a ton of trivia questions whenever and wherever you want. QuizUp will match you up against complete strangers or your friends to compete against. There are so many great things about this free game available for all your iOS devices, so let’s get started.

One thing is for sure, there isn’t a shortage of topics in QuizUp. Currently there are over 400 topics to choose from and QuizUp wants to expand, especially if you can’t find a favorite. If this happens, submit a topic to them here. Within minutes I was able to find my favorite topic, 30 Rock. Did I throw a curveball at you on that one? You thought it was going to be about Apple or iOS didn’t you? Strangely enough, “the Critic” has other amazing interests outside of anything Apple. Seriously though, I was very impressed with how many topics QuizUp had to choose from. It was hard sometimes to finally stop and pick one since your pride is on the line against your friends and complete strangers. That’s another great, or possibly embarrassing, thing about QuizUp, you can challenge your friends to a match.


Is This iOS 8?

Leaked picture of iOS 8?
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iOS 8 is the next operating system for the iPad, iPod and iPhone.  It is rumored to contain a new app called Healthbook, integration with the iWatch and minor enhancements to the user interface.  The picture below, supposedly a screenshot of iOS 8 on the iPhone 6, was found on Weibo by BGR.

Leaked picture of iOS 8?

Leaked picture of iOS 8?

What We See

The screenshot shows 5 columns of apps by 6 row of apps, then a bottom row of 5 additional apps (total of 35 apps).  This is more than the iPhone 5s has: 24 apps.  The iPhone 6 is rumored to come in both a 4.7″ size and 5.5″ size so they screenshot may be from a larger device.  Most of the apps are laid out in the default position that Apple puts them in (e.g. Messages, Calendar, Photos).  There are some new apps: iTunes Radio (its own app), CarPlay, Healthbook, Watch Utility and Apple’s own purchasable apps like Keynote and iMovie.

The time at the top is 9:41am, which Apple uses in all its screenshots on their website.  There is no cellular carrier listed and the battery is at 100%, suggesting the screenshot is not from an actually device, but one made by Apple to post on their website or other devices.

Here's the default screen for the iPhone 5c.

Here’s the default screen for the iPhone 5c.


Is It Real?

First and foremost, all the apps shown in the screenshot (of the apps that currently exist) line up with what you would see on the iPhone 5s.  The icons are all the same so this provides some authenticity in each app.  Secondly some new apps are present, which line up with current rumors.

  • iOS 8 will bring integration with the iPhone and the iWatch (Watch Utility app)
  • iTunes Radio is likely to be expanded to compete with competitors like Pandora, so it may require it to have its own app (iTunes Radio app)
  • CarPlay has been announced recently, allowing your new car to use iOS.  This may require a downloadable app for use (CarPlay app)
  • Healthbook has been rumored to be a part of iOS 8 to provide a health and fitness focus to Apple’s operating system
  • Perhaps Apple’s other apps are present because they want to fill the Home screen to show the size of the display (but why didn’t they use Find My iPhone or Find My Friends?) This brings us to the next section:


  • Why are Apple’s paid apps listed on the Home screen instead of other important apps, like Find My iPhone?
  • Why is the background an iOS 7 wallpaper, wouldn’t Apple add new wallpapers (or at least a new one to be associated with iOS 8)?
  • Where are the other apps that were leaked like Tips and Preview?
  • In actual screenshots by Apple, the Passbook app is behind iTunes Store and App Store, why is it before it?
  • Where did the user on Weibo get the picture from?

These questions lead me to question the authenticity of the screenshot. Based on my analysis, I believe it is not real.

iOS 7.1 Comes With Tons of New Features

credit: Apple Inc.
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iOS 7.1 was released on Monday, March 10 and is now available for downloading.  This will likely be the only major update to iOS 7 until iOS 8 is announced/released.  Here is your quick guide to downloading and what new features are available.

To Download:

On iDevice: Settings app –> General –> Software Update –> Install & Download
In iTunes: Connect device –> Check for Update –> Install & Download


New Features:

Settings app:

It is even easier to set a passcode and update your wallpaper with iOS 7.1.

It is even easier to set a passcode and update your wallpaper with iOS 7.1.

  • Passcode has its own menu under Sounds
  • In Cellular Data, you can now see how much data uninstalled apps are using
  • More information is found under Do Not Disturb
  • Accessibility gives you new options: Button Shapes, under Increase Contrast (Reduce Transparency, Darken Colors and Reduce White Point), Hearing Aids, changed settings in Switch Control
  • Wallpapers & Brightness is now directly under General, you can choose a new wallpaper easier and it also gives you the capability of turning off Perspective Zoom (tap on the Wallpaper preview)
  • In Safari settings, choose to either open new links in the background or on a new page and what you see on your Favorites bar.

General Tweaks:


The keyboard has better readability and the Shift key is a lot clearer.

  • Faster animations: opening folders, going back to the Home screen, etc.
  • More defined Caps Lock, Shift key and Backspace, darker keys
  • CarPlay is now available for select 2014 cars (enabled in iOS 7.1)
  • Touch ID is improved
  • Home screen crash problem fixed
  • No longer allowed to nest folders inside other folders (bug fix)
  • Improved responsiveness and performance for iPhone 4 users

Other Apps:


The call button is now green and a lot simpler, add a new contact with the plus sign on the left and backspace on the right.

  • Calendar: new list view in day (next to magnifying glass), more detailed event list in month view (next to magnifying glass)
  • Calculator: swipe in any direction on the black number bar to delete the last input
  • Camera: auto flash displays a yellow square, easily enable HDR on iPhone 5s, minor updates
  • Phone: green call button and red end button, add new contact (+) on the left on numbers section, new user interface for incoming calls
  • Music: shared libraries available under More, easier readability when Shuffle and Repeat are turned on
  • Videos: shared libraries available under More
  • Weather: new Yahoo! logo
  • Siri: manually control Siri by pressing and holding the Home button until you finish speaking

Notification Center:


Come back later…you have no notifications.

  • Changed (x) buttons and (Clear), App labels above notifications,
  • When you have no Missed notifications, it displays “No Missed Notifications” instead of a blank screen; no All notifications, it displays “No Notifications”; no events, it displays “No Events”
  • Events tweaked to show calendar events for the day instead of next few hours
  • New Yahoo! logo for weather and stock information
  • Wording changed; for example for weather, instead of “the high today was 36°”, it says “the high today was forecast as 36°”


Some features may not be available in all countries.  To see what updates your country has, check out Apple’s Feature Availability list.

iOS 8: Latest Rumors

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Rumors for the next generation operating system has been increasingly recently.  Likely called iOS 8, based on Apple’s history, it will have a health and fitness focus.  Here is a quick sum up of the rumors (and expectations) of this OS.


photo credits: 9to5Mac

iOS 8

  • health and fitness tracking integration (9to5Mac)
  • “Healthbook” (a new app, like Passbook, from Apple that can monitor and store steps taken, calories burned, miles walked and other fitness statistics in addition to monitor a person’s blood-related data points like glucose levels and heart rate)
  • integration with iWatch
  • new features for Siri, including voices (Macworld UK)
  • no major interface or graphics changes (unlike iOS 7)
  • minor enhancements and bug fixes, like battery bugs
  • will be announced at WWDC in June and then in the Fall with the new iPhones
  • release date (ibtimes): September 17

Cyber Week Deals

Cyber Week 2013 Walmart deals
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Black Friday was almost a week ago already and we are on our way to Christmas.  For the rest of the month, my blog posts will be about iDevice deals, potential rumors for next year’s iDevices, this year’s roundup and expectations for next year.  While we wait, let’s look back on the expectations I had for this year.  It is still cyber week, at least for a little while, so here are some great deals you can score on this week:


  • iPhone 5c: $45 (with free $75 Walmart gift card) until December 7th
  • iPhone 5s: $189 (with free $75 Walmart gift card) until December 7th

There are new deals every day of this week.  Click on each retailer below to be directed right to their deals page.

Cyber Monday Week:

Regular Deals:

Not enough time to go through all the deals? That’s fine.  Like on Facebook for amazing deals every day through Christmas.

Tweet or Share this post with #idevicegeekblog for a change to win an iPod shuffle or iTunes gift card of equal value (your choice).  Invite your friends to check out the blog and if we get 2,000 total views by December 31, 11:59pm, I’ll select another person to win an iPod shuffle. 

The prizes for sharing my blog may discontinue in January.  I need your input in the poll below.  Want the prizes to continue? Hate the prizes? Want better, more expensive prizes? Vote below! Thank you.

[polldaddy poll=7619737]

5 Hidden iOS 7 Features

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iOS 7 was officially announced in June at WWDC 2013 and was released in September. Along with a brand new user interface that was more colorful and simpler, Apple loaded hundreds of new features into the operating system. The biggest new part of iOS 7 (besides the obvious interface changes) is the gesture control. Apple has really embraced multi-touch and added a lot of new gesture features, which in my opinion should have existed since the birth of the iPhone, but oh well. Here is a list of 5 hidden iOS 7 features I bet you that you didn’t know existed.

Spirit Level


Apple has added a Spirit and Bubble Level in the Compass app. In the Compass app, you’ll notice two circles near the bottom center of the screen to indicate two pages. Swipe left to reveal the Spirit and Bubble level. Lay your iPhone flat for the bubble level. It is primarily black and white, but turns green at 0°. The Spirit Level is shown when your device is turned on its side. Also it is primarily black and white and turns green at 0°. However, this is not the hidden feature.

Apple has added a memory component to the Spirit and Bubble level. In the Spirit or Bubble Level, tap the screen to turn level into red and white. This causes the level to recalibrate to whatever you are trying to level. For example, say you want two picture frames to be exactly 17° (so slightly slanted). You could either measure one to 17°, remember the number 17 and measure the second one. Or you can take out your iPhone’s Spirit Level, measure the black and white level to 17° then tap the screen and measure the next one to the same angle. It’s difficult to explain, so you should just take out your iPhone and try it. The black line is the saved level (in our example, 17°) and the red line is the current iPhone’s angle.



Swipe Back


In many of Apple’s stock apps, such as Mail, Messages and Safari, you can swipe right to go back to the previous screen or reveal other messages. For example, in the Mail app on the iPhone, swipe right to reveal your other emails. The screenshot above is taken while my finger was in the middle of a right swipe. For an example of Back Swipe in Safari, check out my iOS 7 Top Features post.

Undo Email Deletion


To delete an email, swipe the email from left to right. This has been possible for awhile, but what do you do if you accidently deleted the wrong email? Sometimes the email is completely deleted and not in your Trash, so Apple has finally added a way to get back the email, to undelete it. It’s easier you think! Just shake your device after deleting the email (as shown above), tap “Undo” and your email will magically reappear.

Frequent Locations


This feature is really amazing, but also kind of creepy at the same time. Frequent locations (when turned on) allows your iPhone to learn places you visit frequently and help predict when you’ll be there next. For example, I am a University of Maine student and (as shown above) my iPhone has recorded 44 visits since September 30 and the times I spent at the University. So according to my iPhone, I was at the University November 15 from 9:28am to 11:33am. Now this sounds creepy that your iPhone knows where you are and how long you are there for, but there are plenty of good uses for this. First and foremost, it is proof that your iPhone was in these locations at these times. Also, my iPhone tells me every morning roughly how long the drive will be to campus, usually between 17 and 20 minutes based on traffic. It can help you remember when you went shopping or hung out with that friend (and the times you were there for). It can help you win arguments too! To access this Setting (or turn it off); open the Settings app, Privacy, Location Services, scroll down to System Services and then Frequent Locations. You can turn it off, turn off improving Maps, check out your history and clear your history.

Create Events in Other Apps


I always like to create an event if my friends and I plan to meet up for lunch or dinner. Instead of opening the Calendar app and creating an event that way, it is usually easier just to type it out in a message. In the sent message, an underline should appear under the time (and date if applicable). Tap on the underlined date/time to either Create Event, Show in Calendar or Copy. Tap Create Event and the time/date should already be in the event. The title, location, repetition, invitees, alert, calendar group, etc. need to be filled out. See below for a continuation of what to do.



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Black Friday Deals Update

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Why look online through Black Friday advertisements looking for Apple iDevice deals when I have already done that for you.  Come back here often to see the iDevice deals. (Updated 11/12 8pm)