Tag Archive: iPad

Excited to Learn What 2015 Holds

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Apple_logo_blackWith the beginning of each New Year it brings excitement of what lies ahead. Here at DGB, we had an amazing year of growth in 2014 and we’ve enjoyed reporting everything to you. With that in mind, there were a lot of great things to come out of 2014, the perfected iPad Air 2, the larger iPhone 6 and the even bigger iPhone 6 Plus, and iOS 8. Now with 2015 finally here, I’m starting to get all giddy and a little down about a couple things all at the same time.

First off, the Watch. I can’t even put into words how excited I am to finally get this device in my hands and on my wrist. Yes, I know it’s just a feature watch and I know it’s been done before. What I find most exciting about this device is discovering how well it will integrate into the iOS ecosystem and what third party apps will do to enhance the overall user experience.

There are a few things I’ve thought about involving the Watch but one I seem to continually revisit concerns its capabilities. I really want the Watch to further tap into my VIP list. If you’ve setup favorites and VIP contacts for emails, the Watch needs to be capable of recognizing these settings and allow you to customize how you receive notifications from other iOS devices.

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 3.28.46 PM

If you’ve taken the time to identify specific priority settings for certain contacts, I feel the Watch should recognize this and allow you to setup notifications accordingly. There are countless times I’ve received texts messages or phone calls from contacts I really didn’t need to dig into my coat, pants pocket or bag to retrieve my iPhone for. The same applies for most of the emails I receive these days. If I’m able to setup the Watch to notify me when specific people are trying to get in contact with me, that’d be excellent.

Pay is amazing and I never get tired of using it. One aspect of Pay I don’t like, more of a minor inconvenience, is digging my enormous iPhone 6 Plus out from its resting place to pay (#firstworldproblem). The Watch will make it even more convenient at the point of sale, which I never thought I’d hear myself say after using Pay the very first time.

I listen to iTunes radio quite a bit and I’m looking forward to discovering how well the Watch functions with iTunes. Will I be able to select or add different radio stations from it or will I be limited to skipping and pausing songs from the Watch?

App Store for Apple TV

App Store for Apple TV

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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.

Spoiler_Alert_Screenshot

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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.

Pyramid_Jumble_Screenshot

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Make Moments Count

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MomentHeader

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Kickstarter.com, you should really take some time to look over some of the great ideas entrepreneurs all looking to bring to the marketplace. I’ve always gotten a kick out of being the first person to check out a product and Kickstarter is the perfect medium to experience this. For some reason I feel the need to help out new or young entrepreneurs. This must stem from hearing all the amazing stories my mother told me when she came home from work, which is a non-profit organization focused on entrepreneurship. I guess you could say I’ve always wanted to find and support the up and comers or the little guys in the business world.

A Kickstarter project I backed a while back was for a new company called Moment. We all use our smartphones nowadays to snap millions of pictures a day. The overall quality of the camera equipped on our devices have improved drastically over the years. Although camera quality has improved, they don’t offer any options to switch out lenses. Moment knew a lot of people were looking to improve the overall quality of their photos and designing lenses to help us achieve this was their top priority.

Moment has delivered on their quest to bring us high quality lenses for our smartphones. They have two lenses to choose from, telephoto and wide. The telephoto lens offers 2x the magnification so you can get twice as close without distorting or degrading your image. A lens like this is perfect for adventure and travel photos. The wide angle lens lets you capture amazing landscape and tight interior shots with ease. This allows you to get more out of your image without bending it.

Moment4

In order to use these lenses, you must attach a mounting plate to your device. When the Moment lens first launched, they were available for iPhone 4 through 5s. When the iPhone 6 was released, it took them time to design and manufacture the mounting plate for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Thankfully that wait is now over and they’re currently shipping mounting plates for both iPhone 6 models. I just received my mounting plate the other day and I’m excited to be using my Moment lenses once again!

Moment recently released the Moment App, which you can download for free in the App Store. This app allows you to take better photos by letting you accurately control the light and focus in your images. You can’t correct a bad photo and the Moment App is there to make sure you start with the best possible image.

In September I wrote a full review of the Moment lenses after I spent some time snapping a bunch of photos with them. I can honestly say they do make my photos much better and they come with me nearly everywhere we go. They were super handy while making an iMovie for our daughters first trip to Disney World.  I did miss them a bit after getting my iPhone 6 Plus while having to wait for a new mounting plate to be developed. If you’re looking to take your photos to the next level, check out my full review of the Moment lenses and make sure to take advantage of the holiday deals they’re offering so you can save some money, which is always nice this time of year.

iPad Mini "Air" Coming Soon, iPad Pro Coming in 2015

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We have primarily been focusing on the next-generation iPhone, but Apple also has new tablets in their Fall lineup.  Taiwan’s Economic Daily believes that this lineup will consist of a thinner iPad mini (with a new name) in addition to the expected iPad Air 2.  They also believe the rumored 12.9″ iPad Pro will be delayed until 2015.

He added Touch ID to his concept and the current iPad mini just for fun.

Retina iPad mini and iPad mini 3 concepts with Touch ID.

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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.

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Rumor/News Round-Up: Microsoft Office, iPhone 6 Leaked, WWDC 14

Credit: VentureBeat
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Here are this past week’s top news and rumors:

Microsoft Office Available on iPad

This week, Microsoft has brought many of their products: Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint to the iPad.  Although each of these apps are free to download on the App Store, you must have an Office 365 Subscription for full functionality.  The subscription costs $99/year or $9.99/month depending upon your needs (click here for a free trial offer).  If you don’t have an subscription, you can still view, share and present documents.  The table below details what the paid subscription will give you access to.  Please note, the apps for the iPad are meant to be used in conjunction with a computer.  There are many features available on the computer that are not available on the iPad.

Links: Microsoft Word for iPad, Microsoft Excel for iPad, Microsoft PowerPoint for iPad and Office Mobile for iPhone

Credit: OSX Daily

Credit: OSX Daily

iPhone 6 Plans Leaked

Nowhereelse.fr has found a leaked document from a Chinese website that shows design plans for the next-generation iPhone.  Although these may actually be plans for a prototype (or they could be fake), it is getting us one step closer to the iPhone 6.  The document shows the iPhone will be 85mm wide by 150mm long (calculated by Nowhereelse.fr to have a 5-inch display).

Credit: Nowhereelse.fr

Credit: Nowhereelse.fr

 

Hide Unused Apps (No Jailbreak Required)

There was a bug found in iOS 7 that allowed users to nest folders within another folder.  With the release of iOS 7.1, this feature was thought to have been fixed, but it actually now allows users to hide apps in addition to nesting folders.  To hide unused apps, like Weather or Compass, follow the steps in the video below.  Note: you must use a Home Screen that is full of apps (both in the top part and the fixed bottom row), when you reset your device the apps will reappear and you can still access hidden apps in the Search bar.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/2MunWEIH1OA]

WWDC 2014 to be Announced on April 23

The Worldwide Developer’s Conference, Apple’s annual Summer event, is expected to be announced on April 23.  The event is typically announced on the fourth Wednesday in April.  Tickets are $1,599 per person and last year the tickets were sold out within 2 minutes.  This conference is rumored to reveal iOS 8, the next operating system for the Mac, new MacBooks and a new iTunes Radio subscription service.

Credit: Slashgear.com

Credit: Slashgear.com

 

 Finally, unfortunately there was no Kickstarter Project of the Week because I was busy moving into my new apartment.  Check out the last few weeks’ projects of the week: MagBak (17 days remaining) and COBURN Jr. (9 days remaining).

Rumors/News Round-Up: 8GB iPhone 5c, iPhone 6 Camera, Healthbook

9to5Mac mockup of Healthbook app
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Here are the top headlines that we saw this week in Apple news and rumors:

iPhone 5c 8GB and iPad 4 Released

This past week, Apple released an 8GB version of the iPhone 5c in countries were 4G LTE is still developing: Australia, China, Europe, etc.  Although this iPhone will likely not be available in the United States, it does come at a cheaper price that the 16GB in the countries where it is sold.  Apple also replaced the iPad 2 with the iPad 4.  This iPad was announced in October 2013 featuring the Lightning connector, Retina display, A6X processor and 5MP camera.  You can purchase the iPad 4 here for $399.

The iPad with Retina display.

The iPad with Retina display, credit: Apple Inc.


iPhone 6 to Keep 8MP Camera

AppleInsider released a report earlier this week, citing ‘people familiar with the matter’ as its sources, that the iPhone 6 will retain the 8MP sensor that was originally announced with the iPhone 4S.  Instead of competing with Android by increasing the camera’s megapixels, Apple will focus on improving the image quality and enhancing other components of the camera.  The iPhone 6 is also rumored to feature sensors that detect the weather.

iPhone 5 camera specs, credit: PetaPixel

iPhone 5 camera specs, credit: PetaPixel


 

 

Apple Considering Spotify Competitor for Android

Billboard released a report this week that Apple may be working on an on-demand streaming service, similar to Spotify, that would allow listeners to hear songs without purchasing them.  Apple might also create the app for Android users in addition to its iOS users. Although Steve Jobs said he would never bring iOS to Android, this is Tim Cook’s Apple and we may see it within the next couple of years.

iTunes Radio, credit: TUAW

iTunes Radio, credit: TUAW


Healthbook App Leaked

Earlier this week, a report by 9to5Mac revealed some leaked screenshots of the new Healthbook app on iOS 8.  It has a similar design to Passbook, with tabs for: blood work, heart rate, hydration, blood pressure, activity, nutrition and more.  Apple is expected to reveal iOS 8 at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference in June and release it in September alongside the iPhone 6.

Healthbook app icon

Healthbook app icon, credit: 9to5Mac

Check out this week’s Kickstarter project of the week: MagBak and MagStick.  These handy devices allow you to stick your iPad to any surface: furniture, wall, cabinets, etc.  It is great for FaceTime, watching movies and reading recipes as you cook.  Back this project now to get the MagBak for your iPad Air or iPad mini for $34.

Kickstarter Project of the Week: MagBak and MagStick

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iPad stands are excellent for holding your iPad up against a flat surface when you’re making a recipe, watching a show on Hulu or FaceTiming with a friend, but stands are limited to tables and counters.  Have you ever wanted to mount your iPad onto the wall to watch your shows or maybe on your desk for Skype.  Well now you can with MagBak.  MagBak, brought to you by Alex Baca and 1Lss Inc., is the very creative iPad mount that allows you to put the iPad on virtually any surface (metal and non-metal).

The blue pieces made up the MagBack.

The blue pieces make up the MagBack.

MagBak is made of soft silicone and attaches your iPad to any metal surface (refrigerator door, whiteboard, filing cabinet).  For non-metal surfaces, there is MagStick.  Using double-sided tape supplied by 3M, MagStick works on any non-metal surface, like in your car, on cabinets and furniture.

With the use of the MagStick, you can attach your iPad to wood.

With the use of the MagStick, you can attach your iPad to wood.

MagBak not only allows you to mount your iPad anywhere, but it provides an excellent grip, protects the back and keeps the Smart Cover in place.  This product works specifically with the iPad mini and iPad Air.

The MagBak supports the iPad Air and iPad mini.

The MagBak supports the iPad Air and iPad mini.

I love my iPad, but my problem is that is does not stand up by itself.  I purchased the Smart Case, which works well, but if I am on an uneven surface (like my bed) I have to move pillows around to get the iPad in the perfect position.  The MagBack would allow me to attach my iPad to the wall and become like a mini HDTV.  I can see even more uses, then just watching TV.  This would be great for watching videos in the kitchen while making a recipe, getting directions in the car from Siri and doubling as picture frame on the wall.

Pledge now

Pledge now and get your MagBack in late April

The MagBack team has already received all its funding with 28 days to go.  If you are interested and would like to purchase one, a pledge of $34 gets you one MagBack and one MacStick (if you share with friends, you get a second MagStick free).  For more information, check out their Kickstarter page and be sure to pledge before April 17.

If you have a Kickstarter campaign and you would like it to be featured on the blog, send me an email at: info@idevicegeekblog.com. All photos are credit of the company creating the project on Kickstarter.

5 Secret Features in iOS 7.1

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Have you updated your Apple devices to iOS 7.1 yet?  It comes with a bunch of new features, like you can hold the Home button as you speak for Siri and let go when finished, faster animations and better readability with settings in Accessibility.  Here are five secret features that may have slipped past you in the update.

 

1. Volume and Brightness Physics

Slide your finger from the bottom of the screen towards the top to display Control Center.  This feature was added in iOS 7 and Apple has enhanced it very subtly.  When you increase/decrease the brightness and volume slider bar, you may notice they have their own physics (first noticed by TUAW).  When you slide your finger, the white dot will keep going in that direction depending on how fast you swiped it.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JJo9kQbiKk]

2. Phone and Messages App

iOS 7 redesigned all the app icons with brighter colors for a completely different user interface.  With the release of iOS 7.1, the original neon green for the Messages and Phone app has been toned down a little bit to a duller green color.  The bright green color was a source of complaints for many users, so Apple made it less bright.

Less bright Phone and Messages icons.

Less bright Phone and Messages icons.

3. Slide to Unlock/Power Off

On the Lock Screen, you’ll noticed the “slide to unlock” has a different, more liquid animation.  The “slide to power off”, which comes up when you hold down the Lock button for a few seconds, is a white circle that you must physically slide to power off your device. Once the circle is all the way to the right, the display is quite dim, but you can still see the circle.

New slide to unlock liquid motion.

New slide to unlock liquid motion.

4. Weather App

The cloud, sun and moon icons have been colored in instead of just being outlined shapes.

Don't we all wish we were in Cupertino? Sunny all week :)

Don’t we all wish we were in Cupertino? Sunny all week 🙂

 

5. Better Readability

Apple added a lot of whiteness to iOS 7 and some of it made it difficult for users to distinguish between empty space and buttons.  Some settings to decrease the whiteness and make it easier to read can be accessed in the Accessibility menu of General Settings.  Turn on these features for ultimate better readability: Bold Text, Button Shapes, in Increased Contrast (Reduce Transparency, Darken Colors, Reduce White Point), Reduce Motion and On/Off Labels.

With all these settings turned on, transparency is grayed, the screen isn't as bright and you can easily read each app.

With all these settings turned on, transparency is grayed, the screen isn’t as bright and you can easily read each app.