HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR NEW iPHONE
GREAT APPS & GAMES
Best FREE apps for every iPhone and iPad ● Great games to play in iOS
CASES, BEST LENSES + WEIRDEST FOR iPHONE & iPAD
e make no bones about the fact that we prefer iPhones and iPads to their Androidand Windows brethren. And one of the key reasons for that is the ecosystem that surrounds Apple’ mobile products. Not only is iOS 7 the easiest to use, most secure mobile platform, but it offers the best feature set. And by virtue of being around the longest, it has the best third-party support. Speakers, chargers, docks – hardware makers queue up to make products that enhance your iPhone and iPad experience. The iTunes Store is chock full of great movies, music and TV shows, and then there are the apps. This is great for us iPhone- and iPad users, but it does create its own problems. Unlike the open internet, you don’t really search for apps within the App Store. In fact we are unusually reliant on Apple’s own recommendations as to what is hot and what is not. That can make it difficult for good apps to get away. Worry not, however: that’s why we are here. We’ve compiled two lists of great apps for iPhone and iPad. We’ve hunted through all the free apps on the App Store, weeding out those that aren’t good value even at free. Meanwhile with our gaming head on we’ve been thrashing our way through the best games that your iPhone and iPad have to play. Whether you are a hardcore PC or console gamer, or someone who likes to spend their commute abusing disgruntled avian life, there’s something for you.
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75 best games for iOS David Price rounds up 75 must-have gaming apps
e’ve collected the 75 most essential, must-play gaming apps for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. With reviews and download links, read on for the 75 best games ever released for the iPad and iPhone. From strategy and action to puzzles and roleplaying games, these are the very finest iOS gaming apps. The iOS gaming landscape has seen a lot of change. Take pricing, for instance. When the iPhone came out, publishers thought nothing of charging a
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tenner for a half-hearted console port. But gamers soon cottoned on to the sub-£1 impulse purchase, and prices plunged. After a rash of ad-supported freebies and aggressive in-app purchases, things seem to be settling around the £1.99 mark - and may be heading upwards. More importantly, perhaps, iOS is no longer considered the poor cousin of console and PC platforms. Angry Birds showed the world that mobile games can be astonishingly commercial, but they can be critical successes too. The games on this list are inspired, well-written, funny, and occasionally even moving. Sometimes you just want a two-minute puzzle for your bus ride, and the iPhone is perfect for that, but if you know where to look, iOS gaming has so much more to offer.
Free games 1. Middle Manager of Justice Free, tinyurl.com/nzeex8f Middle Manager of Justice is a superhero-themed basebuilding game in which the heroes are preening, stereotype-spouting goons who divide their time between punching thugs, watching TV and manning call centres. You’re abstractly their middle manager, working out where best to spend the squad’s pitiful income while assigning your heroes to dole out fist-based justice to assorted evildoers. Utterly shallow, but the game is aware of that - which is why it works so well. Alec Meer
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2. Real Racing 3 Free, tinyurl.com/q8pkw94 The Real Racing series is deservedly idolised – Real Racing 2 appears in our best sports game section later. But Real Racing 3 follows a different racing line, offering itself for free while touting for income via in-app purchases. The game is gorgeous, even though there is quite a lot of pressure to spend real-world money. David Price 3. Undercroft Free, tinyurl.com/mrxryfw An old-school RPG very much in the vein of Eye Of The Beholder, Undercroft harks back to a simpler time when men were men and roleplaying games were turn-based. Hasn’t been updated in a couple of years, but its low-fi charms remain undiminished. David Price 4. Temple Run 2 Free, tinyurl.com/c6htccn Like the ubiquitous first game, Temple Run 2 is an ‘auto-runner’ wherein you make snap reactions as your fleeing Indiana Jones-alike strives to dodge fatal drops, spikey boulders, hitting walls at speed and the monkey-monster which forever pursues him/her. Death is inevitable, as is having ‘just one more go.’ Alec Meer
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5. Pangolin Free, tinyurl.com/no6kvos A physics-based puzzler in which you bounce a cute little creature around a level and try to get him to the goal with as few shots as possible. Sort of like crazy golf played in mid-air with a scaly animal instead of a ball. We like this a lot, and the basic game is free. It’s probably worth shelling out for the extra levels, though. David Price
Shooting games 6. Deus Ex: The Fall £4.99, tinyurl.com/nnueapv Deus Ex: The Fall is the iOS port of a deep, ambitious and critically acclaimed PC game. The story’s all about cybernetic enhancements and post-human ethical conundrums, but it never gets in the way of the important stuff: hacking your way through a computerised security door, crawling down a tunnel and shooting a man in the head. David Price 7. Death Ray Manta (DRM) 69p, tinyurl.com/pw5dd3y Don’t try to understand it. Don’t even think about it. You’ll only give yourself a headache. Death Ray Manta, aka DRM, is an arcade shoot ’em up in the vein of Geometry
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Wars, but where so many of those try to do the reflex-battering ‘bullet hell’ thing, this one is all about sensory overload. A fast, frantic purely single-player game of skill, free from leaderboard posturing or cynical microtransactions. Lovely stuff. Alec Meer 8. Waking Mars 69p, tinyurl.com/p6asmnm Waking Mars puts you in the boots of a jetpacking astronaut/ scientist exploring the Red Planet for signs of ancient life. It’s your job to find and plant seeds that spread vegetation around the caves, which in turn opens up new areas. You have to evade carnivorous plants and acid pits, and occasionally you’ll need to kill off a plant to make room for another. It’s thoughtful and at times intense, not to mention incredibly pretty. Alec Meer 9. 9mm £4.99, tinyurl.com/pcmpb2r This hugely entertaining third-person shooter, starring detective John Kannon, is very much a case of ‘shoot first, ask questions once the bad guys are dead’. The graphics are superb, the dialogue is hilarious and the optional gyroscopebased controls, while initially tricky, make those first few kills all the more satisfying. This is a funny, greatlooking game. Ryan Macro
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10. Grand Theft Auto 3 £2.99, tinyurl.com/m4evyf9 GTA 3 is a violent, darkly humorous ode to mafia films. You play silent thug Claude, an amoral criminal who escapes from jail and then shoots, steals and joyrides his way up through the city’s underworld. Aiming and firing can be tricky, but the touchscreen controls are otherwise surprisingly capable. The artificial intelligence is believable and entertaining, and the city is vast and diverse, with humorous radio stations and even changing weather patterns. Chris Holt 11. Max Payne Mobile £1.99, tinyurl.com/lgecnlh This iOS instalment of the mighty third-person shooter franchise begins with Max finding his wife and newborn daughter brutally murdered and vowing to track down those responsible. Navigation is configurable, allowing you to choose onscreen locations for the controls. There are nicely animated intros to take you into key elements of the game, an optional auto aim and a cheat mode allowing quick progression to later levels if you so desire. All of which adds up to one of the best games to hit the App Store: it remains true to the original, and has all the addictive qualities present in the computer and console versions. David Bradforth
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12. N.O.V.A. 2 £4.99, tinyurl.com/k9dofet N.O.V.A. 2 wastes little time on a backstory or training, and drops you straight into the action. The controls are intuitive to use and, as with all first-person shooters, boil down to moving, selecting a weapon and firing. The game’s AI is among the best we’ve seen; enemies are smart enough to duck for cover and use basic infantry team techniques. Both graphics and sounds are top-notch, and there’s a multiplayer mode offering five different game types. N.O.V.A. 2 has it all: beautiful graphics, great gameplay, excellent controls and smart opponents. Ryan Rigney 13. Zombie Gunship 69p, tinyurl.com/ndtfzsu From the cockpit of a heavily armed aircraft, circling above a bunker in which the last remnants of humanity have taken refuge from a zombie apocalypse, your job is to gun down zombies and save human survivors. The grainy, surveillance camera-style graphics help create an intense atmosphere, and the sound effects are top-notch. The strategy, the graphics and sound, and the thrill of sending the undead back to the grave they crawled out of make for a compelling iOS game. Philip Michaels
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14. Dead Space £4.99, tinyurl.com/o324grg; £5.99, tinyurl.com/ovv9j55 With Dead Space’s pins-andneedles soundtrack and thrilling atmosphere, you’re always on edge. Your weapons are nothing more than modified mining equipment, and you’re always scrambling to find ammo: every shot counts. This isn’t just a great extension of the Dead Space franchise; it’s a fine game in its own right. Chris Holt
Puzzle games 15. Lyne £1.99, tinyurl.com/nnueapv Each level of this puzzle game presents a grid of triangles, diamonds and squares, along with a few octagonal junction boxes. By tracing your finger across the screen you must draw a line connecting all of the yellow triangles, another connecting all the red squares, and so on. You can use each connecting line only once and touch each shape only once. A true wonder. David Price 16. Blackbar £1.99, tinyurl.com/nz3j858 You need to decode the increasingly redacted messages you receive, piecing together as you do so the story
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of the oppressive dystopia you live in, and your rebellion against it. David Price 17. The Room series The Room, 69p, tinyurl.com/blbkyap; The Room Two, 99p, tinyurl.com/m9ymaso The Room (right) is a puzzle game entirely set on and within one intricate safe, whose surfaces are adorned by strange mechanisms and logic puzzles. Great for the tactile nature of the whole affair works well on the iPad format: spinning the screen to rotate the boxes or sliding to remove letters from envelopes. The Room 2 takes the first game’s formula and broadens its scope, spreading its puzzles across various boxes. The understated richness of The Room’s visuals are replaced with something more flamboyant, and the first game’s hint of scariness is amplified to provide plenty of atmosphere. 18. Forever Lost £1.99 per episode, tinyurl.com/ko8lmzb One of our favourite point-and-click room escape games ever, Forever Lost is set in a spooky, deserted building that seems to be an old hospital. You’ll need to find items and solve puzzles to escape. It’s challenging but hugely satisfying. Ashleigh Allsopp
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19. Letterpress Free, tinyurl.com/akp3mul Because Letterpress’s approach is unique – a clever mash up of Boggle and Strategery – it takes some time to explain the rules. Once you get them down, though, this word game is alarmingly addictive. On your turn, you can use any of the letters in a five-by-five grid to build a word. After you submit your word, the tiles you used turn blue. Then it’s your opponent’s turn to make a word. The tiles they use to spell a word turn pink. Once all the tiles have been used (or after both players skip a turn), the game ends. Whichever player turned more tiles to his or her colour emerges the victor. Fans of word games won’t be disappointed. This is seriously fun. Lex Friedman 20. Year Walk £2.49, tinyurl.com/qfj8j3e Year Walk is a difficult game to describe, because much of its power comes from its twisting, sinister narrative and it’s arguably more about the experience than the puzzles. Essentially all you need to do is control the movement of an unseen character through a wintry, papercraft-styled forest, chaining together particular sequences to further progress. Some of this is perfectly intuitive, some of it requires throwing conventional logic to the winds to some degree, but the overall intent of the game is to make you feel lost and confused. Alec Meer
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21. Ending £1.49, tinyurl.com/qbwep4o Maze-based puzzle adventure Ending is seemingly effortless proof that great game mechanics can achieve far more than even the most striking graphics ever could. This frees you up to focus on the challenge at hand: steering an @ symbol through a series of arenas filled with roaming glyphs that will kill you instantly on touch. This puzzler will either make you feel very smart or very stupid. Alec Meer 22. Hundreds £2.99, tinyurl.com/a7typbw The concept of Hundreds – so simple, yet open to so many permutations – is this: you make the total number reach 100. This is done by tapping on bubbles, which grows the number inside. If one of the bubbles collides with anything else while you’re touching it, it’s game over. You’ll succeed often, you’ll fail often, you’ll try again every single time, but what you’ll never do is predict what the next level will be like. Alec Meer 23. 10000000 £1.49, tinyurl.com/pyqmaqq 10000000 is an effortless blend of match-3 games like Bejewelled and dungeon-running roleplaying games
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like Diablo or ORC: Vengeance. As your little pixel-dude wanders through a retro dungeon, he’ll encounter assorted obstacles – monsters of varying challenge, locked chests and doors – and you have to arrange trios of matching blocks in the bottom half of the screen to defeat them. A deft fusion of two wildly different genres, creating one of iOS’s most deadly timesinks as a result. Alec Meer 24. World of Goo HD £2.99, tinyurl.com/mzl4arm Probably the finest puzzle game in the App Store, World of Goo presents you with a pile of small goo balls and an open pipe. Using your finger, you have to stack the balls up to reach the pipe: once you get your goo structure to reach the pipe, it will suck up all the balls not used to build the structure. Each level is a challenge and takes a great deal of thought (and structural consideration) to complete. There’s a lot of strategy involved, and graphically, the game soars, its levels littered with canyons, water fountains and volcanoes. Few games are as fun, interesting and enjoyably complicated. Sam Felsing 25. Angry Birds series Angry Birds, 69p, tinyurl.com/ozm7fzo Angry Birds Seasons, 69p, tinyurl.com/pppgnnj Angry Birds Space, 69p, tinyurl.com/ln67ovc Angry Birds Rio, Free, tinyurl.com/out27vy Angry Birds Star Wars, 69p, tinyurl.com/prh4pec Angry Birds Star Wars II, 69p, tinyurl.com/n2737we
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Angry Birds Friends, Free, tinyurl.com/q4q7jqg Angry Birds Go, Free, tinyurl.com/ngq92d3 They had to be on the list somewhere, didn’t they? Yes, Rovio’s world-conquering vexed avians are about as mainstream a pick as you can imagine, but there’s a reason for their success: a strong idea backed up by solid level design and physics. We have a soft spot for Angry Birds Space, but the best instalment is Angry Birds Star Wars. Star Wars fans will love the quirky mix of characters, and Rovio deserves a lot of credit for thinking of ways to include Star Wars-style effects into the Angry Birds game mechanics. It’s a great way to while away a few hours. Lou Hattersley 26. Cut The Rope series Cut The Rope, £1.99, tinyurl.com/oxoya7q; Cut The Rope 2, 69p, tinyurl.com/nbte393; Cut The Rope Experiments, £1.49, tinyurl.com/kmp3q6m Cut The Rope Time Travel, £1.49, tinyurl.com/cxzy2th There are sweets dangling or floating somewhere in each level of these hugely popular physics-based puzzlers, and you have to feed it to a monster called Om Nom. And if you can grab the three stars while you’re at it, that’d be great.
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Early levels begin with simple ropes and bubbles, and all you need to do is slice the rope with your finger or tap to pop the bubbles. But things get far more complicated later: some ropes only appear when the sweet is near them, and you have to deal with hazards like spikes or hungry spiders. The Cut The Rope games have a neat concept and cute artwork, but the games’ massive success is down to their superb level design. James Savage 27. W.E.L.D.E.R. £1.99, tinyurl.com/oaw7vnt At its core, W.E.L.D.E.R. is a word search. You create words of four or more letters by swapping nearby tiles. If, for example, you’ve got the letters PUSN lined up, tap S and then N and the two letters change positions, forming PUNS. When this happens, the letters vapourise, earning you points, and any letters above drop down. The steampunk interface looks very cool, and just as unnecessary-yet-lovely are the ambient sounds that whoosh and tick along in the background. Taken altogether, W.E.L.D.E.R. is addictive, instructive and a pleasure for the senses. If you have the slightest interest in word games, you should own it. Christopher Breen 28. Peggle 69p, tinyurl.com/pdts54k At first glance, Peggle looks like a pretty straightforward combination of pinball and Puzzle
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Bobble. But while the object is simple – clear the stage of orange pegs – the methods require clever strategies, knowledge of geometry and some lucky bounces. You launch a pinball at the screen below using a rotating cannon; the ball will clear any block or peg it bounces against. Green pegs unlock potent powers, purple pegs increase your score, ball catchers can award you additional balls to use, while obstacles constantly stand in your way. It’s an instant classic and one of the most addictive puzzle games to come out in the past decade. Chris Holt 29. Bejeweled Blitz Free, tinyurl.com/p2j9cfa Blitz takes the ‘match three’ mechanic of a billion App Store puzzles and squashes it into minute-long blasts of dazzling colours and crazy point tallies. You have to swap coloured jewels within a grid so that three or more line up; the matched jewels will disappear and more will drop down to replace them. But the tense gameplay, constant drip-feed of rewards and competitiveness-provoking Facebook integration combine to make a game that will fill any time period you let it near. David Price 30. Machinarium £2.99, tinyurl.com/apqcjla This classic robotic point-and-click adventure offers a unique experience with more heart than the
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average tin man. Each room has a puzzle for you to solve, moving you forward as you try to find your ladyfriend and thwart a dastardly plot by some robo-bullies. You’ll scan environments for items to interact with, combine objects in your inventory and solve a variety of brain-teasers. Machinarium manages to feel both electronic and organic. The hand-painted visuals feel both cartoony and believable, and the soundtrack blends ambient electronica, jazz and dubstep. Rarely has a game felt so thematically and aesthetically unified. Jason Toc
Strategy/tower defence games 31. XCOM: Enemy Unknown £6.99, tinyurl.com/p7pzxwt XCOM is a remake of an early 1990s PC game called X-COM, which fuses turn-based ground missions with real-time base building, squad recruitment and research of hi-tech ways to combat an escalating alien invasion of Earth. XCOM is a more fluid, high-speed take on the same concept, but retains the dual disciplines of tense, battles between your squad of soldiers and an implacable alien foe, and trying to construct a stronger line of defence and offence between these.
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This adaption of the hit turn-based, alien-hunting strategy game is very much the real deal. While it might take a bit of a hit on the graphical front, it otherwise includes everything its rapturouslyreceived console/PC predecessor did. The price will take some swallowing, but it’s totally worth it: this tense, slick strategy game is one to keep you busy for weeks, not mere days. Alec Meer 32. Fieldrunners 2 £1.99, tinyurl.com/kaoq4dr Like the best tower defence titles, Fieldrunners 2 keeps your mind constantly occupied. As the enemy assaults you with waves of troops, your job is to prevent them from getting to the other side of the screen by building gun towers in strategic combinations. Funnel the bad guys into bottlenecks and then shoot them to pieces. You have to last a given number of waves to finish a level, but it will then give you the option of playing ‘Endless’ mode, and carrying on for a laugh. It’s a lot of fun, though difficult when played on any but the easiest of settings. David Price 33. Plants vs. Zombies series Plants vs. Zombies, 69p, tinyurl.com/m6v6vuu Plants vs. Zombies 2, free, tinyurl.com/ngapyk5 We’re more inclined to recommend the first Plants vs Zombies game, but there are certainly good points to the sequel, too. In these unusual and charming
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tower defence games, you’re a home owner facing a zombie invasion. Your best defence is to plant mushrooms, squash and other deadly veg to fight back. The beautiful cartoon graphics are on the right side of zany and set a light-hearted tone: the zombies are silly-looking and distinctive. The game is addictive and surprisingly deep, with a terrific sense of humour. Plants vs Zombies 2 (below) is saddled with an unpleasantly intrusive in-app payments system, but is otherwise superb. It’s free, so you might as well give it a go and see if you can stomach the IAP element. Chris Holt 34. Tiny Heroes Free, tinyurl.com/lawdbw5 Fantasy gaming isn’t just about heroes braving dungeons and slaying dragons. Equally important is the mad architect who bludgeons, shreds and perforates any would-be adventurer who dares to loot that dungeon’s precious treasures. That’s the premise of this appealing tower defence game: as waves of cartoonish heroes wander into your dungeon, you protect your treasure with spinning blades of death, concealed spikes and caged monsters. You’ll have to plan for several kinds of heroes, from tough knights to trap-dismantling thieves, and balance
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between planning ahead and dropping explosives in the thick of a fight. Jason Tocci 35. Jelly Defense £1.99, tinyurl.com/ln45c6l Instead of making you resist a horde of soldiers, this tower-defence game opts for something quirkier: jelly creatures. Your job on each level is to defend a set of crystals from jelly invaders travelling predetermined paths. You defend yourself by placing battle towers (yes, jelly towers) along the path; each one has a specific weapon and attack range, and can only attack invaders of matching colours. What makes Jelly Defense enjoyable is that it combines challenging gameplay, attractive graphics and a playful soundtrack. Roman Loyola
Roleplaying games 36. Baldur’s Gate series Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, £6.99, tinyurl.com/o62c2h9 Baldur’s Gate II, £10.49, tinyurl.com/kf3vwwn The Baldur’s Gate remakes are serious RPGs for serious RPG fans. Recreating the 90s PC classics – seemingly in their entirety – for the iPad is a logistical triumph, and we’d argue that the price tags (which are high for iOS games) are
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more than justified, considering the wealth of story and gameplay you’re getting for your cash. That’s not to say that they’re perfect; the controls aren’t easy to master, often reminding you that they were conceived with keyboards and mice in mind. But for quality, in-depth roleplaying action, these are tough to beat. David Price 37. Knights of Pen & Paper £1.99, tinyurl.com/o9fbm83 Opting to recreate the entire Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying experience rather than just the glamorous bits, KoP&P pulls the camera back to reveal the dork squad sitting there with their 12-sided dice and cans of Vimto, directing the heroic actions playing out on the imaginary stage in front of them. So you control the mages, assassins and barbarians accomplishing heroic feats, but also the pizza delivery boys, school bullies and little sisters playing as them. It’s a brilliant concept beautifully realised: charmingly retro in look, funny and compulsive. David Price 38. Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic £6.99, tinyurl.com/l95yeb3 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) is widely considered one of the greatest Star Wars games, not to mention one of the best RPGs of all time. Which makes it all the more gratifying that this iPad conversion
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of the classic game is genuinely good. Many people will have played it already, but if you haven’t then this is a good chance to play the fantastic game in a well-implemented iPad version. Worth every penny. Lou Hattersley 39. Bastion £2.99, tinyurl.com/lzkm8jg Casual description does this painterly action-roleplaying game few favours - games about beating up beasties in exchange for experience points are a dime a dozen on the app store, after all. Where Bastion differs is in its storytelling. A near omniscient narrator commentates your progress as you play, picking up on your decisions and mistakes as well as furthering a sombre, opaque tale with a voice that redefines the very concept of gravel. It adds a huge amount of character, as well as lending Bastion the eerie sense that it’s watching you. A beautiful game both visually and in atmosphere, Alec Meer 40. Infinity Blade series Infinity Blade, £3.99, tinyurl.com/mjx4vwg Infinity Blade II, £4.99, tinyurl.com/kp2lwh7 Infinity Blade III, £1.99, tinyurl.com/oea2h6r They adopt the trappings of the fantasy RPG, but the Infinity Blade games aren’t free-roaming and there’s very little exploration. Yet that isn’t a criticism. The genius of the series is that it captures and distills the essence of roleplaying games into something almost existential: an infinite loop of death and
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rebirth, fighting, learning, looting and starting all over again. All three Infinity Blade games offer breathtaking graphics – the backdrops are works of art – but Infinity Blade 3 is unsurprisingly the best of the bunch, and given how little previous games have dropped in price, it’s definitely the one to start with. The Infinity Blade games are essentially a series of epic swashbuckling one-on-one battles with giant monsters, carefully packaged to suit gaming on the go. You tap to attack, swipe to parry, gesture to cast magic spells and so on. In the end you’ll die, but that’s okay: there’s always another go. David Price 41. 100 Rogues £1.99, tinyurl.com/oqp6rfy This turn-based dungeon crawler takes sadistic pleasure in the inevitability of death. And, since it’s part of the hardcore genre known as ‘roguelike’, that death is permanent: there are no precautionary saves. But don’t let that put you off a fun and entertaining adventure. Playing as a knight, wizard, robot, skeleton or ‘dinoman’, you head off on a quest to defeat Satan and his minions. The game has strategic depth, and you’ll be amazed how much it draws you into its little world – before kicking you out again when you make the smallest error. Lovably brutal. David Price
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42. Sword & Sworcery EP £2.99, tinyurl.com/o7r2sgk Sword & Sworcery EP is an ambitious, gorgeous and sonically impressive action title. The game feels like 1990s-era Zelda re-imagined as a pointand-click adventure, but it’s so much more. The cryptic, foreboding dialogue and the fact that the game world is affected by the real world’s lunar phases make the puzzles a real challenge, but tight social networking integration allows you to offer and receive guidance; and every step forward feels like a genuine accomplishment. An utterly unique experience. David Wolinsky 43. Dungeon Hunter 2 £4.99, tinyurl.com/ooj4qp2 The backstory may lack originality – you play a prince whose villainous brother has taken over the kingdom – but Dungeon Hunter 2 is no runof-the-mill game. Its graphics are beautifully drawn and detailed, but the star attraction is the gameplay: the developers have managed to keep things simple without compromising on the depth of characters’ personality and abilities. The game’s multiplayer capabilities also give you the ability to play cooperatively with up to three friends in real-time over the internet, or via a local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
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connection. This is a well-balanced title combining stunning graphics and great gameplay. Jeff Meron
Sports games 44. Ridiculous Fishing £1.99, tinyurl.com/cuxfuzu It is ridiculous. It is indeed about fishing. It’s also one of the finest games of the App Store, ever. Fishing, because you play as a guy sitting on a boat with a fishing rod, ridiculous because said rod can drop its line about a kilometre deep and return to the surface with dozens of fish attached. At which point they’re thrown into the air, and you catch them by firing a pistol, shotgun, machine gun, mini gun or worse at them. A small, simple idea realised with remarkable aplomb and high humour, this is a wonderfully compulsive game. Alec Meer 45. Joe Danger Touch £1.99, tinyurl.com/o68lg7m Joe Danger was originally a downloadable indie gem for PlayStation 3, but this iOS port is anything but a lazy conversion. A lot of thought has been put into making the transition to the small screen on the move as smooth as possible, with stunts, wheelies, ducking, lane changes, hops and everything else handled by swipes of the screen. All of which leads to a game that possibly surpasses the
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original, while managing to maintain the impressive colourful 3D cartoon style on a tiny screen. Moreish, and a genuine labour of love. Alan Martin 46. Real Racing 2 £2.99, tinyurl.com/nxw4kfu The original Real Racing set the standard for racing games on the iPhone and iPod touch, but the sequel is even better. The most obvious addition is licensed cars, including BMW, Ford and Nissan models. You can race among 16 cars across 15 locations in career, quick race, time trial, and local and online multiplayer modes. The action is buttery smooth; steering is precise when using accelerometer controls, and there are six other control methods to choose from. This is a winner. James Savage 47. Football Manager Handheld £2.99, tinyurl.com/pt5k4er Football Manager fans should probably have mixed feelings about their obsession landing on iOS. Seven years after the Championship Manager team left to make Football Manager and ruin social lives all over again, this handheld version offers a streamlined management experience: in the iOS edition of the game, seasons fly by in a night and Aldershot can be Premiership champions in a week. That’s not to say it isn’t deep, serious and (of
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course) completely addictive. While only football stats fans need apply, that special breed will be enthralled. Don’t forget to eat. Alan Martin 48. New Star Soccer Free, tinyurl.com/d3qzxmb You’re a striker starting out in non-league football and aiming for the big time. On the pitch, this means setting up chances and scoring wonder goals. Off the pitch, it means training, dressing for success and decking your house in so much tat that MTV Cribs would stage a tackiness intervention. Pull back on the ball to set power and direction, then tap at the right angle to set the curve, deftly placing the ball where you want. It’s a testament to the brilliant gameplay that even football haters will get something out of this. While others strive for realism, New Star Soccer aims for the perfect mobile experience, and hits the back of the net. Alan Martin 49. Super Stickman Golf £1.99, tinyurl.com/lqkel9d As a single-player game, Super Stickman Golf is great. The controls are easy to learn – adjust trajectory using large virtual buttons, tap the Go circle and tap a second time to choose power – and the physics feel just right. What pushes the game into stratospheric levels of excellence, however,
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is its multiplayer. You can challenge up to three opponents locally over Bluetooth or through Game Center, racing in real time and scoring points when you complete a hole first – adding a speed element to golf is a no-brainer that makes it laugh-out-loud funny. The retro look isn’t as cute as Angry Birds, but the game is even more fun. Lex Friedman 50. Ski Safari 69p, tinyurl.com/mmqp8nu An avalanche is coming, and it’s up to you to keep skiing mountain dweller Sven one step ahead of icy doom, while navigating hills, dips and other alpine obstacles. Tapping makes Sven jump, while tapping and holding causes him to flip – you get bonuses for successfully completing a backflip (or two). The app takes a page out of the Tiny Wings handbook by adding mini-challenges that you complete to boost yourself to a new level. Ski Safari is an App Store offering that flourishes thanks to its outstanding gameplay. Philip Michaels
Side-scrolling games 51. Tiny Wings 69p, tinyurl.com/ksg55hy Tiny Wings is a side-scrolling game based on a single control. Touch the screen and your cute little bird furls her stunted wings and speeds downwards at a rapid lick. Raise your finger, and she flaps them and soars briefly, if you’ve gained
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sufficient momentum. Racing against the sun (when it sets your bird goes to sleep and the game is over) you have to press and release at the right moments to navigate a series of hilly, undulating islands as quickly as possible, achieving ‘flight’ as much as you can. The basic gameplay mechanics are simple but exquisitely crafted, and the game is an aesthetic delight, from the crayony backdrops to the charming music and effects. David Price 52. Mirror’s Edge 69p, tinyurl.com/pg3yet4; £2.99, tinyurl.com/nrzgzvn Dystopian free running simulator Mirror’s Edge is a unique experience. Sprint, leap and slide as you attempt to escape the Orwellian government that oppresses the world. Swiping left or right will make your character run in that direction, and combinations of upward and downward flicks make her leap over and slide under obstacles. Well-timed taps and swipes allow you to run on walls, disarm trigger-happy baddies and grind down conveniently placed ziplines. EA somehow manages to retain the acrobatic charm of the console original, while making it minimalistic enough to work seamlessly on iOS. Ryan Rigney 53. Canabalt £1.99, tinyurl.com/kd4h2em Run, bleak monochrome future man, run! There’s something nightmarish about this sparsely elegant
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one-button platformer: you can’t win, you can’t escape, and eventually you’ll miss a jump and die. The aim is simply to get as far across that endless crumbling rooftop as possible. (It’s not even clear what catastrophe you’re fleeing, although the giant figures stalking the landscape behind are probably a clue.) The automatic acceleration and hyperactive soundtrack ratchet up the energy levels beautifully, the super-retro graphics are gloriously evocative, and it’s hard to imagine a more accessible or mobilefriendly game. David Price 54. Jetpack Joyride Free, tinyurl.com/o5vgjzb Jetpack Joyride is a delightful and addictive cave flyer that keeps us coming back for more. You play the role of Barry Steakfries, a disgruntled individual who breaks into a top-secret research lab, steals a machine-gun-powered jetpack, and takes flight through the lab’s never-ending string of long, tunnellike rooms. As you jet or run along, ever forward, you try to avoid electrified barriers, lasers and missiles while collecting coins. The mix of responsiveness and acceleration is just about perfect, the comical graphics raise it above most offerings in the genre, and the extras – including a superb array of vehicles – make Jetpack Joyride a true standout. Dan Frakes
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Casual games 55. Super Hexagon £1.99, tinyurl.com/pxjhxxb This one is simplicity itself. The eponymous Super Hexagon is always at the centre of the screen, and other geometric wireframe shapes are constantly being sucked into it. You play a tiny arrow on the edge of the hexagon, and it’s your role to rotate around the centre to ensure that you’re never crushed by the incoming shapes. It sounds easy but that’s misleading – the twitchy gameplay is so difficult that staying alive for those 60 seconds becomes your own personal Everest. You’ll love and hate the game, but it’s brilliant. Alan Martin 56. Threes! £1.49, tinyurl.com/me9bs7y Threes! is based on a set of numbered tiles which you manipulate around a four-by-four board. There are blue ones, and pinky twos, and you jam these into each other to make white threes. Everything else is a multiple of three created by joining two matching white tiles. Two plus one equals three. Three plus three equals six. Six plus six equals 12. Like Tetris, Threes warns you of the next tile to arrive (or at least its colour - it doesn’t differentiate between the 12 white tiles), so you need to plan ahead. Threes is a beautifully simple, iPhone puzzle game with heart and strategic depth. David Price
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57. King of Opera £1.99, tinyurl.com/onoaao9 We can safely say that King of Opera is the most fun you can have with four people and an iPad. Like all great party games, the concept is amazingly simple: there are four opera tenors, and only one spotlight to hog. When someone else has the spotlight, everyone else tries to shove them off the stage to take it for themselves. (Just like in real life.) For its admittedly short lifespan this is a purely joyful experience that anyone can pick up and play. Alan Martin 58. Drop7 £1.99, tinyurl.com/lvatwkd Every so often a casual game comes along that’s entirely simple, entirely original and entirely addictive. In Drop7 you need to deal with everrising rows of balls, each numbered from one to seven. In order to make a ball disappear, you have to use it in a row of exactly that number; if you’re lucky this may spark a chain reaction, clearing the board in dramatic bursts and multiplying your score. Each new row of balls that appears, however, comes up grey and numberless, and has to be cracked open by eliminating others around it. Like Tetris or Bejeweled, it’s easy to learn, difficult to master and even harder to put down. Bonnie Ruberg
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59. Draw Something £1.99, tinyurl.com/q9tnj5d Draw Something might be flawed, but for a while this Pictionary-style social puzzler threatened to take over the world. After setting up a game with a friend or stranger (you can have several on the go at once), you are presented with three objects. You pick one, and then draw it. Later, your friend will see your drawing process as a video, and try to guess what it is. They’ll then draw a picture, and you try to keep the game going as long as possible: it’s collaborative, not competitive. The drawing interface can be a bit clumsy, but the basic idea is economy-threateningly fun. Lex Friedman 60. Fruit Ninja 69p, tinyurl.com/p7cnu3o This funny, quick game combines two ideal qualities: it’s easy to learn and fun to master. Fruit (and the occasional bomb) appears on the screen, and you’re tasked with slicing and slashing it up, ninja-style. If you let three pieces of fruit escape unscathed, or hit one of the bombs, your game is over. You slice by swiping your fingers across the falling fruit, and the game supports slashing with up to eight fingers at a time. Adding to the fun are great visuals, including
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lots of fruit juice flying with every slice, and a great, Eastern-infused soundtrack. The iPad version adds local multiplayer, which is hectic fun and highly replayable. Lex Friedman 61. Words with Friends £2.99, tinyurl.com/l3kz3l6 Perhaps most famous for being so addictive that Alec Baldwin got kicked off a plane for refusing to stop playing, Words with Friends is a two-person crossword challenge that absolutely isn’t Scrabble, so Hasbro’s lawyers can serve their writs another day. Though there might be a few similarities. Enter an email address and search for an opponent using Wi-Fi or 3G, seek out a random player, or invite friends to play through Twitter and Facebook. There’s also a live chat feature with a pair of animated googly eyes to show when a friend is online. The whole package is so enjoyable you might sympathise with Baldwin’s point of view. Ben Boychuk 62. Flight Control 69p, tinyurl.com/o5w6rs2; £2.99, tinyurl.com/p6p5h59 In Flight Control, you assume the role of an air traffic controller. As an ever-increasing number of planes approach the runways, your job is to guide them all in for safe landings. Planes travel at different speeds, and each is colour-coded to match the runway it
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must land on. You tap approaching planes and drag a flight path for them to follow for landing. As you progress, this process gets increasingly manic, and not surprisingly, it’s loads of fun too. The game takes seconds to learn and mere minutes to play. What makes it even more impressive is that we’ve spent hours guiding planes in and can’t wait to go and play again. Lex Friedman 63. Eufloria HD £2.99, tinyurl.com/nmorf67 Eufloria pairs simple strategy with mood and style, offsetting tense gameplay with calming visuals and an ambient soundtrack. Your job is to conquer a pastel-hued pocket of space by directing armies of ‘seedlings’ from colony to colony, wiping out any enemies that lurk there and establishing your own trees to generate new seedlings. You’ll face tough decisions about how many seedlings you need to defend your own holdings and how many should be sent out to battle. The push ‘n’ pull strategy is compelling enough, but it’s the hand-drawn graphics and pretty soundtrack that really make Eufloria stand out as something special. Alec Meer 64. Osmos £1.99, tinyurl.com/mdzda6a; £2.99, tinyurl.com/lxssh9l Osmos was originally a highly regarded ‘ambient gaming’ PC title, but the touchscreen suits it
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perfectly. It’s a tranquilising experience, with trippy visuals and music. You play a pulsating ball of light. The aim is to work your way up the food chain by moving around and absorbing smaller balls of light (making you expand) and avoiding bigger ones. Yet this simple concept produces an engaging experience like no other. Despite remaining utterly serene, some levels can get fiendishly complicated, with different balls of light acting in dramatically different ways. A classic that deserves a place in every iOS gamer’s collection. Lou Hattersley
Board games 65. Puerto Rico HD £2.99, tinyurl.com/kjz7sww Puerto Rico invites up to five players (human or computercontrolled) to compete in an entirely non-violent way to establish the most thriving plantation colony. You have to pick one of the iconic figures from Puerto Rico’s history to play as – one of whom is a female playwright – and grow corn and coffee, build universities and haciendas, and gain in prestige by shipping resources back to Spain. All of which makes it sound like the Bible board game that Ned Flanders makes his kids play, but
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it’s actually brilliant. One gimmick we’ve not seen elsewhere, for instance, is a mechanism whereby the various phases of the game (building, trading etc) only happen if someone picks the related ‘role’. Picking the role that will benefit you and offer little to your foes is one of the ways you can twist the knife pacifism be damned. David Price 66. Catan £2.99, tinyurl.com/ou8l4y4 Graphically, this is a faithful rendition of Klaus Teuber’s superb and deservedly idolised tile-based island conquest game. Having the iPad handle those tiresome banking duties and victory point calculations makes things far more fast-paced than the board game, and you can view statistical tables at the end of the bout. The computer players can be absolute swines, but hardcore gamers may even consider this a plus. And the original game is such a work of genius that this couldn’t help being great fun, even if it’s not the perfect iOS port. David Price 67. Small World 2 £6.99, tinyurl.com/lhagnkh The mechanic at the heart of Small World involves two decks of cards: one featuring races of fantastical, Tolkienesque creatures (trolls, elves, ogres and so on) and the other featuring adjectives (heroic, peace-loving, wealthy). In each game these two decks are matched up at random, and on your
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first turn, and whenever you elect to dump your current lot and try something new, you get to pick a combination. The two cards you get will dictate the special rules that apply to your armies. Beyond that, Small World is basically fantasy Risk with jokes: you conquer territories with armies and get points for the area you control. It’s fun, and surprisingly deep. But the best thing is the way that every game is different, thanks to the random card-matching. David Price 68. Ticket To Ride £1.49, tinyurl.com/nd78dl7; £4.99, tinyurl.com/nepholw One for the trainspotters, you might think, although experience suggests that this simple but engrossing game will appeal to all sorts. You collect coloured cards (seen on the right and along the bottom in the screenshot below), which you then use to build railway infrastructure across the map, attempting to connect up the cities named in your (randomly allocated) objectives. Tactically we believe it’s relatively straightforward, but the competition for critical stretches can get fierce. And in the end there’s not much in life more satisfying than building a railway. David Price
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69. New World Colony £1.99, tinyurl.com/nk7fgml Most well-designed board games take pains to avoid the death-by-a-thousandcuts feeling of impending, inevitable defeat that hangs over the final 16 hours of the average game of Risk. In Catan, above, losing players almost always have something to aim for even if victory is unlikely, and Small World invigoratingly flushes out the board every turn or two, giving it a feeling of constant possibility. New World Colony is not like that – but it’s still a great game, somehow. Like Catan, it takes place across the hexagonal tiles of a newly discovered landscape, with rival settlers competing to establish a thriving base. But unlike Catan, it’s quite happy to pitch player against player in bloody head-to-head battles - you can invade and dismantle any of your rivals’ tiles if you have sufficient resources. This makes for a thrilling and almost chess-like middle game, but once you establish a substantial advantage, things tend to revert to a process of mopping up. For this reason we recommend NWC as a solo game: computer players don’t mind being slowly crushed, but your real-life friends might. David Price 70. Carcassonne £6.99, tinyurl.com/pwda3va Turn-based tile-placing game Carcassonne divides opinion among serious board-gamers; many of
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the hardcore find it twee or dull, but others swear by its simple, engrossing mechanics. We think it’s an acquired taste, but a winner if you give it a chance. Each lavishly illustrated game tile features a bit of territory: buildings, roads, meadows and so on. Each turn, a player draws a tile and has to play it next to a compatible tile that’s already on the board - for example, a city piece next to another city piece, or a road connected to another road. As the game progresses, you and your opponents take turns placing tiles, as well as scoring points by dropping little game pieces known as ‘meeple’ on those tiles. It starts to make sense once you get the hang of it. Give it half an hour and you’ll be counting meeple in your sleeple, too. Jason Snell
Platform games 71. They Need To Be Fed series 69p, tinyurl.com/q8dv7at; £1.49, tinyurl.com/pupya6r Who are they, I hear you ask. ‘They’ are gigantic, Little Shop Of Horrors-esque man-eating plants, and you’re on the menu. And, unusually in the realm of games, you are expected to help this happen. Classic platform action is the order of the day, then, as your silhouette sprite bounces and
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dodges his way past exploding spheres, missilelaunchers and carnivorous bats, only to throw himself into the jaws of an oversized Venus Fly Trap. Visually appealing and beautifully constructed, it’s exactly as annoying as a good platform game should be - which is to say, quite. David Price 72. Limbo £1.49, tinyurl.com/kjctm3j Sad, cruel and beautiful (this is starting to sound like the lyrics to a Roxy Music track), Limbo is a puzzleplatform game set in a grim and homicidal afterlife. You play as a small boy trying to retrieve his lost sister, solving moving-crate brain-teasers while various hazards – ranging from circular saws and rising flood water to brain worms and the scariest spider you’ve ever seen – try to destroy you. It’s an experience you won’t forget quickly. David Price 73. Super Crate Box £1.149, tinyurl.com/otptryy SCB looks like an old 8-bit platform game, but each level is a singlescreen affair from the top of which enemies large and small constantly tumble, then stomp their way towards a fiery pit at the bottom of the level. With very limited room to manoeuvre, you’ll forever be in the way of these monsters’ suicidal march, and should they touch you, you die. Your job,
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meanwhile, is to collect the crates which randomly spawn across the level. This is a frighteningly compulsive game of jumping and shooting: who’d have thought collecting plain brown crates would be so tense and thrilling? Alec Meer 74. Stealth Inc £2.99, tinyurl.com/o5kfvot You control a series of disposable clones, tasked with creeping around traps, cameras and robot sentries and trying to stay alive long enough to hack into various inconveniently located computer terminals. You need to think hard about the best route through each level, but once you plunge in the game is all about fast-twitch hand-eye co-ordination – not just in order to get a good time, but to make it through the lethal level furniture. Timing and brains alike are needed. Highly recommended. David Price 75. Doodle Jump 69p, tinyurl.com/ok7fow2 Doodle Jump offers addictive, simple, addictive, mindless, addictive fun. You control a hand-drawn creature whose only goal is to get higher. As you tilt your iDevice, the creature jumps towards various bouncy platforms. Most of these are stationary, but you’ll also encounter brown platforms that break if you land on them, blue ones that move and springs that provide a boost. This is addictive and deliciously replayable. Lex Friedman
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Best free iPhone apps There are masses of incredible iPhone apps that cost nothing, so save your money and start installing
ooking for free iPhone apps? We’re here to help, with our guide to the best free apps for iPhone, covering news, photography, entertainment, work and social apps. No-one likes spending money if they can avoid it - even those who’ve just spent a fortune on an iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c. In fact, they’ve probably got less cash to spare than the rest of us after settling up with Apple. Luckily, there are masses of free apps on the App Store, many of which are just as good as the paidfor alternatives, enabling you to expand your device’s capabilities in myriad exciting ways.
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Communication 1. Facebook tinyurl.com/cuj6v4t If you’re on Facebook – and most of us are – then this is probably the first app to download on a new iPhone. It’s free, it looks good, and fits in with the design aesthetic of iOS 7. It does a good job of getting out of the way and letting you find out where your exgirlfriend has been on holiday. 2. Skype tinyurl.com/m8rdb69 A versatile alternative to FaceTime for when you want to video-call friends and relatives who don’t own Apple devices. It features a slick, user-friendly interface and the ability to make calls over 3G, although call-quality issues and data limits mean we’d recommend this as an indulgence only. 3. Twitter tinyurl.com/naulah9 Like Facebook, Twitter’s free iOS app is simple and effective, and has been updated to look great within iOS 7. It’s intuitive to use and ideal for the more basic aspects of using the service. 4. Mailbox tinyurl.com/k3fpnlt Mailbox is an excellent free email-management app. The beautifully polished app is a joy to use, and makes managing email as painless as possible.
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What sets Mailbox apart is its approach to managing the contents of your inbox. As you navigate your inbox, you can tap on a message to view it. Or you can file it away without ever leaving your list of messages: swipe right on a message and it will turn green to show you’re archiving it. Pull a little further and it turns red to show you’re deleting the message instead. Swipe left on a message – or tap the clock icon in message view – and you can in essence press the snooze button on it, choosing when you’d like that message to reappear. It’s all intuitive, easy to master, and honestly kind of fun. 05. Gmail tinyurl.com/n8tkcjd The Gmail app has been updated for iOS 7 and, if you’re reliant on Google’s mail service, it’s an obvious one to try. It’s free, it looks good, and it’s tightly integrated with other Google services. 06. WhatsApp Messenger tinyurl.com/blrovyg WhatsApp is one of those apps that divides people into two camps: the ones who haven’t heard of it, and the ones who won’t shut up about it. But it’s superb for keeping in touch with groups of friends without spending a groat, allowing you to send text messages, videos, pictures and audio to your friends or family at no cost beyond the data used. Why would you send a MMS? The app is easy to use and, in our experience, habit altering.
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07. Find My Friends tinyurl.com/pp3hnsj Find My Friends had a pleasant makeover following the release of iOS 7, and those still interested in stalking their friends, checking up on their wife’s whereabouts and making sure they don’t end up in the same pub as their dad will find it as useful as ever. For those who haven’t tried it, it’s free to download and well worth exploring.
Photo & video 08. Photosynth tinyurl.com/qzv75nz Photosynth for iPhone is an interactive panorama capture- and stitching tool that facilitates easy sharing. Tap a camera icon at the bottom of the screen, orient the iOS device in portrait or landscape mode, then tap to begin. Photosynth uses a rectangle with a centred dot to indicate the area being captured. From where the first image is captured, the app paints edges using dotted lines to show what’s missing. Move the camera around, keeping it in the same plane of motion, not rotating it slightly or tipping it forward or backward, and the app will automatically capture new portions. 09. Facebook Camera tinyurl.com/knhsz6c Facebook Camera is a standalone, somewhat Instagram-esque iPhone app for browsing your
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friends’ photos and sharing those of your own. You can shoot photos from within the app – you get the standard Camera controls – and, once you snap a photo you’d like to share, you can tap to crop it, apply a filter, and/or share it on Facebook. (You can do the same with photos from your Camera Roll.) Camera automatically detects faces in photos, and prompts you to tag them if you’d like. 10. iPhoto tinyurl.com/n8c26xd Does this count as free? Sort of. iPhoto still carries a price tag of £2.99 on the App Store, but if you buy a brand-new iPhone or iPad (or a new Mac, for that matter), you’ll be able to download it for free. While the Mac version of iPhoto may not have had much of an upgrade, its iOS counterpart has received a significant interface makeover, as well as a number of new features. The cleaner look of iPhoto 2.0 for iOS is slightly marred by the inconsistencies in the way it organises your photo collection, but those are relatively minor annoyances and the new interface is, on the whole, more streamlined and better suited to rapidly skimming through large collections of photos. 11. Instagram tinyurl.com/mkex99m There are two main areas of Instagram: photo editing and social. Editing photos is very simple: existing photos can be selected from your photo roll,
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or you can capture a new image within the app. The Filter panel enables you to tweak the your photos using different effects. But it’s the social side of Instagram that sets it apart. You can share photos via your Facebook, Flickr and Tumblr accounts, as well as with Foursquare, which enables you to tag a photo with its location. Instagram also works as a social network in its own right. 12. Adobe Photoshop Express tinyurl.com/b3ahllw Photoshop Express was first launched in 2009 as a cut-down, free version of Adobe’s dominant image-editing software. Its limited palette of features was expanded with the second and third versions, adding packs of effects and camera effects that can be purchased from within the app, private online albums for ease of sharing and iOS 7 optimisation.
Productivity 13. Dropbox tinyurl.com/cel9cre Dropbox’s cloud service lets you store and sync files online, so they’re accessible from multiple computers. And with the company’s free iPhone app, you can access your Dropbox files on the go. It’s a reliable and user-friendly offering. But Dropbox has an ace up its sleeve in the form of Photo Uploads. Install the Dropbox iOS app and any pictures snapped on your iPhone will be copied to your Dropbox cloud storage, making
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it easy to quickly view the files and share them with other people. 14. Evernote tinyurl.com/n95scjx This note- and snippet-managing service lets you type text notes and take photo notes with your iPhone’s camera. After you capture a note, Evernote automatically uploads everything that you put into it to the company’s servers, where your notes are indexed for easy search and retrieval, and become available for syncing to all your devices. Fast, smooth and extremely functional. 15. Any.do tinyurl.com/m8azlpk Any.do is a free productivity app for iPhone that delivers in just about every way. It’s great to look at, easy to use, and effective at helping users get stuff done. In either the Category or Schedule view, the task list is presented in a clean, spare format, and Any.do has many layers of organisation. It’s both easier to use and more pleasing to look at than the native Reminders app in iOS. 16. Documents 5 by Readdle tinyurl.com/olz3h27 Documents is, as the name suggests, an app for keeping your documents in one convenient place, particularly when on the move. Those documents
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include text, audio, music files, and web- and email content. It’s been awarded ‘Editors’ Choice’ by Apple in more than 70 countries, which is a fair reflection of the app’s quality and usefulness.
Shopping 17. eBay tinyurl.com/petyc38 The first rule of online auctions is that you need be constantly connected – if not, how will you be able to make a last-minute bid on a desired item if you’re away from your computer? Thanks to eBay’s iOS app, you don’t have to worry about missing an auction. This fully fledged app allows you to do just about anything eBay’s full site does. 18. Amazon tinyurl.com/mfzvlf2 Amazon’s iPhone app lets you do exactly what you would expect: search for products, read user reviews, compare prices, track packages, view and cancel orders and, you know, buy stuff. Brilliantly, however, the app takes things further. You can scan barcodes using your iPhone, or take photos of things you like while out in other retail establishments, and Amazon will do its best to provide you with price comparisons of the same or similar products on its own books. Clever stuff.
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Entertainment 19. Bloom.fm tinyurl.com/c6fmbxy Bloom.fm is an interesting proposition, at its cheapest covering those who aren’t too sonically obsessed, who simply want to keep tabs of current musical trends. In its most basic form, Bloom.fm is a free radio-style streaming app, with adverts, where you select a ‘station’ based on the top 100, a genre or an artist. The app will then put together a playlist from a catalogue of 22 million songs, and you can skip tracks you don’t like. You download the app for free and don’t have to pay a penny if you don’t want to – and if you are willing to crack open the old wallet, there are some attractive subscription offers. 20. GarageBand tinyurl.com/ahumlbc If you’re a serious musician you might find the iOS version of GarageBand a bit gimmicky, although it’s much more likely that you’ll appreciate it as a handy portable notebook. For those who can hear it all in their heads, but have no training, and never felt confident enough to lay it down, GarageBand for iOS’ interface is nothing short of a miracle. It’s free, too, although a one-off in-app purchase of £2.99 unlocks all the extra instruments and loops.
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21. Spotify Music tinyurl.com/pptxx76 Arguably one of the most popular music-streaming services, Spotify allows users to listen to 13 million tracks for free (peppered with ads) or ad-free via the £10-per-month Spotify Premium service. A neat trick is that tracks can be stored locally on the iPhone. This means you can listen to tracks even when you haven’t got a data connection, or when you’re out and about and don’t want to waste your 3G data. In this sense, Spotify becomes almost a replacement for (or at least an effective addition to) the Music app built into the iPhone. 22. Shazam tinyurl.com/chgyzys Shazam started life before the advent of smartphones and tablets, but has in essence been refining one idea: the ability to identify the music all around you by simply listening to it. Users simply tap the Shazam button to identify tracks they like the sound of – or want to avoid ever hearing again. For music fans, Shazam is an essential app, one that should also appeal to casual users who simply want to identify which song is being used to soundtrack a new ad or drama, without resorting to a trawl through the internet. Its ability to identify even the most obscure of tracks is very impressive.
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23. Sky+ tinyurl.com/ozx2ysj Sky+ puts you in full control of your Sky+HD box whether you’re sitting in front of it or the other side of the world. Most useful is the ability to set your Sky+ box to remote-record your favourite TV programmes away from home and on the move. Forgotten to set the final episode of Games of Thrones to record? Getting round Sky’s bug of recording that second back-to-back episode via Series Link? The free Sky+ app sorts all that out for you. 24. BBC iPlayer tinyurl.com/9hjndgk With its large catalogue of TV shows and radio shows, all streamed without ads, the iPlayer app enables you to watch any show broadcast in the past seven days. The BBC iPlayer app should be a stock download for all iOS device owners in the UK. The ability to cache shows for 30 days will make it a vital component for anybody going on long journeys without a reliable connection, and also make it less data-hungry when watching television shows. 25. iPlayer Radio tinyurl.com/cn5x6he BBC iPlayer Radio brings together the corporation’s vast and varied radio output into one dedicated,
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convenient app for computers and iOS devices. It’s a sensible approach, complementing the BBC’s popular iPlayer catch-up TV service, while emphasising audio over visual content. The BBC has a lot of audio content to offer – both live and archived via catch-up and podcasts – which clearly can get overlooked in the search for the latest episodes of popular TV shows such as EastEnders, Top Gear and Doctor Who. 26. Podcasts tinyurl.com/luxb24s Apple’s first stab at its Podcasts app didn’t support playlists, didn’t sync podcasts between devices, and its Now Playing screen was split into two pieces. But since version 1.2 it’s been a different matter. Playlists (called Stations) have been added, iCloud syncing has been implemented to ensure synchronisation between devices (and with iTunes on your computer), and the Now Playing screen is a single unit that blessedly lacks the old tape-deck interface. 27. Kindle tinyurl.com/cdpmzrx How do you judge a reading app? We demand an app with a pleasant reading experience; benefits such as a built-in dictionary, easy and fast navigation and search, and customisation options; and a store with a massive ebook selection, and one that’s easy
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to browse from an iOS device. Amazon’s Kindle app shines on all those fronts. That’s why, despite competition from no lesser a giant than Apple and its iBooks offering, it’s still the best e-reading option in the App Store. 28. SongKick Concerts tinyurl.com/qh49tng Another neat and ingenious free app, SongKick noses through the artists in your music library, then creates a calendar of upcoming concerts in your area. Simple, but radically convenient. 29. Radioplayer tinyurl.com/oeoq3sy Founded by various broadcasting heavyweights, including the BBC, Global Radio, Guardian Media Group, Absolute Radio and RadioCentre, Radioplayer bills itself as a not-for-profit company with a single purpose: “to serve radio and its audiences by making listening easy”. The app delivers on that promise. If your musical map doesn’t extend beyond the UK, then Radioplayer is an excellent choice, with plenty of channels available despite the geographical limitations. Its ‘Recommended’ option, much improved by logging into Facebook, also helps you discover new channels and broadcasters when you want to broaden your horizons.
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Travel 30. NavFree tinyurl.com/lw6e7xc NavFree is a free satnav app available for the UK, Ireland, US and other countries. It operates as would a TomTom or Garmin satnav: you enter a postcode or an address, and it provides a quick and effective route to get you where you need to be. You can also carry out a Google search for a business name, then navigate to that business based on the results fed into the app. It may be free, but it gets the job done. 31. Wheely tinyurl.com/nsed3zp Wheely is a free app that adds convenience to the cab-booking process, and may even save you money. Because the journey fee is agreed before you step into the vehicle, you know exactly how much you’re going to pay regardless of how long the journey will take. Given London’s notorious traffic, that can only be a good thing. And if you do get stuck in a jam, all of Wheely’s vehicles offer free onboard Wi-Fi, so you can keep working as you wait. 32. Yelp tinyurl.com/lq8j855 Apple’s Maps service features built-in Yelp reviews of local business, but if you don’t like Maps – or just want to get straight to the reviews – the company’s
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own app is free. The information available is pretty detailed. As well as reviews, you get pricing, nearest transport options, photographs, opening hours, and even information on ambience, noise level and the expected attire. Yelp is certainly worth downloading. It’s a good way to find local listings, and a good tool for business owners, too. 33. Google Maps tinyurl.com/abcfu96 It’s time to take sides: Apple Maps or Google Maps? Actually, the joy of free apps is that you can hedge your bets and use both. Most users reckon Google is still ahead, and we’d strongly recommend that you download Google Maps and test it for yourself. What people need from a navigation app is accuracy, and we still feel that Google is more reliable. 34. London Bus Live Countdown tinyurl.com/nthsnbp Bus-checker apps, such as this free example for Londoners, fit into the category of apps that quietly improve your life. Stuck at a Barnet bus stop late at night with no idea whether it’s worth waiting for the next 184? Hook yourself into the TfL mainframe and see a ticker of approaching buses and their approximate times. (With the emphasis on approximate – look out for the crushing disappointment of the very occasional ‘phantom bus’.) Apps are available for all major cities.
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35. Tickety Split tinyurl.com/qy3rxgj We’re conflicted about recommending Tickety Split, since in its current free form it apparently costs the owners money to run – the owners being that nice Martin Lewis and his team at moneysavingexpert.com. But it’s such a clever idea. You see, thanks to the string-theory-esque logic behind rail-ticket pricing, it’s often possible to save cash when booking train tickets by splitting the journey into multiple shorter legs – this app helps you work out where to make the chop.
Reference 36. BBC Weather tinyurl.com/osjuy9d Another brilliant and free alternative to Apple’s own Weather app for the iPhone – is Apple doomed? Well, obviously not, but armchair meteorologists have plenty to enjoy on the App Store. BBC Weather is a useful, attractive addition to the wealth of weather-related apps and, while there are more detailed and varied alternatives available, the BBC’s offering wins out for ease of use and clarity. 37. Yahoo Weather tinyurl.com/n2q3vat Yahoo Weather is a vast improvement on Apple’s (Yahoo-powered) Weather iPhone app, combining plenty of weather-junkie data with attractive views of the UK and beyond. Apple was impressed enough to award Yahoo Weather an ‘Apple Design Award 2013’
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award, proclaiming that the app “stands apart with its simple, uncluttered, and beautiful visual design”. High praise indeed for a direct rival. 38. BBC News tinyurl.com/o7talu3 The BBC’s News app provides the latest news from around the world, and offers push notifications to alert you to breaking news as it happens. You can tailor the news categories to your preferences, and there are video reports on most of the top stories. 39. Flipboard tinyurl.com/mkzynlr We’ve popped the mighty Flipboard in our Reference section, but it could have easily appeared with the other social apps at the start of this article – because social networks are where it sources its articles. According to the team behind the app, Flipboard “Is on a quest to transform how people discover, view and share content by combining the beauty and ease of print with the power of social media.” Flipboard is a must-have app. Beautifully tactile and responsive, it makes reading anything on your iPhone a absolute pleasure, one ideal for exploring both favourite news sources and discovering new and inspirational content, including user-curated personalised magazines.
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Why apps need to be more expensive We all like a freebie, but as David Price explains, sometimes you get what you pay for
was recently involved in a Twitter discussion with a couple of tech fans. Twitter User A recommended an iOS game. Twitter User B tutted that it “looked expensive”. The game cost £1.49. Is it possible that smartphone- and tablet users have developed something of an entitlement problem? It’s difficult to think of a time when goodquality software has been more widely available or cheaper, but this has made us purse our lips when
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asked to cough up the price of half a pint for an app that took months to create.
The race to the bottom When did we get so tight with money? Or, to approach it from another angle, when did developers get so generous? It hasn’t always been this way, and in certain segments prices have remained stable. During the 90s it was normal to spend £40 for a new SNES game, and we’re in the same ballpark today: Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U costs £39. Desktop software varies wildly, and far more software is now distributed for free – Apple, for example, lets Mac users upgrade to OS X Mavericks for nothing – but there are still plenty of higher-priced exceptions. Adobe charges more than £1,000 for the latest version of Creative Suite. And triple-A PC games cost £30 or so when they launch. It’s not as though we’re afraid to spend money on software. It’s just that when it’s called an ‘app’, the wallet shrinks with fear. App stores weren’t always the bargain-hunter’s paradises they are today. But as the number of apps has rocketed and supply outpaces demand, market forces cast their spell, and prices have dropped. Other than insane competition between thousands of apps, developers are encouraged to pitch their prices low by the importance of the
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charts; if you can get to the top, success becomes self-perpetuating. It makes more sense for devs to aim for a huge number of low-margin sales than a sensible number at a sensible price. But for every Flappy Bird there are thousands of zombie apps that are never downloaded.
How much do apps cost to build? We asked some developers about current prices on the various app stores, and if they are enough to make back the costs of an app project. Garry Partington, CEO of Apadmi, stressed that app development shouldn’t be viewed as a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. “With app production costs averaging at £30- to £60k, it takes a lot of downloads at £1- to £3.50 to recoup the costs,” he said. “Hit apps recoup their costs and more, but there is an enormous number of apps that will never make a profit.” Is the answer to cut corners in the development process? “Developers in Silicon Valley/San Francisco are known to be notoriously expensive,” Partington added, “but the counter argument is that you get what you pay for with app development.” The truth is, despite the much-heralded lower barriers to entry that accompanied the rise of mobile, creating quality software is just as costly as ever. And lower development spending is likely to result in a drop in quality.
A risk-averse market Bargain-basement prices may not be good news for developers, but why should we care? This affects all
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of us. It’s a question of the sort of apps market we’re creating. Dino Patti, CEO and cofounder of Playdead, believes developers are pricing their wares about right, but argues that pricing trends in the mobile market mean its games won’t match the experience you can get on PC and console. “The lower pricing is causing most developers to do projects with a low financial risk,” Patti explains. “And the result of that is what we now see in the app stores. I have never had an experience even close to those I’ve had on a PC or console. These two things are almost incomparable. “Is this sustainable? If you are making free-to-play and small games suitable for mobile devices it’s very sustainable. If you are trying to make a quality experience on a bigger budget you wouldn’t aim for this market in the first place.”
Bad games Making good software is expensive, difficult and, above all, risky, because you don’t know if anyone is going to like what you’ve created. And when the returns are so thin, there’s little incentive to innovate. The mobile games market is notoriously prone to cloning, with a tendency to unoriginality that runs the gamut from respectable homage to outright plagiarism, and this is at least partially attributable to the low margins. Developers churn out carbon copies of existing games, because making new software isn’t worth the effort. And the mobile games that aren’t thinly veiled copies of previous successes are free-to-play abominations. Freemium is the logical endpoint of
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a market in which nobody is allowed to charge a realistic price up front. If you won’t spend money on app downloads, you force software makers to find other ways to get your money. And in the case of freemium, that means games that totally subvert the very idea of gaming in the name of profit. Let’s take an example. The current (and deserved) punching bag for mobile gamers is EA’s desecration of the beloved 90s classic Dungeon Keeper. Dungeon Keeper on mobile is free, but everything is done to hamper and slow down your experience until you crack and pay for in-app purchases. Instead of trying to make the game as fun as possible, so that you buy future releases by the designers, and tell your friends how good the game is so they buy it too, freemium designers aim to make your life as unpleasant as possible. This is what we get if we don’t pay.
Porting One solution to the lack of adventure among developers is porting. Take Playdead’s Limbo, for example – an astonishing artful and visually ambitious game that couldn’t be further from the world of Candy Crush Saga. Limbo made its name on the PC, a market where prices are higher
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and innovation is more likely to be rewarded. Once it succeeded in that environment, Playdead made the transition to mobile at £2.99. That is also where Curve Digital pitched Stealth Inc, another superb PC game that appeared in iOS form. Rob Clarke, Curve’s PR and marketing manager, comments: “Stealth started life as a PC game, moved to the PlayStation and came to iOS as a premium game with a single piece of IAP. We’ve always priced the game differently in the various markets but, as is ‘expected’, the iOS version works out about half the price. “I think we got the price right. We stuck with a premium model because we feel that freemium games work only if that’s your goal from the design stage, and we’re glad to see that there’s a healthy appetite for premium titles that have a fairly ‘hardcore’ appeal.”
The upward curve What’s the future of app pricing? As Partington puts it, “consumers have been conditioned to expect the current price point for mobile apps”. Is this a market that can go only downward? As long as we continue to pick the free alternative, even when it’s flawed, app designers are going to be motivated to race to the bottom.
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Weird iPhone accessories From baby hands to neck braces, Lou Hattersley looks at some of the weirdest accessories to grace an iPhone Japanese bacon and eggs iPhone case Close your eyes and pretend you’re in a small meeting room. On the screen is a PowerPoint presentation marked ‘iPhone case sales 2013?’ A nearby whiteboard has ‘new ideas’ and is covered with feverish marker pen. It’s 5 o’clock on a Friday. You’re tired. One person, wild-eyed in desperation says: “What does everybody like?” “Food,” replies another. “Everyone likes food, right?” “So… what’s the world’s best food?”, somebody says. “Bacon. Bacon and eggs! Everyone likes bacon and eggs.” A
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random person shouts “Hey! Let’s make this iPhone case out of bacon and eggs!”. You hear yourself saying “Let’s do it! That’s a great idea!”
HANA iPhone Case Hana means nose in Japanese, apparently. Not that it seems much of an excuse for this nose-shaped iPhone case. According to the makers you can stick your fingers into the nose slots to hold the phone upright. They say that as if it makes it all okay. As if they expect you to say “Oh! Now it makes sense”.
Japanese Hand case This creepy iPhone case did the rounds a while back, but did you know that there are now two creepy iPhone hand models available? That means that it was popular enough for the range to be expanded. You can choose between Nami’s Hand and Yamato’s Hand. Because the one thing – in fact, the only thing – that could possibly make attaching an artificial child’s hand to your iPhone even more creepy, is choosing between two different make-believe children’s hands.
iPhone Ear case Ear ere. Who doesn’t want to turn their iPhone into a giant ear? This Giant iPhone Ear Case is great.
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Burger iPhone dock Because owning a bacon and egg iPhone isn’t enough. Why not couple it with this iPhone hamburger dock? Apart from the obvious reasons like sanity, and taste, of course.
iFork iPhone dock “An idea that needed to happen,” says the Etsy website. While we’re not wholly sure how serious they are, this is a seriously forked iPhone case. This iFork iPhone case really doesn’t look that safe to us. We guess you need something to eat the bacon and egg case with.
80s retro iPhone case Take a trip back in time to a point where phones were phones. Big, giant phones that you held with both hands. Take a look at this 80’s Retro iPhone case.
TableConnect iPhone case We know what you’re thinking… how cute! It turns the iPhone into a dinky table. Nope! That’s a full-sized table with a 60in display you’re looking at. The iPhone is hooked up inside it. As the press site says: “TableConnect allows users to
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connect their phone or tablet and instantly use any of the millions of available iOS and Android apps at a much larger scale.”
Vyne iPhone holder Who needs hands? In the word’s of the Vyne press site: “Vyne is a hands-free viewing accessory for the smartphone. It is designed to be worn sitting down in a stationary position for viewing media content for an extended period of time.”
JoeyBra iPhone holder Where else would you keep an iPhone? Handbag, pocket… oh you just haven’t got any imagination. As the Joey Bra website says “sexy, comfy and functional”.
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Understanding common iOS error messages? Lou Hattersley reveals what they mean
ompared to most computers the iPhone is a wholly reliable device. You spend a lot less time maintaining, and fixing an iPhone than a computer to keep it working. The iPhone is a stable device. Even so, mistakes do happen, and when one does you will get an error message flash up. Sometimes it will appear on the iPhone screen as an alert, sometimes it will appear on the Mac screen when you connect an iPhone to a Mac. The iPhone error message may say something like “The iPhone cannot be synced. An unknown error occurred” or just show a picture of the
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Lightning connector cable and an iTunes logo. What do these iPhone error messages mean, this guide to iOS errors will help you understand them.
This accessory is not made to work with iPhone This warning appears when plugging the iPhone (or iPod touch) into a dock or speaker system. It lets you know that the iPhone cannot control the device, but it can charge through it. In the case of uncertified cables we’d be careful. There have been reports of third-party chargers not meeting health and safety standards. If you don’t have a device attached to your iPhone, then it could be in trouble. Check for debris in the socket, sometimes dirt can be inside the dock connector causing the iPhone to think it’s attached to something when it isn’t. iFixIt recommends cleaning out the dock using a toothpick. If there is no debris try to restart the iPhone by holding down the Home Button and Sleep/Wake button for 10 seconds.
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The iPhone cannot be synced. An unknown error occurred This error message appears in Mac OS X when syncing your iPhone to a Mac computer. It also contains a number in brackets, such as (13019). This error is letting you know that the iPhone can’t sync, what it isn’t telling you is that this is because you need to update iTunes. Follow these steps to fix it: 1. Click on Apple → Software Update 2. Now open iTunes, connect the device and uncheck ‘Sync Music, Sync Movies, Sync TV Shows, and Sync Podcasts’ 3. Click Sync. This will remove all media from the device but keep it in iTunes 4. Disconnect the iPhone from the Mac 5. Switch off the iPhone by holding down the Sleep/ Wake button and using the Slide to Power Off button 6. Hold down the Sleep/Wake button to turn the iPhone back on 7. Connect the iPhone to the Mac 8. Click on the iPhone in iTunes and tick the media that you want to sync 9. Click Sync
iPhone temperature warning Sometimes you will see a temperature warning on an iPhone. The screen will turn black and a yellow warning triangle will appear. Alongside the warning is a message: ‘iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it’. Leave your iPhone alone in a cool place until the temperature sensor
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decides that the iPhone is safe to work again. The iPhone will start of its own accord.
The iPhone cannot be updated. An unknown error occurred This appears when the iPhone is struggling with its firmware. Before going any further try to connect the iPhone to a Mac using a different USB port, it could be the USB port causing an issue. If that doesn’t work try to Restart or Reset your iPhone.
Unknown error containing ‘0xE’ when connecting to a Windows PC When you attach an iPhone to a Windows PC, you might seen a long error message including ‘0xE’. Such as: ‘iTunes could not connect to this device because an unknown error occurred (0xE8000001)’. Apple has support documents for this: Fixing 0xE errors on a Mac (tinyurl.com/mdjbgjo) and Fixing 0xE errors on a Windows PC (tinyurl.com/l2orxd5).
Stuck in Recovery mode If your iPhone appears in Recovery Mode you will simply see blank screen with a connect to iTunes graphic. When this happens you need to use iTunes on a Mac to restore the phone. This Apple support document shows you how to use iTunes to restore a device in Recovery Mode – tinyurl.com/455fyqy.
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Apple iAnywhere Is this Apple patent going to turn the iPad into an iMac?
hat is Apple iAnywhere? Apple’s new operating system and dock device for the iPhone and iPad could see iOS devices functioning as full-blown computers. The breakthrough iAnywhere device is rumoured to be a converged iOS and computing platform. iAnywhere would enable iOS Devices like the iPhone and iPad to dock into a full-screen display. Apple iAnywhere is an interesting idea based on a range of Apple patents and the direction taking place in the tech industry. Analyst Mark Moskowitz from JP Morgan said, “While not a new idea, our global tech research team believes Apple could be on the cusp of introducing a new category with
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iAnywhere a converged Mac OS X-iOS operating system that allows an iPhone or iPad to dock into a specially configured display to run as a computer”.
Will Apple iAnywhere converge iOS and Mac OS X? The idea has many keen Apple observers raising eyebrows. Apple has repeatedly stated it has no intention to converge the iOS and Mac OS X operating system. In April 2012 Apple CEO Tim Cook dismissed Microsoft’s attempt at converging Windows across mobile and desktop. “You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator,” he said, “but those things aren’t going to be pleasing to the user.” Apple may play down the idea of converging Mac OS X and iOS. That doesn’t mean that it can’t make a device that enables iOS devices to work harder. Apple’s Documents In The Cloud has made iOS and Mac OS X work together. Apple’s iWork suite is as much at home on the iOS platform as it is on the Mac OS X platform.
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Apple iAnywhere and Patent 7,684,185 JP Morgan believes that Apple iAnywhere could be Apple’s next push forward into the Post PC world. Apple has had a patent on an iMac-like device that acts as a dock for an iPad since 2008 and patent 7,684,185 was awarded in 2010. Patent 7,684,185 originally started out as an extension to the MacBook. It seems to have transformed into a potential extension to the iPad or iPhone. iAnywhere is a dock that transforms the iOS device into large screen working computer. How people would interact with the speculated iAnywhere device is up for grabs. Most people assume that the iAnywhere display would be touchscreen. Apple has several patents that hint towards the iMac with touchscreen. There is also continued rumours of a larger iPad Pro, or some Apple iPad device with a work-oriented slant. It could be that Apple iAnywhere brings these rumoured devices together. The analysts at JP Morgan claim that the new Apple iAnywhere device would not act as a
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replacement for Mac OS X. Instead, iAnywhere would act as an extension to the Apple iOS platform. Even so it’s hard not to see Apple iAnywhere eating into the space currently occupied by Apple’s MacBook and iMac range. Whether Apple sees things this way is another matter. Apple continues to play down the idea of any convergence between the world of Mac OS X and iOS devices. In a recent interview with Macworld Phil Schiller stressed that different devices have particular strengths for particular tasks. “It’s not an either/or,” Schiller said. “It’s a world where you’re going to have a phone, a tablet, a computer, you don’t have to choose. And so what’s more important is how you seamlessly move between them all…. It’s not like this is a laptop person and that’s a tablet person. It doesn’t have to be that way.” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering told a reporter from our sister title Macworld: “You had a bunch of tools, and you pulled out the one that felt right for the job that you were doing. It wasn’t because it had more computing power…. You pulled it out because it was the most natural device to accomplish a task.” Sometimes you want a large display, with many different windows open, and sometimes you just want to lay back on the couch or are standing at the bus stop. “There’s a natural form factor that drives the optimal experience for each of those things. And I think what we are focused on is delivering the tailored, optimal experience for those kinds of ways that you work, without trying to take a onesize-fits-all solution to it.”
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iOS 7 updated review Five months on from its release, we revisit Apple’s iOS
he seventh version of Apple’s operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch truly heralds the biggest change to the visual style of its mobile interface since the first iPhone was demonstrated in 2007. For the first time, the new look is the brainchild of Jonathan Ive, the person behind the hardware design of Apple’s products since the original Bondi Blue iMac. The most noticeable differences in iOS 7 are a set of new, brightly coloured icons and a simpler, more minimal design aesthetic. It’s all part of a so-called ‘flat design’ that replaces faux-3D elements such as bevelled buttons and embossed toolbars that were used in all previous iterations of iOS. Yet transparent
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layers and other neat visual tricks convey depth in more subtle ways.
Thin and flat interface design A thinner system font, Helvetica Neue, is used throughout the system. Borders around many apps are plain white with simple black text, with a colour tint used to indicate buttons and interactive elements. This minimalist design reminds us of the approach Jony Ive favours for the seamless aluminium casing of Apple’s hardware. Certain apps such as Game Center and Notepad, which previously used graphical replicas of realworld objects to convey their function, such as yellow notepaper and green table felt, have been scaled back to only provide visual information relevant to the task they perform. But the flat, simplistic style takes some getting used to. When Apple first demonstrated iOS 7, the initial response was not entirely positive. The icons in particular have polarised opinion, with many describing the bright colours as garish, childish, or plain ugly, compared with the previous established designs. Changing the look of a software interface familiar to millions is a delicate procedure, with the risk that by confusing users, they may abandon your platform and opt for a competitor’s product instead. Sensibly, although Apple has made
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radical changes to the appearance of iOS 7, the method of interacting with the devices is almost identical. This is no repeat of Windows 8 debacle, where users were left floundering their way around.
Transparency, depth and three dimensions Behind the simple appearance are subtle and complex ideas. The redesigned Notification Centre has a translucent background, allowing the wallpaper and icons to show through, enhancing the sense that each UI element is a physical object lying atop whatever’s underneath. The new Control Centre, accessed by swiping from the bottom of the screen upwards, is similarly see-through, as is the Search bar, which now appears when you swipe down on any empty area of the wallpaper. Control Centre provides easy access to commonly adjusted settings such as Flight Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Flashlight toggles, something users have been requesting. The transparent effect is striking. Choose a wallpaper with a range of sharp blues, for example, and UI elements such as the new translucent dock glow with a frosty appearance, almost as through a pane of glass. Change to a purple background – Apple’s new set of included wallpapers have been carefully chosen to highlight this – and the UI looks totally different. Another small touch Apple has added to the wallpapers is a clever
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parallax effect, where you can tilt your device to slightly roll the background image behind the icons, giving the subtle impression that they are physical objects on a different plane from the background. The effect is nifty, and enhances the idea that three-dimensional space is created from interface elements, rather than via the more basic shading of buttons on iOS 6 and earlier. There’s another 3D effect when opening and closing apps. Tap on an icon and the app neatly zooms in to become full screen. Hit the home button and it zooms out. This works on folders of icons too, and gives the impression you’re drilling in and out of various sections of iOS 7, again to make it seem the OS is built from layers of physical objects. Words don’t easily convey how impressive this looks in the flesh, but it’s undoubtedly one of the best visual improvements of the software. On the down side, mind you, a number of users with vestibular disorders have reported that the many animation tricks within iOS 7 trigger motion sickness and related problems. Apple has been reasonably responsive to concerns, and you can tone things down by going to Settings → General → Accessibility → Reduce Motion, but not everyone is satisfied. With these caveats, however, iOS 7 is on balance a design triumph, full of attractive visual touches. The passcode lock screen, for instance
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– which might seem trivial, but is a screen the average user will be seeing a lot of – has been given a much more modern look:
New features In what ways is iOS 7 different to iOS 6? Compared with the radical overhaul made to the appearance of iOS 7, Apple has been more reserved when it comes to adding or removing features from the software. It’s a fair assumption that if a certain function was present in iOS 6, you’ll find it in iOS 7 – although it may look quite different. Music: The Music app now lets you browse your music via a scrolling list of cover art, with a quick tap zooming onto the album, displaying a tracklist. Voice recorder: The voice recorder, which previously showed a redundant picture of a real microphone, now displays a simple spectral analyser and a list of recordings, along with a big red button to start capturing audio. Camera: The Camera has received perhaps the most attention, and is all the better for it. You can quickly swipe through photography modes: normal, square, panoramic and video, with a set of Instragram-like filters to apply, such as chrome or sepia. The iPhone 4 doesn’t get all these features, though. Safari web browser: Rather than being limited to eight, you can now open as many tabs as you like
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in Safari, which has a smaller border around web pages to display more information on the screen. When browsing through your open tabs on an iPhone you can swipe through screenshots of each page, presented as a 3D roll of pages. Safari in iOS 7 also sees improved navigation and performance tweaks, a unified search field, new bookmarking features and more. We details the updates in our iOS 7 Safari review. Calendar: Calendar is perhaps the best example of how iOS 7 uses colour to draw the user’s attention to relevant information. The current date is highlighted with a big red circle, instantly drawing your eye to it, with the same shade of red used to highlight other interactive elements. But there are drawbacks to the aggressive minimalism of iOS 7’s calendar, and we can see many users looking elsewhere for a calendar app. On the iPad, month view lets you see a few words of each appointment or birthday, but the iPhone - which surely is the platform on which most people use a calendar app - is far less useful: in portrait mode you only see a little dot to indicate that something is happening (we advise switching off indicators for Facebook birthdays and such like, or you’ll find that almost every day has a dot). And in landscape mode you only see a five-hour snatch of three days at a time, making it hard to quickly skim your free nights.
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Maps: Apple’s much-criticised Maps are still present, as expected, but with a few small additions. There’s a scale indicator in the corner, and bookmarks are now saved in iCloud and shared across devices, a handy addition we think that should have been there in the first place. Mac users can look forward to being able to send maps and directions directly to their iPhone using the desktop Maps app in OS X Mavericks too. Siri: Two years after it launched, Siri is no longer in beta. The interface is slightly changed, but the big addition is a wider range of search abilities. Ask it to search Wikipedia, and it comes up with the article without going into Safari and loading the page. Search the web (amusingly now with Bing, a further severing of Apple’s ties to Google) and you get all sorts of information directly in the app. This is a far better approach that makes Siri more useful in itself, rather than as a voice-controlled launchpad to other parts of the system. Multitasking: Multitasking, to simply switch between already open apps, now works as it does on Android or HP’s WebOS software. There’s a snapshot of each running app displayed above the icon. Swiping up closes the app. Newsstand: The Newsstand app now runs full screen, with a gorgeous shaded background that shows your wallpaper through it, rather than expanding like a folder as in iOS 6. And thank goodness,
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if you don’t use it, it can now be dropped into the obligatory ‘unused’ folder everyone often ends up with on their device, rather than occupying space on the home screen. Visuals, ringtones and backgrounds: As before, Apple has aimed for a consistent experience between the experience of using iOS 7 on both the iPhone and iPad, using the same colours, design choices and identical functionality. The major differences are related to layout, with a prominent use of split-views (such as in the Settings app) to display more information on the larger tablet screen. A small addition that will be welcomed by many is the inclusion of a new set of tasteful ringtones. The old ones are still there too in a ‘classics’ folder, if you’re quite attached to the familiar default Marimba tone, for example. There’s also a range of dynamic backgrounds, with bubbles that slowly move across the screen if you move the device.
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This makes use of a new physics API built into iOS, one of a long list of under-the-bonnet enhancements in iOS 7 that third-party developers can take advantage of.
Performance, speed and battery life We’ve been following iOS 7 developments since the first beta, and have seen every enhancement and adjustment Apple has made since. While it mostly runs well on all the iPads and is fine on the 4s and above, on the iPhone 4 we found it a notably slower experience than iOS 6. Battery life on the devices we tested hasn’t been as spectacular, sometimes running low after less than a day’s light use.
Verdict With iOS 7 Apple has certainly addressed some of the criticism it’s faced in the past. The words stale and boring have been used by some to describe iOS, but that particular criticism can no longer be applied to the look of the software, which we think is now by far the most attractive and ambitious of any mobile operating system on the market. But you’ll be disappointed if you were hoping for Android-like features, such as widgets, the ability to change the default keyboard, or install apps without going through the App Store. The walls around Apple’s garden are as high as ever, but this tighter quality control provides essential security; and less piracy too, another reason why app developers choose iOS before Android. Globally, the market share of iOS is now dwarfed by Android, a bitter pill for Apple to swallow, given
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they were first to market with a modern take on capacitive-touchscreen smartphones and tablets. Our view is that just about all the changes in iOS 7 are for the better, even if we have petty issues with some of the icons, such as Safari, being less attractive. But the use of transparency is far more effective than it was when Microsoft tried it with Aero in Windows Vista, and the subtle feel that the icons and UI elements are physical objects floating on different layers is not only attractive, but clever and unique. So iOS 7 may be the clearest sign yet that Apple is changing direction, at least in terms of the look of its software. It’s no coincidence that the iPhone 5c employs the same bright colours and shades in its casing that Apple has chosen for its icons. The software is Apple’s statement that the company, post-Jobs, has not stood still, and is prepared to make change when it feels it is necessary.
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iPhone 5s vs LG G2 Find out which is the best in our in-depth comparison Price The iPhone 5s is readily available right now with prices starting at £549 if you buy one off-contract from Apple. There are £629 and £709 models, depending on what level of storage you require. Shop around online and you can find the LG G2 listed at £299 for the base model, and around £339 for the 32GB handset. It’s a very good phone for the price. Are you tempted? Read on...
Hardware and performance The G2 is equipped with Qualcomm’s quadcore Snapdragon 800 running at 2.6GHz. This is accompanied by an Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB RAM.
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The iPhone 5s, on the other hand, has a 64-bit A7 processor running at 1.2- to 1.3GHz. It’s a dualcore Cyclone processor paired with 1GB of DDR3 RAM. We’ve never found the iPhone to have any major performance issues, and Apple says it’s twice as fast as the previous model in both CPU and graphics performance. But that hardware is no match for the LG G2. Does it matter in real-world terms? Remember that the feel of performance is as much software- as hardware related. On the iPhone 5s the A7 makes iOS 7 buttery smooth. There’s nary a judder or stutter when swiping between home screens, or exiting an app and watching your icons fly into place. Apps launch and web pages load faster than ever: the iPhone 5s is simply a joy to use. The A7 also has a motion coprocessor – the M7 – which will come into its own when the developers of activity tracking apps update their software to use the new chip. It should mean the 5s can replace the likes of a Fitbit Flex or Withings Pulse. Our benchmarks show just how much quicker the new A7 chip makes the 5s. In SunSpider 1.0, the 5s completed the test in just 417ms. The iPhone 5 (running iOS 7), meanwhile, took 721ms, and the Samsung Galaxy S4 922ms.
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Similar gains were found in Geekbench 3, with the iPhone 5 scoring 721 points. Running GLBenchmark 2.7 (Egypt HD), the iPhone 5s managed 53fps, compared to the iPhone 5’s 41fps. However, a bigger difference can be seen using the T-Rex HD test, where the 5s scored 37fps. By contrast the LG G2 scores 4085 in Geekbench 2, 51fps in GLBenchmark 2.5 and 901ms in SunSpider 1.0. Number crunching is fine but the real-world performance of the phone is more important. As we’ve found with other Snapdragon 800 devices the LG G2’s performance is excellent. Navigation around the OS is super slick, opening apps is snappy and scrolling though pages or lists is smooth. The only real issue we can find is that web pages can take a small amount of time to re-render when zooming back out. This is an issue which the iPhone doesn’t suffer from. So cast aside benchmark scores and hardware specs. These are two superfast phones. We’ll call this one a draw.
Storage The iPhone 5s is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities but doesn’t have a microSD card slot for expansion. The LG G2 comes in either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, and you might be best off opting for the latter as there’s no microSD card slot for expansion here either.
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Display LG has managed to pack into the LG G2 a 5.2in IPS display. Matching other top Android handsets, it’s got a Full HD resolution and although the size means the pixel density is a little lower, 424ppi, the difference isn’t noticeable. The fantastic display is a key feature of the G2 for us. And to be honest we prefer it to the iPhone’s. Apple’s 5s still has a 4in display, in a 10:9 aspect ration. You get a resolution of 640x1136 pixels, which makes for a pixel density of 326ppi. It is a more-than decent screen – one that until 18 months ago would have beaten out all comers. However, compared to the larger, Full HD displays of the iPhone 5s’s rivals, the screen feels cramped. You do pay for that extra screen size in extra bulk, but we’re going to chalk this one up to the LG G2.
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Connectivity, extra features With the smartphone market so hotly contended, extra features are a way of standing out from the crowd. The LG G2 has a few tricks up its sleeve beyond the usual and now standard combination of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and 4G support. First of all, the G2 has an infrared transmitter so you can control TVs and Blu-ray players. It works well. Something which is more unique will be music to the ears of all you audiophiles out there. The G2 supports up to 24-bit/192kHz audio playback for FLAC and WAV files – something which is lacking from the 5s. This can be accessed only by the headphone port but it’s impressive none the less. The iPhone 5s offers 802.11n Wi-Fi and full 4G coverage. Apple also added a fingerprint scanner – known as Touch ID – to the iPhone 5s when it launched in September 2013.
Cameras The LG G2’s rear camera, which sits above the Rear Key, has a resolution of 13Mp and features optical image stabilisation (OIS). There’s no dedicated
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camera key on the G2 which is a shame but the camera takes high quality photos and videos nevertheless. It’s not the best smartphone camera around, that goes to the Lumia 1020, but it’s up there with the best. Focus can take a little while to lock on at times but you can switch to manual if you should be brave enough, not that manual is faster. There are a range of different shooting modes which unfortunately include ‘Beauty Shot’ and ‘Dual Camera’. OIS means that videos are kept smooth and mostly shake-free and the G2 is able to shoot in up to 1080p quality at 60fps. For videos, you can use Audio Zooming to hone in on the sound from the left, right or centre of the clip and Zoom to Track to focus on a subject during playback. Both are a bit hit and miss and slightly on the gimmicky side of things. The 2Mp front-facing camera also offers great quality imagery with up to 1080p video at 30fps. The 5s has two cameras, a front-facing FaceTime camera and a rear-facing camera known as an iSight camera. The specifications work out as follows:
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The iPhone 5s iSight camera has what Apple describes as a ‘better 8Mp sensor’, than either the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 5c. It lists the sensor as 8 megapixels with 1.5µ pixels. It has ƒ/2.2 aperture and a True Tone flash which has two LEDs, one of which is amber. The FaceTime Camera takes 1.2Mp photos at a resolution of 1280x960, and offers 720p HD video recording. Importantly, the 5s no longer uses an upscaled 4Mp mode in very low light as the iPhone 5 does, and photos taken in dark conditions have much less noise. In good light, you won’t see a huge difference between images from the two iPhones, but at night, the 5s does a better job. These are two good smartphone cameras, and it is difficult to part them in terms of camera or the other extra features.
Software Software is an area where there a huge difference. Android vs iOS is a big debate and with iOS 7 comes a major overhaul of Apple’s mobile operating
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system. On the plus side, iOS 7 now comes with a much needed quick settings feature called Control Center. There are also other tweaks and improvements such as better multitasking and lock screen access to the notification centre. Apple has the strong App Store store on its side but iOS has a distinct lack of customisability which is Android’s major strong point. Android smartphone manufacturers tend to go one of two ways with their Android interfaces; vanilla as Google intended or all-out customisation with their own skin or overlay. LG’s Practical UX doesn’t look as stylish as does iOS 7. It’s more akin to Samsung’s TouchWiz with popping colours and cluttered areas, namely the notification bar into which LG has crammed everything imaginable. Luckily there are some additional software features so make up for the clutter, including: KnockON a way of switching the phone on and off without using the rear located buttons, and the fact the G2 has an infrared transmitter which is unitised by the QuickRemote app. There are plenty more on offer for both phones: iOS and Android are pretty evenly matched these days. Ultimately iOS is the curated but locked down, secure experience. Android offers more of a security threat but greater levels
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of customisation. There are really only two things we categorically prefer about Android over iOS. For on thing you can access the phone’s storage from a Mac or PC. And for another you can charge and sync using any micro USB cable.
Design and build The front of the LG G2 looks similar to the Samsung Galaxy S4, although it has no physical or touch sensitive buttons below the screen. However, flip it over and the handset looks unique. We like the fibreglass-style finish but more notable is the fact that buttons have been slapped below the camera. Almost every smartphone on the market has a power button on the side or top but LG has thrown the rule book out of the window. The power and volume keys, collectively known as the Rear Key, are all places on the back. It’s a strange concept but something we’ve got accustomed to over time – the volume buttons a placed ergonomically so you can make adjustments while on a call. Thanks to a feature called KnockON, you don’t actually need the power key to switch the phone on and off. A simple double tap of the screen will bring it to life, although it doesn’t always work first time. You can also turn it off by double tapping the notification bar or an empty section of the homescreen.
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LG has impressed us by squeezing a large screen into a small chassis. The G2’s super slim bezels give it a great ‘edge-to-edge’ look. Protecting the front is Gorilla Glass 2 and although the rear is plastic, the G2 feels solid and well-made. A couple of minor caveats on the design and build front include the statutory information and ‘do not bin’ spoiling the look of the rear cover a tad and the earpiece is slightly recessed from the glass so collects dirt. Of course you know what the iPhone 5s looks like. Construction is the same as the iPhone 5, a rather delicate and all-too scratchable aluminium body with aluminosilicate glass front, and glass inset top-and-bottom cheeks behind. At 112g and 7.6mm thick, it’s as ridiculously light and thin as before. And that is lighter, and smaller than the 138.5x70.9x8.9mm and 143g LG G2. If you need small and light, the iPhone should be your choice. It’s not just the iPhone 5c that now demands you choose your colour. For the iPhone 5s Apple introduced a new gilt-free option it’s calling Gold gold-effect back and edges with white glass trim. There’s the Silver option resembling last year’s white/silver iPhone 5. And the most sober of three, and the only one approaching decent availability at launch, is the black and grey model, dubbed Space Grey. It’s like the
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original black iPhone 5, only with a lighter shade of graphite to its back and edges. Instead of the Black & Slate and White & Silver options that the iPhone 5 was available in, the iPhone 5s has three colour options: Silver, Gold and Space Grey. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, and you’ll prefer the phone you prefer. In our view the iPhone 5s is much nicer to look at and hold than is the LG G2. It’s also quantifiably smaller and lighter. However, the LG G2 doesn’t require a case as it is more robustly built.
Battery The G2 continues to impress when it comes to battery life. The smartphone has a large 11.1Wh (3000mAh) capacity battery – notable given the physical size of the device. With a general usage pattern, the G2 lasts a good couple of days with the potential to last three for those who don’t sit playing Real Racing 3 all day long. The phone predicts how much time there is until depletion and how much percentage you’ve burned in the last three hours. Apple added some clever touches to help out the iPhone’s 1560mAh battery. To offload some of the low-level background duties, which nonetheless would keep the main CPU busy enough to deny it power nap moments, an additional little coprocessor has been added to the iPhone 5s. The M7 chip’s given role is to process incoming sensor data from the accelerometer, compass and gyroscope, some of the components that give the phone its orientation.
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So iOS 7’s wallpaper parallax effect, where the background image seems to slide behind as you wiggle the phone, is driven by the M7 chip. And with the current fad in fitness and health monitoring apps built for the iPhone, Apple has spotted a new usage area that can be improved, without impinging so much on the phone’s essential battery longevity. With the iPhone 5s in a typical usage pattern similar to that with which we tried the LG G2, we found it would last a little less than 36 hours, including two overnight dormant spells. That’s a pretty even performance from the LG G2 and the iPhone 5s.
Verdict The LG G2 is a great deal. If you’re in the market for an Android phone we can’t recommend it enough. And you would save some money buying the LG over upgrading to the most recent high-end iPhone. But we think your smartphone is worth more than the £200 saving the LG G2 represents over the iPhone 5s. Go for Android if that is what you want, but if you are dyed-in-the-wool iPhone users, the premium is worth paying.
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iPhone lenses Ashleigh Allsopp rounds up seven of the best lenses
s more and more of us ditch our compact cameras, and sometimes even SLRs, in favour of using a smartphone, the demand for camera accessories for iPhone is on the rise. Here, we’ve rounded up seven of the best iPhone camera lens attachments that’ll help you significantly improve your iPhone photography, and also open up a whole new realm of possibilities. If you’ve ever wished the iPhone could shoot wide-angle photos, 360-degree video or fish-eye images, or that you could zoom in on something awesome that’s happening in the distance, then these camera lenses are for you.
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Olloclip £69.99 One of the most popular iPhone camera lens attachments is the Olloclip. It perches on the corner of your iPhone, and the latest version comes complete with four focus-altering lenses. The first and second are for macro close-up shots, one a 10x Macro and 15x Macro, perfect for small subjects like insects, flowers and food. The second is a fish-eye lens for fun group shots or cute cat photographs, and the third is a wide-angle lens that lets you see more of your surroundings in one photograph. While the changing of the lenses can be a little fiddly at times, the overall build and quality is undisputable and it’s a really cool, effective piece of kit. iZZi Orbit iPhone case £199 The iZZi Orbit iPhone case offers a protective case with access to all ports and buttons, with three interchangeable lenses built-in: 180 degree Fish-Eye, 67x Wide-angle and 2x Telephoto. The iZZi Orbit, available in red, black or silver, is made with aluminium
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and uses Peripheral Motion Lock Technology to provide an easy to use lens selector, and has a Sure Hand Stabilising Grip to reduce camera shake. A protective sleeve, wrist lanyard and a microfiber cloth are also included. One for serious iPhone photographers, the iZZi Orbit iPhone 5 case looks awesome, but it does come with a hefty price tag. Photojojo Lens Set $99 for the set (around £60 plus shipping) Photojojo offers a clever way of attaching five different camera lenses to your iPhone, using an adhesive, removable metal ring that the lenses snap onto easily using magnets. The compatible lenses are the Super Fish-eye Lens, which allows you to see a 235-degree view, and the classic Fish-eye Lens that can capture a 180-degree image, the Telephoto 2x lens for extra zoom, the combined Wide Angle/Macro lens and the polarizing lens, which helps improve the lighting of a shot. Vtec 12x Telephoto Lens £35 The Vtec Telephoto Lens is so heavy and sticks so far out from your iPhone that it requires its own mini tripod. It certainly does the trick, though, enabling you to capture photographs of distant subjects significantly
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more successfully than you could with a naked iPhone lens. Vtec also makes Wide Angle, Macro and Fish-Eye attachments that screw into the same case that the Telephoto Lens requires, so you can add to your collection. Sony QX10 Lens-style Camera for smartphones £179.99 For the more serious iPhone photographer, Sony has come up with this universal, WiFi connected camera lens complete with a 10x optical zoom and image stabilisation. The lens has an 18Mp Exmore R CMOS sensor and a fast shutter speed, too. It’s different from the other lenses listed here as it doesn’t use the iPhone’s camera at all. It’s effectively a camera in itself, enabling you to control the lens using your iPhone as a remote and displaying the photos captured on your iPhone’s screen. For owners of the gold iPhone 5s, there’s a special white and gold version of the lens available, too. iPro Lens System Series 2 Trio Kit £199 The iPro Lens kit from Schneider lets you screw on lenses to your mobile. The kit comes with a wide angle, macro and 2x telephoto lens, which attach to
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the iPhone 5/iPhone 5s case. The kit also includes a handle that you can attach to either side of the case to give you added stability when taking photos. Kogeto Dot $49 (around ÂŁ30) Bringing something a bit different to the table, the Kogeto Dot allows you to capture 360 degree video using a snap-on case with a lens attached. To use Dot, you simply fit the case onto your iPhone with the Looker app installed, hold the iPhone so that the dot is facing upwards, and then tap the record button. Perfect for capturing the action at a street fair or capture everything in your gorgeous hotel room to share with your family at home.
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Take care of an iPhone What you shouldn’t do to your new handset
t’s vital to learn how to take care of your iPhone. After all, the iPhone is a £550 computer, that you carry around with you. It’s all too easy to ruin your iPhone, but these terrific tips will help you take protect an iPhone’s battery, screen and charger. This valuable advice teaches you what not to do with your iPhone. What’s more important is that you’ll discover tricks that enable you to make an iPhone last longer. The last thing you want to do is ruin your iPhone. Our tips for taking care of your handset explain what not to do with this priceless gadget.
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Don’t get your iPhone wet (or damp) This is a biggie. The iPhone doesn’t like water one bit. Apple places a water sensor inside the device to let them know if the iPhone has been dropped in the sink (or worse, down the toilet). We’d also advise keeping the iPhone away from damp environments, such as bathrooms or shower rooms. Liquid damage is not covered by your warranty. It’s a good idea to invest in an emergency waterproof package like the Kensington EVAP (£19.99, tinyurl.com/qebwdsw).
Don’t let your iPhone get dirty Every month or so give it a good cleaning to keep dust and dirt away from it. Apple gives the following cleaning advice. Use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, and similar items may cause damage to the item. 1. Disconnect your Apple product from any external power sources 2. Disconnect any external devices and other cabling from the product 3. Keep liquids away from the product 4. Don’t get moisture into any openings, and don’t use aerosol sprays, solvents, or abrasives 5. Do not spray cleaners directly onto the item
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Don’t ruin your iPhone battery Apple has made terrific strides over the years in ensuring that the Lithium batteries in its devices. There is a lot of misinformation around regarding batteries. In particularly, people suggest regularly emptying the battery or not charging it to 100 per cent. Our understanding is that neither of these affect the iPhone. Apple devices have built-in power management that protects the lithium battery. Even so the iPhone battery has a lifespan, the number of times it can be recharged before the battery needs replacing. The more you take care of your battery in day-to-day use, the longer it will last overall. Here are some tips for keeping your iPhone battery in good shape: 1. Enable Wi-Fi. Using Wi-Fi consumes less power which will extend your daily battery life, but the amount of time before your battery needs replacing 2. Turn on Auto-Brightness. Tap on Settings → Brightness & Wallpaper and set Auto-Brightness to on 3. Fetch data less frequently. Tap on Settings → Mail, Contacts, Calendars → Fetch New Data and tap Hourly instead of Ever 15 Minutes. You will receive emails less frequently but it will extend the battery life of the iPhone.
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4. Turn off Push Notifications. Tap on Settings → Notifications, choose apps you don’t need notifications from and turn off notifications (Alert Style to None, Badge App Icon to Off, Sounds to Off )
Don’t jailbreak your iPhone This isn’t our political pulpit moment. Jailbreaking the iPhone does offer a range of new features that we’re sure some people find invaluable. On the downside it can affect both the battery life, usage and security of your iPhone. Don’t jailbreak and iPhone unless you have a specific reason for doing so. Keep it updated with the latest official iOS software.
Don’t scratch the screen Nobody wants a scratched iPhone screen. While the toughened gorilla glass is stronger than in previous years, you should keep it scratch free. In particularly be careful when putting your iPhone in a
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bag. Keep it away from keys. You’ll treat the iPhone like a newborn baby for the first few months. When you find yourself tossing it into a bag along with any other gadgets you own; that’s your cue to buy a case or screen protector.
Don’t drop it on concrete The iPhone isn’t happy when you drop it on concrete. The iPhone is nowhere near as strong as you’d like. Hold it with care or buy a sturdy case
Don’t lose your iPhone Nobody loses their phone on purpose. You can improve your chances of recovering a lost phone by activating Find My iPhone (in Settings > iCloud). Also set a Passcode (Settings → General → Touch ID & Passcode). The passcode makes it harder for criminals to reset the iPhone. Find My iPhone allows you to locate the missing device, and request the person return it. Oten an opportunist whose picked up your iPhone will return it. They are more likely to give it back if the iPhone has a lock on it, and they can’t sell it on.
Don’t fill it up with apps, photos and video We think it’s usually a good idea to keep a small amount of space free on the iPhone. Sometimes if you fill the iPhone to the brim it can
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refuse to download new updates. Click on Settings → General → Usage and check how much storage is available. We like to keep around 10 percent of our iPhone Storage Space free for updates and any apps we need in a hurry. Click on Manage Storage or start deleting apps from the Home Screen if you’re a little full.
Don’t yank the Lightning cord out The Lightning connector is fragile so take care when inserting and removing it. The Lightning connector is small, but pinch the connector itself when pulling it out. Don’t yank the power connector out by grabbing the cord. The iPhone doesn’t have the MagSafe (magnetic quick release) feature found on Apple notebooks. If you pull the cable it’ll send your iPhone flying. So learn to treat the power cable with care.
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Passcode lock folders Matt Egan reveals how to lock a single app
ecause we’re great guys, we try to respond to reader queries. And one question we are asked time and again is ‘how can you passcode lock a folder on an iPad’? And here we run into trouble: the truth is you can’t. At least, you can’t passcode lock an individual folder on your iPad without installing a third-party app. It just isn’t something for which iOS allows. We do wonder if this will change in future, particularly if Apple wants iPad and iPhone to be a serious option in the business world. However, even today there are some third-party options. We’ll get into that later on. First – here is ISSUE 82• iPAD & iPHONE USER 113
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what you can lock on your iPad. It’s possible this may solve the issues you are having if you want to keep secret the contents of a single folder. (See also: How to reset a forgotten iPad or iPhone passcode.)
What you can passcode lock on iPad Single app If you want to allow someone – a child perhaps – to use a specific app on your iPad, but you don’t want them to access the photos and email, you can lock your iPad to a single app. Go to Settings → General → Accessibility and select Guided Access. Flip the switch and tap Set Passcode to create a four-digit passcode. Make sure you can remember it. Now in the app you want to lock into Guided Access mode and launch it. Once it’s up and running, quickly tap the home button three times. When you’re ready to lock to the app, press the Start button in the top right-hand corner of the screen. When it’s time to put your iPad back to normal, triple-click the home button and enter the four-digit passcode.
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Lock you iPad Alternatively, you could passcode lock the whole iPad. Really, this is only sensible, and you should do it for your iPad regardless of whether you choose to passcode lock an individual folder. It will prevent anyone who happens upon your iPad opening it up. Go to Settings → General → Passcode Lock. You’ll be asked to input a four-digit code on the onscreen display. Again, make sure it is one you can remember. You’ll need to use it to unlock your iPad every time you use it. (See also: How to delete browsing history on iPad.) Use app to passcode lock folder on iPad Okay, we’re going to assume at this stage that the suggestions above don’t solve your problem, and you still wish to create a folder that requires a passcode lock to open. You’ll need to purchase a third-party app. We chose Secret Folder Icon, aka ‘Folder’. Which costs £1.49 from the App Store. There may be freeor better options.
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Install Secret Folder Icon and a folder named... ‘Folder’ will appear on your desktop. Open it up and you will be asked to set your four-digit passcode. This is a little odd as the onscreen numeric keypad has no numbers, rather the names of the types of things you can store in your Folder. But it runs 1-9 from top left to bottom right, and you can reset your passcode if you aren’t happy or you don’t get it right first time around. This is important, because there is no way of recovering the passcode if you forget it. You are given the option to back it up via email, and we suggest you do so. Once this is done you can use your secret Folder. It’s pretty intuitive. You can place (or create) in here photo and video files, notes, contacts and passwords. You can also add in to-do items and audio notes, and download files to your secret folder. It’s worth noting that saving a photo to the Folder doesn’t delete it from the original Camera Roll. The same is true of Notes and so on. If you want something to be secret, you need to move it to the Folder, and then delete at source. It works okay, although there is always that slightly clunky feeling of using a third-party app within iOS 7. It’s just not quite the same thing. However, if you really need a password-protected folder on your iPad, it works and is worth a try.
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Reset forgotten passcode Chris Martin shows restore a passcode
f you’re locked out of your iPad or iPhone then don’t fret because here’s how to reset a forgotten iOS passcode. If you’ve forgotten your passcode for your iPhone or iPad, or maybe someone thought it was funny to add one, then we’ve got you covered. Even if you’ve put a wrong passcode in six times and are presented with an “iPad is disabled” messages, not all is lost. See all Apple tutorials. Luckily, Apple has thought about this possibility and made a way for devices to be reset. The key question is have you already synced your iPad or
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iPhone with iTunes on your computer? We’ve written a guide for those that have and those of you who haven’t. The guide should also work for anyone with an iPod touch.
Already synced with iTunes Step One Connect your iPad or iPhone to the PC or Mac that you normally sync with and open iTunes. If iTunes asks you to enter the passcode, use another computer that you have previous synced with.
Step Two If the device is still disabled, or if iTunes does not automatically sync your device, sync the device with iTunes. Step Three When the backup and sync is complete, restore you device. Step Four When the iOS Setup Assistant asks to set up your device, click “Restore from iTunes backup”.
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Step Five Select your device in iTunes and choose the most recent backup of your device.
Never synced with iTunes If you see one of following alerts, you need to erase your device. “iTunes could not connect to the [device] because it is locked with a passcode. You must enter your passcode on the [device] before it can be used with iTunes.” Or “You haven’t chosen to have [device] trust this computer” If you have enable Find My iPhone (or iPad), use the Remote Wipe feature to erase the contents of your device. Then where possible, use iCloud to restore the most recent backup and reset the passcode. Note: To use Find My iPhone, you’ll need to have set up a restrictions passcode. If this doesn’t work or you don’t have access to Find My iPhone or iCloud then follow these steps. Step One Place your device in recovery mode. Find out how to do this in our How to get an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch in and out of recovery mode guide. Step Two Click ‘OK’ on the message from iTunes stating the device is in recovery mode. Step Three Now restore your device from iTunes.
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Get your iPad to read a book out loud Lou Hattersley explains how to get an iPad to read a book
ouldn’t it be great if you could get your iPad to read your books out loud. Well, the good news is that you can. It’s not as easy as tapping Siri and asking it to start reading. With these few tricks you can get an iPad to start reading your books out loud.
Turn on Speak Selection in iOS The Speak Selection function speaks out text in the iBooks app. Speak Selection is in the Accessibility settings in iOS but isn’t turned on by default.
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1. Click on Settings → General → Accessibility → Speak Selection 2. Switch Speak Selection to On. 3. A range of new options will appear. The voice should be set to English (United Kingdom) by default, but you can change it by tapping on Voices → English. Check that Enhanced Quality is set to On. 4. You can adjust the Speaking Rate to your preferred speed. 5. The Highlight Words option (On by default) lets you identify words as they are read out loud.
Using iBooks to speak out any text With Speak Selection turned on, switch to iBooks the iBooks app. Move to the page where you want to start reading and follow these steps: 1. Open the book you’re want to read in iBooks 2. Tap Appearance (the aA icon) and set Scrolling View to on. 3. Tap on the first word you want read out to select it 4. Touch and hold the Blue Drag handle with a finger in your left hand. While holding that down scroll to the end of the book with a finger on your right hand. 5. Let go and tap on Speak in the bubble menu to read out the page. With this method, you can sit back and let the iPad read a book to you.
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Use an App to read books out loud An easier way to read books out loud is to use an App like Dragon Natural Reader. This is used to read out text and epub documents. 1. Install Natural Reader (ÂŁ6.99, tinyurl.com/ouqbtr9). 2. If you have ebooks on your Mac copy them to a Dropbox folder. You can install Dropbox here. 3. Tap on Menu in Natural Reader HD and choose Dropbox. Select a book to open it in Natural Reader. 4. Tap on the green Play button in the bottom-left of the screen to start reading the text out loud. The great thing about using an app like Natural Reader is that you can read out text without having to use Accessibility features. We hope this is something Apple implements in iBooks at some point in the future.
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Get Flash on an iPad Ashleigh Allsopp explains how
f you want to view Flash-based websites, play Flash games or watch Flash videos on your iPad, you’ll come across a bit of a problem: the iPad doesn’t support Flash. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get Flash on your iPad at all. There are various apps available to download from the iOS App Store for iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini 2 that will help. Some of these apps are also available for iPhone, so you can play Flash games or videos on your iPhone, too.
Best Flash apps for iPad Popular apps include Photon Browser (£2.99, tinyurl. com/l5dcmb8), Puffin (£2.49, tinyurl.com/lv3c3fj), Skyfire Browser (£2.99, tinyurl.com/q8vbw4c) and
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iSwifter Browser (free, tinyurl.com/khhjtyl). Photon Browser seems to be the most popular choice for iPad users that require Flash support. It’s a £2.99 app (or £2.49 for iPhone) that acts as a good alternative browser to Safari, and also has a Flash mode that you turn on by tapping the lightning bolt icon in the top-right corner. Admittedly, turning on flash does make the browser a little slow, and it’s not the most attractive interface, but it certainly does the trick. We’d like to see an iOS 7-esque update for the browser. We were able to create a Moshi Monster with no trouble at all on our iPad using Photon Browser, though. We also managed to visit the Disney Fantasyland and Flash Driving Game websites with no problems. If you’re finding Photon unbearably slow, try tapping the settings icon in the top right corner and adjusting the settings to suit your purpose. Puffin – which has a free trial version if you want to test it out before paying the £1.99 for the
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full iPad or iPhone version – displayed the Moshi Monsters (below) and Flash Driving Game websites brilliantly, but struggled a little when displaying the Flash version of the Disney Fantasyland site. But having the option to try it out first is a real plus here, because you can then decide whether it meets your needs. It’s also ideal for one-off instances when Flash is needed. Skyfire is ideal for watching Flash videos, but does not support Flash apps, games or website animations, so doesn’t provide an all-round Flash solution. iSwifter is designed for Flash games, and is free for 10 minutes per day for seven days. After that, you’ll have to cough up £5.49 for the privilege. You’ll need to be connected to Wi-Fi to use iSwifter, as it doesn’t work with 3G or 4G connections.
Other ways to get Flash on iPad Services such as Parallels Access also offer a way to access Flash on iPad, by streaming directly from your Mac or PC. Parallels Access lets you access your Mac or PC desktop on your iPad from anywhere in the world, enabling you to use apps including Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Flash Player and Flash-supported browsers. If getting Flash on iPad is the only thing you’d be downloading Parallels for, it’s probably not the ideal solution, as a year’s subscription will cost you £34.99. However, if you’re also looking for a way to access your PC or Mac remotely, or run Mac or PC applications on an iPad, it’s worth investigating.
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Why Apple should make a bigger iPhone After spending times at MWC, Ashleigh Allsopp argues that Apple’s iPhone is too small to survive
ast week, I flew over to Barcelona to attend Mobile World Congress, a tech-filled trade show full of gadgets from pretty much every tablet, smartphone and technology maker you can think of, apart from Apple. For me, it was a daunting task. There, I’d be faced with hundreds of non-Apple products to write about, gets hands-on with and review. I was convinced I’d hate them all. After all, I’ve always been an Apple fan girl. Now, I’m not saying I’m no longer a fan of Apple. I’m simply confessing that perhaps some Android and Windows-based aren’t so bad after all. There’s one thing that really stood out for me, and it’s probably the main thing I learned from my time at MWC: Apple really needs to make a bigger iPhone.
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I spent time playing with smartphones from the likes of LG, Nokia, Samsung, Sony, Acer and Asus, and almost every one of them had a significantly bigger screen than the iPhone 5s’s 4in display. Each day, when I returned to my iPhone, I found myself wishing the screen was bigger. Previously, I’d believed a 4in display was enough, but after getting hands on with devices up to a whopping 5.9in, I began to realise that it’s inevitable that Apple will launch a bigger iPhone soon. There are downfalls to having a bigger screened smartphone. They’re not so easy to slip into your pocket or small handbag, for instance, and they gobble up a lot more battery life when in use. But aside from that, the advantages are certainly not to be overlooked. Watching videos and viewing images becomes a completely new experience on a bigger display, as does playing games. Even browsing the web feels nicer and easier on the eyes, and, if it’s been executed well (and let’s face it, Apple always does a great job when it comes to design), bigger smartphones can look really rather impressive.
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Of the top 18 smartphones of 2014 listed on our sister title PC Advisor’s buying guide, 11 have screen sizes above 4.5in, and even the ‘mini’ and ‘compact’ models from Sony, Samsung and HTC have bigger screen sizes than Apple’s iPhone 5 series. I’m not necessarily suggesting that Apple should release a phablet, though I did find myself taking a liking to the LG G Pro 2 while at MWC, but a screen size of 4.5 or above could make all the difference. Apple’s touted its aim of enabling one-handed smartphone use with its iPhone, but perhaps that’s not the most important thing to consider anymore. Customers want to consume more media than ever using their smartphones, and a screen size of 4in or below is just not good enough when there are competitors out there offering stunning screens on smartphones that are not very dissimilar to the high quality, powerful and feature-filled iPhone 5s.
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I’d be surprised, and somewhat disappointed, if Apple didn’t increase the size of the iPhone’s screen this year. For those without the need for a bigger smartphone, Apple should continue selling the iPhone 5s. Alternatively, the iPhone range could expand to offer an all-new 4in model as well as a larger model to cater for a wider audience. Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously been believed to have the perception that the iPhone lineup should stick to a minimum number of models, but a recent comment claiming that his opinion about this has been misunderstood suggests otherwise. I have no doubt that there will be Apple customers, and Android customers too, who would welcome a bigger iPhone with open arms and rush to snap one up in a heartbeat. Me included.
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