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March/April 2013

Regular Departments 4 Editor's Message 6 Meet the Writers 8 iGallery 10 iStats, News, and Other Tidbits 14 Caption Contest 16 Ask the Experts 90 iPhoneography 96 iView: The Only Tablets I Need

Rugged Bluetooth Speakers pages 77-79

iDevice News 18 iPad mini vs. the Competition

How does the iPad mini stack up against other popular tablets?

The Hottest Gear for 2013

22 Hands On with Tunes 11

28 CES Coverage & iPhone Life’s Top 3 Picks for 2013

26 Apple’s iTV

30 Surrounded by Sound

Top Tips

32 Power Up!

Apple’s iconic music player gets a comprehensive makeover. Can Apple reinvent the way we watch TV?

38 Tips and Tricks for iPhone and iPad

Practical tips for newbies and advanced users.

Headphones, Speakers, & Gear for the Audiophile.

Savvy Solutions for All Your Charging Needs.

34 Unparalleled Protection Cool Cases, Stands, & More.

36 Innovative Extras

Distinctive Accessories for the Home, Office, & Gym.

Fashionable iPad mini Cases pages 74-76

Best Apps 42 5 Thrilling Racing Games

Get your heart pumping with these exhilarating racers.

44 Gaming on the iPhone 5

Take advantage of your powerful iPhone 5 with these top picks.

49 Apps for Newbie Runners

Go from slouch to sprinter with these 5 great running apps.


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Accessories for the iRider pages 61-63

iUsers 57 Jennifer Maggiore 84 Erica Tevis 89 Ryan Orbuch

iLove it, iUse it 81 Mobile in the Military

How the U.S. Army and Air Force are incorporating iDevices into their training.

51 Using Passbook

A primer on Passbook, Apple’s latest app.

54 Finding Cooking Apps

Learn to build your own kitchen strategy with these handy apps.

58 Cloud Storage Solutions

A roundup of the best cloud storage services.

Great Gear 61 Apps and Gear for the iRider

Creating Great Apps 86 Turning an Idea into an App

5 simple steps to help you turn your idea into a successful app.

88 A Strong Finish

Teen developers create a to-do app that tackles procrastination.

92 Interview with the Creator of Jetset Expenses

Mark Manes shares what he learned while developing his app.

Tools for bikers to stay tech-savvy when cruising the open road.

64 Tapping into the Future

Amazing app-controlled accessories for the home.

68 Furniture for iLiving

Gaming on the iPhone 5 pages 44-48

Optimize your home for the iPad with these cool furniture items.

72 Remote Home Security

Rest easy by enabling an app-controlled security system.

74 6 Splendid iPad mini Cases

Keep your iPad mini protected and looking good.

77 No Sound Left Behind

Rugged Bluetooth speakers for music on the go.

80 Scottevest Transformer Jacket

Carry all your gear in this ingenious and stylish jacket. iPhone L if e Ma rc h-April 2 0 1 3


Editor's Message When Entertainment Becomes Boring I grew up as an only child in Venezuela until the age of ten, when my first brother was born. At home we had a tiny TV with 4 channels, two of which I always skipped because they never showed any cartoons. We didn’t have a computer, cable TV, or even a phone. I was bored a lot, and I battled the boredom by creating games, puzzles, and challenges for myself. I once made a slingshot out of spare wood left over from the bunk bed my stepdad built. The thing looked like a handheld medieval catapult, and it scared the neighbors. Another time, I used my mom’s typewriter to write my first “book”—a one-page story about a soccer ball that could feel, so it didn’t appreciate getting kicked around. I played outside and tried to break my own records. Could I balance this broom on my finger for a minute longer than before? Could I run to the store without slowing down around the curves? Could I write and produce my own sock puppet show and perform it for friends and family on my birthday? Yes. Yes, I could, mainly because I had nothing else to do. And for the record, that sock puppet show was awesome.

Entertainment at Your Fingertips Things certainly changed in my teenage years. Once we moved to the United States, my younger brothers and I seldom suffered the agony of finding ways to be entertained. We had Nintendos, PlayStations, Xboxes, and computers—and now we have iPhones and iPads. Part of me has always thought that this entertainment-at-your-fingertips reality is a great thing. We can just pop in a movie, play a video game, or listen to music whenever the slightest hint of boredom surfaces. But something happened to me the other day, and it wasn’t the first time it happened. In a moment of boredom, I opened Netflix with every intention of being entertained for an hour or two, and there was nothing. I don’t mean that there were no good movies to watch, which, sadly, is often true. I mean I had no desire to passively receive entertainment. No desire to watch anything, even if it was the greatest movie ever (i.e., Back to the Future Part II). It dawned on me that I’d somehow gotten away from the fulfillment of creating my own entertainment.

Alex Cequea Editor in Chief

iPhone Life magazine,

A Balanced Approach This thought made me look at my iPhone and iPad differently. I realized that these devices aren’t merely mediums for entertainment, but tools for creation. I pulled out my guitar, and with the help of a handy iPhone app, I started creating music and once again being my own source of amusement. Creating art, music, blogs, movies, or other creative projects is an easy, enjoyable way to find direction. Our purpose isn’t to sit and watch episodes of 24 all day (no disrespect to Jack Bauer—the man never uses the restroom!). In the end, seeing your completed creation is way more satisfying than watching the credits roll by. Mobile devices are amazing gadgets, but in addition to being vast entertainment portals, they also give you the power to create pretty much anything you want. Just as giving and receiving must be balanced, taking in entertainment and offering original creative projects to the world must live side by side. It’s time to look at our tools in a different light. �

iPhone Life Mag

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Meet Our Writers Nate Adcock

Todd Bernhard

Steve Boss

Jacqui Lane

Jonathan Marks

Systems Test Engineer Article page 58

Founder, No Tie Software Article page 61

Radio Host on KRUU FM 100.1 Article page 54

Tech Journalist Article page 49

Professional Photographer Article page 90

Siva Om

Dan Rasmus

Mike Riley

Rebecca Santiago

Bryan Schmiedeler

Web Designer and Writer Article page 77

Strategist and Industry Analyst Article page 80

Advanced Computing Professional Articles pages 68, 72

Editor in Chief Emeritus, The Tufts Daily Article page 74

Programmer Article page 22

Dain Schroeder

Randy Siegel

Mike Wewerka

Kellie Worrell

Tech Enthusiast Article page 44

Senior VP at Fixmo Article page 81

Founder of Article page 42

Math Teacher Article page 86

iPhone Life Staff David Averbach

Nina Benjamin

Alex Cequea

Publisher and CEO Article page 26

Associate Editor Articles pages 28-36, 64

Editor in Chief Articles pages 28-36, 68

Hal Goldstein

Jim Karpen

Senior Editor, Founder Article page 96

Online Editor/Columnist Articles pages 18, 51


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User-submitted iPhone Photography by Michael Keough

by Brooke Rycerz

by David Boehm 8

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by Karen Anderson

by Brian Riley

by Stephanie Reitz

by Lauren Grimando

by Nancy Estevez

by Glenn Stieneke

Submit your iPhone photography and get featured in the iGallery! Email your photos to by Jay Canale

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Around the Office


If you could create a dream accessory for your iDevice, what would it be? Alex Editor in Chief

News, Stats, Tidbits, & more

“I want an iPhone that can float to my hand at my command, making me feel like a Jedi Master. That way I'll never have to worry about misplacing it. Show off in public, I will.”

The Numbers

David CEO and Publisher


“I'd like an accessory that charged my phone using body heat or motion, so that I'd never have to plug in my phone again. I'd also like an airbag for my phone that would automatically deploy when dropped, so I wouldn't have to keep using a bulky case.”

A late 2012 study by eMarketer showed that mobile ad spending reached over $4 billion in 2012. This represents a 180% increase from 2011. The figure is higher than previous estimates, which were forecasting an 80% increase, or a total of $2.6 billion for the year. In the report, eMarketer cited Facebook's mobile news feeds and Twitter's Promoted Products suite as the main driving forces behind increased mobile ad spending. By the end of 2012, Facebook’s mobile ads alone were generating about $3 million per day. Mobile ads, which include search, display, and messagingbased ads that run on smartphones and tablets, are expected to continue to grow at a steady pace, with total mobile ad spending projected to reach over $20 billion by 2016.

Noah Marketing Director


“An anti-gravity iPad case with relative fixed positioning suspension. Move the iPad to your desired location, let go, and the unit is suspended and stable—ready for typing, gaming, reading, and viewing.”

At first glance, it may seem like Tim Cook took a heavy pay cut in 2012. His total compensation as Apple CEO for 2012 was “only” $4.17 million—a sharp decline from his 2011 total of $378 million. However, a large chunk of his 2011 compensation came in the form of one-time stock awards, which vest in about 10 years. Without the stock award, his 2011 total compensation (including salary, perks, and bonuses) was $1.8 million. So, while it seems like a pay cut, it was actually a raise!


Hand Glide (Starting at $19.99, If you’re an iPad artist, this glove is for you. The Hand Glide makes it easy to rest your palm on the screen without worrying about creating unintended touches while you draw. The $24.99 configuration pockets your palm plus two fingers, and the $19.99 version makes your palm and just your pinky stealthy. The only downside is that you won’t be able to do a five-finger-pinch, but that’s a small price to pay for eliminating unintended brush strokes in your artwork.



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QUICK NEWS What Are People Doing With Their Tablets? 2012 might have been dubbed “the year of the tablet,” but according to web usage statistics from Chitika, it looked more like the year of the iPad. The study, which looked at tablet web usage in the U.S. and Canada during the second week of December, showed iPad web usage impressively surpassing all other tablets by huge margins. According to the study, for every 100 ad impressions from iPad web surfers, there were 4.88 impressions from surfers of the Kindle Fire—the iPad’s biggest challenger. Tablets from Google, Samsung, Barnes and Noble, and Microsoft all got significantly lower ad impressions. New tech manufacturers may be planning to enter the tablet market in 2013, but by most estimates, Apple is expected to continue its dominance of the increasingly popular market. ©

PUBLISHER AND CEO David Averbach •



Alex Cequea •




Jaime Thatcher •



George Foster •


Foxconn to Improve Working Conditions in China Facing increased public scrutiny about factory working conditions, Foxconn, the company that builds an enormous number of tech gadgets, including most of Apple’s products, has made significant efforts to improve working conditions at its Chinese plants. According to a report by the New York Times, a “high-ranking Apple official” met with Foxconn executives in March 2012 to discuss a series of “wide-ranging reforms.” Some of the biggest changes included reducing workers' hours and significantly boosting wages. If carried out successfully through 2013, these reforms have the potential to create a positive ripple effect across the electronics industry, benefiting tens of millions of factory employees. ©




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When Parents Text ME: Hey, did you call? What’s up? DAD: No. I pocket dialed you. ME: Oh, so you didn’t want to talk? DAD: Nope. Talk to you later. ME: I see how it is. Your pocket likes me more than you do. DAD: Yes, it has quite the social life. It makes a lot of calls. (Next morning) ME: Good morning, Pocket. Hope you have a good day. Tell your wearer that I need a dentist appointment if you could. DAD: Master of the pants indicates the appt is set. Pants are from Spain so please refer to me as Pocketo.

iPhone Life (ISSN 1949-2014) is published bi-monthly, 6 times a year, Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/ Jun, Jul/Aug, Sep/Oct, Nov/Dec by Mango Life Media at 402 North B St. #108, Fairfield, IA 52556, USA. Periodicals postage paid at Fairfield, Iowa, and at additional mailing offices. Subscription rates payable in U.S. dollars, checks drawn on a U.S. bank, or by credit card—one year: $15.97, two years: $24.97. Postage: United States free; Canada and Mexico add $6 per year; outside North America, add $18 per year. Please allow four to six weeks for receipt of first issue. Executive, Editorial, Circulation, Advertising, Marketing Offices: 402 North B St. #108, Fairfield, IA 52556. Telephone: 641-472-6330, Fax: 641-472-1879. © Copyright 2013 , Mango Life Media, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission. Reasonable efforts are made to provide accurate and useful information, but the reader must make his or her own investigations and decisions; the Publisher and Editorial Staff cannot assume any responsibility or liability for the use of information contained herein. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to iPhone Life, Mango Life Media, 402 North B St. #108, Fairfield, IA 52556.

These and more hilarious texts are available in the book When Parents Text ($10.95,, and on iPhone Lif e Ma rc h-April 2 0 1 3


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Illustration by Mikaila Maidment,

“Your caption here” Send us a clever caption for the cartoon above, and we’ll feature our favorite entries in the next issue. The winner will receive a $20 iTunes Gift Card! Send all captions to


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Jan/Feb Caption Winner: iPhone: "You don't have to try so hard; I'm already fully charged!" Submitted by Keir Alexander from Wilmington, Delaware

Runner-Ups: Man: "No darling, your doc connector does not make you look fat." Submitted by Ken McLellan from Richardson, Texas Man: "Oh, sweetheart, I'm going to be the father of an iPad mini!" Submitted by Fred Kuzyk from Grimsby, Ontario, Canada Thanks to everyone who sent in their funny captions—we had a blast reading them all!

iPhone Lif e Ma rc h-April 2 0 1 3


Ask The Experts! .................................................................................................................................................................


2 3

Confused With iTunes

What’s the Difference?

I love my Apple products, but I’m having trouble with iTunes 11. I went to iTunes and saw that 11 apps needed to be updated. I clicked on the Apps tab and scrolled down to the bottom right to click on the Update All button, like I've done a million times before, but there was no button anywhere to update all my apps. I'm old, but I'm not stupid! What happened? -Vickie Georges

Can you please explain the difference between your apps? Should I renew my iPhone Life subscription with Zinio, or with your own app? -Jennifer Fonyi

Dear Vickie, You’re not alone in your confusion. Apple updated iTunes 11 towards the end of 2012, and it was the most significant overhaul of their software in many years (see article on page 22). You can still update all your apps with one click, but finding the options takes a few steps. When you first connect your iDevice to your computer and open iTunes, you’ll see a tab along the top left that says “Music.” Click on that tab and when the menu expands, choose “Apps” (see figure 1). On the bottom right, you’ll see the number of apps with available updates (see figure 2), and when you click on it, you’ll see an option along the top right to Download All Updates (see figure 3). Hope that helps! -The iPhone Life team

Dear Jennifer, In addition to our print subscriptions, we offer two ways to buy or renew a digital subscription to iPhone Life: • Through the Zinio Digital Newsstand app in the App Store or • Through our own iPhone Life mag app in the App Store Aside from the user interface, the only difference between the two is that the Zinio digital subscription is included as part of your print subscription. Subscriptions through both apps have the same price, work universally across all iOS devices, and carry the same content. The reason we have two apps is because we reach different audiences with each one. Our iPhone Life mag app (free, app2. me/5361) reaches people who are browsing the iTunes App Store, and our magazine in the Zinio app (free, reaches people who are browsing publications through the Zinio Digital Newsstand app and If you’re stuck on which one is right for you, I recommend renewing your digital subscription through our iPhone Life mag app in the App Store. Just type “” in your Safari mobile browser, and it will automatically take you to the App Store, where you can download our app. One or two-year subscriptions are available via in-app purchases. Thanks for renewing! -The iPhone Life team


Want to send a question to the iPhone Life team? Shoot us an email at 16

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iPad mini How Does It Stack Up Against the Competition? by Jim Karpen


ince its fall 2012 release, the iPad mini has been a big hit. It quickly sold millions and was a top gift item over the holiday season. People love the fact that it’s thin, light, and more portable, yet still offers the same user experience as the full-sized iPad.

iPad mini Specs The 7.9-inch display gives you a viewing space that’s two-thirds the size of its larger sibling. It has the same screen resolution, 1024 x 768, as the iPad 2, which means, of course, that all current iPad apps work on the iPad mini without needing to be rewritten by developers.


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It’s about as thick as a pencil—just over a quarter of an inch thick. And it weighs 0.68 lbs—half the weight of the larger iPad. Even though I’d read a lot about the iPad mini and had watched the event during which Apple announced it, I was still astonished when I received mine and felt how thin and light it was. I have my iPad with me all the time, ever since I bought the first model in 2010. But frankly, I got a bit tired of carrying my full-sized iPad, even though I have a great STM bag with a shoulder strap that perfectly suits my needs. So it’s a real convenience that the iPad mini fits in my coat pocket—and that it’s so light I barely notice it’s there. If I do need a shoulder bag, I use STM’s bag for the mini, and again, it’s much less cumbersome than before. The iPad mini includes Siri, a 5-megapixel camera that shoots 1080p video, and a front-facing 720p HD camera. It starts at $329 for Wi-Fi-only and 16GB memory. Note that this model

Barnes & Noble Nook HD

does not include GPS. For an additional $130, you can get a mini that connects to the cellular data network and has GPS. If you’re still undecided, and keep wondering whether a different 7-inch tablet might suit your needs better, let’s take a look at the three that seem to be the most popular: those sold by Amazon, Google, and Barnes & Noble.

This tablet has the best screen resolution at 1440 x 900. The Nook HD starts at $199 with 8GB of memory; the 16GB model is $229. At 0.7 lbs, it’s almost as light as the iPad mini, and is lighter than the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. Unlike the other tablets, it has a slot for a microSD card, letting you expand the memory. There’s no camera or GPS, and no option for purchasing a model that connects to the cellular data network.

Other 7-inch Tablet Specs

Other Important Factors Overall, I’m impressed with the options now available. However, the most important consideration may not be the specs. Here are other important factors:

Amazon Kindle Fire HD In October 2012, Amazon introduced their Kindle Fire HD, which has a 1280 x 800 HD display—greater resolution than the iPad mini. It has Dolby speakers and speedy Wi-Fi for streaming HD movies. It lacks a rear-facing camera and GPS, but does have a front-facing camera for videoconferencing. It starts at $199 for 16GB of memory. This has so far been the second-bestselling tablet. There’s no option for purchasing a model that connects to the cellular data network. Note that because Amazon sells these at cost, they come with on-screen ads. If you want to dump the ads, it’ll cost you an extra $15. Google Nexus 7 The Nexus is also reportedly selling fairly well. There’s no camera on the back, but it does have a front videoconferencing camera and GPS. The Wi-Fi-only model starts at $199 for 16GB of memory. A version that connects to the cellular data network starts at $299. It uses the HSPA+ network offered by AT&T and T-Mobile. The screen resolution is 1280 x 800, like that of the Kindle Fire HD. The processor is quad core, making it the speediest of the 7-inch tablets.

© Nikada

Apps There are over 275,000 apps designed specifically for the iPad, whereas other tablets can boast only a fraction of that. If you want to use your tablet as a computer, i.e., a powerful and versatile tool for performing a wide range of functions, in my mind your only choices are the iPad and the Google Nexus tablets. The Nexus runs Android, as do the Kindle and Nook, but with a difference. You get pure Android on the Nexus, not the modified version on the other devices. Not only does the Nexus have the most apps available, it will also always be able to run

iPhone Lif e Ma rc h-April 2 0 1 3


the latest and greatest version of Android. This is because it’s sold by Google, who develops Android. With other devices you have to wait until the latest version is made available from the vendor, which can take a long time. Your Computing Environment

need as I do, that limits your choices to the iPad or Nexus 7. The data plans range from $15 to $30 per month. Or you can tack your data plan onto your cell phone plan for $10 per month.

Why I Prefer the iPad mini

If you’re an Apple user and already have a lot of Apple Store media, or if you use Apple’s email, contacts, and calendar software, your best choice by far is the iPad. While I can use my Nexus just fine to do my Apple email, there’s no easy way to sync it with my Apple calendar or contacts, a real deal-breaker for me. And it’s difficult to convert my Apple Store media for use on my Nexus. On the other hand, if you’re a heavy user of Google’s computing environment, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, and Google Docs, the Nexus may be a good choice.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD might be worth considering if you want a less expensive tablet to use primarily for media consumption.

Your Media Usage If you want a tablet primarily for media consumption, and not for taking photos, using GPS, using lots of apps, or syncing with email and contacts, then the best choice may be the less expensive tablets from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The latter signed deals with the major movie studios and beefed up its movie content last fall, and Amazon has long had a wealth of content. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber and do a lot of shopping on Amazon, the Kindle Fire may be worth considering. It’s a great window into the Amazon experience. The Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD, and Nook HD all have an aspect ratio of 16:10, making them ideal for widescreen movies. (The iPad’s aspect ratio is 4:3.) Plus, they all have greater resolution than the iPad mini, with the pixel density of the Nook almost on par with that of the Retina-display iPads. Your Need for Mobility As much as I like my Nexus 7, I use my iPad mini almost exclusively, in part because I often want to use it when there’s no Wi-Fi signal nearby. I like the convenience of being able to connect to the cell phone data network. If you have the same


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Screen Size Although the iPad mini’s screen, at 7.9 inches, sounds as if it’s nearly the same size as the other 7-inch tablets, it’s actually 35% larger. The Nexus 7, for example, uses up a small amount of screen space for navigation icons. So when you’re browsing the web with your device oriented horizontally, the iPad mini actually has 65% more viewing space. In my experience, this makes a big difference. Aspect Ratio I find that while the 16:10 aspect ratio of the other tablets is good for watching movies, I much prefer the iPad mini’s shape

for everything else. It has the same proportions as an 8.5 x 11inch sheet of paper, and it just seems more functional. Cameras, GPS, and Cellular Data Connectivity I use all three of these features on my iPad a lot, and I can’t imagine having a tablet without these capabilities. But it costs: you’ll have to pay at least $459 for your iPad mini to have all three, but to me it’s worth it. Apps The selection of apps tailored to the screen of the iPad mini will probably always be greater than that for Android tablets. In the past, developers have complained about having to develop for the wide range of screen sizes in Android devices. It’s my guess that this discrepancy will keep some developers away from creating Android-specific apps.

Syncing and iCloud I use Apple’s cloud services and prefer an iPad because my media, calendar, contacts, notes, and email are always in sync. It’s a huge convenience to be able to work on answering email when I’m out and about and have all those changes automatically appear when I’m back at my desktop computer. Overall, I’m impressed with these lower-priced tablets and feel that they all would make a good purchase, depending on your needs. My first love is the iPad mini, but it’s great to see the competition getting stronger. � Jim Karpen, Ph.D, is on faculty at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA. He has been writing about the revolutionary consequences of computer technology since 1994. His Ph.D dissertation anticipated the Internet revolution. His site,, contains selected regular columns written for The Iowa Source.

At a Glance: Tablets Compared Nook HD

Kindle Fire HD

Nexus 7

Nexus 7 w/ cellular

iPad mini

iPad mini w/ cellular

Screen Size







Screen Resolution

1440 x 900

1280 x 800

1280 x 800

1280 x 800

1024 x 768

1024 x 768

Aspect Ratio















.7 lbs

.87 lbs

.75 lbs

.765 lbs

.68 lbs

.69 lbs


.43 inches

.4 inches

.41 inches

.41 inches

.28 inches

.28 inches








Front Camera







Rear-facing Camera














Connect to Cellular Network







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Hands On with iTunes 11 By Bryan Schmiedeler


late November 2012, Apple released iTunes 11, and it was the media management software’s most significant interface overhaul ever. Apple almost completely redesigned the user interface, featuring what they call “simplified views of exactly what you want.” You may be in for a shock the first time you open up iTunes 11. But although the visuals have changed, the fundamentals haven’t. Let’s take a look at what’s inside.

Goodbye, Left-Hand Sidebar The classic left-hand sidebar for accessing your media content, devices, and playlists is gone. Apple has replaced it with what they call an “edge-to-edge” design. A dropdown menu in the lefthand side provides access to different types of content, such as Music and Movies, while a button on the right toggles between the iTunes Store and your Library. Cover Flow has been replaced with Extended View. When you click on an album, iTunes will drop down a playlist with a background color based on the album art. The idea is that you can start playing a song and go back to browsing without having to click back to your library.

deeper icloud integration

The iTunes 11 Welcome Screen helps you orient yourself with the new menu locations.


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Apple has deepened iCloud integration into iTunes. Most of your purchased content appears in iTunes, regardless of whether it is stored locally or in iCloud. Items stored in iCloud appear with a small iCloud icon next to them. Music, Movies, and TV shows can be streamed directly from iTunes without having to be downloaded first. Playback syncing allows you to begin watching a movie on your Mac, and iCloud remembers where you left off if you switch to watching it on another device, like your iPad or Apple TV.

upgraded features The iTunes DJ feature has been replaced with the clever Up Next feature, which allows you to see an ordered list of all upcoming songs. Click to the right of the song that’s currently playing to add, remove, or reorder tracks from the Up Next queue. The MiniPlayer packs in more features in a smaller space. By default, it shows album art, track name, and artist, but if you mouse over it, it switches to playback controls. You can also access Search and manage your Up Next queue from the MiniPlayer. Apple has also added the sub-category Home Videos to the Movie Category.

you've previously previewed, and each episode of a TV show now has an expanded description and a thumbnail. For those of you who hate typing in tiny redemption codes, you can now redeem iTunes Gift Cards using the camera on your computer. Search has been greatly enhanced. In previous versions of iTunes, you could only search for one type of content at a time. For example, you could not construct a search that returned both Movies and Videos. In iTunes 11 you can search across your entire iTunes library, regardless of content type or whether it’s stored locally or in iCloud. Moreover, Live Search returns search results dynamically as you type. Like much of the rest of iTunes, Apple gave Device Syncing a mostly cosmetic makeover with little change in functionality. Connected devices are now shown in a button in the top right of the navigation bar. App Settings have been modified to include “Install” buttons in lieu of check boxes next to individual apps.

dropped features

iTunes 11 features a new “edge-to-edge” extended view.

“For those of you who hate typing in tiny redemption codes, you can now redeem iTunes Gift Cards using the camera on your computer.”

The update excluded several well-known features—Cover Flow, Multiple Windows, and iTunes DJ are all gone. Ping, Apple’s unsuccessful foray into social networking, is also gone, and the promised integration with Facebook and Twitter has apparently been postponed or dropped. Apple is trying to walk several fine lines with this update; they want to simplify the interface for casual users, but not alienate more savvy users. For this reason, several long-standing features are hidden by default. While most users will get by just fine with the Expanded View, you can get the sidebar back by selecting the Show Sidebar option from the View menu. Similarly, the Status Bar is not initially visible, but you can turn it on by selecting Show Status Bar in the same View menu.

the future of itunes Expect the promised integration with Facebook and Twitter to arrive in the latter part of 2013. Apple is also rumored to be working on a streaming music service like Spotify and Pandora. I would like to see the ability to store more content in iCloud, and a web player for iTunes Match. I am already looking forward to iTunes 12! � Bryan Schmiedeler has been a programmer for 16 years, working with enterprise database systems on the iSeries using RPG, writing client and Web-based applications using Lotus Notes, and specializing in iSeries/Lotus integration issues. He uses a MacBook Pro, iPhone, and now an iPad at home in Overland Park, KS. He can be reached at

The iTunes Store now more closely resembles the iTunes app, with Cover Flow-style headings and tabs to separate main details, ratings and reviews, and related content. The new Preview History allows you to quickly find and purchase content

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What Would an Apple TV Look Like? By David Averbach efore he passed away, Steve Jobs claimed to have “finally cracked it.” Quoted in Walter Isaacson’s recent biography, Jobs was referring to a potential Apple TV. The line sparked a frenzy of speculation about a new Apple TV that would be an actual television set instead of just a set-top box. In recent interviews, Tim Cook all but verified that Apple is working on a TV set. “When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years. It's an area of intense interest. I can't say more than that."


I’m not going to waste your time by regurgitating all the crazy rumors about the Apple TV. And rather than pretending that I have any idea what the new Apple TV will be like, I have decided to make a wish list of features I hope to see in the future Apple TV.


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The Current State of Apple TV To understand what the Apple TV could be like, it helps to understand the current incarnation of Apple TV. In my opinion, the Apple TV is one of the least appreciated and least understood Apple products. I love my Apple TV and use it everyday. The current Apple TV costs $99, and is a small black box about the size of a hockey puck that plugs into the back of your TV. Apple TV allows you to rent and buy movies and TV shows by streaming them over the Internet to your TV. The great thing about Apple TV is that it allows you to never have to go to the video store again to rent a movie. Apple TV also comes with several popular third-party apps built in, including Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube. The integration makes Apple TV one of the easiest ways to watch videos.

Fixing Cable TV In order for Apple to truly revolutionize the TV industry, it will have to find a way to fix cable television. The cable and satellite TV business models are relics of an era during which transmitting information (in this case, TV shows) was incredibly complicated. Back then, whoever could transmit the information owned the medium. With the growing prominence of highspeed Internet, we no longer need complex cable and satellite systems to watch TV—we can simply stream it over the Internet. Yet, we are all still paying an expensive middle man (cable and satellite providers) for an unnecessary service.

What separates Apple TV from its competitors is how well it integrates with the rest of the Apple ecosystem. Using Airplay, for example, you can easily stream music, videos, or photos from an Apple device onto your Apple TV. Many third-party iPhone and iPad apps integrate with Apple TV as well. Some good examples are TED (free,, which lets you stream TED talks from your phone to your TV, and Real Racing 2 ($4.99,, which lets you mirror races to your TV and compete against friends. The latest Mac OS, Mountain Lion, also allows you to screen share from your Mac. At the iPhone Life office, we use an Apple TV instead of a projector for presentations and Skype conference calls.

Wishing Upon an Apple Apple TV is a powerful tool, but there is still a lot Apple could do to make it even better. Here are few things that I am hoping for in a future, more full-featured Apple TV. Improved Airplay While the integration with other Apple products is what makes Apple TV powerful, there is still room for improvement. Streaming over Airplay is peppered with frequent pauses and crashes. It doesn’t hold up to Apple’s “it just works” mission. In order for Apple TV to take the next step forward, Airplay needs to be much more stable and reliable. Third-Party App Store Apple TV reminds me a little bit of the original iPhone. The built-in apps are great, but it is a closed system. There is no way to add functionality through third-party apps. Surprisingly, not only are many of the key entertainment apps, such as Amazon Instant Video and HBO GO, not included on Apple TV, but the iOS apps are not even compatible. Having an Apple TV App Store would allow us to download any video-playing app we want. There is also the potential of using Apple TV as a video game console by creating gaming apps. The most exciting aspect of third-party apps is that they would allow developers to find new ways to use Apple TV. When the iPhone came out, I don’t think anybody anticipated the wide range of uses we see today. The true potential of the iPhone unfolded when third-party developers stepped in. I think that allowing third-party apps on Apple TV will have a similar effect. There’s no telling how the television could evolve.

Most people spend hundreds of dollars a month for access to thousands of channels, and they end up watching only a few shows. The best way to fix cable television is to offer a subscription to an individual channel, or even an individual show, in addition to a subscription to a bundle of channels. This would allow people to pick and choose their channels and shows à la carte, and only pay for what they actually watch. Because Apple makes their money from hardware sales, they would be able take a smaller percentage of sales than the cable providers do, making it a financially feasible model for the TV networks as well. This model would also offer a lot more flexibility in terms of how and when people view their shows. People could pay a premium to avoid commercials, and TV shows could be available on demand instead of at a certain time. Improved User Interface In the high-speed world of consumer electronics, the remote control is a relatively primitive tool. Nikola Tesla developed one of the earliest versions of the remote control in 1898, and we’ve been using remotes with TVs since the 1950s. Compared to the easy-to-use interface of Apple’s products, the modern TV user interface (UI) is painfully bad. While the current Apple TV has a better interface, it still relies on a remote control, so the UI has plenty of room for improvement. Some speculation suggests that Apple will replace the remote control with an iOS app that could be used from the iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad. Others have speculated that Siri will control the Apple TV. Both of these options have potential, and I am excited to see how Apple uses their expertise in designing operating systems to improve the TV interface.

The Next Frontier of Smart In recent years, Apple has talked a lot about the post-PC revolution. This revolution is not about the death of the computer (which will always have a critical role in our lives), but about the rise of other “smart” devices. From weight scales to home thermostats to washers and dryers, everything around us is becoming smarter. The TV is the largest screen in the house, and there is no reason why it can't have all the advanced functionality of a tablet or a computer. This type of disruption is in Apple’s DNA. Let’s hope Apple has the creativity to do it right. � David Averbach is the CEO and Publisher of iPhone Life magazine. David has an obsession with all things Apple. He grew up on Macs and now has a MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad, and an Apple TV. David enjoys traveling and Ultimate Frisbee. He has been to over 20 countries. To contact David, email him at

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It’s Tech-Geek Paradise! The Coolest Gear from the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show


he 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV, caused a palpable ripple of excitement throughout the world of consumer tech. Celebrities like, Mike Tyson, Tim Tebow, and many others were there to talk to fans and promote their new ventures. Even Danny DeVito was there! We had a full team of bloggers and writers at the show, and even though we missed Danny, we didn’t miss the latest and greatest in the world of iOS. We listened as gear and accessory manufacturers presented their new and exciting products. We witnessed ingenious design and impeccable booth engineering. And finally, we saw innovations in cases, speakers, charging solutions, and more. A special thanks goes out to our tireless writers, some of whom stayed up way too late in order to write about the coolest products they'd seen. Nate Adcock, Todd Bernhard, Siva Om, and Dan Rasmus, thank you for your tireless pursuit of tech awesomeness.

Some of these products will be released in a few months, and some are already out. They all have one thing in common: they’re noteworthy gadgets for proud iUsers like us. Go on now, check out the goodies we uncovered at this year’s CES.


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iPhone Life's Top 3 at CES

Ozaki O!music-Zoo+ Listen & Stand ($24.99, This eco-friendly, waterproof stand redirects sound from your iPhone’s speakers, doubling the sound. No tech involved, just genius design (and who can resist those cute animal shapes?).

FuseChicken USB Charging Cable ($30, This charging cable is mind-bogglingly simple, but brilliantly executed. Twist it into any position, and create a makeshift charging stand wherever you go. The Spray Bluetooth Speaker by Marc Ecko (Available in March 2013; $159.99, Inspired by Marc’s graffiti roots, this portable Bluetooth speaker is the same size and shape as a real spray paint can. Play, pause, and skip are controlled by the “nozzle.”

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Surrounded by Sound Headphones, Speakers, & Gear for the Audiophile

iON All-Star Guitar ($129.99, If you want to take your guitar jams on the road and still be able to fit your instrument in an overhead compartment, grab an iON All-Star electronic guitar. The full-sized body is made out of plastic, so it won’t break your heart if it gets damaged. You’ll need to couple it with the All-Star Guitar app (free,, which features cool effects and four authentic guitar sounds. Mount your iPad inside the secure, padded compartment, and the internal speaker will have you rocking out in no time.


iRig HD (Price TBA, The iRig HD allows you to use your iOS device as a guitar and bass signal processor. Plug your guitar or bass into the iRig, and then output to your headphones, stereo, or amp. You can even apply the iRig to other inputs, like a synthesizer or mixer. Its corresponding AmpliTube app (included for free) lets you add awesome tones and effects, and gives you full recording and processing capabilities. This latest version of iRig offers a higher quality processing experience than the original model. Dave Matthews and guitarist Slash are big fans.




Zagg Origin Portable Speaker (Available in May 2013, $249.99, The Origin, a two-in-one Bluetooth speaker system, has two parts: a large desktop speaker with a dynamic range and rich sound, and a lightweight, portable speaker for listening on the go. The mobile speaker magnetically docks to the desktop speaker, allowing you to easily switch between the two. When playing music through the desktop speaker, you can simply undock the portable speaker and carry the music with you if you walk into another room.


Ferrari R300 by Logic3 (Price TBA,

Carbon Audio Zooka Bluetooth Speaker ($99.95,

These stylish, vibrant, and powerful headphones are geared to the race-car driver in you.

This sleek speaker projects four watts of superb sound and doubles as an aesthetically pleasing stand.


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BeoPlay A9 ($2,699, This beautifully crafted wireless speaker is as chic as home décor, but don’t underestimate its capabilities—this sleek speaker system packs a whole lot of powerful sound. The awardwinning A9 is built to stream your music through Airplay or DLNA, and can be hung on the wall or left free-standing (nearly 3’ high) on its wooden legs. Featuring an impressive bass reflex and four swipeable sound levels for everything from quiet listening to party mode, this gorgeous speaker has everything you need, plus a generous dose of classy-cool style.

Nokia Purity Pro Wireless Stereo Headset by Monster (Price TBA, Featuring the perfect combo of Nokia’s cool design and Monster’s impeccable audio, the Purity Pro headphones take the hassle out of listening to music on the go by eliminating bulky wires. You can stay in the zone distraction-free, thanks to the headset’s Active Noise Cancellation feature, and you’ll be comfy and in command with soft ear cushions and easy-to-reach controls. Once they’re fully charged, these Bluetooth headphones will give you 24 hours of music and talk time. They are available in an assortment of eye-catching colors.

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Power Up! Savvy Solutions for All Your Charging Needs



iDAPT i1 Eco Universal Charger ($32.99,


Y-Charge USB Car Charger ($29.99, Compact and lightweight, the Y-Charge car charger from TYLT rapidly charges your iPad or two iPhones simultaneously. Its simple, sleek design adds a dash of modern flair to any vehicle, while its Y-shape with dual USB ports accommodates both the driver and passenger’s devices with ease. Though it weighs in at less than 1 oz., the Y-Charge is strong and durable, thanks to its unique silicone casing.


HyperJuice Plug (From $129.95, The HyperJuice Plug is a portable, high-capacity battery pack that can charge two devices at once. It’s available in two battery sizes, 10,400mAh and 15,600mAh, and each size comes in a variety of colors. The HyperJuice can fully recharge the iPhone at least seven times, and extends the iPad’s battery life by at least nine hours. The external aluminum housing feels sturdy, and although it’s not super rugged, this battery pack holds up well against everyday wear and tear.


This universal charger made of recyclable materials features an interchangeable tip and lets you charge your device at home or in your car. PowerStick ($49.50,

POWERPLANT Portable Battery Pack ($74.99, This 5.4-oz. battery pack holds 5200mAh of power, and can keep your devices juiced up throughout the day. It’s a classy little unit, and in addition to housing a well-disguised 30-pin connector that pulls out from the side, it has rubber covers over the USB and micro-USB ports. The POWERPLANT kept our iPhones charged well into the second day of CES. For those of you with iDevices rocking the Lightning port, you can still use the POWERPLANT via a USB-to-Lightning cable. A new Lightning-ready version should be available later this year.


This USB-powered portable charger doubles as a USB memory stick and comes in 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB sizes.


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Unparalleled Protection Cool Cases, Stands, & More


HitCase Pro ($129, The HitCase Pro is a rugged, waterproof case that mounts onto various stands and turns your iPhone into an action camera with a wide-angle lens. It’s perfect for adventure sports, since you can mount the camera onto your helmet to capture some fantastic shots. The case integrates with an app that overlays your altitude, speed, and G-force onto each recorded video.


Ozaki O!coat-FaaGaa ($39.99, These iPhone cases have some serious attitude! Available in a variety of colors and cute animal styles, the O!coat-FaaGaa cases (named after an English expression of anger—I’ll let you figure out which one) each have a tongue that springs out when you push on it. It’s a pretty cool design, but it also serves a purpose: the tongue works as a stand for your phone in portrait or landscape mode. The spring release also works well as a stress calmer if you push it over and over again (just a little tip from the Ozaki designer).



Octa Tablet Tail: Monkey Kit ($99.99, The team behind the popular Octa Whale Stand is back—and getting into some monkey business! Their new Monkey Tail stand with a Vacuum Dock mount is flexible and grips anything you can wrap it around. Although we wish the tail came in brown (to more accurately resemble a monkey’s tail), we still like it a lot, as its practical uses are vast. Lie in bed and read comfortably with it, use it as a desk stand, or prop it up to watch a movie.




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Otterbox Armor Case ($99.95,

The Joy Factory aXtion Pro ($129.99,

Prepare for war—this case is a tank. It’ll keep your iPhone safe virtually forever.

This rugged, waterproof iPad mini case is the first of its kind on the market!




Griffin Survivor + Catalyst Waterproof Case ($79.99, Griffin has teamed up with Catalyst Lifestyle, a brand created by adventure enthusiasts, to create this cool-looking waterproof case. While exceptionally well made, rugged, and durable, the case still remains sleek and unobtrusive. It’s submersible down to nearly 10 feet (3 meters), and its gasketed design seals out water from every port. The case’s latches and charge-port door are made out of nylon, and its clear front allows for full functionality while you’re underwater.


Tucano Case for iPhone 5 ($34.99, These Italian designers sure know how to make stylish apparel. Tucano has been making leather bags, backpacks, and luggage for years, and now the brand is venturing into the tech-gear market. This genuine Italian leather case is elegant and luxurious, and lends a certain sophistication to your iPhone. Best of all, it feels sturdy in your hand. The Tucano case for iPhone 5 will be available sometime in the spring of 2013.


NuGuard KX case ($35,

Although slim, this super-sturdy iPhone case protects amazingly well against drops, scratches, and impact. Incipio ATLAS Waterproof Case for iPhone 5 ($77.99,

Henge Docks Gravitas ($69, The Gravitas is a sturdy charging stand that fits all iDevices, thanks to its interchangeable inserts. It may seem unimpressive at first glance, but as soon as you dock and undock your iDevice, you’ll understand why the Gravitas is so awesome. The dense metal base weighs nearly one kilogram, so you’ll never have to worry about a lack of stability. The Gravitas, which comes in 30-pin and Lightning connector versions, will be available in late spring or early summer.


The ultra-rugged ATLAS is the thinnest waterproof case we’ve found, and it looks awesome to boot! Rokbed Fuzion Case ($79,

Skech Kameo Case (Price TBA,

PX360 Extreme Protection System for iPhone 5 ($49.99,

This award-winning case has a backside magnet that holds it still against any metal surface.

This cool-looking iPhone case comes with interchangeable cushioned back plates, so you’ll never get bored of looking at it.

Climb and rappel worry-free with this weather-resistant case, featuring three layers of screen protection.

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Innovative Extras Distinctive Accessories for the Home, Office, & Gym

Flower Power by Parrot (Available in fall 2013, price TBA, This is the perfect gift for a tech-geek gardener. The Parrot Flower Power uses a wireless sensor to monitor the sunlight, soil moisture, temperature, and fertilizer levels of your plants. The sensor transmits the information to the “parrot cloud” via Bluetooth, so you can access the data from your iPhone and iPad using Parrot’s app. The app boasts a database of over 6,000 plants, so you can customize the type of care for each one of your plants.


fitbit Flex ($99.95, The fitbit Flex is a silicone wristband that helps you track your daily fitness goals. The Flex can track your steps taken, miles walked, and calories burned. It also monitors how long you sleep, how many calories you’ve consumed, and how much water you’ve drunk in a day. The Flex syncs with your iPhone via Bluetooth, and pairs with the fitbit app to help you track your progress over time. You can also track your activity and view your stats on




Stick-N-Find Bluetooth Location Stickers (Price TBA, You’ll never lose your keys again, thanks to this quarter-sized gadget. The Stick-N-Find sticks to any surface—keychain, pet collar, TV remote, whatever you want—and pairs with a feature-rich app on your iDevice via Bluetooth in order to track items within 100 feet. The sticker’s watch battery lasts up to a year, and the app will notify you when it needs replacing.


Qmadix Home Button Stickers ($7.99 for 6,

Lantronix XPrintServer (From $99,

Add some flair to your iDevice’s home button with these colorful stickers.

The XPrintServer lets you wirelessly print from your iDevice to almost any printer using AirPrint.


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Multi-Bay iChargers

(iPad: $9.99, iPhone: $3.99, There are a lot of note-takers in the App Store today, but most leave you pecking away at the keyboard rather than using your own natural handwriting instantaneously converted to digital text. Handwriting recognition is what sets PhatWare’s WritePad apart from the others.

Eliminate the mess of multiple power cords and separate chargers with a Madsonline multi-bay charging station. Each bay has 10 watts for simultaneous charging, making it perfect for the office or home with multiple iDevices. Sync your data quickly using the internal USB 2.0 hub. It features LED lights that show charge status, plus changeable tips to accommodate both 30-pin and Lightning connector devices. Made in the USA, these solidly built charging stations are crafted from anodized aluminum and acrylic, and come with a 2-year warranty.

WritePad’s advanced handwriting recognition engine uses statistical analysis to learn your own style of handwriting so the app’s translation quickly improves as you use it. To further improve accuracy, WritePad’s latest version includes a text-to-speech synthesizer featuring both female and male voices, providing optional audio feedback when handwriting is converted to digital text. You can use your finger or a stylus to handwrite your text into WritePad, but a stylus will give you much better results. Unless your handwriting is terribly illegible, WritePad will be able to accurately decipher it. It will even accurately interpret most forms of cursive. For quicker input, WritePad offers a Shorthand feature that lets you to assign a short name to a word or phrase and then input such phrase by writing the name and drawing a circle around it. There are also several pre-defined shortcuts, such as allowing you to insert the current date and time and perform standard editing functions, such as copy, paste, and others. Sharing notes is important to many iPad users, and WritePad offers a wide number of ways to share. It’s very easy to compose an email, tweet, or Facebook update in your own handwriting, convert to text, then post what you’ve written without copying and pasting. To share a document, the app synchronizes your WritePad folders with Dropbox, Evernote, or Google Docs, while sharing via iTunes is also available. It even includes ability to exchange documents via WiFi directly between two iPads. While most popularly used on the iPad, there is also a WritePad version for iPhone users. Any college student or working professional who needs to take notes will benefit from WritePad’s handwriting recognition – especially for those of you with not-so-pretty handwriting

C3- 3 bay Syncing charger $195 C4- 4 bay charger $230 C4SC Syncing Charger $300

To see your product featured in the Sponsored Content section, please e-mail

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Open and (Completely) Close Apps For the newbies out there, you have to start somewhere. Tap an app icon to open it, and press the home button to exit the app. Note that this only takes you out of the app, as the app remains open in the background. To close the app completely, double-tap the home button, and when the bottom row (the “Multitasking bar”) pops up, tap and hold any app icon until it starts wiggling. Tap the circular red icon at the top left of the app to close it completely, and press the home button to stop the crazy wiggling.


Connect to Your Computer Use the Lightning to USB cable to connect your iPhone 5, iPad 4, or iPad mini to your computer, or the 30-pin to USB cable for any older iPhone or iPad models. Connecting will automatically launch iTunes, and if you’re connecting on a Mac, iPhoto will launch as well. Once you’re connected, your device will start charging, and you’ll be able to download software updates and sync music, movies, and apps.


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Customize Your Home Screen You can change the wallpaper backgrounds, rearrange the apps on the screen, or group the apps into folders. To change the background image of the home screen and the lock screen, open Settings>Brightness & Wallpaper. You’ll be able to choose an image from your camera roll or from the default Wallpaper folder. Once you choose an image, you can set it to show on the lock screen, the home screen, or both. To move an app, tap and hold one until they all start wiggling, then tap and hold it again to drag it around. You can drag apps to other screens if you hold them close to the edges. To create a folder, drag one app on top of another, and give the folder a name (or use the default name that pops up). Press the home button when you’re done.


Go Online There are several ways to get on the Internet from your iDevice. If you’re using an iPhone, you can connect using the cellular networks or by signing into a Wi-Fi network. If you’re using a Wi-Fi-only iPad, you can only get online by signing into a Wi-Fi network. To sign into a Wi-Fi network, open

Settings>Wi-Fi and tap on the network to which you wish to connect. If the network requires a password, your iDevice will prompt you to enter it. Note that using a Wi-Fi network instead of a cellular network to go on the Internet is a good way to save on cellular data charges, as wireless carriers typically limit the amount of data you can use in a given month.


Create an Apple ID When you first turn on your iDevice, it’ll ask you to enter or create an Apple ID, which is used to access iCloud, iTunes, and the App Store. Unless you’re planning on never downloading a single app, song, or movie, you’ll likely use it quite a bit. If you don’t yet have an Apple ID, don’t fret. You can create one when you’re asked to sign in. Simply follow the onscreen instructions and you’ll be set up within a couple of minutes.

to right and tap on the icon with the circular arrow. A lock symbol will appear, and the device orientation will be locked in either landscape or portrait mode.


Adjust the Brightness Sometimes you need to change the brightness of the screen to match the environment. If it’s dark out, you can lower the brightness and still see the screen very clearly. The screen brightness uses up a lot of power, so lowering the screen brightness is one way you can lengthen battery life. To change the brightness of the screen, open Settings>Brightness & Wallpaper and move the brightness slider left or right.



Sync with iTunes Syncing with iTunes means copying information from your iDevice to your computer, and vice versa. You can sync to iTunes by manually connecting your device to your computer via a USB cable, or by setting it to sync wirelessly every day. To set up wireless sync, connect your iDevice to your computer, select your device from iTunes, click summary, and finally, select “Sync over Wi-Fi connection.” For wireless syncing to take place, your iDevice must be connected to a power source, iTunes must be open on your computer, and both must be on the same wireless network.


Switch and Lock the Screen Orientation You’ve probably noticed that most apps, including Safari web pages, have landscape and portrait orientations that you can access just by tilting your iDevice. You can also lock the screen orientation to avoid the automatic switching—a handy option for when you’re trying to read in bed. Simply press the home button twice, and when the Multitasking bar pops up, swipe from left

Share Everything You can share just about anything from your iPhone and iPad—photos, website links, status updates, and more. Look for the Action icon (see image) when you’re in Safari or inside other apps. Tapping on the Action icon pulls up a set of sharing options such as Mail, Message, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also swipe your finger down from the top of the screen to pull down the Notification Center, from which you can post directly to Facebook and Twitter. To set up Facebook and Twitter sharing from the Notification Center, open Settings, scroll down to Facebook and Twitter, and sign in to your profiles.


Manage Auto-Correction and Spell Check By default, your iDevice will automatically correct text as you type it, and it’ll suggest the word you’re trying to finish. To accept the word, simply type space, enter a punctuation mark, or tap the return key. To reject the word, tap the small “x” next to the suggested word. When you reject a suggested word, it becomes more likely that your iDevice will stop trying to correct that word. Your iDevice may also underline words that it thinks are misspelled. Tap on the underlined word to bring up suggested changes, or re-type the word manually. To turn off these automatic tools, open Settings>General>Keyboard, look for Auto-Correction and Check Spelling, and slide each bar to the Off position.

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Make an Emergency Call Did you know that you can make emergency calls without unlocking your iPhone? When you swipe to unlock the phone and the passcode prompt pops up, tap on the bottom left button that says Emergency Call. The dialing pad will appear, and you’ll be able to call 911 (or your country’s equivalent emergency number).



Use Siri’s Onscreen Guide Siri can work wonders, but is fairly useless if you aren’t aware of its capabilities. If you want to explore Siri’s full range of commands and see a list of possible questions to ask it, simply pull up the onscreen guide. Press and hold the home button until Siri pops up, and tap on the tiny “i” to the right of the dialog box. The “i” stands for Information, and it will show you a long list of Siri-capable commands and features.


Raise to Speak to Siri Another way to activate Siri is to raise your iPhone to your ear, wait for the double beep, and speak your command. To enable this feature, go to Settings>General>Siri, and slide Raise to Speak to the On position (this feature isn’t available on the iPad).


Make FaceTime Calls You can make FaceTime video calls to anyone with a Mac or an iPhone that supports FaceTime if you have an iPhone 3GS or later. If you’re using an iPhone 3GS or 4, you need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network in order to make FaceTime calls. For users with an iPhone 4S or 5, FaceTime calls are available over the cellular data network. To make a FaceTime call, open Contacts, tap on the name of the person you wish to call, scroll down, and tap on FaceTime. You can also use Siri to start a FaceTime call by saying “FaceTime [name of contact].”


Do You Want Siri to Talk Back? If you often wear a headset, you may want Siri to speak back its responses to you in addition to showing them on the screen. You can choose to have Siri give you voice feedback all the time, or only when you’re wearing a headset. To set your preference, open Settings>General>Siri>Voice Feedback and tap one of the two options. Make a LightningFast Restaurant Reservation The upgrade to iOS 6 gave Siri some wonderful new features, one of which is its ability to make superfast restaurant reservations. Ask Siri, “Can I make a restaurant reservation for 7 p.m. tonight?” Siri will respond by asking which restaurant you’d like to make reservations for and showing you a list of nearby restaurants with open reservations for that time. Tap on the restaurant you want to go to, and you’re all set!



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Group Email Threads To keep your email inbox more organized, you can choose to group related messages together in threads. To do this, open Settings>Mail, Contacts, and Calendars, and swipe Organize by Thread to the On position.


Edit Photos and Video on the Fly By virtue of owning an iPhone, you’ve probably already become an amateur photographer. In addition to being able to take pictures whenever you want to, you can also do minor photo and video editing at any time. Open an image in the Photos app, and tap on Edit. You’ll see a new set of options along the bottom of the screen, which you can use to rotate, enhance, crop the image, or remove red eyes. As far as video editing, you can only trim the size of a video. When you open a video, you’ll see two trim bars above the video along the left and right edges that you can grab in order to shorten the clip to a more suitable size.


What’s Taking Up So Much Space? If you’re starting to run out of space, but don’t know what’s hogging your precious memory, you can take a peek at where the trouble lies by opening Settings>General>Usage. There you’ll get a snapshot of how much memory you have left, in addition to what apps are taking up most of the space. Don’t be afraid to delete a sizeable app; you can always re-download it from the Purchased section of the App Store. � Alex Cequea is the Editor in Chief of iPhone Life magazine. He holds an MBA in Sustainable Business, and he writes and speaks about mobile technology, authenticity and creating a more inter-connected world. He enjoys tennis, sustainability, public speaking, and climbing mango trees. You can contact him at

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hen it comes to racing games, the App Store has more than its fair share—but not every game is worth the time it takes to download it. So I’ve done the dirty work and narrowed it down to the top five games that should earn your attention. Everything from the ultra-realistic racer to total non-stop madness with cars equipped with rockets, guns, and booster packs, I played them all.

tailed race tracks. There are five game modes: career (which contains over 10 hours of gameplay), quick race, time trial, local multiplayer (via Wi-Fi), and online multiplayer. In the online multiplayer mode, players can compete with up to 15 other players from all over the world. It also utilizes Apple’s Game Center and the ability to save your game online. Real Racing 2 is the ultimate racing game for car enthusiasts looking for a realistic racing experience. And keep an eye out for Real Racing 3, which should be released soon!

Real Racing 2 ($4.99,; iPad version: $6.99, If you’re a fan of Sony’s Gran Turismo or Microsoft’s Forza Motorsport franchise, then you’ll be right at home with Firemonkeys’ take on GT racing. With real cars, amazing physics, and superb handling, Real Racing is the premier racing game available on iOS and Android.

Death Rally ($0.99, If you crave speed, but want to blow things up at the same time, then look no further than this isometric racer. Death Rally features highly competitive races, which not only force racers to cross the finish line, but also to destroy the other racers on the track. You’ll be equipped with everything from chain guns to rocket launchers in order to remove obstacles in your path as you traverse the 19 different and deadly tracks.

Real Racing features 30 expertly rendered, officially licensed cars and 15 locations with over 40 miles of extremely de-



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Players will be able to drive six different vehicles, loosely based on real cars like the VW Beetle or the Pontiac Trans Am. As you level up, you gain the ability to equip your car with new weapons, tires, and armor. Death Rally isn’t only fun to play, but it’s also a gorgeously rendered game that works on both the iPad and iPhone.

races, but five other game modes as well. If you own an iPhone 5, you’re in luck—Asphalt 7 looks absolutely stunning on the 4-inch widescreen Retina display.

Need for Speed™ Most Wanted ($6.99, Based on the console title of the same name, Need for Speed™ Most Wanted features insanely fast-paced arcade-style racing. You play a racer looking to make a name for yourself in the fictional city of Fairhaven, and to achieve this, you must beat the city’s top 10 racers. Riptide GP ($1.99, The last game on our list goes from the gravel of the road to the wild waves of the water. Riptide GP puts players on “supercharged” jet skis as they rip through futuristic water-filled raceways, littered with ramps that allow them to pull off some wicked air-based tricks. Riptide features three game modes: race, hot lap, and championship.

You get to drive exotic cars like Lamborghinis, Corvettes, BMWs, and my personal favorite, the Subaru Cosworth Impreza WRX STI—which is not only fast, but handles like a dream. Racers can equip any of the 35 available cars with upgrades, like faster engines, self-inflating tires (which come in handy if you run over a spike strip), and a nitrous (NOS) tank for the necessary extra boost. Developed by Firemonkeys (yes, the same team who made Real Racing), this game features amazing visuals and stays true to the console version, with spectacular crashes and breakneck speeds. Asphalt 7: Heat ($0.99, Asphalt 7: Heat offers gamers an amazing racing experience that’s similar to Need for Speed, minus the cops and the story aspect. Also, instead of only 35 cars, Asphalt 7 gives players 60 different cars to choose from. There are Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Aston Martins. If those dream cars aren’t enough to whet your appetite, you can even drive a DeLorean. Yes, the car from Back to the Future! Asphalt 7 features up to 15 tracks from all over the world, from the islands of Hawaii to the exotic city of Rio de Janeiro. For only $0.99, Asphalt 7 is a steal, as it not only offers an online multiplayer mode with over 150 different

The game has been updated for the iPhone 5 and its larger display, and it also features enhanced graphics, like improved water splashes and motion blurs. Because Riptide takes place in water and uses realistic physics, waves cause jet skis to uniquely bounce and launch into the air, meaning no two races will ever feel the same. These are just a few of the literally hundreds of racing games you can find in the App Store. To me, these five games are the most visually stunning. They offer not only an amazing experience, with cutting-edge visuals and smooth gameplay, but also great value for their price. � Mike Wewerka is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning online tech site Wewerka has been involved with technology for over 15 years, but his main area of expertise is mobile gadgetry, including Apple, Android, Windows Phone, and everything in between. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWewerka.

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Gaming on the iPhone 5

E 44

By Dain Schroeder ach year, millions of people around the world wait with bated breath for the latest Apple device to be released. Perhaps the most anticipated of Apple’s announcements was that of the iPhone 5, the latest device to descend from the heavens (also known as Cupertino) and into the pockets of consumers.

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Every iPhone released so far has featured substantial upgrades to the phone’s hardware, allowing it to handle increasingly complex tasks and applications with each new release. With the iPhone 5, Apple has created one of the most capable portable gaming devices on the market; in this article, we’re going to focus on some of the terrific gaming apps out there that take advantage of this powerful device.

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Lili ($2.99, Lili is an adventure role-playing game (RPG) with great touch-based controls and a stunning presentation. In the game, players control Lili, a college student working toward getting her degree. To do some research for her final essay, Lili travels to the mysterious island of Geos, where she finds that an oppressive regime is keeping down the locals.

The game features an amusing story full of interesting characters; by the end of the game, I felt invested in the outcome of the story (something I cannot say for many games on the iOS platform). It’s a joy to explore each district in the colorful island, and players who take the time to do so will be rewarded with extra items and power-ups, which can be immensely helpful when trying to dispatch some of the more powerful enemies in the game.

Finally, I must take a moment to mention the phenomenal visuals in the game. Simply by looking at the screenshots you can tell that the game is impressive, but seeing it in motion is another thing entirely. Running on the powerful hardware of the iPhone 5, the game moves at a consistent frame rate and absolutely dazzles. If you are an iOS gamer who enjoys adventure RPGs, Lili is sure to delight you. Punch Quest ($0.99, Punch Quest may not have mind-numbing 3D graphics, but that doesn’t matter—I consider it to be one of the best games on the iOS platform. Punch Quest isn’t just pretty good for an iPhone game—it’s exceptional, worthy of being mentioned alongside arcade classics such as Double Dragon.

Conceptually, Punch Quest is similar to some of the “endless runner” games on the App Store (games where players control a character who automatically runs forward, attempting to dodge increasingly difficult obstacles). In Punch Quest, the character also runs forward automatically, but this is where the similarities end. As the player’s customizable avatar runs through a monsterfilled dungeon, players are tasked with defeating all manner of ferocious beasts.

Many games of this genre stumble when it comes to allowing true exploration with touch controls; sadly, Lili isn’t quite perfect in this regard either—there are times where you’ll find yourself walking in the wrong direction or running when you meant to walk—but luckily, such issues are rare enough that they don’t significantly take away from the experience. The game approaches battle sequences in a unique way as well; instead of having traditional fights, players are thrown into a unique “non-combat system” wherein Lili must rip flowers off enemies’ backs (which is much more intense and frantic than it probably sounds).


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The game has simple controls, but they’re well thought out and work perfectly on the iPhone. Players can either do a dash punch by tapping the right side of the screen (which punches while charging forward), or do an uppercut by tapping the left side of the screen (which hits airborne enemies but doubles as

the game’s jump button). Later in the game, players also gain the ability to block.

The graphics are done in a charming 16-bit style, reminiscent of the classic arcade games of yore to which Punch Quest pays homage. In addition, the game is optimized for the iPhone 5, so it fills the entire display. On the iPhone 5, the game runs as smooth as silk, and is an absolute joy to play. Punch Quest is an exceptional game, perfect in every conceivable way. I can’t say enough good things about this game; if you’re looking for a fun way to kill a bit (or a lot) of time gaming on your iPhone, then look no further. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP ($1.99, Sword and Sworcery EP is so extraordinary, so unique, and so perfectly suited to a device like the iPhone that when a player sits down to play it, the rest of the world seems to melt away, leaving the player fully absorbed in the beautiful world that the designers have created.

Each time a player runs through the dungeon, he or she will gain some much-needed “punchos” (Punch Quest’s in-game currency). Punchos are used to buy new abilities and special moves, and can also be used to unlock new paths in the dungeon (which, in turn, allows the player to face harder enemies and gain even more punchos). The game allows players to buy punchos or a handy puncho doubler (which doubles any punchos earned in-game) via in-app purchase, but this is a game that (mercifully) does not throw any “pay walls” in your face, forcing you to spend more and more money; the in-app purchases are completely optional, just as they should be.

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honorable mentions If you’re looking for even more great games to load up onto your iPhone 5, we’ve got you covered! Here are a few other top picks that are sure to please.

Into the Dead (Free, Players run through an endless horde of zombies, earning upgrades to stay alive longer on their next try.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted ($6.99, The best iOS “Need for Speed” version yet, with breathtaking visuals and exciting races.

Arc Squadron ($0.99, A gorgeous-looking space shooter in the vein of the classic Star Fox games.

The game exists in a genre of its own, but it can best be described as a point-and-click graphical adventure, similar to some of the terrific games of yesteryear (think Full Throttle, Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, etc.). It’s exceptional in that it actually stands up next to those classics, a feat that few modern adventure games have accomplished.

The presentation is unusual, but it’s beautiful: the entire game is done in pixel art, yet somehow the artists managed to include a remarkable amount of detail. Bushes sway in the breeze, crystal clear waters reflect the beauty around them, and just about any object on the screen can interact with you in some way. The music in the game is also exceptional. This is one game that deserves to be played with headphones on if at all possible (even the improved speaker on the iPhone 5 doesn’t quite do justice to the beautiful soundtrack in this game).


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The game is relatively short, and you’ll probably clear it in a few hours the first time you play through it, but don’t think of that as a strike against the game. Sword & Sorcery introduces players to a beautiful world, the likes of which have never been seen, and the developers wisely decided to leave players begging for more instead of creating an overly long gaming experience. This is one adventure that just about everyone with an iPhone should embark upon. � Dain Schroeder is a 23-year-old technology enthusiast with a passion for all things Apple. Dain works full-time as a security supervisor at a data center for a large technology company. You can add Dain as a friend on iOS Game Center under username “Fooruman.” He’s happy to review new iOS apps and accessories, and can be contacted at



getting fit ranked highly on your list of New Year’s resolutions, you’re in good company—millions of people make (and break) that same vow every year. Running is one of the best ways to achieve that goal, but when you’re new to working out—or maybe just new to running—it can be intimidating trying to figure out how and where to start.


Too often, new runners burn out quickly by trying to keep up with the times they see others making, or get discouraged when they’re not ready for a 5K by their third time on the treadmill. The first step in becoming a runner is learning how to run and how to make it fun. Fortunately for all of us, it’s no longer the ‘90s and you don’t have to figure it out alone or hire a personal trainer—the iPhone in your pocket is all you need to kick-start your life as a runner.

RunKeeper (Free, We all have days when just lacing up our shoes feels like an insurmountable hurdle. Find the motivation to push past that by checking out what you’ve already accomplished via RunKeeper, a free app that records details about all of your runs, including pace, distance, time and heart rate. The app is more than just a logbook, though—it lets you create and track goals; get audio cues with your stats, progress, and coaching; receive notifications when you achieve milestones, such as a new personal best time; and share your achievements with friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Couch-to-5K ($1.99, Before you hit the track (or the treadmill) for the first time, you need a plan; Couch-to-5K is that plan. This award-winning running program has sent thousands of former couch potatoes—including me—across the finish lines of their first 5Ks. The app is a complete training program designed to turn even the most novice runner into one capable of finishing a 5K (3.1 miles) in less than 30 minutes. It does that by creating a nine-week, threetimes-a-week training schedule in which you alternate periods of walking and running for 20 to 30 minutes. The level of intensity increases so gradually that although you are sometimes pushed to your limit, you never feel pushed beyond it.

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Zombies, Run! ($3.99, Running toward a goal is great, but sometimes it’s more fun to run away from something—especially when that something is a pack of hungry zombies. Zombies, Run! turns your regular run into a race for your life as you attempt to avoid your undead enemies and find the supplies you need to rebuild your civilization. As you run, the story unfolds in a series of radio messages and voice recordings, interspersed with your own musical playlist. Your goal is to build a safe haven for the remaining human survivors of a zombie apocalypse, and along the way you’ll find supplies such as crates of medicine and ammunition, which you can disperse among your people however you see fit. The app is compatible with indoor (treadmill) and outdoor running and integrates with ZombieLink, a Web-based social network where you can share your progress with friends.

MapMyRun GPS Running (Free, If you run the same route every day, you’re risking one of the biggest dangers any runner can face: boredom! Okay, yes, there are bigger dangers, like cars and strained muscles; still, boredom is the first step to getting burned out, so it’s good to avoid it when you can. MapMyRun, with its huge database of routes, is the perfect antidote—just plug in your location and choose one of the 26 million routes entered by runners just like you. The app also offers a ton of other features, including the ability to record the details of your own runs and participate in challenges for real-world prizes. It also connects you to a huge network of other runners with whom you can socialize and compete.

Nike+ Running (Free, Nike+ Running includes all the usual features you expect from an app like this—distance, pace and time recording, route mapping, etc.—and adds one that I haven’t seen before: motivation from your real-life friends and family members. This isn’t the first app to allow you to share your runs on Facebook, but it definitely brings a unique twist to the concept. Instead of sharing your accomplishment after a run, Nike+ Running allows you to post when you’re ready to begin. Each “like” and comment you receive on Facebook comes through your headphones as real-time cheering, motivating you to keep going. �

After spending some time in college as a Management Information Systems (MIS) major, Jacqui realized she preferred words to numbers and ended up graduating with a journalism degree instead. Her love of all things geeky stayed with her, though, and she’s found a happy medium in her career as a tech journalist.


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by Jim Karpen


pple’s latest mobile software update, iOS 6, brought two new apps to the iPhone 5: Maps and Passbook. The latter is a little hard to understand at first, but it’s quickly catching on, as people realize its utility and as developers integrate this feature into their apps. Passbook, as you likely know by now, is a way that vendors can make things like tickets, coupons, vouchers, boarding passes, and loyalty cards available in a single app. It's convenient for two reasons: 1) all of these items are in one place on your iPhone, and 2) passes are often “location-aware,” such that Passbook automatically produces the right pass depending on where you are and communicates with a terminal at a ticket booth or point of sale.

A survey by Market Watch over the last two weeks of the baseball season found that a surprising 12 percent of ticket buyers chose to use Passbook as their method of delivery for baseball game tickets. In addition to, other early vendors included Starbucks, Ticketmaster, Target, American Airlines, United Airlines, Walgreens, and Fandango Movies.

In addition, the app can also give you relevant information about the passes that it aggregates. For example, if you're using Passbook to present your ticket for a flight, not only does the app make it conveniently available, but it also tells you if there have been updates, such as gate changes.

Steps to Using Passbook Passbook in Action Major League Baseball was among the first vendors to use Passbook. Here’s how it works: First you download the MLB. com At Bat app (free, or At The Ballpark (free, When you purchase your ticket, you select Passbook from the options for receiving the ticket. When you arrive at the game, you'll receive a notification on your lock screen. When you swipe to unlock, your ticket automatically appears. The person taking tickets simply scans the ticket on the screen of your iPhone.

Using Passbook involves several steps. First, the vendor or retailer needs to have an app to which they've added Passbook functionality. Second, you need to download their app. Third, you select Passbook as the way of receiving your purchased ticket or in-store credit. And finally, you then use the coupon, ticket, or card via your iPhone at a gate or point of purchase. It sounds complicated. But once you use it, say for your ticket to a baseball game, you’ll see how simple and convenient it will be to do future tickets this way. Note that Passbook relies on scanners, rather than near field communication (NFC), which

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powers Google Wallet on Android devices. With Passbook, you scan your ticket, rather than using your phone to tap and pay.

Finding Apps that Use Passbook

The App Store contains a selection of the most popular Passbook-compatible apps.

When you first open Passbook, there will be a link that takes you to a section in the App Store with the most popular Passbook-compatible apps. Also, if you search for “Passbook” on the AppShopper website (, you’ll find over 100 compatible apps. You can narrow your search by category, such as Entertainment, and by other criteria. Likewise, AppleGazette ( has a categorized listing of some of the more useful Passbook-friendly apps. Again, in order to receive a vendor's passes in Passbook, you need to have their app installed on your device.

You can also use Passbook to store your Walgreens rewards card. You'll first need to scan the barcode on your Walgreens card or enter the information manually. After that, you can store your card in Passbook. If you designate a particular store as the nearest store, then Passbook will automatically bring up your card when you're near the store. Apple itself rolled out Passbook-capable gift cards last November that you can email to your family and friends. When the recipient receives the email, there’s a button that says, “Add to Passbook.” Doing so generates a QR code, which is stored in Passbook and can be presented at an Apple Store to redeem the gift certificate.

Latest Changes

Examples of How to Use Passbook

Even as the app is gradually gaining popularity, Apple is trying to make clearer what it’s all about. As this is being written, a beta version of iOS 6.1 includes a welcome screen in Passbook that offers an explanatory note. The first version of Passbook also had an explanation, but it disappeared once you had added a pass. In the beta version, the welcome screen comes in the form of a pass, and remains in the app until you delete it manually. Let's look at a couple more examples, starting with Starbucks. If you have a Starbucks card, you can use it via Passbook. First, make sure you have the latest Starbucks app, and sign in to your account. Then go to the bottom of the screen and tap My Card, then Manage, and then Add Card to Passbook. Under Select Stores, select your favorite store. Then when you walk into any Starbucks in the U.S., your card will appear on the lock screen of your phone.


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Passbook Glitches Of course, there are glitches with any new technology. When Passbook was new, some clerks simply didn’t know what to do when iPhone users approached them with a Passbook app. Darrell Etherington from TechCrunch tried—and failed—to use Passbook to present his ticket at two movie theaters. The desk staff first tried to scan with a mobile scanner. When that didn’t work, they sent him upstairs where they had a mobile ticketing kiosk. The machine didn’t work at first, and they realized it wasn’t plugged in. Once it was plugged in and booted up, it still didn’t work. For some reason the bar code hadn’t transferred to the app.

Why Passbook and Not an NFC Chip? When the iPhone 5 was still in the rumor stage, many thought it would come with an NFC chip, which has been thought to be the next step in mobile payment systems. With the PayPass system on an Android device, you simply tap your device on a terminal, enter your 4-digit code, and tap again. The system then debits your account.

Apple’s response, though, was that it doesn’t solve a problem. “It’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s VP of Marketing. “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today.” NFC seems like a good idea in theory, and is popular in some countries, but it hasn’t caught on in the U.S. Apple’s approach is much broader and more versatile, ranging from using Passbook for your Starbucks card to using it to check what coupons are available when you enter a Target store and then presenting them to receive your discount. Seeing the potential, many major vendors have either already added Passbook to their iOS app, or are scrambling to do so. Yet NFC rumors continue to crop up, with some speculation that Apple’s purchase last year of a company called Authentic was a prelude to offering a secure mobile payment system. I like Apple’s approach. I just wish it were available on my iPad mini. � Jim Karpen, Ph.D, is on faculty at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA. He has been writing about the revolutionary consequences of computer technology since 1994. His Ph.D dissertation anticipated the Internet revolution. His site,, contains selected regular columns written for The Iowa Source.


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Finding Your Own Cooking Apps By Steve Boss


very day, millions of aspiring cooks open their refrigerator doors with every intention of whipping up an amazing meal; instead, they freeze at the overwhelming sight of food-stocked shelves and close the door. I call this a symptom of “refrigerator angst,” and unfortunately it doesn’t end there. The next common symptom, which involves the iPhone, consists of looking up the nearest restaurant that offers takeout, usually with the help of an app like Eat24 Order Food Delivery and Takeout (free, or GrubHub (free, app2. me/4306), and hungrily placing a call.


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Luckily, there are thousands of cooking apps that can help ease you into the kitchen, but sometimes it’s hard to find the ones that mesh with your lifestyle. This is where I might be able to help. As a passionate home cook and host of a food and cooking radio show called Great Taste, I have a few recommendations to help you pick your go-to cooking apps. In addition, I have a few friends and family members—whom I’ve vetted as great cooks themselves—that can offer varying perspectives on what works for them. I’ll begin by letting you know that Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything ($9.99,, and Vegetarian How to Cook Everything ($9.99, have become essential resources in my virtual kitchen. Perhaps they’ll become important tools in your kitchen as well.

My Top Picks Gojee – Fashion and Food (Free, Gojee features content from several hundred food and fashion bloggers, and while much of the content focuses on fashion, the food and drink sections are very robust. Many of the food

bloggers are not professional cooks, but they are young professionals who enjoy cooking at home. Michael LaValle, codeveloper of the app, told me he was looking for bloggers "who had cool sites with great photos and content that was a bit different." "Young people use the site because it's fun, and they have a high tolerance for error. I think they respect the effort put out by the amateur-cook bloggers who make up our network," said LaValle. "I believe that 80% of the decision-making involving food is visual and emotional, so those are two key elements built into the app." At the top of the Gojee app interface is a space where you can complete the phrase "I crave…” For example, if you type "I crave chicken," you may see a gorgeous photo of Vietnamese Chicken Pho Ga fill the screen. You can also get detailed information on the ingredients, along with a link to the original post with the recipe.

app that resembled a coffee table book—something different and inspiring. Since they weren't cooks, they had to find someone to put together the recipes. Jimmy's girlfriend was a follower of the Green Kitchen Stories blog, so he contacted the blog’s creators, David and Luise. Though Martjin and Jimmy had thought that David and Luise were from California, they found out that not only were they Swedish, but by coincidence, they, too, were based in Stockholm. That auspicious start led to the creation of an app that boasts simple navigation and a beautiful design. Once you open the app, simply pick a photo, tap, and all the information you need to create the dish is at your fingertips.

Top Picks From Friends & Family Rebecca’s Organized System After choosing my top cooking apps, I polled my family members. My daughter, Rebecca, has developed an organized system that increases fun and efficiency in the kitchen. You can easily adapt this procedure for your own use. "I utilize two apps regularly," she says, "and feel that the result is exposure to a myriad of ideas that have made me a more knowledgeable and better cook."

Green Kitchen ($3.99, The Green Kitchen app was developed by a Stockholm, Sweden-based company called Amazing Applications. It includes the most popular recipes from the vegetarian blog Green Kitchen Stories (, plus recipes developed exclusively for the app. Featuring a variety of healthy main dish, juice, and dessert recipes, Green Kitchen includes step-by-step instructions, estimated cooking times, and shopping lists that can be sent using email or SMS. The creators of the app, Martjin Freij and Jimmy Poopuu, concluded that most cooking apps were like recipe databases, and the quality of the recipes and photos was lacking. Based on their analysis, they decided to build an

My Daughter Rebecca uses Bloglovin’ and Pinterest to follow interesting vegan food bloggers She subscribes to a number of food blogs on Bloglovin’ (free,, like OhSheGlows, Smitten Kitchen, David Lebovitz, and Chocolate and Zucchini. Every time she opens

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the app, it automatically shows her those bloggers who have updated their sites with a new post. When she sees something that resonates with her inner cook, she clicks on it to review the original post. If the dish piques her interest, she pins it to one of her many food boards on Pinterest (free,, an app she uses to organize her recipes, follow people who post creative recipes, and repin the ideas or recipes she likes.

actually makes the dish. In addition, there are 25 videos covering basic kitchen techniques. All in all, the app features over five hours of video.

Rebecca recently changed her diet from vegetarian to mostly vegan. “At the beginning, I really didn't have any idea what to make, because I was a cheeseaholic. But I started searching for vegan food bloggers through Bloglovin’, and began following people who posted interesting vegan recipes on Pinterest. Using these two apps has increased my creativity in the kitchen," she concluded. Alene’s Healthy Food Choices My sister, Alene, is a fitness fanatic who also helps her husband and daughters make healthy food choices. "The nature of our lives results in eating out several times a week," she explained. "Knowing the nutritional value of the items on the menu is important. I can pull out my iPhone and check the calories, number of carbs, amount of sodium, and more. All of these important elements are easily accessible.” For people with serious health issues, these apps are an essential tool to have at their disposal.

My friend Kathy likes the Mario Batali Cooks! app because Batali’s instructional technique is focused and passionate. When we made marinara sauce and meatballs on the air, Kathy went to the app and reviewed two relevant videos. “I used several of his techniques. For example, to prepare one of the meatballs’ ingredients, he soaks bread in milk. Also, he simmers his meatballs in the sauce rather than frying them, just like my Sicilian Grandma Gulla did. That was fun to see."

Averting Refrigerator Angst I hope these apps help to avert any potential bouts of refrigerator angst, and that the ideas inspire you to compile your own cooking-app arsenal. Next time you find yourself reaching for your iPhone to make a hungry call for delivery, open a few apps instead—you’ll uncover a world of cooking delights. �

My sister Alene uses Restaurant Nutrition and Fast Food Calories to help make healthy food choices for her family. Alene uses Restaurant Nutrition (free, and Fast Food Calories (free, to look up nutritional information. Another app to check out in the App Store's Nutrition and Health section is the popular Fooducate (free, Kathy’s Top Pick My co-host on Great Taste, Kathy DuBois, is an extraordinary home cook. She’s a big fan of Mario Batali’s app Mario Batali Cooks! ($4.99, "He cooks using great, simple, fresh ingredients, and his instructional technique is simple, focused, passionate, and fast,” said Kathy. Each of the 63 recipes in the app includes a short instructional video in which Mario


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Steve Boss is the host of solar-powered KRUU’s weekly radio program, Great Taste. You can listen live every Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT at Archives of the program are available at Videos of recent shows are in the Great Taste folder at Follow Steve on Twitter @stevenboss.

Featured iUser: Jennifer Maggiore Age: 35 Location: Scottsdale, AZ One-Line Bio: I'm a consultant, coach, and CEO of, where we help entrepreneurs grow successful companies. I use my iPhone to manage web-based marketing events and to stay in touch with my team regarding client services.

Google Maps: I love that I never have to stop for directions when I'm between appointments.

Dropbox: We use Dropbox to share videos or albums from photo shoots. I also save docs here.

Wells Fargo: I automate business finances as much as possible and look over transactions regularly.

Ustream Broadcaster: We use this app to live-stream client events and interviews for our blog.

Toggl: This is a great app for recording billable time on the go.

Wordpress: I love being able to post a short blog or make simple edits from my phone. Instant gratification!

Skype: I Skype with my friends on the East Coast, and I use it to stay in touch with my kids when I have longer workdays.

Facebook and Twitter: We preschedule posts, but I like being able to spontaneously add posts, photos, or videos throughout the day.

Pandora: I have to have my music! I listen to Pandora on my Mac at the office and connect my iPhone to my car for music on the road.

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Which Cloud Service is Right for You? by Nate Adcock


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ooking for a safe online home for your data? Thanks to an uprising in popularity of cloud storage services, you have a myriad of options. In this review, I cover the best online cloud storage offerings, as well as the best service/app combos. I evaluated each service on its important features, and also factored in server-side aspects, like storage, security, and performance. I mainly focused on the free services, but most of them provide additional storage space with paid subscriptions. Let’s start with the best and work our way down. iCloud ( The native iCloud capability in iOS offers document, note, calendar, contact, photo, and email syncing. If you have an iOS device that’s registered in iTunes, you probably have an iCloud account. Setting it up to sync data is a 30-second affair; editing or syncing documents, however, requires the Pages app ($9.99,

From an interface perspective, this free app is my personal favorite. The sliding windows in the main layout let you easily navigate content. And like with SkyDrive (reviewed below), you can stream media files that you’ve synced to the app. However, with so many sync folder options (Magic Briefcase, Web Archive, etc.), SugarSync might be a little confusing for some users. Also, the in-app text editor is so devoid of features that it’s practically useless. Overall, though, the service is the most flexible in terms of organization and sync options. SkyDrive ( One might assume that Microsoft’s SkyDrive service would be a no-go for any operating system other than Windows, but Microsoft understands how important universal access is to its cloud users. The SkyDrive web interface and the SkyDrive iOS app (free, are both surprisingly well done, and fare well in our comparison. The web interface is simple, and not all that different from the competition. It integrates nicely with every document type and offers easy and intuitive image viewing. The app presents a media view for every media file in a folder, regardless of type, letting you navigate by swiping between images and videos, and also allowing you to redistribute content. You can also upload live shots to SkyDrive via camera app integration. Bonus Points! Using SkyDrive’s web app, I was able to live-edit this article online on my iPad and my computer, as well as create documents from scratch. Existing Microsoft users get 25GB of free file storage (7GB for newbies)—the most offered by any service. I imagine that by the time this is published, Microsoft may have released their iOS Office app, which will likely tie in to SkyDrive.

I use iCloud to sync documents from Pages, take screenshots on my devices, and to collate and organize everything that I need to post later from my computer. It works well, but is not without issues. The web version of iCloud doesn't give you access to documents or photos, and the photo sync seems to go wonky at times. Apart from a few flaws, this built-in iOS service fulfills Apple fans’ basic cloud storage needs pretty well, making it a hard option to beat. SugarSync ( SugarSync is a full-featured cloud backup and file-syncing service that you can also use to create and edit text files, play music from your synced collection, and transfer photos via your iOS device. A basic, free account will get you 5GB of space. You can sync from just about anywhere using the SugarSync app (free,

Evernote ( I love Evernote (free, because it does a lot, but I hate that it locks up my iPad or computer by doing so much at once. I use Evernote for all kinds of stuff, like clipping web articles (my favorite research tool) and saving full-length documents with embedded pictures. As good as it is, though, Evernote could benefit from some of the speed and reliability that SkyDrive and iCloud offer. Google Drive ( Google Documents recently became Google Drive. With the Google Drive app (free,, you can sync files, mark them for offline viewing, and even add live snapshots from your iDevice’s camera, but the app does not feel as well developed as the other apps in this review. While editing is a unique feature of Google Drive, its conversion problems and lack of support for certain files


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make it only an average contender in my book. I do like the more secure two-factor authentication Google has added, as well as the built-in search feature; however, I didn’t like that my files were not always accessible across my devices and apps, or that my media files weren’t accessible at all.

Dropbox ( Want to save files on a server and be able to access them on your iDevice? You can do that quickly and easily with Dropbox’s basic service and the Dropbox app (free, Run the service on your PC (or simply use the browser-based web app), upload and sync files to the service, and voilà! Your files are available for viewing or sharing with others on an iPhone or iPad. You need to sign up for an account, and the free option gives you 2GB of space (you’ll get more if you get friends to sign up). You can also set up your iDevice to auto-push images and videos to the Dropbox cloud. This free service/app combo is fine for basic file syncing, and even managing content on your device, but it doesn’t have any editing capabilities.

Cloud Apps and Other Services CloudOn (iPad only: Free, CloudOn is the missing link for many of the apps in this review in that it offers document editing. CloudOn’s editing environment includes full versions of Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel (with a few limitations). But that kind of virtual sophistication comes at a price—in this case, the sacrifice is mainly in performance. The app can be pokey at times, and not every function translates well to iPad. CloudOn has the ability to seamlessly connect to your services and currently supports Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box ( You can view, edit, and rename files, plus cre-


i P h o n e L i f e March-April 2013

ate folders, and your changes are saved as you make them. You do need a network connection to use this app service. OfficeDrop (Free, Another free, easy-to-use cloud service/ app combo is OfficeDrop, a feature-filled alternative to some of the big boys listed above. Its coolest aspect is its ability to scan documents (with your iPhone or iPad camera) and then search them using voice recognition. A free account gets you 2GB of searchable storage. Quickoffice® Pro ($4.99,; iPad version: $9.99, Arguably one of the best mobile editing packages on the market, Quickoffice Pro lets you edit your docs online or off, and it works seamlessly with services like Google Drive and Dropbox. I would be remiss to not mention this app, as its editing functions are highly useful, and it’s available for many types of devices.

Business Services For a large data-sharing group or business collaboration, you should probably use more robust, paid services. If a higher level of security is required, you may need to consider a plan specifically designed for your business or install a network-attached storage device that includes encryption, such as my-Ditto (from $109.99,

What Will Be Your Next Cloud? Picking a cloud service is kind of like finding the right golf club to fit your game. If you hit farther and straighter with a 2-wood than with a driver, you need a 2-wood in your bag. I like to keep my options open, so I am going to pack as many cloud “clubs” as I can carry, but for important tasks, I favor iCloud, Google Drive, and Evernote—though that might change, now that I know I can easily edit files on SkyDrive’s web app. I suggest trying several of the free ones to help you narrow down the choices. Whichever you choose, the important thing is that you always back up your data somewhere. That’s a lesson you do not want to learn the hard way! � Nate Adcock is a system and integration engineer with experience managing and administering a variety of computing environments. He is also a former military weather forecaster. Nate has worked extensively with mobile gadgets for many years. Nate helps to manage, and is also a regular contributor to our blogs. You can contact Nate at

Ready for the Open Road: Apps and Gear for the iRider by Todd Bernhard


an avid user of all things iOS, I like to stay connected even when I'm cruising the open road on my motorcycle. Thankfully, there are accessories made specially for the tech-savvy biker. Some enhance your rides with music or video, while others help you keep your mobile device within arm’s reach. Here are a few of my favorites.

Gloves Gloves are a motorcycling necessity for two reasons. First, your hands get chilly at higher speeds, especially in colder weather. Second, and more importantly, in the event of a crash or even a simple fall, your instinct is to protect yourself with your hands, so they often suffer the brunt of the impact. Specialized motorcycle gloves are usually pre-curved for comfort, since your fingers spend most of their time gripping the handlebars. Quality motorcycling gloves will also have hardened knuckle protectors.

The challenge for today’s iRider is that most gloves don’t work on touch screens. I was only able to find one pair of touch-screen-compatible motorcycle gloves: the Icon Justice Touchscreen Gloves ($110, These rugged gloves with nanotech leather on the palms and fingers provide not only touchscreen compatibility, but also the protection motorcyclists need and have come to expect.

Helmet Accessories Wearing a helmet is another motorcycling must, even if it's just a half helmet. Different cities have different helmet requirements, so I recommend using an app like Helmet Laws (free, to check local laws. The iPhone Lif e Ma rc h-April 2 0 1 3


app will let you know if you need to wear a helmet, and if helmet speakers are allowed. For example, in New York, it is illegal to ride with two earbuds in your ears because you won’t be able to hear the traffic around you.

screen through their integrated screen protector. iBike also offers an array of companion apps to help you achieve your fitness goals.

If you want to use a Bluetooth headset while cruising, you should check out FreeWheelin ($149.95,, an advanced audio system designed specifically for helmets. This is a great Bluetooth accessory designed primarily for bicycle helmets, but it will also work with motorcycle half helmets. It’s also an affordable alternative to specialized Bluetooth helmets that can cost $300 or more. The FreeWheelin speakers mount on both sides of your helmet, so the sound is audible in both ears. The answer, mute, and volume buttons are easily accessible above your ears. Using the buttons, you might not need to touch your iPhone at all to control music and phone calls. The battery module is mounted on the rear of the helmet. The FreeWheelin works perfectly for bike rides, but when you’re motorcycling at highway speeds, it may be difficult to hear. If you get a phone call, the safest option may be to pull over to answer—but at least you won't have to remove your helmet or gloves to do so.

iPhone Case Mounts Sure, you can answer calls directly from your Bluetooth headset, but what if you want to listen to music, access navigation apps, or use the camera to record your adventures? There are iPhone case mounts designed to secure your phone in an accessible spot, even while you ride.

iBike offers cases (starting at $59.95, that mount your iPhone to your handlebars in portrait mode and provide weatherproof protection. You can access your touch


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The folks behind the FreeWheelin headset also make a case that mounts to your gas tank using strong magnets. Called the E-PAK ($29.95,, the magnetic pouch is specifically designed for motorcycles. You can put a GPS unit, iPhone, or any other kind of personal electronics device in the weatherproof case, and operate its touch screen through the pouch’s large plastic window.

Recording Your Ride If you want to record your ride, you can use a helmet-mounted case such as the Optrix XD Sports Case ($99.99, and the DashCam™ app ($1.99, DashCam records your GPS location, speed, and lap times directly on the video. I also used the Optrix VideoSport app (free, app2. me/5346) on a recent outing, and it was a lot of fun. About fifty riders and I went on the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride (, all decked out in suits. You can view the epic video of my ride at

Other Remarkable Accessories

One downside to helmet-mounted cameras is that you can never be certain of what’s in the shot. Liquid Image offers a great accessory that lets you kill two birds with one stone—eye protection plus video recording! With the Apex HD+ ($399.99,, you get a quality set of goggles—a must for riding with a half helmet—and an integrated HD video camera, ensuring that you’ll always see what you’re recording. The water-resistant, Wi-Fi-enabled Apex HD+ features a 135-degree wide-angle camera lens and wind-guard audio technology, and it comes with an 8GB microSD card. You can even live-stream your recordings with the Action Connect app (free,

Instead of mounting the iPhone to your bike, you could try mounting it to your body. The XtremeMac Sportwrap™-Gray ($27.95,, made with soft, durable lycra and neoprene, keeps your iPhone 5 safely strapped around your arm (a separate Sportwrap™ model for the iPhone 3GS, 4, and 4S sells for $29.99). This is an affordable and useful accessory that can also come in handy during jogs or other workouts.

Listening to Music To cap it all off, you’ll want an app that lets you access music easily, even when you’re wearing those touch-screen gloves. The appropriately named Fat Buttons app ($1.99, fatbuttons. com), also from the makers of FreeWheelin and Saddlemen, fits the bill. It works in portrait or landscape mode, and lets you play, pause, skip, and rewind individual songs or playlists. The app is designed to work with otherwise unwieldy gloves, making it a great accessory for motorcyclists or for just about anyone who drives in the winter.

You could also consider a jacket like the Alphyn SOMA-1 Wearcom™ Pullover ($199,, which features a built-in, see-through pocket on the forearm. Despite its thin appearance, the fleece-lined jacket is really warm, making it a great choice for the tech-savvy rider.

Keep on Riding!

If you still have room on your handlebars, the audio company NYNE makes handlebar-mounted speakers that connect to your iPhone via Bluetooth or via the standard audio jack. With its sleek profile and easily accessible buttons, the NYNE NB-200 ($129.95, is a great way to listen to music and share your tunes with the riders in your pack. It also doubles as a speakerphone, thanks to the built-in microphone with advanced noise cancellation.

As you can see, there are many accessories and apps that let you take advantage of your tech devices even while on the road. Of course, safety comes first, so pay attention to the road and your surroundings while you’re enjoying all the benefits of biking with your iPhone. � Todd Bernhard is the founder of No Tie, LLC, developer of bestselling apps Auto Verbal Pro Talking Soundboard and Ringtones#, a text-to-speech ringtone creator. Mr. Bernhard has written for a number of our publications and has owned a variety of mobile devices. Today, an iPhone is almost always attached to his hip. Check out all of Todd’s apps at

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ou know the drill: you’re busier than ever, whizzing from meeting to after-work meetup, rarely getting a chance to stop at home until late at night. At the same time, technology is rapidly advancing, and intuitive home gadgets are being released faster than you can say “robot coffeemaker.” These two factors combined create a market ripe with opportunity for home automation.

Lighting, Heating, & Appliances

If you want a “smart” home, there are apps and accessories available that control just about any home appliance, large or small. It begs the question, though: Just because you can control every inch of your home with a mere swipe of your finger, does that mean you should? Of course we don’t want to get so far removed from manually performing daily tasks that we become totally dependent on our devices, but some of these gadgets are so convenient (and gorgeous!) that we couldn’t resist bringing them to your attention. Plus, we just like to geek out on cool technology! Here’s a look at some of the leading app-controlled home accessories on the market, from the simple (read: totally justifiable) to the wildly indulgent.


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Philips Hue ($199.95 for starter kit, $59.95 for single bulb, Hue brings mood lighting to a whole new level. This innovative lighting system by Philips features LED technol-

Tapping into the Future App-Controlled Home Accessories by nina benjamin

© Thomas_EyeDesign

Not only does the app allow you to create mesmerizing color schemes in your home, it also lets you control your lights from afar—perfect for when you arrive home late and don’t want to be greeted by darkness. You can also set your lights to gradually brighten or dim, so waking up or drifting off to sleep feels natural and pleasant, rather than jarring.

Nest Learning Thermostat ($249, This sleek, smart blend of form and function is the brainchild of Tony Fadell, once the Senior Vice President of Apple’s iPod Division. The Nest Learning Thermostat, now in its new-and-improved 2nd generation, can save you up to 20 percent on heating and cooling bills, thanks to its intelligent features.

ogy that allows you to customize the color of each wireless bulb. Whether you choose one of the four pre-set shades of white, a splashy tangerine, a Caribbean blue, or any other color you can imagine—and find a photo of—the bulb will instantly reflect the color you choose. The starter pack comes with 3 LED bulbs and a bridge that connects to your wireless router and acts as the brains of the operation, linking the bulbs to the Philips Hue app (free,

After you tell Nest a little bit about your home, it optimizes itself for your system and starts to learn from your temperature changes. It can automatically personalize your schedule in order to maximize your savings. When you connect Nest to Wi-Fi, you can access it from your iPhone, iPad, or laptop, so you can see your energy history and control your home’s temperature from

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anywhere via your Nest Account or the Nest Mobile app (free,

odds & ends

Belkin WeMo (From $49.99, Put an end to worrying about whether you remembered to turn off the lights or coffeemaker— Belkin’s WeMo system lets you control your home appliances from afar with the WeMo app (free, Any device plugged into an outlet equipped with a Wi-Fi-enabled WeMo Switch ($49.99 each, can be remotely controlled by the app, allowing you to turn your electronics on or off whether you’re lounging in bed or sunbathing at a spa 2,000 miles from home. You can also set schedules for your devices. Bump up the space-age-cool factor a notch with the WeMo Switch + Motion Kit ($99.99,, which pairs a Switch with a motion sensor that plugs into an outlet and can detect movement up to 10 feet away. Imagine a light turning on when you walk into a room or a fan turning off as you exit—WeMo makes that fantasy a reality!

TopBrewer (Official pricing not yet released, Take your idea of what a coffeemaker should be and bump it up about a hundred notches. Innovative and elegant, the TopBrewer aims to revolutionize the process of making coffee with its TopBrewer app (free, and sleek, stainless steel tap that can be built into any tabletop. This virtual barista of sorts connects to your iDevice via Bluetooth, letting you brew coffee, lattes, and more with a couple taps. The app even lets you adjust the amount of milk foam, strength of coffee, and size of drink.

Whole-Home Automation Crestron Electronics (System prices vary, has taken home-automation technology to another level. From basic setups to the most posh configurations imaginable, Crestron’s systems can tackle it all— home lighting, temperature, AV systems, home theaters, shades, security systems, and more. And with the Crestron Mobile apps, users can remotely control their Wi-Fi-enabled systems from anywhere in the world.


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For iPad: Crestron Mobile Pro G ($99.99,; free version: Crestron Mobile G (free, For iPhone/iPod touch: Crestron Mobile Pro ($99.99,; free version: Crestron Mobile (free, app2. me/5332) Control4 (System prices vary, also offers whole-home systems that you can easily control with the swipe of a finger. The Control4 MyHome app (iPad version: free,; iPhone/iPod touch version: free, lets you adjust the thermostat, control your home theater, create music playlists, view webcams, and much more.

That means you can have a steaming macchiato waiting for you just moments after you wake up, all without having to lift a finger (ok, well, you do have to move one finger—but that’s it).

There are two downsides to this otherwise fabulous invention: 1) the TopBrewer is in the process of getting certified for sales in the U.S., so it may be a while before you can get your hands on one, and 2) with no mention of price anywhere on Scanomat’s website, you can imagine that the TopBrewer will cost a pretty penny. Cyber-Rain Sprinkler Control System (from $499, Touted as “the irrigation controller with a brain,” Cyber-Rain is an automated sprinkler control system that checks the weather via an Internet connection and adjusts its watering schedule accordingly, eliminating the waste of water. In fact, Cyber-Rain users average a 35 percent reduction in water use! Cyber-Rain also notifies users of any issues, such as a broken sprinkler head or leak, via its handy Cyber–Rain Cloud app (free, or PC software. You can also use the app to upload photos of your irrigation zones, set customized schedules, and track your savings.

iBaby Monitor ($199.95, The closest thing to being at home with your baby is using the iBaby Monitor and iBaby Monitor BM app (free, app2. me/5335), which allow you to see and hear your child, whether you’re running errands, working at the office, traveling, or just in a different area of the house. You can adjust the monitor’s camera with a simple swipe on your device, and you can even check in on your little one at night without waking him or her up, thanks to infrared night vision. For two-way communication, plug external speakers into a rear port—that way, you can sing lullabies and read bedtime stories from afar. Lastly, the app will alert you when your baby moves or starts crying. Up to 4 users can share access to a single monitor. � Nina Benjamin is the Associate Editor of iPhone Life magazine. She holds a B.A. in Literature and Writing and has written and edited articles for several regional magazines, newspapers, and blogs. Once a professional ballet dancer, Nina now enjoys teaching ballet and singing.

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Furniture for iLiving ......................................... iPad-Optimized Decor Gives Your Home the Ultimate Upgrade By Mike Riley and Alex Cequea


hances are, the furniture in your home was designed in a pre-iPad world. So while it may be stylish and mostly functional, it’s probably not optimized to take full advantage of the iPad. Envision where you tend to use your iPad at home. Do you sit at your desk? Lie in bed? Rest on the couch? Relax in your favorite chair? This article takes a look at some beautiful furniture pieces designed specifically with iPad use in mind. Feast your eyes on this unique decor!

Spell Nomad Tablet Table ($385, This versatile accent table is especially designed to hold your iPad (or other tablet), whether you’re working or relaxing. The Nomad Tablet Table features a steel-based pedestal with an embedded oak or walnut slot to prop up your iPad for stable interaction. Your iPad’s charging cable can snake inside the center post via the open notch at the base; this helps maintain the table’s sleek look while still giving you the ability to power your iPad. The table is available in round and square formats and comes in several colors.


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Sonic Chair ($14,000+, The idea of crawling into a massive speaker may not seem like much fun, but when you take one look at the beautiful and striking Sonic Chair, you won’t be able to resist the urge. The German-made Sonic Chair invites you to “sit inside the sound,” and features sound membranes that work as a backrest, augmenting the lower sound frequencies and making you feel like you’re in the middle of a live performance.

constructed with aluminum and zamak. The lamp also features Soft Touch technology that lets you turn the light on and off at two intensity intervals by touching any part of the lamp with your hand. The D’E-Light is a beautifully designed table lamp that will make your desk or workstation look elegant and sleek.

Furinno Hidup Adjustable Portable Bed Tray ($54.99, If you like reading on your iPad in bed, and you need a little room for papers or accessories, the Hidup Bed Tray may be just what you’re looking for. It has built-in fans, powered by a USB port, that keep your iPad or laptop from overheating (Furinno currently offers models with or without cooling fans). The tray has a sturdy base and works especially well with an iPad/keyboardcase combo. You can also collapse the tray’s legs for portability and space-saving storage. Furinno is working on an updated version of their bed tray that specifically targets the iPad’s size; it should be available sometime in spring.

This background-noise-free chamber isn’t cheap, however. And while the Sonic Chair is a luxurious addition to any living room set, we can also easily see it in music stores, museums, and just about anywhere people lounge and listen to music. In addition to being iPad-compatible, the Sonic Chair has models that accommodate the iPod touch, iMac, or any laptop. Models come in 39 different colors, and the iPad, iPod touch, and iMac models come with the device pre-installed. I guess if you’re thinking of getting a new iDevice, why not fork out an additional $14,000 and get yourself a Sonic Chair attached to it? One can only dream. D’E-light ($199, The 2.2-pound D’E-Light LED desk lamp features a 16-pin connector dock for charging your iPhone and iPad. If you have an iPhone 5, iPad mini, or 4th-generation iPad, you’ll need a 16-pin to Lightning connector adapter to use it. The D’E-Light comes either chrome-plated or in a matte black finish, and it is

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iRock iPad Rocking Chair ($1,300, Take an old-fashioned rocking chair, affix a pole-based iPad stand, and attach a dynamo generator at the chair’s fulcrum, and you’ve turned yourself into a power-generating iPad user. Every time you rock back and forth in the iRock iPad Rocking Chair, you create electricity that charges your iPad’s battery. Add stereo speakers to the headrest, and you have your very own personal entertainment station that recharges itself with your every move.

The spiderArm worked perfectly in two scenarios—falling asleep while watching videos in bed, and working on electronics projects at my work desk. The spiderArm kept the iPad safely off the desk, away from solder flecks and electrified wires, yet I could still easily reach it to flip through websites to look at schematics and watch videos of the projects I was building. The only detraction was that the spiderArm took a few seconds to stop shaking after I touched my iPad, so sometimes I had to hold the iPad steady with one hand while I touched the screen with the other.

Coming Home

Now that the iPad is becoming a part of mainstream life, more and more furniture manufacturers are realizing the potential design opportunities of trying to accommodate both man and machine. Several years after the personal computer became a standard of life, furniture manufacturers adjusted their products to fit a PC-based world. I believe that we will see a similar shift towards the new mobile lifestyle, and we’ll see more products like the ones featured here coming to a home near you. � Mike Riley, a professional software developer and emerging information technologist, is the author of Programming Your Home, published by Pragmatic Bookshelf. Mike is also a contributing editor and author of hundreds of technical articles and reviews for a number of popular technology publications. For more information, contact Mike via email at and follow him on Twitter @mriley.

While this old-meets-new piece of furniture has yet to be made commercially available, the iRock exemplifies the kind of innovation in furniture design that mobile technology is driving. For those looking for the ultimate rocking iPad experience, and are willing to spare no expense, the iRock offers a relaxing way for you to enjoy your iPad while keeping the planet a little greener.


spiderArmTM ($49.99, The spiderArm attaches to pretty much anything—headboards, tables, cabinets, bookshelves, even computer monitors! It features 270-degree joints with full 360-degree swing ability, so you’ll never have to worry about holding the iPad at the ideal height and angle.

iPhone 5 iPhone 4 Galaxy SIII iPad iPad Mini

Choose Your Function:

Text ROKVIP to 78453 for a chance to win the case of your choice*

*Drawings on 3/31/12 & 4/30/12. Standard data rates may apply. Terms & Conditions at


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Solutions for Remote Home Security

your network router) via the HomePlug powerline standard that communicates over home wiring instead of a standard Wi-Fi signal. This allows for camera placement practically anywhere in the house, even in spots where Wi-Fi signals are non-existent.

by Mike Riley Camera data feeds into Logitech’s Alert Commander software, which lets you configure email alerts, update camera firmware, set motion-detection zones and camera zoom, and adjust image parameters. Fortunately, once the cameras and email alerts are configured using a PC with Windows XP or higher (unfortunately, there’s no Mac version), you no longer need to have the Windows computer running for the Logitech Alert capture and notification service to do its duty. The Alert System works with the Logitech Alert app (free, Logitech offers a Web and Mobile Commander subscription service for $79.95 a year that extends the ability to review video directly on the iPhone or iPad, and also set email notifications and alerts using your iOS device, removing any further need to use Alert Commander on a Windows PC. Swann TruBlue 4 Channel D1 Professional Security System ($549.99, ©


ome security has come a long way from simple motion detectors and alarms. Companies have created new security products to cater to mobile platforms like iOS. This article takes a look at two companies addressing do-it-yourself home security with mobile in mind.

Logitech Alert 750n Indoor Master System with Night Vision ($299.99, Logitech Alert is a complete video security system that features a smart camera with a 130-degree, wide-angle lens and infrared night vision capability. Its image quality, while not high definition, is still crisp and clear. The camera communicates with the Logitech Alert software’s base receiver (which plugs into


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If you’re not interested in dedicating a Windows PC to act as a Digital Video Recording (DVR) security system, or you prefer your captured camera imagery to be as clear and high resolution as possible without spending a fortune, the Swann TruBlue may be the best choice for you. The TruBlue contains a 500GB hard

drive that can record up to 30 days of activity. Recorded data can be shared or copied onto additional external drives. The TruBlue package also includes 4 high-resolution 600TVL night-vision-capable color cameras that can capture video at 30 frames per second and 1920 x 1080 resolution inside or outside. The DVR can be configured from a Mac or PC and can either record continuously or when triggered by motion. The TruBlue DVR also allows you to designate your own email server for motion-alert notifications and to view the videos over the Internet, although setting up the latter requires more networking configuration than other consumer-oriented security products. The TruBlue offers a video-stream viewer app called SwannView (free, Unfortunately, you can’t change the DVR settings from within the app; you can only do so from a computer.

the verdict

pared to Swann’s more traditional wired camera configuration. The TruBlue is for those who prefer sharp-looking HD quality video, don’t want to worry about dedicating a Windows PC to host the DVR system, and aren’t afraid of running cables between the cameras and the DVR. Ultimately, I found that the Logitech Alert platform better suited my home environment. I had an old PC available to run the software, and I had the system fully deployed and operational within 20 minutes of opening the box. While it would have been a bonus to have the image quality of the TruBlue cameras, what tipped me in favor of Logitech’s Alert was being able to change its settings from my iPad. All in all, both products are excellent for your own home security monitoring needs. � Mike Riley, a professional software developer and emerging information technologist, is the author of Programming Your Home, published by Pragmatic Bookshelf. Mike is also a contributing editor and author of hundreds of technical articles and reviews for a number of popular technology publications. For more information, contact Mike via email at and follow him on Twitter @mriley.

What sets these two choices apart is Swann’s dedicated DVR hardware versus Logitech’s reliance on a Windows PC. However, Logitech offers a more flexible wireless camera solution, com-

CONTAQS World’s 1st all-in-one contact app lovely interface, ease of use organize via drag and drop manage groups, mass mails/messages geolocate your contacts add contacts to your home screen integrated birthday calendar and reminder iPhone Lif e Ma rc h-April 2 0 1 3


6 W

ith every new Apple device—in this case, the bigger-than-an-iPhone and smallerthan-a-breadbox iPad mini—comes a new slew of cases to ogle. Whether you’re looking for something slick, something with bells and whistles, or just something a little bit different, this roundup’s got you covered.

Splendid Cases for the iPad mini by Rebecca Santiago swaddled from scratches. While the iPad VersaCovers came in muted neutrals, iPad mini users have a little more variety. The pale Aloe Green is particularly lovely.

Moshi iPad mini iGlaze with VersaCover ($55, If you’ve ever found yourself staring discontentedly at your iPad mini case, wishing it could just be more like origami, this case will solve your woes. The Moshi VersaCover, which has already earned accolades as a slam-dunk fantastic iPad 2, 3, and 4 case, is a magnetic flip cover that’s all kinds of flexible. Doubling as a stand with a number of potential setups, the VersaCover ensures that your propped-up iPad mini need not resemble Eeyore’s mopey stick-tent. Seriously, dig up your high school geometry proofs and go to town—pyramids and gemlike structures are not out of the question. And between the iGlaze backing and the front cover’s microfiber lining, your mini is safely


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Brando iPad mini Bluetooth Keyboard Case ($33, I’m on the hunt for a job right now, and if I’ve learned anything from the process, it’s this: everyone loves a good multitasker. Enter this Brando case. It’s slim, lightweight, and packs a lot of junk in the trunk. By “junk,” I mean a Bluetooth keyboard and a rechargeable lithium battery that lasts 55 hours, which is a godsend if you’re a battery-wasting fool like I am. And by “the trunk,” I mean sleek plastic casing with an anodized finish that makes the cover feel like an evolved extension of the

actual device. Also, though it’s not exactly the case’s standout feature, its built-in stand is unexpectedly sturdy, so you can bid farewell to the slipping and sliding you might encounter with some cloth or leather cases. Case-Mate Passport Folio for iPad mini ($45, As we say in the fashion world, it’s leather weather. I mean, it’s been leather weather since approximately late August, for trend slaves like myself. Which is to say that I’ve splurged on a few too many real leather accoutrements and am now really, really into fake leather, because, honey, money doesn’t grow on trees. And, as usual, Case-Mate is right on point with a pebble-textured, leather-esque case that conveys elegance without breaking the bank. The Passport Folio is pretty simple in design, featuring a microfiber lining and three panels that fold easily into a stand. As with most Case-Mate cases, its allure lies in its slim, sophisticated aesthetic. The Black/Gray and Olympian Blue/Navy cases are unfailingly professional, though the more daring might venture to try the Candy Pink/Jelly Bean number on for size.

Okay, you can tell the hard graft Heritage Tab Case hails from London. Look at it. You can practically hear its British accent. This is the iPad mini case I imagine uniform-wearing Oxford students toting as they float through impossibly idyllic academic quads. This subtly designed smoke-and-tan-colored sleeve conveys intelligence, style, and class. Thanks to its flexibility and an artfully crafted leather strap, it doubles as a stand. Vegetable-tanned Italian leather and 100 percent wool felt make for an unbeatable look and feel, and high-quality materials promise to break in gracefully. For such a runway look, it’s also fairly protective: the wool is water repellant and shock absorbing. Granted, it’s on the pricey side for an accessory, but if any case could instantly command the respect and admiration of others, it would be this one—and you can’t put a price on that.

hard graft Heritage Tab iPad mini Case ($105,

Gumdrop Drop Tech Designer Series for iPad mini ($59.95, True to the brand’s name, these candy-colored cases are pretty sweet. The Drop Tech case is a little more playful than its more streamlined kin on this list, and, consequently, just a bit less office-friendly. But if you’re cursed with fingers of butter, this is a cheerful, safe, and not-too-clunky pick. True, the color combos are vivid, but they’re more mood-brightening pops of color than the DayGlo stuff of Lisa Frank folders. The grooved, shockabsorbent surface is a nice touch, and rubber bumpers turn potentially iPad-smashing falls into moon-bouncy rebounds. The case also features screen and port covers, the latter of which really are a nice perk for those of us who feel goofy putting our gear in sandwich bags at the beach.

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DODOcase Bookback for iPad mini ($19.95,

There’s a welcome element of nostalgia in all of DODOcase’s covers, which use Moroccan book fabric to add an old-school look to the vaguely alien technology we unquestioningly engage with all day. This adhesive cover clings to your mini like a sexy wet T-shirt, if sexy wet T-shirts were to mimic leather grain in feel. It offers little in the way of shock protection, so chucking your new toy at the wall when you lose a game of Words


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With Friends is out of the question. (Sidenote: does anyone play Words With Friends anymore?) While I generally find obvious logos to be a bit tacky, the hot foil stamp of DODOcase’s logo is actually working for me—it’s an elegant way to reference an equally elegant brand. �

Rebecca Santiago is a senior at Tufts University majoring in English and minoring in Mass Communications and Media Studies. She is the editor-in-chief emeritus of The Tufts Daily and has interned at Glamour, Marie Claire, Boston, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @rebsanti.

No Sound Left Behind A Closer Look at Rugged Bluetooth Speakers


by siva om ©

he market for rugged Bluetooth speakers is still relatively new, but it’s growing quickly. There’s no shortage of Bluetooth speakers out there, but when it comes to finding portable and durable ones, the field narrows down to a select few. Here’s a roundup of the best adventure-ready, portable Bluetooth speakers available.


($129.99, The waterproof ECOXBT Bluetooth speaker is part of a larger line of welltested rugged gear from Grace Digital. This is my number-one pick for all-around, most rugged Bluetooth speaker. The structure of the speaker itself is a feat of amazing craftsmanship. You’ll sacrifice slightly in sound quality (most noticeably with the deeper bass tones), but it’s an acceptable trade-off for a speaker that can float—even be submerged in water—and continue to operate perfectly.

With big grip handles, a built-in speakerphone, a 10-hour rechargeable battery, and easy-to-access control buttons, the XBT is the most versatile and battle-ready Bluetooth speaker I found.

Philips Shoqbox SB7200

($179.95, The Philips Shoqbox is a rugged Bluetooth speaker that can withstand drops, shocks, and splashes, making it the ideal companion on all your outdoor adventures. Its sleek, stylish design also makes it perfect around the house or at the office. Its miniature size makes it a breeze to carry, and its impressive speakers, designed to improve the lower frequency bass response, deliver stunning audio quality with a booming eight watts of power. Its built-in, rechargeable battery lasts for about eight hours.

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The Shoqbox is equipped with a motion sensor for easy gesture control. You can swipe your palm over the sensor to skip tracks, or hold your hand over the sensor to pause or play audio. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a Jedi master, this is your chance! I couldn't have been more impressed with the sound, construction, and overall performance of this diminutive powerhouse.

Braven 625s

($179.99, The Braven 625s, with its massive bass and three watts of power, produces some of the best sound of any rugged portable Bluetooth speaker. For such a small unit, its full-spectrum audio experience is astonishing. The bass rumbles, the mid-tones are silky smooth, and the highs are crystal-sharp and piercing.

The 625s touts the longest rechargeable battery life (about 16 hours) of any speaker in this review. Additionally, the Braven can “daisy chain,” meaning you can link up to six speakers via 3.5mm headphone cables, providing a thunderous surroundsound experience. The Braven also allows you to charge your iDevice from its internal battery via a USB port.


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While the Braven isn’t waterproof, or even water resistant, it does have a shock-absorbing, dense silicone skin and sturdy aluminum speaker grills. It also includes a built-in mic for speakerphone functionality, a USB-powered LED flashlight, and a water-resistant dry bag.

Boombot 2

($69.99-$79.99, At first glance, it’s hard to tell what the Boombot is. Resembling something from Alice in Wonderland, this otherworldly speaker features wild artwork styles, a creepy-cute skull shape, and expansive and boisterous sound quality. It’s one of the most rugged, water-resistant, ultra-portable Bluetooth speakers I’ve come across.

tooth speakers because it is built to be tough, and has a high waterproof and dustproof rating.

The Turtle Shell is small and compact, so you can easily hold in one hand or carry it in your pocket, purse, or backpack. It even has a mounting point, so you can securely attach it to anything with a handlebar, like a mountain bike or a stroller.

The Boombot puts a modern twist on the typical speaker design. It does away with the hard edges and bland design of average speakers, making it perfect for the young or young at heart. The only drawback is that it doesn’t have a built-in microphone, which means you can’t use it as a speakerphone. If that’s not an issue for you, then I recommend it as a top choice for anyone 18 and under.

The Turtle Shell has a charging port and 3.5 mm audio jack hidden behind a snugly sealed rubber flap, and the built-in microphone doubles as a speakerphone. The Turtle Shell was the most portable out of all the rugged Bluetooth speakers featured here. � My passion for the arts has pushed me to excel at many creative endeavors, including web design, award-winning tattooing (, and journalism. Between writing for iPhone Life, creating websites (, gardening, illustrating, and enjoying the wonders of nature with family, I manage to keep myself quite busy. You can reach me at

Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell

($149.99, The ultra-portable and durable Turtle Shell features crisp, clear audio that’s very loud for its size. It’s one of my favorite Blue-

iPhone Lif e Ma rc h-April 2 0 1 3


Scottevest Transformer Jacket: An Innovative Garment for Gadget Geeks by Dan Rasmus


cottevest has been around for nearly 13 years. I have watched the company evolve since the beginning, when they were just producing a not-so-fashionable windbreaker made up of a bunch of pockets and Velcro. While some of the changes over the last decade have come from new fashion trends, most of them have come from changes in technology—both the devices people carry, and the materials available to clothing manufacturers.

Fashion The Scottevest Transformer Jacket ($160, scottevest. com) is a nice-looking men’s jacket with 20 pockets for your tech goodies. It has trim lines, ergonomic zipper pulls, and a Teflon-treated exterior. Magnets along the shoulder seams let you detach the sleeves in only a few seconds, turning the jacket into a vest; a good tug on the sleeves or the upper back panel makes them come right off. Transforming previous Scottevest incarnations from jacket to vest and back again wasn’t something you could do on the fly. In earlier versions, you had to remove the garment in order to reattach the sleeves. Now, the magnets on various attachment points snap back into place easily.

Tech Three major advancements have hit the tech market since the inception of the original Scottevest: wireless, touch screens, and tablets. Wireless has affected the design by eliminating most of the patented system of tunnels and Velcro previously used to route wires through the jacket. The previous TEC (Technology-Enabled Clothing) features have been augmented to include mesh pockets that let you control your touch-screen devices without removing them from the jacket. You have to give props to the Scottevest team for thinking of everything (and listening to their customers). A key fob is 80

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nice; an eyeglass chamois on an elastic cord is genius. There is even a slot for an SD card. Most of the pockets are labeled with individual icons so you know what’s intended to go where, but they’re merely guidelines. The team at Scottevest didn’t forget tablet owners—a very large pocket on the left side of the jacket comfortably holds an iPad.

Innovative Outerwear At $160, the Transformer Jacket isn’t a casual investment. For the traveler, it should be in the luggage budget, not the clothing budget. I wear mine everywhere. At the airport, it saves me time going through security, since I don’t have to remove items from my pockets, place everything in the tray, and put everything back after going through the scanner. I can just remove my Scottevest and put it back on after going through. Think about it: no sore shoulders, no bag constantly slipping as you walk, and no backpack to remove to get to your stuff. It’s all right there, where you need it. And if you don’t like the Transformer Jacket, take a look at the other options on the Scottevest website. They have everything from trench coats to expedition jackets. This is a well-made, innovative jacket that no geek should go without. � Daniel W. Rasmus, author of Listening to the Future and Management by Design, is a strategist and industry analyst who helps clients put their future in context. Rasmus was the Director of Business Insights at Microsoft Corporation, and today is a consultant and internationally recognized speaker. He blogs for Fast Company and iphonelife. com. You can reach him at


Mobile in the Military

How iDevices are Changing Washington and the Pentagon


pple’s iPhone and iPad are turning up all over the Washington Beltway, from the corridors of power on Capitol Hill and the White House to the military strongholds of the Pentagon—namely, the Army and Air Force. Indeed, the iPhone and iPad have made arguably as big an impact across the public sector of the U.S. Federal Government as they have across the general populace. This is not surprising, as the government represents a microcosm of society with multiple agencies, representing everything from agriculture to

by Randy Siegel health care, and from economic policy to national defense. The introduction of the iPhone in June of 2007 (coupled with Google’s Android Open Handset Alliance) helped to create a phenomenon called the “consumerization of information technology (IT)” or “technology populism.” This is an everincreasing trend in which people bring their powerful consumer devices into the workplace, and thus merge their “real life” with their work life. People are becoming accustomed to having more computational power in

their hands in a variety of form factors, which they depend on for both personal and business tasks. The separation between work and personal IT tools has been blurred; people find their iPhones and iPads so indispensable that they are bringing them into work and demanding that IT departments support them. This phenomenon shows no sign of abating and poses a serious challenge to traditional IT departments. The customary purpose for a centralized IT department was to issue and centrally manage all “client” devices (including PCs, PDAs, cell phones, smartphones, and other

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Maj. Gregory Motes, Capt. Christopher Braunstein, and Capt. Stacey Osborn of the Army Signal Center at Fort Gordon, GA, worked as a team to develop four applications for the contest. Their Physical Training Program app for the iPhone helps soldiers develop their own training regimen based on the Army's new Physical Readiness Training program. "We took a look at the new training manual and we sat down as a group and started to break it apart —we didn't want to put a wall of words, a PDF, into an application," Motes said.


computing resources). This model served companies well for decades and insured a consistent user experience.

Below are just a few examples of how the iPhone and iPad are used by the U.S. military:

The iPhone was a game changer—and the introduction of the iPad accelerated things even further. It’s not uncommon to go to meetings where the customary pad of paper or laptop PC has been replaced by a tablet. Due to the beauty of digitization, notes can now be entered into the iPad once and copied or saved for later use. This eliminates the need for transcription of written notes and the inherent errors that come into play when one is retyping information. Besides the now-pedestrian use of the iPad for taking notes, people all over the Beltway are finding new, interesting, and compelling uses for the technology.

apps for the army

According to Michael T. McCarthy, Director of Operations and Program Manager for the Army’s Brigade Modernization Command, “The Army recognized the value of using tablet devices early in our examination of smartphones and devices for the Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications project. In a classroom or training environment, the fullsized devices have proven to be an exceptional tool for the student soldiers. In an operational environment, size, weight, and power are critical elements for any device. Soldiers tell us that they need a smaller tablet. As a consequence of their recommendations, we are really looking forward to putting the iPad mini into their hands and giving it a realistic workout.”


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The U.S. Army’s “Apps for the Army” program kicked off as an app-development contest open to soldiers and Army Civilians. The Army asked developers to come up with interesting and useful software applications for Apple and Android devices in certain categories related to their daily work, including morale, welfare, and recreation; Army mission; information access; and location awareness and training. The idea is that by developing their own apps, the Army can speed up the appdevelopment process and therefore save money. According to the Army, about 140 individuals or teams signed up to participate in the program, which created a first round of about 53 applications. Of the 53 submitted, 25 got through the certification process. "We say that we are looking for an application to do XYZ, and we give them 30 days to come back and show us what they have," says former Army CIO Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson. “We give them 60 more days to develop it, and in 90 days we have an app," Sorenson said.

The final product was an app that creates a training regimen for individual soldiers, using videos and still images to fully demonstrate how various exercises should be done. "We saw this as a new way that training manuals could be in the future," Motes said. "Some people learn better by reading words and looking at pictures, and some people appreciate the videos." From the 53 applications submitted to the Apps for the Army challenge, 15 winners were chosen—a first, second, and third-place winner in each of five categories. Additionally, 10 "honorable mentions" were named. Winning applications included: The Physical Training Program, developed by Maj. Gregory Motes, Capt. Christopher Braunstein, and Capt. Stacey Osborn of the Army Signal Center, Ft. Gordon, GA; Telehealth Mood Tracker, developed by Robert Kayl, Scott Swim, and Robert Van Gorkom of the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA; The Disaster Relief app, developed by Andrew Jenkins and Alex Ly of the Engineer Research and Development Center, Alexandria, VA; The Movement Projection app, developed by Luke Catania of the Engineer Research and Development Center, Alexandria, VA; and The New Recruit app, developed by Thomas Maroulis of Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ. Note: These apps are not intended for consumer use. Soldiers wishing to see the apps developed in the Apps for the Army challenge can do so through this URL:

Rich Quidgoen, the biggest hurdle in getting Apple technology was overcoming outdated policy. Only a few hundred iPads were fielded at first. The reason for the slow start in field deployment had to do with information assurance/security concerns related to a piece of software developed in Russia that is onboard these devices. The software is a PDF reader called GoodReader (iPad version: $4.99,


air force flight bags Air Mobility Command (AMC), one of the Major Commands or MAJCOMs of the U.S. Air Force, put out a request for proposal to procure as many as 18,000 iPad 2s for use by pilots, navigators, trainers, and ground personnel. The idea is that iPads can replace traditional paper-based Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) that are very heavy (roughly 70 pounds per aircraft) and become antiquated very quickly (AMC requires flying charts to be updated every 28 days). AMC estimates that iPads will eliminate $1.77 million in printing costs of the EFB manual, plus an additional $3.28 mil-

lion per year in printing costs for maps and charts. The transition will also save 22,000 man-hours, and $770 thousand in yearly fuel costs. In addition, using iPads can save physical space in crammed cockpits. "With limited space in the cockpit and the amount of paper that each crew has to manage, it can quickly become controlled chaos," said Maj. Pete Brichenough, who heads AMC's EFB test. "An EFB could solve this issue by putting all the information in one place to be recalled and updated almost immediately." AMC decided early on that the iPad was the best solution for a paperless EFB. According to EFB Requirements Manager

The Army’s Mike McCarthy, one of the biggest proponents for IT modernization and the use of consumer devices across the Department of Defense, noted, “We only have one opportunity to get the information security issues right for the use of mobile devices. We are looking for solutions that will provide security to the sources of data as well as the users of data. We must provide for the protection of data at rest, in transit, as well as in process. We are looking at a number of solutions, also with an eye on being able to secure the supply chain from beginning to end. Without these measures in place, we are potentially putting our soldiers at risk, and that is something we are unwilling to do.” � Randy Siegel is Senior VP at Fixmo (, a mobile risk management company. He’s the current Chairman of the Tactical and Wearable Subcommittee for the AFCEA National Defense Mobile Steering Committee and is a member of AOL Government’s Board of Contributors. Prior to Fixmo, he held executive management positions at Motorola Solutions and Microsoft. You can reach him at

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Featured iUser: Erica Tevis Age: 35 Location: Sayreville, NJ One-Line Bio: I'm a small business owner of Little Things Favors (, an online wedding favors retailer, and Little Things Baby (, an online retailer of baby shower gifts and favors.

Days Until: I count down the days to almost everything! From Christmas to vacations—even to when school is out (and starts again)—I love to know how many days are left!

Facebook: My go-to app when I am bored.

Facebook Pages Manager: I use this to monitor my business's Facebook page, even when I’m not working. It’s a must-have for small business owners with a Facebook presence.

Alarm Clock HD - Free: Just what I needed, a second alarm clock—because I never wake up! A local news app for the state of New Jersey.


i P h o n e L i f e March-April 2013 This app was essential in my recent home search. If I was driving around and passed a house for sale that I loved, it would search by my location and instantly tell me about the house. Best real estate app!

Pandora: I need my music fix while I'm working. It can stream through my Bluetooth in my car as well, so it’s a great alternative to satellite radio.

Reminders: If I don't create a to-do list, I never remember what I need to do!

Bejeweled Blitz: Sometimes I just need to play a game as an escape or for some downtime when I can zone out—this is one of those games!

Shopping List Free: As a busy mom and entrepreneur, staying organized is essential. I use this all the time for my grocery list.

turning an idea into an app

By Kellie Worrell


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practice mode ^ practice again


to main menu

to main menu

decimal activity


test mode ^




• What are the requirements of the app? Will users need internet access? Login name and password? Will data need to be stored? And if so, where?

info screen


• Who is the target audience? Fifth-grade teachers? Potato farmers? Preschoolers?

main menu screen


Before you ever start talking to a programmer, you need to have a solid idea of what your app will accomplish. Here are some questions to get you started: • What is the objective of the app? Does it entertain? Teach? Keep records?


1. define the app



• Finally, what will the app “feel” like? Is it going to be playful and cartoonish? Should it have a professional look? Will it feel like you are reading your favorite book?


key to any successful app is a unique idea that meets a need. You can turn any idea into an app, even if you don’t know a single line of code. By working with a programmer, you can make your app a reality, but it takes some work on your part up front. Here are some important aspects of app development that I discovered while creating my app for middle schoolers, BrainStars: Math ($2.99,


show correct answers & score

Starting from the main menu screen, what are the possible options? Take each possibility and create a flow map of every option. Obviously, this won’t be set in stone yet, but if you don’t have a clear idea of the flow before you begin the programming stage, your app may meander or have dead ends. Here is an example sketch from a portion of my app.

3. Sketch it out

5. Talk money

Each screen is a “face” on your app. You need to be able to show a programmer what your app should look like. Prior to consulting with a programmer, you can either draw or use clip art to illustrate the main screens of your app. Keep the dimensions and orientation of the intended devices in mind. Again, this isn’t unchangeable, but is an important tool for conveying your vision to your programmer.

If at any point you feel that you cannot answer questions without giving away your idea, have the programmer sign a secrecy or non-disclosure agreement; any good programmer should have one. If they don’t, you can find one online. Partner with a programmer with whom you can communicate easily and at a comfortable level of detail. Also, with good upfront communication, a programmer should be able to provide you with a reasonable estimate of hours required for your app and lock in a maximum billing limit so that there are no surprises.


Sign a contract with the programmer, including a delivery date and consequences for late delivery. Your programmer should also provide you with what my programmer jokingly called his “bus CD.” This CD contains all of the code to my app (we do buy it, after all), so that even if he got hit by a bus, I could still make changes down the road. I was very pleased with Paracoders, Inc., who programmed my app.

An example of a screen sketch I made, and the corresponding screenshot from the finished app.

4. find the right programmer As a newcomer to the app-development world, this step was the most challenging for me. How did I find programmers? You guessed it—Google! But that was just the tip of the iceberg. From the list of programmers in my search results, I checked out each company’s website, and I paid close attention to their portfolios of apps to make sure that they had developed a variety of different types of apps, not just the same basic functions each time with different graphics. Then I contacted between 10 and 12 programmers. I gave them a basic overview of what I was looking for and asked for an estimate (be careful not to give away your unique idea). At this point, good programmers will ask you some specific questions about how the app will function before giving you a ballpark price. These questions are the key to seeing which programmers “get” what you are looking for.

One last tip is to make sure that the “little things” that can add up to a significant amount of money—creating an Apple developer account, uploading the app to iTunes, providing screenshots and app descriptions, and making future updates to meet iOS changes—are included in the contract.The only thing better than those monthly direct deposits into your account for app sales is the rewarding feeling of seeing your idea become a reality. � Kellie Worrell has many years of experience teaching middle-school math. She successfully developed a series of educational apps, called BrainStars, which are available on iTunes. She currently trains educators on how to utilize touch technology in the classroom. For more information, please visit her website at

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A Strong Finish Teen Developers Tackle Procrastination


ichael Hansen and Ryan Orbuch, creators of the app Finish ($1.99,, are two talented and dedicated developers still in high school. Their sleekly designed app, a tool that automatically prioritizes tasks based on what’s due next, has been in the works for over a year. Their goal—one that would make every parent proud—is to put an end to procrastination in the lives of busy people everywhere. I got the chance to ask them what it was like to create the app. iPhone Life: How would you describe Finish? Ryan: Simply put, it’s a way to see the tasks that you have to perform in a way that actually helps you accomplish them. The sliding time frames and notifications help you get a close-up and wide-ranging perspective on your tasks without ever making you feel overwhelmed. iPhone Life: How’s it different from other to-do and organizational apps? Ryan: Plenty of apps simply replace a paper and pencil, or go to the other extreme with complex tags and categorization systems. Finish is the middle ground. It tracks your tasks through your time frames automatically, sending optional notifications whenever your tasks slide or become due. Your time frames are completely customizable to whatever lengths work best for you, and you can change them at any time.

time frames. I texted Michael late that night, and he thought the concept was fantastic. Over the next few months, the concept grew on me, and once school was out for the summer, we ramped up development. iPhone Life: What kind of feedback have you gotten from your friends? Michael: The feedback that we've gotten from school friends has been really positive. Ryan: I was talking to a friend’s dad, and he was telling me that every time he heard the sound effects for completed tasks, he knew his son was getting his homework done. Another time, I showed a friend some screenshots, and she immediately said, “This is perfect! I brew my own beer and I’ve always wanted an app to get the timing just right, along with being able to manage all the errands I have to run.” Finish’s customizable time-frame structure is adaptable to things we never even thought of when making the app. iPhone Life: What was the hardest part of getting the app made? Michael: The beginning and the end of the development process were the hardest. At the beginning, I was trying to learn how to write an iPhone app, and it took a lot of my time. At the end of the process, we had to tackle a mountain of small things that seemed insignificant, but they ended up being really important. iPhone Life: What do you wish you'd known before you started? Michael: We both wish we had known that it was not going to be a quick or easy process. We set some really tough deadlines, and they just created stress. I also wish I had known more about all the resources out there, like or the Apple Development Forums, which helped me a lot with really specific issues. iPhone Life: What advice do you have for other up-and-coming young developers?

iPhone Life: How did you come up with the idea for the app?

Michael: My advice is to not give up when you are frustrated. There are so many resources for developers, like blogs, forums, videos, and people willing to point you in the right direction.

Ryan: During finals week of the winter semester in 10th grade, I realized that I was stressing out about how to prioritize everything I needed to do, and I knew that my friends were having the same challenge.

Ryan: Beyond that, it can be really valuable to find developers and designers who have work that you admire and get in touch with them. The community of iOS developers and designers is full of awesome people.

On the back of a math worksheet, I started drawing out some sketches that split the interface of an iPhone app into separate

To learn more about the Finish app, visit, follow @getfinish on Twitter, or email �


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Featured iUser: Ryan Orbuch Age: 15 Location: Boulder, CO One-line bio: I'm an interface designer and high school student who is passionate about improving processes. Follow me on Twitter @orbuch.

Skype: I occasionally use FaceTime, but I use Skype much more often. Their app is basic, but it does everything you'd expect.

Pandora: I have a bunch of music stations set up. It works great with Airplay around the house, too.

Keynote: This is by far the best presentation maker out there, both on iOS and OSX. I use it on my iPad all the time during school, and can usually plug it into the projectors at school and give my presentations really easily. Great setup.

iPhoto: This offers similar photo editing and sharing as the Mac version, with some cool (though not perfectly straightforward) gestures built in.

Skala View: This is a must-have for any sort of interface and app designer. You can send a Photoshop file from your computer to Skala on iPad or iPhone, and edits show up automatically. See how interface elements look on the Retina display. I just started using this recently; it's pretty neat. Hooks into your bank accounts and helps track spending and budgeting. It also has handy push notifications.

iMovie: This is good for stitching a few little clips together and publishing directly to YouTube, but pretty limited otherwise.

Paper: The guys at FiftyThree did a fantastic job with this. It's the best sketchpad/drawing app out there. I'll use it for all sorts of ideas, interface concepts, and anything along those lines.

GarageBand: This is so cool. Virtual piano, drums, all sorts of instruments, and a whole mixer to put together any sort of song. Really well designed and fun to play around with.

Tweetbot: This is the best Twitter client there is, both for iPad and iPhone—it syncs perfectly between them, too. It's really well designed and nice looking, and has every feature you would want.

Pages: I do the majority of my school papers and reports on my iPad with Pages. Everything syncs between it and my laptop with iCloud, so it stays really organized.

Facebook: It's Facebook—Chat, Timeline, everything you would expect.

Reeder: I have a bunch of tech blogs and other sites set up as RSS Feeds in Reeder. It pulls all my news and articles into one place, as opposed to me flipping around to a bunch of webpages. I'm a big fan.

iPhone Lif e Ma rc h-April 2 0 1 3


From Capture to Presentation Creating and Editing iPhone Photography as Fine Art by Jonathan Marks


hotographic opportunities arise in the unlikeliest of places and at the least expected of times, don’t they? You might be sitting at a traffic light as Santa zips across the intersection on a Harley, or spot a couple going at it in a glass elevator, oblivious to the fact that their amorous coupling is seen by all. So what do you do? You got it—grab your iPhone and start shooting. Whatever it is, shoot it. Your mentality should be: shoot now, and edit later. Every moment is a photo waiting to be taken. The convenience of the iPhone means that capturing fleeting moments is easier than ever. This is true even in a movie theater, which is where I found this issue’s magical moment.

While watching the previews, I sat mesmerized by the size of the actors projected on the massive movie screen. I thought it was fitting that the larger-than-life images on the screen matched the larger-than-life egos of many actors. With that idea in mind, I used Camera Plus Pro ($1.99, to grab various screen captures as the previews were running, two of which are shown here (see Images 1 and 2). After reviewing my vast array of shots, I decided that these two images would be the starting point for my preconceived final image.








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First things first: the crop. If you’ve been following my column for any length of time, you know that aside from the original shot, I consider the cropping stage to be the most important part of the process. I opened the two original images in PhotoForge ($0.99, and cropped them square, knowing that I wanted the subjects’ faces to eventually line up in some way (see Images 3 and 4). While still in PhotoForge, I used the Levels setting to ensure I had my black and white points defined, Curves to add my usual subtle contrast curve, and Sharpen to, well, sharpen it just a tad.

I love Image Blender ($2.99, The next step of the process is where the magic happens, and Image Blender is the app that brings it all together. As you can see in Image 5, I first brought in the two shots I wanted to blend, but I noticed quickly that the shots weren’t quite lined up the way I wanted them. Fortunately, Image Blender has a feature called Arrange

(see Image 6) that lets you move the images around to create the blend you want. In order to make it the best it could be, I tried to line up the shots in such a way that the subjects’ mouths would overlap. Bingo! I nailed it with the Screen blend style (one of 18 different blend styles to choose from) and then saved the image.


fect, fleeting moment and sharing it with the world. I’ve been at it for nearly three years, and the whole time I’ve committed to posting a “before” and an “after” image every single day on my Tumblr blog (

6 9 If you have any questions about iPhone photography or wish to speak to me about representing my work in your gallery, please feel free to contact me at You can also see me at this year’s Macworld/iWorld 2013 event, where I’m scheduled to speak on Feb 1st at 5 p.m. Please come find me and say hi! �



Jonathan’s work has been exhibited in the U.S. and Japan and is in private collections in all over the world. He’s currently working on a gallery exhibition using iPhone images as the basis for mixed media pieces utilizing purified beeswax and Damar resin, available in limited editions of five. You can contact Jonathan at jonathan@ or

Once the image was blended exactly as I envisioned it, it was time to use some artistic freedom to decide how to best present the image in its final form. I decided to open the image in PhotoToaster ($1.99, and process it with the Lomo mode (see Image 7) found under the Supreme options in the app. Then I added a small vignette, and finally, the Black Strokes frame (see Image 8).

Presentation With that last finishing touch, the image was complete (see Image 9). When I first saw it in its raw form in the theater, I wondered how it would turn out, and it ended up better than I had imagined. My goal with iPhone photography is to inspire you to see the world differently. I enjoy the daily challenge of finding that per-

iPhone Lif e Ma rc h-April 2 0 1 3


Interview with Mark Manes, Creator of JetSet Expenses


ark Manes is the creator of JetSet Expenses ($2.99,, an app that tracks expenses for business travelers. We got the chance to ask Mark about the challenges of building the app, the thrill of being featured in Apple ads, and his advice for iOS developers today.

iPhone Life

How would you describe JetSet Expenses?

JetSet Expenses is for the business traveler who wants to keep track of expenses as they occur. If you’re like me, when you finally get around to filling out expense reports, the receipts are gone. JetSet solves this problem. The app adapts to different locations and supports multiple currencies, and it only takes seconds to enter an expense. You can send expense reports and photo receipts to your Dropbox account, Google Docs, or email. There are a lot of other features, but that explains the core purpose of the app.


iPhone Life

Did you create the app yourself?

Every line of code! The truth is that I was still learning, just like the rest of the world. Those who were already OS X developers had a significant advantage. I had done one OS X application before I started JetSet, which was not nearly enough experience. I ended up hiring a mentor to look at my code when I got stuck. He helped me by driving me in the right direction to learn. It was very painful; the documentation was not meant for the newcomer, and the early tools were very buggy.


What unforeseen challenges did you encounter?

Getting the app in the App Store was a nightmare. I was rejected because Apple claimed that a certain image I had used was a trademark violation. My artist had created



I spent the next 48 hours rewriting the way the camera stored images, which was what had been causing the app to crash. I resubmitted the app, but it took me a while to recover from the bad reviews.

iPhone Life

If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently?

I wouldn’t have let up on the momentum of the initial publicity. I was on a great trajectory with JetSet. The product had gotten coverage on a variety of websites, including iPhone Life, Forbes, and MacWorld. Apple had loaded it on their demo phones in their retail stores, and had even used the app icon in television, print, and in-store ads. I learned that success that comes easily is not truly appreciated. Instead of capitalizing on the initial momentum, I let my personal life take the forefront and did not significantly work on the app for two years. Now I write iOS apps as part of an engineering team and work on JetSet at night.


It came out of necessity. I started on this app back in 2008, when the iPhone SDK was released. I wanted to do two things: ease the burden of creating expense reports, and explore the new frontier of iOS apps. At the time, the concept was so new and exciting that everyone wanted a piece.

iPhone Life

But that was only the beginning. I added a camera feature to the app and didn’t fully test it. When the app was released it got fantastic reviews, and Apple even featured it prominently in iTunes. Then the camera feature crashed and my five-star ratings dropped overnight.

How did the app idea come to you?


iPhone Life

a phone-expense icon that was a tall rectangle with a dot at the bottom to represent an iPhone. Apple did not like that. I ended up with a flip-phone icon instead. Apple rejected the app a second time because I used the wrong icon for another menu. It took me two months to get the app released into the App Store.

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iPhone Life

What advice would you give to other app developers?

You need to seriously test your application. I have 70 real-world users test JetSet Expenses and give me feedback regularly. Listen to them, and do what they say.


My last bit of advice is to spend time strategizing how you will be seen and how to get publicity. I think the App Store is a lot like the record business—you’ll only be successful if you are discovered. To find out more about Mark Manes and his app JetSet Expenses, please visit

iPhone Lif e Ma rc h-April 2 0 1 3



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iPhone Lif e Ma rc h-April 2 0 1 3



Hal, along with his wife Rita, founded iPhone Life’s original publishing company, Thaddeus Computing, in 1985. You can reach him at

The Only Tablet(s) I Need


n last issue’s iView, I marveled at the remarkable new devices from Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Amazon. Here’s my experience using these new devices.

I Returned the Microsoft Surface RT Even though I was impressed by its hardware, software potential, and customer support, I still sent back the Microsoft Surface. It was buggy, and I could not connect to our Microsoft Small Business Exchange Outlook email, a task I can easily accomplish with the iPad and iPhone. I’m sure Microsoft will work out the kinks— there were daily, and sometimes hourly, updates for Mail and other built-in apps. Ultimately, since the Surface RT can’t run Windows 7 applications, I was not willing to compromise my experience while essentially serving as a Beta tester.

I Love My mini I love the extreme portability of the iPad mini. Like an oversized iPhone or iPod touch, the iPad mini does an excellent job running both iPhone and iPad apps. I do wish the mini would fit into my jacket and pants pockets, and I know this will affect my future fashion choices. When I’m using the iPad mini, I seldom miss my larger 3rdgeneration iPad. The mini works well for gaming, reading, and everyday productivity. I use the 3rd-generation iPad for serious email, editing, and browsing—tasks that require extensive typing and larger screen interaction.

The Optimal eReader The Kindle Paperwhite is as good as advertised. The size, typeface, and touch screen are all optimized for reading. Unlike the iPad or iPhone, the Kindle is glare-free in bright sunlight and in the dark. I did find all the advertising annoying, so I paid an extra $20 to remove them from the home screen and other non-reading pages.


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A Different Kind of Laptop Since I returned the Surface, I was able to justify buying the new 2.4-pound, $249 Samsung Series 3 Chromebook. I’m glad I did. In fact, I am writing this column on the Chromebook while traveling. The Chromebook comes with an 11.6-inch (non-touch) display with an excellent full-sized Google-customized keyboard and touchpad. It reminds me of a Macbook Air. With Bluetooth, WiFi, slots for an SD card, HDMI cable, and USB 2 and 3 ports, the Chromebook is an extremely functional piece of hardware. The Chromebook uses web-based apps such as Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Drive. It does not use installable software and local storage like i'm used to on an iPhone or desktop computer. Apps run from the Chrome browser tabs, and there are apps for web-based word processing, spreadsheets, slides, email, browsing, listening to music, remote computing, photo editing, and more. The Samsung Series 3 comes with a free two-year contract for 100 GB of online Google Drive storage. Some programs allow you to work offline using files stored on the built-in 16 GB drive, an SD card, or a USB drive. As I write this, some of my favorite web-based products, including Skype, Slingbox, and GoToMyPC, do not yet work on the Chromebook. Other apps, such as Mindjet web, Amazon Prime, and Web Outlook, work well. In any case, almost all the desktop functionality you want is often available for free by searching the Chromebook web app store.

All My Computing Needs Are Covered The Chromebook’s light weight, instant-on feature, long battery life, comfortable keyboard, and ability to browse Adobe Flash sites are a nice complement to my iPad while I’m traveling. Whether I’m on the go, in the mood to read, or replying to email, I can do everything exceptionally well with either my Chromebook, iPad mini, or Paperwhite. �

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