Notice those Smart App Banners that appear when you're visiting a website in Safari on the iPhone? They can be convenient, reminding you that an app is available for download in iOS 6. If you already have the app installed, they will even prompt you to open the app.
Believe it or not your iPhone 5 can automatically take a panoramic video thanks to the Cycloramic app. Operation is simple enough, just select how many times you want the iPhone 5 to spin around, and decide which camera you want to record from (front or back). The app takes care of the rest.
Tapping GO makes the iPhone start spinning around slowly completely hands free, while recording a video to your camera roll. Although it works on older iPhones, the app is recommended for the iPhone 5, which spins properly thanks to how the vibration motor is designed. To make the app work, you must also have Settings -> Sounds -> Vibrate on Ring set to ON.
Sometimes a promotion comes around that sounds too good to be true. If you're one of the millions of Americans who still has some last-minute holiday shopping to get done, there's a gift card deal ending today, Saturday December 22. Best Buy is selling iTunes gift cards at 20 percent off face value.
The discount applies to Apple iTunes gift cards purchased in Best Buy stores at denominations of anywhere from $15 to $100. The recipient can redeem the iTunes gift card for apps, books, movies, music and television shows and even spend the money on the Mac App Store.
Apple has released another update to its mobile operating system, making the current iPhone 5 firmware version iOS 6.0.2. Aside from the usual improvements and bug fixes, this release addresses a bug that "could impact Wi-Fi" according to the company. iPhone 5 and iPad mini users who have been experiencing problems with Wi-Fi should find the update helpful.
Reports have surfaced of slow Wi-Fi download speeds and other issues on some iPhone 5 units. Others have experienced a problem where cellular data was charged to their devices even when Wi-Fi was connected. It's not clear how widespread these problems are, but iOS users are encouraged to install the 6.0.2 update either over-the-air (OTA) or using iTunes on a computer.
I've recently noticed that my iPhone is starting to look like a Google billboard, and I'm starting to wonder if other iPhone owners are feeling the same way.
YouTube beat out Instagram as the most downloaded free app of the year, and Google Maps shot to the top of the charts after being downloaded over 10 million times in less than two days. Granted, YouTube and Google Maps were already popular apps people were used to using, and iPhone owners just wanted them back after Apple removed them with iOS 6. But if you're like me, and have traded in Siri for Google Search, and Safari for Google Chrome, you might feel like you're betraying Apple a little.
Then there are Gmail users and the social networking addicts who use Google+ along with Facebook and Twitter, and now Google is taking over our iPhone cameras with YouTube Capture. At this rate iPhone users are going to find themselves with more Google apps on their devices than stock Apple apps, or any other third party apps.
Google has launched a new app for the iPhone that aims to make sharing videos on YouTube easier and faster. Once installed, users can set preferences for automatic color correction, video stabilization and location services. You can then use the app to record videos and automatically upload them to YouTube, Google+, Facebook and Twitter . The app also allows you to set privacy settings, edit your video and add free background music.
Two of my favorite features are the ability to upload videos while the app is minimized, and that the app forces users to hold their phone in a horizontal position, in an effort to eliminate the annoying Vertical Video Syndrome.
I don't enjoy games that require I wait 15-minutes to an hour to watch a plant grow, or to build a building. Thankfully there are no long periods of twiddling your thumbs in Double Fine Productions' Middle Manager of Justice building/strategy game. Actions only take a few seconds or minutes, and there is plenty to do to keep you busy.
Middle Manager puts you in charge of Justice Corp., a kind of superhero temp agency that has seen better days. You must recruit and train employees while rebuilding your headquarters and saving various cities. The goal of the game is to make well-rounded (Tip: Don't ignore training intelligence, it does come in handy) superheroes while supplying them with the best tools and work space to get the job done. The fun story lines, goofy characters and the ability to complete many actions quickly helps Middle Manager avoid being another snoozefest simulation-type game.
Many Apple Maps users breathed a sigh of relief when Google finally launched their own stand-alone Google Maps app for iOS. The problem is that even with Google Maps installed, iOS 6 will always default to the stock maps application when a link is clicked or other navigational features are needed. It's no surprise that developer HASHBANG Productions has released a solution for jailbroken devices.
The Cydia tweak is called MapsOpener, and once installed the tweak will open all maps links accessed within a browser in Google Maps instead of the Apple version. iOS currently has no built-in settings that allow the user to choose which apps they prefer to use as a default. This leaves iPhone owners using stock apps for several functions where other alternatives are available.
Sharing photos from your iOS device over email is great, until you run into the built-in limitation that prevents selecting over 5 photos. This means that if you have a large number of photos to send via email, the iPhone will force you to send them in several emails with 5 attachments each.
Thanks to developer Mohamed Alaoui Mrani, iOS users can download Instamail Photos from the App Store and send unlimited photos in one message. The app is currently on sale, priced at $0.99 for a limited time. Of course, you can't go sending too many photos in a single email, because most service providers limit the size of email messages.
iTunes 11 just got a minor update, but the new software is worth installing thanks to a key feature that's now back. Apple has restored the missing Show Duplicate Items option under the View menu. The feature was previously labeled Display Duplicates and was located under the File menu in iTunes 10.
As you can imagine, the option shows all of the songs that are duplicated by artist and song name in your Music library. Besides just the duplicate search, Apple has also improved iTunes with AirPlay, iTunes Match and other stability improvements and bug fixes. Those who need to search a large library should also see faster response times.