Even after all these years professionally covering mobile apps, tweaks, tips, and tricks, I still haven't quite found a sure answer to the question: "Should I manually close all apps from the multitasking app switcher, or let the OS handle everything?"
There are two schools of thought here. The first - which I personally believe more in - is that Apple has put enough smarts into iOS to ensure apps running in the background are running efficiently, and that misbehaving ones are closed automatically. The other school believes that manual intervention is a must, as developers are not so artful at making performance-conscious apps.
Is there a middle ground, then? Famed iOS jailbreak tweaks developer Ryan Petrich believes so. His recently released tweak called SmartClose
claims to be the smarter way to close apps running in the background. Read More
In this day and age where we have such capable file-sharing services, iOS still forces me to transfer files to and from a PC over archaic mediums. Need to quickly send a few screenshots from iOS to PC? Use email. Web links? Use Pocket. Notes? Use Evernote. To-do lists? There's Evernote. It is a highly scattered system, and fairly annoying if you ask me. I have been eyeing Pushbullet on Android as a potential solution to this issue for a long time now, and thankfully the app is now available on iOS. How well does it work within Apple's tighter app ecosystem? Let's find out after the jump. Read More
I have not touched Skype since the advent of FaceTime, and Viber video calls, but there is still definitely a huge
user-base for the service especially in the enterprise market. Integrating Skype across their line of mobile and desktop products has been high on Microsoft's priorities with post-acquisition Skype - the latest product to be integrated is Outlook.com. Let's go hands on! Read More
Here at AddictiveTips, our single, greatest objective is to help our readers make better use of their gadgets - whether it is a Mac, an Android tablet, or a Windows Phone device - through the use of better software. Now, while most of our articles are targeted towards the above-average technologically-literate person, we are going to do things differently in our 'Absolute Beginner's Introduction' series of articles. We are starting with iOS because that is what I personally have a strong grip over, but there are plans to expand to other platforms based on user feedback. Let's get started! Read More
Over the years, continuous improvements and expansions from Alien Blue's dedicated developer has allowed it to become the single most powerful Reddit client for iOS. However, while advanced users do love the extra features, people using Reddit for basic content consumption find Alien Blue to be too bloated. Therein lies a great opportunity for developers: to create a reasonably powerful yet still lightweight
Reddit client. Read More
File-sharing! There are literally dozens of start-ups and big technology companies working on making the ultimate file-sharing solution. Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud, Box, Amazon Drive - just to name a few of the popular
ones. What makes Jumpshare
any different? Previously, we discussed their web-based solution
for uploading, sharing, and viewing files. Uploading and quick sharing isn't quite a shocker, but it's their online viewing component where things get really
different - Jumpshare allows you to view well over 200 file formats right in your browser! Now, they have launched a Windows app, with the intent of improving uploading and sharing workflows. Does it work well? Find out after the jump. Read More
Before the start of the previous weekend, the blogosphere woke up to the news of Apple releasing iOS 7.0.6 with a brief release note mentioning bug-fixes for an SSL-related exploit. Nothing to be scared about, right? Well, no. As it turns out, the exploit leaves your device wide open to malicious 'man-in-the-middle' attacks on public WiFi networks. Read More
It’s that time of the week again when we round up the most popular (as well as the less-popular but equally useful) apps, tips and tweaks that you may have missed during your hectic workweek. This time around, we cover a smörgåsbord of Android apps, iOS jailbreak tweaks, and browser extensions to improve your daily workflows! Read More
As I am sure you already know, the Internet has three popular image formats. There's the 'lossy' JPEG, which works in most cases since it looks alright, and takes relatively low space; there are GIFs with their support for transparency, and animation, but are terrible at reproducing a wide range of colors, and finally, there's the 'lossless' PNG, which supports transparency, doesn't compromise on reproducing the original image, but takes a little too much space for comfort. Read More
There's a fine balance to be struck between functionality and simplicity for modern smartphone lock screens. Add too many features to the lock screen, and it starts looking like the actual home screen. Taking away too many will make it too simple; an unnecessary step before getting to the home screen. Unlike with Android, iOS users don't get to tweak said balance, for they are expected to be satisfied by Apple's solution of the smartphone lock screen. That is, of course, unless they jailbreak their device, opening it up to a world of powerful apps and tweaks.
One such new jailbreak tweak for boosting lock screen functionality is PassDial. It allows you to set certain codes - other than the 'passcode' that unlocks your device - entering which calls a certain, predefined number directly from the lock screen. The tweak is brilliant when you think of it! It has a certain Samsung TouchWiz-like feel to it, which isn't bad at all. Read More
I'm going to start this post off with a bit of a controversial statement: Apple, Google, and Microsoft should join hands against... portrait/vertical video! It's a bigger usability problem than you think. Vertical video is fine for consumption on modern, widescreen mobile devices, but it is a literal 'pain in the neck' on desktops, and laptops. Since it is highly inconvenient to adjust your monitor's orientation, you have no other option but to crane your neck in awkward angles for prolonged periods of time to watch those baby videos Uncle Grant sends every other week. Read More
Generally speaking, there is an inverse relationship between security and convenience. In most cases, higher security comes at the cost of convenience. Two-factor authentication on services like Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook requires you to enter two codes to get access to your own account - higher security at the cost of decreased convenience. Lock screen passcodes on smartphones can range from simple 4-digit codes to long alphanumeric passwords; in any case, you're adding an extra step to accessing your own device. A better balance between the two aforementioned properties, but still far from perfect.
iOS comes with two useful settings to reduce the time or steps required to get to the home screen: 'Auto-Lock', and 'Require Passcode'. Apple has included 4-5 predefined options for these in Settings > General, but if you want to have full control over them, you're out of luck... unless you have jailbroken your iOS device. 'insanj' has come up with two tweaks - LongerAutoLock
- which allow you to set a custom time for Auto Lock and Require Passcode options, respectively. Read More
Facebook's philosophy of "move fast; break things" may hurt users in the short-term as they take time to get used to new interfaces and features, but it is no doubt beneficial in the long-term. On the web, Facebook basically changes up its News Feed every year, but the experience has remained largely the same on mobile for the past few years. Now, with a renewed focus on mobile, Facebook has launched Paper - stories from Facebook
, a brand-new, almost revolutionary
social media content consumption experience. Read More
While Google is open to letting users replace even some core chunks of Android - the launcher, lock-screen, app switcher, phone app etc. - Apple is the complete opposite, believing its own rendition of these 'near'-core components to be simply the best for users, and assuming they do not even need
to look for alternatives. For a long time, this has indeed remained true. From the year it was introduced up till a few months ago, the iOS' keyboard was widely accepted to be better than its Android and Windows Phone counterparts.
More recently, however, things have changed. Android's stock keyboard has matured significantly, and third-party alternatives from SwiftKey, Nuance, and GO have really started to pick up their game. iOS does auto-correction, yes, but these latest Android keyboard comes with better auto-prediction, support for different typing styles, and integration with Facebook, Twitter, and your email for quickly looking at the words you regularly type and their sequence of input, and a whole lot more!
Now after seeing so much success on Android, SwiftKey is interested in bringing their keyboard to iOS. They could not replace the stock keyboard throughout the OS, so they made their own notes app dubbed SwiftKey Note
. Read More
The modern smartphone has replaced many gadgets, including but not limited to the music player, the personal diary, the pen and paper to-do list, the low-end scanner, the GPS navigator, and the conventional alarm clock. I don't remember the last time I saw anyone set an alarm on anything other than their smartphone or tablet.
Now, the iOS 'Clock' app comes with good but basic Alarm functionality. You can set multiple alarms, set them to repeat after a certain period, give them different labels, different alarm-tones, and turn Snooze off or on, but there's little to no 'intelligence' involved with this digital alarm clock app. You set it to ring at a certain time, and it rings at that certain time - plain and simple. AlarmRestrict7
is a new tweak available for iOS 7 that aims to change that by adding just a tiny bit of smarts to the dumb Alarms functionality. We discuss it in more detail after the jump.
iOS 7 comes with lots of features to love, but its uncomfortably bright UI is not one of them. Save for a handful of stock apps and system components - Stocks, Notification Center, Compass - almost everything is a bright, in-your-face white. As someone who keeps display brightness across all devices at around 20-30% with f.lux
on, I find iOS 7 quite repulsive at times. Some app developers understand this: Tweetbot, Alien Blue, Reeder, Pocket, etc. all come with dark modes for easier reading. For the rest, we will have to wait for Apple and other developers to respond to user feedback.
, if your device is jailbroken, you can install Eclipse
. Launched earlier today, it allows you to enable dark mode throughout
iOS, including third-party apps! Awesome, isn't it? Read More
We all know how small a role actual 'words' play when communicating vocally with other people. Non-verbal cues encapsulated by body language and the exact tone of your voice matter a whole lot more! However, this is what we know as humans, since this feature come built-in with essentially all of us. What if computers could analyse our mood by our voice?
Developed by Beyond Verbal, a company centered around developing software for emotion analysis based on raw voice input, 'Moodies'
is a new iOS app that claims to detect your mood just by how you speak, and that too in under 20 seconds! Moodies depends on Beyond Verbal's own patented cloud-based emotion analysis engine to do all the hard work; the app itself acts as a conduit of sorts. Read More
iTunes 11 has a gorgeous untitled feature that automatically changes text and background color to match the colors used in an album's artwork. As a fan of the feature, I strongly expected it to make its way to iOS 7's stock Music app. Apple hasn't managed to do that yet, but the vibrant iOS jailbreak community has come up with not one, but two solutions. Over on Reddit's iOS jailbreak community, the idea of dynamically changing button accents and colors in iOS 7's Music app's 'Now Playing' screen was suggested a couple of weeks ago. Two developers independently got to work on it, and then released it on the same day this past weekend. We discuss both the tweaks - ColorFlow
- after the jump! Read More
There are two schools of thought when it comes to 'saturation' of apps on mobile app stores. The first - which I am a proponent of - says that all the great apps have been made, and that new apps such as those for checking the weather, and editing/sharing photos, are no longer required, since the ones we have now are more than sufficient! The second school of thought believes that there is always
room for innovation and improvement, even within hugely saturated app categories.
Now, when it comes to photo-edting apps, I consider myself a big fan of VSCOcam. After trying out several photo-editing apps such as Camera+, KitCam, and Instagram itself, I have settled with VSCOcam's excellent collection of filters and editing tools.
So, can Prettify
dethrone VSCOcam for a casual mobile photographer? We'll find that out past the jump. Read More
When it comes to deep system components customization, what Android gets by default, iOS users get after jailbreaking. Changing the keyboard, replacing the multitasking app switcher, setting a different default web browser and even replacing the main home screen launcher is all possible on Android from the get-go. Consider the system lockscreen; you can get all sorts of third-party lock-screens from the Play Store to replace the stock one with but on iOS, you are stuck with the extremely basic Apple-designed lock-screen. Although I feel satisfied with the lockscreen on my iOS 7-toting iPhone 4S, some customization would certainly have been nice. That's where the CustomLS
Cydia tweak for iOS 7 comes in. Read More