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
Spoilers - we all curse them (and those who wickedly spill the beans). They are like the dark side of internet holding the power to ruin our favorite TV shows, books, movies and even sports events. If you ask what the main source of spoilers is these days, then all fingers will point towards social media. But the sad truth is that it’s not that easy to avoid services like Twitter and Facebook these days particularly when they are the best platforms to keep an eye on latest trends. Silencer for Chrome
helps you avoid stumbling upon spoilers while browsing social media sites on your desktop. For mobile devices, there's Spoiler Shield
, a free app for iOS and Android that blocks mentions of popular TV shows and sports on Facebook and Twitter.
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
The system toggles in the Control Center might get the most press, but the shortcuts in the bottom row have their uses as well. Out of these shortcuts, the flashlight button is likely the most frequently used button. There are many occasions when you are likely to need the flashlight feature that comes embedded with iOS 7, even though the LED at the back of the device is not originally designed to be used for that purpose. For photography, the unchanging intensity level of the LED is fine, but if you are using it as a torch, it is nice to have some extra level of control. A while ago, we covered PhotoTorch, a tweak that allows users to change the intensity of the iPhone
camera LED. CCFlashLightLevel
does the same thing, but this new release works from the iOS 7 Control Center. With this tweak, users can use the CC flashlight toggle as a controller for the LED’s intensity level in a very convenient manner.
It might not be the most popular app on the iPad, but Photo Booth still has a considerable amount of fans. Many photo editors and camera replacement apps have tried to emulate Photo Booth on other platforms
, but there is always a certain charm in using the real deal. Since Apple doesn't offer Photo Booth for iPhone, developers have been coming up with ports and alternatives for smaller screens. On iOS 7, Photo Booth (iOS 7)
brings this classic iPad app to iPhone and iPod touch devices running the latest iOS firmware version. The port offered by the tweak is a little too simple, but serves the purpose for which it has been designed. You get all the popular camera effects, as well as a set of comprehensive sharing options.
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
If you are already a fan of some third-party Camera app for iPhone, you might not be missing CameraTweak
too much after updating to iOS 7. Anyone who has previously had a taste of the tweak in the past, however, is sure to be thrilled by the news that CameraTweak 2
has just been released for iOS 7. The updated version of the tweak doesn’t just bring compatibility with the latest iOS version; it also offers a completely new UI and some new ways of enjoying extra camera features. CameraTweak 2 works in both photo and video modes, with options like White Balance Lock, countdown timer, a timelapse mode and more added to the mix. To make CameraTweak 2 really convenient to use and unobtrusive, the developer has added gestures to it, which ensure that the added buttons don’t interfere with normal camera operations. Read More
When we covered GBA4iOS last year
, it was already a pretty neat and feature-rich emulator but quite some time has passed since then without the app undergoing any changes. After the release of iOS 7, almost all major apps received updates to match the new flat UI, so it makes sense that GBA4iOS has joined the club as well, albeit a little late. GBA4iOS 2.0 comes with a revamped interface and some awesome new features. You can save the state of your games to Dropbox, and ROMs can also be stored in the cloud for easier management. To augment the new UI, GBA4iOS 2.0 has also added support for third-party skins for the emulator’s controller. If you own an iPad, GBA4iOS has finally been optimized for your tablet’s larger screen, letting users enjoy their favorite childhood games more thoroughly. 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
Tweaks like HideMe7
are great since they deal with multiple aspects of iOS, but there is always room for specialized packages in the jailbreak store. While HideMe7 has some pretty decent options to customize the iOS 7 status bar, you cannot call its feature list exhaustive by any means. For example, if you want to hide the status bar altogether, HideMe7 cannot help you there. With a tweak like StatusBarSuite
though, you can do exactly that and more. This new release lets you change the visibility status of all iOS 7 status bar elements, dealing with both the temporary and permanent ones. Users get to hide battery and WiFi icons, the time display, and just about every other thing that appears in the status bar.
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
With the announcement of iOS 7, Apple had users quite excited about its new dynamic wallpapers addition. With each beta release, we kept hoping that the next one (or at least the final release) would bring more live wallpapers or a way to download more. The latter didn't seem like a safe bet, considering the restricted nature of the platform, but we were quite surprised and disappointed to see no addition to the quantity of default dynamic wallpapers. Once iOS 7 was jailbroken, though, the Cydia community was quick to deliver multiple solutions to this problem. Just a couple of days ago, we covered Weatherboard, which offers a vast collection of weather-themed dynamic wallpapers
. Before that, iDynamic brought a few more options to the iOS 7 dynamic wallpaper list
might not come with a lot of variety, but this latest addition to the genre offers some really thorough customization options. It doesn’t let you create animated wallpapers from scratch, but the editing options are so comprehensive that you might get the same feeling. Read More
While Cydia tweaks like ClassicSwitcher
allow users to bring back the old app switcher to iOS 7, the newer version of this feature has already garnered quite an adoring fan-base. The cards offered in the new app switcher look nicer, and of course, provide previews of all opened apps. FullscreenPreviews
is a new tweak that expands on this idea, and stretches the app switcher cards to cover the whole screen. This might not make sense at first, but you just have to use the tweak once to understand the thought that went into its making.
Just a few days ago, we covered iDynamic
, a Cydia tweak that adds to the iOS 7 dynamic wallpaper collection. Weatherboard
is somewhat similar to that release, but it adheres to a single theme: weather. Tweaks like WeatherIcon
have already given users a taste of the beauty weather-related animations can add to iOS. With Weatherboard, the animations aren’t just limited to an app icon though, as it offers the animated backgrounds from the stock Weather app as dynamic wallpapers for your home and lock screen. Weatherboard doesn’t automatically set the wallpaper according to the current weather (a feature for future releases, maybe), so you can select any from over 80 available animated backgrounds, where each is available in two flavors; one for the day and one for night.
The Kids Zone feature in Windows Phone 8
has certainly shown that there is room in the market for mobile platforms that offer multiple user accounts, just like desktop devices. On many occasions, it might feels rude to refuse giving someone your smartphone, but it seems even more rude to constantly try and see what they are doing with it. The only way of putting your mind at ease in such situations would be through the creation of a guest account of sorts on your device. For iOS, we have previously covered a tweak by the name of iPrivacy
, which lets you limit access to the apps installed on your iPhone. GuestMode
is a new tweak for iOS 7 that is based on the same principle, but is much more intuitive in usage. You won’t be confused by a myriad of configuration options while trying to set it up, and the whole thing is ready to spring into action right after you choose the apps and features that you deem safe for the viewing of strangers.
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
Months after its acquisition by StumbleUpon, the video recommendation engine 5by
finally made its way to iOS and Android around the end of January. StumbleUpon acquired the start-up back in September 2013 with the aim to provide users with custom-tailored videos that can reflect their moods, ambiance and situation. The concept remains similar to StumbleUpon’s current offering: it dishes out videos from different sources that specifically target the selected situation or mood. In other words, 5by is the video equivalent of StumbleUpon. Read on after the jump to find out how it works.
Originality certainly has its merits, but if an idea is already good enough, you merely have to tinker with it to get perfection. The previously covered JellyLock tweak
garnered a lot of praise and popularity when it was first released last year, for both its features and looks. A year on, almost everything about the looks of iOS has changed, and so it makes sense for JellyLock to have an updated version to match the new flat UI as well. JellyLock7
is quite similar to its predecessor if you only consider basic traits, but there are some finer points that make the new tweak a huge improvement over JellyLock. You can now see icon badges on the shortcut ring, there are more customization options, and of course, everything looks more in tune with the flat iOS 7 UI.