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
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
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
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.
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.
Casual, low-resolution scanners have been pushed out of the mainstream by smartphone cameras in recent years. Since your handheld devices are more readily available as well as easier to handle, it makes perfect sense to use them for as many activities as possible. While the superior quality offered by scanners is something that prevents users from relying too much on other cameras for converting physical data to digital form, the lack of a proper scanning mechanism and accompanying software also plays a major role in this choice. This is exactly why there are Android and iOS apps striving to come up with ways to ensure that the scanning process remains as smooth and hassle-free as possible. Handy Scanner
are just two of the many smartphone apps that mimic scanner capabilities, but Pic Scanner
takes things one step further. The iOS app does offer point-and-scan capabilities, but it can also scan multiple photos simultaneously and then let users edit them with ease. Pic Scanner can distinguish between separate documents and pictures, cropping them to come up with multiple end results that can be saved as individual photos.
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
There are a bunch of Cydia tweaks that have the potential to make up for iOS’ lack of gesture-based music controls. There are tweaks that offer to add gestures in the Music app
, lock screen
, Notification Center
, and even the volume HUD
. Gesture Music Controls
is different (and maybe better) than all the other tweaks belonging to this genre, though, as it affects multiple parts of iOS. Thanks to this tweak, you can easily control currently playing tracks from the lock screen, Control Center, and the stock Music app. Gesture Music Controls does not require any configuration, and is ready to be used immediately after its installation. The sharing options available in the tweak make it perfect for scrobbling your music.
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