2013: A Year in Review


We all get excited when we see that our Annual Report is available on the Dashboard. With fireworks & all!

Did you know that WordPress itself gets the same kind of Annual Review each year? Take a look at some amazing numbers & outcomes (which you helped them to achieve).

The stat monkeys really did an outstanding job with this one! There are no fireworks, but what could have been a boring list of numbers & comparisons is actually a beautifully laid out report that is overflowing with bright colors & dynamic design.

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

With 2013 behind us, we can now take a look at our community’s incredible accomplishments over the past year. Here’s the year that was on WordPress.com.

13,704,819 new blogs in 2013

That’s a 36% increase from 2012, during which you created 10 million new blogs.

489,281,136 posts in 2013

That’s 12 times the number of books in the Library of Congress!

667,675,929 comments in 2013

That’s an average of 21 comments per second for the entire year.

comments since you’ve been
on this page.

95,424,985 likes in 2013

That’s almost 38,000 times the number of stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The most popular topics in 2013

You’ve written about thousands of topics in 2013. Here are the top ten:

  1. Photography328,763 posts
  2. Video289,493 posts
  3. Politics282,893 posts
  4. Music282,434 posts
  5. Life280,219 posts
  6. News259,493 posts
  7. Art240,367 posts
  8. Love168,657 posts
  9. Humor155,213 posts
  10. Food105,528…

View original 320 more words

Happy New Year From iOS Affairs: Here’s What’s Coming in 2014

Hello iOS Affairs readers! I actually thought there would be no one left reading the blog after all the time I was away recovering, but I recently started looking at the blog visitor numbers again, and I was very wrong. In fact, on an average day, iOS Affairs still gets 200-300 visitors! I'm absolutely amazed!

You can check out the end-of-the-year stats in a fun WordPress-created report (put together by stat monkeys!) & you'll see that about 95,000 people read iOS Affairs in 2013!

But, this post isn't about last year. It's not a review, it's not another apology for being away so long (although I did miss you all), & it's not another false start at returning the blog to an active status (barring some huge catastrophe like flying monkeys taking over the world, of course).

What this post IS about is what's coming up in 2014.

New, Newish, & Just a New Look for 2014

  • An overflowing list of cool reviews of new apps & some very cool apps you may have missed last year while I was away (Did everyone see Frax HD? How about Poshlight or Springle or …? Okay, I'm going to force myself to stop now!)
  • Some new blog features & special types of posts (still being finalized, so you'll have to wait for more on this).
  • More posts featuring how-to's, apps for specific people/professions/hobbies/etc., analytic/news posts to help you make decisions when buying new toys, apps, & accessories, pro/con posts on using new iOS 7 features or buying new devices, & the list goes on & on.
  • A look back at past posts including much-needed updates to key posts for apps like Instagram & Camera+ by Tap Tap Tap, just to name 2.
  • Posts with insight from the people who make all these apps possible – the developers. I want to talk to some of the great developers I've been able to get to know while writing iOS Affairs & I want to share some of their valuable advice, knowledge, & tips with you.
  • Reviews of some new products like fiftythree's fabulous new Pencil stylus that goes perfectly with their Paper iPad app, but can be used anywhere you usually use a stylus. Other products include the iPad Air; I know it's a little late, but it'll have my personal how-to's & tips that you won't find anywhere else. And, we'll see what else comes out this year. As a unrestrained early adopter, you can bet I'll have whatever it is as soon as possible.
  • And of course, new roundups of Big Fish Games! They've put out some incredible games for iOS in the past year & I will tell you which ones are worth playing & which ones you should skip. My pie in the sky plan is to eventually provide you with a list of every single Big Fish Game available for iOS with mini-reviews & links. That will take a bit of time, though.

All of this & much, much more will be coming to you very soon. I have a few ducks I need to make stay in a row before I can start writing again on a daily basis (those crazy ducks simply won't stay where I put them!).

My Word (I Pinky Swear)

I promise (within reason) that this is not another false start. I've wanted to start writing again for some time, but I didn't want to keep coming back, realizing I'm still too sick, rinse & repeat. So, I waited. I waited & waited & waited (I HATE waiting) until I felt healthy enough on a daily basis for a long enough time that I could be sure that I am up to the job of consistently bringing you important readers the news & reviews you're looking for.

What I Learned While Away

While I was waiting, I was too sick to do much. But, being sick couldn't keep me from my iDevices. Most of the time, it was all I was capable of doing. The upside is that I have SO much to tell you!

I started making a list of projects I did over the past 7 months, research I did in the App Store, little known apps I managed to find in dark, hidden corners, cool ways to save & actually make money using your iOS device, amazing gifts to give no matter what your price range, new social media groups/apps that have popped up (especially with a focus on photography), etc., etc., etc.

I read articles & magazines that gave me insight & ideas that I want to share with you, played with more apps than you can conceive of (I passed the 7,000 mark for apps I own!), found better ways to do many everyday chores using my iOS devices, & truly became an iDevice-only user when the only computer I had access to decided to die.

I have so much to say, so much to share, so much I want to show you, but I'm going to say goodnight now before this gets too long even by my standards. I'll leave you with some highlights from the list of more than 100 items I made of experiences I've had in the past 7 months in the iOS arena that led to ideas for posts.

I'm sure some of these will change a bit, some will combine with others, & some just won't work out like I planned, but this will give you an idea of what you have to look forward to.

Overly Long List of Upcoming Post Ideas

  • Doing Christmas iOS Style & Giving Gifts Digitally
  • How to Set Up Multiple Devices Within Families So Everyone Has Their Own iCloud Account, But Apps Are Shared
  • Is the 128GB iPad Worth It? Can iOS Handle That Much Data?
  • Explaining the App World to Complete Novices
  • Setting Up a Private Social Media Circle for Families/Groups of Friends: Which Apps Work Best?
  • Making Apps: Even Kids Can Do It With Newer Teaching Apps Available
  • Problem With an App You Just Bought? The Best Way to Resove It Isn't a Complaint in the App Store, It's Talking to the Developer: Here's How
  • How Do I Own 7,000 Apps? I'm Far From Rich, but I Know Where & When to Look for Paid App Sales
  • Banking on iOS: Is it Safe?
  • Are Game Reviews Rigged? Here's What I Learned
  • Justifying the Price of More Expensive Apps
  • Why AppleCare+ is an Absolute Must & the ABC's of AppleCare
  • New Arrivals on the Hidden Object Game Scene
  • How to Live Without a Computer
  • Social Apps for Photographers
  • Could iOS Gaming Ever Replace Consoles?
  • Why So Many Developers Choose to Make Apps for iOS First or Only Make Apps for iOS (It's Not About Money Really)
  • I Crossed the 2,000 Apps on 1 Device Mark & My iPhone Got Very Angry
  • Everything You Need to Know to Use Shared Photostreams
  • Why Your Mobile Phone Company is NOT the Place to Go for Device Problems
  • 2-Step Verification is Becoming Quite Popular: How it Works & When You Should Use It
  • Angry Your Favorite App Was Replaced With a Newer Version Instead of an Update After iOS 7? Here's Why It Happened
  • iOS 7: “Change for Change's Sake” or “Change or Perish”?
  • Why the Original iPad is Becoming Obsolete & Why I Think That Will Happen Faster for the iPad 2
  • How to Tell if an App is Abandoned & Why/When You Should Avoid Abandoned Apps
  • Is Apple Really That Expensive or Is It Just an Image?
  • How to Get the Do Not Disturb Feature to Really Not Disturb You (But Still Let the People You Want Get Through)
  • Has the iPad Finally Lost It's Entertainment Device Only Image?
  • Where to Find Cell Usage Data in iOS 7 & Other Apps You Can Stop Buying Because Your iOS Does That Now (plus, How to Save Data by Shutting Off Specific Apps)
  • The New Generation of Bluetooth Stylus'
  • The Best non-Safari Ways to Search the Internet
  • What Is That List of Apps at the Bottom of the Settings App For?
  • How Augmented Reality Is Going to Change What You See
  • iBook Alternatives: They Keep Making More!
  • Learning to Read Faster Using Cool New Apps
  • What's So Different About iOS 7 Wallpaper? (plus, a list of new key words & their definitions)
  • Best Dictionary/Thesaurus Apps & Why They Need to Do More Than Give Word Definitions Anymore (plus, a how-to on setting up the integrated iOS dictionary, in case you don't know it exists)
  • Everything I Learned During the iOS 7 Update Process (Possible Fix for Hung Up Update!) & You Won't Believe How Much Faster Restoring 64GB Via the iPad Air Is!
  • Train Your Brain, Improve Your Memory & Focus Using the Best Puzzle Apps & Other Assorted Helper Apps
  • Mood-Measuring & Tracking Apps; I've Tried Almost All of Them – Here Are the Best of Them
  • I Made My 1st Kickstarter Purchase: How It Works & Is It Worth It?
  • Device Peripherals: I Finally Found a Decent 3rd-Party Lightning Cord. Plus, Cases, External Battery Sources, Camera Adapters (and Why They Aren't Needed), Other Cords, etc.
  • Is a Quad-core Device Really Better?
  • Biggest Innovations of 2013 & What May Be Coming Next
  • Does Anyone Actually Know What's “Best” for Batteries? Truth, Fiction, & Who Knows
  • Paid vs Free: Does It Change How We Behave? A Look at the Paid, Free, Freemium Choices Developers Make
  • When Reading Reviews Is Worth It, When It's Not, & How to Know the Difference (plus, How to Be a Discerning Reader)

Well, I guess I decided to give you a little more than a peek! You know me though – I'm wordy & always write too long. That's what you like about me though, right?

Tell Me Your Ideas & What You Think of My Ideas, Please!

Let me know what you think of the list & other plans I have for iOS Affairs. Tell me what you want to see 1st or what you're not interested in seeing at all. Send me an email with any other ideas you might want to see instead or in addition.

I'm so glad to be back & to be able to write to all of you. It's been far too long!

Who, What, When, Tumblr?

I don't have an exact date for when iOS Affairs will return officially. It will be within the month. When I know the date, I will send a Tweet (follow @iosaffairs on Twitter) & put it on Facebook (like IOS Affairs Facebook Page). I'm looking into how to to short notes using the current design of this blog. Hopefully I'll find a way to place a note on the website, as well.

Did you know there is a Tumblr Edition of iOS Affairs? It is mostly the same posts you read here on the WordPress website, but I often publish extras on the Tumblr edition (things that won't fit or will be too long, extra infographics that may be off-topic, Instagram photos from the iOS Affairs Instagram account, & other tidbits & fun things).

I haven't said this for such a long time, but:

That's it for me today. Until later, …


2013 In Review: Wow, Big Thank You to My Readers!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 95,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

This Post Is NOT Like the Others

Hi readers! It’s me. Tracy. I’m alive and healthy and feel extraordinarily guilty about basically abandoning the blog.

This post is not like other posts on iOS Affairs. There will be no app reviews and no cool technology talk. For once (or twice), I’m going to talk about myself for a minute, something I try very hard not to do on this blog.

Many of you have either seen a note on Facebook or Twitter or have received an email or 10 from me saying that I have been sick. Well, that’s not the whole story.

I don’t have the flu or a cold. And, I’m not getting any better. In fact, I’m getting worse.

Some of you may remember the only other personal post I’ve done where I told you that I am disabled, I suffer from several lifelong illnesses, and I am in constant pain (just thought you might want a quick reminder).

What’s going on right now is that I’ve been told that I need to consider 1 or 2 rather radical surgeries that may help with the problems that have kept me from writing for the past month. I don’t like the word surgery. I especially don’t like the word surgeries.

These are complicated surgeries that have a lot of aftereffects that need to be dealt with.

I am not dealing with any of this particularly well.

I’m keeping myself busy doing medical research (which can be depressing) and playing with apps on my iDevices (so that I’ll have quite a lot to tell you when I start writing again). But, none of this is really distracting me from the malaise I feel over the decisions I have to make.

I see a specialist on July 1 who will help me go through all of my options.

Well, that’s enough of my medical melodrama.

The only reason I tell you dear readers all of this is so that you better understand why I have been away from my beloved blog and from you. It is hard to put on my writer’s cap when I feel this way.

So, until my medical melodrama is resolved and I am feeling better, I wanted to tell you that posts will be sporadic, if they come at all. I really hope you bear with me while I go through this so that I can see you when I return to my regular writing program.

I was in the middle of the longest post I’ve ever written at the beginning of this month when I got interrupted by all of this nonsense. It is sitting in my Drafts folder now and I plan to try to finish it off and post it sometime soon.

I may also invite a few guest posters to keep you entertained and informed. (I am still not taking guest post submissions due to the work involved. I am only doing guest posts of people I invite to write).

I really want to give you a post with a blow-by-blow of iOS 7 in the near future, as well. Hopefully I can find some time where I feel well enough to work on that.

Well, I think you know just about everything now. I hate going on and on about myself on a technology blog, but I also hate telling people I’m sick for months in a row with no explanation.

Just because I’m not writing posts does not mean I’m not lurking about my blog. So, if you have any iOS-related questions or questions about apps, feel free to ask at the end of any post or under the Questions page at the top of the screen. I’ll get back to you faster than you’d think.

If you’ve read this far, thanks for being so loyal. If you read any of this, thanks! I’ll do my best not to let you all down and to get back to writing iOS Affairs regularly as soon as possible.

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

WWDC 2013: Apple Announcements Expected on iOS 7, iRadio, & Much, Much More ~ Live Blog

What’s Happening Now, How to Watch it Yourself, & Everything Else You Ever Wanted to Know about WWDC 2013

wwdc 2013

With about 20 minutes until the Keynote address begins at Apple’s annual weeklong developer’s conference (WWDC), moods of Apple devotees across the Web could best be expressed as exuberant & speculation as to what will actually be announced is still flying around with few facts actually known. 

Watching the Keynote address is easier than ever this year. Existing Apple customers can watch via Safari or on an Apple TV on Apple’s Events section of their website


Also this year, Apple released a universal iOS app called WWDC where developers can log in & watch events, save their favorites, & even find a map to get around the conference. If you’re not a developer, just click “cancel” when asked to sign in & you can still access the schedule & Special Event videos section. I believe the keynote will be available to watch there as well, but I’m not sure when it will be made available. 

wwdc ustream

I myself, will be using Ustream, a FREE & universal app that has provided coverage of the event year after year via broadcasts by a wide variety of users. This year, I’ve chosen to watch live coverage by TWiT.tv, a well-known technology podcast provider. 


A lot of bloggers will be “live blogging” the whole event, many with very sophisticated systems that actually update your screen for you as they add news. Not to mention the teams of people they have working on such endeavors. 

As a 1-girl, 1-iPad setup, I can’t promise you such finery. What I will give you is all the WWDC Keynote address news as it happens, in bullet points which will be fleshed out with photos, quips, & background, as fast as my little fingers can type. 


Once the address is over, I’ll wrap it all up, analyze what happened, & what didn’t happen, throw in some photos, & place a pretty bow on top. 

  • For the main event, stay tuned to this page. I’ll just be adding what I can, as fast as I can. Refresh the page every few minutes, & you should have just about everything you ever wanted to know about what’s happening live at the WWDC (but were afraid to ask), & probably some opinions, tips, & randomness that may or may not directly relate to what’s happening. I promise. It’ll make sense to me. 
  • Once the whole thing is over, I may permit myself the luxury of standing up, taking a drink, petting my dog, etc. & then, I’ll get right on the write-up to explain in detail what just happened, what it all meant, & what it will mean to you & your iDevices in the near future. That post will be on a different webpage accessible from the main iOS Affairs home page, but I will link to it from the stream of consciousness that is live blogging (at least the way I do it). 

WWDC 2013 Keynote Address: As It Happens

  • Tim Cook on the stage welcoming people to the 24th annual developer conference. He even makes a joke at the expense of Apple Maps :)
  • Updates on Apple retail. Obviously not what everyone’s here to hear about, but I guess it heightens the drama. 
  • As usual, awesome, inspiring music accompanies every commercial, every video, even the wait for the show to begin. 
  • On to the App Store. Next month is the App Store’s 5th birthday!
  • 93% of the 900,000 apps in the App Store are downloaded every month. 
  • 575,000,000 store accounts. More accounts with credit cards than any other store on the Internet. 
  • Have now paid developers 10 billion dollars. 5 billion of that in the past year. 3 times more than all other platforms combined. Which is why developers come to Apple. Despite any frustration they may experience, iOS is where developers make money. Not every single one of them, but more than on any other platform (that’s my comment, not something he just said). 
  • Developer showing off some racing game. Not sure exactly why. Is this running on something new?  
  • The game is showing off how iOS can be used not just as a consumer device, but as the brains behind something that a few years ago people thought impossible from a mobile OS. This is a real-life video game. Available in Apple stores and online this fall. 
  • Okay, now we’re moving on to Macs. iMac #1 desktop in U.S. this year. Macbook is #1 in laptops in U.S. Also #1 in customer satisfaction. Mountain Lion best selling software of all time. Haha, the chart showing the number of people using the newest version of Mountain Lion vs the newest version of Windows is hilarious. 
  • 10th release of OSX will be named Mavericks. (They ran out of cats) The next 10 versions will be California-themed names. 
  • Top 3 innovations for Macs: Missed the 1st thing, sorry; Tagging (tag anything, anywhere (including iCloud) & search for it in finder); multiple displays – I don’t really get what the importance of this is, because I hate computers (sorry Mac users), but I’m sure you’ll be excited. 
  • I think I may fall asleep now. He just said CPU activity is reduced a lot which will save energy. & that compressed memory will be available immediately to any app or anything that is trying to open in seconds. 
  • On to Safari: Well, he had me at some cool things like a sidebar along your web pages so you can continually browse your saved articles, bookmarks, and bookmarks/links of people you follow on Twitter & LinkedIn. That looked really cool, but then he moved on to boring things (sorry computer people). There will be super-scrolling that will take you through long pages and Retina pages so smoothly. I hope this is shared over on iOS!
  • OOOh! A power-saving thing that interested me. It’s called App Nap. When something isn’t actively working, it naps, but is instantly available when needed. Will save battery life a LOT!
  • 1-click bookmarking
  • Another scrolling feature: when you scroll to the bottom of 1 article you’re reading, it starts the next article in the next tab (I believe). Same thing happens in Reader.  
  • iCloud Keychain: This looks SOOOOOOOO cool! This may kill all password apps!
  • Improvements to notifications on the Mac: Ability to reply within a notification. Don’t have to open an email, just click on the notification and type there. Get your push notifications from news, etc. also through Mac notifications. 
  • Mac Calendar aware of location, weather, what have you. And, it’s beautiful. Put in something you want to eat for lunch and it suggests restaurants. Will tell you travel times, etc. Will add travel time to your calendar. Notifications go to your iPhone too. 
  • Apple Maps is coming to Macs, but it is gorgeous and has everything that fixed that people complained about. Flyovers, street view, POI, rotate flyovers (new flyover data), POI on info cards with reviews (sync across all devices). Plus, send directions from your Mac to your iPhone. 
  • iBooks coming to Mac. Full iOS library coming to your Mac. 
  • Now, we get to see a demo of all of the Mac features. 
  • OSX preview available for developers today; available to users this fall. 

Moving on to MacBook Air

  • All-day battery life
  • Turns on in a second
  • Monthlong standby
  • New AirPort Extreme & AirPort Time Capsule: This is a lot of tech stuff that I just don’t get. But, it sounds pretty awesome. 
  • New MacBook Airs start shipping today.

Sneak Peek of Mac Pro

  • Intel Xeon chip. Double performance of previous generation. Based on PCIe Flash 
  • Dual workstation GPUs for graphics. 2.5x the last generation. 
  • 4K displays
  • Thunderbolt 2
  • (I have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. It sounds like jibberish to me, but it looks like a computer built out of a Star Wars robot, so I’m all good with it.)
  • Coming later this year and it is U.S. designed, U.S. built. 

iCloud on the table now

  • Fastest-growing cloud service ever
  • iTunes in the Cloud most popular, 300,000,000 users
  • Deeply integrating iCloud into the new iWork (did he say new iWork? the iWork that hasn’t been updatd in YEARS?)
  • Later this year new releases of all versions of iWork for Mac and iOS
  • Newest member of iWork is iWork for Cloud: everything you do in Pages, etc. but done in a web browser. 
  • How does it work with Word documents? Perfectly. Open up the Microsoft document & start working on it just like it was started there. 
  • Everything happens in a web browser. 
  • 3D Keynote animations work in a web browser beautifully. 
  • Plus, it all works on Windows desktops. Because it all happens in a web browser, it is cross-platform. 
  • Public beta opens today for developers. Users look for it later this year. 

Yay!!!!!!!! iOS

  • Now sold 600 million iOS devices. 
  • Experion study shows iPhone users use their iPhone 50 percent more than Android users use their phones. 
  • iPad has 82% of market share
  • iPhone and iPad customers are responsible for more mobile shopping on Black Friday last year
  • JD Power has named iPhone best in customer satisfaction 9 consecutive times. 
  • iOS satisfaction is 97%. 25 points better than Android.
  • Software updates are done easily

iOS 6


Standing ovation for iOS 7 video. Someone just yelled that they love Tim!

Biggest change to the iPhone since it was begun. I wish you could’ve seen the video!

You can see behind the icons to better see your wallpaper. Fonts have changed, the color palette is changed, it is ALLLLLLL different. It is dynamic! Integrates gestures! Folders can have multiple pages. 

Comprehensive, end-to-end redesign of the user experience. It’s like getting a new phone that you already know how to use.

Multi-tasking for ALL apps with great battery life. iOS 7 learns your patterns for how you use apps. It gives background support to wapps to the degree that you use them. 

I’m almost speechless. Well, typeless. I am so awed I don’t know what to write first. He’s going to fast and it is all amazing!

This is a really bad picture of how “tabs” look like in Safari now. From the top. Not limited to 8, can see all tabs from all devices. 

Swipe up from the bottom for all the buttonsyou use a lot. Accessible from lock screen too. Flashlight, music, etc. 

Photos app made into Moments. No more mess! Moments are tied into Collections. Photos app has filters for fuller editing. Better sharing. iCloud photo sharing lets you share to multiple streams. And others can share into your photo streams. iCloud even supports video sharing. 

Siri gets an update with new voices in male and female. Added languages. Can control way more of the device. “Play my last voicemail” Integrated Wikipedia, Bing search results, and Twitter. 

iOS in the Car

Siri lets you go eyes free in the car. Just a ton of manufacturers bringing iOS integration in 2014. 

App Store search changes: Discover apps based on location and age ranges. 


Music app looks great, but it’s getting glossed over for 

iTunes Radio: Built into everything Apple. Free with ads. If you’re an iTunes Match subscriber it’s ad-free. Starting in U.S.

iOS 7 beta available to developers today for iPhone. Final release for users this fall:

iPhone 4 and above, iPad 2 and above, iPod Touch 5 and above. 

They are just winding things up now doing an overview of everything they’ve told us. 

So, as we expected, no new devices, but this new iOS is overwhelming, amazing, and enough for me right now. 

I’ll be back with an article that hopefully makes a little more sense than this word salad in just a few hours. 

Thanks for following along!


Wanna Make an App? Check Out This eBook!

While manically hopping from app to Internet to app & back again, I discovered an excellent resource at The App Guides that you must check out!

The page at the link above is titled “Find Out More,” & what follows is information about an eBook that can help people who have limited programming skills develop an app. 

It is titled Creating Apps – The Guide for Ordinary People.

Smashwords has a great extended description of the eBook that really summarizes what makes Creating Apps stand out from the crowd:

This eBook is a guide for creative people who have the ideas and the desire to build apps, but are not programmers. How? You can do it by outsourcing the technical tasks and concentrating your efforts on managing the rest of the process: from fleshing out the concept, to the design and marketing. There are many things to consider to create a winning app.

Here’s a listing of some of what is covered in this fabulous eBook:

  • How to plan your project.
  • The importance of a good design.
  • How to find resources.
  • Revenue models. 
  • Marketing options. 
  • What happens after it is published.

web apps

Credit: Creating Apps eBook

I have to share the following quote because I really had no idea of what a “web” app really was. Shh! Don’t tell anyone I didn’t know. Here’s what Creating Apps says:

… Though all programs pre-installed on your mobile device are native not all apps have to be.  You have the option of developing a Web App, which is an Internet-based application that runs on the browser of the mobile device and where all or some parts of the software are downloaded from the Web each time it is run. … Web Apps are typically designed to be accessible across different device platforms, meaning there is less device-specific customization. They are easier to build than Native Apps, and distribute more quickly. They are also easier to maintain.

creating apps

Here is the cover of Creating Apps via Smashwords, which is actually where I saw it in the 1st place (now that I really concentrate & think back). 

Looking for Creating AppsHere Are the Vital Stats

  • By: Jacqueline D. Anderson
  • Price: $10.99 USD (I’m sure it varies, though)
  • Rating: Not yet rated
  • Published: March 31, 2011 
  • Words: 38,131 (approximate)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9781458183057

You can sample 20 percent of this eBook for FREE!

Interested in learning more? The Smashwords website has a great roundup of everything you need to know to get anything from just the 1st 20 pages of Creating Apps to the whole book. Following is the chart that was published at Smashwords:

Available eBook Reading Formats With Links for Creating Apps

Format Full Book Sample First 20%
Online Reading (HTML, good for sampling in web browser) Buy View sample
Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps) Buy Download sample
Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others) Buy Download sample
Epub (load into Stanza) Buy Launch sample
PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing) Buy No sample available
RTF (readable on most word processors) Buy No sample available
LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don’t support .Epub) Buy Download sample
Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices) Buy Download sample
Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting) Buy

No sample available
Plain Text (view) (viewable as web page)   Buy       —       No sample available                                                                                

That’s it for me today. Until later, … 

P.S. I’m lying! I have a few other things planned today. 


Stay tuned & be sure to check out my brand new image at the very top of the screen here at iOS Affairs

A brand new set of 4 images will randomly appear across the top of iOS Affairs. They were designed by Lauren Davis of Lauren Davis Creative in Rockford, Illinois. Send her an email if you like what you see & you would like a graphic design for social events, businesses, or anything you can dream up, all at very reasonable prices. 


Shop local

Credit: Culture Shock, Rockford, Illinois (Lauren is co-owner of Culture Shock)

Know why Lauren is so good & yet so reasonably priced (& nice to boot)? Because she is a LOCAL designer. She is not part of some big business. Lauren is also an active member of the Buy Local movement in the Rockford area & nationally. 

The Buy Local movement is something I feel is extremely important for economic & ethical reasons. But, that is a post for another day. Well, actually, for another blog. A blog that writes about those things. So, that is all I have to say, I guess. Until I sneak something irrelevant to technology in another long & ranting post. Like this story for all the people who think buying local is too hard or too expensive. Okay, I’m done. The end!


Except …

Thank you so much Lauren for the beautiful, steampunky designs! They’re PERFECT!

Ultimate Guide to Memorial Day Weekend iOS App Sales

I’ve been kind of hibernating for a few days, so I thought it only fair that upon my return I bring you something amazing. I’ve prepared a list of Memorial Day weekend app sales to end all lists. It’s your ultimate guide to all the best apps on sale. Not just games. This list has everything!

What makes this list better than most holiday app lists? I own almost every app on the list & do mini-reviews of each app. This is not just a list of the usual big-ticket games, this list includes apps I guarantee you will not find on most other lists. Even the games I pick are not the usual. Well, check it out & see.

Some of these apps don’t explicitly say that they are on sale for Memorial Day, so don’t get mad at me if they’ve gone up in price again by Monday. I’m just going to show you the best FREE & reduced price apps available today that look like they will be available all weekend. But, I’m not psychic


World Conqueror 2

One of the only FREE games I could find that I could actually recommend is World Conqueror 2 (universal). There are scattered listings of FREE games for this weekend, but to be honest, most games are just reduced price. Most are discounted to 99 cents, which is actually a really good deal when you consider that many of them normally cost anywhere between $5-$10. Don’t be disappointed though! Check out some fabulous FREE apps in non-game categories. 


W.E.L.D.E.R. (universal): This very popular & highly rated word game was an App Store New & Noteworthy app when it was 1st released. Usually $2.99, W.E.L.D.E.R. takes classic word-building & adds wackiness & fun. You can play solo or against your Game Center friends & random opponents.

99-cent Deals

EA games

All EA Games: As usual for a holiday weekend, almost all EA (Entertainment Arts) games have been reduced to 99 cents. Titles range from the likes of Max and the Magic Marker (iPad version) to The Sims 3 (iPhone only) You can browse all of the EA games by searching the App Store for “EA games” or “Entertainment Arts games.” Either works & will bring up a listing of all of this developer’s games.

Gameloft games

All Gameloft Games: Another developer who’s put all of their titles on sale this weekend is Gameloft. These games usually run you about $6.99, so 99 cents is a pretty good deal. A good example of a Gameloft game is Wild Blood (universal). The fact that most Gameloft games are universal (unlike most EA games) makes them an even better deal. 

Playdek games

All Playdek Games: Although they have a smaller library of games, don’t count Playdek out. Most of their games tend more toward the board game genre, but I love board games. Check out the highly rated Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer (universal) for an exciting magic-like card game, or Fluxx (universal) for a game the whole family will love trying to figure out. 

Shiny The Firefly

Shiny The Firefly (universal): I haven’t played Shiny, but it is rated very highly & is on my AppShopper Social wish list. It is a platformer that may look like it is only for children, but I think it may appeal to everyone. Shiny usually costs $2.99. 

Jacob Jones

Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery: Episode 1 (universal): This game aimed at children, but yet again appealing to everyone, was in the App Store’s New & Noteworthy category just last week. Usually priced at $2.99, it has been discounted for a limited time. I was really excited to see this on the list of sale apps, except for the fact that I bought it last week at the normal price :( Oh well!


Penumbear (universal): I haven’t bought this platformer yet, but it looks absolutely amazing! Usually $1.99, Penumbear gets almost 5 stars from critics & App Store reviewers alike. The twist in this game is that you can only walk on the line between shadow & light. Luckily, your best friend is a firefly who can turn lights on & off. There are more than 100 levels of puzzles based on this premise, plus lots of extra things to find & bosses to fight as you help Penumbear escape a creepy castle. 

Everything Else

Photography – FREE Apps


InstaDaily (iPhone only): Usually $2.99, I picked this little app up yesterday for FREE. This is 1 of the apps that I’m not sure why it’s on sale, so it may not last all weekend. InstaDaily lets you add a magazine-like feel to your photos. You can take them with the frame showing while you shoot, or you can import photos & see what works with what. It’s pretty cool looking!


TypoPic – Text 3D Rotation (iPhone only): This very cool app (usually 99 cents) is new to the App Store this week, but already it’s 1 of my very favorite text on photos app (& I have a zillion of them). What makes TypoPic stand out from the crowd is the fact that you can not only adjust type in about a million ways (expect a full review coming soon), but you can also rotate the text in any direction so that it looks 3D. & it actually works! It looks just amazing. 


Albu – Beautiful Photo Manager (iPhone only): Albu is an app that organizes all of the photos in your Photo app on its own. All you have to do is enjoy your photos in neat albums that usually make sense. You don’t have to do anything but open the app. Usually 99 cents. 

PhotoCal with Event

PhotoCal with Event (universal): Usually $2.99, PhotoCal is a great way to organize & view your photos. The app arranges all of your photos by date & even lets you view it all in a calendar-like view where you can see a sampling of what you took a month at a time. 

Text On Pics PRO

Text On Pics PRO (universal):  Another app where you can add text on top of photos, but this 1 has an astounding 180 fonts & is universal. Other than that, this is your standard app for doing this kind of task. But, it’s FREE! Download it & judge for yourself. What do you have to lose?

Strut Type

Strut Type (universal): This very cool camera/photo editing app just got even better, which is what they’re celebrating. Not so much about Memorial Day. It’s still a good time to pick up Strut Type for FREE. Strut Type transforms your photos into vintage, old-fashioned black & white photos. That may sound pretty limited, but there are actually 94 editing designs & with other factors added in, there are 500 possible combinations for diverse results. 

Photography – Discounted Apps

All JixiPix Apps: As you know if you read iOS Affairs, JixiPix is 1 of my very favorite developers because they make the very best photo editing apps. & this weekend, all JixiPix apps are only 99 cents! Yay! My favorite of the Jixi bunch is definitely PhotoArtistaHD – Haiku (iPad version), which is in the photo above. Haiku is a mix of watercolor, India ink & handmade papers. Other Jixi apps include Pop Dot Comics (iPhone version, although all are on sale), Grungetastic HD (iPad version) & Portrait Painter HD (iPad version). I have reviewed absolutely every Jixi app. You can find reviews of all the specific apps listed above here & here & here


ToonCamera (universal): I know that a cartoon effect is included in just a ton of camera & editing apps, but ToonCamera just does this 1 thing, so they do it really well. Much better than some effect that you add on & can’t even edit with a cheap camera app. Usually $1.99, ToonCamera is on sale for 99 cents, and is also universal. You can take photos & video with many variations of cool cartoon styling with your iPhone or iPad.

Lifestyle Apps – FREE

Shatoetry (iPhone only): This is a really funny app! What Shatoetry is about is writing poems (Shatisms) using words the app gives you (& they update the word list a lot). What makes it funny is that all the poems are read aloud when you’re done by William Shatner. For real. I’m not making it up. He recorded each word that you use & the app strings all the words together. Each word & even spaces can be emphasized with intuitive gestures. You can even save the voice recording as video & share it. Usually 99 cents. 

Cardio Buddy

Cardio Buddy – Touchless Camera Heart Rate Monitor (iPhone only): I’ve been using Cardio Buddy for some time now & it’s incredibly accurate as compared to what my heart rate is at the doctor’s. The algorithm that measures your heart rate just by looking at your face was developed by researchers at Berkeley & Stanford. It measures color variations in your face that are imperceptible to the eye. Plus, it will impress your friends. Usually $1.99. 

Smart Alarm Clock

Smart Alarm Clock for iPad: This app isn’t just an alarm clock. It also says (I own this app, but haven’t used it yet) that it tracks your sleep cycles & wakes you up at the best possible time based on when your body is coming out of deep R.E.M. sleep & going into a lighter sleep. Usually 99 cents (most apps that do this cost much more). 

Lifestyle Apps – Discounted

Social Diary

Social Diary – Automated Journal (iPad only): The name of this app is much longer because it actually includes all the social media the app supports. I shortened it, because that’s insane. Social Diary itself, though, is a cool concept & really neat to use. It imports all of your Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram photos, & lets you choose which ones you want to write about more in your diary. All currently for 99 cents!

Sky Guide

Sky Guide: View Stars Night or Day (universal): I’m not that into astronomy (although I seem to own all the major apps), but Sky Guide really wowed me this week. It is in the App Store’s New & Noteworthy right now, so I can’t say what it usually costs, but the developer’s say the 99 cent price will double eventually. Still, that is not bad for an app of this kind. What’s so special about it? It uses actual photos of the sky, not simulated points of light, so it feels more real. Plus, the info that is written on everything is in-depth & not from Wikipedia. There is music that changes based on the size & temperature of the star you’re looking at. I could go on, but this is supposed to be brief. 


ScrapBook – Tell Your Story (iPad only): This is an app I’m planning on picking up today. It looks really amazing & has everything you need to make great digital scrapbooks. You can include photos, text, maps, voice recordings, & there are a lot of ways to lay everything out in many cool themes. ScrapBook is by Left Coast Logic, a developer who has put all of there apps on sale this weekend. Most are quite expensive & are really more productivity apps, like calendars, but they are extremely innovative & worth a look. Usually $4.99, ScrapBook is on sale for $2.99.

Writing & Productivity Apps – FREE

Goodo Cal (iPhone only): Usually $3.99, this uniquely named calendar app is FREE right now. It is a very clean looking, non-traditional calendar (which I downloaded but haven’t gotten to yet). It may look minimalistic (which is the point), but it says it has many integrated functions, including Stream View, fast event creation, & ability to sync with Google Calendar. 


Getodo – To-do Lists for Your Circles (iPhone only): I just downloaded this really amazing looking to-do list (to-do lists & to-do list apps are an obsession of mine). Getodo promotes itself as helping people who may be procrastinators or who feel inefficient. It helps these people by breaking down tasks into smaller, more do-able bits (I may need to try this). What attracted me, of course, are the beautiful themes & design. They really need to spell-check their app description, though. Usually 99 cents. 

Timer+ Touch

Timer+ Touch HD (iPad only): This is a neat app despite the fact that I think the app icon is really a turn-off & the claim that it is 1 of a kind because it is touch-enabled is stupid. However, if you have an iPad & need a timer, this is a really good 1 that you set just by swiping around the circle. Easy as can be & that’s about it. Usually 99 cents. 

Writing & Productivity Apps -Discounted 


TaskPaper – Simple To-do Lists (universal): Usually $4.99, TaskPaper is on sale for $1.99. This 1 is on my wish list, but it looks really great & is very highly rated. The goal of TaskPaper is to feel just like you’re using a sheet of paper. It syncs with Dropbox to make sure you don’t lose all your precious info. 


TextGrabber + Translator (iPhone only): This incredibly useful & accurate app grabs & translates words in anything you can photograph. You can even import existing photos that include words. Usually $9.99, TextGrabber is on sale for $4.99. When I say it grabs the text, I mean that it copies the words & changes them into editable text on your iPhone that can also be translated into a lot of different languages within the same app. 


Pencilicious *Plus: Note taking, sketching, and drawing (iPad only): This is my go-to scratch-pad when I need to take notes quickly & I want to feel like I’m using a sheet of paper. The hand-writing is out of this world! The only thing Pencilicious is missing is the ability to use it in landscape mode. Other than that, this is a great app for taking notes by hand & I can see how it would be an awesome sketching app. Usually $2.99, it is on sale for $1.99. 

Songwriter's Pad

Songwriter’s Pad (iPad only): I saw this app, which is made by the same developers as Poet’s Pad (on my biggest wish list), & I had to share. Songwriter’s is usually $9.99, but this weekend it’s on sale for $1.99. For that price, you get a place to write lyrics with an integrated rhyming dictionary, dictionary & thesaurus. There is also a place to note chords with the lyrics & even a record function so you can sing or hum or whatever when the mood strikes you. Now, if only Poet’s Pad would go on sale this much!

That’s it for the list right now. I may update over the weekend if I see anything exceptional. Have a great holiday & thanks for reading my very long list!

That’s it for me today. Until later, … 

Wow! VideoFilters Is Camera+ For Videos


A universal app released in the App Store yesterday called VideoFilters has absolutely amazed me with a set of features similar to Camera+. Except, as the name suggests, it’s for videos. 

VideoFilters has attributes that will make both pros & amateurs alike very happy. 

  • Amateurs are going to LOVE the 100 real-time filters you use while you’re shooting, the ability to import videos you’ve already taken with other cameras & being able to snap still photos while you’re shooting a video. 
  • Pros will like the fact that with VideoFilters they can adjust the frames per second (FPS), shoot with STEREO Audio & do some actual editing (contrast, saturation, gamma & brightness). 

What I loved is how easy VideoFilters was to figure out. It literally took me all of 10 minutes to be ready to write this review. 

I was a little disappointed at 1st by the fact that the filters are not quite as dramatic as say the filters in Camera+, but that disappointment was soon replaced with awe at just how many features the developers were able to fit into 1 app without making it feel cluttered or confusing. 

There is no tutorial, but it isn’t needed anyway. 


I also realized that, although I’d like to see some more dramatic filters in the future, the filters that exist are actually quite good. You can see a complete listing of all 100 filters in the app description in the App Store. 

What really made me realize how impressive the filters are is rapidly switching between filters & no filter by tapping the on/off button in the very corner on the bottom left.  


To choose a filter, you just tap the line along the bottom (which it says). You can browse the filters divided into 14 categories as little photos or tiled for easier viewing (photo above). 

And, you won’t see a stock photo as you’re looking through the filters. You’ll see whatever your device’s camera is pointed at, or if you’ve imported a video, you’ll see whatever image the video is paused on. That means, you’ll see how the filter is reacting with your environment & your actual video. 

I really liked that 1 of the groupings of filters is made to address common issues people have with their videos or environments like: 

  • Clarity to crisp up fuzzy photos
  • Fluorescent for videos shot under this type of light
  • Cloudy & Shade for shooting while it’s, well, you can figure this 1 out
  • Flash to add light to dark photos 
  • & several more 


Another nifty feature I discovered how to access by accident. I had skipped the instructions for this in the app description (oops). 

If you do a long tap on the screen & then slide up/down, you get to the pop-up menu (photo above) to adjust the saturation, contrast, gamma & brightness. Then, you slide left/right to increase/decrease the amount. It works just like Snapseed, so you should have no difficulty doing it. 

Minor editing of those features really changes the filters, too.


I am definitely in the amateur photographer category, so I really appreciate some of the features like the smooth zoom buttons, the grid overlay & being able to take a photo while I’m shooting a video. 

  • The smooth zoom buttons (the +/- above & below the zoom bar) slowly & steadily zooms in or out. I can never do that without jerking around like I’m having a seizure, so this is highly appreciated. 
  • Grid overlay (read why this is a useful tool here) is turned on & off in the settings menu (the gear in the upper, left corner). 
  • All you have to do to take an HD-quality photo while shooting a video is tap the camera button to the right of the record button. This only shows while you’re shooting (duh). When you’re not, it’s the render button to finish & save your video.  

For the pros out there, the settings menu is where you’ll probably head to 1st. That’s where you can adjust the FPS, aspect ratio, sound quality & other things I don’t understand much (although I’m happy to see there is a stabilize button there). 

You can adjust the speed of the video right from the shooting screen. 

With the speed settings button in the upper, right corner, you can do slow motion & fast motion videos. I haven’t tried this yet, but it looks easy & sounds like it could be fun to play with. 

I did import a video from my Camera Roll with the + button that is right next to the record button. VideoFilters didn’t make me search through all my photos for the videos either. It quickly found all my videos & only showed me those to choose from. Importing & working with the video worked like a charm, too!

The other features I couldn’t cram into this review but that should be mentioned include:

  • You can take videos in either portrait or landscape mode!
  • Layer filters by adding additional filters after a video is done. 
  • Use the front or back camera!
  • Manually set the exposure, focus & white balance with a triple-tap. 
  • Pause while shooting video & then start right back up again. 

I wanted to mention again that all this video goodness is universal. That means that you can enjoy VideoFilters using your iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch! The price is just $3.99. 

So, go check it out!

That’s it for me today. Until later, … 

Guest Post: iOS 7: Skeuomorphic Designs That May Disappear

Hello readers, Tracy here. I wanted to introduce this last guest post, because, well, it will be the last guest post for a long, long while (sorry about the scads of email I need to return to people who really deserved to know this 1st). Don’t get me wrong. It’s a wonderful post full of a lot of insight (even if I did have to look up the word skeuomorphic, which, in design speak, means imitating features of 1 object when designing a different object).

However, I’ve just gotten overwhelmed at the guest post submissions I’ve received & decided that it is better to just say no to all than to be unfair or to drive myself crazier than I already am. So, enjoy this wonderful analysis of what could lie ahead for us when we get a peek at iOS 7, because after this, you’re just stuck with me again :)

Now, on with the show …

Say what you want about the faux wood-grain effect in the iBook app, I quite enjoy it. This is just one of many apps that JonyIve may be getting rid of in the release of iOS 7. The concept of the new operating system is rumored to be a reflection of JonyIve’s simplistic designs of the past. Although iOS does need an overhaul in order to stay competitive against the likes of Windows and Android, does it really need to lose the flare and luster that many of us enjoy?

1. iMovie The iMovie app looks like the front of a movie theater that you may see passing by on the street. Just looking at the screen makes me feel like I need to buy some popcorn. Although many are eagerly waiting simplistic design for the app, it’s going to be hard for me to say goodbye. The wrecking ball is swaying into the theater and paving the way for “innovation” once again. As long as Apple doesn’t put up a Starbucks in its place, I suppose I can live with the change.

2. Newsstand – The only thing I would personally change on the Newsstand feature is perhaps adding those metal revolving devices that hold magazine that you can spin. Aside from that, I like the aesthetics of the wood-grain shelves holding the magazines that interest me the most. I suppose after this new roll-out, I’ll be left with just touching an icon that represents the magazine title.

Game Center
3. Game Center – The Game Center look and feel is perhaps one of the only things I would change in iOS. However, I wouldn’t get rid of the skeumorphic process altogether. Maybe Apple could beef it up a bit as not everyone realizes what a card table may look like. I suppose moving game icons into their own area like Android has is the way of the future? Almost feels like Apple plans on alienating the ones who bought into iOS because it was so flashy.

4. Podcasts The tape real has always been one of my favorite uses on iOS. I suppose that is showing my age since I know what one of these devices is. However, shouldn’t we teach our children where technology originated from as part of our culture? I suppose the Podcasts app could look better and be designed for this generation, but don’t do away with the graphical flare entirely.

Page turning
5. Page Turning – As I love to read books, this is a graphical enhancement I hope remains, but I doubt it will. The visual of the page turning within the iDevice keeps us grounded as to where books originated from without the use of digital download. It’s an elegant flow of motion that many may take for granted. However, it is one of those features that makes iOS what it is and is not reminiscent of other devices.

6. Notes – This is another aesthetic enhancement that many think we can do without. Of course we can deal with it, but then it wouldn’t be the iOS Notes that I like to use. If I wanted a plain white surface to type my notes on, I’d load up Notepad on my PC. Even the sticky-pad may be on the chopping block – although I still use the real-life versions regularly. How much more creativity needs to be erased in order to provide a stable system environment?

7. Contacts – I remember having a book of all my contacts in alphabetical order with tabs declaring what part of the alphabet each page pertained to. I suppose I just have to realize that today’s culture would rather have the chrome and creative-less face to apps and functions. Am I too old for artistic modification of technology? Are there really that many people in the world who would prefer not having the flash and individuality that Apple has provided me throughout the years?

8. Flattened Look – Many are drawn to the appeal of Windows 8 because of its ease of use and flattened look. Personally, I think it looks a bit bland and faceless. Differentiating colored boxes to represent the most common elements for you to click on makes the OS look like someone failed in designing new icons and graphics. I will never own a device that looks like something that should be in my child’s toy-box. When did we become a society of bland aesthetics and void of artistic expression? 

Simplistic. I suppose it could be a term that is used along side of innovation, but I’d rather see the effects-driven look and feel remain in iOS. One of the most attractive points to owning any iDevice is the creativity surrounding such apps and features. What should be an integrated feature is the ability to customize those apps and areas. Apple could give people ability to stick with tradition or move ahead with bland. Regardless of the appearance changes of iOS, a new version needs to be rolled out soon in order to encourage future sales. I just hope it is akin to functionality while keeping some of the graphical enhancements I’ve grown to love.

Author Bio:

Ken Myers is the founder of  http://www.longhornleads.com/ & has learned over the years the importance of focusing on what the customer is looking for and literally serving it to themHe doesn’t try to create a need, instead he tries to satisfy the existing demand for information on products and services.

10 Apps That Will Change Your Life


I can attest to the fact that something as innocuous as an iPhone, or iPad in my case, can change your life. I honestly don’t remember how I got by without my devices. 

I know people who think this type of statement is indicative of over-reliance on technology, but I disagree. I think it depends, as usual. 

What might be over-reliance for 1 person may be lifesaving for another. 

For instance, a person who uses their devices to the exclusion of human interaction may have a problem with over-reliance. But, a person who is disabled, isolated, or in some other way impaired may find a whole new life waiting for them with the help of these devices. They may forge new types of relationships & bonds with people that would be impossible for them without the devices. 

Technology & devices in this context can open up a world that was closed to a person in this situation. 

Always remember before you make sweeping statements that technology is over-used or just bad that there are almost always exceptions. There are always going to be people who don’t fit nicely into the world as you’ve organized it. 

Black & white are nice as colors to paint with, but I find that the world is mostly shades of gray.

Originally posted on Fabulous Friday Find:

Apps Title

Technology can only be life changing if it enhances or improves something you already do. Your iPhone/Smartphone can’t make you exercise more or change your diet. But it can help you make your life more social, more creative, and way more fun. With so many apps aimed at helping you take care of yourself and your life, your device can be that source of support and inspiration — plus all the nerdy statistics and facts you’d ever want.

If any of you are like me…you feel lost without your phone, and iPad, and laptop…all of these things make my life easier and keep me connected no matter where I am. So, in our information age of busyness, how can we get these devices to work for us instead of against us. For example, if you take notes on paper and are looking for a digital avenue…you will only stick with…

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