Reviews

Widgets in iOS 8: Explained

Widgets are part of Extensibility, one of the biggest new features in iOS 8, and one of the most important, most enabling new technologies to come to the iPhone and iPad since the launch of the App Store. With Today view extensions, any app can present a widget that displays information and offers a small amount of interaction right in Notification Center. That makes them only ever a swipe away. So, how do widgets work?

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Review 15: X-Men

Review is like app or game coverage but for movie series, television shows, comic books, and other geeky entertainment. It's great stuff you can watch and enjoy on your phone, tablet, or connected TV! On this week's episode Clayton Morris joins Georgia, Guy, Dave, and Rene to talk X-Men. From the original comics to the animated shows to Bryan Singer's movies, Brett Ratner's something something, First Class, spinoffs, and Days of Future Past.

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iPod touch: Kids review!

The iPod touch is now colorful and camera-equiped across the line, and available for just $199 for 16GB, and just $249 or $299 for 32GB or 64GB. To get to those price points, however, it eschews cutting-edge specs. It's not the fastest processor or highest-end camera. It's simply the least expensive, most portable way way to get onto iOS and the App Store. So what does that mean for the experience? How productive and how much fun is it to use?

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Metal in iOS 8: Explained

You know it's serious because Apple's Craig Federighi flipped a goat on stage at WWDC when he announced it.

Metal. If the name sounds hardcore, it's because it's a hardcore improvement to the way games will be able to perform on iOS 8. Metal represents a much more no-nonsense approach to getting the most out of the Apple A7's gaming performance, assuring users of the iPhone 5S, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display that their devices will continue to be top-notch game systems come this fall.

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iOS 8 SceneKit: Explained

Games are the single biggest category of products available for download in the App Store, so it's fitting that iOS 8 sees changes designed to help game developers. One of those changes is the addition of SceneKit, a technology first introduced for OS X developers in Mountain Lion in 2012. SceneKit helps developers to more quickly render game scenes in 3D. It's not aimed at developers working on sophisticated console-quality games; instead, SceneKit is aimed at makers of more casual fare.

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Interactive notifications in iOS 8: Explained

With traditional notifications you could be alerted when a message came in, an invitation was sent your way, news was shared with you, etc. but you couldn't do anything about it, not without leaving your current activity to switch apps, take action, and then find your way back. With interactive notifications in iOS 8, however, you can reply to a message right from the banner, accept an invitation right from the lock screen, or like a piece of news directly from Notification Center. Whether you're editing a business document or playing a game, interruption is minimized and app switching is potentially eliminated altogether. So, how does it work?

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QuickType keyboard in iOS 8: Explained

QuickType is the next generation of iOS virtual keyboard. Originally introduced with the first iPhone in 2007, Apple's approach was revolutionary for its time. But now it's 2014 and the state of the art of keyboards has changed. Prediction has taken the place of correction. So, with iOS 8, Apple has responded with a new, contextually predictive keyboard system. It's called QuickType. But how does it work?

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Continuity in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite: Explained

Continuity is a new feature in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite that allows iPhone, iPad, and Mac to remain true to their form-factors while still working seamlessly together. Continuity includes a new, cross-compatible AirDrop, a new Instant Hotspot for effortless tethering, Handoff to pass app activities back and forth between devices, and the ability to take and make calls and SMS/MMS from your iPhone on your iPad or Mac.

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AirDrop and Instant Hotspot in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite: Explained

While perhaps not as new and sexy as Handoff, making or taking calls, or sending and receiving SMS/MMS, the final two Continuity features in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite will absolutely make life easier for anyone with an iPhone and/or iPad and Mac. And that's the new, cross-compatible AirDrop and the new, Instant Hotspot. So, how do they work?

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iCloud drive in OS X Yosemite: Explained

Need to sync files between Macs, or between Macs, iOS devices and PCs? Look no further than iCloud Drive

Steve Jobs famously told the creators of Dropbox that their app was a feature, not a product, and they proved him wrong. Dropbox and other file sharing services have grown to near ubiquity as people find more uses for them. Apple's not ready to cede Jobs' position, though. iCloud Drive is coming to iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, and it provides a lot of the same functionality that Dropbox does, but with much better top-to-bottom integration with Apple's ecosystem.

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