All Articles by Serenity Caldwell | iMore

All Articles by Serenity Caldwell

Review: Deck out your iPhone 6 with a Casetify case

I don't use Facebook very often — it's a place for me to keep in touch with Canadian cousins and roller derby folk, and that's about it. As such, what I'm about to say seems a bit crazy: I not only found Casetify on Facebook, but through a Facebook ad. In fact, the accessory-maker may win the award for the first Facebook ad I've ever clicked on.

I wish I could say that the copy was enthralling or punny, but it was the imagery that actually caught my eye: Casetify makes clear iPhone 6 and 6 Plus cases with specialized designs imprinted on them, and was showcasing them on a gold iPhone. A gold iPhone, encased in such a way that you could still see the gold underneath. Intriguing!

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Review: Boom 2 amplifies your Mac's audio and tunes with style

A few years ago, at Macworld Expo, my former colleagues and I stumbled upon a neat little Mac utility called Boom. The premise was simple: Your laptop's speakers don't always have the oomph you need when playing back music or video; Boom artificially boosts the sound levels to make everything sound just right.

Boom 2, released Wednesday, improves upon that initial concept while keeping the heart and soul of the utility intact. Boom's volume boost has now been tailored to each Mac in Apple's lineup, which means your louder audio is also clearer, crisper, and designed to best utilize the speakers in your computer. You can also select from several other equalizer settings (including your own custom equalizer profile) and individually boost the volume of a single song.

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Ren's favorite things: 2014 gift guide

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, America! While I'm happily eating my weight in turkey, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes, I'm also making plans in my head for the many, many holiday gifts I need to purchase for my friends, family, and internet buddies.

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WatchKit FAQ: What you need to know!

Time to break out the big ideas for watch-based computing: WatchKit, Apple's software development kit for creating apps for the Apple Watch, has arrived.

You'll need an iOS developer account to start developing with WatchKit and dive into the nitty-gritty technical details, but if you're merely curious as to what WatchKit will let your favorite developers create, Apple was kind enough to publish a few informational guidelines and a 28-minute video in the public-facing area of their developer center.

If 28-minute videos aren't your jam, however, here's what you need to know about WatchKit — along with a few hints we picked up about the impending Apple Watch.

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Review: Vellum 1.2 brings ebook creation into the 21st century

I've been building and editing ebooks for just over four years now. I started back in 2010 with Macworld when we were still hand-compiling HTML files; and though our process changed and simplified greatly over the years, we still needed multiple programs and long working hours to put everything together for multi-platform ebook releases.

Enter Vellum. I got my first glimpse of the Mac app two years ago back in its early beta stages: At the time, the WYSIWYG ebook-builder only supported text and limited styling, but its live-preview engine and instant-compile for iBooks, Kindle, and Nook gave me true hope for a great cross-platform ebook tool. Vellum 1.0 launched this January with those limited tools, and image support promised down the road. 11 months later, the company has delivered on that promise.

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How to use AirDrop with older Macs

We love AirDrop, which allows people to wirelessly share files between their Macs and iOS devices. But, as with Continuity's other features, pre-2012 Macs are feeling a bit left out. Sadly, there's no way to convince an older Mac to share a file with your iPhone or iPad, but you can transfer files between newer Macs and older Macs.

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Space Age review: Pixel-perfect nostalgia

The games that shape you in your childhood tend to linger in your memory long after you finish playing them. I can't open an exploratory game like Gone Home or The Room without thinking of my first stumblings into Myst years before, insisting my dad not leave the room because I was too scared to go alone and too excited to not have someone to talk to.

Playing Space Age stirs a very different set of memories — ones founded in explorative delight, or frenetic frustration from just missing the final piece in a boss fight for the fifth time. They trust the player and tease them, compelling them forward with a great narrative all the while confounding them with dastardly puzzles and note-perfect timing.

It's been a long time since I played a game and failed a mission with a smile on my face and a goofy "aw, rats, I almost had it!" exclamation, but Space Age brings all that out and more.

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Review: Wildcard has a deck for all your first-world problems

What do you get when you stick Pinterest, Flipboard, Twitter Cards, and the Wirecutter into a blender? I suspect the result might look something like Wildcard, the brainchild of former New York Times designer Khoi Vinh and the other folks behind Coopkanics. Wildcard, released Thursday, combines trending news with featured collections of goods and services to offer you a solution to all your first-world problems.

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Review: Monument Valley's Forgotten Shores expansion is a triumph

When it comes to gaming, in-app purchases are a tricky thing. Some games use Apple's mechanism to wrest more cash out of you to complete levels faster; others enrich the game experience with new costumes and player characters; others still use the in-app purchase to build off the original game.

It's that last option that has come to Monument Valley, ustwo's brilliantly-constructed architectural puzzler. The Escher-homaging app first appeared on the iOS App Store in April, winning a number of awards shortly thereafter — including Apple's own prestigious Design Award at the 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference.

Monument Valley was one of my own favorite iOS games to play back in April, and I've been eagerly awaiting its expansion ever since I heard rumors of its existence a few months back. Was it worth the wait and the $2 purchase? Oh, architectural gods, yes.

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How to upload images to iCloud Photo Library via the web

Apple's iCloud Photo Library service is currently in beta, and for good reason—it currently only allows you to sync images you've taken on your iOS devices, with a Mac app promised in early 2015.

If you still want to get some of your Mac's iPhoto images into iCloud Photo Library before the Mac client's official release, however, there's a pretty easy new way: Just use the Upload button on

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How to use iMovie to create slow-motion videos

I got a bunch of requests from folks to explain how, exactly, I did those variable speed-up-slow-downs in my iPhone 6 camera video, so this week, we're taking a look at how you can use iMovie for iOS to do just that.

As of iOS 8, iMovie for iOS received a whole bunch of speed controls beyond "sloooooow" and "super super chipmunk fast," and they're really simple to use.

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AirDrop troll your friends (and avoid getting trolled yourself)

The Verge's Josh Lowensohn has recently been partaking in a time-honored Internet technology tradition—light trolling. His method of choice? AirDrop, Apple's wireless file-sharing technology that allows you to send just about anything to iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

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72 hours with CarPlay: Test-driving Pioneer's new aftermarket system

Over at Macworld, Susie Ochs spent a few days using one of Pioneer's new after-market CarPlay systems with her iPhone. Her thoughts?

CarPlay is cool, and if I was buying a car that had it, I would be stoked to use it—but I'm not going to upgrade the stereo that's in my 2006 Subaru to this aftermarket Pioneer system.

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Dim your screen further than Control Center allows (and other cool iOS tricks)

Dan Frakes, formerly of Macworld, took some time on Monday to write up a giant compendium of iOS 8 tips, tricks, and hints that he's compiled over his months beta-testing the operating system. There's a lot of good stuff in there for people interested in Mail shortcuts, Siri, and Safari, but my personal favorite new trick—and one I hadn't heard about until now—is how to dim the screen further than what Control Center allows.

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Three apps to keep your brain from turning into meme mush

Much as I would like to pretend that I have all the time in the world to keep my grey matter working at a collegiate level, that's not true. We all have jobs. Errands. Hobbies. I've made peace with the fact that I'll never crack open that 1200-page "Master Your French" textbook sitting on my bookshelf or drop thousands of dollars on graduate studies; instead, I've taken to using third-party apps to keep my head in the game.

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How to deal with zip files on your iPhone or iPad

Zip files—that is, single-file bundles that contain multiple items—are incredibly useful tools. On my Mac, I use zip files for all sorts of tasks: shrinking document sizes, transferring data from one place to another, and collecting various files together into a single bundle.

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How to switch carriers on the iPad Air 2's Apple SIM

For those of you who like to surf cellular networks on your iPad over the Wi-Fi variety, the Pad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 come with a special bonus: Apple's self-titled Apple SIM. The nano-SIM is identical to your typical iPad cellular SIM, with one key difference: It supports on-the-fly connections to multiple different cellular carriers.

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At The Core: AirDrop, explained

What you need and where you can use Apple Pay

Apple Pay is currently U.S. only, and while most major banks support it, not all do. Likewise, while the list of retailers that support Apple Pay in-store and online is growing, not everyone takes it yet. Finally, Apple Pay currently only works online with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3, and in-store with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

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Troubleshoot iCloud Photo Library: How to sync images from your computer or iPhoto

Apple has long had trouble balancing its iCloud sync service with manual iTunes syncing, to no one's surprise. Sync is hard, and when you offer users multiple ways to put data on their devices, something's bound to get borked in the process. iCloud Photo Library is no exception—the service isn't on the Mac yet, which means that if you want to use it on your iOS devices, it'll effectively wall off your iPhoto library from your mobile lifestyle. But we've got a few tricks to get those iPhoto images back onto your iPhone or iPad.

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