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Ice Age Adventures - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Keeping it Cool

Posted by Jordan Minor on August 12th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: STAY FROSTY :: Read Review »

Hey there, town-builders:
Want to know what we thought about the Ice Age team's adventures in environmental preservation? Check out our Ice Age Adventures Review!

While we may have to wait a few years before the next 'Ice Age' movie, Ice Age Adventures lets fans pass the time with Sid, Manny, and Diego on the go. The great thaw has caused the world to crack, leaving friends stranded and the community in disarray. Here are some tips for saving everybody and making the village as good as new. Who else is going to rescue Ray Romano?

The Meltdown


You’ll spend most of your time exploring the different islands for treasures and members of the village.

  • You’ll need to clear paths to get around. As your party expands, you’ll be able to clear more obstacles. Sid cuts trees, Manny tramples rocks, and Diego fights off enemy pirates. However, this also consumes your berry reserves faster.

  • Clearing paths gives you tons of shells - another currency for store. Finding clams, particularly golden clams, is also a great way to gain resources.

  • A few times a day you can enter the various caves on the islands. They provide everything from extremely valuable golden acorns to chances to rescue even more lost baby animals.

  • Rescuing a member of the herd typically involves playing a short mini-game like sledding downhill or solving a match-3 puzzle. Take them seriously though, because failure leads to a lengthy wait before the next chance to try again.

  • To unlock more parts of the map, you’ll occasionally have to gather items like vines and torches for friendly characters. Caves and shells are usually the best places to look. You’ll have to complete most of each island’s missions before moving onto the next one.

  • You can always go back to past islands to find things you may have missed or enter caves again for the chance to win more prizes.

  • Demand Better - Submitting for Reviews Without Being Taken for a Ride

    Posted by Rob Rich on July 28th, 2014

    Mobile apps and games have always had their share of problems, and it’s not going to stop any time soon. Exposure, pricing, cloning, advertising, cloning clones, freemium monetization, etc - there are a ton of little (and big) things to worry about every time you put something up on the App Store. Heck, simply getting noticed by review sites in the first place can be a monumental task.

    The unfortunate reality is that there are no guarantees. Sometimes legitimately great apps and games will fade into obscurity before they even had a chance. It can be disheartening. It can be downright frustrating, even. Another unfortunate reality is that there are people out there who would use a developer’s desperation and frustration to make a quick buck.

    I don’t claim to have all the answers, or know of a sure-fire way for you to get noticed, but I can tell you that paying a website to review your submission is wrong. Like “Do Not Pass GO” wrong. So I’d like to offer up some tips on how you can, at the very least, avoid wasting your money on a service no decent person would actually charge you for.

    Dragons: Rise of Berk - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies on How to Train Your Dragons

    Posted by Jordan Minor on July 23rd, 2014
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: PLAYING IT SAFE :: Read Review »

    Things have changed in Berk, the fantasy Viking village of DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon series. Dragons and Vikings, once mortal enemies, now must learn to live together in peace. Dragons: Rise of Berk lets players manage dragon-Viking relations first hand, and here are some tips for keeping everyone happy and prosperous.

    Reign of Fire


    Obviously, dragons play a pretty big role in a game named after them, and they’re good for much more than just flying and fire-breathing. Here's how to put them to work.

  • To get started, level up Toothless by feeding him tasty fish. Once he’s strong enough, you can then send him out to search nearby islands for more dragons eggs. Get a Whispering Death on Bashem or maybe a Scauldron on Unlandable Cove.

  • After hatching an egg, place your new baby dragon wherever there is room and feed them until they level up and reach adult size. You can also train dragons by sending them to the academy for a few minutes.

  • Adult dragons can independently perform many tasks around Berk, and as they grow they learn new skills such as how to gather resources like fish and lumber. Having more dragons at your command also increases Berk’s ability to expand.

  • As you progress, tons of new dragon breeds become available to search for, including some limited time offers. Also, by helping characters from the movies their personal dragons, like Astrid’s Stormfly, can be yours.

  • Civilization Revolution 2 - Tips, Tricks, Cheats, and Strategies to Help You Conquer the World

    Posted by Blake Grundman on July 9th, 2014
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: MORE REDUX THAN REVOLUTION :: Read Review »

    Now that the sequel to the widely lauded Civilization Revolution is finally upon us, it seems high time to fill you all in on the best ways to lay siege to the world for a second time. But as any diehard Civilization fan already knows, the long and winding road to victory can be fraught with countless twists and turns. Hopefully, if you take a few of these hints to heart, you might be able to alleviate a few of those first devastating defeats.

    Research Unlocks All Doors



    No matter what the objective in the specific scenario being played, research will eventually be the key to success. Here are a trio of key research concepts to keep in mind as the battle progresses:

    • In many cases, the other civilizations on the map are slow to expand outward. Take advantage of that time to pour extra gathering units into pulling in as many research points as possible early on. You will reap the benefits as the eras advance.

    • Though the game does tout its ability to shift gears throughout the research trees, it is still best to put focus one specific area, with specific end goals in sight. Only after exhausting one avenue of advancement in an era is it really beneficial to branch out into other paths.

    • There are great late-game payouts for each research tree, so make sure to check out the flowchart and find the payouts that will best compliment your playstyle.

    The Evolving Role of Cities



    As mentioned before, early on it is best to pour the most resources into research. But as time progresses and more cities are added to the empire, the roles of each province should change.

    • When more settlements are added to the empire, don’t be afraid to move the production of battle or defensive units out towards the borders. Unless roads link the entire empire, transporting units towards the front lines become far more cumbersome than necessary.

    • It is best to use the more internally located cities as resource mines for pulling in additional research points. The benefits of these advancements can then flow outward, further powering expansion

    • As cities expand away from the capitol, don’t be afraid to change the production role of a city to better match its geographical location on the map. Try to think about what resources in the area are most beneficial to the whole of the country and if the location should be more focused on offense, or defending the core of the empire

    • Don’t feel the need to establish settlements as soon as settlers become available. There is nothing wrong with idling these units until a more suitable location is found. Under most circumstances, patience will lead to far more beneficial locations becoming available from either a resource gathering or tactical sense.

    Tactics Evolved



    Despite the game offering up to four different ways to win a match (cultural, economic, conquest, or scientific) it will be pretty much impossible to win without some form of moderate combat. When heading into battle, it may be best to keep the following things in mind:

    • Get rid of warriors as soon as possible. They are quasi-useful early on when grouped into armies of 3 units, but their effectiveness wanes quickly.

    • Evolve unit production along with technology. Don’t be afraid to move away from tried and true unit types you rode heavily (in the case of cavalry units, quite literally) early on in the campaign. All of the enemies will be doing the same, so don’t be the one bringing a catapult to a tank battle.

    • Don’t be afraid to sacrifice a unit or two if you don’t have any scouts available. There is nothing wrong with sending one of the worthless warriors you have hanging around to the slaughter if it means you will be able to get a read on the level of your opposition. Sometimes it is better to lose a level one troop instead of a mid-level army that could be more effectively used elsewhere. After all, warriors are much cheaper and quicker to produce than the disposable spy units.

    • Don’t forget to cover your back. Any city that doesn’t have at least one troop stationed within its borders is ripe for the conquering. This is essential to not lose sight of when in the throes of rapid expansion. An unprotected city is essentially like leaving the front door unlocked for anyone to walk in and claim for themselves.

    • As empires become less centralized, consider using roads as a way to 'hotlink' provinces for quickly transferring resources and troops. In the long run it can make the difference between victory and defeat.

    Above all else, Civilization Revolution 2 will consistently provide a different experience for every single match. Don’t chain yourself to one specific play style, and you will ultimately be able to harvest far more hours of enjoyment than those intent on pigeonholing themselves into a gameplay corner. So get out there and explore; there's plenty more to learn and enjoy!

    Sonic the Hedgehog 2's Proto Palace Level Discovered: How to Unlock it, with Hands-On Video

    Posted by Carter Dotson on May 5th, 2014
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: :: Read Review »

    Sonic the Hedgehog 2's remastered version is especially notable for its recreation of Hidden Palace Zone, once only accessible in leaked beta versions. Well, it's recently been discovered by the Sonic hacking community that this original beta version of the level still exists.

    To access it, go to No Save Mode. Access the level select by tapping S-E-G-A on the SEGA logo in that order, then tapping and holding with two fingers on the title screen. Go to the Sound Test, and play tracks 01,09,09,02,01,01,02,04 to unlock debug mode. Then, play 03,03,03,0B,10,10,10,04 in order to unlock Proto Palace, which is accessible by playing the Hidden Palace Zone from the level select. You only get one life and the level eventually warps out as it is incomplete, but now you can explore this beta level for yourself -- and with the advanced exploration abilities of Tails and Knuckles. We also have hands-on video of how to enter the code and unlock the level below.

    How To: Turn Emails into Reminders Using IFTTT

    Posted by Carter Dotson on December 2nd, 2013

    Often, incoming emails can feel like things to do - important items just kind of floating around the inbox until they're finished. Want to add these emails to the iOS Reminders app so that they can be dealt with in an important place? Well, this is possible by using IFTTT. Here's how to do just that.

    First off, download IFTTT and register an account with the email address that you primarily want to forward items from. Now create a new recipe, which is what IFTTT calls the actions that it executes.

    For starters, let's choose the Mail option. You can choose to forward all mail from your registered email address to the IFTTT trigger email address, or only emails tagged with a certain hashtag.

    For the second part of the recipe, choose iOS Reminders. By default, this will add the email subject as a reminder to a list called IFTTT. However, that is an option that can be changed from the IFTTT recipes menu.

    Tap on the recipe to open up its options, then tap Edit Recipe. From here you can configure what the reminder title will be, which list it will be added to by manually entering the name of the list, and what, if any, priority the reminder will have. Tap the blue plus sign next to an option to add in specific dynamic text like sender, body text, and more.

    Now, if you use Gmail you should use the Gmail channel when setting up your recipe. This adds more options for what can trigger the IFTTT recipe. This can include emails from certain senders, emails with certain labels, starred emails, and more.

    What the label trigger can do is make it easy to manage emails using Mailbox. Create a list in Mailbox with the title of your choice. Let's say it's Reminders. In IFTTT, have the label that the recipe is added to be [Mailbox]/Reminders. Now, whenever you add an email to that list in Mailbox, that will trigger IFTTT to add it to Reminders.

    Now, you have a convenient spot to do things like send replies to emails once they are cleared from reminders. You can create a recipe in IFTTT to send emails when a reminder is completed in that list, but you might want to send more personal replies. Still, it is an option.

    Hopefully this helps you get your inbox under a bit more control by utilizing IFTTT's powers of automation!

    How To: Set Up and Use iCloud Keychain on iOS 7

    Posted by Carter Dotson on November 27th, 2013

    One of iOS 7's new features is the iCloud Keychain. What this allows is for passwords and credit cards stored in AutoFill to be shared between iOS devices and Safari on Mavericks so that you can easily retrieve them without needing to type them in again. It is also engineered to protect your data through an additional security key and two-factor authentication. Here's how to set it up, use it, and protect yourself.

    iCloud Keychain can be set up when setting up a new device, when updating to a new iOS version, or from the iCloud menu in Settings. When setting up for the first time you'll be asked if you want to enable iCloud Keychain and to create a security code. By creating a security code, this will store the data in iCloud; if you don't create one it will still allow for data to be shared between devices, but it will not be stored in iCloud and you will need to authenticate a new device from another device with iCloud Keychain enabled on it. Authenticating from another device requires putting in the password to the iCloud account and choosing "Allow" on the dialog that appears.

    To save a password or credit card to iCloud Keychain, just log in to a site or use a credit card in Safari. A dialog will pop up asking if you wish to save to the iCloud Keychain. Now, when you try to use a saved login or credit card from another device, Safari can automatically fill it in no matter where it was originally saved from.

    It's important while using iCloud Keychain to have a passcode of some sort on your device. This treats you physically using your device as secure, so make sure that there's a security mechanism in place to ensure that your device is being used only by yourself or someone you trust. Otherwise someone can easily get access to your passwords and credit cards just by having your unprotected device.

    What the security code for iCloud Keychain does is make it simple to sign in to the iCloud Keychain from a new device without needing to log in on that other device. This is a separate code or password from your login passcode, though it can be the same.

    By default iCloud Keychain will prompt for a four-digit security key, though it's possible to either have an advanced security key that can contain letters and numbers, and/or one that is randomly-generated for complexity. If you forget this key, then you can use a second device in order to approve it. It also provides security so that even if someone compromises your iCloud account and wants to set up iCloud Keychain, they still can't get into your data unless they know the second password or if they have another device of yours that they also know the password to.

    If you disable iCloud Keychain on a device by disabling it from the iCloud Settings, you can prompt to save the AutoFill data locally or erase it.

    Hopefully this demystifies this very useful feature!

    How To: Use AirDrop on iOS 7

    Posted by Carter Dotson on November 18th, 2013

    Apple has introduced a way to share files locally with other iOS users in iOS 7, called AirDrop. This allows for users to share photos, documents, and text with other iOS devices with ease. Here’s how to use it.

    There are two important things to know about AirDrop: One, it only works with supported devices. These devices are oddly-selected: the original iPad mini can use AirDrop but the iPad 2 cannot despite identical - and technically slightly more powerful - internals. Two, this is different from AirDrop on the Mac despite being named the same, so don’t expect to send files from Mac to iOS.

    To use AirDrop, it must first be enabled from Control Center. Swipe up from the bottom and tap on the AirDrop logo. Now, set it to Contacts Only or Everyone. Everyone will allow anyone within Bluetooth range to share files with you, whereas Contacts Only allows only people in your Contacts list to see you when sharing to AirDrop. Note that enabling AirDrop will turn on both wifi and Bluetooth.

    To share a file via AirDrop, go to an app that uses the built-in iOS Sharing feature. This is generally indicated by an arrow pointing upward out of a rectangle. You should see the AirDrop description text first. After a short bit, any nearby AirDrop users will appear. They may need to have their device on and unlocked to be discovered. Tap on their picture that appears to share the file to them. Tap again to cancel.

    On the receiving end of the AirDrop process, an alert will appear to Accept or Decline the AirDrop. If accepted, the AirDrop content will open up in the appropriate app.

    Some uses of AirDrop include sharing photos from Photos, with the ability to share multiple at a time. All photos are saved to the Camera Roll.

    Share contacts from Contacts – it’s possible to just temporarily view a contact card to call or email a person based on the contact info given (but not to FaceTime), or to save it to your contacts. This is great in lieu of business card trading. See a cool link in Safari? Share it with AirDrop.

    You can share documents from iWork apps like Pages with others, in a variety of formats like PDFs.

    More apps will start to use AirDrop as time goes on, particularly as it is an extremely handy way to send files without having to tap devices or share via the web!

    How To: Master the Intricacies of the Clock App in iOS 7

    Posted by Carter Dotson on October 28th, 2013

    The Clock app. Not much to it, right? Wrong. There's some little tweaks and intricacies that you should know about that can help make this core system app better to use.

    The World Clock section can display the times from various cities. Just tap the + in the upper-right corner to add a city. Tap the time to switch between analog and digital clocks. City searching is a bit frustrating in that it only supports a limited number of cities. Thus, for comparing where you are to other world cities, you may need to choose a city in your time zone that isn't where you are. For example, Lubbock, TX isn't in the list of cities despite being where I got my start, and the home of America's dreamiest football coach, Kliff Kingsbury. So, you may need to put in a larger city near you in your time zone. You can also search by country, not just city name, if you just need to find a city in a country somewhere to compare your time to.

    The Alarm section of course allows for various alarms to be set, but there's a variety of options here. Repeat allows for one alarm to be used on a regular basis, so you can set an alarm for weekdays, and one for weekends, or any combination of days, and not have to worry about setting it before you go to sleep. You can also label alarms individually. The Sound function works with songs, alert tones, and ringtones, so you can wake up to whatever you so choose. Snooze can be disabled for those who know that they'd get up way too late if they snooze too much. However, now when you snooze, the lock screen shows how long the snooze is for.

    The Stopwatch is a stopwatch. You can use the Lap timer to list any lap times, though the data can't be copied and exported in any way, unfortunately.

    The Timer can be used to set off an alarm a certain number of hours or minutes from whe it is set. It has one incredibly useful feature that you may not be aware of. Think that the When Timer Ends section is just for selecting which alert to play? Nope! Scroll all the way to the bottom and enable Stop Playing and when the timer ends, if you have a music app playing, sound will stop being played. Note that Spotify has a bug with it, but it works for the built-in music app and Pandora. This way, you can fall asleep to music without it wasting power your bandwidth.

    And of course, the system time can be set by going to Settings->General->Date & Time. Here you can configure 24-Hour Time to show 13:31 instead of 1:31 PM for example, choose to have the network set the time automatically, and manually choose your time zone, though automatic time setting will try to locate which time zone you're in automatically. You can enable or disable this in Settings->Privacy->Location Services->System Services->Setting Time Zone.

    Hopefully you now know all the useful little things you can do with this otherwise-straightforward function!

    How To: Use Keyboard Text Shortcuts in Clever Ways

    Posted by Carter Dotson on October 14th, 2013

    Keyboard shortcuts on iOS are an extremely useful feature. However they may be extremely underused, perhaps because people just don’t know what they can do.

    Read our guide on setting up and using text shortcuts (which is still valid with iOS 7) and then utilize these clever methods for keyboard shortcuts!

    Canned responses to emails

    Does your job have you responding to lots of emails saying the same basic thing? Create a shortcut with a good canned response to save some time and thought.

    Fix common typos

    iOS’ built-in autocorrect is useful, but sometimes its autocorrect can try to correct to phrases that aren’t what you want. So, make your common mistake the shortcut, and the corrected version your phrase. This will take preference over autocorrect’s suggestion so you can create your own autocorrections!

    As well, autocorrect works for text shortcuts you've created. So if you make a typo for a shortcut, autocorrect will fix it to the correct shortcut and correct expanded text. You don’t have to be perfect – just close.

    Only use the emoji you want

    Like to use certain emoji but hate having the international keyboard button? Well, it’s possible to have only certain emojis be triggered by using a keyboard shortcut. Just enable the emoji keyboard, insert the emoji(s) in the phrase section, and then create a useful shortcut. Want to insert the US flag into tweets? Just create a usflag keyboard shortcut.

    You can then disable the emoji keyboard and it will still work – it’s a system font, so it will work even if the keyboard is disabled. This works with any international keyboard, too, though emojis are more fun.

    Insert frequently-used URLs

    Constantly need to link to something? Set the URL as the phrase and set an easy-to-remember shortcut. This is perfect for reaction images or for, you know, more serious purposes. But mostly for GIFs.

    What kind of shortcuts should I use?

    Make sure that they’re phrases that don’t conflict with actual words. I like to make six-character shortcuts, usually making the first three relate to the topic of the shortcut, and the last three being something about the shortcut. It needs to be simple, memorable, and short enough to justify you saving time! Note that shortcuts do sync up between iCloud devices, so you don’t have to worry about having to recreate shortcuts when you pick up your other device.

    Keyboard text shortcuts are a great way to save time – using them is a great way to make the use of your device more efficient! Go on and be short!

    How To: Block Contacts in iOS 7 and Configure Contact Short Names

    Posted by Carter Dotson on October 7th, 2013

    iOS 7 contains two new options for managing contacts: blocked contacts and short names.

    Blocking a contact will prevent that contact from calling, messaging, or FaceTiming you. Blocked contacts can be added in two ways: You can do it from a message by tapping the Contact text in the upper-right corner, and then tapping the (i). From Phone or from FaceTime in the Recents list, tap the (i) icon next to the contact.

    After tapping the (i), scroll down to Block Caller. Tap this, read the warning text, and then tap Block Contact. This will block the contact. They don't inherently have to be in your contacts list, you just have to have received a message or call from the number or email address in order to add them to your list.

    You can manage your blocked contacts not in the Mail, Contacts, and Calendars section, but from any of the PhoneMessages, or FaceTime sections in Settings.

    You can remove blocked contacts from this section, and add new contacts to the list from contacts already in your book.

    For the blocked contact, their iMessages will show as delivered, but will not pop up on your device. FaceTime calls will ring on their device, but not on yours. Same with phone calls - your device just pretends that they don't exist.

    Now, for the people that you do want to hear from, one of the new contact options in iOS 7 is the Short Name option. This controls the way that contact names are displayed in apps like Messages. It allows for names to be displayed in a brief way, as opposed to just displaying the whole name entirely.

    You can configure Short Name by going to Settings and Mail, Contacts, Calendars. The Short Name icon is under the Contacts header. By default,Short Name is set to display just the first name only, and to prefer nicknames for contacts. The settings are all fairly self-explanatory: having First Name & Last Initial will show my short name as Carter D, for example.

    These features should help you manage your contacts in a much better way and make sure the people you don't want to hear from are ignored, and the people you do are shown in the way you want!

    How To: Use Notification Center in iOS 7

    Posted by Carter Dotson on September 30th, 2013

    Notification Center may be nothing new to iOS users, but iOS 7 brings a bit of an overhaul to the veritable notification bar. Here's a guide to what's new, what's different, and what's been removed.

    The first big change is that there are now three sections to Notification Center: TodayAll, and Missed.

    Today replaces many of the widgets that were originally displayed at the top of Notification Center. This shows the current weather in a human-readable forecast, saying what the weather today will be, what the current temperature is, and what the high will be. Below this, Notification Center will tell you what events you have today and show you which events are coming up in the next few hours. Below this, the Stocks widget is displayed. At the bottom, the summary of events for the next day is displayed.

    All is the traditional list of notifications: based on how they are sorted in Settings, apps' recent notifications will all display here as they come in. Tap the X next to an app's name in this view to clear out all of that app's notifications.

    Missed shows notifications as well, but only ones that appeared while the device was locked. These are not sorted by app, but are sorted purely by when they came in. Clearing the app's notifications out of All or opening up the app the notifications came from will clear it out of Missed.

    As well, Notification Center is now available from the lock screen, so you can see the Today, All, and Missed notification views from this screen. As well, you must swipe on the notification itself to open it up - the bottom Slide to unlock bar will always unlock the device, not view the most recent notification.

    Many of the settings for Notification Center remain the same as they were in previous versions, particularly arranging notifications for the All view, but there's new settings for the new features. You can control Access on Lock Screen to enable or disable access to the Today view and to view notifications while the device is locked. Disable both to disable the Notification Center pulldown on the lock screen entirely.

    The Today View settings control which widgets appear in Notification Center. Most notably, the ability to share to Twitter and Facebook from Notification Center has been removed.

    This covers the changes to Notification Center in iOS 7. Now go on, be notified! Be aware!

    How To: Use and Configure iOS 7's Control Center

    Posted by Carter Dotson on September 23rd, 2013

    Perhaps the biggest addition to iOS 7 is the new Control Center, which makes common setting toggles available from anywhere with a simple gesture. Here's how to use it and to configure its options.

    To call up Command Center, just swipe up from the bottom of the screen, like you would swipe from the top to open up Notification Center. This works from the lock screen as well.

    Many of the controls that were available by double-tapping and swiping left-to-right in previous iOS versions are available here. The new multitasking bar has no actual controls.

    The top row of commands from left to right toggles Airplane ModeWi-FiBluetooth, Do Not Disturb, and Orientation Lock. The first four can now be toggled from any app, instead of having to open up Setting to specifically toggle the features. Below that is the brightness dial. Auto-brightness toggling is sadly not yet available from Command Center, which would be a handy toggle for saving battery life, like disabling Bluetooth is.

    Below the brightness toggle is the music and volume controls. These are expanded from the standard music controls in iOS 6 and earlier, in that there's more than just play/pause buttons. It's possible to see track name, artist, album, and current play time, with the ability to seek to a different time. Of course, reverse/pause/forward buttons are available, with the forward and reverse commands changing to jump 15 seconds commands when Podcasts is playing a track.

    The AirDrop setting allows you to toggle whether AirDrop, the new feature for sharing content from apps with other local users, is disabled, enabled for contacts only, or enabled for everyone nearby. This will enable both wi-fi and Bluetooth if they are disabled. The text will be black when disabled, and will turn white when enabled, and will display which setting is enabled when there's not an AirPlay receiver nearby. This is the other option on this row, and it allows for audio, video, and/or mirroring playback to AirPlay receivers on the same network.

    The bottom row has quick shortcuts to four built-in features. On the left: Flashlight, meaning that it's time to dump that flashlight app for good. Second from left is a shortcut to the Timer in the Clock app. This means setting an alarm is just an additional tap away. Second from right is Calculator, and on the right is Camera. This makes these features easier than ever to activate.

    Settings has a Control Center section, but there's only two toggles: Access on Lock Screen and Access Within Apps. The former configures whether Control Center can be accessed from the lock screen, and the latter whether it can be accessed within apps. For some intense games, this may be a good setting to have, but much like Notification Center a quick inadvertent swipe will not open it up, it will just call up an arrow to swipe to open it up, so it shouldn't open unless by the user's volition. Still, that's why this setting exists!

    Control Center makes using an iOS device more convenient as many toggles are now available without switching apps. Settings just might feel lonely without all that attention now!

    How To: Use iOS 7's Anti-Theft Activation Lock

    Posted by Carter Dotson on September 18th, 2013

    Because Apple devices are so unique, they are often popular targets for thieves because they’re so distinctive and valuable. It's such a problem that the NYPD has a special unit for Apple device theft. However, in iOS 7 Apple has turned the tables on the thieves by being able to make a device practically unusable with the new iOS 7 Activation Lock.

    Powered by Find My iPhone, the still-misnomered service that tracks and locates a user’s iOS devices, Activation Lock makes a device that gets reset to be unusable unless it is logged in to with the iCloud username and password that was used to reset it. It’s the nuclear option that can make a stolen device unusable if the worst comes to worst.

    Go in to Find My iPhone, either on an iOS device registered with the same iCloud account as the lost device, or on iCloud.com. Open up your device. Now, you need to choose whether you want to do Lost Mode or to Erase the device.

    Lost Mode works the same as it did before: it automatically locks the device, and creates a temporary passcode if one is not set in order to make sure that the device can’t be used by someone who shouldn’t be using it. As well, it is possible to add a message that someone with the device will see on the lock screen. But they can still theoretically erase it and use it for themselves.

    However, when choosing to erase the device from Find My iPhone, now what happens after it is erased is that not only is the Lost Device message that was input with optional phone number is shown:

    But also, when trying to set up the device, the unlucky thief will now have to log in with the iCloud account that was set up with Find My iPhone to reset the device.

    This makes it so that unless the person knows the Apple ID and password of the person they stole it from (which is highly unlikely), the device will be virtually unusable. Whether this helps to deter thieves is unknown, but it will help ensure that any thief not only won’t have access to data, but the device they stole will be a brick, too. Just remember to have Find My iPhone set up to begin with!

    iOS 7: How To: Update to iOS 7

    Posted by Carter Dotson on September 18th, 2013

    iOS 7 brings not only a radical new look to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, it also brings new tweaks and features that make the iOS experience better. Upgrading to the latest version on compatible devices is fairly painless, but there are things you need to know before you get started.

    Which devices can upgrade to iOS 7?

    The iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 can upgrade to iOS 7. The iPhone 5c and 5s will come with it preinstalled.

    Only the iPod touch 5th generation (the widescreen model released in 2012) can be upgraded to iOS 7.

    The iPad 2, iPad Mini, iPad 3rd generation, and iPad 4th generation can all be updated to iOS 7.

    Note that not all features will come to all devices: the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and iPad 3rd generation won’t get AirDrop, for example.

    How to update?

    The easiest way is to just do an over-the-air update: go to Settings -> General -> Software Update. Once the update is live, the device will download the latest update and install it when ready. You will need to be on wi-fi, and eventually need to be plugged in, to install it.

    You can also install from iTunes, but this may take longer as iTunes will download and install the entire update file. Update to iTunes 11.1, which should be available as iOS 7 launches. Plug the device into your computer and open iTunes. On the device’s summary page, click Check for Update. If the update is ready, then iTunes will download it and install it.

    Now, Apple’s servers will most likely be absolutely hammered in the period after the iOS 7 release and as the new iPhones release later in the week. What you may want to do in order to make the process quicker is to download the file externally – find a trusted website with an externally-hosted version of the file, and install the update manually. It’s the same as installing in iTunes, just hold down Alt on Windows or Option on Mac and click the Check for Update button. You can then open the IPSW file that contains the update manually.

    As well, with a new software update it may be a good time to do a fresh start on your device. In iTunes, you can click (or option-click if you have the file) Restore to start anew on iOS 7, or to even just restore from the backup, which may help clear out some lingering bugs and errors that occur over time.

    Apple has made the installation process of iOS 7 to be very easy, so go ahead! Take the plunge!