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How To: Manage Privacy Settings on iOS

Posted by Carter Dotson on January 21st, 2013

Our phones have become a significant part of our lives, holding large quantities of our personal data on them. Apps that use our data are also a significant part of them, especially given the rise of free apps and services – if you’re not paying, you’re the product – and what these apps have access to is often quite extensive. While Apple’s walled garden does keep many of those with malicious intent away from the App Store, they’re not perfect. There may just be an app that you trust that is doing something with the data you gave it permission for. Here’s how to manage these privacy settings.

The first and most obvious destination is the Privacy section in Settings. Here, you will see sections for various types of data that apps have requested.

By going to one of these sections, and switching the toggle for that app off, then it will not have access to that data any more. So an app that requests Photos access can have it be restricted. Or, if you initially denied access and wish to grant it, you can now do so from this section.

The Location Services section is particularly worth delving into because not only can the icon appear at random times for no apparent reason, but the section to manage it has many wrinkles that the others do not. One, there are variably-colored location icons next to each service, and they may not be apparent to what they mean until you scroll to the bottom, where iOS explains what each icon means.

What this means is that you can see on this section which apps are currently requesting your location, not just which apps have access to your location. If an app is continually causing the location services icon to appear in the status bar (and potentially draining your battery), you can see which apps are the culprit here. Often times, apps that use location services can have settings disabled from within the app to have their recurring location check disappear, as having loaction access enabled periodically may be key to your usage of the app. As well, the System Services section shows several system functions that use your location, including one for Location-Based iAds that can modify the types of ads you see.

Hopefully these tips have helped you manage your privacy better, and you have a greater understanding of the types of access that iOS apps and system functions have to your data.

Now, there’s one particular advertising-related privacy setting that’s not in Privacy that’s worth considering. Go to SettingsGeneralAbout and scroll all the way down to Advertising. Tap on this, and you’ll see a setting for Limit Ad Tracking. By enabling this, then services that identify your device by the Apple Advertising Identifier cannot track you based on this. This means that advertisements will be less targeted to you.

PowerCam Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on December 21st, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SHUTTERBUGGED
It take a bit of work to come to grips with most of PowerCam's features, but it just might be worth the struggle.
Read The Full Review »

Wink! Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on December 21st, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: HALFWAY THERE
Being able to share pictures with specific people is great and all, but why does finding a specific image have to be so difficult?
Read The Full Review »

How To: Add Photos from a Computer to the Camera Roll Manually

Posted by Carter Dotson on November 26th, 2012

The iPhone is great not just because it's a camera, but because it's also a great photo editing device, along with the iPod touch and especially the iPad. Now, there’s a good chance that some of your most treasured photos are on there already. But it’s not your only camera. Maybe you own a super-sweet DSLR that you use for real photos, and there’s that one photo that would get so many likes on Instagram. Maybe you have an Android phone (gasp!) but want to edit those photos with Camera+. Woe is your fate to have these photos be trapped on these disparate devices!

But lo, there  are ways to free them from their digital prisons through many different processes. Despite iOS's user-friendly reputation, these methods aren’t necessarily as smooth as they should be, as just adding a photo to an iOS device is kind of like walking into Mordor. But what I am here to show you today is a method that is relatively simple, and that involves as little file transformation as possible, so photos should lose little to none of the quality they had, while still being usable on your iOS devices.

Here’s what you’re going to need:

  • Your photos ready on your computer in JPEG or PNG format.
  • i-FunBox - available for Mac or PC
  • GoodReader for iPhone or iPad.
  • Regular readers will recall i-FunBox from an earlier How To article on transferring app save files, which is worth a read for the basics on what the app is and what it does. When ready, load up i-FunBox. On the left sidebar, click the dropdown arrow next to App File Sharing. Select GoodReader from the list.

    Now, if you use the app, you’ll see your downloaded files here. Otherwise, if this folder is blank, then just add your photos here – the fact that this supports folders gives it an advantage over using iTunes’s built-in file sharing method, though you will have to open up the folder that you want to add photos to – you cna't drag and drop files into folders with i-FunBox.

    Now, open up GoodReader on your device. The main page of the app should show the files you just added. To add a picture to your Camera Roll, tap on it to open it up, and then tap the camera icon superimposed with an arrow on the bottom taskbar. Repeat this for each photo you want in your Camera Roll. For massive photo libraries, this may take a while, but it will ensure that the actual original photo is being copied to the Camera Roll.

    The photos are now resting comfortably in your Camera Roll, ready to be edited, shared, iMessaged, or whatever your heart desires! Have another preferred method for getting your photos on to your iOS device? Let us know in the comments.

    Instatag Review

    iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
    By Dale Culp on September 17th, 2012
    Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: EASY AND USEFUL
    Instatag is a neat little app designed to streamline and take some of the guesswork out of adding tags to photos on Instagram, and it works pretty well.
    Read The Full Review »

    Let's Learn About Picsy!

    Posted by Rob Rich on September 11th, 2012

    The folks at Grab Games are a versatile bunch. They're last game, Amoebattle, tasked players with coordinating an army of amoebas to strategically best their opponents. Their latest game, Picsy, is a social photography game. Quite the difference there. I was able to ask the game's Lead Designers, Greig Carlson, Hans Vancol, and Harold Vancol a few questions about their newest title and their answers have me looking forward to Picsy's planned updates.

    So, going from a squad-based RTS featuring microorganisms to a social multiplayer photo-sharing game. Was it difficult to "change gears" so drastically?
    Not at all! Our game designers are well versed in different game genres. Additionally, we had 2 separate teams working on those two projects

    How long did it take for you all to come up with the name "Picsy?"
    About 6 weeks. We had several other names but trying to secure a trademark is a huge challenge we didn’t originally foresee

    Was it difficult at all to integrate so many photo uploading options (take a photo, choose existing, paste from clipboard)?
    Not really. Those are all standard features one would expect in playing a photo game like this. Originally we wanted to include a lot of other options for submitting photos, such as Instagram, but figured we could get to the additional features in future updates. Plus, we didn’t want to give users too much at first as we felt it could become a bit overwhelming.

    How exactly are the judges for each round selected? That was one thing I was never entirely clear on.
    There is a Single Judge game and a Multi Judge game. In a single judge game, the judge rotates from round to round. In a Multi Judge game, everyone in the game is able to judge the photo submissions.

    Were there any features that you wanted to include that didn't make the cut?
    Tons. The challenge is getting a game out with enough features to keep the user happy, while keeping the scope contained so that you can be first to market. Otherwise, we could have been in development for well over a year.

    Any that might be added in a future update?
    We’re already on our 3rd version of the game and plenty of features have been added thus far. We’re currently working on more features such as photo filters, new word options, creating your own words, sharing options, etc. We’re constantly improving the game so stay tuned for future updates!

    I'd think that the ability to copy/paste photos would take some of the fun out of a game if all anyone ever does is Google image searches. Might there be a chance of including an option for custom rules when setting up a game that would disable certain things, such as said copy/paste?
    We have considered different game options like copy paste, time restricted games, camera only, 1 vs 1 game modes, public vote games, etc. We made it so that users get more bonus points for taking pictures with their camera as opposed to copy/paste from the web which incentivizes users to submit original photos.

    I know there must've been at least a few test rounds when Picsy was in development. Who's the reigning champ at Grab Games? Any chance you can share their best submission?
    There were tons of great photos submitted during testing which is why we fell in love with the game. One photo that stands out in my mind was for the word “Outrageous”. Photo has been attached [see above]. As you can see, the UI is temp from one of our early versions.

    Both Picsy and Amoebattle are available right now for free and $4.99, respectively.


    Picsy Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    By Rob Rich on August 21st, 2012
    Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: WORDS WITH FRAMES
    Picsy's social photo sharing gameplay will no doubt earn some fans, but they'll have to make peace with a few things first.
    Read The Full Review »

    Over Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    By Rob Rich on July 31st, 2012
    Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: OPEN CAPTIONED
    Time to slap some stylish custom captions on those photos that have been collecting digital dust.
    Read The Full Review »

    Ptch Review

    iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
    By Dale Culp on July 25th, 2012
    Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: CREATIVE AND FUN
    Share and remix memories and stories in a fun, creative way using little more than your iPhone/iPad. Grab assets from your device or pull them from your social networks quickly and easily with Ptch.
    Read The Full Review »

    ImageAMMO Gives Users a New Way to Browse their Photo and Music Libraries

    Posted by Rob Rich on April 30th, 2012

    There are plenty of reasons for someone to show another person some photos. The trick is to find a way to do it that isn’t incredibly boring. The folks at ImageAMMO, LLC are aware of this issue and have come up with their own app to combat the problem: the aptly named ImageAmmo.

    ImageAMMO allows users to display and peruse their image library using a number of 3D interfaces. These shapes range from spirals to cubes, and they can manually sift through everything or start a slideshow as they see fit. The app automatically incorporates the iOS device’s library so there’s practically no setup involved. It also supports external displays, so users with a VGA adapter (or AppleTV and AirPlay) and monitor can create presentations that are much more interesting than the norm.

    The developer has also adapted the software for music libraries. IA Jukebox gives users the option to shuffle through their music libraries in much the same fashion as the photo app. Album covers reconfigure themselves on the screen to create interesting shapes, and calling up a particular song is as simple as tapping the screen a couple of times. I’d think hooking it up to a TV would make selecting background music for a party much more entertaining.

    Both ImageAMMO and IA Jukebox are available in the App Store right now for $3.99 and $2.99 respectively. Just think of the presentation possibilities.


    InStudios Brings Visualizations to Your Imagination

    Posted by Kevin Stout on April 11th, 2012

    InStudios, developed by Veena Karthick, is a visualization tool for the iPad that allows users to explore their creativity and imagination on the iPad. InStudios is a tool to visualize new inventions, landscapes, or anything imaginable.

    The tool uses photos users can find all over the internet to help them create what they’re envisioning. The app boasts a powerful search engine that aids users in finding high quality images to use for their creations. Search images can be saved for later use. Images can be viewed in a full screen mode. The app also includes information guides to help new users to get started, is usable in both portrait and landscape modes, and has social networking integration to share ideas with others.

    InStudios has recently updated to its 1.2 version of the app. The update has added an enhanced user interface, info guides with improved graphics, and an exclusive new interactive feature.

    InStudios is available for $5.99.

    DishPal Review

    iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
    By Jason Wadsworth on March 23rd, 2012
    Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: FOOD FRIENDLY
    Mark, photograph, and share great recipes and food finds with friends and social networks.
    Read The Full Review »

    Fuzel - Photos Made Awesome Review

    iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
    By Rob Rich on March 19th, 2012
    Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: PRETTY SLICK
    Fuzel makes crafting funky photo collages with new and existing images a snap.
    Read The Full Review »

    Turn Instagram Into a Game with Instagamer

    Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on March 14th, 2012

    Do you enjoy tinkering with Instagram but wish there was some sort of game aspect? If so you're in luck as the Instagamer companion app has just been launched. This simple card matching game lets you enjoy some of the best pics you and your friends have taken while also introducing fun new content and ways to discover even more cool stuff.

    Setup is simple, you can search by tags, your personal feed of pics or those of your friends, and you're off. The photos are spread facedown on screen and you have to remember where they're hiding in order to match up pairs. The game supports two players so you can take turns with a buddy, and if you see a photo you enjoy you can like it or get more info on who took it from within the app. This may not be much more than a simple companion app, but it's still a fun way to explore the Instagram library.

    [itmsapp: 501880482]

    InstaMatch Review

    By Jennifer Allen on February 23rd, 2012
    A game of pairs that always offers different images, courtesy of Instagram's users.
    Read The Full Review »