Art of the iPhone

Apple Officially Announces Special Event for Tuesday, October 23

Apple October iPad Mini Media Event

Apple has a “little more” news for everyone this year. The company has sent out invitations for a media event to be held Tuesday, October 23, at the California Theater in San Jose. Apple is widely expected to announce an iPad Mini with a 7-inch screen at the event. Also rumored is an updated iPad 3 with the new Lightning connector, as well as updates to the iMac, Mac Mini, and a Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The California Theater in San Jose, California, has been used by Apple before. It is the same location that Apple announced the U2 iPod in 2004 and the video iPod in 2005.

U2 iPod Event at California Theater

The CW Network App: Tons of Free TV Episodes

The CW Network iPhone iPad app icon

Like America’s Top Model? The CW Network app (free) for iPhone & iPad lets you watch it, for free. The app can stream the latest 5 full episodes of every primetime show on the CW, for free. Here are some of the shows available:

  • Gossip Girl
  • 90210
  • The Vampire Diaries
  • America’s Next Top Model
  • Hart of Dixie
  • Supernatural
  • Nikita
  • Emily Owens, M.D.
  • Arrow
  • Beauty & the Beast

There are commercials interspersed throughout each episode, of course. They’ve got to pay the bills somehow. But the streaming video works beautifully, although it wasn’t quite HD quality. And if you have an AppleTV, there’s a tricky way to get AirPlay to work. More on that later.

The CW Network iPad app  1

The app other features are Twitter and Facebook integration, the CW Network TV schedule, photos, etc, but who cares about all that? It’s all about the free TV.

AirPlay Support. The app supports AirPlay out to AppleTV, but there’s a trick to it (AirPlay isn’t found in the app itself). To use AirPlay, start playing a show, then double-click the home button to bring up the fast-app switcher. Swipe to the right to bring up the iPad’s media controls, then tap the AirPlay button. It will stream both audio and video to your AppleTV.

The CW Network iPad app screenshot

If you want more free movies and TV shows, check out our list of Apps That Stream Free Movies & TV Shows. Now get rid of that $100-a-month cable bill.

The 20 Best Games That Fill Out the iPhone 5’s Bigger Screen

Order and Chaos Online game for iPhone and iPad

1. Order & Chaos Online ($6.99) is the most popular massively multiplayer RPG on the iOS platform, and it beautifully fills out all 4-inches of the iPhone 5 screen. Not only that, but the iPhone 5’s LTE means you can now play World of Warcraft, oops, I mean Order & Chaos, practically anywhere. Quest, trade, and collect equipment, join guilds—explore the huge world and grind your way to a powerful character.

Order and Chaos Online for iPhone 5

Galaxy on Fire 2 HD app icon

2. Galaxy on Fire 2 HD ($4.99) is a space-adventure game that beautifully fills out the iPhone 5’s screen like few others. The game is equal parts fast-paced flight combat and slow-paced strategy and spaceship building and management. A truly massive world to explore with deep gameplay, iCloud support, and professional voice-acting.

Galaxy on Fire 2 HD iPhone 5 Game

3. Phoenix HD (free) is a spaceship-on-rails bullet dodger that delivers 60 frames per second of beautiful chaos. I admit, I don’t know what the hell is going on half the time in this game. The object is not so much to avoid all bullets but to fly where there aren’t so many. Being free is a nice touch, although there are some in-app purchases as well.

Phoenix HD iPhone game

Pinball Crystal Caliburn II for iPhone 5

4. Pinball Crystal Caliburn II ($3.99) is a realistic pinball machine with three dimensional ramps. It’s pinball at its finest—learn the board, hit the sweet spots, make love to the multi-ball. Rack up a high score on this beautiful pinball simulator.

Pinball Crystal Caliburn II iPhone 5 screenshot

Dark Knight Rises icon

5. The Dark Knight Rises’ ($6.99) storyline is based on the 3rd and final installment of Christopher Nolan’s excellent trilogy, but its gameplay style borrows heavily from the popular Batman Arkham console game (I guess you could say its developer, Gameloft, is the Samsung of iOS gaming). Beat up thugs, discover a vast array of Batman tool ands weapons, and utilize the dark of the night to sneak up on your enemies. A beautiful game that stays true to the modern Batman aesthetic.

Dark Knight Rises iPhone 5 Game screenshot

Wild Blood iphone game icon

6. Wild Blood ($6.99) uses the Unreal Engine to create a stunning medieval RPG/hack-and-slash game. The story revolves around a battle between Sir Lancelot and a jealous King Arthur. It seems ol’ Lancelot has been pimpin on Queen Guinevere. You control Lancelot as he hacks his way to save her. Collect gold and upgrade your weapons. This one even features online multiplayer. Push your iPhone 5’s graphics to the limits and watch it explode!

Wild Blood iPhone 5 Game screenshot

The Amazining Spider-Man iPhone icon

7. The Amazing Spider-Man ($6.99) is a fighting adventure game that follows the storyline of the 2012 hit movie. A combination of free roaming, structured quests, and RPG elements keep the game compelling from beginning to end. And the end is where you’ll meet the Lizard. Can you save that blonde hottie Gwen Stacy? I know I can, if you know what I mean. Bow wow wow!

The Amazing Spider-Man iPhone 5 game screenshot

Asphalt 7 icon

8. Asphalt 7 ($0.99) is a racing game with stunning sharp graphics. Race on 15 tracks based in real-world locations like Hawaii, Paris, London, Miami and Rio. Unlock and race 60 brand-name cars. Go online for multiplayer that supports up to 5 racers at a time. Here’s another game that pushes the iPhone 5’s graphics to its limits.

Asphalt 7 iPhone 5 game screen

Temple Run iPhone Game

9. Temple Run (free) is an endless running game that is quite addictive. And quite popular too. How long can you leap, slide, and juke your way along the neverending stone path? This game, with its pursuing apes, makes no sense to me, but it’s fun. And it’s free.

Temple Run on iPhone 5

God of Blades

10. God of Blades ($2.99) is a hack-and-slash game with stunning visuals and themes that harken back to the covers of fantasy novels from the 70’s. Sword slashing is the name of the game here. Upgrade your blades to take on more powerful villains. Drink in the gorgeous world and the beautiful soundtrack.

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Sky Gamblers iPhone icon

11. Sky Gamblers ($2.99) is a air combat game with a realistic look but an arcade dogfighting style. Play through the campaign or test your skills in Dogfight Missions, Survival mode, Free for All, etc. There’s even online multiplayer to establish whether your Maverick, the Ice Man, or Kelly McGillis.

Slingshot Racing Game

12. Slingshot Racing ($0.99) is a unique racing game designed exclusively for the iPhone’s touchscreen. Use your car’s grappling hook to swing around corners and pick up speed. Play through career mode and 80 different races, or go online to test out your driving skills against random strangers.

Slingshot racing iPhone 5 game screenshot

Final Freeway 2R game icon

13. Final Freeway 2R ($0.99) is a homage to the classic arcade racer Outrun. Race your red convertible through 13 different environments. Just don’t crash, else you’ll flip the car and spill the hot blonde riding shotgun. An inexpensive yet addictive game that fills out the iPhone 5’s screen with retro racing goodness.

Final Freeway 2R iPhone Game

Bards Tale iPhone icon

14. The Bard’s Tale ($4.99) is the classic humorous RPG game ported onto the iPhone platform. This game is huge, it weighs in at 1.3 GB in size! Bard’s Tale features a funny storyline that keeps things interesting throughout the entire game. It even features voice-acting from the actor who played Westley in Princess Bride (Cary Elwes).

Bards Tale iPhone 5 game screenshot

Blast Away iPhone game icon

15. Blast Away ($4.99) is a physics 3D puzzler. Guide your robots to the exits using various bombs as your tools. A clever and unique game.

Blast Away iPhone 5 game screenshot

Paper Monsters iPhone icon

16. Paper Monsters ($2.99) is one of the best platformers for the iPhone/iPad, unabashedly borrowing a lot from the world of Super Mario. And it’s a gorgeous game to boot.

Paper Monsters iPhone 5 screenshot

Beast Boxing iPhone icon

17. Beast Boxing 3D ($0.99) is a boxing game with controls friendly to the iPhone platform. You play a human who sneaks into a beasts-only boxing league. Fight your way through 8 opponents, each with their own unique style (think classic Mike Tyson/Nintendo boxing style). This game’s got some really good graphics and animations as well.

Beast Boxing screenshot from iPhone 5

Doodle Jump iPhone game

18. Doodle Jump ($0.99) is the iPhone classic stretched to filled out the iPhone 5’s screen. Jump ever upward and use the various boosts to quicken your journey. How high can you go?

Doodle Jump iPhone 5

Vs Racing 2

19. Vs. Racing 2 ($0.99) is a top-down racing game with a straightforward arcade racing style. Progress through 36 tracks and 3 different cars, each with unique handling, upgrades and pimping.

Vs Racing 2 game screenshot

Squids Wild West iPhone game icon

20. Squids Wild West ($1.99) is a unique game where you sling around squids and other various underwater creatures by their tentacles, taking out bad guys in a wild-west setting under the sea. Cute, relaxing, yet challenging. And it fills up the iPhone 5’s screen, and that’s the whole damn point of this list.

Squids Wild West iPhone 5 game

iPhone & iPad Basics: How to Use Flagged Emails and the New Flagged Inbox

Flagged email inbox in iPhone Mail app

The Flagged inbox is a new feature introduced in the iOS 6 software update that is useful as a way to sort important emails into one central place so you can find them easier. Flagged emails from different accounts all go into the same Flagged inbox.

To send an email into the Flagged inbox, you simply tap the flag icon in the bottom right corner of the individual email, like this:

Tap Flag icon in bottom left

Flagged emails still remain in their original email account’s inbox but also appear in the Flagged inbox. To remove the email from the Flagged inbox, just tap the flag icon again, then tap Unflag from the pop-up menu.

Extra Notes & Tips:

  • Don’t see the Flagged inbox? It doesn’t appear until you flag an email for the first time.
  • You can move a flagged email out of the Flagged inbox into another sub-inbox of the email account it belongs to by tapping the move email button in the Mail app, which is the second button from the left. The email will remain flagged, it just won’t appear in the Flagged inbox. You can move it back into the Flagged inbox via the same “move email” button.

iPhone Tip: How to Receive Notifications for Emails From VIP Contacts Only

Want to get a notification for only when a specific contact sends you an email? It’s now possible thanks to the VIP contacts feature in the Mail app. It’s easy to set up, just follow the step-by-step instructions below.

1. Open the Mail app:

iPhone Mail app icon

2. Tap the buttons in the top left corner to navigate to Mailboxes view:

Navigating to Mailboxes view

3. Tap VIP:

Tap VIP in iPhone Mail app

4. Tap Add VIP…:

Tap Add VIP in iPhone Mail app

5. Tap a contact to add it to your VIP list (see note below if you aren’t able select a contact):

Select a Contact for VIP Notification Treatment

Note: A contact must have an email address assigned to it in order to add it to the VIP list. To add an email to a contact, quit out of Mail, open the Contacts app, tap the contact’s name, tap Edit in the top right corner, and enter an email.

6. To add another, tap Add VIP… again:

Note: To add more contacts to the VIP list in the future, tap the blue and white arrow button in Mailboxes view:

Tap blue and white arrow button

7. When finished adding contacts, next tap VIP Alerts:

Set VIP Alerts

8. Adjust the various settings to your liking:

VIP Alerts Settings

And that’s it, you’ve set up VIP email notifications. Also note that VIPs get their own special inbox, so emails from VIPs will appear in the VIP inbox in addition to the original inbox (in other words, your Gmail account, etc).

Be sure to check out more of our iPhone Tips.

A Complete List of iPhone Passbook Apps

Starbucks iPhone app icon

Starbucks (free) app lets you add your Starbucks Card to Passbook. With Passbook, you can pay for drinks and scan in your Starbucks Rewards account at the register. Starbucks is changing the rewards program on October 16, 2012, so no more free syrups and milk, but say hello to free drinks and food on your birthday and free refills in-store.
Discover iPhone app

Discover (free) is the official app for the credit card with all the requisite account features. It also lets you add reward eCertificates to Passbook, which you can redeem in stores, rent cars, etc.
Target App Icon

Target (free) features a weekly coupon that’s good for several deals in Target stores. You can send the coupon into Passbook, where it can be scanned at the register. You can read my review of using the Target Passbook coupon here.
Fandango iPhone app icon

Fandango (free) allows you to send movie tickets into Passbook, which theaters can then scan to confirm your ticket purchase. Few theaters currently support Passbook, however. You can read my rant about this here.
Walgreens iPhone app icon

Walgreens (free) app lets you connect your Walgreens Balance Rewards card to Passbook. You can even sign up inside this app then quickly add your new Walgreens rewards card to Passbook. It even works with your prescriptions, so scan the Passbook barcode and get instant refills on all your drugs!
Sephora to Go iPhone app icon

Sephora to Go (free) lets you add your Beauty Inside card to Passbook. Earn points with your purchase by scanning the Passbook barcode at purchase, then redeem your rewards points using this app. You even get a free iPhone sleeve by downloading the app and making an online purchase.
Ticketmaster iPhone app icon

TicketMaster (free) lets you send your Ticketmaster tickets into Passbook. The Passbook tickets can then be scanned to get into events, but only select venues support the feature. Select venues, got it? No whining because you thought Passbook would get you into the Justin Bieber concert.
MLB At Bat iPhone app At Bat (free) lets you send your MLB tickets into Passbook, where they can be scanned for entrance to the ballpark. The feature was only supported by 4 teams, the San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, and Kansas City Royals, in the 2012 season. Hopefully by the time 2013 rolls around, more teams will support Passbook.
Lufthansa iPhone app icon

Lufthansa (free) app lets you send your mobile boarding passes into Passbook, where it can be scanned to board the plane. Scan it mach schnell!
American Airlines iPhone app icon

American Airlines (free) allows you to add your mobile boarding pass into Passbook. An alert will automatically appear on the iPhone’s lock screen close to departure time. Tap the info button on the ticket to show departure date, duration of the flight, and Wi-Fi flight availability. Passbook ticket automatically updates with changes in flight times. The Passbook ticket can be scanned to board the plane. Sweet.
United Airlines iphone app icon

United Airlines (free) lets you add your United airline to ticket to Passbook, which can be scanned for entrance to the plane. Unfortunately, TSA will probably still want to pat down your naughty spots.
Gyft iPhone app icon

Gyft (free) lets you add your gift cards to major US retailers into Passbook, where they can be scanned at the register for redeeming. Leave your wallet at home. You have to sign up with a Gyft account first, though, to be able to send cards into Passbook. But when you do sign up, you get a free $5 gift card from Gyft! Tight.
WallaBee iPhone app icon

WallaBee (free) is the first iPhone game to utilize Passbook. WallaBee is a scavenger-hunt game that uses GPS where players travel to certain locations and check-in to collect virtual items. They’ve recently added branded items to the game, and you can use Passbook coupons with branded items and earn prizes.
Valpak Local Savings iPhone App

ValPack Local Savings (free) automatically finds local coupons for restaurants, stores, etc, near you. You can then add those coupons into Passbook and scan them for discounts. (Tap the small arrow in the bottom left, next to the coupon, to add it in Passbook).
AirBNB iPhone app icon

AirBNB (free) app lets you send your upcoming reservations to Passbook (go into the upcoming tab to add).
Expedia Hotels iPhone app icon

Expedia Hotels (free) helps you find and book hotels at bargain prices. The lastest update lets you add your hotel reservations into Passbook so you can keep all your bookings in one place.
Jetsetter Hotels iPhone app icon

Jetsetters Hotels and Exclusive Travel Deals (free) is a service that provides special deals on 5-star hotels and other classy vacation packages. The app lets you add your hotel check-in info into Passbook, and the pass will then pop up when you arrive at your destination, making check-in a snap.
Living Social iPhone app icon

Living Social (free) is the Groupon clone that offers daily deals in your area. The app allows you to send your purchased deals into Passbook, so your vouchers can be accessed lickity split when you arrive at the business.
AMC Theater App icon

AMC Theaters’ (free) Passbook integration is for their AMC Stubs card, which is a rewards card. It’s not for tickets (you’ll need the Fandango app for that). Still, spend $100 and get a $10 AMC gift using AMC Stubs. Not bad.
Apple Store app icon

Apple Store (free) app (Apple’s official app, in case you’re wondering) recently added the ability to buy and gift Apple gift cards inside the app. The cards can then be added to Passbook for easy access when buying things at an Apple Store. Buy a new iPhone using your old iPhone and bathe in the sun-soaked warmth of optimistic progress.

Non-Apps That Work With PassBook:

  • American Express and View your balance and be notified of recent purchases in Passbook.
  • Visit the site on your iPhone & iPad and add coupons to your Passbook.

More Passbook Apps in our forum thread here!

To make your own Passbook coupons, check out the website Passdock.

Glitch Causing iPhone 5 to Ignore Wi-Fi Connections and Use Cellular Data Instead

Wi-Fi icon

You’ve heard about Apple Maps and Scuffgate, but the iPhone 5’s real problems so far have revolved around boring old Wi-Fi. Today it’s been confirmed that the Verizon iPhone 5 is suffering from a strange software glitch that is causing the iPhone 5 to ignore some Wi-Fi connections and instead use cellular data.

Frustrated customers are reporting a surprise jump in cellular data usage despite being connected to Wi-Fi networks most of the time. In some cases, customers have been billed for data overages. This forum thread and numerous others at Apple’s discussion boards are quickly growing in size with user complaints.

Both Apple and Verizon have confirmed the error involves the iPhone 5 ignoring Wi-Fi connections, and Apple has released an update to fix the problem. Click here for the official support page for installing the update. Verizon released a statement to The Loop saying customers will ultimately not be charged for the data usage.

The issue, however, may not be limited to Verizon customers. Glenn Fleishman from TidBits has published reports from AT&T and Sprint users who are experiencing Wi-Fi/cellular data-usage issues as well. AT&T and Sprint have not yet commented.

Strangely enough, in a beta version of iOS 6, Apple briefly included a new feature called “Wi-Fi Plus Cellular” in the iPhone’s settings that, when turned on, would revert to cellular data usage when Wi-Fi performance was poor. That toggle was eventually removed from the final version of iOS 6. However, it seems that this is exactly the problem that customers are experiencing.

For customers wanting to quickly and easily check on their monthly data usage, check out our handy tip here.

iPhone Basics: How to Take a Panorama Photo Using the Camera App

iPhone Camera app Panorama feature

The new panorama function in the iPhone’s Camera app is an incredibly useful feature that allows you to easily capture beautiful wide-shot vistas and landscapes. It’s a welcome addition to the Camera app, as previous to iOS 6, iPhone users had to rely on third-party apps to create panoramas. But no longer. Below are instructions for how to take panoramas using the iPhone’s Camera app. Also see the end of this article for extra panorama tips. Please note that panorama is only available on the iPhone 4S or newer iPhones.

Quick Instructions:

In the Camera app, tap Options > Panorama, then tap the camera icon to begin creating the panorama. Tap Done to stop at any point. To reverse the panning direction, tap the arrow.

Step-by-Step Visual Instructions:

1. Open the Camera app:

iPhone Camera icon

2. Tap Options:

Tap Options Button in iPhone Camera App

3. Tap Panorama:

Tap Panorama in iPhone camera app

4. If you’d like, tap the arrow to reverse the panning direction (right to left, or left to right):

Tap arrow to reverse panning direction

5. Tap the camera icon at the bottom of the screen to begin:

Tap Camera button to start

6. Tap Done at any point to finish the photo:

Tap Done in iPhone Camera app

And that’s it, you’ve created a panorama photo. Read on for some extra tips.

Extra tips:

  • You don’t have to fill the entire panorama box on the screen—you can stop at anytime during the panorama process by tapping Done. This, in effect, gives the iPhone a wide lens of any size you want.
  • If you hold the iPhone in landscape orientation and move it up or down, you can use panorama to shoot very tall buildings.
  • If your resulting panorama photos has rough edges, you can square them off using the crop tool right in the Camera app. To access the crop tool, tap the photo thumbnail in the bottom left corner. This will open the Photo Stream. When viewing the panorama in the Photo Stream, tap Edit in the top right corner, then tap the crop tool (it’s on the far right). Drag the cropping box to fine tune your edges, then tap Crop.

Want to Try Out Passbook? Target’s iPhone App Has Coupons (Review)

Start-up Screen on the Target iPhone App

If you want something…anything…to put in the new Passbook app, you can use the free Target app (link) to put something there. It has a weekly “mobile coupon” that will sit in Passbook. Because Passbook is not very intuitive to use, here’s a quick review of the process of sending the coupon from the Target app into Passbook (I even used the coupon in a store).

Setup. As people are quickly discovering, the new Passbook app comes with almost no instruction. It’s all up to you to figure it out. With the Target app, it’s not exactly a quick process. It took me about 5 minutes for the initial setup. Here’s what you’ll have to do:

  1. Download the Target app.
  2. Click on a link in the splash screen for mobile coupons.
  3. Sign up for a Target account, which you can do inside the app. You enter in info like phone number and favorite store.
  4. Receive a text message (charges may apply, of course).
  5. Tap a link in the text message to register.
  6. Access the mobile coupon in the Target app.
  7. Tap the Add to Passbook button toward the bottom of the coupon (see image below).
  8. Launch Passbook app to view the coupon.

Target Add to Passbook 3

What’s the Benefit of the Target Coupon in Passbook? There’s supposed to be 2 silver linings to all that hard work: 1. A shortcut to the coupon will show up on the iPhone’s lock screen when I enter a Target store, making accessing the coupon a breeze at checkout. Note: This didn’t work. 2. The coupon in Passbook will automatically update itself every week. I’ll have to wait a week to see it this works (*Update* This didn’t work either. I had to manually update the coupon by going into the Target app and tapping Add to Passbook).

The coupon is not for just one deal but rather several different deals. See the image below for my coupon. Note that the image below is not the coupon as seen in Passbook, but rather in the Target app itself. The coupon in Passbook is a simply a barcode upon initial view; however, for more info, you can tap the lowercase “i” in the bottom right corner and it will flip over to provide coupon info. The coupon in the Target app is better because it has images and formatting. For the image below, I blurred out the barcode and number.

Target mobile coupon on iPhone 5

What Worked. What Didn’t. The whole point of Passbook is supposed to be quick and easy access to all your coupons, tickets, and rewards cards, all in one place. A keystone feature of Passbook is supposed to be the location-based pop-up. When you walk into a Target store, a pop-up will appear on your iPhone’s lock screen so that when you check out, you just swipe the pop-up to launch the coupon. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. There was no pop-up.

The coupon, however, did scan at checkout ($1.50 off with purchase of 2 Market Pantry soups!). The cashier used a barcode scanner to scan my iPhone 5’s screen. One interesting tidbit about Passbook: when launched, the iPhone’s screen brightness will automatically go 100% brightness. This makes it so the coupon will scan better. Nice attention to detail by the developers.

I sneaked a peek at the register after the coupon was scanned, and it said “1 of 9 deals used.” There are 9 different deals on my coupon, so I can reuse this coupon again for the other 8 deals, just not the soup deal I took advantage of. No soup for you!

My Verdict. If Passbook’s automatic location-based pop-up would actually appear when I walk into a Target store, it would make it worth the effort. But it didn’t. If Passbook’s location-based pop-ups don’t work, there’s little point to the app. I’d rather just use the individual apps, like the Target app itself—it’s more flexible and capable of providing much more info. For example, I can view the entire coupon with all its images in the Target app, but not in Passbook. If Passbook can’t provide a quicker or more convenient experience that the Target app itself, then what’s the point?

iPhone Tip: How to Check Monthly Data Usage for Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint By Dialing a Number

Now that the iPhone has LTE, your monthly data cap can be used up much, much quicker. It’s now more important than ever to be able to track exactly how much data you’ve used up so far during the month. You can check your monthly data usage fairly easy. Just dial one of the numbers below, and you’ll receive a free text message back with your data usage:

  • Verizon dial #DATA (#3282)
  • AT&T: dial *DATA# (*3282#)
  • Sprint: dial *4

You might event want to create an iPhone contact so you’ll not have to remember the number in the future.

Below is a screenshot of my data usage just after a few days of AT&T LTE usage on my new iPhone 5. Sheesh! That’s about what I’d use in a month on 3G.

Data usage iPhone text-message from AT&T WIreless