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In a market full of photo-framing apps, this one will catch your eye

PicPlayPost isn't new to the App Store; however, its sudden success is. It's been around since 2012, but only recently made it to the top paid-app spot in the App Store.

Photo framing apps are nothing new and there are a slew of them in the App Store. Each one allows you to place photos in combinations of frames, aspect ratios, frame colors, and sizes to make a kind of collage. But what's interesting about an app like PicPlayPost is that it goes beyond the standard frames and filters, and lets you incorporate videos into your creations. … Read more

You can block people from contacting you on iOS 7

One of the biggest complaints echoed by many iOS users since the introduction of iMessage and FaceTime with iOS 5 has been the inability to block people.

All it would take was one person getting your iMessage or FaceTime phone number or e-mail address, and you were an open target to constant messages and calls.

With iOS 6 Apple added the ability to silence messages originating from addresses not stored in your Contacts, but there was still no way to block a user.

With iOS 7, Apple has added the ability for people to block phone numbers and e-mail addresses … Read more

How to view Messages time stamps on iOS 7

One of the most annoying things about messaging on iOS is the lack of true time stamps for messages. It felt as if iOS would randomly place a time stamp throughout a conversation, but there was no obvious pattern. Because the time stamp was so random, it was very difficult to go back and view when a message was sent or received mid-conversation.

Someone at Apple finally was able to convince the powers that be to time-stamp every message in the Messages app. Can I get a "Huzzah!"?

To view a time stamp for a message, open the … Read more

You can now make an audio-only call using FaceTime

Once you have iOS 7 installed, you might be surprised to see a standalone FaceTime icon on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Beyond making it clear that the device can make video calls, it also makes it easier to use FaceTime for audio.

With iOS 7, you'll be able to place audio-only calls through FaceTime, eliminating the need to watch minutes (but you'll need to monitor data usage if you're not on Wi-Fi).

The process for making an audio call via FaceTime is nearly identical to making a video call, with the lone exception being a phone … Read more

Microsoft Surface Pro 2 versus the competition

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 improves on the original Surface Pro by adding new internal hardware for better performance and battery life. The price remains the same as the original Surface Pro, starting at $899 for a configuration with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of SSD storage.

And while $899 for a slick Windows 8 device with a fourth-gen Intel Core i5 CPU sounds very reasonable, you might end up paying more if you decide to get a Surface Pro 2. For a full Windows 8.1 PC, a 64GB hard drive sounds small (despite the SkyDrive subscription included for … Read more

Getting to know AirDrop on iOS 7

We've all seen the Samsung commercials wherein iOS users are constantly made fun of for buying into Apple products. One of the features often shown off in those commercials has been NFC sharing of documents and photos when two users bump the backs of the their latest Galaxy devices -- something everyone knows iOS devices can't do.

Apple took note of the dig at its products and has implemented a feature it assures users will be better than having to run around tapping phones together.

That feature is called AirDrop.

AirDrop may sound familiar to OS X users, … Read more

Touch ID hack verified as legit

Well, that didn't take long. Barely 48 hours after the iPhone 5S hit the streets, its Touch ID fingerprint sensor has been fooled by a Germany-based group called the Chaos Computer Club and confirmed independently.

Independent security researchers confirmed that the successful iPhone hack, by a researcher named Starbug, unlocked the iPhone 5S with a fingerprint that had been transposed onto a thin strip of what appears to be latex. Videos by Starbug and the security researchers who were able to replicate Starbug's methodology don't show how the fingerprint was transposed to the latex, but they do … Read more

How to reduce background motion, Parallax on iOS 7

When Apple unveiled iOS 7 during its annual World Wide Developers Conference back in June, one of the first features shown off was a background that moves as you move your phone. The feature, called Parallax, shifts the point of view of your background image and icons to match how you're holding the phone.

Instead of being a feature that adds needed functionality, this is strictly a feature for good looks. And for those who find it to be a pointless feature, it can easily be lessened. To get started go to Settings > General > Accessibility.

Select the … Read more

The 404 1,348: Where we stop and frisk the iPhone 5S (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- No joke, iPhone 5S Touch ID faces hack bounty.

- Contest over: Hackers claim to have defeated Apple's Touch ID print sensor.

- NYPD wants you to update to iOS 7.

- What it took to get the gold Apple iPhone 5S on opening day.

- The hunt for the gold iPhone: Business Insider has evidence that the shortage is deliberate.

- 68 years after World War II, the sheet music of an old German march might be a treasure map to Nazi gold.… Read more

Where did Spotlight go in iOS 7?

Spotlight is a universal search box on iOS devices that makes it possible to quickly search for and find an app, contact, or e-mail directly from the home screen.

In previous versions of iOS, users would swipe to the left of the main home screen to access the search box. In iOS 7, as you may have already discovered, Spotlight is no longer located in the same spot.

Now, instead of swiping to the left of the main home screen, you can swipe down on any home screen to pull down the search field.

This is the same way users … Read more