iOS app reviews, tips and features - iPhone and iPad

There are many farming games and many city building games for iOS and Android. Township takes elements from both types of games and blends them into something familiar, but also slightly different. It is not pure farming or pure city building and you get to do a bit of both. I have been playing Township on the iPad for the past week, although an Android version is available too.

iOS notifications

Some people have been experiencing an odd problem on the iPhone with iOS 8 - phantom notifications. What happens is that a notification sound is heard from the iPhone, but when the phone is checked, there is no notification. The chime can occur throughout the day and night with no obvious cause, but there is a solution.

Remember Flappy Bird? It was an infuriatingly simple, yet maddeningly difficult game that was incredibly addictive. It was nothing really and could be knocked up in an afternoon by a reasonably competent programmer. 2 Cars is similarly exasperating and its simplicity, difficulty an addictiveness will appeal to Flappy Bird fans.

Plague – The Network is an unusual kind of social network and unlike rival services, you don’t have any friends at all. In fact, you don’t even need an account. At first sight this seems to be a very odd concept for a social network, but it is strangely addictive and quite entertaining. You will soon be hooked!

Transport Empire is a free game that runs on just about anything – iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets and even Facebook. It takes you back to the early days of steam trains, steam boats and airships, and you must build and manage cities and transport systems, and accumulate lots of money. I am playing the iPad version and it is a lot of fun.

When traveling, whether it is across town or across the world, I always have my iPhone on hand. Technology allows me to have a world of technology at their fingertips. When I'm somewhere unfamiliar, there's a bevy of applications that can help me save time and money. Here are some of the applications that I simply cannot live without while traveling.

iBooks is an excellent app that enables you to buy ebooks in the iTunes store and then read them on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. You can carry a whole library of books in your pocket, read them on the bus, train or plane, take them on holiday and so on. But how do you delete a book?

There is a fantastic full moon tonight, with a perfectly clear sky. The moon looked fantastic, so I decided to see which mobile phone could take the best shot of the full moon. I used a Samsung Galaxy S4 and an iPhone 6. The Samsung has a higher resolution camera than the iPhone, so the expectation was that it might produce a better moon shot, but did it?

Rooms is a sort of throwback to the early days of the internet, perhaps even to bulletin boards before the internet existed. It is an app for iOS devices like the iPhone that people can use to create chat rooms. Unlike modern social networking services like Facebook, Twitter and others, Rooms is anonymous and that could be a problem.

Snapseed

There are so many photo editing and enhancement apps in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store it can be hard to decide which one(s) to get. With dozens to choose from and, it has to be said, all very similar, which one is best? Google Snapseed is an excellent tool that can be used to apply special effects to your snapshots and bring out the colour and detail.

I have been running several activity trackers on my iPhone 6 with iOS 8 including Argus, Nike+ Move and Human. They are all great apps and a lot of fun, but they do require quite a lot of battery power because they run in the background and three is just too much. One is all you need and all you can afford unless you want to charge your phone twice a day.

There are many new features in iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 and one interesting one is the Today screen widget. Pull down from the top of the screen and there are two tabs – Today and Notifications. On the Today tab is calendar appointments, reminders, stock market information and so on. Apps are now able to insert widgets into this Today view to add extra features and a couple I have been trying lately add the weather forecast.

Argus

Sitting at a desk all day is not good for you and too many people spend too much time sitting down. To keep yourself fit and to fight the flab you need to be more active. Even if your weight is OK, your muscles will weaken if you spend too much of the day sitting. Argus is an app for the iPhone that will help you to track your activities and get fit and healthy.

The iPhone Stocks app is one of Apple’s favourite apps and it has been on the home screen for many years. It even comes preconfigured to show Apple’s share price when the app is started. Is anyone else bothered though? Not only is Stocks on the home screen and cannot be deleted, it also appears in the Today screen in the newly released iOS 8. Fortunately, it can be deleted from there even though you cannot entirely remove the app.

Whether you have the latest recently released iPhone 6 from Apple or an older iPhone model, there are things you can do to reduce the storage requirements. Many people buy iPhones with only 16GB of memory because they are cheaper than models with more storage, and with no way to expand this, you have to figure out ways to save on storage in order to get everything into the phone that you want to use, such as photos, music, videos and apps. Here is one way to reduce storage requirements.

The platform game dates back to the early 1980s home computers, but it can be just as much fun now as it was way back then. Atom Run is classic gaming with a new twist, it is fast, has great graphics and puzzles to challenge your skills.

Your iPhone is about to become a lot slower as Apple flips the switch to dim the performance of its older phones to make you buy the new model that is just about to be released. At least that is what the conspiracy theorists would have you believe. Is there any truth in this? Does Apple make your iPhone slower when new ones are released? Yes, but not by flipping a switch.

There are numerous clean up and optimisation apps for Android, and a seemingly never-ending list of battery managers for extending the life of the phone, but where are they for iOS? Why are there so few turn-up apps and battery managers for the iPhone. Does it not need them? Maybe it does.

Flipagram

What do you do with all the photos you take on your mobile phone? You could post them to Facebook or Instagram, or share them via email, instant message and other ways, but single photos or even a collection of photos is a bit dull and lifeless. Flipagram for the iPhone and iPad enables you to turn them into great slide shows that can be shared with family and friends.

iPad

An odd situation occurred today and all it started with an update to iOS that could not be installed because there was insufficient storage on my iPad. It resulted in a search to discover where the storage had disappeared to and the answer was surprising and if you think you know how to solve this, you are probably wrong. I don’t know whether it was a bug or feature, but it was weird.