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When you are faced with a decision, a small icon will appear on the page. Tap it to be transported to the action. If you decide to climb a cliff, you will switch to a section where you must tap the screen at very specific intervals in order to pass your climb check. If you make it, the story continues.
In addition to simple skill checks, players will be faced with action combat against non-player characters. Instead of being based solely on stats and the randomness of rolling dice, players must use a series of taps and swipes in order to defeat their foes.
If, for some reason, you die during the game (which I did plenty of times during battle), you have multiple choices to continue the game. You can either start from the most recent checkpoint, go back to the main menu and play from the last place the game saved, restart the current battle, or replay the battle with a lower level of difficulty and less reward.
As the game progresses, players will be able to choose which direction they will go along the path through town. Depending on which way you go, you will be faced with a different storyline.
Players are also faced with mini games where they must use their skills at lock picking. To open a lock, you must find the exact right position. Rotate the pick by dragging you finger to the left or right on the screen. Then, try to force the lock with your knife to pry it open. When forced, the lock will move until it unlocks. If you do it wrong, you will eventually break your pick and have to start over.App Use
You will also be faced with the dreaded Giaks. These little monstrosities are practically around every corner and they are not particularly easy to kill. You have to have quick reflexes and, at least some understanding of strength, endurance, and power (Kai power in this story). If you use too much endurance on an attack, you will leave yourself vulnerable and easier to beat. You’ll need to use your shield and defense abilities alongside your attacks or you will not make it through a three or four-Giak attack.
When you go into a battle, you will see what your options are. Each weapon will have a glowing circle around it. Choose which weapon you wish to attack with, sword, axe, or throwing knives (each character has different weapons, depending on what they chose for their characters at the beginning).
Your attacks and defensive moves are based on Quick Time Events (QTE). When you choose one attack, you must perform one or more series of taps and swipes in order to successfully complete the move. There are different types of QTEs depending on what you want to do.The Good
This is definitely one of the better gamebook stories out there. It is similar to Sorcery! in that it adds different elements to a traditional genre that make it different than anything you’ve played before. There are plenty of fun choices that involve extra action to give you more to do than just read.The Bad Value Conclusion
Just like the Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! series of books, this is definitely one to add to your collection if you are a fan of gamebook games. Especially because there are so few of them in the App Store at all, and this one stands out for the interesting action-based battles that take place throughout the story. Download it in the App Store today.Related Apps
Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! 2 just came out recently. The Gamebook Adventure books are fun for horror fans.
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Are you constantly worried about your iPhone battery running low? Well, here’s an ingenious way to track it and never be caught unaware. In this article, I’ll tell you about a pack of Dynamo wallpapers for iOS that automatically change according to your battery level.
So, every time you glance at your screen, the look of the wallpaper will remind you what the current state of the battery is. That is, whether it’s charging (plugged in), low (below 20 percent), or healthy.
I’ve found this quite helpful. I no longer need to watch the tiny battery indicator at the screen’s top. A mere glance at my screen keeps me informed. It takes home screen personalization to the next level!
But before we go further, check if your device supports these dynamic wallpapers.
List of compatible devices
You can download and use the dynamo wallpapers on the below-listed iPhones:
iPhone 6S and 6S Plus
iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
iPhone X, XS, XS Max, and XR
iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max
iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max
iPhone SE (2024) and SE (2024)
Now, let’s look at the wallpaper types and see how well they work.
iOS Dynamo wallpapers pack
The dynamo wallpapers for iPhone are available in two packs that boast three fun designs each:
Apple Pack: This includes three sets of wallpapers featuring the Apple logo, abstract faces, and a striped pattern. It looks unique and classy, as shown below.
How to install iOS Dynamo wallpapers pack
Once you purchase and download a dynamo wallpaper pack on your iPhone, all the instructions to install and set it up are included in the downloaded folder with a PDF guide and video. The process takes about 10-15 minutes and involves two major steps:
You have to move the wallpapers to your iPhone’s ‘Shortcuts’ folder.
Next, create and run automation in the Shortcuts app.
Watch the video below for step-by-step instructions:
How well do iOS Dynamo wallpapers work?
I must say I’m super impressed with the dynamo wallpapers and how they make it easier to track battery levels innovatively. It’s an out-of-the-box take on wallpapers, and the best part is it does not require jailbreak or other complicated processes.
The creator has provided extremely clear and step-wise instructions that anyone can follow to get the automation running. Even if you’re not great with technology, these dynamo wallpapers are easy to set up.
Once I set up and ran the automation in the Shortcuts app, the wallpapers changed seamlessly and kept me informed of my phone’s battery level. This makes life convenient and helps get rid of those times when you suddenly notice you’re running low! Pretty neat.
iOS Dynamo wallpapers a yay or nay? Our verdict
All in all, the wallpapers are innovative, well-designed, and affordable. They not only look good but function like a charm to visually communicate the state of your iPhone battery. I think it’s a must-have for anyone concerned about keeping track of their iPhone battery, which, let’s admit it, is almost all of us!
Download more wallpapers for iPhone:
Mehak has a master’s degree in communication and over ten years of writing experience. Her passion for technology and Apple products led her to iGeeksBlog, where she specializes in writing product roundups and app recommendations for fellow Apple users. When not typing away on her MacBook Pro, she loves being lost in a book or out exploring the world.
Developers of journaling apps like Day One should be worried that Apple with iOS 17 will be entering the market for digital diaries.
Apple’s iOS 17 update could add a new app for journaling to your Home Screen.
Keeping a digital diary could reduce anxiety and boost self-awareness.
The founder of Day One says this will “sherlock” his journaling app!An Apple diary and journaling app coming with iOS 17
According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Apple is working on a new stock app for journaling. Code-named internally Jurassic, the app is reportedly coming with iOS 17. The report doesn’t mention it, but we’re betting Apple will also offer Jurassic on iPadOS 17 and macOS 14 to complete the experience.
The Apple journaling app is designed to help users keep track of their daily lives. The software is said to analyze the users’ behavior to determine what a typical day is like, including how much time is spent at home compared with elsewhere, and whether a certain day included something outside the norm.
The Cupertino technology giant allegedly decided to enter the digital diary market as part of its broader mental and physical health efforts. According to the medical site WebMD, studies have shown that journaling can improve one’s psychological and physical well-being by reducing anxiety and boosting self-awareness.
It’s unclear whether Apple plans to charge for the app.The All Day People Discovery feature
One of the features in Jurassic is reportedly called All Day People Discovery. It will detect when you’re physically close to other people, allowing Apple’s algorithm to automatically distinguish between friends outside work and colleagues.
Another feature that sounds like being powered by machine learning will recommend potential topics for you to write about, such as a workout.
Apple’s app will perform all analysis on-device to protect people’s privacy, ensuring that no data is shared or uploaded to Apple’s servers.Day One’s death knell
Unfortunately, this development could easily mark the end of the road for makers of journaling software. Day One by Bloom Built is arguably the best journaling app on Apple’s platforms, but it could get “sherlocked” if this news proves true.
Day One was recently featured by The Verge.What does it mean to get “sherlocked”?
The verb “sherlocking” denotes Apple’s practice of building features into its operating systems that render third-party apps with the same functionality useless.
“When Apple takes an interest in a company, it’s the kiss of death,” Massimo Corp. founder Joe Kiani was quoted as saying in a separate Wall Street Journal article about sherlocking. “First, you get all excited,” he continued. “Then you realize that the long-term plan is to do it themselves and take it all.”
The term was coined in the 2000s when Apple introduced a new Mac search tool, dubbed Sherlock, that let users search files on their computers and the internet. As a result, Karelia Software’s Watson app—which provided much of the same features to Mac users—slowly but surely started waning in popularity.Will this news make you stop using Day One?
Besides, why would anyone pay for a journaling app like Day One if Apple offered the same functionality for free? If you’re a Day One user and Apple offered a migration tool, would you stop using the app and switch to Jurassic?
Apple is evolving its in-store shopping experience with signage and display fixtures that remove ambiguity and encourage increased hands-on interaction with products. New designs that have been spotted in multiple locations reflect the changing requirements of busy stores and appear to address common customer needs.
iPhone display tables in Apple Stores are traditionally arranged with rows of devices grouped by model. Specifications for each device like capacity, color, and upgrade options are presented through a Pricing app on each phone. Now, new signs placed on the face of each table group the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, offering a quick list of specifications and pricing to compare.
Pictured at San Francisco’s Union Square store, these signs keep basic information accessible at all times while trying a device and should reduce the workload of staff fielding questions from customers who are trying to understand the differences between each model. These signs do not appear to have rolled out to all stores at this time and are limited to the iPhone tables at Apple Union Square.Apple Union Square
New Apple Watch merchandising has also been spotted. Tables have been redesigned to streamline the process of exploring and trying on watch bands. Most Apple Stores currently offer two watch display tables. The first features a sunken display cabinet with LED lighting and rows of watches inaccessible to customers under a glass panel. The second table features leather mats for trying on watch bands, floating inventory of popular or new band styles, and a raised collection stand with various watch models. Last fall, some locations replaced their original plastic displays with smaller wooden stands that also accommodate two trays for watch bands.Apple Park Visitor Center — photos courtesy of Adam Gambrel
At Apple Park Visitor Center, the glass-topped cabinet has been replaced with two rows of nine Apple Watches on pedestals within reach of customers. Readers report that they were able to freely remove these watches from their stands to try on. Previous displays were glued down and intended for observation only, frustrating customers that frequently tried to remove them.
The collection stand has been replaced with new band trays that also house watch cases separated from their straps. This change removes the friction of swapping bands and should dramatically speed up the try on experience. These designs haven’t rolled out to every store, but have been spotted by customers at Apple Michigan Avenue as well. There’s no indication if all locations will receive the same displays.Existing Apple Watch display fixtures found in most stores
Finally, new easels popping up at some stores across the U.S. and Canada clearly denote an Express Checkout zone to pay for accessories like iPhone cases, cables, and headphones. The signage provides an anchor for customers who are unsure of where to checkout or not aware of the scan and buy self-checkout feature of the Apple Store app.Apple Coquitlam Centre — photo courtesy of Dongjun Zhao
The new retail design language Apple began rolling out in 2024 brought visual simplicity by deemphasizing signage, logos, and extraneous store fixtures. While more aesthetically pleasing, some customers have found contemporary stores challenging to navigate. These new fixtures and signs show that Apple is willing to fine-tune the balance between appearance and function.
If you spot these changes or other new designs are your local store, we’d love to see your photos. Follow 9to5Mac’s retail guide for in-depth coverage of the latest Apple Store news.
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It is too early to make a definitive judgment, but the old truths are likely to remain. If you want ultimate polish, and are prepared to sacrifice your freedom to shop for apps and media outside of Apple’s walls, iOS 9 is for you. It is a prison, but a beautiful, comfortable prison. Meanwhile on the Android side of the house the days when Google’s platform was hard to use are long gone. But it is probably still fair to say that iOS is a marginally more shallow learning curve for beginners. If you asked me to choose I would plump for Android, but it really is a personal choice. And Apple Pay being available is a big win for iOS 9. Let’s see what the Autumn brings.
Apple recently announced iOS 9, the next-generation of its iPhone and iPad operating system. iOS 9 will go head to head with Google’s Android M at the top of the Android phones and tablets market, so we decided to compare and contrast the two leading mobile platforms, in their next-gen form. Eyes down for an iPhone vs Android face off, in our iOS 9 vs Android M comparison. We compare iOS 9 vs Android M for release date and compatibility, Apple Pay vs Android Pay, and new features in iOS 9 and Android M.
We now know definitively that both iOS 9 and Android M are in the works. What we don’t know is when exactly they will launch. But we can make some good guesses: iOS 9 will launch in ‘Fall 2024’, according to Apple. Apple wasn’t specific about the date because it doesn’t want to give away the date of the next iPhone and iPad launches which will likely be the same day. But expect a new operating system in September 2024.
Meanwhile Google at I/O 2024 unveiled an Android M Developer Preview, confirming the existence of the next flagship Android OS. The final version of Android M will launch with a new Nexus phone in October or November this year. But unlike iOS we won’t then see a rapid roll out to all compatible devices: Android M will first roll out to other Nexus devices, and within a few months to flagship phones and tablets made by third-party OEMs such as Samsung, LG and Sony.
Unless you are a Nexus guy, don’t expect to get Android M on your device until late 2024 or even early 2024. (See Android M release date.)iOS 9 vs Android M comparison: betas
For the first time I can remember, Apple is running a public beta of its iOS update. You can try out the iOS 9 beta in a few months, but you can sign up now at chúng tôi Developers can download the first beta of iOS 9 immediately, however.
Similarly, if you really want to get your hands on Android M now then you can download the Android M Developer Preview, but only if you have a Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 or Nexus Player. As with the iPhone equivalent, it should be said that developer preview software is really only for, er, developers. Expect bugs and frequent updates, as well as missing features and functions. Buyer beware! (See also: How to get Android M now.)iOS 9 vs Android M comparison: compatibility
This is one of the fundamental differences between iPhone and Android. Because Apple makes both software and hardware it rolls out its new software in a quick and efficient manner. Thus every iPhone and iPad that now runs iOS 8 will be able to upgrade to iOS 9, the day it comes out. And unlike previous iOS updates Apple promises that this time around the update file won’t be as big as your iPhone’s available storage. Older iPhones won’t all get some features, though. (If your phone doesn’t have an NFC chip, you won’t be able to use Apple Pay, for instance.)
Android M’s compatibility will be more scattered. Because Google can make the software available to its OEM partners, but they are not forced to push the upgrade out to end users. So while Nexus devices are pretty much guaranteed an over the air (OTA) upgrade to Android M, those with phones made by other people have no guarantee. However, if you have a flagship phone from 2014 or 2024 it is most unlikely you won’t get the upgrade at some point.iOS 9 vs Android M comparison: Apple Pay vs Android Pay
Both iOS 9 and Android M share one major new feature: NFC-enabled contactless payments. With Apple Pay and Android Pay you will be able to use your phone like a contactless credit or debit card. (Your wallet will now have a battery life, but at least you have to carry only one device.)
Apple Pay is first out of the blocks, due to hit the UK in July with support from eight major banks and retailers such as Costa, Boots, Waitrose and the London Underground. Apple Pay first launched in the US on 20 October 2014 and now it is coming here. This despite a new set of regulations from the European Union Council of Ministers that some thought could throw a spanner in the works. (These tighter regulations could require additional authorisation processes.)
Despite this Apple says that 70 percent of credit- and debit cards in the UK will be supported by Apple Pay at launch. At WWDC 2024 it showed a graphic which name-checked all the major high street banks. In terms of retailers, the original list includes McDonalds, Lidl, M&S, Boots, Waitrose, Costa Coffee and more.
This is very much a score for Apple Pay, as there is no news as yet as to when Android Pay will make it to the UK. At present all Google has said is that Android Pay will be launching in the next few months, but this will apply to the US rather, with the UK to follow some time later.
At the Google I/O presentation in which Android Pay was announced all of the companies listed as partners – either banks, shops, or mobile phone carriers – were US-based, and there was no mention of a UK or European version. It will happen, but it will take a while. So if contactless payments is your thing, the iPhone is the device for you. (See also Apple Pay UK release date, features and supported banks.)iOS 9 vs Android M comparison: new features
Let’s take a look at some of the other new features that may tempt you into the arms of either iOS 9 or Android M. Key features of iOS 9 include a major Siri update and deep-links in search results.
Apple says it has made Siri more proactive. The new features are intended to give iPhone users the same sort of functionality as Android owners already have in Google Now. And this new proactivity isn’t only part of Siri but also of search. Spotlight search will display information such as imminent events from the Calendar app, locations nearby that might interest you, boarding passes for flights you’ll be boarding that day and more.
Split-screen multitasking is part of iOS 9, too and there’s a picture-in-picture mode that lets you watch videos while you do other things.
As we will see when we discuss Android M features, lots of Apple’s competitors offer software-based battery-saving modes for their devices, and Apple will do the same when it launches iOS 9. Apple says its feature should give up to three hours of extra use, on top of the extra hour or so you’ll get simply from updating to iOS 9, which is more power efficient than iOS 8 (Apple says).
Turning to Android M and we find something similar in what Google calls ‘Doze mode’. Doze monitors when the device isn’t being used to put it into a deep sleep which uses less power and can double your battery life – according to Google.
The SystemUI Tuner in Android M lets you customise the Quick Settings to the ones you want to you the most and in the layout which suits you. Another small but handy change is the ability to uninstall apps straight from the home screen. You now get the choice between simply removing the shortcut/icon or actually uninstalling the app from the device entirely.
Google Now is a great feature of Android and it gets even better in Android M. Now on Tap means you can long press the home button wherever you are you call up Google Now. Better still, you don’t need to navigate away from the app you’re using and it will already have a good idea of what help you need based on what you’ve been doing – eg. Directions to a location after chatting to a friend about meeting up.
We’ve already got fingerprint scanners on numerous devices so it might not seem like a new feature but Android M natively supports them. This means you’ll be able to use them to authorise payments via Android Pay and confirm Play store purchases. Developers can also use the functionality within their apps.
One annoying thing about Android is downloading app requires agreeing to all its permissions which might include things you don’t agree with, like access to your contacts when it’s an endless runner game. Well Android M is going to change that with the ability to pick and choose which permissions you’re happy with for each individual app. You’ll also be able to accept or deny a specific permission as and when an app requests it.
If you send links, photos or files to the same contacts then Android M will start adding them to the Share menu to speed up the process. It’s a bit like having favourite contacts when you open the Dialler app to call someone.
Not only is Do Not Disturb (DND) part of Quick Settings in Android M, the volume control has been tweaked for the better. You can now easily control the volume of calls, notifications and alarms with three separate sliders – simple but effective.
Ok, it’s a hardware feature but Android M supports USB Type C which is good news for future devices – potentially starting with the Nexus 5 2024. You can plug it in either way around, it will charge your device quicker and even allow you to charge other devices. (See also: When will the UK get Android Pay?)Specs Android M: Specs
Compatible Android smartphones and Android tablets.
Regular readers will know that I’m a sucker for wooden products. I’ll take hardwood flooring over any other surface, a real wood desk over glass, metal or anything else you can offer me. Decking over a lawn. And so on.
Over the years, I’ve tested quite a few wooden products, including a Mac dock, a number of iPhone cases, Watch charger, Airplay speaker, USB charger and even an iPad sleeve. So when I was offered the chance to try out a wooden keyboard and trackpad, no surprise that I accepted …
Oree is a French company that offers a number of wooden products, including the Board Essential keyboard, and the Touch Slab trackpad. They are each hand-made from a single piece of wood.
With both products, you get a choice of Maple or Walnut, and macOS/iOS or Windows. For the keyboard, you get a choice of 21 country layouts, including the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Arabic and Hebrew – and there’s even a Dvorak option.
The trackpad has the option of doubling up as a numeric keyboard – you can choose whether or not you want this engraved on the Touch Slab when you order. But we’ll get back to that later.
Look & feel
When you buy a wooden keyboard or trackpad, it’s of course all about the look & feel, so this is something Oree has to get right.
Fortunately, it does. Both products look absolutely gorgeous. You get the beauty of a natural wood grain, and as the keys are cut from the same piece of wood, you get a truly beautiful effect with the grain running across the keys. And the keycaps are engraved, not printed. Ten out of ten for aesthetics.
It’s the same with feel. The wood is beautifully finished with a matte varnish that preserves the natural look of the wood but feels delightfully silky to the touch – though read on …
In use: keyboard
The keyboard looks something like an older-generation Apple Wireless keyboard, back in the days when it had space above the keys and a more steeply-angled slope to it. It is, though, notably thicker – and looks quite chunky by the standards of the ultra-minimalist current-generation Magic Keyboard.
The same is true of the keys, which sit much taller than an Apple keyboard. But in wood, none of that matters: it still looks great.
From the height of the keys, you’d probably guess that they have significantly longer travel than an Apple keyboard, and that’s absolutely the case. I’d estimate that there’s about 5mm of travel, and they have quite a soft-sprung feel. They also feel slightly unstable when compared to a butterfly-action keyboard, but not when compared to an older-generation one.
There is one small design flaw: the deeply-recessed indicator lights are not visible from a normal viewing angle. You can only see whether they are on by leaning over the keyboard. However, you don’t get any indicator lights with a Magic Keyboard, so that isn’t a deal-breaker.
Like Apple’s keyboard, the Oree Essential has a rechargeable battery – though with a microUSB port rather than a Lightning one. A cable is included.
In use: trackpad
Beautiful as the Touch Slab is, I very quickly concluded that – sadly – it’s not fit for purpose.
First, it doesn’t support all the gestures of the Magic Trackpad, and that in itself is a major failing. Once you’re used to the macOS gestures, they become completely intuitive. Failing to support all of these is enough to make it a non-starter. You can’t, for example, use a two-finger swipe to go back a page in Safari.
But there’s a second, more fundamental, problem. While the wood feels silky-smooth to the touch, and works well with a single finger, that isn’t the case when you try to scroll. Sliding two fingers down and (especially) up the Touch Slab isn’t a smooth action. So instead of the lovely smooth scrolling you get with the Magic Trackpad, it’s horribly jerky and unreliable with the Touch Slab.
The Touch Slab also doubles as a touch-sensitive numeric keypad. Slide one finger up from the bottom of the trackpad and a green light comes on. You can now use the engraved numbers and symbols as a keypad.
Sadly, this is more of a gimmick than a useful feature. The whole point of a separate numeric keypad is to enter lots of numbers rapidly, and a touch surface simply doesn’t cut it. It works well, but you can’t do it quickly or reliably enough to make it useful.
The Touch Slab, then, is a truly beautiful object that badly fails the usability test.
Price & conclusions
Both products are beautiful, and I really wanted to love them. They looked fantastic on my oak desk, and if their functionality matched their aesthetics, I’d be recommending them unreservedly.
But the trackpad is simply a non-starter for a Mac user. Maybe it’s good enough for a Windows machine – when used with a single finger, it’s lovely. But it’s hopeless with more than one finger at a time, even with the limited number of gestures it supports.
The keyboard is definitely worth considering if you like, or can adapt to, a softer keyboard with longer key travel than current Apple ones. If the trackpad had worked well, I may well have made the switch. But a wooden keyboard next to a white Magic Trackpad doesn’t have quite the same aesthetic appeal, so I’ve returned to my Magic Keyboard.
But then I’m famously OCD: I like things to match. Others may be happy with a wooden keyboard and metal-and-glass trackpad.
Each product costs $149. That’s not cheap, but in the case of the keyboard I think it’s a reasonable price. This is, after all, a handmade product – and you can easily pay more for a mass-produced one. Whether it’s worth the cash to you is a very personal decision.
The Board Essential wooden keyboard and Touch Slab trackpad are available from Oree’s website.
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