iOS 9.3 Will Make It Easier to Read in Bed – And Still Fall Asleep

We’re looking forward to the free iOS 9.3 update for iPhone and iPad. Our favorite feature is Night Shift, which shifts colors in the display at night.

We’re looking forward to the free iOS 9.3 update for iPhone and iPad.

Our favorite feature is Night Shift, which shifts colors in the display at night. Less eye strain, and less blue light – which makes it easier to fall asleep.

Anyone can join the Apple Developer for free to test beta iOS updates. Read how here.

Nerds rule.

 

Use Medical ID on your iPhone as a safety shortcut

40% of US homes no longer use a landline. Meanwhile, 91% of adults have cell phones.

If you asked your child who they should call in an emergency, they’d likely answer “9-1-1”. But if you handed them a locked iPhone, would they know what to do with it?

Even if they know your password, saving a few precious seconds of fumbling to unlock your phone could make a critical difference. Consider teaching them how to use your iPhone’s emergency call feature. (A simple tap of “Emergency” from the lock screen, then dial.)

Chances are, you already knew that. But most of our friends hadn’t heard of this:

iPhone users can make their device even more helpful in an emergency by enabling Medical ID. This feature provides first responders with important medical information, such as known conditions, allergies, medications, and blood type.

It also includes the owner’s name, birth date, and emergency contacts (with relation).

To set it up, launch the Health app (requires iOS 8), tap the Medical ID menu in the bottom right corner and edit your information.

If “Show When Locked” is toggled on, this screen becomes accessible from the emergency keypad as well.

Parents of kids with iPhones or iPod touch could consider enabling it on their devices as well.

Need to Know: Hunger Crunch Game

Hunger Crunch
Busy parents Need to Know. Every week we highlight one album, book, app, movie or show that’s about to blow up.

There are two things you need to know about Hunger Crunch. First, it’s an awesome, superfun iPhone game. Second, it’s part of a trend of mobile games that funnel proceeds from in-app purchases to a good cause.

First, the game. It’s a side-scroller set in a colorful, beautifully designed world. You play as a Beast, stomping and smashing minions and collecting candy coins and collectables as you go. There’s running, jumping and boss fights galore. It’s fun for both grownups and kids.

While it’s a winner on the merits of gameplay alone, it’s also designed to serve a cause – fighting hunger. All purchases made in the app (for example, to unlock new abilities) go to Rice Bowls, a nonprofit working to feed orphaned children where the need is greatest.

When you play, you can help provide much-needed food to these awesome kids.

I’ve helped design mobile games. I know that only about 1.5% of people who download a mobile game actually spend money in it. About 50% of total game revenue comes from just the top 10% of players. It all adds up, however – Gartner estimates that $22 billion will be spent this year on in-app purchases. The vast majority of that money is spent (thrown away?) in mobile games.

We’re going to see more games (like Hunger Crunch) that designed to generate revenue for a good cause. To work, these games need to be well designed and genuinely fun to play. Hunger Crunch succeeds on both counts.

The game itself is free. In-game purchases range from $.99 to $14.99. Get Hunger Crunch for iPhone here.

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6 Tips for Capturing Childhood With Your iPhone

At last count, my iPhone contained 8,755 photos. If I ever used Siri, I assume she’d insist, speech slurred, that I whittle that down to give her room to breathe before she could provide me with any assistance whatsoever. Sometimes I think the whole thing just might spontaneously burst into flames.

I am not a photographer. I am a mom with an iPhone. Obviously, the main subjects of my thousands of photos are my kids. A lot of them are total crap. Kids move fast, refuse to cooperate, and sometimes I just miss. But over the last several years I’ve honed my skills and the misses are fewer and far between. I’ve amassed a serious collection of images that I’m truly proud of using only my iPhone and this set of guidelines:

Be Quick!

Full disclosure: I am that mom who (provided the risk level is relatively low) snaps a photo before rescuing precariously perched toddlers. Many photo worthy moments happen in the blink of an eye. For that reason, I often open my camera from the lock screen, swiping up from the bottom right corner. Ain’t nobody got time for passcodes when babies start hugging each other and butterflies land on sticks and stuff.

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Light! Make it natural.

Good lighting is the difference between a photo that’s meh and totally stunning. The morning as light streams through windows and the last hour or so before the sun goes down are my favorite times of day to capture. Experiment with sun rays and silhouettes. Set the flash to off and keep it natural.

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Don’t zoom. Move closer.

Like with your actual body. The iphone is powerful, but not enough to take photos without degrading them when using the zoom feature.  Get in close and take shots that isolate something you want to remember; a grubby little hand full of freshly picked berries, baby toes peeking out under covers, portraits of sleeping faces.

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Speaking of moving, get low.

Kids are short. Generally, anyway. Get down on their level. Capturing them while in the space they occupy strengthens the image.

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Make it interesting. 

Sure, centered photos of your child smiling at the camera are great, but can become tiresome. I use the grid feature (you can enable it on the native camera by going into settings–>photos and camera then scrolling down and toggling it on) to follow the rule of thirds. Placing points of interest in the areas where the lines intersect draw the eye into the photo and make for an overall more appealing result. Shooting from unexpected angles is another way to enhance visual interest. Explore top down shots of lego building and lounging in the grass, or focus on wrinkly toes perched on the edge of the tub as the smiles blur in the background.

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Don’t over filter.

Filters are like the Jnco jeans of the photo world. They seemed fashionable enough then, but eventually become a foolish representation of their moment in time. Honestly, how you can hold in your hand this incredible tool that your ancestors could not even fathom, yet choose to manipulate an image until it looks like something your backed over with your car is baffling to me. I am in no way ANTI filter, but I know the photos which most closely resemble what the eye sees are the ones that will stand the test of time. When I first became an iphone owner, I was very heavy handed with the editing. Looking back, those photos haven’t kept my interest. Go easy. Stay authentic as a rule and break it occasionally.

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This post originally appeared on the blog at NotabliParent Company’s first product.