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Ask the iTunes Guy: Missing apps, accessing your Wish List, and duplicate playlists

April 29, 2016 by macjeff

iTunes evolves over time, and sometimes there are good reasons why features don't seem to work as they should. In this week's column, I discuss why apps don't transfer from iOS devices, and how to get them back. Yet some changes are inexplicable, such as one affecting an iTunes Store menu; I explain a workaround for this change. Finally, I look at a problem with duplicating playlists, and offer a possible fix.

Missing apps

Q: All my apps have disappeared from my iTunes library. iTunes also refuses to let me transfer the apps from my iPhone or iPad. The Transfer Purchases menu command is visible when I right-click on my iPhone, but nothing really happens. How can I get them back?

Since iOS 9.2, you can no longer transfer apps from iOS devices back to iTunes. This is because apps now contain only the assets needed for the specific device they copy to. For example, you don't need large graphics for an iPad on an iPhone SE; this saves space on your devices.

If you want to get the apps back in your iTunes library, you'll need to re-download them. This can take quite a while if you had a lot of apps. To do this, you need to go to your iTunes Store account. Go to any main store page (Music, Movies, Apps, etc.) and click Purchased under the Quick Links section in the sidebar. Click Apps near the top of the window, and either click the cloud links at the top right corners of the app icons, or, if you wish, click the Download All button at the bottom right of the iTunes window. If you do the latter, you may end up downloading a lot of apps you no longer use.

purchased

Download individual apps from your purchased list by clicking the clouds on their icons.

If you have a lot of apps, you'll need to be patient, as it could take a long time for them to download; this depends on your bandwidth, of course. If you do click Download All, you might want to do this overnight.

Truncated menu

Q: I used to be able to get to my Wish List and Purchased list by clicking my name in the iTunes toolbar, but those options are no longer in the menu that displays. Any idea why not?

In my reply to the question above, I mentioned another way to access the Purchased list, because of this issue. The iTunes toolbar displays a round head-and-shoulders icon and your name when you're signed into the iTunes Store. If the window isn't wide enough, it may only display the icon. If you click that icon, a menu displays with some store-related options. This menu used to show Wish List and Purchased links, but it doesn't any more, in some cases.

This change appeared in the iTunes 12.3.3 update last month. It turns out that, for some reason, if you don't have Show Apple Music checked in iTunes' General preferences, certain menu items don't display when you click that part of the toolbar.

itunes store menu with without 100658179 orig

On the left, the iTunes Store menu as it appears on my MacBook, which uses Apple Music. On the right, the same menu on my iMac, where Apple Music is turned off.

My guess is that this is just a bug. When Apple Music is turned off, the first two menu items—Choose Artists for You and Following—shouldn't display, but perhaps Apple's developers made a small mistake, hiding two menu items that should display. Interestingly, the person who contacted me about this told me that Apple support claimed this was the expected behavior. We'll see in the next iTunes update.

Duplicate playlists

Q: Seemingly every time I add more songs to my iPhone playlist, iTunes generates a duplicate of the playlist. I currently have playlists named Playlist 1, Playlist 2, Playlist 3, all the way up to 43. They're not exactly the same, though; many of the songs I add get added to the duplicates, but not all of them. I’ve tried deleting them all but they come back. Can you help?

This is, unfortunately, a fairly common problem with Apple's music cloud. If you use iCloud Music Library or iTunes Match, you may see this happening. The only workaround I've found is to delete the playlist, wait for your music to sync to all your other devices, then re-add the playlist.

To save time, and not have to manually recreate the playlist, you can export it from iTunes, then re-import it. To do this, select the playlist, choose File > Library > Export Playlist, and choose XML format. Save the file, then delete the playlist in iTunes.

Wait a while until you see that the playlist is no longer on your other devices, then import the file to iTunes by choosing File > Library > Import Playlist and selecting the file. iTunes will recreate the playlist as it was, as long as all the tracks are still in your library. Note that this even works for smart playlists. The file you export for a smart playlist contains the playlist's conditions, so when you re-import it, you'll have exactly the same smart playlist.

Have questions of your own for the iTunes Guy? Send them along for his consideration.

credit : macworld-ios-apps

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Apple might start pointing out iMessage autocorrect fails

April 28, 2016 by macjeff

Apple is planning to ruin one of the most hilarious aspects of using an iPhone: iMessage autocorrect, which routinely changes the most basic of texts into something offensive, sexual, or just completely off-base. The company just filed a patent application for a new iMessage feature that would tell a recipient when autocorrect has been at work.

imessage autocorrect patent

The patent filing, first spotted by AppleInsider, covers an iMessage feature that would highlight an autocorrected word. The person who’s reading your message won’t be able to see what you intended to type, but at least they’ll know that it was your iPhone and not you who made that bizarre wording choice.

There’s even an option for the person you’re messaging to request a clarification. In the scenario to the right, an image from Apple’s filing, choosing that option would automatically send a message that says, “You sent ‘being.’ What did you mean?”

It’s unclear if or when Apple will bring this feature to iOS, but as long as it doesn’t kill the cottage industry of sites devoted to documenting autocorrect’s biggest fails, then we’re fine with it.

credit : macworld-ios-apps

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Uber might charge you extra for making your driver wait

April 28, 2016 by macjeff

Next time you hail an Uber, make sure you’re ready to head out the door or it might cost you. 

Uber is considering adding new extra charges for passengers who make their Uber drivers wait longer than two minutes. According to The Wall Street Journal, these charges will accrue on a per-minute basis, starting from the time the Uber app notifies passengers that their ride has arrived.

In addition, Uber is decreasing the no-penalty cancellation window from five minutes down to two minutes. And passengers who make their drivers wait longer than five minutes without cancelling could be penalized with a $10 no-show fee. Basically, you’ll have two minutes to cancel the ride after requesting it, and two minutes to show up when it arrives, if you want to avoid these new extra charges.

The ride-sharing app is rolling out this pilot program this week in four of its markets: New York City, New Jersey, Dallas, and Phoenix. But this fee structure could be expanded globally if it decreases wait times and helps Uber drivers pick up more passengers.

“While we encourage riders to only request a ride when they’re ready, we understand that sometimes they are running a little behind. In these cases drivers will be compensated for the extra minutes they need,” Uber wrote in a blog post.

The impact on you: Previously, the only repercussion for making your Uber driver wait for you was getting a low score on your rider profile, which could make it more difficult to hail a ride in the future. Apparently, that certainly hasn’t dissuaded passengers from taking their sweet time, and Uber told the WSJ that this new policy stemmed from drivers complaining about long wait times.

Even though riders will only have two minutes to cancel without a penalty, Uber drivers can still cancel the ride for any reason at any time before arrival.

credit : macworld-ios-apps

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Ginger Roll is a Wild Ride

April 28, 2016 by macjeff

Ginger Roll iPhone Game

Ginger Roll iPhone Game

Ginger Roll is a fresh new arcade game featuring a cool character, beautiful graphics and art-work along with a wonderful storyline.

Its amazing graphics and audio-visual effects establishes Ginger Roll as a great entertainer and one of the best new endless-runner arcade games.

Game Play and Concept

Although it’s not a revolutionary endless running game, it is interesting because of the movements of the lead hero – Saif.

Ginger Roll iPhone Game

Ginger Roll iPhone Game

Ginger Roll, from IRF Media, has interesting physics and it is easy to say that this game has very appealing and entertainingly exciting environments.

We will talk more about that in the following paragraph. The storyline of Ginger Roll is based around the main character – Saif, who is trapped by the child genius Iblis in a Zorb ball.

You need to pass through all the challenges that Iblis has set for you as player. You need to tilt your phone to control the direction inside the ball.

Features

Like we said previously, Ginger Roll features some really exciting graphics, enemies, obstacles and challenges. When you add up that the game has 4 fantastically adventurous worlds, we can say even now that the game is easily worth a buck.

The powerups in this game are also exciting. You can turn the zorb ball from a normal one into a basketball for example.

We were quite pleasantly surprised by the creative minds of the developers. Some powerups are really exciting and you will want to get them again really quickly! As you progress you can unlock different characters, powerups and costumes.

While this platform game features great graphics and sound effects, as you pass through it you will have hard time playing it for a long time.

It gets messy and confusing as you progress. That is why we think that the game is created for the die-hard fans of arcade running platform games. If you are not a huge fan of these games, you may not enjoy Ginger Roll on long-term. Either way, you’ve got to appreciate the effort from the developers though, there are 60 levels and they can get extremely challenging as you progress.

Conclusion

This is a perfect example of a beautiful and interesting arcade game that is designed according to a well-known recipe. That said, we think you’ll appreciate the huge talent and effort involved in the creation of the design and the artwork.

The game is totally worth it and we especially recommend it if you are a huge fan of such arcade platform games.

The storyline is also creative and the fact that Saif needs to pass through 4 different worlds and 60 different levels will motivate you to help him achieve this.

Ginger Roll is a proof that the creative minds still exist on the App Store, you’ll just need to find them.

ginger-qr

Ginger Roll requires iOS 7.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

credit : theiphoneappreview

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The Android TV remote app for iOS is as bare-bones as the Android version

April 28, 2016 by macjeff

Google has released an Android TV remote app for iPhone and iPad, but don’t expect much from it.

Like the existing remote app for Android phones and tablets, the iOS version lets you tap on a virtual D-pad, swipe on a virtual touchpad, play/pause, hit the back button, hit the home screen, and conjure voice search. It also includes a keyboard for faster on-screen typing.

No, it’s not a particularly imaginative app, but in fairness, hardly any of the phone control apps for modern media players are. Apple TV? Virtual remote buttons on a touchscreen. Amazon Fire TV? Virtual remote buttons on a touchscreen. Roku fares better, letting you browse channels and new arrivals in Roku Feed, and listen privately through headphones using the new Roku Streaming Stick. But it’s still virtual remote buttons on a touchscreen when you want to actually control the device.

Google actually has a solution to this problem with Google Cast, the second-screen control system that’s built into Chromecast and Android TV. Instead of tapping virtual remote buttons on a touchscreen, you open an app like Netflix or Hulu on your phone, hit the Cast button, then use the app to browse and select a video. Once you’ve made a selection, it automatically starts playing back on the television. As a way to control your TV from the phone, it’s genius.

But while Google Cast works fine for streaming video apps, there are large swaths of the Android TV interface where you’re back to tapping virtual remote buttons on a touchscreen. Why not include a small-screen interface for the Live Channels app, or shortcuts to the Recommendations bar?

This would take a lot more effort, and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that Google’s emphasis is behind Chromecast and Cast-enabled TVs. So, virtual remote buttons on a touchscreen it is.

credit : macworld-ios-apps

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