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Audio Hijack 3.2 boosts the power of Time Shift with bett...

Today, 06:24 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Rogue Amoeba's Audio Hijack has received a new major update with version 3.2, adding several major enhancements to features like Time Shift, session import and export, and more. This release of Audio Hijack also offers general support for OS X El Capitan.

The biggest update in Audio Hijack 3.2 is the update to the Time Shift Block. The interface for Time Shift now has controls for skips of 3, 10, and 30 seconds. Time Shift can also now be triggered from any app thanks to its new global keyboard shortcut, and you can also create hotkeys for pausing, resuming, jumping forward or back 10 seconds, or jumping to the live audio.

Check the list below for some of the other major improvements and additions to Audio Hijack 3.2:

  • Major Enhancement: The Import and Export of Sessions has been greatly improved. Share Sessions with friends via the Session menu. Export your own Sessions to share, or import Sessions from others!
  • Major Enhancement: The new Peak/RMS Meters Block provides precisely calibrated monitoring, with both RMS and Peak meters, a peak hold line, and a clip indicator.
  • Major Enhancement: The new Sync Block lets you add a precise delay to the audio, of up to 1000 ms (1 second), per Block.
  • Major Enhancement: The Instant On component has been updated to version 8.1, with initial support for Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan).

There are also some more minor enhancements in this release. FLAC files now have full support for tags, popover positions are now remembered and restored on relaunch, and the Block library has added an Advanced section. There are also fixes for several bugs.

Audio Hijack 3.2 is a free update to existing users, while new customers can purchase and download the app from Rogue Amoeba's website right now.



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How to clean up your Mac's desktop

Today, 06:00 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Don't leave your Mac desktop untidy and cluttered—clean it up today!

Most of us have a tendency to use our Mac desktops as a dumping ground, saving files there that we access frequently; unfortunately, those files can pile up, turning your desktop into a hot mess. As such, this is your Friday reminder to do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to clean up your Mac desktop. And use these tips to keep it tidy in the future!

1. Organize desktop items into folders

You can keep your desktop from becoming a mound of files by grouping your documents and images into folders. Folders make it easier to keep track of related items, and they look nicer than random assortments of files over your desktop picture.

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Click on the File menu.
  3. Select New Folder. (Alternately, hold down the command and shift keys and type n.)

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  4. That will create a new folder on your Desktop. Name the folder.
  5. Drag the files you'd like to include in the new folder.
  6. Alternatively, you can select files on the Desktop you'd like to group together, then go to the File menu and choose New folder with selection to create a new folder that includes those items.
2. Align and sort desktop items automatically

You can also have the Finder align and sort items to keep any documents and folders you do have looking nicer and neater. You can do this by going to Finder > View and using the Clean Up and Sort By options.

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Select the View menu.
  3. Click on Clean Up By.

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  4. Options include cleaning up by name, kind, date created, date modified, size and tags. Select the criterion you'd like to clean up the icons by; the Finder will do the rest.

  5. Open the Finder.

  6. Select the View menu.
  7. Select Sort By to automatically sort items on the desktop by the criteria you set. If the icons have gone a bit askew, select Snap to Grid to get them to fall into a geometric pattern.

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You can also adjust the size of the icons, spacing of the grid and other settings.

3. Customize desktop view options in the Finder
  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Select the View menu.
  3. Select Show View Options. (Alternately, hold down the command key and type j.)
  4. You can adjust icon size from small to large, adjust grid spacing, increase or decrease the size of label text and its position on the bottom or the right of the icon, and other criteria.

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Any questions?

Hopefully this helped you clean out those digital desktop cobwebs! If you're having trouble, just drop a note in the comments and we'll look into it.



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Yes, iCloud Music Library has metadata-matching issues, b...

Today, 05:21 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Matching songs is hard, and Apple Music's not doing too well with it. But you can keep it from messing up your library pretty easily.

Earlier this week, Kirk McElhearn posted a rather-worrying article about iCloud Music Library's "matching" algorithms.

As you might know, Apple offers the iCloud Music Library service as part of Apple Music and iTunes Match. This scans your Mac's music library and attempts to do two things: "match" tracks in your library with songs in the Apple Music or iTunes Store catalog (which catalog depends on which service you're subscribed to), and upload songs it can't match directly to iCloud.

From McElhearn:

If you've used iTunes Match in the past, you may know that it matches music using acoustic fingerprinting, which means that iTunes scans the music, and matches it to the same music. It doesn't matter what tags files have: you could have, say, a Grateful Dead song labeled as a song by 50 Cent, and iTunes Match will match the Grateful Dead song correctly...

Apple Music, however, works differently. It does not use the more onerous (in time and processing power) acoustic fingerprinting technique, but simply uses the tags your files contain. And it can lead to errors.

This means that by changing metadata on a track, you may be able to "fool" Apple Music into matching it with a different track in your iCloud Music Library.

Does this suck? Yep. It's also likely a bug, and I have no doubt that the folks at Apple are well aware of it and working hard to make sure it happens as infrequently as possible—preferably not at all.

I can't reproduce it in my iTunes Match/AM hybrid library, or my boyfriend's Apple Music-only library

I have both an iTunes Match and Apple Music subscription, and decided to duplicate McElhearn's testing to see if I could get the same results. Answer: Not really.

I used my auxiliary MacBook Pro which has a handful of local songs; most are stored in iCloud Music Library, matched with my desktop iMac.

I did this test three times for both a matched and uploaded track: First, I saved a copy of an AC/DC track that iTunes Match had matched to my desktop and reuploaded it to iTunes as The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face"; upon local deletion and redownload, the track remained AC/DC's music, though it kept the erroneous metadata I'd assigned it.

For the uploaded track, I added a 7-minute voice test I did for The Incomparable Radio Theatre on the Air, and labeled it as Foreigner's Juke Box Hero. Interestingly, when I first uploaded the track to iCloud, it very briefly matched as Apple Music; when I deleted it from my hard drive, however, the track reverted to showing as "Uploaded" in my iTunes library, and upon redownload, played the same 7-minute test as before. On redownload I did get pretty Foreigner album art, however.

Update: I also ran these tests three times on my boyfriend's Apple Music-only library, with both an uploaded Incomparable track and an Apple Music-matched Billy Joel song (trying to transform it into a Weeknd song). No mis-matching.

What does this mean?

Likely what I've been saying about Apple Music, iCloud Music Library, and Match from the start: Matching tracks is hard, and if you're trying to trick a complicated system, or have unique tracks that Apple's never scanned before, you're likely not going to be too happy. Unfortunately, I suspect this is the nature of the matching game—doing this on such a large scale requires active user testing, and that means bugs and mistakes.

From my tests, it looks as though Apple is still using acoustic fingerprinting for iTunes Match accounts, but may be augmenting this with metadata matching for Apple Music. I wouldn't be surprised if, due to the whole "having to connect to the Internet" thing, Apple Music's metadata matching occasionally happens before iTunes Match's fingerprinting; if you happen to immediately delete your track as it's processing, you may wind up accidentally with an Apple Music track.

And yes: On this, Apple has failed. iCloud Photo Library was very smartly released as a beta, because of similar syncing issues and testing that needed to happen. iCloud Music Library wasn't, nor was it released with comprehensive documentation or even a warning to back up before upgrading. As a result, quite a few people have seen their home music libraries show up as bizarro copies on their auxiliary devices; those who don't have backups are even worse off.

That's devastating to both users and Apple. There are so many great things about iCloud Music Library and Apple Music, but right now, they're getting overwhelmed on social media and in the press by users having serious issues with their libraries and apps. Songs that mis-match, albums that won't download, buttons that don't work. Every time the service errors, people feel less-inclined to trust Apple with their cloud data, and consider alternatives that may be more stable, but not as secure. It's a shame.

I'm nervous now. Should I not use iCloud Music Library?

That largely depends on your library and what's in it. If you mostly have purchased tracks and ripped songs from studio albums, you should be fine with iCloud Music Library—but make a backup just in case. Remember: iCloud Music Library is, ultimately, making a secondary copy with its matching and uploading. You'll get these matched and uploaded copies when you download tracks on secondary devices, but it shouldn't mess with tracks local to your hard drive. And please: Do not use iCloud Music Library as your backup. It was never designed as a backup service.

Shouldn't and doesn't, however, are two different things, and as I said before—matching is hard. So if you have a history of problems with your Mac's iTunes library and you're concerned about iCloud Music Library messing up your tracks, it's simple: Just don't use it.

For those that are having problems—either matching or otherwise—turning off iCloud Music Library and restoring from a local backup of your music should bring everything back to normal. I made a really handy guide last week for people who want to use Apple Music without iCloud Music Library, which details a few different ways you can set up your devices to prevent your primary library from getting screwed up.

Still concerned?

Make a backup. Turn off iCloud Music Library. Check our our troubleshooting guide. Call Apple. Or ping us in the comments if you're confused about this whole thing and this didn't help straighten it out.

Updated 2:07PM EDT to add tests on an AM-only library.



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How to make Apple Music's Connect not suck

Today, 05:00 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Can't figure out how to use Connect? Don't panic: We're here to help.

In theory, Apple Music's Connect is a wonderful part of the service: It lets you view and hear new images, videos, songs, playlists, interviews, and blogs from your favorite musicians, DJs, and Apple Music curators.

"But..." I've had some people say. "I'm not following anyone I want to. How do I follow Imogen Heap? How do I hear the St Vincent's show form Beats 1 everyone's talking about?"

Good news: Apple may not have made it obvious, but following people on Connect (and unfollowing them) is easy: All you have to do is search for the artist, DJ, or show you want to listen to.

How to find artists and Beats 1 DJs on Connect On your iPhone or iPad
  1. Open the Music app.
  2. Tap the Search icon in the upper right corner and type in the artist, DJ, or show you're looking for.
  3. Scroll to Curators/Artists and select the person or show in question.

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  4. Tap the Follow button to start following them on Connect.
On your Mac
  1. Open iTunes and click the New tab.
  2. Click on the Search bar in the upper right corner and type in the artist, DJ, or show you're looking for.

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  3. Scroll to Curators/Artists and select the person or show in question.
  4. Tap the Follow button to start following them on Connect.

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How to view your Connect stream

In iTunes on your Mac or the Music app on your iPhone, click or tap the Connect tab. This tab displays recent posts from all the artists, curators, DJs, and shows you're following, from newest to oldest.

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How to view a specific artist, curator, DJ, or show on Connect

If you want to see a specific artist's page, all you need to do is tap on their name from your Connect stream, or search for them by name.

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Once you've found the page you want, you have a few options for interacting with the page. You can: - choose to follow or unfollow the artist, curator, DJ, or show - share a link via email, messages, Twitter, or Facebook - Check out the page's Featured music (which can contain Connect-only music and playlists), Playlists, or Connect-only content.

How to share a post from Connect

If you see a post on Connect you want to share with the world, all you need to do is tap or click the Share button. From there, you can copy the link or share it via email, Twitter, Facebook, or Messages.

How to download a Connect track to your iCloud Music Library

You may not have known this, but you can download any content on Connect labeled a "Song": This includes actual songs, interviews, or even full Beats 1 shows. The option is slightly hidden, but here's how to find it.

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
  1. Open the Music app and tap the Connect tab.
  2. Tap the song in question you want to download to start playing it.

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  3. Tap on the More ellipses icon, then tap Add to My Music.
On your Mac
  1. Open iTunes and select the Connect tab.
  2. Click on the song in question that you want to download to start playing it.
  3. Tap on the More ellipses icon, then tap Add to My Music.

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Questions?

Still have questions on Connect? Let us know in the comments and we'll try our best to answer them.



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How to permanently delete your Snapchat account

Today, 04:42 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Snapchat is fun, fast, and super-popular, but it's not for everyone all the time. And that's okay.

Snapchat can be really fun for sending quick snaps to your friends or looking at specialty content like the Beats 1 DJs being silly. But it's not for everyone.

If you made a Snapchat account and you've decided that you're done, you can permanently delete your account in just a few easy steps using a web browser. (Sadly, you can't delete your account right from the Snapchat app for iPhone.) Deleting your account ensures that you'll no longer be able to see or receive any new snaps from fellow Snapchat users.

How to permanently delete your Snapchat account
  1. Go to https://support.snap.../delete-account in any web browser. You can even use Safari on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Enter your Snapchat username and password.
  3. Check the box confirming you aren't a robot.
  4. Click on Submit.

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  5. Re-enter your password on the next page
  6. Click on Delete My Account.

Just remember that once you delete your account, there's no going back. If you want to make sure it's really deleted, just attempt to log in using your old credentials. If it's gone, there'll be no way to log back in.

Ally Kazmucha contributed to an earlier version of this article.



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The best word games for iPhone and iPad

Today, 04:04 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Hone your grammar and spelling skills in this collection of iOS word games.

Whether you're an anagram master, a spelling sensation, or a grammar wizard, you'll find something to pique your curiosity in these iOS games that reward those gifted at language arts. Many of these games even include support for the Apple Watch, in case you want to play with words on the go.

1. Alphabear

You've probably seen the adorable fuzzy faces of Alphabear splashed across all of your social media platforms lately, but you may not know that the game itself is actually a tricky Boggle-like word game. It's free, but you can kick the developer $5 for "infinite honey" if you don't want to wait around to unlock more levels.

2. Sleep Furiously

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Sleep Furiously game generates a cloud of words that the player must connect into a grammatical sentence, no matter how nonsensical; the resultant word strings are even better than my favorite dream memories. The screenshot above features my own favorite in-game creation.

3. Words With Friends

This old standard is pretty much Scrabble, but without the price tag that comes with the official branding. Every word game aficionado already knows about this game, but it's been a while since we all got Words With Friends fever, so you may not know that the game now has Apple Watch support.

4. Letterpad

Anagram games abound in the iOS space, but Letterpad is one of the best, featuring a clean design, user-created puzzles, and even Apple Watch support.

5. Moxie

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You'll want to watch Moxie's short tutorial video before you play, given that it's a completely original word game — unlike the plethora of copy-cats and knock-offs in the word gaming world. This game encourages you to fine-tune your memory skills when it comes to spelling and word recognition; it requires you to place one letter per round to build up words or modify existing words, piece by piece.

Your favorites?

Which word games are your favorites, be they old standards like Crosswords or new indie sensations? Share your picks with us.



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New music on iTunes: Albums from Migos and Lianne La Hava...

Today, 03:55 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

Every Friday, the iTunes Store adds new music to its lineup. This week, there's new music from Migos, Lianne La Havas, and Buddy Guy, and discounts on albums produced by Apple Records.

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This week in new music, there's Yung Rich Nation, the latest album hip-hop group Migos. We also have a new album from Lianne La Havas, Blood. Legendary blues artist Buddy Guy has also released a new album, Born to Play Guitar. Pop group One Direction has also released a new single, Drag Me Down.

Store customers can currently grab a number of albums from Apple Records, the label originally founded by The Beatles. This includes Come and Get It: The Best of Apple Records. Albums on offer include music from James Taylor, Billy Preston, and more.

There are a couple of new items up for pre-order this week. First, we have The Story of Sonny Boy Slim from Gary Clark Jr., which is expected on September 11, 2015. There are also two deluxe edition albums coming from Paul McCartney. First, there's a new version of 1982's Tug of War, as well as 1983's Pipes of Peace. Both albums are expected on October 2.

Check back next week for more great music from the iTunes Store.



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How to back up your iTunes library

Today, 03:30 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Want to use iCloud Music Library or just have peace of mind over your music? Here's how to back up your iTunes library.

It's never a bad idea to have a full, local backup of important data you wouldn't want lost. My music—at least for me—is one of those must-backup items; I don't want to have to manually re-build or re-buy thousands of tracks.

There are a few ways to back up your iTunes library and your music to put your mind at ease. Here are two ways to do so, along with a last-ditch backup option.

Back up iTunes as part of Time Machine (or any other backup service)

If you have Apple's Time Machine backup system enabled—or any other cloud- or system-based backup—your iTunes library should be automatically backed up by default. This way, if you ever need to restore, you can just pop back in Time Machine's History (or a past backup from CrashPlan or Carbon Copy Cloner, for example) to retrieve it.

Manually back up your iTunes library

If you're not employing a Mac-wide backup service (really, you should get on that), or you just want to back up your iTunes library, specifically, here's how to go about that.

  1. In the Finder, go to Users > [your username here] > Music.
  2. Select the folder labeled iTunes.
  3. Copy it over to your backup drive or online backup service, if you have one. (If you don't have a backup drive, right-click on the folder and select Duplicate.)
Get your songs off iCloud Music Library with iTunes Match

If you don't have a backup and your songs are scattered across multiple computers, you can use iCloud Music Library with an iTunes Match account to unify your libraries on one computer. Here's how.

  1. Pick the computer you want your canonical library to live on.
  2. Open iTunes.
  3. Make sure iCloud Music Library is enabled in iTunes > Preferences > General.
  4. Go to the My Music tab.
  5. Click on the view type dropdown in the upper right corner of the screen.

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  6. Select the Show Columns dropdown.
  7. Click on the iCloud Download option.

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The cloud icon shows you whether those songs are downloaded locally to your device or not; if not, you'll see a cloud with a downward arrow. You can download that track by clicking on the cloud icon, or by selecting multiple songs and control-clicking on them, then selecting Make Available Offline.

Any questions?

Running into issues making an iTunes backup? Pop them in the comments below.



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Everything you need to know about iCloud Music Library

Today, 03:15 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Apple Music and iTunes Match include a feature called iCloud Music Library. Here's what you need to know.

Apple Music may have lots of great songs in its catalog, interesting DJs on Beats 1, and cool experimentation within Connect—but it also has the albatross in the room, iCloud Music Library.

The cloud-based feature has taken a bit of a hit since its launch by users and the press alike—largely because Apple never really made it clear how to use iCloud Music Library properly.

If you're confused about this option, and whether you should enable it or not, here's the deal.

What is iCloud Music Library?

It's Apple's term for all the music you've stored in iCloud.

iTunes Match or Apple Music?

Both. Whether you've just subscribed to iTunes Match, Apple Music, or both services, all your iCloud-stored music lives in iCloud Music Library.

Wait, stored? Does it count toward my iCloud storage cost?

Nope. You can store up to 25,000 songs with an iTunes Match or Apple Music subscription—and that limit will increase to 100,000 songs come iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan release time.

What's the deal with matching, storing, and the like?

When you turn on iCloud Music Library for your Mac, it analyzes all the music in your library to see if Apple has any of your songs in its iTunes Music Store (if you're using iTunes Match) or Apple Music (if you're using the eponymous subscription service) catalog.

If it does, it won't manually upload those tracks to iCloud Music Library; instead, it does something called "matching": It matches your song with a song from the iTunes Match or Apple Music catalog. When you redownload or stream that song on another device that doesn't have it locally stored, you'll download the iTunes Store or Apple Music version (depending on which subscription you have; if you have iTunes Match you should always get the DRM-free version from the iTunes Store).

If Apple can't find a track from your library in its catalogs, it manually uploads the track as-is to iCloud Music Library. When you redownload it on a different device, you'll get that original uploaded version, transcoded to AAC format.

Do I need a backup before enabling iCloud Music Library?

Yes. Yes, yes, yes. iCloud Music Library may give you copies of your songs in the cloud, but it is in no way a backup service. (If you're only using Apple Music, for example, your matched tracks will have DRM on them if you redownload them from iCloud—DRM that will render those tracks inoperable if you ever stop subscribing.)

So please, heed our warning: Make sure you have a complete, local copy of all of your music on your primary computer (or external hard drive) before turning on iCloud Music Library.

If you've already enabled it and you don't have all your music locally on one computer, don't panic: Get an iTunes Match subscription (if you don't already have one), make sure your music shows up as Matched or Uploaded and not Apple Music, then download all the tracks you're missing to your main Mac.

What does iCloud Music Library get me?

A bunch of things! Access to your Mac's library on any of your other devices (up to 10), for one. If you're an Apple Music subscriber, it also allows you to add songs and playlists from the subscription catalog to your library; you can then save those tracks for offline play.

Why shouldn't I use iCloud Music Library?

If you don't have a backup of your Mac's library, have lots of tracks with crazy metadata that you're worried iCloud will mess up, or don't want to save songs offline from Apple Music, you probably should leave iCloud Music Library turned off.

Can I still use Apple Music without iCloud Music Library?

You bet. You can even use iCloud Music Library with some devices and not others. More info here:

I turned on iCloud Music Library and it ate my library/destroyed everything/aghhhh! Help?!

Deep breaths, pal. Do you have a backup? If so, turn off iCloud Music Library on your Mac and restore your library from that file.

If you don't have a backup, there are a lot of other things you can try, from chatting with Apple Support to resetting your iCloud Music Library. We suggest checking out our troubleshooting guide linked below if you've run into trouble and are backupless:

Any other questions?

Have a question about iCloud Music Library I haven't covered? Let me know in the comments and I'll try and get you an answer.



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Fruit Attacks has invaded, so get ready to blast some fruit

Today, 02:35 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Fruit: it's an important part of a healthy diet. But like anything else, too much fruit can be bad for you. Especially when the fruit turns against us, as in the new action puzzle game Fruit Attacks from En Masse Entertainment.

In Fruit Attacks, an army of alien fruit is slowly descending towards the earth. Players will have to blast the fruit invaders out of the sky with the help of cute creatures called SATIs. With a unique two-touch aiming system, vibrant art, and lots of stuff to collect and upgrade, Fruit Attacks might be freshest puzzle game you've played in ages. Read on for details!

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When good fruit goes bad

In each level of Fruit Attacks, waves of enemy fruits will descend from the top of the screen. If they reach the Earth at the bottom of the screen, it's all over – kind of like Space Invaders or Missile Command.

The big difference here is Fruit Attacks' clever aiming system. Instead of just flicking up at enemies to fire, players must aim with two fingers. Each finger controls its own crosshair, and the position of the two crosshairs determines the arc of your shots. This lets you make cool shots that fly up high before zipping down, shots that move from left to right, etc.

The goal is always to match the arc of the enemy wave you target. The more fruits you destroy in a row without missing, the better your combo. Downed enemies drop golden seeds that act as currency between stages.

Some fruit invaders have too much health to take out with a normal blast, in which case you'll need to charge your shots. Simple press and hold with both fingers to charge a shot that will deal extra damage. Vibro-Skills will help deal with dangerous situations as well. It slowly builds up as a level progresses. When the Vibro meter reaches its peak, shake the screen to unleash the SATI's unique full-screen attack.

At the end of each area, players will have to defeat huge boss fruits. They attack with teams of smaller fruits, creating a nice challenge. You can always switch between normal levels and Nightmare levels for an extra challenge as well.

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Building an army of fruit fighters

Fruit Attacks currently offers more than 180 levels to clear, with more on the way. The game also has lots of stuff to unlock, starting with the six playable animal characters called SATIs. Each SATI packs its own distinctive innate skill and Vibro-Skill. The SATIs can be upgraded independently, and different SATIs are better for different situations. An arsenal of separately upgradable mini-minions will add even more punch to your shots.

Players also get a home base to customize between missions. The more fruit enemies you kill, the more juice you can trade for rewards from the fridge. Your pet cat will drag in some regular or premium currency every so often as well. And finally, you can buy more furniture as you get farther in the game.

Fruit Attacks is a free to play game, and as such it has an energy system to keep players from rushing through the game. It probably gets pretty tough eventually too, but you can always go back and grind for money for upgrades that will make things easier.

You can't throw an apple without hitting a mobile puzzle game, but Fruit Attacks manages to stand out from the crowd with its distinct two-finger aiming mechanics. If you like fast-paced puzzle games, give this fruit a taste.



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