Category Archives: IOS Apps

What to do if your iPhone is hit by the Black Spot of Death Message

Published: 14th May 2018

Updated: 20th May 2018

Picture Credit: Everything Apple Pro

Users of iPhone have been warned of an iMessage bug that will cause your phone to become completely unusable.

Dubbed the “Black Dot Of Death” when received the message will overload your iPhone with thousands of hidden Unicode text.

You won’t be able to re-open the messages app to delete it and there is no easy way to delete the message once you receive it.

If you receive the message and all it contains is a black dot, when you click on the dot it will make the screen go completely blank until Apple issues a fix for you.

Picture Credit: Everything Apple Pro

If you have been hit with the Black Dot of Death, there are a few ways you can delete it.

One is to force close the messenger app, use 3D Touch from the home screen to select a new message, then cancel out of it. From there you should be able to go to the list of conversations on iMessage and safely delete the conversation containing the Black Dot.

If your phone doesn’t have 3D Touch, you can use Siri to reply to the message until the original “Black Dot” message is pushed out of the visible part of the conversation on the screen. Then you will safely be able to delete the conversation.

The only official Snapchat instruction manual is buried in its IPO filing

Snap Inc. filed to go public today, and part of the paperwork involved in setting up its initial public offering includes visual descriptions of how the Snapchat app actually works. This is neat development, if only because Snap has long prized its obtuse design as a hip badge of honor for younger smartphone owners. Now, these illustrations are offering a fascinating inside look at how every facet of Snapchat is built and to what end. It will surely be useful for the many Wall Street investors who have likely never used Snapchat and would be incapable of wrapping their heads around it even if they tried.For all the flak CEO Evan Spiegel and crew have gotten over the years for “bad design” or “crappy UI,” these descriptions also make clear that every part of the app has a distinct purpose and every screen a carefully constructed layout. Here, for instance, is how Snapchat constructs its home screen, which notably was the first mainstream social app to open straight into a camera:

Credit: Snap Inc

It’s also a testament to the ever-expanding complexity of the app that Snap put together multiple versions of these diagrams to fully explain every bit of the software. There’s illustrations detailing how lenses work, including sponsored lenses from companies like Taco Bell. There’s also detailed breakdowns of the “send to…” screen and the chat window.

Here’s the rest of the illustrations found in Snap’s S-1 filing, which you can read in full here

By Nick Statt – The Verge

Apple App Store prices rise in UK, India and Turkey

Apple is to put up the price it charges for apps in the UK, India and Turkey.UK costs will numerically match those of the US, meaning that a program that costs $0.99 will now be 99p.

That represents a 25% rise over the previous currency conversion, which was 79p.

“Price tiers on the App Store are set internationally on the basis of several factors, including currency exchange rates, business practices, taxes, and the cost of doing business,” it said.

“These factors vary from region to region and over time.”

The rise will also affect in-app purchases but not subscription charges.

A spokeswoman for Google was unable to comment about whether it had plans to alter prices on its Play store for Android apps.

Publishers’ choice

Apple had already adjusted the UK prices of its iPhones and iPads in September and then its Mac computers in October by a similar degree.

Other tech firms to have announced price rises in the country in the months following the Brexit vote – which has been linked to a fall in sterling’s value – include Microsoft, Dell, Tesla and HP.

To mitigate the impact of the latest increase, Apple is introducing new lower-price tiers.

Publishers will be able to charge users 49p or 79p for purchases but will have to re-price their products to do so.

“I don’t think many publishers will respond to that change,” commented Ben Dodson, an app consultant and developer of Music Tracker among other software.

“It’s just throwing money away and there’s no reason to give people in the UK a discount.

“I won’t be discounting my own apps.”

At present, $1 trades for 82p.

India is facing the biggest rise in app prices on Apple’s store [credit: Apple]

“It was certainly inevitable that Apple would change the price point for apps in the App Store to reflect currency changes,” commented Ian Fogg from the IHS Technology consultancy.

“But this is a normal part of the way the store works because it does not have dynamically changing prices that would change gradually.”

The cost of a $0.99 app will become 80 rupees in India, representing a 33% rise from the previous price of 60 rupees.

In Turkey it will change from 2.69 to 3.49 lira, which is a gain of 30%.

The news site 9to5Mac was first to report the development.

It said the change would occur over the next seven days.

Apple has also altered the cost of apps in Romania and Russia to take account of local changes to VAT made at the start of the year.

Published by: BBC News

10 old school games you can play on your smartphone right now

By Stuff Magazine

Week after week, a torrent of shiny new mobile games floods the app stores, offering in-app purchases like there’s no tomorrow.Despite their impressive graphics and meticulously calculated addictiveness, though, nothing quite warms our hearts like the classics of old.

You know, the sort of basic button-bashers that had you hooked for hours, using little more than blocky graphics and a lot of beeps.

Well, here’s the good news: it’s still possible to play a fair few of these arcade classics. A host of retro games have been officially released for your smartphone for on-tap nostalgia. You’re welcome.

Additional words by Chris Rowlands

Snake ’97

Everyone who owned a Nokia phone back in the day – which, let’s face it, was most of us – would have spent at least some time hopelessly hooked on this gem from the 90s, trying to beat their high scores while avoiding their own tail.

Simple in mechanics yet ridiculously addictive, it’s a wonder that we ever made it to 4K graphics given how engrossing Snake was.

If you miss those halcyon days, you have two options. You can either buy a new Nokia brick, which should come with the little critter installed, or you can download the simulator for your smartphone. It even comes complete with a choice of Nokia phone backgrounds.

Price £FREE

Download Snake ’97 for iOS
Download Snake ’97 for Android
Metal Slug 3

Who else here spent too much of their school allowance feeding the Metal Slug machines back when arcades were still a thing? The 2D side-scrolling shooter that lets you clear wave after wave of monsters with cool weapon upgrades and power-ups is back, except instead of a joystick, you’ll be using your thumbs to play.

You’ll be able to find mobile versions of many of the Metal Slug games in the series, but of the original arcade shooters, Metal Slug 3 gets our vote for maintaining the spirit of the earlier games from a decade ago, while introducing a bit of extra depth.

Price: £2.29

Download Metal Slug 3 for iOS
Download Metal Slug 3 for Android

Space Invaders

Equal parts iconic and fun, this arcade classic stole the hearts of legions of fans back in the late 70s and even caused a shortage of 100-yen coins when it was first released in Japan.

The mobile version is almost a dead ringer for the original, with an on-screen fire button with three options for controlling the laser — left and right buttons that can be tapped, a control stick that can be “dragged,” and tilt control utilizing the iPhone’s accelerometers.

You might not be playing it on an arcade machine, but the 8-bit graphics and audio will give you epic flashbacks to a time when you were.

Price: £3.99

Download Space Invaders for iOS
Download Space Invaders for Android

RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic

Largely responsible for many of us wanting to grow up to become theme park owners, the original RollerCoaster Tycoon games actually made micro-managing fun.

Atari’s new release for mobile combines features from the first two PC games and also includes the original pixelated, isometric art style that looks like a blast from the past. The build and design tools and huge range of rides and amenities have all been kept intact, plus an adjusted menu system to fit on the smaller screen of your phone. 

Price: £4.49

Download RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic for iOS
Download RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic for Android

Mega Man X

With its directional controls and two action buttons for shooting and jumping, this iOS port released by Capcom is very similar to the original action game on the NES.

The mobile version lets you charge your shots and fire powerful ammo at your enemies just like the original, with the addition of (completely optional) microtransactions that let the time-starved unlock weapons, health boosts and other content without the need to work towards them in-game.
Plus with the full list of Mega Man titles slated for a mobile release in January, there’s no better time to get hyped.
Price: £3.99

Download Mega Man X for iOS

Crazy Taxi City Rush

One of the all-time greatest arcade games, Crazy Taxi was addictive fast-paced chaos accompanied by awesome 90s-era music. You had to race through congested streets and pick up impatient passengers because time was money even back then.

While touch controls on the phone aren’t the most conducive for this steering-wheel driven game, the sequel is worth a download for the addition of mini-games, and for the manic excitement that many newer games fail to match.

Download Crazy Taxi City Rush for iOS
Download Crazy Taxi City Rush for Android

Sonic The Hedgehog 2

Sega brings the speedy blue hedgehog to your mobile device with a bunch of titles to suit any Sonic fan. And while the original Sonic game is available, Sonic 2 gets our vote for being the most refined and diverse of the lot that’s been adapted for mobile.

The original’s side-scrolling design has been expanded with more speed, running at 60fps during normal and special stages. Other updates include a remastered soundtrack, a remade version of the lost beta level Hidden Palace Zone, and an eighth Special Stage. The Android version even includes levels cut from the original release.

Price: £2.29

Download Sonic The Hedgehog 2 for iOS
Download Sonic The Hedgehog 2 for Android
Puzzle Bobble

Step aside, Candy Crush, this classic with the dinosaur mascot was the original match-three game. The mobile version retains all of the original levels, along with the original music and sound effects that we can still recall from memory.

While you still have to match three or more same-coloured bubbles to make them disappear before you run out of time and space, the app also introduces some new modes and features such as boss levels that require using your bubble launcher as an offensive weapon. But we’ll probably just stick with popping bubbles.

Price: £3.99

Download Puzzle Bobble for iOS


Well, you just can’t have a list of classic games without including Pac-Man, can you? The highest-grossing game of all time has been reborn as a mobile app so that the younger generation might partake in its brilliance — while you relive your childhood.

The app is pretty much exactly like how you remember it – with the original 1980 maze, plus an additional 9 mazes. The touchscreen provides swipe controls and a joystick to avoid ghosts and munch on power pellets. Simple, straightforward and uncomplicated — why fix it if it ain’t broken?

Price: £2.99

Download PAC-Man for iOS
Download PAC-Man for Android


This childhood favourite wriggles onto our phone screens complete with exploding sheep, holy hand grenades and homing missiles flying furiously around as you try to destroy your opponent.

The remastered version for iOS stays true to the original that we fell in love with, but you’ll need a bit of practice to master the game on a touchscreen. While the original is only available on iOS, Android users can also join in on the action with Worms 2.

Price: £1.49

Download Worms for iOS
Download Worms for Android
** All Prices Correct on 14/01/17 and may of changed in price 

Snapchat’s Latest Feature Is Going To Make Stalking Your Ex Easier

By James Dawson – STUFF

Snapchat has decided to go ahead and make stalking your ex / crush / friends / everyone else that bit easier by introducing a new search function.
The tech company has added a universal search bar where users can search through the entire app, it will be launching today for some people on Android and rolling out soon to all iOS and Android users.
Using the search bar will make it easier to bring up friends, groups, publishers on Discover and Our Stories and it lets you dig out the best content and conversations from the app.

How to use the new search feature here!!!!

For the app, this feature could translate to monetisation according to TechCrunch, who said: “With universal search also comes new revenue opportunities. Snapchat could potentially let advertisers pay for sponsored placement atop search results, or as suggestions in the search interface.

“This could allow Snapchat to directly monetize the desire of brands to build an audience on its network. When asked if ads were coming to search, the company declined to comment on future plans.”
For anyone who’s reading this who has loaded up the app and is still wondering what the hell I’m on about, the search bar – if your app has been updated – will be located at the top of the app.
When you get ready to type into it, the rest of your screen will show a “Quick Chat” section with Bitmoji of accounts you frequently interact with, “Groups” further below that, and “New Friends.”
Sounds rad, get snapping…

Featured Image Credit: PA Images & ConsumerFu