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One of the best jailbreak tweaks to touch down in some time is now available for purchase on the Cydia Store. I’m referring to Apex, the new jailbreak tweak collaboration from A3tweaks.
Apex is an innovative new release that allows you to group sets of app icons together, and reveal each individual app using a swipe up or swipe down gesture. This means that you can have what appears to be a single app on your Home screen, when in all actuality, it’s hiding up to four additional apps.
Apex is a great way to get by without using folders. It allows you to quickly group items together, and launch them just as fast using intuitive gesture commands. Have a look inside at our full video walkthrough, as I explain why this is a must have jailbreak release for you.
At its core, Apex is a simple tweak that really only does one thing — allows you to group apps. That in itself is a fairly simplistic premise, but the tweak gets fairly complex when it comes to rendering the way those elements look on the Home screen.
Instead of just opting to dump a whole group of apps on the Home screen, meticulous detail was paid to how the apps are grouped together. With Apex, up to four apps can be mated to another app at any given time. You don’t necessarily have to use four apps, that’s just the limit for the amount of apps that can be grouped to another.
When looking at Apex, I’m sort of loosely reminded of how electrons surround a nucleus. The nucleus, of course, being the primary app that’s used to group the other four apps, and the electrons being any one of the apps designated to mate with the nucleus app.
This analogy makes more sense when you gather how the mated app icons “stick” to the primary app icon. No matter where the primary app is located on the Home screen — whether it’s the top left-hand corner, bottom right-hand corner, or somewhere in the middle — the mated apps find a way to surround the app in a logical order. Watch the video demonstration above and it will give you a sense as to what I’m referring to.
As mentioned, gestures play an integral role in Apex’s functionality. A swipe up or swipe down gesture on any app will reveal four empty spaces where companion apps can be added. The blank spaces where potential apps can be are symbolized by plus signs encapsulated with outlined boxes.
Tapping on the plus sign dims the rest of the screen, and reveals a vertically scrollable interface, which lists all of the available apps present on your device. Once a desired app is situated on top of the box, a checkmark will appear in the upper right-hand corner of the app signifying its selection. From there, a tap of the Home button will lock in the selection, and bring you back to the remaining empty three boxes.
You can stop right there, or continue adding up to three additional apps to finish the group. The developers recommend adding similar apps, for instance, grouping the Camera app with Instagram, Vine, Camera+, and Hipstamatic. This results in a more folder like inventory of apps, that’s convenient, but certainly not required and or necessary to get a lot out of Apex.
Once a group has been settled on, the main app icon that makes up the group can be swiped on at any time to reveal the other apps associated with that group. You’ll be able to tell when an app icon contains a group by the other apps that ever so subtly peek out from behind the primary app icon. If you’re not particularly fond of this effect, it can be exchanged for an even more subtle indicator by means of a handy toggle option in the tweak’s preferences.
Removing apps from groups is basically an exercise in reversing the steps taken to add icons to a group. First you’ll need to swipe on the tweak to reveal its grouped apps, tap and hold on an icon to place the device into wiggle mode, and then tap on the app icon you want to remove. From there, just move the list of app icons all the way to to the top of the list, where the blank app resides, and press the Home button. Written out, the steps seem a bit cumbersome, but it’s really quick and only take a couple of seconds.
It’s not just the function of the tweak that’s impressive, but it’s the way that function is executed. It shows that the makers behind it actually care, and aren’t just after a quick payday (if you can even call it that, given the modest price point of the offering).
That being said, there is a small bug that I found on 4″ screen devices. The bug allows you to have five app icons grouped to another, instead of the standard four. I’ve confirmed with the developer that this is indeed a bug, and not implemented by design. The bug makes it so, depending on where the primary app icon is positioned, access to one of the five apps may be restricted until the primary app is moved to another location on the Home screen. This bug is certainly not a deal breaker, and it only happens if you intentionally add more than four apps to a group.
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Auxo — the popular jailbreak tweak we covered in depth last week — is now available on Cydia with iOS 5.1 support in tow. As you may recall, the initial version only supported iOS 6 out of the gate, and many users, pined for iOS 5.1 support, since a great majority of jailbreakers have chosen to remain on 5.1 firmware for obvious reasons.
Thanks to developer, Kyle Howells, who assisted with porting the tweak, the team behind Auxo was able to meet its turnaround time for adding support for the older iOS firmware. Did the team have to make any sacrifices in order to bring such an awesome tweak to iOS 5.1? It sure doesn’t look like it to me. Check inside as we go hands on with Auxo for iOS 5.1 on video…
As you can see from our video, Auxo for iOS 5.1 works exactly like it does on iOS 6.x. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a difference between the two. If anything, the new version of Auxo with 5.1 support works even better, because it adds bug fixes, performance upgrades, and new languages.
The video that I included with this post is designed to show you how the tweak works on the lesser firmware, and it’s not an in-depth dive into all of its features. If you haven’t read our original synoposis of Auxo, or you’re still wondering what all of the fuss is about, then I urge you to check out our original post about the tweak. There, I broke down every aspect of Auxo in full detail, and also included a more in-depth video that what accompanies this post.
While most iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch 4G users could have easily upgraded to iOS 6 in order to run Auxo, jailbroken iPhone 4S owners had no such luxury. Now, with the introduction of Auxo 1.1, users of the jailbroken iPhone 4S can enjoy the improved app switching experience on much faster hardware. Sadly, I lost my jailbreak for the iPhone 4S, so I am patiently waiting for an iOS 6 jailbreak for that device, and obviously, I’m looking forward to running Auxo on my iPhone 5 as well.
So what’s next for Auxo? Well, the most logical next step for the team is to implement iPad support. Auxo is the type of tweak that would translate well on the iPad’s larger screen, and the team has assured me that they are working diligently to bring the experience to Apple tablets.
I won’t say I was skeptical, but I was a tad doubtful whether Kyle Howells could bring Auxo to iOS 5 in an accurate fashion. I guess I shouldn’t have been skeptical at all, after all, this is the same guy who brought us great tweaks like MountainCenter, along the marvelous SwipeSelection and Emblem, which were both featured as one of our top tweaks of 2012. Given his track record, I should have realized that if anyone could have pulled this off during the short time allocated for its completion, it would have been Howells.
Update: as many have pointed out, this release is for iOS 5.1.x only, not necessarily 5.x. For instance, if you’re running 5.0.1, it won’t currently work. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.
WordPress announced the release of version 4.1 of it’s software today, which is now available to either download or update directly from your WordPress dashboard.
The new version of WordPress is code named “Dinah” in honor of jazz singer Dinah Washington. In addition to a new default theme, it comes with several new features designed to keep you focused on what matters most — creating content.
In this post I’ll go over some of the new features of WordPress 4.1 and how they can benefit you.WordPress 4.1 New Features
With every new year comes a new default WordPress theme named after the year of release. The company describes Twenty Fifteen as “a blog-focused theme designed for clarity.”
The new theme reduces clutter and puts your content front and center. It’s suitable to be viewed on any screen size, whether on a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
In order to help you concentrate on writing content, there’s a new distraction-free writing mode that automatically triggers as you start typing. Everything that’s non-essential to writing fades away and returns when you’ve stopped writing.
As someone who writes a lot of content on WordPress, this is the feature I’m most excited about. The sheer amount of stuff you’re surrounded by in the WordPress backend is overwhelming at times, so this is sure to make writing a lot easier.
Other Miscellaneous Features
Language Selection: Switch to any language from the General Settings screen.
Log Out Everywhere: If you’ve signed in to WordPress from multiple computers, there’s now an option to log out from all devices.
Embed Vine Videos: Paste a Vine URL into a post and it will automatically embed itself.
Plugin Recommendations: The plugin installer will recommend plugins for you to try based on other plugins you have installed.
If you’re interested in the more technical details about WordPress 4.1, you can see the full list of updates here.
There you are, sitting on your office chair. Feeling comfortable and good about yourself. Let me tell you something. You are lost. You are a nobody. Why? Because you don’t have a mechanical keyboard in your life! Like some evangelical preacher, I have an idea I need to sell you. That is the glory of the mechanical keyboard. If you accept the mechanical keyboard into your life, you could be experiencing increased comfort, improved productivity, and glory! It will change the way you type forever! Don’t just ask me, there are plenty of fanatics that have forever converted from using cheap, rubber-dome keyboards to high-quality mechanicals. I have made a short list of five reasons why you should switch to a mechanical keyboard. I have faith that you will see the light.
The second reason why you need to switch to a mechanical keyboard is ergonomics. Mechanical keyboards generally have higher quality keycaps which are rounded to let your fingers rest on them more comfortably. Traditional laptop keys, with the exception of Lenovo’s, are flat. Flat keys are good for space-saving designs but you not only lose precision, but also comfort. I find flat keys uncomfortable to type on for long periods because I have to hit them “head on” in order not to make an error. Also, it is very easy to hit these keycaps on the corners which will cause your fingers to slip and mis-type. If you hit the corner of a keycap on a mechanical keyboard, you still have a good chance of registering the input. The longer “throw” of mechanical keyboards are also more comfortable for long typing sessions compared to the short engagement point of chicklet-style keyboards. For a long time, I thought the main attribute of an ergonomic keyboard is shape. After using the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic keyboard for 2-3 years and using my Leopold Tenkeyless for about 5 months, I realize that it’s not about the shape. The main reason mechanical keyboards are better is the key switches.
The third benefit is reduced strain. I realize this is closely related to comfort but I felt that this deserved its own section simply because of RSI(Repetitive Strain Injury). We use our computers for hours and some of us do not take RSI seriously. I take good care of my hands. And so should you. For most people, their hands are their livelihood. Hand health is very important if you are a musician, laborer, or athlete. One thing I’ve notice after spending a few months with my mechanical keyboard compared to keyboards of my past is finger pain. I use to get finger pain after prolonged typing on the rubber dome keys. They were all I knew so I didn’t question. It wasn’t until I was in the market for a better keyboard where I found out about mechanical key switches. Subsequently, it wasn’t until I was typing on them for hours until I realized my finger pain was mainly caused by the cheap rubber-dome keyboards. If you are on the computer for hours, or if your profession involves extensive amounts of typing, consider investing on a mechanical keyboard for this very reason. These key switches will reduce finger strain. Your hands will thank you.
The fourth benefit of using a mechanical keyboard is improved speed. A more precise, comfortable keyboard means improved typing speed. I was never a speed typist. Barely being able to type 25 WPM, after a few months of serious training, I can now type 60-70 WPM. Your mileage may vary but you will improve your speed. If not in burst typing, definitely in endurance typing. That’s typing long essays or reports. Wiki has the average typing speed rated at 33 WPM. If you are over this, you are doing very well.
The last and most important reason why you need a mechanical keyboard? They’re fun! That may sound silly to say but after getting one, I now enjoy typing. I like the sound of these Cherry MX browns. Some people like the blues. You can’t go wrong either way. They’re great to type on. Mechanical keyboards have their own unique personalities. From the simple Leopold Tenkeyless to the highly sought after HHKB Pro 2. Typing shouldn’t be a chore. Most people probably won’t be competing on typeracer for leisure, but mechanical keyboards will make you smile. It’s like buying a luxury car. Sure, you don’t NEED leather heated seat with power everything but if you can afford it, why not treat yourself? Especially a tool that you will spend years using. Once you punch the keys, you will see the light
The Wii U Is Coming: Why Buy the Wii Now?
I’m shocked that anyone wants to buy the Wii. But I’m even more shocked that so many people are doing it. Earlier this week, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter reported, based on his checks, that a little over 1 million Wii units were sold last month, putting the device slightly behind the Xbox 360 in overall sales during the period.
When I saw that statistic, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Is this really the same Wii console that has been on store shelves for five years now? Is it really the same Wii console that has watched its annual sales figures dwindle? Is it really the same Wii that will be replaced in about a year with a new console from Nintendo?
It’s that last question on the Wii being replaced soon that makes the console’s strong showing last month so vexing. In as much as a year, the Wii is going to be obsolete; a device that few will want to play, since it’ll be replaced with the latest and greatest technology Nintendo has to offer. Furthermore, over the next several months, it’s highly likely that the dwindling Wii third-party developer force will only further ignore the console to focus their efforts on the Wii U.
Of course, Nintendo supporters say that doesn’t matter. They point out that the Wii already has a solid lineup of games, and at its current $150 price tag, it’s a bargain for shoppers looking for a nice gift to get the kids this holiday season. Plus, with more kids reaching the so-called “gaming age,” it would only make sense that parents would want to get their hands on the console.
But do those people really know what they’re buying? As noted, they’re getting a device that will be made obsolete by its successor next year. And some might argue that the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, which are far more affordable than ever, have already made Nintendo’s console obsolete.
[aquote]Wii buyers are getting a device that lacks the deep library found in other consoles[/aquote]
In addition, Wii buyers are getting a device that lacks the deep library found in other consoles (unless, of course, you’re a fan of Nintendo’s franchises). They’re also getting a device that, most would agree, offers no online-gaming support, a second-rate motion-gaming experience, and overall value that falls short compared to its more-capable alternatives.
Am I coming down too hard on the Wii? It’s tough to say. When one peels back the layers of hyperbole surrounding the console, they find a device that performed well initially, but couldn’t hold up over the long-term. And now, Nintendo is scrambling to replace the console so its hardware business doesn’t suffer.
But alas, I recognize that I’m not in the majority with my thinking. People around the U.S. are lining up to buy the Wii.
Too bad. They might find a better use for their money elsewhere.
Stock is suddenly in favor of consumers, now that miners are no longer buying up all the graphics chips Nvidia and AMD produced. And looking at the final totals after these discounts, you may find yourself asking if stretching your budget could be worth it—especially if you have extra cash on hand after waiting for a reasonable price on a GPU.
It’s a question worth asking, and one we’ve discussed on The Full Nerd, our weekly show on YouTube where we discuss PC hardware. If you find yourself considering this decision, here are the other hard questions you should next ask yourself. How you answer will determine if you should keep to your original budget, stretch to buy one of these insane deals, or wait for the next generation of cards.How long will you keep the graphics card?
It’s a bit of a running joke among the PCWorld staff at this point, but the GTX 1080 Ti has held up incredibly well over the years. Typically, enthusiasts who buy a flagship card upgrade sooner than many actually have.
If you replace your graphics card more often, your strategy will be different than someone who tends to buy and hold for as long as possible.
For example, if you’re someone who likes to replaces your card every couple of years, and you’re now four or five years into ownership of your current GPU, you may be feeling long past due for an upgrade now that prices are normal. Since you’ll replace the card within a couple of years, waiting longer may not sit right, even given the age of the current generation of GPUs.
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On the flip side, if you tend to hold onto your graphics cards until death do you part, waiting another half year for the rumored launches of Nvidia’s RTX 40-series and AMD’s RDNA3 Radeon cards Radeon cards is the more fitting decision. Holding out for the latest tech will help extend the life of your purchase.
Find yourself on the fence? How you answer the other questions will help you better clarify where you fall.How important are next-gen features?
A shot from Chernobylite comparing DLSS, FSR, and native resolution. If you’re someone who stans FSR but wants performance closer to that of Nvidia’s DLSS 2.0, you may be better off waiting to see what next-gen cards bring.
In the current generation of cards, AMD is a step behind Nvidia in support for ray-tracing. FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), its upscaling tech for improving frame rates, also still trails Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) tech. Depending on the games you play and monitor you have, having these features may be key to your enjoyment of the card.
The answers to the other questions in this article can better shape the path to take. Maybe a current-gen higher-end card is ideal—the graphics card you have is on its last legs or is performing too weakly for your taste, and the feature set of the RTX 30-series or RX 6000-series is more than adequate for your timeline.
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Or perhaps waiting to see what comes out next is the right choice. You want to make the most of a fancy new monitor you just got, or you’re gambling despite the trend of ever-increasing MSRPs, you can buy a cheaper class of next-gen GPU and still get improved performance and features.What games do you like to play?
If you’ve always been a “But can it run Crysis?” type, you’ll want a card that can easily handle the punishment of graphically demanding games. (Pictured: Cyberpunk 2077.)
Play nothing but AAA titles the second they drop? Or do you focus on less taxing indie games?
The kind of games you play also should factor into your purchase decision, even if your titles of choice are the freebies you’ve collected through the Epic Games Store. Whether they punish the hardware, go easy, or somewhere in between, your usual taste will influence how much hardware you’ll reasonably need. No point in a cutting-edge version of ray-tracing or the ability to pump out high frame rates in today’s AAA titles if your games don’t require much firepower.
So figure out the napkin math on the kind of hardware best suited for your habits. After, you’ll be able to make calls like, “I wouldn’t normally go for a 6900 XT, but if a good model dips below $600, I’d rather scoop that up now and hang onto it for a few years instead of waiting for prices to come down on the next-gen cards. Otherwise, I’ll hold out.”What’s your monitor capable of?
Will you play the latest AAA games on a high-resolution screen like the Samsung Odyssey G9? After all, you could also own an Odyssey G9 and only play games like Stray on it instead.
As fun as it is to own hardware that puts the pedal to the metal, sometimes you can’t justify owning it. For example: You own a 1080p monitor with a fixed refresh rate of 60Hz, aren’t planning to upgrade it, and will only ever game on the PC. Sure, casually mentioning you picked up a 3090 Ti for just a bit over $1,000 is a great bomb to drop in a conversation, but it shouldn’t be the main win of such a deal.
So put another way: What are the resolution and refresh rate you normally play at? And if you’re pushing a lot of pixels or playing at high frame rates, how important is it you maintain that level of performance?
Those answers plus the kind of games you normally play will determine how powerful your graphics card should be and how long you’ll be able to hang onto it. If you play a game with relatively chill system requirements, but load it on a super ultrawide monitor (i.e., Samsung Odyssey G9) while cranking up its graphics settings to max, you may end up needing a brawnier graphics card than you might first think. Similarly, if you always need to hit at least 144 fps in the latest AAA games, you’ll be replacing your card more often.What’s your budget?
This question is the harshest bit of reality.
This one’s the final reality check. If you only planned to spend $250 on a new graphics card, a reasonable stretch is more like $350 for everything except the Radeon RX 6600. (Good news is, we’ve been seeing discounts on the RTX 3060 Ti and RX 6600 XT, too—just not as steep as on the flagship cards.)
But if you were already targeting RX 3070 Ti or RX 6800, stepping up to an 6900 XT at $670 is far more logical. And it can actually be a tempting proposition, given those cards aren’t straying far from MSRP at the moment.
Even if you were more in 6700 XT territory, the answers you give to the other questions in this article could actually identify you as a good candidate for shelling out extra for an upgrade to the 6900 XT.Bonus question: Used or new?
The tides have turned on pricing because Nvidia and AMD committed to big foundry orders for their graphics chips, but miners are no longer buying GPUs with as much fervor. In fact, they’re trying to get rid of their own cards.
Which sparks another interesting question: If you’re looking to really get the most bang for your buck, do you opt for a used graphics card, or do you wait in hope these fire-sale prices continue?
The AMD Radeon RX 580 also dropped to a comfortably low price before the pandemic, due to high stock. The card was a great budget pick for years.
Brad Chacos / IDG
Neither AMD or Nvidia want to hang onto their remaining stock of RX 6000-series or 30-series cards, respectively, before the rumored launches of their next-gen cards this fall. So the odds are good that current-gen GPUs will continue to get hefty discounts, and across the stack. (Incidentally, budget buyers: You might want to avoid the RX 6500 XT, even if it gets crazy cuts.)
But no matter the cost of a new card, you can be sure a used card will always undercut it. And with miners looking to offload much of their card inventory, that means plenty potentially cheap (if riskier) options for upgrading your PC.
So which way you should go? That one’s a long running debate among our staff, with each of us holding very spicy personal takes. To help you decide the question for yourself, have a look at our list of 6 things to consider before buying a used GPU right now. Dig into our overview of who should buy a used GPU, too.
But remember—a new card comes backed with a warranty. Depending on your circumstances, that can be worth the cost differential. (Can you guess what part of my take on this question is?)
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