Should I get… Threes!?

The popular new game on the App Store at the moment is Threes!. It looks sort of like a sliding number puzzle, but the concept is completely different. The idea is, starting with a 1 tile and a 2 tile, you match tiles together to form ever-increasing multiples of three.

The catch is, a tile can only pair with a matching tile (except 1 and 2), there are only 16 spaces on the board, and every time you make a move, a new tile is added. The game is over when no more tiles can move.

So, should you buy it?

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Fantastical is the best calendar app for iPhone

Steven Owens, on The Sweet Setup:

It is the easiest to use (for adding/editing events) and the easiest to read (for checking schedules) for most people. Fantastical’s natural language parsing is second to none, making it fast and easy to add events, and it has a simple-yet-powerful design.

I was going to write a review of Fantastical myself, but now I don’t have to, since this review on The Sweet Setup says everything I would have said and more. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not using Fantastical.

I Made A Thing: EmojiBoard

Note: EmojiBoard is no longer under active development, and has not been updated with new Emoji since 2013. It is also no longer being hosted on my site. I’m keeping this post around as a historical archive.

I like to use Emoji symbols when I’m using my iPhone or iPad, but I don’t like having to keep the Emoji keyboard turned on. I always end up hitting the ‘change keyboard’ button by accident. I set up a few text shortcuts to the symbols I use the most, but there’s no easy way to access the other symbols. So I made one.

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Disable Automatic Emoji in Messages on Mavericks

Version 8.0 of, shipped with OS X Mavericks, has a new feature which automatically inserts Emoji symbols when you type common text emoticons, such as replacing “:)” with a smiling Emoji face.

Personally, I prefer to send the actual text rather than an Emoji symbol, but I couldn’t find anywhere in the app’s preferences to turn it off. After a lot of searching, it turns out the answer is simple. Just click in the text field in Messages and deselect Edit → Substitutions → Emoji1, and emoticons will no longer be replaced with Emoji symbols.

  1. You can also right click in the text field and deselect Substitutions → Emoji

Access iTunes Radio Outside the US

With the release of iOS 7, Apple introduced iTunes Radio, a service similar to Stations in Rdio or Spotify Radio. Unfortunately, iTunes Radio is only available in the US at the moment - although rumour has it that the service will be expanding to other countries, including the UK, by early 2014.

However, it’s fairly easy to access iTunes Radio now from any country. All you need to do is set up a US iTunes account and log in to that account on the device you want to use to access iTunes Radio. If you don’t already have a US iTunes account, follow these steps to get one set up without having to enter credit card information.

Once you have a US iTunes account, log in to it from the iTunes store and then return to the Music app on iOS or the library screen in iTunes desktop and you should see a new Radio tab. That’s it! You have access to iTunes Radio.