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Tech, Gadgets, Photography, Social Media and Poor Spelling

What’s on my iPad?

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There is no doubt in my mind that the future of personal computing is at that point where a huge shift is going to made in the next 12 months away from the traditional desktop and over to the mobile device. The smartphone and the Tablet are for this next generation of computer users the way forward. The acceptance of the simple fact always on communication is a must. Driving this forward will be the applications we use, these will dictate how each individual mobile platform is used and its core group of users far more i belive than cost or hardware specification.

Users, thats me and youu have in the most part started to or are already bedding in to “cloud” infrastructures, the Google, Apple, Dropbox, Microsoft experience and this goes a huge way to not only how you will use mobile computing but which platform you will be using over the next few years. Yes you are at liberty to change when you want, iCloud not really what you thought it was, sure you can slip over to GoogleDrive however most of these vendors know a simple truth. If you make it just a little bit of hard work to get the data off the device and easy to get it into the infrastructure then you will retain users.

Right now my chosen platform is the iPad, I have an Android device however i’m finding it for my needs just a little bit too phone orientated of an OS. This i’m sure will change and in 2 years time when my contract is up on my iPad 3 i’ll maybe decied that the merging, crossover or implementation of Android/ChroemOS and WebOS is in fact now the better option. For me this is not the casr right now.

I keep the apps on my “desktop? which i sue the most and squirrel the others into folders for ease of use. these are the Apps on my Desktop.

WordPress

Put simply, it’s not a great app, it needs a lot of work, it could take a leaf out of an app like pages, however for mobile blogging on the go it works, its simple, it displays everything in HTML code so you don’t get to see images directly while editing you need to preview to do that however again, there is nothing better to blog on word press with at the moment. Where I do like it however is as a quick way of getting photos up onto my blog. From the Camera, to the photos app and posted.

Trickle

This app is a godsend during the working day, it asks like a screensaver on my iPad providing me with a Twitter stream in full desktop, simple text, nice and big white on a black background. It’s the simplicity of this app which makes it so damn good. Links can be touched and they open in the default browser (Thats safari). The large white on black text and as i follow a lot of news organisations on twitter i get a view to the world on my desk. It’s great. Its a shame no one thought to do exactly the rame with an RSS feed which links into Google Reader. Or add that functionality to this..?

Spotify

As a recent release i’ve been waiting for this on the iPad for ages, it has replaced the rather long in the tooth Music App, i don’t at the moment want to go iTunes match with my music, so Spotify is the next best thing for me. The Desktop app is far better than iTunes on any platform as well. I can create playlists from local and network content and then have the app sync it up ready of off line usage. Music on the go even when the 3G isn’t connected.

Downcast

If Apple wants to go all skeuomorphic with its new Podcasts app, thats all fine and dandy, however Downcast is how the pro’s podcast. it links into the vast number of podcasts in it’s database which i believe are pulled in as well from the itunes catalog this include audio and video. Provide an RSS feed if you can’t find it. A great feature is the  play while downloading feature where you can start the podcast off downloading, then play it while it’s downloading so you don’t have to wait for the whole thing to download. Better than streaming in so far as i’m on an overground train, then an underground train, i can start listening to the shows and by the time i get to the underground the rest of what i’m listening to doesn’t shut off while i’m out of 3G signal.  Podcasts can be scheduled for regular downloads as well as long as the app is running in the backgroun ti just downloads the content you’ve asked it to for you..

CloudOn

How this is free i’ll never know, its a great example of a company using the best of breed to create a wonderful app. From your doc’s in the cloud be it Dropbox, Google Drive or Box.net files, link them to the Cloud on, app, open the files, and they will open in the Web version of either Word, Excel or Powerpoint as appropriate or a PDF reader. This works like a dream for me on the iPad, I like Google Doc’s i just feel Google missed the boat with their recent Google Drive app which could have been so much more essentially showing off Google Docs and adding some additional features instead we got another file viewer. CloudOn works well even over 3G as a document editor.

Top Camera

Yes there is an Apple Camera app on the iPad and it’s another example of basic entry level stuff. Top Camera replaces the default camera app and in doing so again shows what can be done when an app is thought about.

It combines features found in numerous camera apps and a few unique features and displays them in a no-nonsense, easy to use interface that allows you to concentrate on your creative side. An excellent HDR (High Dynamic Range) feature, VIDEO RECORDING, amazing SLOW SHUTTER mode and the use of FOLDERS for file management make it unique among the all camera apps. Folders, sharing, editing and effects add a whole different dimension you enter when you are finished in the full-featured shooting mode.

Messages

I don’t know if messages will take off, it’s a bit like a cross between SMS and IM, and i already have both, it does however afford me a quick and easy way to communicate with a work colleague and I am interested to see where Apple is going with this concept. Messaging Voice and Video in the same App on Mobile and Desktop, could it be finally? Lets see..

LogmeIn (Free)

I’ve added the (free) because thats not the over priced Logmein Ignition it’s the free client, the one which lets you get onto tour Mac or PC remotely from anywhere and doesn’t lock the screen on the PC you are attaching to. It’s a nice app and yes there are others I however like the dual login, into the app and then onto my PC and having a specific security password for Logmein as well. Personal preference again. It is however very quick and using the mouse pointer is made more intuitive by some well thought out gestures.

Google+

Yes I know other apps can get me onto Google+, none of those however have Instant Upload, a killer feature for me of this app, it takes the photos on the iPad and uploads (read backs up) them to Google+. Now all google have to do is make this place the same as Google Drive, thus google Drive actually being what it says it is a Drive for Google and we are truley looking at a great iPad infrastructure for photographers.

The App itself is a work of art and leaves anything Facebook have provided users in the dust, well thought out and very fast, it makes using google+ a far nicer experience. I’m hoping a few more people i know will get on it in the coming months. Circles, instand Upload, Great mobile Apps..

500px Stacker

There is an official 500px app, and it’s lovely, however it doesn’t allo you to upload from the ipad to the site, the 500px Stacker app does and as such makes uploading to my photo site from the iPad much easier. It doesn’t do a bad job in displaying the apps too with a twitter like system of sliding panels. It’s retina compatible so photos get to look as good as they can and keeps a chached copy of photos so shoing them off isn’t too hard off line either.

Skype

I’ve got a 3G iPad, i’ve got a bluetooth headset and a Skype Number, i’ve got a phone.. Job done. Not a pretty app however seeing as Microsoft own this company i’m just glad there is an app at all. the video conferencing is good as it the skype to skype and unlike FaceTime at the moment. This works over 3G.. I also rather like the tie in with Facebook so you can have Facebook chats in the app, however you have to set this link up from a PC at the moment.

Mail

Until a Jailbreaker lets me get access to another default mail app like Sparrow when it finally gets its collective act together and provides an iPad app.

Mercury

I’m a naughty boy and have Jailbroken my iPad 3, and as such I can install Browser chooser which in turn makes Mercury open instead of Safari. I would use Chrome, however it doesn’t support Javascriptlets those short javascripts which sit in the bookmarks bar and pull in other data from Evernote, Boxee, Lastpass into the browser. So why Mercury? Simple its the most stable of all the browsers i’ve used, i like the open in background tab and other options and it’s quick. Not quite Opera quick, but quick none the less.

Fera

Facebook, it’s looking to break into Mobile, and well it’s app sucks and to be honest so do many of the Apps on the App store they are pretty dire bunch of applications. Having tested about 15 of them very few allowed post to groups for example. then i found Fera it doesn’t try to be a Facebook clone it just provides you accurate data from the Website and is very easy to navigate it’s stable and doesn’t crash when you upload video or pictures while on the move.

Evernote

This app is a godsend, and Evernote is worth every penny i pay for it, its a tagged document store for me, going on holiday, interview’s (i’m giving not taking if my Boss reads this) it’s all in Evernote and it replaces the need for carrying paper around, sync it, keep it off line, and don’t lose the paper again. I’ve found that most places we have not had a paper copy are happy to use this, and i have mailed a few documents to companies from the iPad if it is an issue. Retina enabled as well so bar codes scan in from it.

Flipboard

This is the news, for a while a killer app for the iPad, even when it was just Facebook, Twitter and Google Reade it was good, its now expanding. Displaying feeds as articles pulling the most out of them it can and also providing an easy way to see the artucle there isn’t for me a better way to read the news, i just wish there was an offline mode, maybe all the news for the last x hrs or n ays so when i’m out of data reach i can still see the graphics and the full story. Still as it is with 3G or Wifi working its a great looking app.

Conclusion

I am always on the look out for good apps, something which does what it does well, it might be a linux thing I just belive in tools that do one thing and do them well and not 100 things poorly.

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This entry was posted on July 15, 2012 by in app, ipad, Tablets and tagged , , , , .
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