Sunday, December 23, 2012

iPad users, check this out!

Fourteen, yes, 14, apps in the dock! Finally! :-). Method: Infinidock, a jailbroken app. Tweak: manually overridden maximum apps number through iFile, another jailbroken app.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nuisances, continued

One thing about the iPad that makes it less than it could be, is that iOS is really just a cellphone operating system, and it shows. Difficulty with writing, whether in online text boxes or writing apps, is the most aggravatiing outcome. Even with that though, I still like carrying my iPad more than I ever could come to terms with being tied to a laptop.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mobile website maintenance

Webpage building mobile apps are still in their infancy, with really no great ones yet, that is, none that let you visually construct a page. Even the best simply FTP simple html back and forth. However, it is surprising, appalling actually how poorly they do even that mundane chore. FTP Clent Pro is the exception. It is so easy to use, fast (much faster even than my desktop program, WSFTP), and just realy makes sense in its user interface. Can't say enough good things about it. Best of all, it is enabling me to devote the time my languishing webspace has needed for all too long.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Experiences with some new apps

This past couple weeks I tried out some new apps. Two held really great promise, Infinidocs and SwipeSelection. Let's take the last one first. Typing on the iPad is an acquired taste, as they say. To call it difficult is about as big an understatement as a person can make. SwipeSelection promised easy cursor movement, something that is really really cumbersome on the iPad but an integral part of writing. Big fail! In email, typing excruciatingly slowly, it does as advertised. But at every other time, forget it! Too bad. Infinidocs came through however. What does it do? Look at the picture. IPad owners will recognize that the native iPad dock will hold only seven apps. How many do I have? Cool, huh?! :-)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

iOS6 is here

Okay, so it is. With a jailbroken iPad2, however, it means I am in no hurry to update, in spite of Apple's insistent and constant needling that I do so. There won't be a jailbreak routine for iOS6 for some while. It took almost a year for the one for iOS5 to appear. So we'll see. Ironically, one of iOS6 new capabilities is one of the things jailbreaking got me, the ability to add attachments to email. But it wasn't the only one, or even the most important.
That honor goes to the ability to use a flash drive, something Apple is unlikely to sanction for the foreseeable future, given their almost cultic belief in "the cloud.".

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New favorite app!

I really like jazz piano, so this one is being used a lot! Can't get enough of it. :-). Can multitask while listening too!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

More iPad peeves...

Yeah, there are one or two more gripes. A big one is the iPad keyboard. It really goes back to iOS, which is after all designed for phones. Thus the less than completely useful keyboard, that one net reviewer called "a frustration for touch typists.". Indeed it is. The details. The keyboard has three layers, with the numbers on layer two and symbols such as the equal sign and slash and brackets on layer three. So to insert a number sign takes three taps forward and two taps back again. Apostrophes. Require a sliding-and-hold motion on the exclamation key, which I often get wrong because you have to hold it for a two full seconds for it to appear. Same with capital letters. And don't forget that punctuation characters are in all the wrong places, different from any other keyboard in fact, leading to some disorientation when going from iPad to desktop computer and vice versa.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Another benefit of having a jailbroken iPad

Note the this iPad email through the Mail client is sending an attachment, something a non-jailbroken iPad cannot do. Cool, huh?

Friday, August 3, 2012

At last! Found a way around the dreaded tabletized webpage!

In a previous post I bemoaned the unfortunate forcing of "mobile" versions of websites on tablet users. I even downloaded a patch that was supposed to tweak the iOS and fool the server into thinking the iPad was a desktop. Didn't work very often. Now however I have a new browser, DiigoBrowser, and hooray! The USPS site is once again normal! Scroll down two posts back and you'll see what I see when I use any other browser.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Another must-have app!

As most know, the iPad and Flash don't get along. For that matter many Android devices won't run Flash content either, though some do. So a lot of folks have tried to get around this. One fairly successful strategy is an iPad Internet browser that actually logs into a central desktop pc and through the iPad interface lets you run the Flash content remotely, as if it were on the iPad. Photon was the first I knew of, and it was...hmm...just okay. Low resolution, slow, buggy. Then Puffin came out recently. This one's really good! It does the same thing as Photon, but does it much more crisply, faster, and more elegantly. So Flash is effectively no longer banned from the iPad! Below is a Flash file for reference, as well as a link to the Puffin product.

How CV Carburetors Work

The Puffin Browser

One of my pet peeves...

The iPad is great, all tablets are great, but website designers are doing tablet users a great disservice by forcing their mobile versions of their websites on us just because we use a tablet. Crippled functionality is the same as no functionality. The USPS is one of the worst.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Okay, so you want to know...

how I can be so critical, after reading my comments re Photoshop for the iPad. Here's how. That number next to my Apple app store icon shows I have 70 apps waiting to be updated. The fact is I have downloaded more than 120. :-).

Now, time for a loser

All I can say is, it's a good thing this app is free. It does only one useful thing, and that is crop. Any $5 app will kick its butt. Even Apple's built-in Photos app crops. Sad to see a major name brand (Photoshop) so unsupported, especially given the prowess of its desktop ancester.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More faves

These two, Doc HD and WritePad, are really great apps! DocHD is a less expensive alternate to Pages, Apple's productivity suite, which I couldn't use at the time I downloaded DocHD because I was the still running on iOS 4.3 (Pages requires 5.0 and higher -- I have since upgraded but still use DocHD). DocHD I consider an essential. It's basically MS Word for the iPad. The same company also markets SheetHD, a MS Excel type app, and it is great too. I don't say this lightly. I have over the years tried many Word and Excel clones on cell phones and PDAs. These actually work! Another great one is WritePad, a character recognition app, allowing you to write on the tablet with your finger and have it turn almost immdediately into electronic text. Pretty cool! I use this at seminars and such. A very useful app.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Another great app

LogMeIn is another great iPad app. A remote desktop app lets you access your home PC while away from home. Or your office PC while visiting a client. It's really cool! There are many different ones for the iPad, including one or two free ones. I tried four or five other remote desktop apps, this one is the best!

Monday, July 16, 2012

My second-favorite iPad app

This little gem, iFile, is a Windows Explorer-like folder browser for the iPad. A wonderful utility! But, it requires that you "jailbreak" your device, something that is not terribly intuitive or simple, but reaps rewards out of proportion to its buggy process. More on jailbreaking later. :-)

My favorite apps

It's hard to pick my *most* favorite app, but if pressed, I have to choose SimpleMind+. I am a technical writer both by vocation and avocation, and mindmapping is a great way to develop one's thoughts. SimpleMind+ is a mindmapper and it is great! I tried three or four others before this one, and this one is the best! Most developers call their apps "intuitive," but SimpleMind+ really is. Move, change heirarchy, all of it. I use another one that is similar but different enough called Idea Sketch for really complex mindmaps with branches going in all directions. :-)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

How it started

Business is of course embracing the iPad in a big way. Remote communicating with company servers, enhanced customer service in the service industries, adding a certain panache to corporate events and conventions, all of these and more are reasons the iPad is hitting it big. And this doesn't even consider the comsumer. I own a business myself and it is amazing to me how many of my clients communicate with me on tablets. Well, it was a company thing that got me interested. The corporation I work for equipped loaner units to all its convention staff last year, giving me the opportunity for a concentrated week of hands-on use, after which time I was sold and promptly bought my own. The main thing that impressed me was the thing's battery life! Having played with Android machines before, I was not prepared to see a device last a real 20 hours of normal use.

Getting to know the iPad

Well, I have had my iPad2 for close to a year now. It is a surprise in many ways. As the competition has heated up in the past few months, there are more reasons to question the iPad's place in the market. Many new devices, included tablets under $200 now (and my $500 iPad is now selling for $350), do some things very much better, though Apple's product is still best at one or two things. In the coming posts I'll explore the good and the bad, and even embrace the option of jailbreaking, which I have recently done and am enjoying it!