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!