Author: Terry White

Terry is the co-author of The Best Selling "The iPhone Book" 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th editions. He has been active in the industry for over 25 years and is the founder and president of MacGroup-Detroit, Inc., Michigan's largest Macintosh Users Group, host of the Adobe Creative Suite Podcast and a technology writer - Terry White Tech Blog.

iOS 6 Maps Got You Down? Navigon may be your answer!

I solved the lack of having turn-by-turn voice GPS directions on my iPhone a long time ago with the Navigon Apps. However, I was actually happy to see that Apple was going to finally bring this feature to their new Maps App in iOS 6. There are lots of users out there that don’t need or want to pay for a navigation App and I figured the Maps App would be a good solution for many. However, it appears that at least in this 1.0 state, Apple’s Maps App isn’t making a lot of users happy. Users are missing features of the previous Google Maps App such as better traffic displays and public transit route info. I knew that I would still continue to use my Navigon Apps as they would undoubtedly be more full featured and I was right. While it’s great to be able to ask Siri to “navigate to” a specific point, overall Navigon offers a multitude of additional features over the built-in iOS 6 Maps App.

Navigon bridges the gap and integrates with iOS 6 Maps

In their latest release that came out this week, Navigon took advantage of a gaping whole in iOS 6 Maps and not only offer public transit info (with a $2.99 in-app purchase), but even lets you use Siri/Maps to find the location you want to Navigate to and then hand it off to Navigon to give you the “professional” navigation and turn-by-turn directions you are looking for. While this feature is cool, it may not last forever. If Apple adds public transit stuff, then this feature in Navigon (the hand off) could easily stop working, but for now it’s there if you need it.


  1. Find the address, POI that you want to navigate to on Maps
  2. Tap the pin to be taken to the information page about that location.
  3. Tap the “Directions to Here” button
  4. Tap the Bus icon and the Route button
  5. Since Apple doesn’t offer this routing it will prompt you with Apps that do, including your Navigon App
  6. Tap the Route button next to Navigon
  7. Once you’re in the Navigon App you can choose to route via your vehicle or public transportation
Navigon gets it when it comes to GPS turn-by-turn navigation and I consider theirs to be the “Best App” simply because they are always offering up new features and enhancements to their Apps! While it would have been nice to have this as a FREE update, I’m sure there was a fair amount of work that went into making this feature work. Having the hand off from the built-in Maps to Navigon is worth my $2.99. Hopefully this hand off will continue to work well into the future or until Maps is so good that I don’t need Navigon anymore.


Understanding Passbook in iOS 6

Yesterday Apple released the much anticipated iOS 6 update. Major iOS updates typically precede the release of new iOS hardware. The iPhone 5 will be available this Friday and Apple usually wants to get the iOS update in the hands of existing users a couple of days earlier. They learned this lesson from a few years back when they released a new iPhone, new iOS update and MobileMe all on the same day. This trifecta crashed servers and caused long frustrating lines at retailers.

Passbook has promise, but could be better

Passbook is one of the cool new flashy features of iOS 6 that can hold your store discount cards, tickets, boarding passes, gift cards, etc. However, unlike my favorite app for doing this kinda stuff “CardStar“, you have to wait for the individual Apps to catch up. With CardStar you can add the cards in your want by either manually entering the barcodes or by scanning them in the App. However, with Passbook these tickets and cards are passed to the App from their native Apps or from your desktop Mac. It has only been a day since Passbook has been made publicly available and therefore there are only a few Apps that take advantage of it. Even the Apps that Apple showcased (namely Delta, Starbucks and even Apple’s own Apple Store App) have not been updated yet. This might seem kinda repetitive for those of you that were thinking Passbook was going to be your one stop shop like CardStar is. Unfortunately to add something to Passbook you will need the native App for that provider first. For example, with Walgreens you need their App on your iPhone first in order to add their Rewards card to Passbook. Now it seems that you can delete the native App after you’ve added the card to Passbook, but you’re probably going to want to keep the native App for future maintenance. To date I only have two Apps that allowed me to put something in Passbook. Actually I have five if you include United, American Airlines and Fandango, but I don’t have any upcoming flights on United and AA and I don’t have a Passbook compatible theater nearby for Fandango that I’m aware of (Fandango, a list would be nice!). The two that I have working are Target and Walgreens. With Target I was able to send their mobile coupons over to Passbook and with Walgreens I was able to send over their Rewards card. Seems like a lot of work to setup, but it does work. The benefit of these extra steps is that Passbook is very location aware and can display the pass automatically when you’re say near your Walgreens or Airport. This isn’t always implemented well either. I have two Walgreens that are about the same distance from me. However, the Walgreens App only lets you send over one location to Passbook at a time. So if I’m near the one Walgreens the Rewards card will pop up, but if not I’ll have to bring it up manually. Not a big deal, but it would be nice for it to recognize any Walgreens that I walk into or at least a few of them in my area (perhaps 5 favorites).

The Bottom Line

Although Passbook may not be what you thought it was, it’s not a bad solution. As time goes on and all of our favorite Apps support it, it will only get better. I’m also expecting Apple to tweak it as needed too.

WhatsApp Messenger

WhatsApp Messenger Gives You Free Cross Platform Messaging

I’ve reviewed and used Apps in the past that allow you to send/receive messages between mobile devices that include text, photos, movies, sounds, etc. These Apps are designed to bypass your standard text/MMS messaging plans for those that don’t have or want to pay for unlimited text messaging.  Even if you do have unlimited messaging on your plan, there are still costs involved for sending messages abroad. My dependency on these kinds of apps eased with the introduction of Google Voice and Apple’s own iMessage. However, with Google Voice your limited to text and I’m very annoyed by the fact that if someone attempts to send a photo to my Google Voice number, not only will I not get it, but there will be no indication to me that anyone even tried nor will the sender be alerted that it didn’t go through. iMessage is GREAT, but only works between Apple devices. While most of my friends and family have iPhones, iPads, iPod touch or Macs, there are some that don’t.

WhatsApp Messenger Sets Itself Apart

So with several of these kinds of Apps out on the market already and with iMessage itself being built-in to iOS and now Mac OS X 10.8, what does WhatsApp Messenger have to offer. Well first up it is cross platform with Apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Nokia S40, Symbian and Windows Phone. That should cover everyone you know. The next thing is that there is no need to create accounts, create user names, handles, buddy lists, etc. The problem with most of these apps is that even if your friends have them, they really don’t have a good way to know that you have it too. WhatsApp uses your actual mobile phone number to identify you and your Contact’s phone numbers to identify your friends that have the app too. Once I installed WhatsApp Messenger it requested permission to access my contacts and then it instantly created a “Favorites” list of all my friends that also had WhatsApp Messenger. At that point I could just start sending/receiving messages with text, images, media, etc. Since this data is going out via your 3G/4G or WiFi data connection it doesn’t impact your SMS messaging plan in any way. When you receive a new message you will get a push notification. It even supports group messaging.

Great, but it could even be better

When you set it up you enter your phone number. Since it doesn’t really use your phone number to send and receive, it would be great to be able to enter multiple phone numbers that people may have in their contacts for you. This would be similar to the way iMessage lets you enter multiple email addresses for yourself to be contacted on. Of course I’d also like to see a native iPad version. Your messages are encrypted before they are sent and you can include: photos, video, audio note, contacts and your location.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a cross platform way to send/receive text/multimedia messages, this is probably the “best solution” out there. The fact that it doesn’t require any special account or that you friends know a special user name to reach you is the key. If everyone I knew had this App I could save $30/month for the unlimited text messaging that AT&T offers.



Google Releases a Stand Alone YouTube App for iPhone

It’s no secret that Apple has been distancing itself from Google lately. I’m sure it has much to do with the whole Android thing. In iOS 6 Apple ditches Google Maps in favor of their own new Maps App complete with voice turn-by-turn directions (finally). One other thing that Apple has omitted in the upcoming iOS 6 is the built-in YouTube App. That’s right, the App is just gone! For many this wouldn’t have been too big a deal because the YouTube Mobile Web version was/is pretty good and in some ways even better than the original built-in App. The original App hadn’t received much of an update since 2007.

Google rolls out a new YouTube App

Not waiting for iOS 6 to be released, Google has already released a NEW YouTube stand alone App for iOS. You get the things you would expect from a native App

  • Sign in to your YouTube account to access your playlists, uploads, favorites, subscriptions, etc.
  • Read, respond to comments
  • Search
  • Easy video sharing to Google+, email, Facebook & Twitter
I find the App to be faster (at least it feels faster) than the native App. I also like the updated UI. However, in typical Google fashion they haven’t released an iPad native version yet. Sigh… Google, Is it really that hard to make a Universal App? Your Google+ App is beautiful! Let’s get some iPad love for this one.
If you have an iPhone or iPod touch and you plan on upgrading to iOS 6 or you just want a better YouTube experience than the one you get with the built-in App, then don’t hesitate to download this new App now. Another plus is that Google will no longer have to wait for Apple to update iOS in order to update their YouTube App.


Documents To Go® Premium - View & edit Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), view PDF, including cloud file access & desktop sync

10 Must Have iPad Apps For Business

The more I use my iPad and iPhone the less I use my computer. That’s not a good or bad thing, it’s just an observation. Many of the Apps out there in 2012 can do just about everything that I need to do and that I used to rely on my computer to do. I love having the flexibility of just carrying my iPad and getting lots of work done. So here in no particular order are 10 Must Have iPad Apps for Business that I rely on most.


Invoice2go is my top pick for creating custom invoices right on your iPad. You can even set it up with a PayPal pay button so that when you email the invoice they can click the button to pay. Otherwise you just send a PDF. The App handles all the calculations and lets you know who has paid and who hasn’t.


FileMaker Go

I have used FileMaker Pro as my database manager for years. I have a database that I use all the time running on my Mac server at home. With FileMaker Go I can access that database, add, edit, delete records and of course look up information.



OK, you got me! This is not an iPad app. However, it’s so important to me that I had to list it here. When people hand me business cards I don’t want to have to enter them in manually to my contacts. While there are apps out there that will OCR the card and convert it to text, none are perfect. CardMuch uploads the picture of the card that you take and a human verifies all the data and sends it down back to App. Now you know the data is 100% correct.


Scanner Pro

I used to rely heavily on a document scanner on my desk and while I still use it when I’m in my office, I use Scanner Pro whenever I’m on the go. Just take a picture of the document and Scanner Pro will straighten it out so that it appears like a flat scanned document as well as save it to a PDF and send it to the cloud or via email.


PDF Expert

Hands down PDF Expert is my favorite overall PDF manager complete with PDF forms support, markup, highlighting, bookmarks and more. It also has cloud support for syncing with services like Dropbox. I use it store all of my manuals.


Documents To Go Premium

If you’re looking for an App to create/edit your Office files such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint files, Documents to Go Premium is one to have. It also integrates directly with your Outlook email and picks up attachments directly. I don’t do a lot with Office docs but when I do have to work with them I know that Documents to Go Premium is up to the task.


Contract Maker Elite

Above I talked about Invoice2go for creating custom invoices. Contract Maker Elite allows me to create all my other custom forms complete with photo fields and signature fields. If you want to create a custom contract, proposal, agreement or other document that your client will sign, this one has the most options and customization fields.



I use Apple’s Keynote on the desktop when I need to do a slide presentation. There’s no better way to take those presentations mobile than with Keynote for iPad. Keynote supports many of the same transitions as the desktop version and you can now use iCloud to view and edit the presentations wirelessly. You can connect your iPad to the projector directly or use AirPlay and an Apple TV to present.


Square Register

I don’t take a ton of credit card payments. Therefore I don’t want to have to pay a monthly fee. Square has been my savior for a couple of years now and their new Square Register App turns your iPad into an elegant point of sale solution. You can setup your products as buttons and with the Square Adapter  you can swipe credit cards and charge your clients directly. The money is automatically transferred to your bank account the next business day. I LOVE SQUARE!


Advanced Percentage Calculator

I struggle with percentages. I always have. If you want to figure out what a 25% discount off of $815.00 is, look no further. Advanced Percentage Calculator was designed for people like me. It has buttons for “%of”, “out of”, “Add %”, and “Deduct %” This takes the guess work out of percentages for me. You can customize the skins, and use it as a standard Arithmetic calculator too.


Bonus – Keyboard

Since were talking about business, you are probably going to be doing more than just a little text entry. I was never a fan of any of the keyboard solutions out there for iPad until I saw the Logitech UltraThin Keyboard Smart Cover. It’s now on my iPad 99% of the time because it’s so integrated. Some of you are morally opposed to using a keyboard with an iPad. I hear ya, but don’t knock this one until you’ve tried it.
Get the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover here.


Also my Stylus of choice is…

While it’s nice that your clients can sign your contracts and PDFs with their finger, they will be much more comfortable with something that feels like a pen. So I prefer this stylus for my overall use and this less expensive one for having people sign.

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