The Ultimate Flight Tracker App: FlightTrack Pro Now for iPad Too


FlightTrack Pro is one of those rare Apps that occupies a spot on my 1st Page of Apps on my iPhone. I depend on it and use it every week and sometimes every day. I remember hesitating when I first bought it months ago because at $9.99 that's considered expensive for an iPhone App. However, I'd easily pay that again for it without hesitation. This App just keeps getting better with each update and this latest update brings iPad compatibility at no additional cost. The real beauty of FlightTrack Pro (besides being a very visually compelling App) is that it integrates directly with TripIt.com. Don't get me wrong, you can certainly use the App without using TripIt, but with TripIt, everything is sync'd automatically to FlightTrack Pro.

FlightTrack Pro Push Notifications Saved The Day!

I was headed home from Germany. I was on my flight that was going to connect through Paris. Just as I sat down after boarding, I got a push notification on my iPhone that my next flight had been cancelled. It was because of this notification that I was able to call my travel agent and rebook on a better flight immediately instead of a couple hours later after landing in Paris. That was certainly a day that the App paid for itself (again). You can even look for alternate flights right in the App!

It's gorgeous on the iPad

While it's certainly functional on the iPhone, this App is stunning on the iPad. You get a beautiful detailed map of your flight(s) routes from point to point. FlightTrack Pro gives you just about every detail of your flight including gate information and stats on how often that flight is on time or not. You get the type of aircraft it is as well as your reservation number, seat number take off and landing times and if you're tracking someone else's flight or on a plane with WiFi you can actually see where the flight is at any given time on the map.

You can get FlightTrack Pro here from the App Store: FlightTrack Pro ? Live TripIt Flight Status Tracker



Qik Video Camera Pro In the App Store

With the old Qik Video Camera disappearing from the App Store last month, their new application, Qik Video Camera Pro has entered.

It is a brand new app with new and greatly enhanced features such as being able to overlay effects without having the video and audio become out of sync, letting you pause video recordings and a feature that they call PhotoMix, allowing you to take an image from your camera roll and insert video into it.

Also in the new app is sharing options so that you not only can upload your video to your account at Qik, but share it via SMS, Twitter and to YouTube and even Facebook.

While the new apps means that you must repurchase the app again, it is priced at $1.99 but available currently for a promotion period, for free so get it now, even if you just save it up on iTunes before actually using it.


Put your PDF Library on the iPad with GoodReader

Like most people I have lots of PDFs on my computer. One of the things I've enjoyed doing was putting some of my reference manuals on my iPhone. This gives me the ability to look stuff up in the field about my gear. For example, I don't know every single feature of my Nikon D700. Especially for those features I don't use everyday. At one point I was keeping those manuals in my camera bag. Now I don't have to. I actually have something better than the manual because with GoodReader on my iPad, I not only see the 472 page manual nice an big and easy to read, but I also can SEARCH it!

GoodReader for iPad let's you take your large PDFs with you!

First let's set the record straight! The iPad, just like the iPhone and iPod touch DOES have built-in support for PDFs. However, that support is only in Mail and Safari. In other words there is no separate PDF viewer built-in. So if you get a PDF as an email attachment or go to a website with one on it, you can view it. However if you want to load up a bunch of PDFs and take them with you and view them independently of your email, that's where an App like GoodReader comes in. GoodReader for iPad allows you to sync PDFs from your computer via USB in iTunes OR via a WiFi connection directly. Navigation is very sophisticated. Once you have your PDF loaded you can tap in teh corners to go to the beginning or the end . you can tap the top or bottom to go up or down in the PDF and tapping the center brings up the on screen menus including a nice vertical scroll bar. There are also different viewing modes to make it easy on the eyes or for the vision impaired. You can for example change the background color of the page/text.

Not limited to just PDFs – GoodReader can also view large .TXT files as well as pictures and play audio files. 

GoodReader is currently on $0.99 (introductory price). If you have an iPad there is no reason not to have this great App. Get it here from the App Store. You can get the iPhone/iPod touch version here.


Control Your Mac or PC from your iPad or iPhone with Mocha VNC Lite

The display above is my Mac OS X Server at home, but I'm looking at it on my iPad. The magic that makes this happen is a great FREE App Called Mocha VNC Lite and of course the built-in Screen Sharing in Mac OS X (Mac OS X Server NOT required). It's amazingly easy to setup. Just turn on Screen Sharing and assign it a password in Mac OS X and open up Port 5900 (or other custom port of your choice) on your router and have it point to the internal IP address of that Mac (or PC if you run VNC software on your PC). Note your current IP address assigned by your ISP and boom you can  connect to that Mac or PC from just about anywhere on the internet. I first started using this great App on the iPhone! Yep, I would fire up Mocha VNC Lite on my iPhone and even over a 3G connection I could see and control my Mac at home. Now granted, the speed of the display is only going to be as good as your internet connection both ends, but the times when I've need to check on something, copy a file to remote disc or change a setting, this App has come in extremely handy. Needless to say I was thrilled to see it updated for the iPad. The iPad's larger screen size is a natural for this App! Mocha VNC Lite supports up to 6 different computers/configurations to Connect to. Your finger becomes the mouse and you can bring up the on screen keyboard anytime you need to do text entry. 

Although I don't use this App every day, the times I've needed it it has never failed me. Since your computer can hold way more information that your iPad or iPhone ever will this App is great for allowing you to look things up that you left behind. Although the App works exactly as advertised and there is a paid version, I'd like to see some more options in the paid version. I'd like to see a file transfer ability. Currently I can bring up a file on screen and email it to myself on the iPad by using Mail on the actual Mac I'm controlling, but I'd like a more direct way built-in to the App.

For the price you can't beat it! It's FREE grab it here:

Mocha VNC Lite


Opera Mini Web Browser for iPhone

I'm a fan of having multiple web browsers on my Mac. I have Safari of course, but I also have Firefox and Chrome right next to it in my dock. So of course I had some interest in checking out the newly released Opera Mini Browser for iPhone. It's always nice to have a backup browser just in case you run into a website that doesn't display properly on your main browser/Safari. Although this is what I do on my desktop/notebook computers, I never actually thought I'd see Apple allow browser competition in on the iPhone/iPad platforms. Will wonders never cease? Opera Mini Browser is available on the App Store as a FREE download. My first impression when I downloaded it, but only had just a minute to play with it was that I didn't see any real advantage to it over Safari. Unlike your Mac or PC, Safari is not only the default browser, but it's tightly integrated into the iPhone OS (this is starting to sound familiar). So while you can certainly launch another browser and use it, the Apps are primarily going to open Safari instead by default unless Apple allows you to change this behavior some day. 

It wasn't until I dug a little deeper into the features of this browser that I got really excited

Like I said, on the surface Opera seems just like another browser. Although they boast about it being faster, in my unscientific testing, which involved loading the same sites in both browsers, it only seemed to be about the same speed most of the time. Some sites loaded slightly faster, however many sites loaded SLOWER. Also at the small size looking at the full page, it's impossible to read anything until you zoom in. So at this point I wasn't impressed. Then I brought up the settings and that's when I said WOW! Opera gives me some of the features I've always wanted on the iphone like real tabbed browsing and a Search Feature (Find in Page) on the web page itself! VERY COOL!

Opera Mini Web browser



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