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.

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YouTube

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.

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Documents To Go® Premium - View & edit Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), 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

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.

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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.

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CardMunch

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.

iTunes

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.

iTunes

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.

iTunes

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.

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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.

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Keynote

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.

iTunes

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!

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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.

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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.

Adobe Photoshop Touch

Apps From My “Using An iPad in a Digital Photography Workflow” Class

I’m about to head into my session at Photoshop World Vegas 2012 on “Using the iPad in a Digital Photography Workflow”. As with most things the iPad and Digital Photography Apps are fast moving and get updates all the time. So I figured I would list the Apps I recommend and will show in the class here so that attendees not only see my recommendations from the workbook, but also the newer ones I’m using that didn’t make it into the workbook. In no particular order here they are:

Adobe Photoshop Touch

Version 1.3 brings the Retina Display support and high resolution file support that you’ve been asking for:

  • Retina Display Support: See your images like never before with the Retina display on the new iPad.
  • Higher resolution capabilities: Work on high-resolution images while maintaining the highest image quality. Supports images up to 12 megapixels.
  • Two new languages: Russian and Brazilian Portuguese.
  • Two new Effects: Shred and Colorize
  • Smoother animation and scrolling in the organizer, tutorial browser, and file picker
  • New gesture to toggle 100% view and fit screen (three-finger tap)
  • New pixel nudging mode for precise movements
  • Support for Apple Photo Stream
  • Various bug fixes

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Easy Release

My model release App of choice for both iPad and iPhone.

iTunes

 

Contract Maker Elite

I use Contract Maker Elite for my other contract such as my Print Release. It’s the most customizable App that I know of and basically lets you create a contract with virtually as many fields, popups, images, signatures as you need.

iTunes

 

Sylights

I use Sylights for making Lighting Diagrams on my iPad and sharing them with others.

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ShutterSnitch

Every time I show shooting with my Nikon D7000 and the EyeFi Mobile Pro X2 Card wirelessly to my iPad, someone always ask which App is that. It’s called ShutterSnitch. I use it both with the Eye-Fi Card and the Nikon WT-5a module on my Nikon D4. Sure Eye-Fi has their own Free App, but it’s just not as functional as ShutterSnitch.

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Photosmith

It’s the closest thing to having the Lightroom Library Module on your iPad. Import, manage, organize, rate and then sync to Lightroom.

iTunes

 

Adobe Revel

Adobe Revel is a cloud service that lets you sync your photos between all your Macs and iOS devices. I now use the iPad app as my portfolio app as it works directly with Lightroom 4.

iTunes

 

PosePad

PosePad let’s you create a visual shot list containing images of poses that you want to remember to capture during your next shoot.

iTunes

 

DSLR Remote HD

Although there is no way to directly connect your camera to your iPad to shoot tethered, DSLR Remote HD let’s you do it with a computer in the middle. You connect your compatible DSLR to your laptop via a USB cable and then you can remotely control it wirelessly with your iPad. See your Live View, make setting adjustments, and fire the shutter. See your recently captured images right on your iPad and share them.

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PhotoSync

I use PhotoSync on a regular basis to wirelessly transfer images from my iPad to my computer or from iOS device to iOS device.

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Yahoo Fantasy Football, Basketball, Hockey, and Baseball

Manage Your Fantasy Leagues from Your iPhone

I’ve never been a huge sports fan (short of MLB), but in an attempt to learn more about what’s going on in the NFL I decided this year was the year that I would join my brother’s fantasy football league. This is going to force me to pay attention to different games Sunday mornings other than casually checking out the local team. So I sat down with my brother and his friends and and did the (virtual) draft adding my players (almost all from the lists because I didn’t know what I was doing). When we were done, my brother explained that I needed to keep track of my players, and move guys around depending on who was playing that week. This sounded exactly like a task best done while the kids were practicing ballet or, soccer so I went looking for an App to manage my team. My brother’s league uses Yahoo, who have really created a feature packed App that allows me to watch, manage, and adjust my players.  This App takes Fantasy Football from my computer to my smartphone allowing me to have total access from wherever I am. It will definitely make the experience “that much better”.

 

Do It All From Here

 

The most important thing to me is being able to do everything I can from the computer, from my phone. From within my phone I can view as many teams/leagues as I’m signed up for with my particular user name. As you can see above, I am in two different leagues (groups of people) and I have 1 team in each league. So for my first league (League B) my team name is Show Me Your TDs. In league two (Sneaky Sundays) my team name is simply lykins. I can enter the respective league by tapping the team name. Once inside, my options are just as they are within the desktop/web interface.

I can see the entire league including what players other people have. I can access my team which houses all of my players both starting and bench. I can see the matchups which are what teams within the league are playing each other on a respective week. I can see what players are available to pick up (add to my team). I can also see any messages that are sent to me or general messages that are sent to everyone. All of these options are available through the tabs at the bottom of the screen.

 

When in the team button, in the top right corner of the screen is a small pencil icon. Tapping that icon brings up my team edits. From inside of this section I can swap my players from starting to the bench, and from the bench to playing. This is extremely important when a player gets pulled last minute and you want to bench them as to not lose points.  In the top left corner you see a home button. That will take you back out to the main screen showing all of your leagues and teams.

 

The Bottom Line

If you’re involved in Fantasy Football through Yahoo, you can’t afford not to have this App. It’s extremely well thought out, feature packed, and amazingly easy to use. During Fantasy Football, it’s a must have for me and after you try it, I’ll be you too!

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