Free

Adobe Reader

Adobe Reader Adds Text Annotations and Forms with Calculations

Adobe Reader continues to raise the bar on PDF viewing for iOS. Although you can view PDFs natively in iOS, the built-in PDF support is lacking when it comes to annotations, form fields and other support for the PDF specification. This has led to a large market of 3rd party apps to fill in the gap for these missing features of the PDF support in iOS. When Adobe Reader came to iOS admittedly it didn’t really offer anything that the other Apps on the market didn’t have except for a deeper support of the possible features in a PDF. Now Adobe has added even more to this FREE app including the ability add text right on top of any PDF, which is great for filling out forms that aren’t actually PDF forms. Also in this update if you are filling out a real PDF form and that form has calculations you can now see the results of those calculations as you enter your numbers right in Adobe Reader on iOS.

While iOS still doesn’t support viewing of forms data or annotations, you can at least rest easy knowing that you can annotate and fill out forms on the go right on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

Better Organization Too

In addition to the great new features above, Adobe Reader also gets a make over complete with better organization abilities for your PDFs. You can create folders and organize the PDFs that you want to store and pull up on a regular basis.

Adobe Reader is FREE and certainly no reason not to have in your tool set for iOS Apps

iTunes

Keeper® Password Manager & Digital Vault - Secure and encrypted data storage for your passwords, files, photos and notes.

Keeper for iPhone and iPad Stores Your Passwords in one Secure Place

Way back when I got my first iPhone, one of the first Apps that I went looking for was one that would securely store my passwords. There are thousands of Apps that fill this need like Terry’s favorite 1 Password Pro. At the time I was looking for one that was free (or really cheap) and that would allow me to back up my passwords to iTunes just in case the phone died. I went through few different Apps but what I ended up with was Keeper Password and Data Vault. The reasons that I love Keeper are simple; it’s free, it’s secure (allowing any combination of letters, digits, and characters your iPhone has natively to be used), and it’s secure in that it backs up locally and has an option to sync to the cloud (for a fee).

 

 

How It Works

The first time you launch Keeper you are asked to enter a master password. Again this can be any combination of letters, numbers, or special characters. You will also be asked to set a secret question for further data protection (this is used when adding an additional device with the same account). Once logged in you will see the main home screen that you see above. By default Keeper is set to folder view as shown above (more about folders in a minute). I prefer to see a list view so tap list above the folders next to the search bar.

To get started saving passwords tap the “+” symbol in the upper right corner. This will bring up a screen like you see above. The first line is your folder. If you leave your main screen in folder view, this is the folder that your password will be found in. If you have multiple types of passwords (ie. passwords used just for work, passwords for home, passwords for the little league you coach, etc.) folders might work for you. Personally, I don’t have multiple categories so I use list view. The second line you will fill out is the name of the password. In this image I saved it as “test” but it could be Facebook Password, Email Password, etc. Below that you see the user name field. In our example the user name is “Steve Smith”. Below that the actual password field. Next to the password field (to the right of it) you will see a pair of dice. These dice will make you a random, custom password if you don’t have one for the site/login that you are inputting. Basically it will help you make a secure password if you need it to.   Down from that is field for the website that the password is associated with (if applicable). There is one final field at the bottom that is called Notes. This is where you would put any extra info that you may need to go with the entry. That’s really all there is to the Password record. All of the essential info that is easy to get to and use.

This is what Keeper looks like in list view

Options

Options is a tab that you should visit post haste when you get your Keeper account going. Within this tab there are tons of controls to customize and really make Keeper the way you want it. From the top working down we see the theme tab. Currently I have mine set to Metal however there are 12 different themes ranging from Metal(shown) to Leopard. Below that we have the auto logout that controls how long Keeper waits to log you out if you exit the App. I have mine set to 1 second because I want it to log out as soon as I exit the App.

Under security a little ways down the page we have the self destruct option. Sounding very mission impossible like, what it does is erases your data after 5 failed log in attempts. I’m forgetful so just in case I forget, I don’t want it to erase my data while I’m trying to remember my password so I have that set to off. Also housed in security is the start in folders view option. You already know that I like list view so it should be no surprise that I leave this option off. Last but not least there is a reset master password option. This is where you will go to reset or change your master password if you choose to.

Down a little farther we find the delete database option. This option erases all of the data contained within the App that has been input by the user.

Below that is the Name and Headers option button. Within this button we are able to change the names of the fields that we fill out in the records.

The last two things we find within the Options tab are the auto capitalization and auto correction selections. These allow you to set your preferences for these two topics throughout the App.

Sync/Extras

The last tab of importance within the App is the sync tab. Within this tab you will find the option of syncing your passwords with the cloud, and with the internet across multiple devices. For this service you will pay $9.99 PER DEVICE per year. This is a great feature if there are records that you are afraid that you are going to lose and won’t be able to live without until you get back to your computer. I say until you get back to your computer because when you sync your iPhone with iTunes on your computer, Keeper and all of the data contained within is saved locally on your computer for free. For me this is good enough. I don’t need to have this App synced with the cloud.

 

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a cheap (note: free) password App for your iPhone and iPad, Keeper is a really great one and definitely worth checking out.

 

You can get Keeper from the iTunes store for free here: iTunes

Google+

Google Releases Their Google+ for iPad Update

As promised and long overdue, Google has just released their update to their Google+ iOS App with native iPad support (yay!). I rarely used Google+ on my iPad because I didn’t like the mobile browser experience or using the small iPhone sized App. Now I can experience most of Google+ in all its glory with a native iPad App. I say most, because like so many social networking Apps they lack features that the main website has (why is that?). However, with the new App you can browse your Circles, upload photos, make posts, tap to +1 something and manage Circle memberships. You can even do Google Hangouts complete with video and audio using your iPad 2 or higher. They also did a nice job with a sideways navigation in landscape mode.

Great, but room to improve

The App makes it really easy to add new content such as photos and posts, but not so easy to manage existing content. For example, I can get to my existing photos from my Profile page, but I can’t do anything with them but look at them and tag them. Want to delete one, move it to another album, etc. then you’re going to be going back to the website in your browser to do that stuff. I wish companies like Google and Facebook would learn that people want to be able to do EVERYTHING in a native App that the mobile website or main website allows (Delta Airlines are you listening?).

The Bottom Line

If you’re a Google+ user with an iPad there is absolutely no reason not to have this App. Download it immediately and you’ll have a much better Google+ experience than you ever had before on your iPad. Don’t forget to add me to your Circles!

iTunes

15 Must Have Summer Travel Apps

Compliments of iStockphoto.com

It’s summer and many of you will be hitting the road or the airways on your summer travel excursions. I figured it was time to update my “Must Have Travel Apps.” Realizing that some of you will travel by land, some by air and some internationally, I’ve divided the list up into those three categories.

Land/Sea Travel

Navigon USA

If you’re traveling by car whether you’re driving cross country or using a rental car at your destination, then you should check out my favorite Voice Turn-by-Turn GPS Navigation App. Navigon continues to raise the bar by constantly adding cool new features.

iTunes

Expedia

This is definitely one of the best apps for finding and booking hotels for the area that you’re traveling to. Great interface on iPad and iPhone.

iTunes

AroundMe

AroundMe is a must have for finding restaurants, ATMs, supermarkets, bars, pharmacies, gas stations, etc. This geo based App has been one of my favorites for a long time.

iTunes

Taxi Magic

Getting a taxi while you’re at the airport or hotel is pretty easy. However, if you take one to a meeting or shopping center, it may not always be easy to get one for the return trip. Taxi Magic allows you to book taxis right in the App. If you’re in one of their covered areas you are booking right with the dispatch system and you can even schedule one in advance. Once the ride is over you can even pay with the app.

iTunes

Ship Mate

While this App isn’t the official Carnival Cruise App, it’s probably the next best thing. You can learn all about your ship, see a schedule of activities and even communicate with other cruisers.

iTunes

Air Travel

Flightrack Pro

Flighttrack Pro is the ultimate flight management App. You can enter flights manually or sync with your TripIt account. You get push notifications of gate changes, cancellations, delays, etc. This app has saved my butt on more than one occasion.

iTunes

TripIt

TripIt for iPad

TripIt (combined with a free account on tripit.com) is the one place that pulls my whole trip together. All of my confirmation numbers, hotel contact numbers, addresses, directions, etc. are there in one spot.

iTunes

Gate Guru

Gate Guru has really come along way since it was first introduced. This app lets you know what amenities the airport you’re in/close to has and more importantly what’s near your gate. Connections can be tight and with Gate Guru you can quickly figure out what’s near by and what’s not.

iTunes

World Clock

World Clock will not only help you keep your various time zones straight, but it will even help you when scheduling meetings (conference calls) across multiple time zones.

iTunes

Your Airline’s App

Most Major Airlines now have their own App. This means that you can usually check in for your flight and display your electronic boarding pass right in the App. Even though I’m not a frequent flyer on American Airlines, I think they have the best one. C’mon Delta, yours could be so much better!

American Airlines, Delta, United, Southwest Airlines

 

International Travel

 

XE Currency

If you’re traveling to a different country one of the 1st things you’re going to want to check is the current exchange rate. XE Currency is one of my favorite Apps for viewing multiple currencies and doing calculations all at once.

iTunes

Tipping Guide

Here in the US tipping is pretty standard. In some countries tipping isn’t required/expected and in others it’s at different rates. Tipping Guide covers many countries and lets you know what’s customary.

iTunes

Skype

International roaming can be outrageously expensive and not everyone has an iOS device to do FaceTime. Skype allows you to make Skype to Skype calls for free and you can even make low cost international call.

Skype for iPhone iTunes

Skype for iPadiTunes

 

Travisa Visa

Of course you need a valid passport when going from country to country, but do you need a Visa? The Travisa Visa App answers that question in great detail. It also lets you know what’s required to get one. It’s one of the most important travel apps I have.

iTunes

Google Translate

Traveling to another country typically means also dealing with different languages. As much as I wished I spoke the language of every country I visit, the sad reality is that i don’t. In most tourist areas it’s usually not a problem, but once you go off the grid the chances of someone speaking English drop significantly. I use Google Translate at times when I need to get a few words vocalized in the native tongue.

iTunes

Expedia Hotels & Flights

Expedia – Book Your Hotel Rooms

As a frequent traveler, I’m always comparing hotel room costs. Even though I’m a frequent guest at Hiltons and Marriott Hotels, I often to travel to places where neither a Hilton or Marriott is the closest hotel, nor the least expensive. This is where an App like Expedia comes in. Before this App, I used Hotel Pal and the developer of that App has ceased development and now points people to download Expedia instead. I gave it a shot and I have to admit that I really like it better than Hotel Pal. The interface is better and faster. Not to mention that it’s a Universal App and Hotel Pal never was. The App works as you would expect. You can search your immediate area for rooms around you or you can search a specific location. If you find a room you want to book, you can book it right in the App. I also use the Hotels.com App and again i like the Expedia experience a little better from a User Interface experience.

You can sort your listings by Price, Popularity, Rating or Distance. You can also Filter by specific hotel names, ratings and price ranges. Best of all you can sign in with your existing Expedia account to make the booking go even faster. The biggest downside to an App like this is that it’s a one trick pony. It would be nice if it also allowed you to book air and ground transportation as well. Aside from that, there is definitely no reason not to have this App in your travel arsenal.

iTunes

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