iPad

All of the apps that we have reviewed that have iPad support and are available to use natively on the iPad. If an app is in this index, you won’t have the 2x iPhone app interface.

verbs-icon

Verbs: An Instant Messaging Client

Truth to be told, I haven’t been a very active IM user on my iPhone or iPad. This is partly because the apps have been rather ugly and that it drains battery life a lot and fast. Plus, it just hasn’t been that useful. A while ago I found Verbs, an application that is just gorgeous and since I’m a sucker for beautiful apps, I downloaded it.

The interface is as said really beautiful. It takes the iOS style and uses it all the way but with a different color scheme which looks slick, modern and clean all around. There is really not much more to say about the Verbs UI design. Well done designers.

Functionality-wise, it supports a few types of IM networks, specifically Google Talk, AIM, MobileMe (now iCloud) and Facebook. If you are an MSN user or wants it to support Skype chat, you are out of luck. However, using either of the above networks, you get a nice app. You can easily select contacts from your buddy list, see their status and chat with them. Switching between multiple windows can be done by going to a window overview mode, or by simply swiping back and forth between the screens.

If you get the $0.99 version there are a few things that you will not get. These are available through an in-app purchase and enables Push Notifications, persistent connections (keeping you logged in for 7 days) and also saves battery life by routing accounts through one internet connection. If you use IM a lot, you definitely want to consider getting the Pro version for an additional $4.99, which I still think is an excellent value. Even with just the $0.99 version, you get an app which functions well and is gorgeous.

iTunes

iTunes_Movie_Trailers

iTunes Movie Trailers

The Movie Trailers feature of Apple TV has been a long time favorite of mine. When friends come over we sometimes kill a little time just watching trailers and discussing upcoming movies. Before Apple TV you could also do this via the Apple QuickTime website. There are lots of ways to watch movie trailers, but one thing Apple has done well with this is the user interface and high quality nature of the trailers themselves with many streaming in HD. I always liked the Movie Poster way of seeing which trailers were available as well as doing searches. Apple has now brought this experience to iOS.

iTunes Movie Trailers on your iDevice

As you would expect Apple has done a good job with this App in that it looks very much like the Apple TV experience. You can scroll through the movie posters or do searches. Once you tap on a trailer you can choose to play it or in many cases see still photos in a gallery. Surprisingly the photos can be saved to your camera roll, tweeted or emailed. Beyond looking at trailers and stills the app goes further by giving you a calendar of movies that are about to hit theaters as well as what's already in theaters. You can save favorites of trailers and theaters. 

This App just about does it all (almost). I'm not quite ready to give up Flixster just yet. There is no movie rating feature in Apple's App. While you can see Rotten Tomato ratings, you can't rate it yourself and share those ratings with friends. Also there is no way to buy movie tickets from within the App. I would very much like this to be the only App I need, but until Apple adds a couple more features I'll still need to keep at least one of my others. Other than that, iTunes Movie Trailers is a great App and there is no reason not to have it!

You can get iTunes Movie Trailers for Free here from the iTunes

500px

500px for iPad Has Arrived!

 

If you're a photographer and you're online you've probably heard about the new photo sharing/social media service 500px. It's touted as the new photo sharing site for professionals and I have to agree. I've been using 500px for a few months now and I have to tell you that I'm hooked. Not only is the quality of the photography better than sites like Flickr and Image bucket, but there is constantly a fresh supply of quality photos on every genre which keeps me inspired. My buddy Scott Kelby did a write up on the site, and how it works a month or so ago which you can find here. I'm not going to repeat Scott's write up and explain how the super advance algorithm keeps the photos fresh and of good quality but if you're interested you should head over and read how it works, it's worth the click. The initial iPad App offering from 500px is a really good one, albeit lacking a few key features that I would like to see added. If you're not already on 500px you can go here to sign up for a free account. Once you do, don't forget to see some of my stuff and follow me here.

 

This App is made for Viewing

The first thing that you notice when you launch the 500px App is the beautiful way it handles viewing photos from the 500px site. The App presents a beautiful grid layout of the "popular images" (which is selected by default).  Other sections to view include Editors picks (these are the images that the editors have chosen as favorites), Upcoming images (this is pretty self explanatory, these are the images that are moving up in the rankings quickly), Fresh images (these are images that have recently been uploaded), You (these are your images, Friends (again, self explanatory these are your friends images), and favorites (your favorite images).  Each of these sections brings up the images contained within in a grid view both horizontally or vertically (depending on iPad orientation). Double tapping an image brings it full sized on the screen. It also brings up the photographer's name, the image title, and it's rating. It also brings up the number of views, votes, and faves. Also on the full screen view is the ability to favorite, to vote for, and to leave comments on the image.

Slideshow

From the full screen view of any image in any section within the 500px App lies the ability to play a slideshow of every image contained within that collection. You can choose the transition type between images, the slide duration, as well as music for the slideshow.

 

Sharing

There are 5 options for sharing images from the 500px App. Natively it supports Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler, and email. The 500px App also allows you to open an image in Safari which in turn allows you to copy the direct link to the photo for use anywhere.

 

What I'd like to see

Just like any App, there are things that need to be improved upon. 500px is a photo sharing website, however the option to upload images directly from your iPad is curiously missing. This App is designed for image viewing only. The only thing I can guess is that they are trying to restrict the images to better quality and they feel that to keep that quality they need to restrict people to uploading images from their computer instead of their mobile device. I don't know that for sure, but it's just my guess. Hopefully one of their developers will read this review and fill us in on the thought process in the comment section. The other glaring omission that I see in this App is the ability to see the profile of your friend's or all other user's profiles for that matter. On the site each member is given room to tell about themselves, where they're from, what gear they use etc. No where on this App is there the ability to see those things. I would venture to say that it will be added in future updates since this is the first version, but only time will tell.

 

The Bottom Line

If you love 500px as much as I do, then you have to get this App for your iPad. The ability to view your images on the go, on what many consider to be the best image viewing device in the world makes it well worth the 30 seconds that it takes to download, and the small amount of space that it occupies on your iPad.

 

Get 500px for the iPad from the iTunes store here: iTunes

AdobeReader

Adobe Reader for iOS is Here

Although iOS supports PDFs natively (just like Mac OS X) there are features in the PDF spec that aren't supported in iOS or may never be. One of the things that has made the Portable Document Format (PDF) a success is that with the Adobe Reader of Mac, Windows and other platforms you get to have a consistent experience no matter where you view them. Now that Adobe has officially released the Free Reader for iOS and Android, "rich" PDFs can now be shared across both desktop and mobile platforms with a consistent viewing experience once again!

Here's what the Adobe Reader lets you do:

View PDF files:

• Quickly open PDF files from e-mail, the Web or any application that supports “Open In…”

• View ePortfolio (PDF Portfolios), PDF Packages, annotations and drawing markups

• Read text annotations such as Sticky Notes

Access encrypted PDF files:

• Open and view password-protected PDF files

• Access files secured by Adobe LiveCycle Rights Management, which helps protect sensitive documents

• Supports the highest grade of PDF encryption, up to AES256

Interact with PDF files:

• Search text to find specific information

• Use bookmarks to jump directly to a section in your PDF file

• Select single page or continuous scroll modes

• Easily zoom in on text or images for a closer view

• Quickly navigate through large files using thumbnails

• Select and copy text from a PDF file to the clipboard

Print and Share files:

• Print wirelessly with AirPrint

• Share PDF files with other applications using “Open In…”

• Email PDF documents as attachments

Watch this video for a quick overview of the app. 

Get the Adobe Reader for iOS for FREE here from the iTunes

And, Adobe released Adobe Reader 10.1 for Android, offering many of the same great features for fast, high-quality interaction with PDF files on your Android smartphones and tablets.


What You Can Do with Adobe Reader 10.1 for iOS

AirPort_Utility

AirPort Utility

One thing is for sure and that is Apple is aggressively removing all obstacles from people that just want to use an iDevice and may not even have a computer. With iOS 5 you can now setup and use an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch without ever having to sync it with a computer. You can download media directly to it as well as back it up to iCloud. So let's say you buy an iPad and an AirPort Base Station to be your wireless access point. If you didn't have a computer, how would you setup your new AirPort?

AirPort Utility for iOS

With the AirPort Utility App you can now not only setup your AirPort base station, but you can manage all of the settings going forward. The App is basic without many frills. Once you launch it it will identify any AirPort Base Stations in range. You can then access and change any of the settings. The App does what it claims to do and while the graphical interface is pretty plain for an Apple App, it works! It's a universal App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. It does require iOS 5.

This is one more thing added to a growing list of things that I can do from my iDevices that I don't need my computer for anymore.

You can get the AirPort Utility for Free here from the iTunes

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