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.


Nikon Manual Viewer

One of the benefits I’ve been enjoying since the iPad came out (and even with the iPhone before that) is having all of my electronics and camera gear manuals on my iDevices in PDF. Most companies now allow you to download manuals in PDF format. While I’ve got some great PDF viewing and storing Apps on my iDevices, Nikon has released one specifically for their manuals. Now before I go any further I must say that this seems a bit redundant if you already have a PDF viewing App (even the free iBooks App lets you do this) that you love. Also when the App 1st came out it was so buggy that it was basically “unusable”. However, they’ve updated it a couple of times to where I thought I’d give it a second look.

Quick access to manuals for current Nikon gear

Like I said above, I had the manuals for my Nikon cameras, speedlights and other equipment on my iPad before this App came out. I was curious though as to what this App would bring to the table? The first thing is that you don’t have to search around on their website to find the manuals for your gear. All of the available manuals (current gear ONLY) show up right in the App for download. You can download just the ones you want at any time for offline viewing. Once you have the manual(s) you want on your device then you can flip through the pages, do searches and make bookmarks. Nothing earth shattering here, but it does work. As you would expect there is NO Printing capability. Even on Nikon’s regular site you can only download “printable” manuals if you are “registered” for that specific piece of gear. Otherwise the manuals you download freely are for on screen viewing only. The App works as advertised now and is probably very useful for someone who doesn’t have a computer and only has iOS devices as it’s easy to download and view the manuals directly sans iTunes. It is the easiest fastest way to get their manuals on your device.

The Bottom Line

Not sure why Nikon invested in reinventing the wheel here as this was already pretty possible with their existing manuals and pretty much any PDF viewer on iOS? However, this Universal App is FREE and gives you fast access to find the manuals you want. It’s a pity that they don’t let you grab manuals for discontinued gear or even the newly announced gear like the D4 and D800. I’m sure those will be added, but they would have won another star from me had they been available sooner or at launch. This was also a missed opportunity to do MORE. Perhaps some interactive elements to show the features in action. Videos, etc.

You can get the Nikon Manual Viewer for free here from the iTunes


Cover Photo Maker for Facebook Pro+

When Facebook rolled out their Timeline feature one of the things they implemented was a new “Cover Photo”. This “wide” image covers the top of your Timeline. While Facebook does allow you to choose any photo you want, most people don’t have a photo that is the exact measurements of 851×315 pixels as most digital camera images don’t have that aspect ratio. As a Photoshop user you can create a photo that matches those dimensions perfectly. However, what if you’re not a Photoshop user or don’t know how to combine multiple photos together? That’s where Cover Photo Maker for Facebook Pro+ comes in.

Cover Photo Maker for Facebook Pro+ (CPMFB) is a Universal App that lets you select a template layout and then simply fill in the images squares with images from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. You add a text layer and choose from multiple built in fonts as well as color, size and opacity.  Each image can be scaled or repositioned in its square.  After you complete your masterpiece you can save it, email it or upload it directly to Facebook.

The Bottom Line

While CPMFB can upload directly to Facebook you’ll still have to set the image as your Cover Photo via the Facebook App or website. Also in working with text and sizing it down I ran into a couple of instances where I couldn’t see/grab the text again because it was off screen. I’d also like to see some more variety in layouts where the images could overlap each other. While this App probably has limited appeal to a Photoshop user it’s perfect for novices or every day Facebook users.

You can get Cover Photo Maker for Facebook Pro+ for 2.99 for iPad, iPhone or iPod touch here from the iTunes


Pocket Doorbell



A Doorbell For your Pocket!

When I happened upon this Pocket Doorbell I wasn’t looking for a “doorbell” App, I was actually looking at Twitter Apps but for some reason Pocket Doorbell is categorized as a social media App… I’m not really sure how it ended up with that classification but that’s beside the point. The point is, this is a super simple but super useful App! It basically turns your iPhone into a one touch doorbell for any location no matter if that location has a physical doorbell or not!

How It Works

Pocket Doorbell uses your iPhone’s GPS to locate where you are, then it scans your contact’s information to see if there is a matching address. If there is, it will automatically add that person to the “name plaque” under the bell. If there isn’t a matching address in your contact list, it will ask you to press the doorbell to add a contact to that location.  Once you add a contact to that location it will store that name/number to with the GPS location for you to use in the future. Once you have the location and contact connected you simply “ring the door bell” to call them. The App quickly launches the phone call and connects you to your desired person.


Not only does Pocket Doorbell allow you to call, but it can quickly send a text if you’d like instead. In the bottom left corner you have the ability to select text message instead of call. When Text is selected Pocket Doorbell launches the message App and auto fills in “I’m here” (as shown above).

The Bottom Line

Pocket Doorbell only does one thing, but that one thing is pretty useful. Could they have added a way to automatically check into Facebook, or Foursquare while you’re “ringing the doorbell? Yeah I guess, but sometimes less is more.  Sure, you could flip through your Address book and find the contact and call them, but if you have this as a top level App (not in a folder) and it’s quick and easy to access, it does all of the work for you, and unless you have that particular person in your favorites, Pocket Doorbell will find the person and place the call faster than you can!

You can get Pocket Doorbell for your iPhone from the iTunes store for $.99 here: iTunes


Send Emails to A Group of Contacts with Mailshot Pro

I use Contact Groups all the time on my computer for both work and personal correspondence. It’s much easier sending an email to “The Team” than it is to add each individual team member to every new email. While Apple does allow you to sync groups from your desktop Mac or PC to your iDevices, it doesn’t really allow you to use those groups very much on the device itself. For example, one of my requests for years has been “give us the ability to assign ringtones to groups.” While that’s something that everyone may not find useful, I would argue that anyone that has groups would definitely want the ability to email to those groups from time to time. Yet we’re in iOS 5 and still don’t have the ability to email to a group of contacts. To make matters worse if you don’t have a computer, let’s say you’re “PC Free” as Apple likes to tout iOS 5, then you can’t even create or edit groups on your iDevice at all.

Mailshot Pro let’s you create groups and email to them

I have to give credit to my friend Linda S. for turning me on to this App. I almost didn’t believe it until I tried it myself. The App is very simple. You can create your groups within the App manually by selecting your contacts and their email address that you want to send to with the group (if they only have one email address then it will just add them). You can also import contacts from your existing groups to save time. Your new Mailshot Pro group will be added to your Contacts as a single entry. Now you can fire up Mail and just address the new email to that new Contact (group) and once you send it, it will send the email to everyone in the group! This special contact should work in all of your Apps with the exception of email directly from the Contacts App in iOS.

There’s more: You can even use Siri to send to this group because it’s a Contact. Also since your group is a “Contact” it gets sync’d with iCloud across all your devices.

The Bottom Line

If Apple wants to truly go “PC Free” then they need to remove the last few PC only features from iOS such as working with Groups and creating custom ringtones. There are still some things that can only be done if you have a computer. I’m glad to see an App like Mailshot Pro fill in the slack in the meantime.

You can get Mailshot Pro for $3.99 as a Universal App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch here from the iTunes


Adobe Photoshop Touch Now on iPad 2

While I have a variety of image editing Apps on my iPad and iPhone including Photoshop Express, Adobe Photoshop Touch will most likely make me forget about all of them. As a long time Photoshop user I’ve become accustom to where things are in Photoshop, what they are called and how they work. While there are some great photo editing Apps on iPad already, none of them are actually “Photoshop”. Sure they do the same kinds of image editing tasks, but each one has its own unique interface, terminology and way of doing things.  With Photoshop Touch I’m almost immediately at home with the familiar tool icons and workflows.

Work With Layered Files and Take Them To Photoshop CS5

Not only can I start a project on Photoshop Touch and work in layers, but I can finish what I start on Photoshop CS5. I don’t have to start over and I have access to all the layers that I created on my iPad. I can bring in images via the iPad’s albums, the iPad camera, Google search, Facebook and more importantly via the Adobe Creative Cloud. The Creative Cloud option gives me wireless access to my photos and Touch projects.

Beyond Simple Filters and Effects

While Photoshop Touch does offer a variety of one click effects, it goes beyond this by offering true layering and compositing of multiple images. Very few iPad Apps in this category allow this.


Your finished image can be shared directly to Facebook, Sent via Email or saved to the Camera Roll so that it can be used in any of your other applications. The layered files can also be uploaded to Creative Cloud so that you can use them in Photoshop CS5 on the desktop.

Check out my Introduction Video

The Bottom Line

While Photoshop Touch doesn’t offer every feature of the Photoshop CS5, it does offer most of the most important ones. The layered workflow between the desktop version and the touch version can’t be beat.

You can get Photoshop Touch for iPad for $9.99 here from the iTunes

• Requires iPad 2 and iOS 5. Not available for iPad (first generation).

If you’re looking for a Great Stylus to use with this App, here’s the one I use.


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