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.

song2email

Song2Email

The iPhone, iPod touch and iPad all make great music players. You can sync music to them from your computer as well as download music directly from the iTunes store. You can now even stream music from your iTunes collection via iCloud/iTunes Match. While this is all great for getting music into the devices and listening to it, there really isn't a built-in way of getting music out of the devices. This is where Song2Email comes in. While I certainly don't advocate stealing or sharing music illegally, there are times where you may want to get a song from your iDevice to another system and you don't have access your iTunes library. 

Song2Email let's you email songs from your iDevice

Song2Email performs the basic task of letting you choose any of you songs and email them to any email address you want. You can choose one song or multiples songs and email them via WiFi or 3G (20 MB Limit). The App is Universal so it works on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. This is one of those Apps that has a simple function and it does it very well. I wish that there was more that I could go on and on about, but there isn't. It works!

You can get Song2Email for $0.99 here from the iTunes

Gmail

Gmail and Push for iPhone

 

A week or two ago Google made everyone jump for joy when rumors surfaced that a Gmail App was close to being released for the iPhone just to let them down with a bug that made the App unusable from launch. They immediately pulled the App from the App store and have been reworking it to get rid of the bug. a couple of days ago they released the "fixed" version, fulfilling what we've all been asking for since the launch of the iPhone; push for Gmail. I have been using the App non stop with my Gmail account for two days now, and I am happy to report that they have done a pretty good job.

Functionality

The iOS Gmail App is very similar to the web version of Gmail so it will feel very similar to those of you who use the web version. Opening the App displays the first 20 messages in your inbox, with a "show more messages" button at the bottom to display more. New messages have bold text, while read messages are a light grey.  Just like on the web version of Gmail, there are check boxes next to each message allowing the user to select multiple messages for different actions ( deleting, moving to a folder, etc.).

A left to right swipe, or a tap of the menu button displays familiar folders, filters, and menus. Any folders that you may have created under your Gmail web interface will appear within this menu. Drilling down into the folders and sorting your content is easy and intuitive with this App.

Searching your content is simple with a tap of the hourglass in the top right corner. This icon is directly to the left of the new mail icon in the right corner. One notable function of this App is the attachment of items to mail. Unlike the native mail App on both the iPhone and the iPad, to attach an item to a Gmail email you must click the paperclip icon within a message. This will allow you to email that item (photo, pdf etc.).

Push

If there is one thing that I wanted this App for over anything else, it is PUSH messages. I know that there has been a hack out there using enterprise server to get Push for Gmail on the iPhone, but this is truly an integrated, working package. The Push works really well. I did a few tests and messages seem to come through faster on my iPhone than they do on my web account. Push is the biggest plus side of this App in my opinion

Something I'd Like To See

If there is one thing that I really, really want to see, it's support for multiple accounts. I currently have three Gmail accounts, so I picked the one that I get the most incoming mail on to use with the Gmail App. Google Says that there are improvements and added features on the way, including multiple account support.

 

The Bottom Line

Besides the initial bug contained within the original release of the App, this is a great first offering. I really hope that they continue to build on this and offer multiple account support in the near future.

 

You can get Gmail for the iPhone and iPad from the iTunes store for free here: iTunes

navigon

Navigon 2.0 is Here for iOS!

 

My favorite Turn-by-Turn voice GPS Navigation App has just been updated with a slicker, smarter interface. The 1st big change is that App has been cut down significantly in size. The North America version used to weigh in at about 1.7GB. Now the update is about 44MB in size. How can it get so small you ask? The good folks at Navigon took a brilliant approach in letting you selectively download the states/providences that you need. This is AWESOME! If i'm never going to drive through Alabama or Arkansas then why have those maps taking up space on my device? You can pick which states to download whenever you want.  You do have to be in Wi-Fi to download a state, but once it's downloaded you won't need a data connection at all to use the App. I downloaded Michigan (36.9MB) in a matter of just a few minutes over my WiFi/Cable connection. The next thing I noticed was that the new app launches SIGNIFICANTLY faster. Perhaps this is due to the weight loss :) I'm not a fan of GPS apps that require a constant data connection as the maps are in cloud. Navigon's new approach is a perfect blend between the flexibility of only loading what you need AND not requiring a data connection to use the App once the maps are on your device.

 

Nice and clean UI

I'm a User Interface (UI) freak and have never been blown away by any GPS navigation system. I'm not saying that this new interface blows me away, but it's certainly WAY cleaner than before and probably will send several competitors back to the design boards. The menus are animated, but not in an obnoxious way. I like the little pull downs to quickly access things you need while navigating. Most of all I like not having to dig through several menus to find the things that should be at the top level. Great job!

The same In-App purchases are available and yes it will allow you to restore the ones you've already purchased. In my case I got the Lifetime LIVE Traffic, Panorama 3D view and Radar Info. They've added a new one called FreshMaps XL that gives you a 1 year quarterly Map update with not only new/changed roads, but they promise tons of POI additions/updates. It's only $14.99 but I'll pass on it for now since this update includes the latest maps for free!

There is one gotcha with this update! The 1st and only problem I've run into so far is that you lose all your saved Favorites. That really sucks since there is NO WARNING! When you fire up the new app they're just not there anymore. I'm hoping that this is just a bug and that they can fix it so that anyone else that's upgrading will be able to either keep their Favorites or back them up and restore them. Navigon shame on you for not warning us about this or allow saved Favorites to come into version 2.0. Otherwise, this update rocks!

 

UPDATE! The Favorites ARE there! They just won't show up unless you download the Maps/States that they are for. Makes sense, thanks goes to David Lumsden for his troubleshooting help in the comments below! Now I'm even happier about this update!

 

Price drops until November 30th:

Navigon North America is now only $39.99 iTunes

Navigon USA is only $29.99 iTunes

Navigon My Region is now only $19.99

East iTunes

Central iTunes

West iTunes

News360

News360 Finally Finds Its Way to The iPhone

If you're anything like me, you're busy. As busy as I am I don't want to spend my time searching through all sorts of sites looking for the latest news that interests me. Admittedly I really like the Zite iPad News Reader App on the iPad platform. I have been hoping for an iPhone version to read my content in both places but unfortunately they haven't launched the iPhone version yet. With no iPhone version, I started using News360 to keep up with the latest news and headlines.

Features You'll Love

News360 is a feature rich App that provides thousands of different content sources from which to pull its content. One of the biggest, and best features contained within News360 is the manner in which it figures out what you want to read. Sure, you have the option to manually select the content that you would like to see. News, Auto, technology etc., but the developers have come up with a much faster way to get deeper integration with what you really want to read about. You are presented with the option to connect to multiple sites where you already have accounts to let News360 search for the content that you prefer. The options are Facebook, Google+, Evernote, Twitter, and Google Reader. News 360 searches through each of these services to find exactly what you are interested in and provides like content. In a few seconds it does automatically what it would take literally hours for a user to do manually. It's a real time saver.

Another feature that I really like on News360 is the offline content feature. Save articles to read later even when you're offline. News360 saves the article to your (free) News360 account and to all of your devices with the App installed. This is great for when I don't have a signal, such as in an airplane, a subway, etc. Speaking of the News360 account, it allows you to sync your preferences and content selection across all of your platforms. This is a really nice feature. Sign up once, on one device to setup your content, then just sign in on your other devices to transfer your content to them. Very seamless, very easy.

Topics are broken down into sections, Gadgets, Software, Computers, etc. Under each section there are multiple stories presented for each topic. The topics are totally customizable by the user. For example I didn't see an "iPhone" topic after the initial automatic content loading so I added my own. If there is one area where News360 falls behind it is in this category. I searched for "iPhone Apps" but got a "no results found" message in return. Also under my user generated iPhone category there seems to be less stories than in the other automatically generated sections. This I found to be a little limiting because these are topics that I am quite interested in. 

 

The bottom line

For all around information on most any subject, News360 does a great job. It allows you to sync and read the same content no matter what mobile platform you are on, and it is user customizable. To me this makes News360 a staple in my News Folder on both my iPad and iPhone.

 

You can get News360 for the iPhone from the iTunes store for free here:  iTunes
You can get News360 for teh iPad from the iTunes store for free here:      iTunes

SystemActivityMonitor

System Activity Monitor for iOS

There have been a few reports going around lately about people having problems with battery life after upgrading to iOS 5 or to the new iPhone 4s. While I haven't had any real issues myself with the iPhone 4s, it's great to know whether or not if an App has run a muck and is chewing up system resources. One sign of this is if your iPhone or other iDevice is all of a sudden warm to the touch. This usually means that the processor is working overtime. When that happens you can try things like quitting some of the Apps running in the background or a simple reboot of the device. However, I would like to do more than just solve this problem temporarily, I'd like to know which app in particular is causing the problem?

System Activity Monitor shows what's going on in real-time

This App is similar to the Mac OS Activity Monitor in that it shows you in real time which apps or processes are running and more importantly which ones are running with high amounts of processor time. If you're not playing a game or doing something else that would task the processor then your device should be running with the majority of the processor count in "idle." If it's not, you can quickly identify which App or process is causing a problem.

I highly recommend System Activity Monitor as a troubleshooting tool!

You can get System Activity Monitor for $0.99 here from the iTunes

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