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.

Epic Rap Battles

Epic Rap Battles Of History!

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Today’s post is going to be a little more light-hearted. Today’s App is one that isn’t necessarily one that I NEED but I sure do love having it! For some time now I’ve subscribed to the Youtube channel ERB which is produced by Nice Peter, EpicLLoyd, Dave McCary, and Maker Studios. These guys are some of the funniest I’ve ever seen on Youtube so I watch them whenever I need a good laugh. Up until a few weeks ago I was logging into Youtube on my phone to get my ERB fix but recently they released an iOS App that makes it a whole heck of a lot easier to keep (almost) all of my favorite videos in one spot. (NOTE: Some of the videos, actually ALL of the videos are NSFW due to language)

 

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What it’s all about

So the basic premiss behind ERB is that they “match up” two of history’s most unlikely adversaries in a “rap battle”. For anyone that doesn’t know what this is, it’s where two rappers get the same beat to “freestyle rap” or come up with a rap in their head on the fly dissing the other rapper. So they make fun of their looks, their height, their intelligence, etc. It may not sound funny, or interesting but trust me, it’s the best 2-3 minutes that you’ll have today using your phone! As you can see in the screen shot above they have some hilarious videos. Babe Ruth vs Lance Armstrong, Tesla vs Edison, Ghandi vs MLK jr. but I think the one that has to be my favorite in this group is Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates! Hilarious work! What I really like about these videos is that they aren’t just on the fly and poorly done. They spend a lot of time, and a lot of money to make these videos very, very good.

So far I’ve only found one downside to this App and that is it only contains season 2 episodes of ERB. There were some very, very funny videos in the first season and after you watch season 2 found in the App, you should search them out on Youtube and check out season 1. It’s worth the watch!

The Bottom Line

If you love funny, short videos, then you’ll love Epic Rap Battles of History! These guys do an awesome job with the matchups, the video production, and the App. Since it’s free from the iTunes store, it’s definitely worth downloading!

 

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

Top Model Release

Top Model Release App

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As a photographer I’m constantly having models sign model releases. Having a signed model release has saved me on more than one occasion when it came time to have my work published in various magazines and ads. With that said, I gave up on paper based releases years ago. Since that time I’ve always done model releases electronically on my iPhone or now my iPad. I’ve reviewed a few different model release Apps here and yesterday I was introduced to a new one. I decided to give it a shot. Top Model Release has a nice clean, straight forward interface. After launching the App you immediately walk through the process of setting up the photographer profile. This involves entering your information such as your name, address, etc. Luckily if you have a contact already setup in the Contacts app you can just choose your card to save time. You can also insert a logo and insert your signature. Next you’re ready to create your first release. You can choose either Adult, Minor or Property Release. The App comes preconfigured with very decent sample releases already built-in. Of course you can customize these to your own specific needs or completely replace them with the wording you use on your actual releases. I did a sample Adult release and the process was really straight forward. You can either manually enter the model info in or choose a Contact. Then you put in the date and location information about your shoot. It would be nice to see a “get current location” option. There’s also a spot to enter Agency information, which I haven’t seen in the other Apps.

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Next up you can choose a photo to put on the release or snap one on the spot. Lastly the model can digitally sign right on your device with a finger or stylus. As you would expect the App then generates a nicely formated PDF that you can email directly to your model and yourself by default or print it. Now all of the above isn’t really new and I’ve seen most of this in the other Apps I’ve tried. I will give Top Release kudos for having a few extra bells and whistles. The first one is that you can duplicate an existing release to speed up the process for the next one you create. For example, if you work with the same model often you can duplicate the Model info. If you’re shooting a different model, you can duplicate the shoot info or you can simply duplicate the full release. It’s not apparent at first, but you can create additional “custom” releases to choose from besides the default adult, property and minor releases. This makes it easy to have different releases for the kinds of work you do, perhaps a release for paid work and a slightly different one for trades. The one thing I was immediately surprised by was that it has iCloud syncing that just works in the background. I didn’t have to turn it on, nor did it ask me. I did a test on the iPhone and by the time I got to the iPad to do a test the one from the iPhone was listed there! Overall, I can’t really find anything wrong with this App. It does everything I would need and it does it in a nice way. The one thing that I’m a stickler for is the final presentation of the actual release/PDF and Top Model Release produces a great looking release. As a matter of fact it bears a striking resemblance to Easy Release, however I especially like how it sized my logo larger than some of the other Apps I’ve used. While the App has everything I need in it, I will point out that it does lack a couple of things that others may need. The releases are limited to one page. If you have a lengthy contact this App may not work for you. Also there is no way to customize it with additional fields.

If you’re looking for a great model release App, Top Model Release is a solid choice. It’s clear that the developer has listened to my feedback on other apps in this category and didn’t make the same mistakes!

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Yes it can be awkward signing with your finger so get a stylus!

If you’re going to be a doing a lot of these, you might want to make an investment in a touch screen stylus to make it easier for your clients to sign. I got one of these and I LOVE IT! Makes it so much easier to sign! If you want an even better one, go with this one from Wacom or this one which is also a pen.

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Pick-Up Sign

Pick-Up Sign App To Generate Airport Pick-up Signs

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We pickup our friends and family from the airport all the time. These are generally meetings with kisses and hugs. However, there are times when we may need to pickup someone that we hadn’t met yet. Perhaps it’s a colleague or maybe a new roommate. We all have seen those signs as we leave the baggage claim being held by various courier services. However, in recent months I’ve noticed that more and more companies are using tablets to display these signs electronically. It’s certainly more professional looking than a magic marker and of course you can brand it.

I actually started doing this when meeting friends just for the fun of it/laughs. Of course you can create these with any number of applications on your desktop and then send it to your iPad or iPhone as a PDF. While that works, it’s not convenient to create one on the fly. I could also build them in Photoshop Touch using photos and text right on my iOS device. That got me wondering if there was an App on the App Store that would let you do it directly. I found one. At first glance I really wasn’t impressed. The screenshots on the App Store were really “basic” looking. Sort of like 90′s clipart. Since it was free I downloaded it and gave it a shot. I was happy to see that I could put my own logo in and that the clipart look that I saw on the screen shots was just a bad looking logo. You can put in up to two lines of text. The App is an Universal App and therefore works on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It also works in both portrait and landscape. You can choose from 4 different skins to change the background color and that’s pretty much it.

It works, but could be better!

While the Pick-Up Sign App does exactly what it says the first thing that I didn’t like was the ads being displayed on the sign. You can do an in-app purchase of 0.99¢ to turn the ads off. That’s the 1st thing I did. While I could easily import my logo as a .PNG file, the app didn’t seem to recognize the transparency. I ended up making a white version on a black background in Photoshop Touch. That’s when I realized that the black background in the dark skin wasn’t 100% black. I could go back and match it in Photoshop, but it would be nice to be able to choose a custom color background or better yet let me import a photo from my Photos/Camera Roll. The other issue is that you don’t get to choose fonts or font size. There is only one font and it scales based on the display orientation. I’d love it if it had a few font choices. It will be nice to have this App for those times when I need a quick sign, but if I really want it to look nice I’ll probably continue to build them in Photoshop Touch and display them as photos.

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Feedly Reader

Feedly – A Google Reeder Alternative and Possible Replacement

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When I read the announcement that Google was killing Google Reader on July 1 of this year you could have knocked me over with a feather. I was in shock! Working for a software company, I know that these kinds of decisions are made all the time. However, this one really hit home with me. I use Google Reader ALL THE TIME! It’s the 1st tab that is open in my browser of daily sites that I review. Google Reader is my “daily newspaper”. I can easily subscribe to all the sites i’m interested in as well as keywords that will bring up articles of interest. People always ask me “how do you keep up with everything the way you do?” The answer is my secret weapon – Google Reader. I was currently using the Reeder App for iPhone and iPad because they sync’d so well with my Google Reader Account. Life was good! I wasn’t looking for any new features, Google Reader works fine just the way it its. Rather than cancel it, I’d be fine if Google simply said they weren’t going to ever upgrade it again. However, it’s not up to me and I have to deal with the cards I’ve been dealt. That means looking for Google Reader alternatives.

Feedly Announced that They are Picking up the Slack

Feedly was already an alternative reader that sync’d with your Google Reader account. They already have mobile Apps and even a slick Chrome plug-in. However, on the day that Google announced the end of Reader, they posted this blog post stating that they were already working on cloning the Google Reader API. They also posted this post to help you start the migration NOW.

I downloaded their Universal iOS App to get started. I also installed their Chrome plug-in/extension (yes they have one for Safari and other browsers). Setup at this point is pretty easy. Just log in with your existing Google Reader account and your feeds will all be there. That’s it! I’m sure that more has to go on on the backend so that your feeds get pulled in from Feedly instead of Google by July 1, but there really isn’t anything else for you to do at this point.

The Feedly UI

The Feedly user interface is nice and clean. While not quite as streamlined as Reeder, it’s definitely usable. They make good use of gestures and you can configure it with your Instapaper and Bit.ly accounts for saving and sharing. Once I changed the default view to “Latest” and switched on the “Auto Mark as Read” feature I was feeling more at home with this app. I do like having the initial image to the left of each article even on iPhone. This is somethign that Reeder for iPhone lacked.

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The Bottom Line

While I’m sad that Google couldn’t figure out a way to keep Google Reader going (I would have paid for it), I’m happy to see several companies step up and offer alternatives. My only gripe with this App is that there should be an easier way to “mark all as read”. Yes, there is a “long swipe” gesture to do this, but it’s not intuitive. If Feedly get’s it together on the backend by July 1, I will have no reason to look any further. They have seen a jump by over 500,000 new users in just 2 days!

Feedly: Your Google Reader, Youtube, Google News, RSS News Reader - DevHD

 

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PredictiveTyper - Text Editor with Smart & Fast Predictive Text Keyboard

PredictiveTyper – Text Editor with Smart & Predictive Text Keyboard

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Typing large amounts of text on an onscreen keyboard has never been something I’ve enjoyed. Perhaps my fingers/hands are too big, but I find that anything over a paragraph wears on me quickly. While iOS does a good job with autocorrecting many things as you type, predictive typing may allow you to type faster. The next time you need to type more than a few words, launch the PredictiveTyper App 1st! With a Predictive Typer instead of trying to correct what you’re typing, it tries to guess what you’re typing by offering a list of words. You start typing “fin” and it suggests “find”, “fingers”, “finger”, “final”, etc. once you key in just a few letters more than likely the word you’re typing appears in the list and you just tap it. With predictive typing you can get a lot keyed with just a few letters for each word. Once you’ve completed your text in this App you can share it via texting, email, Facebook, Twitter, Print, the “Open In” command or simply copy and paste it into the app of your choice. This is great for emails and blogging on mobile devices. You can also save these notes as documents in the App. Think of it as a mini word processor for your iPhone or iPad. PredictiveTyper is a Universal App and therefore you can use it on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and take advantage of your device’s full screen size. The only downside is that it is a separate App. Of course this is not the fault of the developer as Apple doesn’t allow you to change the text engine at the iOS level. With that said, from now on I won’t cringe when I get an email that requires a lengthy reply or wait til I get back to my computer to write a more detailed note. PredictiveTyper is a must have App for anyone wishing to type more than a few words at a time on their iOS devices.

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