iPhone

Easily browse all the iPhone compatible apps that we have reviewed here.

Uber

Uber – Everyone’s Private Driver On Your iPhone

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I travel quite a bit and when I do it often means taking everything from subways to taxis to private cars to get around from meeting to meeting and client to client. I’ve reviewed Taxi Magic in the past and stil use it. However, sometimes I need something a little better or more reliable. Even with booking a taxi through Taxi Magic, you are at the mercy of the dispatcher and worse the driver to actually show up. Over the past few months I’ve been using Uber as well. Uber seems to be MUCH MORE RELIABLE. I’ve never had a car take more than 5 minutes to show up and the drivers are usually very professional.

How does it work?

Download the Uber App and add your credit card to it. They even have a nifty ability to take a picture of your credit card in the app to have it input the numbers. That’s it. You’re ready to use the App. Now if you’re in an area covered by Uber, (at my last count they cover 22 major metropolitan areas across the US and in cities like Paris, Amsterdam and Sydney) fire up the App and you’ll instantly see your location on the map and how far the nearest Uber car is away from you. Since I started using the App they’ve added Taxis to the list besides Town Cars and SUVs. Admittedly I haven’t tried them yet for a taxi to see if they are any better than Taxi Magic. However, when it comes to their cars and SUVs their great. You’ll receive a SMS text message confirmation that your driver is on the way as well as another message when your driver arrives. Hop in and tell them where you want to go. Once you arrive just get out and go! Nothing to sign, no tip to worry about. It’s all baked into the price. You’ll see the app update with your charges and the ability to rate your driver 1-5 stars.

The only thing I’d like to see is the ability to schedule in advance. Taxi Magic added this and it has worked great. If you know you’re leaving your meeting and going to the airport at a specific time why not have the ability to book the car in advance?

The Bottom Line

Uber makes it really easy to get a dependable ride from point A to point B. However, this convenience comes at a price. Uber is not cheap! Prices start with a base fare. After that, they charge depending on speed. When travelling at over 11mph, they charge a distance fee. Below 11mph, they charge a time fee. It could easily be twice that of a taxi. This is why I believe they added a taxi service to their offering. If they can provide dependability with the lower cost of a taxi then it’s a win-win! Either way, I’m loving Uber. Thankfully this new version allows you to input a destination and get a fare estimate. This way you can see if it’s worth it rather than getting sticker shock at the end of your ride. The App is free and you don’t pay anything unless you actually get a ride. So it’s worth having on your iPhone as a just in case if nothing else.

iTunes

1Password - Password Manager and Secure Wallet

1Password for iOS Gets a Major Upgrade

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I have over 400 Apps on my iOS devices, however there are a few that I use every single day and rely on. 1Password is one of those Apps. I couldn’t imagine life without it. For starters I used to be like many of you in that I was using the same password for just about everything. Then it hit me! What if one the sites that I do business with was hacked (oh that could never happen right?) and my user name and password was exposed to the wild. The damage could be quite severe. Not only would that site be compromised, but it wouldn’t take a genius to figure “hey I wonder if he uses that password on other sites?” Off they go stealing my identity, money, credit rating, and more… A couple of years ago I decided that this had to stop. I wanted custom passwords for each site AND I didn’t want them to be easy to figure out. Basically random letters, numbers and symbols. Of course the only problem with that is remember which random password I used on which site. There was no way I’d remember, so I invested in 1Password. I liked it so much that I bought the Mac version too and since it syncs the encrypted password file with Dropbox.com, I was in heaven. My passwords were accessible on all my devices and I’ll I’d have to do is remember the one complicated “master password” that I setup.

1Password version 4.0 is here

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1Password version 4 has been rewritten from the ground up with lots of little enhancements. First off there is no more separate versions for regular, pro, universal, etc. Now there’s just one Universal version to buy that works on any iOS device running IOS 6 or later. 1Password 4 is a brand new App and therefore it’s a new purchase. You can still use 3.x, but if you want the new features you’ll have to pony up a few bucks. Speaking of which it’s on sale for a limited time at 50% Off as basically a way of thanking existing users and letting them get the new version at half price (or you can look at it as the upgrade price). The redesign is visually pleasing and probably my favorite new feature is the Favorites Tab. Since I have hundreds of entries in the App for everything from website logins, to credit card numbers, to email passwords, to FTP passwords to software serial numbers, it can be quite a pain looking for the ones I use all the time. The Favorites feature lets me add my frequently used passwords to one spot so that I can always get to them faster.

The next welcomed addition is iCloud sync. In addition to Dropbox you can have it sync your encrypted password file between your devices using iCloud. Not sure that I see an advantage over Dropbox, but it’s nice to have the option. The only downside to iCloud sync is that the desktop clients haven’t been updated yet therefore you’ll only be syncing via iCloud between iOS devices at this point.

A smooth transition – You install version 4 right alongside version 3. Once you launch it you can bring all your data over via Dropbox or an import. Version 4 also works fine with the Desktop versions for Mac/Win which are still at version 3.

Built-in Password Generator in more places – one of my other favorite features of 1Password is that it can generate those random passwords for me. You can tell it how long the password should be and it makes one for you and of course offers you the ability to save it in the login you’re creating.

Take advantage of the web browser – It wasn’t obvious to a lot of people how to use 1Password. Once you have all those password in the App, then what? The most frequently used way to access your password was probably to tap on it then tap copy and paste it in where ever you needed it. However, 1Password has always had a built-in web browser that is password aware. When you create a web login at say mybank.com you can also include the URL. Now in 1Password when you tap to go to mybank.com it will launch the built-in browser, take you to the site and fill in your user name and password for you. You can do everything in that browser on the site securely and without any history concerns because you’re not using Safari. Now the browser is a little more prevalent because you can swipe to bring it up at any time.

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Great, but…

I like the new version a lot, but there is one big thing they changed that I think I prefer the old way better. In the old 1Password for iOS you had both a Master Password and a PIN. You could choose on an entry by entry basis to make it require the master password or not. So for your more sensitive entries for say your bank site, someone that knew your pin still wouldn’t be able to access your account without also knowing the master password. Now the Master Password works for everything and while there is a “quick pin” to gain access to the App it’s only for use when you’ve already unlocked the App with the master password and perhaps your device goes to sleep and you want to quickly get back in. You can just type the 4 digit pin. Once it locks at the regular timed interval, you’ll need to enter your (long and probably hard to type on an iOS keyboard) master password. The other small thing I’d like to see is a search field at the root level of the Categories tab. The only issue I’ve had is that in the desktop version I have about 5 email accounts defined, however in this new version only one shows up as an “email acct”. The others are showing up as generic accounts.

The Bottom Line

If you’re still using the same password for most of the stuff you do, then you’re simply asking for trouble. If you’re ready to be more secure then step up to 1Password for iOS version 4 and sleep at night.

iTunes

Google Maps

Google Maps for iPhone is Here!

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If you’ve been frustrated by Apple’s decision to pull Google Maps from iOS and replace it with a less than steller (ok it kinda sucks) Apple Maps, then I’m about to make your day. Google has just released Google Maps for iPhone. Now in all fairness Apple Maps is working great for some, but there are people that were livid that Apple took away the tried and true Google Maps in favor of their own solution. While I didn’t really use Google Maps for “directions”, I did use it for searching for local businesses all the time. There are businesses that I search for in Apple Maps that just aren’t there yet, so yeah I’m happy to see this App get released.

Google Maps with Turn-by-Turn “Voice” directions

Not only did Google come out with a Maps App for iPhone, but they added turn-by-turn voice directions. This pretty much puts almost all other GPS navigation Apps in the App store on notice. Google is legendary for searching for stuff. Now you’ll be able to sign in with your gmail/google account and access your search history and favorites, yes even the ones you did on your computer. You’ll then be able to navigate from point a (your current location) to point b with voice directions. As many of you know, I’m a long time user of Navigon North America and even though Google Maps has returned with turn-by-turn directions, I have no plans to use it as my main navigation App. There’s one simple reason for this. Navigon allows you to download the maps you choose (by state) to your device so that you won’t need a data connection while driving. Google Maps will require a data connection to navigate. Other than that though, it would be hard for someone to justify buying a navigation App these days for iPhone. You now have two FREE solutions. Apple Maps built-in and Google Maps to navigate to the correct location (just joking, sorry Apple).

How does it work?

Once you launch the App you’ll be prompted to agree to the terms and conditions, optionally sign into your Google account and agree to have it know your location. Then you’ll see a map of where you are with a search field. Type whatever you’re looking for into the search field including business names or addresses. It will find the place in question on the map and then you can tap it to get directions via driving, walking or public transportation as well as a estimated time to get there. Tap the route you want to take and you’ll hear a voice telling you your first move/turn, and yes Street View and Traffic is there too!

Use Siri to route via Google Maps

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Since Apple Maps is built-in it has the benefit of working with Siri. You could say things like “navigate home” or “navigate to the Apple Store” and it will fire up Apple Maps and start navigating. However, you can add a couple of words to your Siri voice command to get the option to navigate via other Apps. Since Apple doesn’t do public transportation via Apple Maps, if you say “navigate home by train” it will find your address in Apple Maps and then offer to hand off to another installed routing App that does support public transportation. At that point you can tap Google Maps and still have it navigate by car if you like. Siri will have done all the work of inputting the address. This is great for navigating to contacts too or other relationships like “navigate to my sister’s house by bus”.

What’s missing?

This is all good, but just like having a different favorite web browser (in my case Google Chrome) you can’t have Google Maps be your default Mapping App. Anything system related will still launch Apple Maps by default just like anything system related will launch Safari no matter how many browsers you have installed. This is not Google’s fault. It’s a restriction of iOS. Also in typical Google fashion, they’ve released this as an iPhone/iPod touch App, but not as a Universal App for iPad yet. Google usually takes a while to update their Apps to be native on the iPad. This app will work on iPad, just not taking advantage of the iPad screen size.

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The Bottom Line

It’s Google Maps and it’s Free! What’s there to complain about? You should be downloading this now!

Apple Maps Breakup Letter :-)
iTunes

Fly Delta

Fly Delta App – “This is not the upgrade you’re looking for!”

As a Diamond Medallion, Million Miler with Delta I use the Fly Delta App quite a bit. While the App has continued to improve over the years, it was still missing key features like being able to manage your Skymiles account and surprisingly not being able to actually buy a ticket in the App. Needless to say I was more than just a little excited to see the Delta App featured in the Apple iOS 6 announcement by showcasing an upcoming version with Passbook support.

Once iOS 6 shipped back in September we began seeing a regular stream of updates to our favorite Apps that offered iOS 6 support, iPhone 5 display size support, and in some cases Passbook support where appropriate. Now I’ll be the first to be a little forgiving to developers that run into development issues that are unforeseen and therefore cause delays in shipping their app. I work for a developer and I see it all the time. Also my own Learn the Creative Suite App hasn’t been updated yet for iPhone 5 screen size by my developers.  I figured that the developers of the Fly Delta App were taking a little more time to give us a really kick butt update! Granted it might take a while, but it would probably be worth the wait.

Delta made things worse by breaking their existing App

When a new computer or operating system is released, I always joke with the people that get so excited or up in arms that just because something new has come out, that it doesn’t make the thing you’ve been happily using all of a sudden stop working. While I would have loved an updated Fly Delta App with Passbook support, the existing App was working just fine as it always has. Well that was until Delta decided that it was time to update their website. Not only did it get a design refresh, it also got a security/login update. If you go to delta.com and log in with your existing account you will be prompted to create a new “password” instead of the 4 digit pin that had been in place. If you create a new Skymiles account, you won’t have a choice, you’ll have to crate a new alpha-numeric password. No problem right? It’s more secure! That’s all fine and good, except that the Fly Delta App only accepts 4 digit pins. This means that anyone that updates their password, will no longer be able to log into the existing App. No more boarding passes period. No more itineraries. You’d have to go back to using the Mobile Website.

An Update Finally Arrived, but….

I’ve been checking my iPhone for updates every day, multiple times a day in anticipation of this update. I was hoping to see it before I finished traveling for the year. Then all of a sudden, there it was. Finally it was an update to the Fly Delta App that I was sure that at a minimum would fix the login issue and hopefully have the other features we’ve been waiting for too. I was sadly disappointed. It was merely an update that “Added a link to the Delta privacy policy”. REALLY? Delta, after all this time, you submit an App to the App Store that merely adds a link to your privacy policy? As a loyal customer that flies over 200,000 miles a year, I’m stunned and disappointed. Rarely do we ever mention Apps here that we don’t consider to be “Best” Apps, but this time we had an App that went from being a Best App (or at least a good one) to one that isn’t even usable anymore. Your competition has updated their Apps for iOS 6, iPhone 5 and Passbook: AA, United, Air Canada & Lufthansa. Why not you?

I’d love to see an update that includes:

  • Support for your new passwords
  • Passbook support
  • iPhone 5 display size
  • Skymile Account Management (why would you allow this via the mobile site and not via your native app?)
  • The ability to buy your product (a flight) in the App <-You are in the business to make money right?
  • and while you’re at it, an iPad native version wouldn’t hurt. Both AA and Lufthansa have done this.

I’ll be glad to change my rating once you have a working update and by the way, NO ONE was looking for your privacy policy in your App. No one! If any feature should have been on the mobile website and not in the App, this would have been the one to do that with.

Snapseed

Google’s Snapseed for iOS now FREE

Google acquired Nik Software and didn’t waste much time updating Snapseed for iOS and also coming out with an Android version. Snapseed has always been one of my favorite image editing apps on iOS and although it has been offered for Free from time to time by Nik, now it’s free for all. One of the biggest features in this update is the ability to share images to (wait for it……..) Google+. Shocking I know, but yes Google has added Google+ sharing to their new image editing App. It seems that Google has been on a roll lately with updates for their iOS Apps. They updated the YouTube App to be iPad native, revamped the Gmail App and people are loving it and now a new Snapseed App. We can only hope that a new Google Maps App is in the not too distant future. I think Apple Maps is “OK”, but most of the things I search for never seem to be there. It’s for that reason and that reason alone that I miss Google Maps.

iTunes

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