Adobe has released an update today to Photoshop Express for iOS, now in version 1.5, adding quite a few noticeable features. Firstly, the app now enabled batch capturing of photos together with a review mode for looking through images. The update also includes support for the Retina display on the iPhone 4.
Finally, the most important update is with some iOS 4.2 features, enabling the app to be able to upload photos in the background. This means that you no longer have to stick around waiting for your photos to get uploaded before moving on and doing something else.
You can't throw a rock in the App Store without hitting a Tip Calculator. There are plenty of both free and paid ones to go around. My current favorite is CheckPlease (iPhone | iPad). These Tip Calculators work great for me here in the US, the problem I have is when I travel abroad not knowing what's customary and what's expected in other countries. In some countries the tip percentages are much lower than the 15%-20% here. Other countries you're not expected to tip at all (and they look at you funny when you do).
Tipping Guide is the answer
Tipping Guide at first glance appears to be a global directory of tipping practices and while that would have been worth the price of admission alone for me, I later discovered that it is in fact a tipping calculator too. While it won't replace CheckPlease for me here domestically (because I like the CheckPlease interface ten times more), it will definitely be both my guide and tip calculator for my international travels. Also no data connection is required. The Tipping Guide info is built-in.
The Bottom Line
This App is just what I was looking for! It has the best UI (user interface) of the ones I've seen to date. The only real reason I can't give it 5 stars is because while the built-in Tip Calculator is functional the UI for it (the calculator) is kinda lame. You have to use the spinny wheels to enter the amounts. A standard numeric keypad would be much better and FASTER. With that said, having a tip calculator built-in beats switching between Apps any day. Aside from the Tip Calculator UI, I love this App!
You can get Tipping Guide for $0.99 here from the
I have a confession to make. It’s about my obsession with iPhones, and how it all began. It all started with a burrito, more, my obsession with Chipotle burritos. You see I frequent Chipotle at least once a week, if not more. I go there so much that I have won 10 free burritos (at a time) no less than 6 times in the last year by dropping my business card in their “fish bowl”. Like any obsession I always look for ways to make my experience better, faster, smoother. Enter the Chipotle Ordering App. This App is THE reason I lusted after the iPhone (at first), and was the first App I downloaded before I left the AT&T store. Before my iPhone I had a Blackberry and no matter how many emails I sent, Chipotle was not planning on investing the time or effort into a Blackberry App so there was only one thing to do… Get an iPhone. All of that to say this; The Chipotle App is awesome! It makes ordering quick, and easy, and the food is ready when I get there.
Online ordering isn’t anything new. There are tons of restaurants out there that allow to-go ordering online (although most are pizza joints), but Chipotle added some really nice touches to this App to make it really great to use. Ordering is simple and intuitive. The App allows you to specify your pickup location either by entering the address or by letting it use your location and showing you the closest locations. Then you choose your “main course” first, be it a burrito, a bowl, salad, or tacos. You go on to add main ingredients, salsas, and so on. What makes it really nice is at the end of the ordering of your main item, you can assign a name to it. So for example if you are ordering for you and your family, they will write each person’s name on their particular item to help identify it when you get the order home. You can also add tortilla chips to go along with your meal, as well as a drink (although you can’t order an “adult beverage” through the App, you can certainly order them when you arrive). There is a running tally in the top corner of what’s in your “bag” so you can make sure that everyone is accounted for. The App gives you the option of placing the order immediately or scheduling it for a later time. Everything you would want from an App like this. There is one thing that really makes it a Best App for me (besides my Chipotle obsession). There is an option to save your favorite orders for future ordering. So if you order the same thing every time (like me) you can quickly load that order only needing to choose your pickup location, and the order time. For me it makes ordering 20-30 seconds instead of a few minutes.
They have really nailed it with this App. Normally I find things that can be improved upon, or items that I would like to see added, but with this App I can’t find a single thing that I would change or add. It does absolutely everything that I want, and does it well. If you’re a Chipotle fan, you need to stop by the App store and pick it up for your iPhone.
You can get the Chipotle ordering App for Free here from the
Believe it or not I had never finished a cup of coffee before 2010. I was just never a coffee drinker. At some point I ended up in a Starbucks with some friends and tried a "Skinny" Hazelnut Latte and now I'm addicted. Since I'm also addicted to technology I started checking out Starbuck's iOS Apps. They actually have a couple (I'm not sure why they can't be one App). The one that I use the most is the Starbucks Mobile Card. A Starbucks Card is like a refillable debit card for use to make your Starbucks purchases. You can buy/get one at most Starbucks and give them as gifts. Once the pre-loaded amount runs out you can actually go online, register and refill the card from any major credit card or PayPal. The App pretty much replaces the need to go online to refill your card(s). You can refill a card any time you want right from your iDevice.
Use your iPhone to Pay!
One of the more intriguing features of the App is the ability to use the onscreen barcode to actually pay for your purchase. The purchase amount is deducted from your card. Up until recently finding a location that actually had the necessary scanner/software to scan your display has been hit or miss (mostly miss). They did a pilot test with the Starbucks located in Target Stores and even then I was only able to get to work once. Even if you can't get ti to scan your electronic card and you have to use the plastic one, the App will still update your balance over the air. Starbucks recently began rolling out this technology to rest of their US based stores. This means that eventually I shouldn't have to carry the physical Starbucks card in my wallet any more.
The App also has a built-in Starbucks locator or you can just look on any and every corner of your downtown area You can also use the App to check your Starbucks Rewards Balance. With each purchase you're awarded a "star" after so many stars you get a free drink. While this is great it's the part of the app that annoys me the most! You can assign a 4 digit pin to protect the info in the App and I have. However, you also have a password for your online account and credit card info. That makes sense. What doesn't make sense is that while you can see your $$$ balance and make purchases after you enter your pin, you can't see your Rewards balance (the number of stars you have) until you also enter your password. Frankly, that's just dumb. I really don't care if anyone knows that I have 5 stars or 10. Why should we have to enter a password for this info every single time when all you need to make purchases (spend real money) is your 4 digit pin? Hopefully they will fix this with a preference in the next update! Otherwise if you're a Starbucks customer there is no reason not to have this App.
You can get the Starbucks Card Mobile for FREE here from the
I’ve always been a fan of the Disney “book” applications for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. I wrote a little about them in my 5 Apps that make my toddlers happy, but this particular App is different from the ones up to this point. The Lighting Was here App adds some interactive elements that really take it over the top.
Right to the point of why I love these Disney book Apps; my kids love them. My kids love to read, or to read along rather. They are just at the beginning of their reading lives and it is very important for them to read along and to know what words are being spoken. This is where the Disney books for the iPad shine. As they read along, they are highlighting each word as it’s being said unlike some other read along Apps that I have found that highlight the entire sentence. This is important because at their age (4). They need to see each word highlighted individually as they hear it in order to grasp what is being said. Also I find that they really enjoy turning the pages themselves so the ability to disable “auto turn” is a nice feature.
Usually the Disney books include some sort of light animation to coincide with the text, which this App delivers on as well, but Disney also added a few more elements to make this App a lot more interactive and fun for the kids. First they added a picture hunt throughout the game. Along your trip through Radiator Springs with Lightning McQueen there are semi hidden “decals” for you to collect. To collect them all you have to do is tap on the picture (which is usually out of place enough for the kids to realize that it is different and must be a decal) sending it flying off of the page presumably to your decal wallet which you will tap into later in the story. Midway through the book you come to one of two interactive jigsaw puzzles. Tapping the screen will scatter the pieces leaving you to reassemble them to form the picture. This was a nice touch on Disney’s part. It breaks up the reading time and my twins loved figuring out where all of the pieces went to continue with the story. This happens once more throughout the book which again was a nice break in the reading. At the end you are presented with a picture of Lighting McQueen with dark shadowy shapes on his hood and fenders. You have to dig into your collected decals and place them in the correct spots to complete the story.
There are a couple of things that I would like to see changed with this App. First has to do with the highlighting of the words. For whatever reason they didn’t turn this feature on default like the rest of the Disney read along books. I had to dig into the settings to find it. Not a huge problem but still annoying in my opinion. Secondly I would like to see more options for the puzzles. They chose two of the non-main characters for the puzzles. While I thought they were fine, my kids really wanted a picture of Lightning himself, or Sally (Lightning’s Girlfriend) to have broken into a puzzle. If they gave the option of rotating the images in or out, that would be great!
All in all this is a wonderful App that is worth downloading if you have kids that are learning to read. I can’t say enough about Disney read along books, and the positive effect reading Apps like this have had on my toddlers.
You can get the Lightning Was here App for $0.99 for your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch here from the