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


HBO Go Comes To iOS

if you're currently an HBO subscriber through your cable or satellite provider you can now take HBO with you on the Go. This new App from HBO allows you to stream all of your favorite HBO shows directly to your iOS device. I was quite impressed by the shear number of available titles. Of course my favorites were there like The Sopranos, Sex in the City, Big Love, etc., but there were dozens of series that I hadn't ever watched before including ones that are no longer being aired. This is a great way to catch up on shows you missed or series you never watched before. While I can certainly TiVo stuff at home and even watch it via my Slingbox on my iPad, the streaming quality of the HBO Go app blows it away. As a matter of fact, I watched a comedy show while waiting at the barbershop, via 3G and it was almost like watching a movie that was stored on the device. The interface is clean and I haven't had any issues.

You need to be a subscriber

Although the App is FREE, it won't do you much good if you're not  subscriber of HBO at home. I subscribe via Comcast (Xfinity) and it was just as easy as logging into my Xfinity account in the HBO Go App and after a minute or two I was able to watch anything I wanted. While I do wish there was a way to download and watch offline, I will certainly take this FREE way of watching content that I'm already paying for, when I'm on the road. I'm also a little surprised that they don't offer a low monthly subscription rate directly in the App for those who don't have cable/satellite at home. Seems like a missed opportunity.

You can get the HBO Go App for FREE here from the iTunes


Use Noir Photo for Dramatic Lighting Effects

Red Giant Software, the makers of the fantastic Plastic Bullet App are back again with a new App. The new App is Noir Photo. This App allows you to use the photos on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch and apply dramatic lighting effects to them as well as convert them to black and white. The controls are very straight forward. First you pick your lighting pattern. Then you can choose the shade of color that you want and lastly you can dial in the angle or use your finger, the intensity and contrast. Once you've completed your masterpiece you can save it back to your camera roll.  The App also features built-in documentation. 

It's simple!

It's almost too simple. After I used the App a few times I was left wanting for more! That's not a bad thing, it just means that the App was so easy to use that I almost felt like I must be missing something. The effects work well and they are what they are. Also unlike other effects apps Noir Photo lets you dial in the numbers. This makes it easy to repeat the same look on different photos. If you like an effect that you've customized you can make it the new default.


The bottom line

It's fast and easy to create lighting effects right on your device. I would have liked to have seen an opacity slider for the effects so that I could blend back in some of the original color. Otherwise, it does what it says.

You can get Noir Photo for your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch for $2.99 here from the iTunes


Echofon Pro for Tweeting

I use Twitter, but I wouldn't call myself a Twitter junkie. Therefore the official and Free Twitter App was all I really needed. I liked the user interface and it did what I wanted. However, Twitter started messing with a good thing. The first round of attacks was the NEW Trending Bar. Everyone hated it, but I really didn't care. What I cared about and saw no reason for was dropping support for bit.ly URL shortening in favor of their own. People use bit.ly for statistic tracking. Also I'm a bit.ly pro user and therefore have my own shortening domain name. That was kinda the last straw.

Moving on to Echofon Pro

If I'm going to switch clients I want to switch across the board. Therefore I want the same client for both iPhone and iPad and if it's Universal as opposed to making me pay twice it's going to score points.  Also most of these clients, Echofon included, offer a free version. Although I could probably get by with another free app I'd rather not have any limitations. Echofon has the features I need right off the bat. Multiple account support, location support, bit.ly support as well as a nice layout. It has one feature that I'm quickly falling in love with and that's an "Auto Refresh". As long as you have the App open and you're on a wifi network, new tweets will automatically come in. Very cool! If you use Echofon on the desktop there's even automatic sync of unread tweets.

While Echofon gives me back the things that the Twitter App took away, there is one major thing missing and it's keeping me from giving this app a 5 star rating. There doesn't seem to be a list of recently used hash tags. Nor does there seem to be a fast way of entering them. You have to manually use the # sign buried in the regular keyboard (someone please tell me I'm missing something here). With everything else this app has I'm actually quite shocked that there isn't a native hash tag feature or if there is, it's not obvious to me. Otherwise I'm happy with the move to Echofon Pro on my iPhone and iPad. 

You can follow me on Twitter here.

You can get Echofon Pro for $4.99 here from the iTunes

You can get the free version of Echofon here from the iTunes


Tweetbot: A New Twitter Application

TweetbotThere is a new Twitter client on the block. It is called Tweetbot and comes from Tapbots, the makers of apps Convertbot and Weightbot, two apps which have been reviewed here before and gotten high scores. So, why am I taking a look at this new Twitter client at all then?

Well, first and foremost the official Twitter for iOS application is starting to shorten its links using the t.co shortener by default, allowing little control over how to display links at all. I fear this might just be the beginning of a series of bad choices for the app, the second being the #dickbar, making the rounds just a month or so ago. In addition, I do feel that it  doesn’t hurt trying new things once in a while.

The first thing you notice when even looking up Tweetbot in the App Store, is that it has a rather cute icon. When downloading the app, you’ll notice that the entire interface looks very good. Clearly clean and simple have been keywords during the design processes, as with the other Tapbots apps.

You do not get a Tapbots app for the unified iOS experience (that I am known to love) but for the innovative, well-designed user experience that resembles the iOS default, but is just slightly different. This is by far something negative. On the contrary, the app is very easy to use and does explore alternative ways of interacting with tweets in a timeline. To reply, retweet or perform other actions, you just click on a tweet to get access to a little options bar. To check for new tweets, you drag upwards past the top, as debuted in the first version of Tweetie for iPhone.

In terms of features, Tweetbot has what you expect. The entire twitter feature-set is there, including a clever implementation of lists. If you have different lists created in your Twitter account, Tweetbot lets you see a timeline specifically to these people. This way you can still follow a lot of people without having to see them all in your timeline.

One big negative I have with this app is perhaps not as much about the app itself, as with the devices it is available on. While it is available on the iPhone and iPod Touch, it isn’t (at the time of this writing) available for the iPad, which I am not particularly fond of. I must say I prefer having the same user experience on both my iOS devices when it comes to Twitter clients.


To be honest, the only real reason for wanting to switch to Tweetbot is the lists implementation, however this does not have to be a small feature. In fact, if you are following over 300 people and don’t mind creating a few lists (unless you already have them), go ahead and give Tweetbot a go. At $1.99 it isn’t too bad and it offers a nice interface, all the features that you have become used to in other Twitter clients, and a few more!

You can get Tweetbot from the App Store here: iTunes


FileMaker Go Adds Signatures, Graphs & Real Printing


FileMaker Pro is hands down the best database application on the desktop! While both FileMaker Go and Bento remain tops in their respective categories on iOS, the good folks over at FileMaker have not stopped or rested on their laurels. The lastet update to FileMaker Go (1.2) for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad has added three great features. The first one is probably the one that makes the most sense on a touch device. FileMaker Go can now capture signatures right on your device. This is going to be GREAT! You could now have people digitally sign those workorders, contracts, etc. right on the spot and have them saved either locally on the device or remotely via your FileMaker Pro Server running on the desktop. 

The next new feature allows for live graphing right on the device. As you update the data in your records your graphs and pie charts will update right before your eyes. Great for reporting on the go and checking in on the go to see how the business is running. I'm a visual guy, so this is awesome!

Lastly and probably one of the ones that will mean a lot to a lot of people. While AirPrint support is great, when it comes to FileMaker AirPrint alone may not be enough. With a FileMaker Pro database your reports are data driven and often times the printing will change based on the layouts and the calculations. A screen dump is not enough. FileMaker Go 1.2 does native printing via AirPrint as well as the ability to print to PDF natively. This update is free to existing FileMaker Go users.

You can get FileMaker Go for iPad here iTunes

You can get FileMkaer Go for iPhone/iPod touch here iTunes

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