iPhone

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

tweetbot

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.

Conclusion

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

filemakergo

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

Cydia

Jailbreak How To for iOS 4.3.2

The DevTeam just released an update to jailbreak the iOS 4.3.2. Unlike the previous version, this jailbreak is currently only available for the Redsn0w tool, but it is available for both Mac and PC so this is a plus. Just like the previous jailbreak you will need a custom IPSW which can be downloaded from here. Click the link, select your device and save the file to an easily accessed location.  Once you have done this, launch the Redsn0w App. You will get a dialog box that looks like this:

Click the browse button, locate the IPSW that you downloaded for your device. Once you have, click next. The next screen will tell you to make sure that you have your device turned off and plugged in.

Once you click next, you will be told to hold your home and power button in a specific sequence. Redsn0w will run the sequence on your device and jailbreak it. The last screen you will be shown has several options. The default selection is “install Cydia”. Leave this checked and click next. This will install the Cydia store App and complete the jailbreak process. You are now jailbroken, and ready to enjoy the wonderful Cydia store Apps on your iDevice.

eye-fi

Eye-Fi: Wireless Transfers from your Digital Camera

When I started experimenting with the Eye-Fi Card and transferring images to my iPad as I shot them with my DSLR, I was very excited with the possibilities this technology would introduce to my photography workflow. Recently I reviewed a paid app called Shuttersnitch. The app worked well and seemed to be geared at pros. However, at the time there was an extra piece of gear needed to make it work. You needed to have a WiFi hotspot in order for the Eye-Fi card to see your iPad (iPhone or iPod touch). It didn't care what the hotspot was, but it needed one. I was using my MiFi, but many people seemed to be disappointed that there wasn't a more direct way to do this short of jailbreaking your device (more on that from Jason tomorrow). It wasn't long after that review that Eye-Fi announced a NEW lower priced card (Mobile X2) and a firmware update that would enable Direct Mode. Also if you're not a pro then chances are Shuttersnitch might not be in your budget (although the price is not bad for what it does). Eye-Fi announced a Free App for both iOS and Android devices. 

 

The Eye-Fi App works in Direct Mode

The combination of the firmware update for the Eye-Fi X2 Card series and the FREE Eye-Fi App means that you can now shoot wirelessly from your digital camera to an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch without having to have both devices connected to a WiFi hotspot. This is AWESOME NEWS! Even if you're out in the middle of nowhere, you would still be able to shoot and transfer the images to your mobile device. 

The Eye-Fi App is bare bones – I was a little spoiled by the features in Shuttersnitch. As a matter of fact the Eye-Fi App almost seems anemic by comparison. However, what you get for FREE will be enough for most users. There a few steps in setting this all up. First you must get your X2 card updated with the latest firmware. Then you enable Direct Mode with the card connected to your computer. You'll see the X2 card's network name (SSID) as well as the built-in WPA password. You'll need those to log into the Eye-Fi's network from your mobile device. Once you get the connection setup you'll need to login to your Eye-Fi account in the App and pair the card. It's pretty straight forward, but more than a couple of steps. Once you have both the card and the App setup, you can put the card in your camera and start shooting. The images will transfer wirelessly and directly to your Mobile Device. You can choose to transfer photos or movies or both from the camera. See step-by-step setup instructions here.

It works with your other images too – If you've transfered images to your Mobile Device from the built-in camera or perhaps the camera connection kit or even email, the Eye-Fi will see al of the images on your Camera Roll. This is good for people that wish to transfer or backup their images to the Eye-Fi Servers.

User Tip: Turn on Full Screen Mode – I thought that I was going to be disappointed by having to manually advance the shots as I took them. However, there is a secret "Full Screen" mode in the Eye-Fi App Preferences. Once you turn this on, your images will come in and not only display full screen, but automatically advance to the next shot as you take them.

If you don't care about seeing the movies you shot on your mobile device, definitely turn those off in the Card settings. Otherwise things will be moving along nicely and then you see a long pause as it transfers over a large movie.

 

Sharing is limited

The bad news is that the App only allows you to share your images to your desktop/laptop computer or up to the Eye-Fi service (which i don't use). However, the good news is that the shots automatically go to your device's Camera Roll. Since they are in the native camera roll you can use them anyway you like and in any app you like on your device. It would be nice to have a built-in email, Facebook and Twitter option, but I can certainly switch over to my favorite Apps and upload from there.

 

How fast is it?

In my testing I used my Nikon D7000 (a 16.2 MP Camera) and I used the first card slot to shoot RAW to my regular 16GB SD card and I put the Eye-Fi Mobile X2 card in the second slot. I set the camera to shoot BASIC JPG to the second slot. This means that it's transferring a 16.2 MP Basic JPG image to the iPad.

See the speed for yourself here:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2mbnC1AGsI

 

The Bottom Line

Since I'm here to review the App more than the card (see my take on the X2 card here) then I would have to say that this is definitely one of those situations where you get what you pay for. The App is very basic in terms of features and is really designed just to get the images in, show them to you large and let you then transfer them up to the Eye-Fi server or to your computer. That's about it. There is no organizing, rating, tagging, EXIF data display, etc. If you want those kind of features then you should look at or stick with Shuttersnitch. Yes Shuttersnitch DOES work with the NEW Direct Mode too. See their setup instructions here.

Overall I'm pleased with this App. It could use a few more bells and whistles, but for the intended market it will be great and it's free.

You can get the FREE Eye-Fi iOS App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch here: Eye-Fi - Eye-Fi

 

You can get the NEW 8GB Eye-Fi Mobile X2 Card here for $79

You can get the 8GB Pro X2 Card (which handles RAW) NEW LOWER PRICE here for $99

You can get the Nikon D7000 here :-)

You can get the FREE Eye-Fi Android App here

Instagram

Take and Share Pictures with Instagram

There are literally thousands of photo Apps available in the App store. To be honest, I've probably tried most of them :) so it takes something different to catch my eye. I'd heard about Instagram before, but it wasn't until my buddy R.C. sung it's praises on The Grid that I tried it. Actually to be fair R.C. was saying that he was was seeing a ton of "Instagram" pics on Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr; almost enough to consider it over-saturated. To me that translates into popular, so I wanted to check it out. I have to tell you that out of all of the photo Apps that add filters and effects, Instagram is the easiest to use for me. The way the UI (user interface) is setup allows the process from image capture, all of the way through the filter process, and finally uploading to be a very short time.

 

What's it All About

Instagram describes itself as an amazingly fun and simple life-sharing App for your iPhone. The entire App is designed with this statement in mind. It all starts with an Instagram account (which is free). This allows you to follow your friends who are also using the App. To that end, you can also setup Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Tumblr, and Posterous to share your images as well.  Like any good photo social media community you can follow your friends, post and comment on images, and view popular images from around the world.  The sharing mechanism built into Instagram is what sets it apart.

 

A Great Photo App

Beyond the social aspect, Instagram is a great stand alone photo App as well. With over a dozen built in filters and a tilt shift option, there is something for everyone's taste. The camera is quick, and has easy control of the flash with on, off, and automatic settings. There is optional geotagging for every image as well as the ability to add a description when uploading. 

 

Conclusion

If you want a fun, easy to use camera App with some great filters, Instamatic is perfect for you. I'm seeing more and more people every day posting Instamatic images everywhere. I figure there's a reason it's popular, and why not try it out.

You can get Instamatic from the iTunes store for $Free here:iTunes

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