iPhone

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

TextExpander

TextExpander Eliminates Tedious On Screen Typing

As much as I love using my iPad and iPhone 4 the one thing that usually sends me back to my MacBook Pro is having to type long messages with the onscreen keyboard. Sure I have a bluetooth keyboard for those times when I travel with just the iPad and iPhone, but there are many times where the external keyboard isn't handy day to day and on the go. This means that I want to minimize the amount of onscreen typing that I have to do as much as possible. This is where TextExpander comes in. The concept of TextExpander is simple. You set up lists of your own abbreviations like "tw" = "Terry White". The expansions can be complete sentences like "omw" = "I'm on my way and will see you soon." or "iam" = "I'm in a meeting right now. I'll get back to you as soon as I can."  I've used similar utilities in the past for things like responding to SMS messages. What has me leaning towards totally switching to TextExpander is two things: The first is that it's integrated directly into several iOS Apps including my preferred Google Voice client GV Mobile+. This is great because unlike my other App, I don't have to first go to the TextExpander App before using my snippets. I can just fire up a supported app and key in my abbr. and it expands to the full text right in the app I'm using. The second reason is that lists you create on one device can be sent wirelessly to another device. I created a couple of short lists on my iPhone and sent them to TextExpander running on my iPad. If you're really into you can get the Mac version too.

Works great, but I want more

This productivity tool is awesome! However, there are a few more things I want. First off I want it integrated into MORE 3rd party Apps. The list is impressive, but I'd like to see several more apps included like Gowalla, Foursquare, TextNow,  etc. This is not the developer's fault as each 3rd party App has to integrate TextExpander support themselves, but I'd like to see this app become as popular as Dropbox among other 3rd party Apps.  If you need to insert text into a non-supported App you can just fire up TextExpander and copy the text from there. However, this requires at least two taps once you're inside TextExpander. I would like to see a one tap "copy to the clipboard" option. TextExpander does allow you to fire up a new Mail message or SMS message directly from within the App as it would be unlikely for Apple to add direct support. Otherwise, this is a great boost to my personal productivity and any time I can save a few keystrokes on the go is very welcomed. 

Bonus Tip: One of the uses for this is to setup multiple email signatures and you can just copy the one you want as needed or you can start the email from TextExpander with the appropriate signature already in the body.

You can get TextExpander for $4.99 here from the iTunes

RandomMaster

Random Master Picks The Winning Number

Every now and then at the end of my presentations we give away prizes. While we have a variety of ways of picking people at random, sometimes there's a need to pick a random number from say a range of ticket numbers. I've got a great App on my Mac called TicketDrum that shows the prizes and all, it's also nice to have the option on my iPhone or iPad. This is where Random Master comes in. This simple App allows you to enter a starting and ending number and then allows you to pick a random number within that range. It animates the picking of the number for a few seconds to add a little drama or suspense to the process. You can also pick a random letter or symbol. The randomness doesn't stop there. The app also allows you to create custom lists of names and randomize those as well. This universal App works on all iOS devices including iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. 

While Random Master performs as advertised, the one feature that I'd like to see is the ability to import a tab/comma delimited list of names instead of having to add them manually on the device. This would be great for quickly adding a registration list to your random draw. Otherwise, it's  great app for the price.

You can get Random Master for $0.99 here from the iTunes

Numberguru

Number Guru Tells You Who’s Behind the Number

 

A few weeks ago I reviewed Mr. Number a reverse number lookup App for the iPhone. The only real problem with that App was the number of free lookups you received. The first 20 were free, after that they were $.05. Since then I have found Number Guru. This is the App that I really wanted. Unlimited number of searches, great user interface, and a really great database of numbers to search from.

 

Interface is King!

I like smooth, easy to use, and easy to understand interfaces. Number Guru is a strait to the point App. launching it puts you right into the main tab ( and the main reason for using the App), the number lookup. Laid out just like the dial pad of the iPhone, you simply type the number you want to look up including the area code and hit GO. Number guru claims to have a 99% landline coverage, and 50% cell phone coverage. They make it a point to note that they don't have Verizon numbers in their database as Verizon doesn't give out customer numbers.

There are two other tabs available within the App. Support and History. History is just what it sounds like. Here you will find all of the numbers that you have previously looked up. Pretty strait forward. Support is more of a frequent asked questions section. It does offer the help email address if there is something that they haven't covered however the App so simple I can't imagine that there are many questions sent to that address.

 

I knew there was a catch…

So nothing is truly free. There are no Ads within the App, there is no limit to the free searches, and the App itself is free. Where's the catch? Every time the App is shut all of the way down, and started up again it asks you for to allow it to add your contacts and their numbers to the database. I'm not aware of any other use than just adding to the database, however I chose not to share my contacts numbers. My contacts are important to me and I don't share their numbers with anyone.

 

Conclusion

Need a reverse phone number App? Want it for Free? This is the App for you! Just be aware of what you're agreeing to share with the App.

UPDATE:

The day this review went live, Number Guru made an update to the App to remove the "add your contacts" feature. This was the feature that I most disliked.

You can get Number Guru for the iPhone from the iTunes store for free here: iTunes

square

Update: Square for the iPad gets Shelves and other improvements

Square gets Reworked

This week Square announced some improvements to it's iPad App that are a welcome addition. They have added "shelves" and different customizable "sizes" for each product. These additions might not sound like much, but they can make your life a lot easier, especially if you're selling multiple products or multiple levels of service for through Square.

 

Shelves

Shelves are something that I've been hoping for since day one with Square. Before, you were able to add items to your App that you sold over and over again. The problem was, you couldn't effectively group your items in any way. Shelves has fixed that. Now when you add items to Square that you use on a repetitive basis, you are given the option to add to a new or existing shelve. For me this means that I can add prints on one shelve, and photo sessions on a separate shelve. Or a bakery can add all of the breads on one shelve, and all the different muffins on a different shelve. The possibilities are endless.

 

Different Sizes

Before if you wanted to add the same item but in different sizes or price points, you would have to add two separate items. Now Square offers the ability to have three prices under each item. We'll use the bakery example again. If you have a sandwich that you offer in three different lengths, you can now place the small, medium, and large prices all under one item on your shelve.

Great for Us

The new shelves, different sizes, coupled with the ability to add images to each item makes square a real competitor, and viable option to replace traditional registers for many businesses. Try out the new options for Square, they're sure to make charging for items and services easier.

 

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

gogo

Gogo Inflight Internet App

I fly quite a bit! My last couple of years of air travel could make the Up the in Air (George Clooney) character envious. One of the ways I stay on top of things while flying is to use the Gogo inflight internet whenever it's available. Luckily I fly Delta 99.9% of time domestically and they have outfitted the majority of their fleet with Gogo. While I'm usually connecting via my MacBook Pro, there are times when I've taken trips with just my iPad. Their new Gogo Inflight App makes logging on so much easier. While you could certainly log on from your web browser, having their App means that your user name and password is saved and then you're just one tap away from connecting each time. With the Gogo App getting on is less taps. Just fire up the App and connect! That's it. Even though your browser can save your user name and password, logging on from your browser requires additional steps to connect such as entering the 6 random characters to verify that you're a human. This is a universal App and therefore it's native to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. If you are a frequent Gogo user this free app will get you connected the fastest. While the App is FREE, the Inflight internet is not. 

You can get the Gogo Inflight Internet App here from the iTunes

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