iPod Touch

If you’re an iPod Touch owner you are in the right place. These are all apps we have written about that can be used on the iPod Touch.

Normal: Battery Analytics

Find out which Apps are Killing your iPhone Battery with Normal

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Sometimes your iPhone battery will drain at what you would consider a normal rate, throughout the day and other times it seems to be draining much faster than usual. After you’ve done the normal things such as lowering the screen brightness, if the excessive drain continues, then more than likely there is an App to blame that’s running in the background and sucking up all your juice. But which one? iOS 8 is supposed to let us know, but iOS 8 isn’t out yet. In the meantime, there’s an App called Normal: Battery Analytics. This app aggregates anonymous (with user permission of course) data from hundreds of thousands of users so that it can accurately pinpoint data hogs running on your device. Once the battery hogging app(s) have been identified it gives you recommended actions to take. In most cases you can simply quit (not just close) the app to resolve the problem. You can also turn off background App refresh in the offending apps.

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I’ve been running this app for about a week now and it has made a difference. If you need to see which Apps are killing your iPhone battery, Normal will help.

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Raincast - Percent Chance of Rain and Snow On Your Home Screen

Raincast App: Will it rain or snow today?

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Will it rain today? How many times have we asked that question? I’m actually surprised that as sophisticated as iOS 7 is that it doesn’t display more things on the home screen like current temperature right on the Weather app icon. Seems like a no brainer. While this app doesn’t display temperatures, it does display the current chance of rain as a percentage using the alert badge feature that we see on many apps such as Mail. The app requires zero configuration. Just launch it and grant it permission to know your current location. That’s it. Once you’re in the app you can see a forecast for the current week. Once you return the home screen there will be a badge with a number from 0-100 representing the percentage chance of rain for your current location today. It also works for snow so that you can use the app year round. You can also add alerts so that you can know what the chances of rain will be at a certain time of day. It’s simple and does what it does.

It would be nice to be able to specify a location that your traveling too, but it appears that rather than turn this into a full blown weather app (which there is no shortage of on the App Store) that they decided to keep the focus narrow for Raincast. It would also be nice to see it as a Universal app for iPad too.

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Amazon Local Register: Amazon's Mobile Point of Sale - Accept Card Payments

Amazon Local Register Aims To Take on Square and PayPal

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I’ve been a very happy user of Square pretty much sense day one. Square broke down the barriers for individuals and small companies to be able to accept credit/debit card payments right on their smartphones and tablets without the typical monthly fees charged by banks. If you never accept a credit card payment, then you never pay a dime. You’re not locked into any kind of monthly fee or commitment. This has been PERFECT for me. I do accept credit card payments for the occasional photoshoot or when a friend owes me money (you know who you are!). The only time I pay is when I actually accept a credit card payment. Square takes a cut (2.75%) off the top of the transaction and deposits the remainder in my checking account the next business day. PayPal jumped on this bandwagon a little too late for me. I always liked PayPal and still do, but by they time they came out with their solution for accepting credit cards (2.5% per transaction) I was already very comfortable with Square. Also with PayPal Here, even though the money (minus the transaction fee) is credited to your PayPal account almost immediately, PayPal can take up to 3 days before the money is in your bank account after you initiate the transfer “manually!”

Amazon enters the market and significantly undercuts the competition!

When you already have two big players in the field, what can you do to make a dent? Significantly lower the price. That’s exactly what Amazon did. They are offering their service at a mere 1.75% per transaction for anyone that opens an account by October 31, 2015. That rate be in effect until 12/31/2015. On January 1, 2016 you would start paying 2.5%, which is still less than Square’s current rate.

How’s the App?

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Since this is an App site, the focus will be on the Amazon Local Register App itself. I downloaded the App two days before my card reader (cost $10 with a $10 credit towards your transaction fees) arrived. It’s a free app of course and it’s a universal App for iPhone, iPad an iPod touch. I installed it on my iPhone 5s and iPad Air with no issue. Unfortunately you do need to create a NEW Amazon account. Amazon will not let you log in with your existing account for some odd reason. It was easy enough to do right in the App. The only problem I ran into was that after my account was created I wanted to go ahead and add the bank account info so that when I accept cards the money can be transferred. I started the process and needed to switch apps to 1Password to get my bank account numbers and when I switched back I had to start the process all over again. I wasn’t gone that long and it seems that you can’t leave the process once you start it. So I advice you to have your routing, account number and login info handy before you start.

The app lets you enter in transactions with or without item names. You can also create a library of items that you sell on a regular basis. This is very handy as I have a few different photography packages. There were no real surprises here as it had the basic functions that you would expect from this kind of app. You can also enter your cash transactions as well. The app allows you to enter multiple items at different prices and then charge them all with one total when ready. I love the quick “discount” feature as well. If you want to give a customer a percentage discount, just tap the discount button and key in the percentage and the app will do the math. Once you tap the charge button you can then swipe the card and have your customer digitally sign. You can also accept payments by keying in a card number manually, but you’ll pay 2.75% (still cheaper than Square and PayPal here) for those transactions as they are a bigger risk for fraud.

Room for improvement

One of the things that bugs me about this app is the frequent need to sign in while you’re in the app. I understand the need to confirm your identity when you’re asking for a report such as the My Money report. However, once I sign in and then tap to see other “Reports” I’m asked to sign in again. I just signed in two seconds ago. Why do I need to sign in again?

I ran a test transaction and was given the opportunity to email a receipt. Email receipts are the only option at this point. Square offers receipts via SMS and Email.

 

Overall the Amazon Local Register app has the features that most people will need, although the Square app has a few more bells and whistles and looks more like a modern “register”. I’m sure the Amazon app will improve over time, but for right now if you’re just looking to save money on fees, the Amazon Local Register app can’t be beat. We’ll see how Square and PayPal Here respond.

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PDF Expert 5 - Fill forms, annotate PDFs, sign documents

20 iOS Productivity Apps on Sale for A Limited Time

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Apple doing something unexpected or without formal explanation is not a new thing. Here’s yet another example, Apple just put 20 productivity apps on sale for a limited time and without saying how long these apps will be on sale. So grab them while you can:

Clear-Tasks, Reminders & Todos $1.99 (regularly $4.99)
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Notability $1.99 (regularly $4.99)
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Mindnode $4.99 (regularly $9.99)
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Scanner Pro by Readdle $2.99 (regularly $6.99)
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Fantastical 2 for iPhone Calendar $4.99 (regularly $9.99)
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Launch Center Pro $1.99 (regularly $4.99)
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Boxer for Gmail, Outlook and Exchange $4.99 (regularly $9.99)
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Prizmo Scanning OCR Speech $2.99 (regularly $9.99)
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Tydlig Calculator Reimagined $0.99 (regularly $2.99)
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iTranslate Voice Translator $1.99 (regularly $4.99)
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Writer Pro: Note, Write, Edit, Read $4.99 (regularly $19.99)
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Grafio – Diagrams & Ideas $3.99 (regularly $8.99)
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PDF Expert 5 – Fill forms, annotate $4.99 (regularly $9.99)
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PCalc – The Best Calculator $4.99 (regularly $9.99)
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Gneo $3.99 (regularly $9.99)
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Due – Super fast reminders reusable $1.99 (regularly $4.99)
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Todo – To-Do & Task List $1.99 (regularly $4.99)
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TextGrabber + Translator recognize, translate and save your text $6.99 (regularly $14.99)
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MobileFamilyTree 7 $6.99 (regularly $14.99)
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Scanbot – PDF & QR Code Scanner $0.99 (regularly $1.99)
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True HDR

11 Must Have Apps for Photographers in 2014

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As a photographer I’m using Apps on my iPhone and iPad with every shoot to help me through my workflow. In the case of the iPhone sometimes i’m using apps to actually do shoots with. In the case of the larger screen on the iPad I’m sometimes editing images, producing model releases and doing image review with the client. There are hundreds of apps on the App Store for Photo & Video work, but here are the ones that are my 11 must have apps for photographers for 2014:

Sylights

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One of the things that makes for a good shoot either before or after the shoot is documenting the lighting setup. Sylights is my go to App for quickly and easily documenting lighting setups so that I can recall them quickly as needed or share them with others.

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Sun Seeker

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When it comes to shooting landscapes or pretty much any on location work one of the most important factors is the light. It can very easily work for you at the right time of day or work against you. Sun Seeker is one of the slickest for showing you exactly where the sun will be and when based on your location or where and when you will be at a particular spot.
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500px

500px

500px.com is one of my favorite websites for sharing my photography. However, it’s also one of my favorite websites and my go to place for inspiration. You can find images that are simply breathtaking on 500px and the app does a great job of showing you the best images quickly.
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True HDR

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The best camera is the one that you have with you. That being said I have my iPhone with me way more than my Nikon DSLRs. Therefore I rely on great camera apps to help me better capture the scenes around me. One of my favorites is True HDR. It blows away the iPhone’s built-in HDR function and really helps be capture more dynamic range.
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Shuttersnitch

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If you have the ability to wirelessly bring images from your camera to your iOS devices it makes it that much easier to share those images. I often shoot with an Eye-Fi card or the Nikon wireless adapters for my various camera. The BEST App to do these transfers is Shuttersnitch. It has it all when it comes to features and broad range of wireless solutions that it supports.
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Adobe Lightroom Mobile

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My new favorite app as a photographer is Lightroom Mobile. Because it has two way communication I can sync images (Smart Previews) from the RAW files sitting in my computer and review them on my iPad or iPhone. Any selections I make are sync’d back to the desktop. If I make any adjustments they are made non-destructively and sync back to the desktop and best of all if shoot any new pictures on my iPhone they will be waiting for me in Lightroom on the desktop when I return. Best of all I now use it as my portfolio app since each of my portfolio galleries is already a collection in Lightroom on the desktop. Any changes I make to my portfolio on Lightroom desktop is automatically reflected on my iPad and iPhone.
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Easy Release

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After each shoot I get the model to sign a model release and I did away with paper releases years ago. Easy Release is still my favorite app for Model releases and even syncs with iCloud so that my signed releases are on both my iPad and iPhone for reference as need. I can include a photo from the shoot right on the release and send PDFs of the signed releases to the model and anyone else that needs them.
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P.S. Also check out Top Model Release which was actually designed by a photographer. If I wasn’t already using Easy Release I’d probably be looking at this one pretty hard: .

 

Contract Maker Elite

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When I need more than a model release or something custom my go to app is Contract Maker Elite. This app let’s me create any form or contract and accept digital signatures with it. I use it fire off “Print Releases” as needed among other contracts. It’s great for photographers, but it’s also great for business needs in general.
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iWatermark

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Now that I’m sharing more and more images from my iPhone and iPad via social media, I like the ability add my logo to those images before I post them. If I do them in Lightroom on my desktop, no problem I can just export an image with a watermark. However, if I’m doing the images directly on my iPhone or iPad from one of my galleries then I need the ability to do it on the fly. That’s where iWatermark comes in. I can either water with text or images including my logo. You can save back to the Camera Roll or share directly from the app to social media including Instagram.
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Squaready Pro

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The social media site that I post to the most is without a doubt Instagram and Instagram wants a square aspect ratio. If you’re taking the shot with the Instagram app, no problem. It will capture a square image ready for posting. however, if your using images from your other camera, apps or sources and cropping them to square just won’t cut it then you have to check out Squaredy Pro. The Pro version rocks with many more effects and framing options to give your images that professional touch that most others won’t have. Once it squares up your photo to your liking you can post to Instagram right from the app.
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PicPlayPost

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The ultimate app for sharing multiple pics AND videos in the same frame/video on Instagram is definitely PicPlayPost. This app has it all including customizable layouts, the ability to mix stills and video as well as songs from your music library to make the perfect clip or image for sharing on social media, Instagram, Facebook, Vine, etc. I use this app a lot for my behind the scenes shots/videos.
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Yes it can be awkward signing with your finger so get a stylus!

If you’re going to be a doing a lot of these, you might want to make an investment in a touch screen stylus to make it easier for your clients to sign. I got one of these and I LOVE IT! Makes it so much easier to sign! If you want an even better one, go with this one from Wacom or this one which is also a pen.

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