My friends over at Kelby Media Group have released their long awaited KelbyTraining.com App for iOS. KelbyTraining.com is an online training site for all things Photoshop and Digital Photography. The site has some of the best trainers in the world on the topics of all things Adobe. It's a paid site with the "all you can eat" or learn approach. You either pay by the month or annually. Once you're signed up you can watch as many classes by as many instructors as you want 24/7. New classes are added regularly.
What's in an App?
Although KelbyTraining.com is web based, the videos were all be delivered in Adobe Flash. This of course meant that it was difficult if not impossible to watch the classes on iOS devices. This lead to the development of the KelbyTraining.com App for iOS. This FREE App (yes you still need a subscription to KelbyTraining.com) allows you to log in with your online ID and enjoy all the same classes right on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. The video quality supports full 720p HD as long as your internet connection will handle it and will dynamically adjust video quality for slower connections so that you don't miss a beat.
Once you're logged in it's really easy to find the classes you want to watch. You can either search by instructor, subject or just view the new courses. Pick the class you want to watch and just start watching it.
The App is a Great Start, and I definitely look forward to using it on the iPad while on the elliptical machine. The one place I'd use it even more is on the plane for my long haul flights. This is where my feature request comes in. Like many of these Apps that allow live streaming, the KelbyTraining.com App doesn't currently allow for offline viewing. It would be great to be able to download a few classes before going offline and still being able to watch them on the go. This would also help even during those times where WiFi isn't available and 3G is too slow. Otherwise, the App has all that I require and I look forward to using it more.
You can learn more about KelbyTraining.com here.
You can get the KelbyTraining.com App for Free here from the
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
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
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
While on my most recent international trip there was one App that I realized I didn't have for my iPad. I didn't have an iPad native currency converter. While I happily use Convertbot for all my unit conversion needs on the iPhone, they have yet to make an iPad native version. So I went in search of one for iPad. As you might expect there are several to choose from. Since there was one that caught my eye and it was free I decided to download it right there on the spot in the airport. The problem I have is that when I go to a country for the first time I may not even know what their currency symbol is. This usually means that I have to Google it first before I can even use Convertbot. Then I usually set the conversion to $100 US so that I'll know approximately how much walking around money I may need to withdraw from an ATM for taxis and such. XE Currency so far has fit my needs very nicely. Not only can it display 10 different currencies at once, you can search for the currencies that you wish to display by the name of the country. That ends my need to Google them. As you might expect the App automatically gets the current exchange rates automatically over the internet and you can refresh it as often as you like. You can also use the built-in calculator to figure something out before doing the conversions. You can tap on any of your displayed currencies and enter an amount in that currency and all the other currencies will reflect the conversion.
It's slick and it works! My only minor complaint about the app is one of aesthetics. One thing that bugs me is that while I don't mind the limit of 10 currencies displayed at a time, I do find it a little distracting that those 10 don't fill up the display. There is space left over that you could easily fill with 2 more currencies. This begs the question of either why is there a limit of 10 or why not design the UI so that those 10 take up the whole display? Like I said, it's a very minor complaint. Otherwise I LOVE using this App and best of all it's FREE! I didn't need to look any further. It does all that I needed.
You can get XE Currency for iPad for FREE here from the
You can also get XE Currency for iPhone/iPod touch for FREE here from the