Last year I did review on iCam and I've been very happy with that App. I'm still happy with it. However, earlier this week a colleague turned me on to IP Camera Viewer. While both Apps allow you to view and control your remote IP Cameras on your iOS devices, IP Camera Viewer has one distinction and that is it works directly with the cameras themselves. My Panasonic cameras all have their own webservers built-in. This is how the cameras can be viewed in a web browser. With iCam you setup their server app on your computer and your iOS Devices communicate with that server. The obvious disadvantage in this is that you need to have a computer on and have access to it (opening the right ports on your firewall) over the internet. I still like iCAM because it can do things like record and transmit a serious of stills if it detects motion. It can also send push notifications. However, for those looking for a more simple solution that doesn't require a server, IP Camera Viewer rocks! IP Camera Viewer can not only view the cameras, but it supports panning them as well if the cameras themselves offer that feature.
Setup multiple cameras and camera groups
I have a set of cameras at home and another set offsite in my photography studio. I like the way IP Camera Viewer can have groups that you can switch between. This way if I want to watch the cameras at home I can switch to the "Home" group. Setup was extremely simple in that all I had to do was put in the url/IP address of each camera, port number and user name and password. IP Camera Viewer supports hundreds of different camera models natively. Once the cameras are setup you can view them and control them from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch from anywhere that you have an internet connection. I was pleased with the performance once I got the cameras setup. The initial model selection could use some improvements as it takes a while to scroll through the list of brands to get to "Panasonic." A search would work great in that dialog.
You can get IP Camera Viewer for $2.99 here from the
I started using my iPhone to create model releases a few years ago Photographer's Contract Maker. The idea was great to have them digitally sign and generate a PDF emailed both the model and me all directly from my iPhone. While I still do that same thing today on my iPad, I realized that there are so many other uses for paperless contracts and documents that go beyond just model/property releases. While I do use Easy Release for my Model Releases, I use Contract Maker ELITE for everything else. With this App you can create just about any custom form, contract, agreement, etc. that you will ever need. The number of available customizable fields is staggering. You can choose from over 500 of them to build your multiple page contract.
My favorite use is print releases
I have a standard print release form that a client can use to show a service provider that they have the rights to have the image(s) printed. I was doing these by hand in Adobe InDesign, generating PDFs and emailing them to the client or print provider. Then I realized that I could be doing these on my iPad. Within minutes I had it setup by copying my existing Print Release's text into the App and then I added the custom fields that I needed. Now whenever I need to generate on one of these I can do so right on the spot and PDF it to whoever needs it. Although I haven't started renting my out just yet, I'm sure when the time comes I will create a rental agreement that the renter has to sign. You guessed it. I'll be doing that agreement as well in Contract Maker ELITE.
The Bottom Line
For anyone (not just photographers) that need to generate agreements/contracts or other forms and you want the ability to customize it extensively, Contract Maker ELITE is the "Best App" The new Font formatting Placeholders address my longest standing complaint of the contracts looking to "plain". It was also great that the developer worked in my feature requests of letting us create 2 column contracts as well as Contracts that can be forced to fit on one page (if you like). He even added GPS place holders so that you can have the geo location automatically added to the Contract for where it was signed. There is a lot to love about this App.
You can get Contract Maker ELITE for $19.99 here from the
I started using CrashPlan as my cloud backup service in January of this year. I'm a bit of a backup freak. I have multiple backups including Time Machine, clones and lastly cloud backup for disaster protection. I always felt that a backup located in the same place as the computer offers no protection in the event of a disaster such as flood, fire, theft, etc. I went with the unlimited Family Plan and have multiple computers backed up to the service. While CrashPlan has always offered the ability to access your backed up files via their website, now they've introduced Universal iOS Apps that allow you to access your backed up data from anywhere you are from your iDevice.
Complete Access To ANY of your Files from your iDevice
Since all of my computers are being backed up to CrashPlan, this App means that I have access to ALL of my files now from my iPhone or iPad. If there is a document that I left on my computer (and it's been backed up to CrashPlan), I can access that document, view it on my iPad (if it's in a compatible format) or simply email it to someone all from within the App. CrashPlan takes advantage of the "Open In' command to say open a RAW file in an App like Photogene or open an Excel file in Numbers. Image files like JPGs can be viewed right in the App. Once a file is downloaded into the App it remains local and available offline until you remove it.
It works great! My only complaint is that there is no preview to the image files BEFORE you download them. In my case, say I have a folder of 100 JPGs and I want a particular one, they will be listed by name, but I'll have no way of know which one is which unless I know the names. This means tapping on and downloading each one until I find the one I want. Otherwise, this App more than meets my expectations and it was a pleasant surprise to see it released.
You can get CrashPlan for FREE here from the
While it's pretty easy to look at a nutrition label on a food package, you not only have to know what you're looking at but you also have no way of knowing which one is better for you unless you manually compare the two. Fooducate Plus aims to make this process as easy as scanning a UPC label. Instead of having to decipher those crazy ingredients Fooducate Plus gives you a simple letter grade. The lower the grade the worse the product is for you. This is cool, but what makes this feature really sing is the ability to scan two products and have it compare them for you. This way you'll know at a glance which one to keep and which one to put back on the shelf. Even if you don't have a second choice in hand, Fooducate Plus can recommend alternatives right in the App. No further scanning necessary. There's even a social aspect to it that allows you to "Like" or "Don't Like" a particular item. The likes for a particular product are displayed as well.
I can't really find anything wrong with this product functionally. I love the fact that you get a nice box shot of the product, but I would like to see the text in a slightly larger point size. Other than that, I give this App two thumbs up.
You can get Fooducate Plus (ad free) for $3.99 here from the
You can get Foodcate for Free here from the
Special thanks goes out to my buddy Dave Marra for this App suggestion!