Paid

PDF Printer

Create PDFs on your iPhone or iPad with PDF Printer

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There are tons of good PDF Apps for iOS out there. My favorite one to manage and create PDFs with is PDF Expert. However, there is one small thing that most of them lack and that is the ability to create a PDF from text or an email. All of the apps that let you create PDFs are based on converting an existing document into a PDF or a web page. One day I needed to convert receipt to a PDF so that I could submit it with an expense report. The problem was the receipt was in the body of an email (shame on you Marriott). It wasn’t an attachment. It was just HTML text (it also hadn’t made it into my account history on Marriott.com either). Had I been on my desktop/laptop Mac it would have been no problem. I could simply hit “Print” and choose PDF as my output. However, in iOS when you go to print an email or anything else your only option is to AirPrint directly to a printer. This led me to search for a better PDF converter for iOS. My search led me to PDF Printer. Based on the name alone I knew I had a shot of this app doing what I needed. I thought for a minute it would show up as a printer in iOS. However, I guess the hooks in iOS don’t allow 3rd party apps to do that. Instead they do the next best thing. They let you convert to PDF from anything that is on the clipboard. All I had to do was select all of the email, copy it, open PDF Printer, tap the “Clipboard” button and there it was. My beautifully formatted HTML email was now a PDF. From there I could use the “Open In” command and send the PDF to any other App I wanted including my expense report App (Concur).

Since PDF Printer is a full blown PDF conversion app it can convert to PDF from: Documents, Web URLs, photos, a built-in scanner function, the Clipboard, Contacts and Messages. It’s a Universal App that works natively on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. There is also built-in support for Dropbox so that you can access whatever you have stored there  as well as send converted PDFs to Dropbox. This app does exactly what I wanted it to do and saved the day (or at least made it so I could submit my expense report on time while on the go).

You can get PDF Printer here from the iTunes.

Over

Easily Add Text To Your Photos with Over

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Believe it or not, one of the most frequently used tools in Adobe Photoshop is the Text tool. People use it all the time to add text to their images and designs. I guess you can say that there times when a picture is worth a thousand words, but you still need to a few more words to drive your point home. However, when it comes to most photo editing apps on iOS they seem to miss this important feature. Sure there are more image editing apps than I can count that will let you adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation and crop your photos, but when it comes to adding text the number of apps goes way down. Luckily there’s an elegant solution that is geared to do one thing and do it very well.

You can easily add text and artwork to your photos with “Over”. This App is very easy to use. Bring up the photo you want to add text to and tap the “Add Text” button. Sample text is placed right in the middle of your photo and from there you double tap to edit it to say what you want and then position it where ever you want on your image. You can change the color, opacity, justification and size very easily too. You also have a choice of fonts to choose from or you do an in-app purchase to buy even more.

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Once you get the text just right on your image you have a variety of sharing options such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Messages, email and more. This app handles my text needs perfectly on iPhone and iPad as it’s a Universal App.

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

PDF Expert 5 Now Native on iPhone Too

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My favorite all purpose PDF tool on iPad just went Universal and is now on iPhone/iPod touch too. There is no better app for editing and managing PDFs on iPad than PDF Expert 5. It does it all. Annotations, digital signatures. highlights, password protect PDFand even fill-in PDF forms. It syncs with a variety of cloud services such as Dropbox, iCloud and Google Drive. Now all of this wonderful power and updated UI is available on iPhone as well. There was a PDF Expert iPhone version before, but it lagged behind the iPad version. I’m glad that they gave up this two app effort and replaced it with a Universal App that is now the same on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

I primarily use PDF Expert to access my device manuals such as my camera gear manuals that I store on Dropbox. Anytime someone sends me a PDF via email and I need to comment on it I can simply choose Open In: PDF Expert 5 right from Mail and begin the markup process. However, my favorite feature is the ability to sign a document right in PDF expert. Recently someone sent me a contract as an email attachment. However, I wasn’t near my computer. Sure I could have waited til I got home, but being able to sign the form and email it back right on my iPhone meant closing the deal that much sooner. I could use my finger, but I prefer to use my favorite stylus. Once I signed the newly converted PDF I was able to drag it into the iCloud area so that it would be accessible on all my devices. I then emailed the newly signed PDF right out of PDF Expert to the person that sent it to me.

PDF Expert 5 has just everything I need to deal with PDFs on a regular basis, however, there are a few other PDF apps on my devices because there are a couple of features that PDF Expert 5 doesn’t do yet. For one, that contract I received above was sent to me as a MS Word document, not a PDF. So I needed to convert it to PDF first before signing. While PDF Expert 5 can import MS Word documents, you can’t really do much with them in PDF Expert 5 besides reading them, adding bookmarks and emailing them back out. It would be great if it could convert to PDF as well. It would save me the one extra step of sending the MS Word document to another App first. Next up I received a FAX and I was able to get into to PDF Expert 5 as a PDF, but it was upside down (that’s the way I received it). It would be nice to be able to rotate pages in PDF Expert 5. (Actually you can rotate a page. It’s buried a few layers deep in the UI, under the Action button, but it’s there.) Readdle is really good about updating their apps and I have no doubt that PDF Expert will continue to become more and more powerful. If they add the features I want above in addition to everything else they already have, I’d be 100% happy and willing to give it that highly coveted 5th star!

You can get PDF Expert 5 here iTunes.

FlightTrack 5

FlightTrack 5 Offers A Slick Interface for All Your Flight Tracking Needs

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I’ve been a fan of Mobiata’s FlightTrack Pro for a few years now. It’s my goto flight tracker and since I travel for a living I’m using it almost weekly. When I saw that they released a brand new flight tracker FlightTrack 5, I was more than just a little curious. I wondered was this an upgrade of my Pro version or at least a peek at things to come. FlightTrack 5 is a completely new app, built from the ground up with a slicker more animated user interface. The layout is very clean and it’s optimized as a Universal app for your iPhone or iPad. This App gives you just about everything you could possibly want to know not only about your flight, but also where you’re headed. Sure you get the take off and landing times, but you also get details about the plane itself such as the model and seat maps. Flight delayed? Get alternate flights and you’re one tap away from calling the airline without having to look the number up. It can also automatically sync your flights to your calendar as well as share the flight details with anyone you choose via Messages, Mail Twitter or Facebook. flighttrack5-weather

On the iPad the experience gets even more detailed with Airport Details such as a beautiful weather forecast, and terminal maps. Unless I’m missing them I couldn’t find these extras on the iPhone. The seatmap is powered by SeatGuru and will not only show you a layout of the plane you’re going to be on, but also amenities such as WiFi, power, video entertainment, etc. You can input multiple flights and one of my favorite features is the ability enable auto deletion of flights 24 hours after they’ve arrived.

The Bottom Line

It’s hard not to love this flight tracker. However, there are definitely a few things on my wish list. First and probably the biggest reason I’ll stick with FlightTrack Pro for now is that this version doesn’t have integration with TripIt.com. All my travel plans are automatically sent to TripIt.com from my online booking tool. FlightTrack Pro automatically picks them up and populates all my flights in the app without me having to do any manual entry. I can only guess that there must be some contract negotiation going on here as to why they would omit this key feature from their new app. The other thing I’d like to see since it doesn’t support syncing with TripIt right now is at least the ability to sync manually entered flights with iCloud so that they show up on my iPad AND iPhone no matter which device I input the flights into. Lastly it would nice to send flight info to other FlightTrack 5 users so that they don’t have to manually enter my flight info as well. FlightTrack 5 offers the ability to add other contacts to your flights, why not let me send them the flights so that they can have them in their app as well? Other than those few things, this is a very solid app and I’d easily recommend it to any flyer that isn’t using TripIt.

You can get FlightTrack 5 here iTunes.

Easy Release - Model Release App

5 Apps That I Use On Every Photo Shoot

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My iPhone and iPad have become an integral part of my photography workflow and while I have dozens of photography related apps on my devices there are 5 that I find myself using pretty much during every photo shoot. Some I use on my iPhone because it’s on me during the shoot and some I use on my iPad because of the bigger display. However, most of these are Universal Apps that work on both.

Photosync

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Since I’m usually shooting tethered to my MacBook Pro and into Lightroom the shots are going directly from my camera into my computer. Usually after the 1st look or scene I want to get one of the best images that I’ve taken so far over to my iPad so that I can have it ready for the model release process. Photosync is the easiest way to do this. I have an export preset setup in Lightroom that makes a JPG from the selected image(s) and then drops it on the Photosync companion app running on my MacBook Pro. From there Photosync wirelessly transfers the image(s) to my iPad (or iPhone) and drops it on the Camera Roll.

iTunes.

Easy Release

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I get a model release for every shoot that I do. I moved away from actual paper releases a few years ago. I now do the exclusively on my iPad (and on my iPhone in a pinch). The App I use for model (and property) releases is Easy Release. You can of course input (copy/paste) your own custom release text in the app. I love that each release can include a photo (that’s why I use Photosync above). Once I add the model either manually or from my contacts, I then grab a photo from the Camera Roll and insert it in the release. Lastly the model signs right on the iPad/iPhone and lastly I email a copy to both of us right from the App.

iTunes.

Shuttersnitch

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If I’m in studio I’m usually shooting tethered right into Adobe Lightroom. However, if i’m shooting on location then I usually have an Eye-Fi card in my 2nd SD slot. In this case I shoot RAW+JPG where the RAW files go to the main card in slot 1 and the basic JPGs go to the Eye-Fi card in slot 2. Using the Shuttersnitch App the images wirelessly transfer to my iPad or iPhone for a quick review or to share out on social media. Although you can download the Eye-Fi App for free, Shuttersnitch offers a ton more features including several upload/sharing options, FTP support for my Nikon D4/WT5-A and rating options.

iTunes.

PicPlayPost

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At some point during the shoot I’m going to capture some “behind the scenes” shots and videos either with my iPhone or DLSR or both. My favorite app for creating a collage of both the stills and the video is PicPlayPost. This App does a great job in letting you choose a template and importing stills or videos into each frame. From there you can pick any song from your device. It even lets you fade down or mute the original audio from each clip. After that you’re one tap away from sharing on your favorite social site.

iTunes.

Instagram

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When it comes to sharing status updates, Facebook and Twitter come to mind. However, when it comes to sharing photos my first choice is Instagram. Besides sharing my pics to my Instagram followers I can also optionally share them simultaneously with my Facebook friends, Twitter followers, Flickr followers, email and even do a Foursquare check in.

iTunes.

 

Wacom Bamboo

Also here’s my favorite stylus/pen to have models/clients sign their releases and contracts

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My favorite stylus/pen is this one.


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