Read Wikipedia In Style With Articles

Articles App

For a long time, I have had my eyes set on getting Articles, a gorgeous app that allows you to browse Wikipedia in a little more user friendly fashion on the iPhone (and iPad). For various reasons I've never gone ahead and done it but when they had a sale a while ago I couldn't resist.

Articles let's you as I said, browse articles on Wikipedia in a better user interface. Instead of the incredibly annoying mobile version of Wikipedia you get an app which is cleverly designed just as Safari is itself. This means that you can have multiple tabs of Wikipedia searches open at the same time something which is quite useful.

Searching is very easy and the results come back in a nice display. One major gripe I have though is that the useful table of contents isn't available in Articles. Personally I use this all the time to find out where to go in an article or if the article is worth reading. If this isn't there, much of the usefulness has been lost.

On a positive note it will easily share articles via mail as well as bookmark them to its own built-in bookmarking system. Changing between different languages could also be made simpler by only showing the languages an article is available in.

While the app is gorgeous there are a few major flaws to it that stop it from becoming a true wikipedia website replacement, which is sad because it looks so nice. However, if you want an app that displays wikipedia results slightly better than the website, go for it!



Identify (almost) Any Font with your iPhone


I've been on this single purpose App kick lately. It hasn't been intentional, I have just gone looking for Apps with a single purpose in mind and have found Apps that have been designed with JUST that purpose in mind. The thing is, they do it well! This is what you should expect from an App that only claims to do one thing though. It should do that one thing really, really well. Such is the case with WhatTheFont. I saw a really cool advertisement the other day and I liked the font so much that I wanted to save it in my list of fonts for future projects. The problem was, I had no idea what font it was. Too the App store! I started searching for font recognition Apps in the App store and immediately came across WhatTheFont. It had great reviews, nice looking screen captures, and was FREE. Not just a few free uses then you have to buy more in App "credits" (which is common by the way) but totally free. So read on and check out how it works.


Performing Magic…. Kind of

Ok so it's not really magic but if you've ever scoured font lists looking for that font that you saw it will sure feel like magic. To start you either take a photo from your library or take a photograph with the App of whatever word it is that you want to know the font of.  You don't have to fill the frame with the word but the bigger the better. The App then asks you to place a crop around the word that you would like to identify (in my example above you can see that there are plenty of different fonts going on in this picture so dragging a box around the word is important). Once you do this it separates the letters of that particular word into individual squares and gives you the opportunity to correct any letters that it may have guessed wrong.

As you can see it guessed that B was D. A simple correction in the box to the right and you're all set. From this point WhatTheFont uploads your letters to its database to search for a match. Usually what it comes back with is a few different options that are similar. It shows you the word in each font for you to choose.

So now you have your font list. From this point you can select one that looks right and see the entire font family,  forward it via email or select start over.

Do One Thing Well

This App does one thing, and one thing only but it does it really, really well. I haven't found a Font yet that it hasn't identified, but I'm not going to say that there isn't anything that can't fool it. Nothing is perfect. For the great price of FREE you can't go wrong with this App. If you've ever looked at an advertisement, or word and thought "what's that font" this is the perfect App for you.


You can get WhatTheFont from the iTunes store for FREE here: iTunes


Photoshop World: The Ultimate Conference App

We're just one week away from Photoshop World Vegas and of course it's time to start locking down your schedule and choosing the classes you want to take. I remember using the Photoshop World App last year and saying "this is great, but It's missing one thing." That one thing was the ability to add things to your schedule that may not be on the official conference program list. For example, at 2PM I'm going to head over to the Adobe Booth and check out that Terry White guy :). So while it was great being able to fill in all the classes I wanted to take, I still had to rely on my regular calendar for other meetings and activities. Well that all changes with the latest version. Shawn Welch did a FANTASTIC JOB listening to my feedback and feedback of others and updating this App to be the best conference App I've seen to date. First off it's a Universal App now, which means it's native to all iOS devices including the iPad. Secondly he added the one big thing I needed, which is the ability to put in your own custom events/meetings. That alone makes this a 5 star app for me, but Shawn didn't stop there. He added in some very cool social networking features like the ability to tweet and update your Facebook status right inside the App. He even added the ability to share your schedule with others via email or Bumping two iOS devices together running the app! Shawn thought of just about everything this time around. There's even the ability now to schedule backup classes. So if you just can't decide right now which of two classes you want to take, you can go ahead and put your first choice in a time slot and then add your second choice in so you won't have to scramble at the last minute if you change your mind. 

Classes, Instructors or Exhibitors 

You decide how you want to look up information about what you might want to see. If you like Joe McNally, then just tap his name and see all the classes he's teaching at  glance. Or if you have an empty time slot, just tap it to see all of the classes happing at that time and pick one. Of course there's an Expo floor, so you can tap Exhibitors to see who's exhibiting and where they are. Once I got my schedule built on my iPhone I was able to easily send it to a couple of friends via email (even if they don't have the App it comes over as a nicely formatted HTML email). However, I wanted to also have the same schedule on my iPad. No problem, I just used the Bump feature to share the schedule to the iPad from the iPhone wirelessly. Once it was on the iPad in the shared section, I just tapped on it to add each item into my schedule on the iPad. Very cool!

You can get the Photoshop World App for FREE here from the Photoshop



Cultures: Flick Through the World Cultures

CulturesI was very interested when I saw the description of this app while browsing the app store one day. Have you ever gone to a country, finding yourself wanting to know certain cultural information about it? For me, personally, it is a clear yes.

What I am most interested in knowing about when I visit a new country is what not to say or do, the most common way to greet people, how tipping works and where/if you give tips and also any special laws you should be aware of. Here is where Cultures come into play.


Cultures is definitely not one of the best apps in terms of design but on a positive note, it mostly follows the Apple UI, which is again at least a bonus.

I am however slightly annoyed at the way they are displaying the content. After tapping and choosing your country and the type of culture you wish to view (which is sadly put on top of a background image of the world) you get a screen where you have the text, inside a fixed height box, semi-transparent on top of that same background image. Please, just stick to the UI guidelines, it looks much nicer and helps me read much faster.