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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Lockscreen Wallpaper Designer - App Review



Do you want to change the wallpaper on your iOS device?

If you want to do more than just use a picture from your camera roll, this App might fit the bill.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Once you have granted the App access to your photographs, you can pick an image, and 'pastry cutter' it with one of the supplied shapes, as well as move the image within the shape.

Once you are happy with the result, just save the image to your device.

As with any other image, this can then be used as wallpaper.

Cost
The App costs $2.

Indispensability
If you are looking for the limited functionality of this App then, it is what you are looking for!

Dependability
Apart from not being able to place the image with great precision within the cut-out.

Security
This App is wholly downloaded and self-contained.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Simple but limited.

To find out how the ACIDS Test works, click here.


You can get Lockscreen Wallpaper Designer here and support for the App here.


Thursday, 22 January 2015

Phone Doctor Plus - App Review



Do you sometimes wonder why your iPhone is slow, or whether it is working properly.

This App helps you sort things out and improve matters, as well as being a check (or bargaining ploy) when buying a used iPhone.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The App is basically divided into 4 separate screens, each with its dedicated purpose:

Overview
This gives you information about hardware (external/internal devices, sensors, wireless), battery (time for which you can use based on current (ouch) usage and level of charge), storage, CPU, and Network.
Although there is a lot of information, albeit very neatly presented, all you really need to concentrate on are the 'thumbs up' or 'green tick' symbols (all's well) and and numbers in a red box. The latter indicate an area for improvement; just press the warning and you will be shown the solution, and how to carry out the operation.

Check-up
This area allows you to perform basic tests on a vast number of areas, each of which just needs a tap and then follow the clear instructions. These cover: multitouch, touch screen, display, earphones/microphone, speaker/microphone, headphone jack, camera, flash, home button, volume control, sleep/wake button, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, compass, call function, storage, memory, specification (you need to enter the iPhone model but, if you get it wrong, the App lets you know), CPU, vibrator, GPS, cellular network, wi-fi, and Bluetooth.

Usage
Here is displayed memory, CPU, and network usage, all in real time.

Battery
Apart from, again, showing the time remaining, this shows you how to reduce consumption, as well as maintenance.

Cost
The App sells for a mere $1.

Indispensability
This is one of those Apps that you should have in your armoury, not necessarily for everyday use but, as a useful tool.

Dependability
Although I cannot guarantee that the information displayed is correct, I have every faith that it is.

The think to marvel at is how much technology is actually inside your iPhone.

Security
The 'More' screen allows you to bring the App to the attention of others by Facebook, Twitter, Weibo, or E-mail; there is sharing of information as such.

ACIDS Test Rating:

An indispensable tool.

To find out how the ACIDS Test works, click here.


You can get Phone Doctor Plus here and support for the App here.


MindMash - App Review



The developer describes the App as 'a canvas for your ideas'... that just about sums it up but, you need to try it to understand.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
You are presented with a blank sheet and three icons:

Text
Type text and then hit save. The text is now on your canvas and can be moved or deleted (big white X on a red background).

Image
This can be an image from your iOS device, or take a photograph. The image can be resized by pinching, or moved with one finger.

Pen/Pencil
This allows you to draw rectangles, circles, straight lines, and free drawing.

You can create plenty of individual sheets, as well as undo actions.

Cost
The App is free.

Indispensability
This really is a great way of dealing with ideas, where the structure is up to you, and the uncluttered interface makes your ideas the centre of attention.

Dependability
The only issue seems to be that once you have committed an item, it cannot be resized (it can be moved), so you might need to delete it and create another of the correct size.

Security
You can share your creations on Facebook and Twitter.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Easy to use and very powerful.

To find out how the ACIDS Test works, click here.


You can get MindMash here and support for the App here.


Monday, 12 January 2015

Breathe Sync - App Review



How many times have you heard that 'stress is a killer'.

This App aims to reduce stress by getting your breathing and heart in sync.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
You start off by entering some basic information about yourself (age) and for how long, and at what time you want to be reminded of the exercise.

The instructions are very straightforward: 'Gently place your index finger over the camera lens and flash', and you will also need to allow the App access to your camera.

You then need to concentrate on the circles displayed on the screen, breathing in as they increase in size, and exhaling when they diminish.

The App will display your WQ (Well-being Quotient). The publisher gives guidelines as to where you should be and how to improve (over 100 is where you want to aim).

You can track this information and hope to improve.

Cost
The App costs $5.

Indispensability
By nature, I am very sceptical but, this App seems very useful.

Dependability
The App works better without a cover on the iPhone (particularly a thick one). Finger placement seems to be fairly critical with the clue being: if there's no music, it's wrong.

Security
This is a standalone App so, no issues there. Be careful not to get too relaxed when you're breathing and drop your iPhone.

ACIDS Test Rating:

I'm hooked!

To find out how the ACIDS Test works, click here.


You can get Breathe Sync here and support for the App here.


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Double Browser Pro for iOS 8 - App Review



There are times when you wish you could have multiple windows open at the same time in Safari; not just tbs.

This App offers two windows to browse.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
You are presented with two separate windows to browse.

The controls are limited to home, forward, backward, refresh, and cancel for each window.

It's as basic as that.

Cost
The App costs $2.

Indispensability
There are times when you want to see 2 separate windows for browsing; when you need that, this App delivers.

Dependability
The home button doesn't seem to be modifiable, so it will always take you to your local Google search.

Pressing cancel clears both screens which is irritating.

Security
As there doesn't seem to be any customisation, you are unable to choose (or not) private browsing.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Safari in 2 windows

To find out how the ACIDS Test works, click here.


You can get Double Browser Pro for iOS 8 here and support for the App here.


Monday, 29 December 2014

QuickReader - App Review



Do you want to read faster?

This is an App that aims to train you to do just that.

The App comes complete with many and varied books, and you can add anything you want in e-Pub format (the excellent Calibre will show you how).

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The home screen for the App is very clear and contains only five buttons (don't be disappointed, they each pack quite a punch).

Normal Reading
Pick a book and just start reading from any given place in the book.

Speed Reading
The default setting is 300 words per minute with 6 Stops per Line. Each word will be highlighted at the prescribed speed.

Speed Test
Start reading any page of any book, and as many pages as you want then, tap the screen to find out your equivalent words per minute, including estimates on when you would finish the chapter and book.

Demo Video
No surprises here, although one supposes that the Speed Reading button has replaced Guided Reading.

Settings
This is where you can really personalise the App for you. The settings include speed (words per minute), colour of highlighter, font (type and size), colours (scheme, text, and page).

Cost
The App costs $5... but remember all those books that are included.

Indispensability
If you believe that books are indispensable then, I suggest you give this App a try. If you don't want to risk $5, there is a free 'Lite' version which will allow you to try it out.

The limitation is that you cannot download DRM encoded books but, there is masses out there that is not.

Dependability
The only (slight) criticism is that when testing yourself for speed, tapping the screen does not always work.

Security
There are no apparent issues as this is a standalone App.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Kindle Killer?

To find out how the ACIDS Test works, click here.


You can get QuickReader here and support for the App here.


Saturday, 20 December 2014

World History Atlas HD with 3D - App Review



If you are interested in history, or our curious about what went on when and, just as importantly, where, then, this App is made for you.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
This really is a case of history being presented in a very different way; you can throw your textbooks out (well, maybe not).

The App works in landscape mode.

The top two thirds of the screen are taken up by a globe representing the earth. You can spin it to go to the area that interests you (or take a lucky dip spin). Just as in map applications, you can finger pinch to zoom in on particular areas of interest.

The bottom third of the screen represents dates and dynasties.

A button allows you to 'play' to a particular date, with the globe changing, as well as the sphere of influence changing. You can pause it when you want, as well as pause.

Tap on Stories or wiki to get additional detailed information.

Cost
At $10, the App isn't cheap but, compared to the information contained makes textbooks seem exorbitant.

Unsurprisingly, access to wiki information necessitates an Internet connection.

Indispensability
Unless you're actually studying history, you probably won't use this App every day but, it does have many uses. One such application is to be more knowledgeable about places you intend to visit.

Dependability
Scrolling to an exact year on the timeline is a little difficult.

Security
This is a self-contained App.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Makes history even more interesting.

To find out how the ACIDS Test works, click here.


You can get World History Atlas HD with 3D here and support for the App here.


Monday, 15 December 2014

Flash Reader - App Review



How are your reading skills?

I'm not asking if you can read (you wouldn't be here, would you) but, how fast do you read, and more importantly, would you like to read faster?

This App could help you read faster, in two ways.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The App really comes in 2 parts.

The first is about getting material for you to read. This can be achieved by importing text (an e-mail, an article, even a book) from Dropbox, E-mail, Google Drive, iBooks, iTunes, or Kindle. There are perfectly adequate instructions provided with the App to enable you to complete this chore.

The second is the real meat of the App, the actual reading part. You can set up various fonts, sizes, background colours, and most importantly the speed.

One this is done, pick the item you want to read and the words will appear, one by one, at the requested speed.

Cost
The App costs $4.

Indispensability
Although you might not be interested in increasing your reading speed (why not?), the second reason for using this app might well interest you. Having one word at a time rapidly being fired at you means that you must concentrate on what you are reading; distractions are banished. As you can set the speed, you can ensure that this is comfortable for you.

Dependability
There were no issues with the App in testing.

Security
Apart from the usual warning of the (at least theoretical) risk of sharing your information across the cloud, there are no problems with the App.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Read faster... even if it's just by avoiding distractions.

To find out how the ACIDS Test works, click here.


You can get Flash Reader here and support for the App here.


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Daily Insist - App Review



Habits are made for changing... sometimes.

There are bad habits that you want to get rid of, and good ones that you wish to adopt.

This App will help you in the latter case, and with a bit of lateral thinking, in the former as well.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The activity is called a 'Round' in this App.

You enter what it is you wish to do, and for how many days (7/14/21).

You can, optionally, enter a daily alarm to do whatever it is that you wish to do (change).

Once you have completed the activity for the day, press 'DONE TODAY' and the App will count down the number of days left in your cycle.

Cost
The App costs $1.

Indispensability
Most of us need a prop to change (bad) habits; this could be the one for you.

Dependability
Daily Insist is an iPhone App which works in 1x and 2x modes on an iPad. It is straightforward and simply works.

Security
This is a standalone App and no issues were detected.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Force yourself to change.

To find out how the ACIDS Test works, click here.


You can get Daily Insist here and support for the App here.


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Date & Time Calculator (9 in1) - App Review



Date and time calculations can be a little tricky. This App takes the effort out of the 'problem', and encourages you to work out things you probably wouldn't have bothered to do otherwise.

Now for the ACIDS test:

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There is a choice of type of calculation covering:

Time Difference (between two points)
Date Range (from a starting point, add/subtract years/months/days/hours/minutes/seconds)
Work Days (between 2 dates; gives you the answer, together with the number of each days of the week)
Add/Subtract Time (Enter two points in years/months/days/hours/minutes/seconds and choose add or subtract)
Multiply/Divide Time (Enter in years/months/days/hours/minutes/seconds and choose multiply or divide)
Time Converter (Enter in years/months/days/hours/minutes/seconds and get the value in decimal years)
Age Calculator (Enter the date and get the answer in years/months days)
Time Travel (Enter the distance and speed to get the result in hours/minutes/seconds)
Time Zones (Enter the date and time and the two time zones)

Cost
The App is a modest $1.

Indispensability
This App cannot really be seen as indispensable but, it is useful and fun.

Dependability
The App seems to work fine, although the Work days calculation (unsurprisingly) doesn't take into account public holidays.

Security
There are no apparent issues as this is a standalone App.

ACIDS Test Rating:

So how old are you?

To find out how the ACIDS Test works, click here.


You can get Date & Time Calculator (9 in1) here and support for the App here.