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Friday, 28 August 2015

Apologies + Thanks

Apologies to those of you who were inconvenienced (or worse) by the hijacking of this blog.

Thanks to Matti Nescio for providing the solution to the issue on Blogger Support

Use Your Handwriting GOLD - App Review



This App allows you to use your finger to make quick notes... although, that hardly does it justice.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The basic screen mimics a tablet with some leather edges. There are controls at the bottom to add text, forward (E-mail, photos, Facebook, Twitter, or even publish as a web page (requires an in-app purchase)).

There is a tutorial which uses the novelty of awarding you virtual prizes as you complete stages; this is entirely optional.

The real business end is under the info button. Here you can link with your MyUYH account, set the background (choice of 14), set the note alignment, the type of nib , writing speed, left/right handed (both for your preferred hand, and writing language).

All this enables you to easily create notes that look good, are easily managed, and edited.

Cost
The App costs $10 but, there is also a Free Free
version for you to try.

Indispensability
If you like making your notes freehand, this is worth a try.

Dependability
The App works... it's up to you to make decent notes.

Security
There don't appear to be any issues with the App itself but, remember that when you share with Facebook or Twitter, many people could see what you have written.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Improves the look of your handwritten notes and makes them easier to find.

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


You can get Use Your Handwriting GOLD here and support for the App here.


Monday, 24 August 2015

Marksta - App Review



Marksta allows you to write on photographs... and much more.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
By tapping the camera icon at the top left, you either take a new photograph, or import an existing one from your camera roll (or wherever).

You can then choose to add (or not), a caption, copyright notice, or other text, pick the colour and easily move it with your finger to place it wherever you want on the image. You can also add a watermark which helps keep ownership of images.

You can also handily edit all the IPTC information for the image.

Having done this, you can obviously save the image as well as forwarding it by various means, including assigning it to a contact.

Cost
The App costs a modest $2.

Indispensability
There are other ways to annotate photographs but, they do not include the ability to edit metadata.

Dependability
The App is fairtly intuitive.

Security
Obviously, if you are using your own images, you can do pretty much as you will but, if you are modifying someone else's, beware of the ramifications.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Useful photographic annotation tool.

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


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


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

aNote - Screenshot extension - App Review



For those moments when a picture, or screen grab, just aren't enough.

aNote - Screenshot extension allows you to add information to the image

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The home page for the App allows you to choose between:

Internet - capture an image of the web page you are browsing
Book Cam - take a picture with your iOS device
Quick Memo - This is a blank page
Photo - accessed via your saved images
Scrap Files - modify records that you have previously saved

Whichever one of these you choose, you then get access to a palette which has various colours, thickness, as well as rectangular, circular, and straight line shapes, not forgetting text and freehand drawing.

This enables you to easily mark-up your document, hence highlighting anything you wish.

– Take Full page screenshot in Safari.
– Annotate screenshot with freehand draw.
– Save the screenshot to Image and Share to anywhere you want.

Cost
The App costs $3.

Indispensability
This is one of those Apps that is extremely useful but will not necessarily get daily use.

Dependability
aNote - Screenshot extension is an iPhone App which works in 1x and 2x modes on an iPad. It is extremely simple to use and reliable.

Security
This is a standalone App, although access to your photos needs to be given if you wish to annotate these.

The full screen web page capture works when the aNoteShot is enabled from within Safari.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Annotate (textually or graphically) with ease.

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


You can get aNote - Screenshot extension here and support for the App here.


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Scriptus - App Review



We all take notes; some are satisfied with just putting plain text onto a sheet (as in the iOS App ,'Notes'), others want more control.

Scriptus enables you to create a simple note (if that's all you want) but also to get much more sophisticated.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
You are greeted by what looks like a reporter's notebook, with some icons across the top of the page. Tapping on the page brings up a keyboard (QWERTY or whatever you have set).

The controls at the top of the page include bullet and arrow indents, with the neat way of turning off by simply hitting return twice.

The text size can be increased or decreased, although only for the full page.

There are the better part of 200 emoticons that can be accessed.

A search function lets you very easily find text (you don't find that feature on all note taking Apps).

As far as I am aware, a unique feature of speaking your note, where you can set the speed and pitch, as well as the language. Obviously, this has uses, as well as providing entertainment.

Another tool gives you the number of characters and words in your document.

You can share your note as a text or pdf.

Audio notes can be created, although I could not see how to play them within the App.



Cost
The App costs a nominal $1.

Indispensability
You take notes, right?

Dependability
The audio notes function seems a little odd.

This App is iPad specific.

Security
This is a standalone App. Obviously that when you share your notes, you need to keep to the usual caveats.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Idiosyncratic and brilliant note taker/player.

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


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


Thursday, 6 August 2015

Bubble Browser for Evernote - App Review



You use Evernote right?

Well, here's a different way to look and search your information.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Your Evernote information is represented by bubbles that are coloured red (Tags), Blue (Notebooks), and Yellow (Dates). The size of each bubble represents the number of times that any item occurs (a big bubble means there's lots of that type of information).

Tapping on any given bubble will highlight the other bubbles that contain the information, and give you the individual items to scroll through at the foot of the screen.

You can also zoom in and out to individual bubbles, at the same time as scrolling around the screen.

This really represents another way to access your Evernote content, especially handy when you are searching.

Cost
The App is absolutely free.

Indispensability
This App isn't necessarily indispensable but, it does give you a different view of your Evernote content.

Dependability
The App seems to hit the spot (or should I say bubble), every time.

Security
A real 'thumbs up' to the developer... you are given the option of using sample data to explore the App, before agreeing to let Evernote authorise the App.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Evernote searching with bubbles.

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


You can get Bubble Browser for Evernote here and support for the App here.


Friday, 31 July 2015

Loose Leaf - App Review



A picture is worth a thousand words; although some wordsmiths may well disagree, for the rest of us mortals, it is probably true. 'Loose Leaf' perhaps sees itself as your gateway to using various types of pictures to help communicate or also to help represent things in your mind's eye.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
It's perhaps easiest to take you from a blank page and introduce the tools... this isn't necessarily the order in which you would actually use the App.

Use your finger to write anything you wish, in a variety of colours, and rub out as required.

Having given the App access to your photos, you can import them into the App. The nifty part is that you can crop them, again with a finger movement (so there is no restriction to rectangles). You can then use two fingers to move the cropped part.

A brilliant part of this is that if you move the cropped image to the edge of your page, it effectively becomes another tool, and will appear as sun on a blank page, thereby making it easy to use the cropped image on another page.

Shaking any scrap image will change the layer on which it is, they giving you control over the 'depth' of any given image; this is great for collages.

Once you have a number of pages in your scrapbook, you need to pinch the whole page to get access to all the pages me then pick the one you wish to edit.

You can easily export your images to a multitude of social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter.

Cost
Unbelievably, you get all this for $0 (absolutely free).

Indispensability
Indispensable? Probably not. Useful? Absolutely.

Dependability
This is an iPad only App.

Although the App can be used in both portrait and landscape modes, the tools remain as for portrait; this isn't actually a problem.

Security
The linking to social media is the usual double edged sword.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Layers of photos with drawings.

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


You can get Loose Leaf here and support for the App here.


Thursday, 30 July 2015

Orby Widgets - App Review



Are you an iOS notification centre fanatic? If you are, this App is right up your street; if you're not then, take a look at this App as it just might convert you.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
What this App actually does is allow you to add loads of widgets to your notification centre; you choose which ones, and how they behave.

In order top do this, scroll from the top of your iOS screen to open the notification centre, then scroll to the bottom of the notification centre to 'edit' and then add any of the Orby widgets you fancy.

The options available to you are:

App Launcher - Choose any of your Apps to launch directly from here
Battery - charge left and estimated time until you run out
Calculator - this is a calculator within the notification centre
Conversations - direct access for various messaging applications
CPU - displays used and available
Memory - shows usage and by type
Network - keep track of wi-fi and cellular usage
Network Addresses - displays Mac and IP addresses of network to which you are connected
Runtime - displays when your iOS device was last booted
Share - Twitter and Facebook feeds, including the ability to share currently playing music
Speed Call - Tap on the contact to call (this is excellent)
Storage - displays used and available

Cost
The App costs a nominal $1.

Indispensability
If you don't use the notification centre then, you won't use the App but, with all the options available, it could well be the time to start.

Dependability
It works!

Security
As usual, you just need to be a little careful with the direct connections to Facebook and Twitter, if you use them.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Notification centre used as a tool.

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


You can get Orby Widgets here and support for the App here.


Monday, 27 July 2015

Rain Sounds HQ - App Review



Do you have problems getting to sleep? This App claims that its calming sounds will help you fall into the arms of Morpheus.

If you're 'enjoying' a heat wave, you might find that things feel a little cooler with some of these sounds in the background.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The App comes with 'Cologne Thunderstorm', 'Oregon Coastal Rain forest', 'Rain on Japanese Temple', and 'Small River in Scotland' pre loaded. To play any of these, just tap the icon. You can then simply listen to the sound, or have a timed play (10, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90 minutes), or add it to a mix of your own. In this case you can adjust the individual volumes so as to create the effect you want.

Cost
The basic App is free and there are more sounds available from related Apps by the developer.

Indispensability
If you have difficulty getting to sleep (or want to try the 'cooling' the atmosphere), it's worth giving it a try.

Dependability
Rain Sounds HQ is an iPhone App which works in 1x and 2x modes on an iPad. It is extremely simple to use and reliable.

Security
This is a self contained App so without prima facie issues.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Relaxing...

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


You can get Rain Sounds HQ here and support for the App here.


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Srcfari - App Review



Do you sometimes wonder how something was done on a website, want to find something specific, or are simply nosey?

Srcfari is just what you've been waiting for, as far as iOS is concerned.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Enter a website url into the address bar of the App. This will then display the page, just as you would see it in Safari, or any other browser.

You can now browse the assets (style sheets, scripts, images) that are on the sheet, as well as getting the source code for the sheet.

You can then also copy the source to the clipboard, or e-mail it.

Cost
The App costs $2.

Indispensability
Well, that really depends on what use you plan on making of the App; your call.

Dependability
You need to make sure that you allow time for a page to fully load.

Security
This is a standalone App. The security issue is really about how you will use your snooping.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Useful specialised tool.

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


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