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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Shtickers - App Review



So what am I doing reviewing this App?

The truth is that the name intrigued me; curiosity aroused, I had to look further.

The publisher asks the question : "Have you ever wanted to use stickers... but in your iMessage conversations?".

Now for the ACIDS test:

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Before you start, you need to ensure that MMS is enabled on your iOS device. To do this, simply go to Settings/Messages/MMS Messaging/On.

The App is straightforward; press Begin to get started.

The very bottom of the screen contains 8 icons which represent individual groups of 10 'Shtickers'. Choose the group, then chose the 'Shticker' and then press Send.

This will bring up your messaging service, where the 'Shticker' has been inserted. You can add text before, or after, the 'Shticker'.

That's all there is to it.

Cost
The App is free but, you will be sending each message as an MMS, which could well incur charges with your mobile operator.

Indispensability
I'll let you be the judge.

Dependability
The App works but you can only send one 'Shticker' per message.

Security
The App is self-contained so there are no issues.

ACIDS Test Rating:

A bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

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


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


Monday, 20 October 2014

Pocket Binder - App Review



Do you have a bulging wallet, replete not with cash but multiple store cards and vouchers?

This App allows you to replace them all and never forget one.

Now for the ACIDS test:

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Whether it's a loyalty card, or a voucher that you want to store, the process is very nearly the same.

Pick Coupons or Cards, then press the +.

You now enter the card name, store name, and category, or product/store, coupon type, and amount off.

Having done that you scan (photograph) the bar code. The number is quickly displayed on the screen for you to confirm.

In addition you can put expiry dates for coupons (and then also choose to have them automatically deleted when they lapse. You can pretty things up by adding colours and pictures. Very usefully you can have locations for the cards/coupons, so as not to miss an opportunity.

Cost
The App costs $2.

Indispensability
As far as store and other loyalty cards are concerned, this App is better than the real thing (you (nearly) always have your iPhone with you).

Coupons/Vouchers can be a bit more complicated as some stores want to keep the voucher... and I guess you don't want to give up your iPhone.

Dependability
The App works perfectly... with the proviso mentioned before of antediluvian retailers who like to chop down trees.

Security
You can enable iCloud synchronisation; the usual double-edged sword.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Travel light(er).

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


You can get Pocket Binder here and support for the App here.


Enpass - App Review



Passwords... love them, hate them. they're everywhere.

There are two main ways in which people tend to deal with passwords: use the same one everywhere, or (somehow) randomly generate them.

The former option is extremely unsafe, and the second needs careful thought about how to manage the situation.

The Enpass App is an attempt at giving you the best of both worlds (in a way).

Now for the ACIDS test:

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The App starts off by asking you for a master password. This is the key (in more senses than one) that will protect you so, it needs to be 'complicated' but memorable. The good news is that you can mix upper and lower case, as well as numbers and special characters.

You must remember this password or you will no longer have access.

You can now start entering items under various categories:

Computer
Credit card
Finance
License
Login
Miscellaneous
Password
Secure note (this is a nice extra touch)
Travel

Each one of these then asks for the relevant information to attach to the record, as well as the ability to add new fields. The really clever bit if the 'key' icon which allows the system to generate a password where you set the length, number of digits, symbols, and uppercase.

Once you have finished you can easily find the items, either within their categories or alphabetically.

Cost
The App costs $10 which is not cheap but, security hasn't really got a cost and, the desktop version is free.

Indispensability
You need secure passwords: fact. This is a straightforward way of both generating and storing them.

Dependability
The App is very intuitive to use and reliable.

Security
This is really what this App is about. Your information is stored on your device and not in the cloud. In my opinion this is a definite advantage.

The developers clearly take your security seriously your data is encrypted using AES-256 and your master password with PBKDF2 (Password-Based Key Derivation Function).

ACIDS Test Rating:

You know you need security...

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


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


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Dooo - App Review



How do you to Dooo?... or, if you prefer, how do you keep track of your todo list, and more importantly, enter information.

Now for the ACIDS test:

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'Normal' todo lists are exactly that, lists.

This App differentiates itself by the way one enters the information. Some people work on pictures (photographs), some on locations (because it reminds them of where), and some on rough sketches. The truth is that we probably all work on these aspects, at some time.

This is where Dooo comes in. You can snap a photograph, add an image from your store, sketch anything you want, or automatically enter your current location, as well as add voice (very useful if you are on the move). You then add a title to this information and turn it into a task, together with an optional reminder.

It is very easy to use and extremely versatile.

Cost
The App is free and there is an in App purchase for additional colour themes.

Indispensability
A Todo list is indispensable; this one has a different way of doing things which might just be exactly what less 'organised' people are looking for.

Dependability
The App has an irritating feature of turning the upper case key on, so that it has to be disabled for every keystroke that you want to appear in lower case.

Security
This is a standalone App and, as such, presents no issues.

ACIDS Test Rating:

If you don't like Todo lists, give Dooo a try.

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


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


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

City Maps 2Go Pro - App Review



The thing about traditional (paper) town guides is that you either have them, or you don't. If you forgot to pack it then, you either need to get another one, or get some other means of access to information.

Electronic maps are great but often rely on downloading information, as you go. This is acceptable if you have an unlimited download account but can be prohibitively expensive when you ate out of your home territory... which is when you are most likely to require such information.

Enter 'City Maps 2Go Pro', where you download the information and then have it stored in your iOS device.

Now for the ACIDS test:

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The first thing to do is download a location that interests you.

When you download, you are given the option of including, or not, additional articles and pictures which will enhance the experience but use up memory; your choice.

You can then search the map in a variety of ways, such as entering text, accessing the globe to see a listing of top places. You can easily find street names, public transport, restaurants and hotels (including reviews). You can then add photos or notes.

There is a very useful 'locate me' button which toggles between showing where you are (assuming you are within the map confines) and centring the map, viewing direction, and North up.

You can create lists of places to visit and store these for when you reach your destination, as well as storing them in the 'Ulmon Hub'. An added bonus of using this is seeing the opinions of others, as well as sharing yours.

Cost
The App costs $3, which is dramatically more than a library full of travel guides. There is also a limited free version for you to test.

Indispensability
Sometimes the best part of a trip is the planning; this App adds to that experience.

Dependability
When downloading a location, it is easiest to type the name, as access via the initial letter doesn't seem to function correctly.

Although the individual maps are comprehensive, there is always a little place that the locals will know that is not listed.

Security
The Ulmon cloud is the usual double-edged sword of added back-up but also, potential, unauthorised use. Apart from the unlikely (but possible) event of someone hacking into your account and altering data, the consequential risks should be remote.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Added enjoyment for your trip.

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


You can get City Maps 2Go Pro here and support for the App here.


Thursday, 2 October 2014

Time.is - App Review



This is an App to display the correct time in any given time zone.

Now for the ACIDS test:

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Tapping the screen once cycles between set-up and use; very simple.

The settings (reached by tapping the screen) allow you to set the following parameters:

Language, time format (24 hour, a.m./p.m.), date format (4 options), first day of the week (Saturday, Sunday, Monday), font (choice of 2), colours (positive or negative, as well as the option to change after sunset), home location, and synchronisation information (shown or not, as well as choosing to only connect via wi-fi).

Alarms, multiple locations (allows easy conversion between different time zones) can also be set, as well as calculating time lapses.

Cost
This is a very reasonably priced $1.

Indispensability
It's been a while since updating the time on iOS devices has been an issue but, neatly showing more than one time zone is a bonus. You can also convince yourself of the current time by pointing your browser to one of the myriad of time services.

Dependability
The time is accurate.

This is an iPad App requiring iOS 6 or later.

Security
This is a standalone App and, as such, presents no issues.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Atomic time.

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


You can get Time.is here and support for the App here.


Friday, 26 September 2014

Classic Note - App Review



Were you around when the Mac(intosh) was first launched?

Do you remember the excitement at a radically different PC (and that expression had then been hijacked by Microsoft and IBM)?

This is a note App for you nostalgia buffs.

Now for the ACIDS test:

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This is very much a tongue-in-cheek App, and takes you back 30 years.

The main part is the note taking part which is accessed with the New button. Notes can be saved in a list and edited, and that's about it.

The Tools menu gives you access to three items.

Calculator
This is as simple as it was on the original Macintosh (the one with a smiley face, 3.5" 'floppy' drive, and the different look).

Fortune
An uplifting phrase is displayed

Wrangler
This gives you access to a game titled 'Catch the Dogcow'; I haven't got the faintest idea of what it does.



Cost
The App costs $1; an inexpensive bit of nostalgia.

Indispensability
Although using an App to take notes in some way is bound to be an every day occurrence, this is perhaps somewhat limited.

Dependability
The App works as expected... with the exception of the game, which is only for clever people.

Security
The lack of connectivity 30 years ago made security of little concern. This App replicated that appreciation as well.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be....

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


You can get Classic Note here and support for the App here.


Monday, 22 September 2014

Pickle - App Review



Don't you wish there were an easy way to copy and store (in a logical manner), all those images that you see in your daily surfing?

Pickle does just that.

Now for the ACIDS test:

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Once you have downloaded the App, you don't start copying from within the App... because the image you want to 'pinch' is in Safari.

So, open Safari and, as soon as you see an image you like, put your finger on it and hold. You will receive the option to 'Copy' (amongst others); choose this. You should now get a notification "Pickle: Copying Success".

So now, you can easily copy those images; the next part is in getting them organised. All you need to is go to Pickle and scroll to the bottom of the folder list on the left and press the +; now enter a folder name and pick a colour. Your images are on the right of the screen and can be dropped into the selected (make sure it is selected first, indicated by the coloured rectangle to the left of the folder).

You can also add photographs, either from your camera roll, or from within the App.

You now have a library of images.

Cost
The App costs $3.

There are a few additional patterns for your folders (all fairly basic really); some are included, and some can only be obtained with a like on Facebook, or mention on Twitter. I'm not sure this is really appropriate for a paid App.

Indispensability
This is a simple way of ordering images; if that's what you need then, this is a straightforward way of achieving it.

Dependability
The App works with all iOS devices running iOS 6.0, or later.

The iPad version display is either iPhone screen size or you can use the 2X button to fill the screen.

Security
This is a self-contained App with Dropbox synchronisation and four digit pass code (optional).

ACIDS Test Rating:

A useful addition to the standard iOS 'Photos' App.

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


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


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Quotes Folder - App Review



I wish I'd said that... you know those remarks that make you think, smile, react.

This App gives you tonnes of them.

Now for the ACIDS test:

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There are a number of ways to use the App:

Random - tap to get a quotation

Daily - receive a timely quotation, at a time of your choice

Personal - add your own favourite citation.

You can set font sizes, colours, language (English, French, German, Italian, or Spanish).

The i button takes you directly to the Wikipedia page of the author.

You can easily add any phrase to your favourites.

The App makes itself all the more enjoyable due to its clean lines.

Cost
This represents a huge amount of information for a mere $1.

Indispensability
It's not so much that you 'have to have' the App, just that life is more enjoyable with it... and you will learn lots of facts, just by 'being tempted' to take a look.

Dependability
The App works, as expected.

Security
You can share content via Facebook and Twitter, as well as Email and message.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Quotations with background.

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


You can get Quotes Folder here and support for the App here.


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

WriteRight - App Review



When it comes to writing, the world seems to be split into three types of people:
1. I don't care about punctuation, grammar (isn't that one of my parent's mothers anyway), as long as people understand.
2. There are rules to writing and these need to be adhered to (oops, almost ending a sentence with a preposition); anything else is lackadaisical.
3. I can't read anyway, so who gives a (enter your favourite phrase).
It you fall into the middle category, you are going to love this App.

Now for the ACIDS test:

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To call WriteRight a text editor could well be the understatement of the digital age (well, nearly).
When you first open the App you are asked to choose between Spanish and English (US), in order to get the best out of the App. Don't be concerned about the US tag, it seems to work perfectly in UK English as well.
One of the particularly appealing aspects of the App is that you have plenty of space to type, with excellent spacing.
Just above the keyboard are some shortcuts to commonly used punctuation marks, in particular those that require an opening and closing (like this).
Where things get clever is that tapping any word will NOT ONLY bring up the usual iOS niceties but also synonyms and antonyms. This makes writing easier as inspiration is never far... as long as you know what you want to write about.
Although there are some buttons to allow you to preview your text in various formats, what you are actually saving is straight text. This has the advantage that, being bereft of formatting, you can beautify your text in whatever editor you prefer.
The App actually uses Markdown so that your text can easily become HTML code (and you can also be blissfully unaware that this is happening in the background).
Your work can be saved in iCloud, as well as the ubiquitous Dropbox.

Cost
The App costs $3 and is worth every penny.

Indispensability
If you care about, and take care with, what you write, this App will help you.

Dependability
The only thing that doesn't work perfectly is that, when searching for an antonym, if the word is not in the App dictionary, you get the message '... word you are searching is a word in Spanish...'.

The App seems to deal with carriage returns in a quirky way. This means that opening your notes in Notepad will result in sentences being contiguous.

Security
There are no issues with the App, just the usual proviso about iCloud and Dropbox.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Enables you to concentrate on content and let presentation take care of itself.

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


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