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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:

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.

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

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.

The App works, as expected.

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:

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.

The App costs $3 and is worth every penny.

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

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.

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.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Superbars - App Review

Your iOS device allows for a certain amount of personalisation but, one could always have more.

This App gives you some added control over the look of your home screen.

Now for the ACIDS test:

The first thing to do (and it is clearly stated on the instructions) is to go to your iOS Settings/General/Accessibility and turn 'on' the reduce motion switch.

You are now shown 23 different patterns; pitch any one of these fir your Home and/or Lock screens.

It is then time to personalise the experience. A slider allows you to alter the solid colour and the transparency, first the background, then the status bar, and finally the dock colour.

You need to give the App access to your photos to enable your first 'masterpiece' to be saved. Once this is done, accessing your photos and saving the wallpaper in the usual way will give you a more personalised home screen.

The App cost $3.

This is an App to improve your user experience, it can't really be described as indispensable.

Don't be put off by the instruction to change some settings; it is very straightforward.

The App is self contained and the access to your photos is only so that your backgrounds can be saved.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Personalised home screen (other than a photograph)

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

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

Friday, 29 August 2014

Best Decision - App Review

Making decisions can be an emotive subject.

This App enables you to reach objective decisions, taking a step by step approach.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Although the App is intuitive, there is a 5 screen tutorial that will help you get started. Some examples are also there for you to play with.

The first thing, once you want to start the process, is to press the '+' and write in the potential outcomes/options. Taking a purchasing decision as an example, this would be the different items that interest you.

Having done this, you need to enter the criteria on which you will base your decision, as well as the weighting for each (this is a value between 1 (low) and 5 (high)).

Once you have completed that step, touching Criteria will bring up a screen on which each of your options, with each of the criteria is listed. You need to score these for importance (1-5) and each is handily started with a medium rating of 3 to make entry quicker (statistically).

As soon as you have completed the process, touching Verdict will bring up the result, showing the points gained in absolute terms, as well as percentage terms, for all your options.

If the answer doesn't suit you, or if you just thought of an alternative, you can easily go back, add or delete parameters, as well as alter scores (that is known as cheating).

The App costs $2.

This is a straightforward way to take the emotion out of decision making; you be the judge of indispensability.

The App works well and is very clear. It is designed for the iPhone screen size but works in 1x and 2x modes on an iPad.

The App is self-contained, so no concerns on this front.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Turn shades of grey into black and white!

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

You can get Best Decision here and support for the App here.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Happyness - App Review

What makes you smile?

Would you like to smile more often?

This App could well be just what you need.

Now for the ACIDS test:

The interface is simple; choose from one of 6 colour coded icons that best describes your current mood.

This brings up a text box where you can enter some notes, together with three options:

Tick - this saves the entry as you see it at the moment
X - this does not save the last modification you made
Delete entry - self explanatory, and subject to user confirmation.

These notes are automatically saved to a calendar, where you can easily retrieve the information for any given day.

Another screen allows you to view a weekly, monthly, or all-time trend, as well as daily averages.

You can set up push notifications that will remind you to make an entry at any given time.

There is also a You Tube Video which will not only explain but make you smile as well...

The App costs a token $1.

Anything that reminds you of good times can only make you happier; your choice.

The App works, although, as it is new, has not been tested over a long period of time. There is, however, no reason to expect anything but continuing reliability.

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

ACIDS Test Rating:

Happiness + Reminders = Happyness

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

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

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Elephant Bites - App Review

Question: How do you climb a mountain.

Answer: One step at a time.

This App follows that methodology in helping you achieve your targets.

Now for the ACIDS test:

You can start your project by tapping the '+' icon.

This enables you to name your 'elephant' and to give it a pachydermic icon.

The next step is to add a bite, and another, and another... then press Save when you have finished.

You will now have your task broken down into easy steps. Each step can be edited, reordered, completed (in which case it is greyed out with a line through it, and placed at the bottom of the list).. Individual bites can also be deleted (possibly a little too easily).

One you complete an entire project (elephant), you receive a trophy.

The App is free but you can add more sophisticated trophies by means of In-App purchases.

If you don't use some project management system, or a comprehensive planner, this could be a great App for you.

Elephant Bites is an iPhone App which works in 1x and 2x modes on an iPad. It is easy to use but, be careful with deleting individual bites.

Information is contained on your iOS device.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Project management, simplified.

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

You can get Elephant Bites here and support for the App here.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Gratitude Journey - App Review

There is a theory that creating and maintaining a journal leads to happiness.

this App takes things one stage further in making you grateful for what you already have.

Now for the ACIDS test:

When you first start the App there are some simple instructions that neatly lead you to create your first entry (everyone has to start somewhere).

You are now on a screen with today's date (this can easily be modified via the scroll wheel) and you are prompted to enter something for which you are grateful, to which you can add a photo from within the App, or from your existing pictures. This is then assigned to a 'standard' category (Concepts & ideas, food, moments, people, places, things, wins & successes), or just make up your own.

having done that, press Save and you are invited to set up a reminder (this can also be done later). You can then elect for a daily reminder (set the time), gratitude gift (pop-up appears), lapse reminder (you are reminded after x days that you haven't made an entry).

The App costs $1.

For those of us who always want more, perhaps a gentle reminder of what we have already got should be compulsory.

The 'dependability' is totally reliant on you; there are no problems with the App.

The App can be password protected with a 4 number code.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Thank the developer for the App!

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

You can get Gratitude Journey here and support for the App here.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Boximize - App Review

Some Apps are 'different', and some Apps do an ordinary job in a different way.

Both note taking and databases could be considered 'standard' applications. There are many solutions available for note taking and (under iOS) a smaller number for databases.

This App combines the two.

Now for the ACIDS test:

There is a sample file with the App names 'Movie Collection', which will give you a taste for the App, although it will also make you think of a database, rather than a note taking App.

Obviously, you want to get started using the App for real. The developers have provided you with 26 templates (Audio Notes, Business Cards, Car Maintenance, Contacts, Customers, Demo Fields, Diet Log, Donations, Equipment, Events, Exercise Log, Expenses, Home Inventory, Inventory, Issue Tracking, Items Sold, Member cards, Member List, Movie Collection, Notes, Products for Sale, Recipes, Student List, Task Assignments, Time Billing, Todo), together with the most important 'blank' for those who prefer to start from scratch.

If you choose to start with one of the templates, you will find that these are fully customisable through the settings (accessed with the 'i' and then 'settings'). You can not only change the form colour and icon (from a large list) but, vitally, edit the fields.

The field types are fairly varied (Audio recordings, Check box, Choices, Colour, Date, E-mail, Lists of items, Location, Notes, Number, Phone Number, Photo & video collections, Rating, Sketches and hand-written notes, Slider, Stopwatch, Text, Time, URL).

The great part about this is that the field type will also determine the field's behaviour; a URL field will allow you to open the page in Safari, an E-mail field will allow for automatic creation of a message... you get the idea. It also ensures that the correct data type is entered; for example, a date is a date.

The App costs $5 which is perhaps a lot for a note taker but, not much to pay for a database.

If you start using this App and like it then, it will be in daily use. It will probably even find it's place on your home screen dock.

If you are just looking for another way to take notes, it might be a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

From a database point of view, the real drawback is that it is restricted to one iOS device (at a time); there is no synchronisation.

The App is elegant and very easy to use.

A minor criticism (or at least something not to my personal liking) is that, when adding fields, the list is in no particular order.

The App is self-contained and has optional password protection.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Could become a home dock item for you.

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

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

Friday, 1 August 2014

Camera Smile Detection - App Review

What's your 'trick' for getting everyone to smile when you hake a photograph? It could be 'say cheese', pull a face, tell a joke...

This App detects when the magical smiles are present.

Now for the ACIDS test:

The settings allows you to set various parameters including:

Manual - this is if you wish to manually detect smiles, rather than leave the App to its own devices; a little counter-productive really.
Smile Detection - this can be turned off
Eye Blink - ensure that only are people smiling but also have their eyes open.

You can choose either the front or rear facing camera

The App also allows you to then edit the photo that you have taken, including:

Filter (a choice of 13 from monochrome to chrome, via vignette)
Adjust (brightness, contrast, saturation)
Effect (spot, hue, highlight, bloom, gloom, posterise, pixelate)
Blur and focus; via a slider control and using the whole image or a circle or band (both adjustable)
Crop, either with a grid or freehand
Rotate and mirror, again with a slider control
ToneCurve with a graphical interface (very neat)

The App is absolutely free.

This is one of those Apps that you probably won't be using every day but you will find very useful to have in your armoury.

In a way it's best to let the App 'do its thing' and have your iOS device and the App take care of the photo.

Photos can be shared from within the App as a message, email, or Twitter.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Hopefully, an end to photos with glum looks and eyes shut.

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

You can get Camera Smile Detection here and support for the App here.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Prowl - App Review

Do you use Growl (no, that isn't a spelling mistake). If you do, just get Prowl to have your notifications on your iOS device and stop being frustrated at another App no longer working under Windows.

For those of you still reading, and puzzled as to what is going on, let me explain. Wouldn't it be great to be notified of things (in fact changes) when you want, how you want, and most importantly, where you want (on your iOS device). Prowl makes this possible and Growl is the desktop component to make it happen from there.

Now for the ACIDS test:

This review is about The Prowl App; the 'business end' is very much on your PC running Growl.

The first thing you need to do is register an account with Prowl, so that you can then pair your iOS device(s) with it.

As soon as that is do e, you can start receiving notifications.

The App allows you to set various parameters:

Do Not Disturb: use this to temporarily disable audible notifications.
Quiet Hours: this allows you to sleep! You can set the hours during which you will not receive audible notifications, as well as whether or not to allow emergency notifications to override this setting.
Absolute Time stamps: rather than have the notification read "x hours/minutes ago", have the exact time at which the alert was sent.
Collapse Notifications: instead of having notifications that show the original source, as well as a message, You can reduce this to just the source.
Text Display: choose from 8 font sizes
Notification Style: plain or stripes (I can't tell the difference)
Ask Before Redirect: decide what happens when you choose any given alert.
Open Links in Safari: should links be opened in Safari, rather than (potentially) another App.
Various sound settings: these include various sounds that can (if you wish) be applied to different levels of alarms.

You can either leave alerts that have been notified, or delete them individually (Edit button), or delete them all in one hit (Clear All button).

The App costs $3.

If you use Growl, and have one, or more, iOS devices, this App is essential.

There has been a 100% success rate in forwarding Growl Alerts to Prowl during testing; you can't ask for better than that.

Your alerts are sent from your PC, via Growl, to your Prowl account, and then to your iPhone/iPad.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Growl + iOS = Prowl

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

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