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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Oilist - App Review



We don't usually review Apps that are 'all about the graphics' but, this one is so different that it merits looking at.

How about creating an oil painting?

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Start off by either taking a photo, or choosing one from your library.

Next is to choose a style from wavy, oily, chaos (very different), sprayed/chaos, feathered, linear, expressive, shapes, ethereal, runny, abstract, soft/hard brush, big/small brush, messy, chaos vortex, light trails, modern art.

Now just watch your painter at work, and save whenever you want, as well as being able to change the settings 'on the fly'.

You can then still change the texture and share your 'painting'.

Cost
The App Costs $3.

Indispensability
Sure, you don't 'need' this App but, if you are looking to create some really stunning images, without being a painter yourself (hand up here!) then, this is just so easy to use and produces spectacular results.

Dependability
It's actually quite amazing just watching your photo morphing into a painting; it works.

Security
The App needs access to your camera and/or photo library.

You can easily share your paintings by e-mail or other App.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Very different and brilliant!

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


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


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Pin Points - Flight, Driving Distance Calculator - App Review



So, how far is it from A to B (possibly via C)?

This App answers that, for 'as the crow flies', as well as on foot or by car.

Now for the ACIDS test:

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Absolutely as a one-off, I have taken the instructions from the developer, as these are clear, concise, and most importantly, accurate...

To plan a route or trip, you first need to set the starting point. This will be shown in the upper area. You can add as many midpoints to it as you like and plan your route or trip stretch by stretch.

You now have 4 different ways of setting your position to choose from. You can either use your current position as a waypoint, set one on the map yourself, search from an address, or add from a contact.

To set a waypoint on the map, zoom in to the desired area and hold your finger for one second on the spot you'd like the point to be set.

To move a pin on the map after it has been set, hold your finger on the pin until it moves. Now you can drag it to where you want it to be.

To recall a previous calculation, tap the list icon in the upper left of the main window. All previous calculations will be shown.

To see the distance between your selected waypoints click the "calculator" button. It will show how far away from each other individual points are. There are 3 different options for calculating the route (straight line, foot, car).

Want your route visually displayed on a map? Click the map icon in upper right of the calculation window.

Cost
The App Costs $2.

Indispensability
Sure, there are other Apps for doing the same thing but, not as easy to use, not giving instantaneous answers to the difference between line of sight and reality.

Dependability
This App works perfectly, within the limitation of Maps.

Security
You can, optionally, allow the App access to your location, which can be very useful.

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

ACIDS Test Rating:

Distances, instantly.

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


You can get Pin Points - Flight, Driving Distance Calculator here and support for the App here.


Thursday, 6 July 2017

InstaWeb: Web to PDF Converter, Article Reader - App Review



Regular readers will know that I am PDF fanatic, so anything that makes life easier in that direction is welcome.

This App simply takes a web page and turns it into a PDF document.

Now for the ACIDS test:

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This App is designed to do one thing, so there are not loads of distracting gizmos.

At its easiest, simply enter the URL, or search term you are interested into the address bar, exactly as you would in Safari.

If it was a URL then, the page is loaded and if it was a search then, you are in the Google search result.

All you need do now is touch the PDF button at the bottom right of the screen, and enter a name for the file (or keep the default).

The very bottom of the screen has three options:

Browser - does exactly that!

Files - shows the documents you have stored as PDFs

Settings - here you can pick your search engine, set a home page, and set up PDF parameters.

Your created PDF can be shared by any of the usual methods (including e-mail).

Cost
The App Costs a nominal $1.

Indispensability
If you're into PDF, this is just so easy to use.

Dependability
Works as expected.

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

ACIDS Test Rating:

Web page to PDF with no fuss.

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


You can get InstaWeb: Web to PDF Converter, Article Reader here and support for the App here.


Friday, 30 June 2017

Magic Launcher Pro - App Review



The developer states:

"Magic Launcher is the latest and greatest App launcher for your iPhone or iPad and with our newest feature of multiple widgets, we're the best in the class!"

Now for the ACIDS test:

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The App starts with a brief demo of how to instal the App.

This is the Today Widget on steroids.

In a nutshell, you add Magic Launcher Pro to the widget and then, when you open it, you have access to all the Apps that you have added to the screen. Adding an App is simplicity itself, simply press the + and choose the App Launcher. You can then choose from System Apps or Launchable Apps, and then pick them to your heart's content.

It is very simple to use and very quick.

Cost
The App Costs $3.

Indispensability
This is just a quicker way to launch Apps, and in particular to launch them in the state you prefer. If you have many Apps, this could save you time scrolling through screens or typing in (part) names.

Dependability
It works!

Security
The App would like to send you notifications.

ACIDS Test Rating:

A boon for those with many Apps

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


You can get Magic Launcher Pro here and support for the App here.


Monday, 26 June 2017

Geekbench 4 - App Review



The developer states:

"Geekbench provides a comprehensive set of benchmarks engineered to quickly and accurately measure processor and memory performance. Designed to make benchmarks easy to run and easy to understand, Geekbench takes the guesswork out of producing robust and reliable benchmark results".

Now for the ACIDS test:

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The interface is very uncluttered; just 4 buttons:

Benchmark
Hit this then sit back for between 2 and 20 minutes while your iOS device is analysed. You will get masses of information, not only the overview of exactly which iOS device you are using, but also speed ratings for various tests (split between single and multi-core).

History
... no explanation required.

Device
... no explanation required.

Settings
Amongst other things, you can link your data to your Dropbox.

Cost
The App Costs a nominal $1.

Indispensability
If you feel something might be amiss, this is a great way to put your mind at rest, or get the ammunition do do something about it.

Dependability
To be honest, I have no way of checking that the tests are accurate but, I can vouch for 100% accuracy in detecting many different iOS devices; there really is more data than you can shake a stick at.

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

ACIDS Test Rating:

So EXACTLY what device do you have?

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


You can get Geekbench 4 here and support for the App here.


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Alarm - Apple Watch Complication - App Review



Think of this as not so much of a review, more a work around to a problem.

If you've got an Apple Watch and use the 'Alarm' complication and that you travel across different time zones on a regular basis then, you'll be aware that there is a serious problem with this.

This issue does not apply to the Alarm App on other iOS devices (!).

Now for the ACIDS test:

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So, like any seasoned traveller, you set your iOS device (iPhone/iPad) to automatically set the time for the time zone in which you are actually located.... this makes it less likely that you'll miss a connecting flight, apart from anything else. Having done this, your Apple Watch will mirror that time. So far, so good, indeed excellent.

The problems start when you attempt to set an alarm on you Apple Watch. Unbelievably, there are actually four different times you need to be aware of:

1. The time as displayed on your Apple Watch face (this should be the current time in your current location). We'll call this 't' (time)

2. The time as displayed at the top right of the screen when you press the Apple Watch complication. We'll call this At (Alarm time).

3. The time as displayed on the Alarm that you set. We'll call this As (Alarm set).

4. The time displayed on the Apple Watch face once you have set the alarm complication. We'll call this Andrea (Alarm display).

In order to get an alarm to actually go off when you want it to, you need to set As to the time in your home time zone at which you want the alarm to sound.

At gives the time in your home time zone and Ad should be ignored as, it appears to be the equivalent time in your home time zone without an adjustment for summer/daylight saving.

Unbelievable.

Cost
The App Costs $0, just as well really.

Indispensability
The Apple Watch alarm complication is great; this will let you use it.

Dependability
Please let me know.

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

ACIDS Test Rating:

This is not what we expect of Apple... don't think an independent developer would be allowed get this into the App store.

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


You can get Alarm - Apple Watch Complication here and support for the App here.


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Terrain Radar Altimeter - App Review



With this altimeter app you can analyze the terrain around you. Discover the height of the hill in front of you or take a look at further away mountains.

Point your Smartphone into any direction and instantly obtain a detailed elevation chart.

The altitudes are calculated through online services, based on your GPS position and compass direction.

Now for the ACIDS test:

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The App starts up with an horizon in the top half of the screen and an Google Maps aerial view of your location in the bottom two thirds of the screen, as well as your current altitude.

There are + and - signs which enable you to set the distance at which you are scanning from 100 metres to 5 kilometres.

Point your device in the direction you want to scan and a silhouette appears with the altitudes (read off an axis to the left) at the varying distances.

The button allows you to choose between imperial and metric measurements.

Cost
The App Costs a nominal $1.

Indispensability
The App is useful for determining elevation of geographical elements up to 5 kilometres (3 miles away). It works regardless of the weather (a definite advantage).

Dependability
The App seems accurate but iwould be even more useful with terrain further away being evaluated.

Security
The App needs access to your location in order to function properly.

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

ACIDS Test Rating:

Determine elevations with ease.

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


You can get Terrain Radar Altimeter here and support for the App here.


Thursday, 8 June 2017

Shazam - App Review



So there you are listening (or overhearing) some music but, can't figure out the title of the song, or remember the name of the artist, or even can't understand the words.

This App resolves all those issues.

Now for the ACIDS test:

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The home screen invites you to Touch to Shazam. Just do this.

Let the App listen to the music and after a few moments you are presented with the album cover, song title and artist name. In addition you can choose to listen on your iOS device, (Deezer, Napster, Directly) as well as buy it, add it to a playlist (Shazam, Spotify, Apple Music).

You can also search directly for the lyrics, which is where you will also find the author(s).

For those of you who are looking for something random, you can explore top tracks from around the world (arranged by town by country).

Cost
The App Costs $0, although if you purchase songs, you will need to pay.

Indispensability
The App just makes finding the right music so easy; no need to sing the tune to someone for them to tell you they've never heard of it!

Dependability
The App works remarkably well although, if the person next to you keeps saying, especially loudly, who is it, it will take longer to detect what the music is.

Security
The App asks for access to your location so as to update your history, and also send geographically targeted ads, although you can refuse this access.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Makes buying music easy and settles arguments.

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


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


Friday, 2 June 2017

KeyWi Keyboard - App Review



Do you sometimes wish that you could use a 'proper' keyboard on your iOS device?

This App allows you to use your PC keyboard instead of the touch screen.

Now for the ACIDS test:

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Before using KeyWi, you will need to go through the set-up process.

This is fairly straightforward and involves going to Settings/Keyboards/Add New Keyboard, select KeyWi as a new keyboard and then allow full access.

Now go to whatever App you want to enter text into and select the KeyWi Keyboard and then, on your PC go to http://connect.keywiapp.com

The PC and iOS device connect, with the PC redirecting to 10.219.181.134

Cost
The App Costs $3.

Indispensability
This is really for when you have a lot of text to enter and would rather use a physical keyboard.

Dependability
You may need to scroll through various options if you already have a number of keyboards set-up.

There are two settings, Write as I type and Write and send; the latter is far more reliable.

Security
The data transferred is over the wi-fi network you are using and is not stored by the App. The potential issue is therefore the wi-fi network you are employing, and you will have to acknowledge, and especially Allow access, having read the government (not really, it's Apple's) health warning.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Use the physical keyboard that you already own on your iOS device.

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


You can get KeyWi Keyboard here and support for the App here.


Monday, 29 May 2017

Handsy - App Review



Do you want something 'different' in your iMessages?

This App adds actual (static) hand gestures.

Now for the ACIDS test:

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After you download Handsy, it installs as a 'keyboard' for use in iMessages.

You use it by simply opening Messages and then choosing the 'scribbles A' and then picking the Handsy icon. You will now have immediate access to many hand gestures which are made with real hands and not graphics. These also include a number of 'presents'.

Cost
The App Costs a nominal $1.

Indispensability
OK, this couldn't be described as indispensable but, it will be much quicker that taking a photo of your hands (the plural is the challenge here).

Dependability
The App is straightforward and works, as expected.

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

ACIDS Test Rating:

Please, please (hands clasped together)... now there's a better way.

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


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