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Monday, 29 October 2012

TeamViewer - App Review

 

If you’re expecting to be able to sit at your desk with your iPad (having thrown away your PC keyboard and mouse, prepare to be disappointed. On the other hand, if you sometimes forget a file or require a piece of information from your PC then, TeamViewer is absolutely brilliant. Two recent uses of TeamViewer (both when being hundreds of miles, from my PC): I was convinced that a file I needed should have been in my Dropbox. I just accessed my remote PC and found the file on my Desktop (apart from both beginning on' D' and having seven letters, not much else in common). It was then simple to use TeamViewer to move the file from the PC Desktop to Dropbox. Hey presto, the file was now available on my iPad. Another example was that video from a security camera was not showing on the iPad. A remote visit to the PC showed that the software had crashed. It was a cinch to reboot it remotely using TeamViewer.... saved me from having to go back and investigate.


Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
There are icons to choose whether you I want to control your PC with a mouse or a keyboard, or the function keys. The issue is that you can (not surprisingly really) only use one at a time. The super easy task on a PC of opening an application is somewhat more complicated with TeamViewer. First you need to navigate to the application. You need to stroll to it first. This is a bit counterintuitive as the scrolling is the ’moving' of the virtual PC screen… what you are actually doing is moving the pointer, which is not in the same place as your finger on the iPad screen. Once the pointer is over the icon, you can tap the iPad screen anywhere and the application will then open. It's a bit disconcerting at first but once you are used to it, it's not a problem.

Cost
There is a free version which is up to the job, so you can experiment at no cost.

Indispensability
If you never forget things, you can clearly do without the App. On the other hand, if you're like the rest of us, this App is heaven sent

Dependability
Your PC must be switched on for the App to be able to function. Conversely, you can switch your PC off using TeamViewer.

Security
Beware that leaving your iPad lying around would also give prying eyes access to your PC.


ACIDS Test Rating:

If you never forget a file...

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

 

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

 

Friday, 5 October 2012

FlightBoard - App Review


Keeping track of your flight when you are at the airport is straightforward but, checking on flights for someone else (perhaps going to collect them) is a different matter. Each airport has its version of a flight board and, of course, its individual web address. It can be a bit of a nuisance keeping track of all this information.

FlightBoard gives you a consistent interface (very much resembling a departure/arrival board); all you need to do is choose the airport (either incoming or outgoing) and you will see all today's current flights.


Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The resemblance to a traditional airport flight information system makes one immediately at ease with the App.

Cost
This is a low cost App.

Indispensability
You could go the 'traditional' method of bookmarking individual airports, so the App is in no way indispensable.

Dependability
Having checked this on numerous occasions, it seems that the dependability relies more on the honesty of airlines and airport (those 'on time' ratings being so important) than the App itself. If the information from the airport is incorrect, the App cannot filter this.

Security
No issues... unless you choose to publish your flights (especially publicly) on Facebook


ACIDS Test Rating:
It would have been a 5 but for the information sources (how many honest airlines do you know?

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

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

Monday, 1 October 2012

Flashcards - App Review


I guess flash cards are an old-fashioned concept. You know the thing, where you have a question on one side of a card and the answer on the other; it is a way to learn that has been practised for a very long time. This is the same idea but brought up to date.
The questions and answers are input on a PC and then used on your iOS device (or PC).  There are also masses of existing cards that are shared by the community (links below).

This App is useful whether you want to help your child learning maths, memorise capital cities, flags, foreign vocabulary... the possibilities are endless.

You can create cards from scratch, or use one of the 68.1 Million (no, I haven't counted them) Flashcards that are on the developer site (link at bottom).


Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
As iOS devices only have a screen on one side, the interface shows an upper and lower screen where the upper screen has the question and the lower part of the screen only shows the answer when you flick the page; very neat. You then score yourself as being correct and incorrect and Flashcards keeps score for you. There is the (very necessary) option to shuffle the cards; it becomes too easy otherwise. It really is very neat, although the application is designed for the iPhone so, on the iPad, the screen is filled by using the '2x' button.

Cost
The App is free, as is the developer site with access to all those existing cards. You are encouraged to contribute to cards available to others, and donations are graciously accepted.

Indispensability
It all depends on whether this method of learning suits you. If it does, it sure beats bits of paper.

Dependability
Never had a problem.

Security
The only App specific risk is that you share information on your cards that might be confidential... don't use this to remember PIN numbers and then share them with the world


ACIDS Test Rating:
If you use Flashcards, it's a must have App


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

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