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Thursday, 31 January 2013

School Blackboard - App Review

How about a blackboard... in fact a dark green board?

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
You are simply presented with a dark green screen (apart from the adverts). The tools are limited to a chalk (white or black) and a thickness chooser, as well as a rubber which works exactly as it would on a blackboard (no need to wet it though!). In addition you can save any of your works as favourites and edit/recall them later. It's neat and simple.

Cost
This is the free version which includes adverts. The full version also allows you to choose chalk colours as well as sending your artwork by SMS or Email, assigning pictures to contacts and (of course) no ads.

Indispensability
This is not really the first word that springs to mind! I'm sure I saw a taxi driver using this as a name board to collect a passenger... remember that this is only finger writing so, it does not necessarily look very professional. There are plenty of Apps that allow you to enter anything (including typewritten text) onto a screen.

Dependability
The App works perfectly.

Security
As all data is saved on your iOS device, there are no security issues... except for anything you wouldn't want anyone to see.

ACIDS Test Rating:
If you can think of a use for the App, try it for free.

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

You can get School Blackboard here and support for the App here.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Scanner Pro - App Review

Using a scanner can be a time-consuming business and photographing documents can lead to large files and difficulty in annotating the same documents. Scanner Pro allows you to use your iOS device to take a photograph of any document and then save it (amongst others) as a PDF file. This allows you to keep your expenses neatly (or whatever else), as well as enabling you to save them in the best portable format.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
First up, you have the choice of either taking a photo, or using one that is already on your iOS device. The image (whether you already had it or just took it) is then on your screen, together with a transparent white box, complete with handles, which enables you to select the exact area for your scan. There is also a 'Find Borders' function which works fairly well. This ensures that the image is only of the part of the document you want (say the wine label, rather than the bottle and part of the table behind it). The next step enables you to adjust brightness and contrast (both by easy to use sliders), as well as rotate the selected image in 90 degree increments. The next step is to save your treated image. This can then be very easily emailed, printed, faxed (do people really still use them), or most importantly upload. This upload function is the real beauty as the document can be sent to Dropbox, as well as Evernote, WebDAV, or Google Drive.

Cost
There is a free mini version which allows you to make sure this App is for you. This mini version however does not allow documents to be directly uploaded to Dropbox et al... and that is essential. The App is low cost and well worth the very small investment.

Indispensability
Let's be honest, you can do without this App but, a very positive by-product is that your saved document does not fade... unlike printed receipts. I was recently looking for old receipts that I had dutifully carefully filed... only to find that they were all identical... blank.

Dependability
It works well but, you need a steady hand to get the best out of the App and making sure you have enough light on the subject ensures best results. If the App hangs, make sure it is the only App running and all works well. For the best quality and usability,  I would recommend scanning as a photo and then uploading as PDF, that way you get the best of both worlds.

Security
There are no issues with the App itself as all information is held on your device. The potential for 'eavesdropping' comes when you save your document in the 'cloud'... and this is where the App is really useful.

ACIDS Test Rating:
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So useful, you'll wonder how you did without it.

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

You can get Scanner Pro here and support for the App here.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Misting goggles?

As the skiing season continues its wonderful start… here’s an unApp review. If you’ve ever suffered from goggles misting up (and if you haven’t, that’s a miracle), here’s a product that will transform your visibility.
Not only do your goggles not fog up in snow but the usual problem of misting when you stop is also eradicated.
My grateful thanks to Anthony for bringing this excellent product to my attention.
Click on the bottle to get yours.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Genève Aéroport (GVA) - App Review

This is THE App for anyone flying into or out of Geneva airport, or anyone accompanying them. This is an example to airport Websites that give inaccurate and usually incomplete information, or who seem to delight in still using Flash. How many times have YOU encountered the 'flash not installed' problem that seems to almost give some airports an additional layer of protection... if their customers cannot see what is happening on their iPhones then they won't complain; who do they think they are kidding.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The welcome tab gives you updated general information about the airport status.
The flights tab lists all incoming and outgoing flights for today and tomorrow. You can pick whichever flights are appropriate, and if you know the incoming flight on which your outgoing flight relies, tracking this gives additional valuable information. An additional 'My Flights' tab enables you to check which flights you are tracking. Once you have set this up, you will receive push notifications for estimated arrival time (as soon as the incoming plane departs from its previous destination, with updates if there are any changes, together with baggage reclaim number. For outgoing flights there are also the time updates, as well as gate number.
In addition to this there is information on space availability at all the car parks, as well as a price calculator so that you can establish the relative costs.
To finish off there is 'More' tab which includes detailed maps of the airport as well as a list of contacts so that you can directly contact any required service... and as an added bonus you just need to press on any of these to be put straight through; no copying and pasting of numbers.

Cost
It's free.

Indispensability
If you are flying into or out of Geneva, or are meeting someone, it is the best. You can view it as indispensable, or put up with the same frustration you have endured for many years.

Dependability
The App occasionally crashes for no good reason... mainly when scrolling rapidly through flights.

Security
No issues.


ACIDS Test Rating:

Using Geneva Airport? A must!

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

You can get Genève Aéroport (GVA) here and support for the App here.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Ski Tracks - App Review

The skiing season is upon us again (at last) so, it seems appropriate to review this old favourite of mine. You simply start the App and it then tracks your every move...

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Just hit the 'Start' button and you are tracked. The information includes how far (ascent/descent and distance), as well as information on speed and altitude, number of runs, duration and slope inclines. You can also take photographs to link to your experiences and then see exactly where you went once you save the information.

Cost
There is a free version so that you can check it out and then a very inexpensive 'full' version that allows the saving of far more information.

Indispensability
It's a bit difficult to justify the App as anything other than a bit of fun... and that it is.

Dependability
It basically works, although the accuracy does leave something to be desired, even to the extent that you might be logged in to the wrong resort (and that is very easy to fix).

Security
There are only two (very minor) issues, and both are user related. Firstly, there's not much point pretending you we're somewhere you weren't and then share the information; that's like shooting yourself in the foot. The other issue is that you actually look at the screen while you are skiing, you are an idiot!

ACIDS Test Rating:
Fun App for Skiers and Boarders

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

You can get Ski Tracks here and support for the App here.