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Saturday, 28 September 2013

MyScript MathPad - App Review



It's been a while since I have needed to write a complex equation but, you have to agree that:



is easier to read as:

 
MyScript MathPad converts the former into the latter.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
If you are going to be writing complex equations, the first thing you would require is a blank sheet of paper. The App provides exactly this, with very few (needless) distractions.

The controls that are present allow for undo/redo, delete,

There is a settings option for palm rejection as well as left/right-handed writing.

Then it is a case of 'simply' writing your equation and letting the App make it legible. If you make a mistake, want to add or correct something, just scribble through what you don't want and it gets corrected.

You can then share your masterpiece as a message, email, Twitter, or Facebook, as well as saving it.

It is as easy to use as that.

Cost
The App is totally free, without advertisements.

Indispensability
If you need to share equations with others, this must be the most painless (for everyone) way to do it.

Dependability
The App works beautifully... even with my writing!

This App does not solve equations. you need the sister App MyScript Calculator.

Security
Information is only shared if you choose to export it.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Legible equations, without fail.

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


You can get MyScript MathPad here and support for the App here.


Thursday, 26 September 2013

Prune - Habit breaker - App Review



Do you need help in giving up something?

Prune could help you achieve your goal(s).

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The first screen you will see (apart from allowing push notifications) is entitled "I will live without". You then enter whatever it is you are going to live without, then pick the length, using a neat slider, from 1 day to 1 year.

The bottom of the screen has three options:

begin
... yes, you guessed it, that's how to start the process

suggest
If you can't think of something to give up, the App will suggest something such as: salty foods, voicemail, or smoking.

resurrect
This allows you to restart or continue a project you had previously started.

Checking your progress shows a circular timer which always increases, together with the time value clearly displayed.

You can run multiple projects simultaneously, as well as share any of these directly by Facebook, Twitter, or Email.

Cost
In return for your $2.00, you get a motivational tool.

Indispensability
Most people need some prop to help them change habits; this may well be yours.

Dependability
The App works; there's not really much to go with the wrong.

Security
Sharing your personal information through Facebook or Twitter should be treated with the usual caution.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Could be the prop you need.

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


You can get Prune - Habit breaker here and support for the App here.


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Stickyboard 2 - App Review



Post-it notes were all the rage but digital technology seems to have slightly overshadowed them. The main reason is that we can be better organised with electronics than we could with paper... or so we might believe.

Stickyboard 2 allows you to have the best of both worlds; the obviousness of multicoloured post-its, and be automatically organised.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Apart from the sample set that greets you, a simple white board is where you start.

There are few controls (just as it should be):

Notes
This gives you access to a number of different coloured notes, as well as 3 font sizes. Once you have picked, double tapping on the screen gives you an easily resizable and editable text note. Just use the keyboard to enter the note (this makes sure you can reread it later).

Pencil
Pick from one of eight colours and have a freehand tool for writing or drawing. Anything you do will always appear behind any notes, and you cannot freehand a note.

Eraser
Select this to either use exactly as an eraser on any pencil note you have made or the 'Erase All Ink' option which will remove all your freehand notes and markers.

Forward
Here you can email a copy of your whole Stickyboard, either as text or a pdf.

Undo/Redo
This will allow you to correct or 'stet' the last entry you made.

Gallery
This gives you access to all the boards you have created, and is also the place to name individual boards.

The best part is however not quite so obvious (a case of RTM here). If you use one finger to engulf multiple notes, you can then simply three finger swipe and the notes are neatly ordered; you certainly can't do that with paper.

Cost
The App is absolutely free.

Indispensability
If you already have a desk/screen full of Post-its, this could well be a better solution. On the other hand, if you are sticky averse then, this is probably not going to be your cup of tea.

Dependability
Stickyboard 2 requires iOS 3.2 or higher, and only works on an iPad.

Security
There is no data sharing, unless you choose to email a pdf or text version of your board.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Organised Post-Its

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


You can get Stickyboard 2 here and support for the App here.


Saturday, 21 September 2013

Air Keyboard - App Review



Not all keyboards are 'QWERTY' and not all keyboards and mice are clean.

Now, I'm not casting aspersions at your computer hygiene... but have you ever had to use someone else's equipment (hotel, café).

This App makes those problems a thing of the past by making your iPad into a keyboard for a PC or Mac.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Like most really useful Apps, the interface is brilliantly simple.

The first step is to download an App onto 'your' Mac or PC. Installation is very straightforward; all you need do is choose whether or not you want to protect use of the remote keyboard with a password.

Having done that, start the App and you will see your desktop device listed (there could of course be more than one).

Now choose the type of keyboard you want from:

Full
Compact
iPad
Touchpad
Windows Media Player
Photoshop
Shooter Game
... or even create a custom layout.

And now use your iPad as a keyboard and mouse for your PC or Mac; it really is that simple.

Cost
There is a free version for the iPhone which is Add supported and can be cleaned by a modest in-App purchase. The iPad version (reviewed here) only costs $2.00.

Indispensability
It can be argued that if you have a desktop computer you already have a keyboard, and anywhere that offers you the use of a PC also gives access to keyboard and mouse; incontrovertibly true.

Spill coffee on your keyboard or run out of battery power for your input device and you would kill for this App.

Dependability
In my case the App, and seemingly more importantly, the PC server side installed first time, and worked immediately. The developer does however ask that, should you encounter any installation problems, you send them an email. They will in turn attempt to rectify the problem. I would urge you, if needed, to follow this advice.

Security
There is a theoretical risk of your data being intercepted as it is typed however, this remote risk is inherent in all keyboard entry.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Simply brilliant.

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


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


Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Brainstormer 2.00 - App Review



I am in the very fortunate position of reviewing Apps, within a set framework. This means that writer's block is not a problem. If however you need inspiration for your writing then, The Brainstormer could be the answer to your prayers.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The basic window consists of three discs, together with some controls... that's probably enough to get you writing a story already.

You can manually spin the rings or choose the dice to randomly spin the wheels for you. This will give you a plot, setting or style, and a subject. This is in the basic model, further inspiration is available as an in App purchase.

As an example, my first spin led to the triumvirate of "adultery, fairy tale, rocket"... what a great basis for a short story... sorry, I digress.

If this isn't to your liking then you can spin again, one wheel at a time, or roll the dice.

This inspiration can then be sent by email, Twitter, or Facebook, directly from the App.

Cost
The basic App costs $2.00 and can be augmented by in-App purchases.

Indispensability
If you've never been involved in creative writing, you will wonder what this is all about. On the other hand, if writer's block has ever blighted you, this is a painless way to, maybe, get started.

Dependability
The App works beautifully, and is a pleasure to use. What you do with the output is, of course, your responsibility.

Security
If you share YOUR (albeit with a little help) plot summary via Facebook or Twitter then, on your head be it.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Eliminates writer's block in a spin.

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


You can get The Brainstormer 2.00 here and support for the App here.


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Everlapse - App Review



Create 'clips', which are collections of photographs.

*** Please also see comment 23 September 2013 12:04 for update ***


Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Having 'signed on' (sic) with Twitter, you are then invited to create an account, which merely involves entering an email address.

By tapping the screen, you will experience your first clip, which shows you how they work, and the ability to add photographs to other clips

Creating a clip is merely a case of either adding a photograph from your iOS device, or taking a new photograph.

As soon as this is done, you can add a title and then share it on Twitter. People who follow you can also add to your clip.

You can also share through Facebook, and as either an email or a text message.

Cost
The App is free.

Indispensability
This is one of those Apps that, if it catches on, could become slightly addictive.

Dependability
The App requires iOS 6.0 or later.

Security
Logging-in is done through your Twitter account, in return for which you allow the App access to your Tweets, your followers and people you follow, as well as access to update your profile and post on your behalf.

Everlapse also needs access to your photos, in order to be able to create clips.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Could just catch on.

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


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


Saturday, 14 September 2013

Alcoo-sim Be my angel HD - App Review



Do you know how much you can drink and subsequently drive, legally?

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
After acknowledging a disclaimer, you are invited to set parameters by answering very user-friendly pictograms. These are initially limited to sex and weight.

Thereafter you elegantly glide your drink(s) from a choice of:

Beer (large or small)
Shandy
Wine (red or white)
Champagne
Whiskey
Vodka
Gin
Tequila
Rum
Liqueur
Spirit
Aperitif
Caipirinha
Mojito
Pina colada
Gin & tonic
Cocktail
Sangria
Hot wine

... into the timeline but, not until you have touched the picture of the drink and amended (if necessary), the default quantity and alcoholic strength.

Once you are finished, touch the calculate button.

You are presented with a graph displaying your current and predicted alcohol levels, as well as maximum level and the time at which you should be at 0%.

Cost
Not only is the App free but, if you are lucky enough to be in Switzerland, it is part of a move to raise awareness of the perils of drinking (and drugs) aimed mainly at 16-25 year-olds. Anyone accepting to be the (non-drinking) designated driver gets free drinks; nice touch.

Indispensability
The App makes you more aware than you might otherwise be of the time to 'evacuate' alcohol.

Dependability
You are warned when you open the App that the information is only given for illustration purposes. Do not use this to decide to drive.

Security
Don't drink and drive.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Interesting.

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


You can get Alcoo-sim Be my angel HD here and support for the App here.


Thursday, 12 September 2013

MyScript Calculator - App Review



This is a calculator App with two major differences. Firstly you input information directly onto the screen (there is no keypad) and secondly the App solves equations.

It is this latter function which is really exceptional.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
There's a handy tutorial which you might find helpful but, the App is so intuitive that you can easily get started without watching it.

The settings enable you to choose a default of Degrees or Radians, or allow you to choose on each appropriate calculation. You can also set the default number of decimal places, as well as better rejection of palm on screen syndrome, and handling of left-handed entry. you are invited to send anonymous data to the developer to help their development efforts.

What you have is basically a blank screen with icons for undo, redo, trash/bin/waste (whatever you call it). In effect this is everything you need.

Use your finger or stylus to enter a calculation, followed by an equals sign. Your input is translated into legible text, complete with answer. you can then correct or alter your information directly on the screen.

This is impressive but pales into insignificance when you enter start entering more complex formulae, complete with roots, factorials, trigonometric, and log functions.

The handwriting recognition is excellent (as one has come to expect from Vision Objects).

Cost
The App is free and supported by advertising for companion Apps. This promotion is very discreet.

Indispensability
If complex calculations are your daily routine then, this App is a must.

Dependability
The handwriting recognition is very good... anything that can read my scrawl must be effective. The tested results were all flawless, although the square root of -1 proves a challenge too far... and there are plenty of us in that club.

Security
No issues, and you can share results via Twitter and email.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Problem solved!

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


You can get MyScript Calculator here and support for the App here.


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

City Guides by National Geographic - App Review



There are truck loads of so-called city guides in the App Store. None had yet made it onto these reviews but, the 'National Geographic' name made me sit up and take notice.

This taster covers London, New York, Paris, and Rome.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The guides cover various aspects of each city:

Photos
Although this is absolutely self-explanatory, those of you who are familiar with the yellow National Geographic magazines will not be disappointed; the photography is exceptional.

Essentials
This covers weather averages (temperature and rainfall), as well as currency conversions, planning information (when to go, climate, passport and visa regulations).

Did you know?
Here are some very interesting facts which you might not know... and could safely bet that you could get free drinks from locals by surprising them with your knowledge. A really useful feature is that, when specific places are referenced, the App will locate them for you, as well as giving contact information and direct access to any appropriate website.

Settings
Here you can set distance units, type of clock (24 hour or a.m./p.m.), temperature units (Celsius/Fahrenheit) and how light/dark you would like maps displayed.

Additionally, you can have information on walks, eating out, what to do and so-called secrets... but you will need to go to the dreaded in-App purchases for these.

Cost
The basic city guides for the four mentioned cities are free. You will need to pay to upgrade to get more information, and all the pictures.

Indispensability
If you are visiting, as a sightseer, any of the four cities, this is a great guide. Even paying to unlock the rest of the information makes it worthwhile.

Dependability
The App, together with the links all work very smoothly. You need to be aware that, in order to go back to the main menu, there is a small triangular tab at the bottom right of the page; it's not all that easy to see, particularly if you are out in the sun.

Security
There are no inherent security issues with the App. If you choose to share information via Facebook or Twitter, then be careful when adding your location.

ACIDS Test Rating:

National Geographic photos; can't beat them.

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


You can get City Guides by National Geographic here and support for the App here.


Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Idiot Test 3 - App Review



A bit of tongue in cheek fun to test your brain power... or is it?

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The home screen gives you access to high scores, passwords, and instructions (they're amusing).

Starting the test brings up various coloured shapes. Touch the appropriate one and get to pass level one... this gives you the rank of 'idiot'.

You then move through the levels, aided by ever improving congratulations about your status.

You need to be careful... with the stop watch counting up, you are urged to quickly not touch a particular shape. assuming you read the instruction correctly in the first place, what do you actually do?

Your memory is also challenged as you receive instructions which cover more than one screen... as it becomes ever more challenging.

Cost
The App is free and gives you direct access to purchasing other Apps from the developer.

Indispensability
What are you... an idiot?

Dependability
Just for fun but, the App works... even if I'm not too bright.

Security
Scores can be shared through the Game Center (sic), as well as Facebook and Twitter.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Too tough for me!

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


You can get The Idiot Test 3 here and support for the App here.


Thursday, 5 September 2013

Apps Gone Free - App Review



If you are quite happy with the Apple-supplied Apps on your iPhone/iPad/iPod then, this won't interest you... but then again, why are you reading this blog in the first place.

If you are still reading then, you are interested in 'improving' (it is a very subjective thing) the way you do things, and hence open to a little experimentation.

Apps Gone Free is your window onto this ever-changing world, and importantly, a signpost on getting something for nothing (my favourite price tag).

Apps Gone Free notifies you of other Apps that are available, for a limited time, at no cost. Their rules are that the recommended App must have a rating of at least 3 stars (on the App store, not the ACIDS test!), there are no ads, and the App must be a genuine paid-for App.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
It would be difficult to make a simpler and clearer interface.

Down the left-hand side are dates, up to today. Pick any date and the screen is populated with all the Apps that are/were free on that day.

Pick any of the listed Apps and you get further details, including a simple 'Get it in the App Store' button that takes you directly to the download.

Some offers only last a day, and some longer, so you might find older ones where you can still avail yourself of the special deal.

Cost
Yes, the App is free. However, an Internet connection is required in order to use the App, so you need to be aware of data transmission charges, where these apply.

Indispensability
There are probably only two types of people who don't need Apps Gone Free:
1. Those who don't like change
2. Those with money to burn.

Dependability
It works!

Security
You do not share any information.

ACIDS Test Rating:

You can't afford not to have this.

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


You can get Apps Gone Free xxxx here and support for the App here.


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Sincerely Ink - App Review



This is another keeping in touch solution from those nice people at Sincerely.

This App promises that you can 'mail unique, personalized greeting cards in 2 minutes from anywhere'.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
You start off by choosing a card from the shelf; these are arranged as featured, categories (with no less than 23 sub categories), and saved (which will be populated by you).

Having chosen your basic layout, it can then be personalised. The front can have an added message, as well as a colour change, or (in some cases) one of your photographs (and with added filters for effects).

The back of the card will contain your message.

All you need do now is log-in, conform that it 'looks great, I'll buy', and pay.

This can easily be done within the promised 2 minutes... although possibly not the first time, as your curiosity will be aroused, and you will be busy looking at lots of alternatives.

Cost
The App is free but it, obviously costs to actually send the physical card. This costs $1.99 in the USA and $2.99 for most other locations. You can buy Sincerely credits and save on the total cost.

Indispensability
There are now quite a lot of solutions for sending personalised greetings cards. This one costs far less than most but, takes longer to deliver... so plan in advance.

Dependability
As with other Sincerely Apps, it is extremely easy to use and works as expected.

Security
You can sign in either with Facebook, or with a Sincerely account.

In exactly the same way as other Sincerely Apps, you will need to allow access to your photos and contacts, otherwise there will be nothing to send to anybody! You can also manually enter names and addresses (better for security but much more work).

ACIDS Test Rating:

So simple to use.

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


You can get Sincerely Ink here and support for the App here.