Email text

Please enter YOUR Email address to receive updates. Ensure you add noreply+feedproxy@google.com to your safe list.

Follow by Email

iTunes Vouchers

Thursday, 30 January 2014

WiPoint - App Review



This App allows you to prepare a slideshow presentation on an iPad, without the need for anything else (apart from the information, of course).

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Your presentation stars springing to life by pressing the + icon.

Now either pick one of the built-in templates, or take a photograph from within the App, to get a background. You can also use your photo album where each selected one will be used a slide (a different kind of presentation but, could be very useful).

Next, press the Text editor icon to enter some text on your slide. As one has become accustomed, the text can be moved, resized, and coloured. Then do this as many times as needed to create your set of slides.

If this a presentation where you will not be present, you can record a voice-over directly in the App.

You can also add Music from the built-in library, or from your own music library.

All that remains now is to set the speed by using the slider towards the screen and then press Create Presentation; your work will be saved to the photo album in the App, ready for sharing.

Cost
This is a low-cost $1 App; excellent value.

Indispensability
If you need to make presentations, and especially if you don't get too much notice, this could be just what you've been looking for.

Dependability
The App only works on an iPad. The App only seems to support text that is left aligned.

Security
Presentations can be shared via e-mail, as well as Facebook and YouTube; as ever, be careful of what you share.

If you are using music from your library, be aware of any copyright issues.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Prepare presentations on the fly.

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


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


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

AppZilla 3 - App Review



The tendency for Apps to be more and more focused goes in exactly the opposite direction with this offering; it promises 150 Apps in One!

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Tapping the App Apps button will initially bring up a grouping (favourites, entertainment, games, reference, utilities, productivity, music, calculation, and All Apps); press it again and you have 16 Apps to a page listed by name (although you can use settings to reorder these). You can also hide Apps so as to leave the ones that are (at least currently) the ones you prefer.

It is simple to just add Apps to your favourites by holding an App icon and then choosing to add it. You then have quicker access to your most oft used Apps.

I don't intend to review all 150 Apps here (pleased to read that, aren't you) but, just to mention a few so that you get some idea of the breadth of variety.

Entertainment - Game Buzzer
Noises for correct and incorrect answers.

Games - Blackjack
Play the casino game without risking your life savings.

Reference - Holidays
Immediate access to masses of 'holidays', religious as well as many others, with easy access to past and previous years; could save you a lot of time searching.

Utilities - Decibels
Gives you a reading of Peak, Average and Current decibels (dB)... is the television louder than the neighbours mower?

Productivity - Geo Minder
Find exactly where you are, together with map view and then set a remind when you are next within a certain distance.

Music - Metronome
Tap the screen 5 times to set the beat, and the metronome then takes over.

Calculation - BMI Calc
Check your Body Mass Index against accepted norms. Just a word of working that if you use metric measurements, your height is in centimetres, not metres... and are BMI recommendations the same for me and women?

There really is something for everybody here; useful stuff.

Cost
You get a heck of a lot for your $1.

Indispensability
This is very difficult to score, as there will undoubtedly be Apps that you will never use (apart perhaps from finding out what they do) but, on the other hand, there are some really useful nuggets here.

Dependability
The App uses 79.3 MB of space which might seem a lot but, divide that by 150 and the average is amazingly low.

Security
No issues.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Amazing value.

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


You can get AppZilla 3 here and support for the App here.


Saturday, 25 January 2014

AirCassette - App Review



In the words of the developers: "retrofy your hi-fi system".

As someone who remembers (and indeed owned) one of the first Philips cassette decks, this is a real retro App.

When it comes to (relatively) highly rated Apps, some are extremely useful, and some have brilliant graphics; this one falls into the second group.

There are, of course, also those rare birds that meet both criteria.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
You start with a screen listing the music on your iOS device by artist, album, or song.

Choose anything and keep it help to 'add to queue'. This is, effectively, identical to creating a playlist.

Now pick a cassette from a choice of colours that will bring memories flooding back.

Choose the cassette icon (including the much-acclaimed TDK SA Series and some with deliberate spelling mistakes to get around copyright issues) and see your songs as you would have 40, or more years ago; great fun.

You can even see the cassette rewind or fast forward, as well as playing.


Cost
The App costs $2 and there is an in App purchase for $1 for a Cassette 6 pack.

Indispensability
There are the graphics to admire; that is what this App is all about.

Dependability
The App is designed for the iPhone, where it looks and sounds great.

On an iPad you can view in 1x and 2x (size makes it look more like an 8-Track) modes, although I couldn't get any sound.

Security
There are no issues, unless you start sharing your playlists via Twitter or indeed e-mail; these are of course, very slight risks.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Nostalgia... who said it ain't what it used to be?

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


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


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Kayak Pro - App Review



Those of us who spend our own money also spend ages researching the best deals; do you recognise yourself here?

Whether it's a hotel, flight, or car hire, this is an App that will search for the best deals.


Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The settings 'gear' gives you access to some interesting, and very useful services. These include enabling iCloud synchronisation, subscribing to a weekly best deals newsletter, and an excellent Autofill function.

The booking of flights, hotels, and car hire follow standard practices. Enter your start and end dates, routings, locations, class etc. You are then presented with a long (usually) list of options. Pick the one that suits you and follow the booking process of the provider.

Additionally there is a world map where you can choose when (dates), what (golf, beach, gambling, skiing, and temperature), and flight type (non-stop and flight duration), together with a target price range. As the information is based on searches made by users in the previous 48 hours, it is unlikely to show many bargains but, you never know...

The App also contains a flight tracker and a trip planner (simply forward your booking receipt emails and receive your planner as a one page web, and get flight status alerts by email or SMS.

This really is a fairly comprehensive travel booking App.

Cost
This is a low cost $1 App. The publisher (presumably) makes a commission on closed deals but, they more than deserve it.

As an aside, whilst reviewing the site, I checked on a booking I had already made somewhere else, and was surprised to see a lower price (unbelievably, through the same provider). The terms were not identical but the saving was substantial.

Indispensability
If you are wedded to a particular provider (why?) then, that would be the only valid reason for not giving this a try.

Dependability
If you change currency, you will need to quit the App before the alteration takes place,

Security
There are no issues with the App itself, except the Facebook link and potential iCloud security risk.

You don't have to register with Kayak, nor sign in with Facebook, in order to get access to the information.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Pay less AND work less for your travel arrangements.

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


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


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Textever Pro - App Review



Textever Pro is a simple way to edit, or create, Evernote notes.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The '+' will open a new page for you. The first line typed will automatically become the title for the note. The rest is your note.

There is a handy character counter, including spaces and carriage returns.

The icons at the bottom of the screen allow you to easily add Tags, enter the date, time, a very useful check box (although it does not appear possible to enter a tick), as well as adding a photograph. The image is not actually added to the text in the document but is clearly visible at the foot of the page.

The settings allow you to link your Evernote account, pick from a variety of papers, fonts, protect your wrk with a pass code (limited to 4 characters but not limited to numbers).

Cost
The App is not inexpensive, at $4.

Indispensability
If you use Evernote (and you really should be), Textever Pro is a more elegant way of editing or creating notes than the Evernote App.

Dependability
The App works in native mode, on either an iPhone or iPad.

Security
The only sharing you do is with Evernote... but that is the reason for the App.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Evernote companion App.

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


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


Saturday, 18 January 2014

Air Pipes - App Review



An App to learn to play the bagpipes (yes, honestly).

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Just to convince yourself that this really works, and sounds just like a real Highland Bagpipe, blow into the speaker on your iOS device. Now press and of the 6 buttons (or holes) and there you are, already making music (alright, not everyone will call it that).

Once you have stopped using it as a toy, explore the settings, especially the About where you will find finger positions which will give you a bit more musical information.

The Select Tune allows you to choose from a number of 'easy' starter tunes:

Amazing Grace
Auld Lang Syne
God Save The Queen
Happy Birthday
Marines' Hymn
Ode to Joy
We Wish Yo A Merry Christmas
Yankee Doodle

For the more adventurous (or experienced, of course), there are more 'medium' and 'hard' options.

Any of these songs can then be either previewed, where you hear how it should be played, or by pressing on the name itself, you are guided as to where, and for how long, to place your fingers.

The Settings options allows you to set up more parameters, including making your life easier by using 'AutoBlow'.

Cost
This is a $2 App, with th opportunity to purchase additional tunes for $1 each.

Indispensability
Well, if you want to learn to play this instrument, this is probably the simplest (and definitely least expensive) way to start.

Dependability
The App will work on many older iOS devices as it only requires iOS 5.1 (or later). This app is optimised for iPhone 5.

Security
There are absolutely no issues with the App... just don't upset the neighbours.

ACIDS Test Rating:

There's an App for everything...

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


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


Thursday, 16 January 2014

SyncPhotos to Storage - App Review



Wouldn't it be great if you could easily copy photos from your iOS device to your desktop PC, without a cable, without iTunes, and without the blunderbuss approach of the iOS 'Photo Stream'.

This App promises exactly that.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Once you have the App installed, the next step is to install "Sync Photos to Storage" client software onto your PC, Mac or Linux desktop . To make your life even easier, there is a button that will automatically send you a link via e-mail; nice touch.

The top of the screen shows you detected storage, as well as access to Dropbox. Choose the place where you want to copy the photo and it will be displayed at the top left of the screen.

Provided you have allowed the App access to your photos, you will see thumbnails of your photos at the bottom of the screen; pick the one you wish to transfer.

The middle of the screen has the biggest button I have ever seen 'Put to storage' - no prizes for guessing what it does.

Cost
The basic App is absolutely free. There is a the possibility to upgrade, via an in-App purchase, to the Pro version which allows you to sync all your photos at the same time, rather than one by one.

Indispensability
Whatever you do, do not think that this is the same as 'Photo Stream'. This App gives you specific storage control over individual photographs... no more having either all, or none, of your masterpieces, or trials, shared.

Dependability
The App works, on the basis that you first view the photograph you want to copy.

If you omitted to allow the App access to your photos, you might get confused... as it appears impossible to pick an image. To remedy this situation, go to Settings/Privacy/Photos and flick the switch to 'on' for 'SyncPhotos'.

Security
There is the very remote issue of having shared information via Dropbox. This really is only a technical issue; I am an absolute fan of Dropbox.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Control photo sharing, simply.

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


You can get SyncPhotos to Storage here and support for the App here.


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Mathtastical - App Review



This is a neat App to put you under pressure to solve simple calculations.

As an additional benefit, it is a great way to take your mind off things... as you need to concentrate.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Press the + button and get started.

The countdown, and pressure, starts almost immediately. Around this is an old style telephone dial with ten numbers (0-9). All you have to do is enter the answer to the ever more difficult questions. The timer really makes this more interesting... if you could take your time, you would probably get them all correct.

You then get a score which can be compared to the high score. You earn 'coins' which can be exchanged for additional time, hint for result, or even an answer.

Cost
This is a low cost, $1 App.

Indispensability
Obviously, this App is not indispensable but, a pleasant diversion.

Dependability
Well, I didn't find any incorrect answers!

Security
You can use the App linked to the Game Center (sic).

ACIDS Test Rating:

Mind training and emptying in one.

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


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


Saturday, 11 January 2014

https://www.beesy.me/images/beesapps/logo-2.png

Under the headline "meetings; love 'em, hate 'em... you just keep having 'em", I reviewed the excellent Beesy App.

The forward-thinking people at Beesy have now also announced the availability of an on-line synchronisation system to make you even more productive, known as Beesy.me.

If you are already using Beesy and need better collaboration, you need to look at this; if you were waiting for an even more all encompassing solution than 'standalone' Beesy, you now have it.

Outline+ - App Review



Do you use Microsoft OneNote?

This App may be the answer to your prayers as it promises compatibility (view and edit) with the Microsoft offering.

If you are looking for a sophisticated note taking App, this might be the one for you... the publisher promises 'as simple and intuitive as your old paper notebook'.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Unusually for an App, there is a quick start guide, as well as a comprehensive user guide.

If you are in a hurry then, touch the `+` and start your first note. The date and time are automatically added. Your first task is to add a title to your note. By double tapping it, you can select the style, bold, italic, underline, font size, colour, bulleting, alignment, as well as markers for to-do, important, question, highlight, and contact.

Adding text is as simple as a long tap and then entering the text. The text can be formatted in he same way as the headline, as well as moved anywhere on the screen.

You can also use script and drawing with pens, highlighters (which work properly, without obscuring the background), and marker. There can each have a colour and width assigned, so that your palette is very much how you want it to be.

Photographs (either from your albums, or taken within the App) can also be added to your notes, and annotated at will.

You have now created your first Outline+ note but, have also just scratched the surface.

The settings will allow you to link the App to Dropbox, SkyDrive, or Box, and then decide on parameters for synchronisation. You can also protect your precious notes with a pass code, although this is limited to 4 numbers.

Cost
Outline+ is $15 which might seem a lot at first sight but, remember that the big difference is the interchangeability with Microsoft OneNote... and that cost you considerably more than $15.

Indispensability
I would suggest that a note taking App, with more bells and whistles that the iOS 'Notes', is an essential part of your tablet armoury. If you already use Microsoft OneNote, it may well be a no-brainer.

Dependability
The App is great but... and investing a little time in at least glancing at the manual will pay dividends.

There doesn't appear to have wrist protection so, using a stylus is not as easy as it might otherwise be.

Security
The usual warnings about synchronising apply.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Real OneNote support on iOS.

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


You can get Outline+ here and support for the App here.


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Sticky Notes HD - App Review



Lists, lists, lists... do they never end? The short answer is 'no', so you might as well accept that you cannot do without them; might as well have an App that helps you.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
You can start with settings and choose whether you want text displayed as light or dark.... and if you don't do this first, don't worry, it can be set later (and changed to your heart's content).

To get to the nitty gritty, press 'New' and you have just created a new note. You now set a title, add some text (if you need to), select a colour (if you do not want to use the last one selected), set the priority (low, medium, high, very high), and decide whether or not you need an alarm for this item. Now touch 'Create sticky' and voilà, you have created your first sticky note.

If you wish, you can leave it at that but, yo would be missing out on some cool functions.

Your list can be sorted alphabetically, by priority, or by inverse priority (very useful if you want to get loads of quick but unimportant jobs done first).

Of course, notes can be edited and deleted.

The really neat part is that, having colour coded your notes, you can choose to show all colour or any subset.

Cost
This is a low cost $1 App with no advertising.

Indispensability
A list manger of some sort is indispensable (at least to list maniacs like me); if you are a visual person who really likes colour coding, this is the one for you.

Dependability
The App you buy is called 'Sticky Notes HD' but appears as 'Sticky Memos' on your iOS device.

Security
There are no apparent issues as this is a standalone App.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Coloured notes; simple but effective.

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


You can get Sticky Notes HD here and support for the App here.


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Bugshot - App Review



One of the ways that Apps improve over time is the helpful criticism given by users.

Unfortunately, we are sometimes too lazy and are not prepared to write to the developer to explain the problem. This App makes it very easy to report bugs and get them squashed.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Let's assume that you have just noticed an error in an App; all you need do is take a screenshot of the issue (press the menu button (the one below the screen) and simultaneously press the top button (the one at the top edge of the screen)).

You now have a screen dump of the offending issue and just need to open the Bugshot App.

Bugshot will display a list of your screen captures; pick the one that is relevant.

There are 4 controls for you to handle the information:

Arrow
Use it to point to the offending matter.

Box
Draw a box around the item you are highlighting (if necessary)

Bokeh
This allows you to blur any information on the screen that you do not want to share.

Send
This enables you to send your annotated screen shot as a message, by email, Twitter, of Facebook.

Cost
The App is absolutely free and bereft of advertising; a genuine display of helpfulness.

Indispensability
This really depends on your attitude to whether you want to be helpful and give, or just want to take.

Dependability
A word of warning... if you don't allow the App access to your photos at the beginning, you will be in a dead end. If this happens to you, go to Settings/Privacy/Photos and flick the switch to 'on' for Bugshot.

Security
Be careful when sharing images that any confidential information is properly masked.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Helps you to help others.

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


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


Saturday, 4 January 2014

Instaflash - App Review



The camera provided with your iOS device is useful but also limited.

This handy App allows you to correct underexposed photos very easily.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
All you need do is load a photograph from your camera roll, then use the slider at the bottom to increase exposure.

The modified image can then be saved to your camera roll or forwarded to your favourite social media.

You can save the settings used to reuse later, as well as resetting shadows (including the option to undo), and, if you want more control, access more settings (contrast, white balance, saturation, sharpness, geometry.

Cost
The basic App is free but there are in-App purchase options for skin tone, colour splash and others.

Indispensability
This depends on how much control you want on an image that not be taken under ideal circumstances in the first place.

Dependability
The App works, although the adjustments can get a little confusing, particularly if you accidentally pick a chargeable option.

Security
Pictures can de shared directly to Facebook and Twitter, as well as by E-mail.

ACIDS Test Rating:

More control for your camera.

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


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


Thursday, 2 January 2014

Mind Jogger - App Review



This is the classic time of year for making resolutions to change... but how many of us manage to follow through?

The Mind Jogger App may well be just what you need to make the difference.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The home screen contains a big '+'; hit this and get started.

The first (very obvious) thing is to pick a title for the reminder. This can be anything you want... just remember what it means to you. Next is to decide whether you want the notification to be random or at regular intervals (in which case you can set the time and periodicity). Now set the reminder sound you want or, in my opinion, the best option of silent (you will then be reminded by a subtle (and recognised only by you) memory jogger.

This is the first App I have come across that comes anywhere close to mirroring the functions of the MotivAider

Cost
The basic App is absolutely free; you can upgrade to the premium version to get more comprehensive statistics, especially of complete 'jogs'.

Indispensability
We all need help remembering things; when it comes to changing habits, this is even more necessary.

Dependability
The App is designed for the iPhone but works fine on an iPad in 1x and 2x modes.

Security
There are no issues with the App but be careful not to get distracted by your alerts.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Make 2014 the year you keep your New Year resolution(s).

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


You can get Mind Jogger here and support for the App here.