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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Stock Ratings - App Review



If you actively invest in stocks, you will know that it is essential to get accurate information on a timely basis. The downside to this is that you can rapidly drown in information overload.

This App only deals with limited information and provides it in an easy to digest manner.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The home screen displays analyst upgrades, downgrades, and initiations, as well as dividend and earnings announcements. The screen clearly displays the number of announcements in each category.

The real usefulness of the App comes in using the 'My Stocks' option so as to create notifications specifically for the stocks you are interested in (and avoid information overload). Intelligently, the App displays positive information in green, negative in red, and neutral in a white background. This makes it easy to get a feel for sentiment in an instant.

News for your stocks is further highlighted by indicating the number of new reports.

Cost
The App is absolutely free.

Indispensability
If you are looking for 'headlines', without being able to link directly to the full story, this App is great.

Unfortunately, the App 'only' gives access to information on stocks quoted in the U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada.

Dependability
The App works very well and tested information confirmed the headlines.

Security
The App relies on incoming information; you do not share information with others.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Easy to read stock headlines.

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


You can get Stock Ratings here and support for the App here.


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Convertizo 2 - App Review



Converting units (whatever they are currency or something else), can be a bit of a chore.

This App makes it easy and you don't need to remember constants.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The home screen contains 14 icons, as well as change theme cog. You can choose from the following sections:

Angle
Area
Currency
Data
Energy
Flow
Length
Power
Pressure
Speed
Temperature
Time
Volume
Weight

Tap any of these and you are taken to the calculation screen for your chosen conversion.

They are all similar in that the top left allows you to choose the 'from' category and the next line the 'to' category. Use the large keys on the calculator to enter the 'from' units and see the conversion appear instantly. There is a key to quickly have the calculation ion the opposite direction, keeping the selected number as the source.

Cost
The App costs $3.

Indispensability
This is a very useful App, rather than one you are likely to use every day.

Dependability
The App works as expected. The only proviso is that (only for currency calculations), you need an internet connection to update exchange rates.

Security
This is a standalone App with no hidden vices.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Very useful tool.

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


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


Saturday, 17 May 2014

Private Camera Pro - App Review



Are you concerned that people might snoop through your private photographs and videos?

If you are then, this App will be of interest.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
When you start the App you are guided by a set-up wizard.

The first thing is to choose your desktop type, picking between a keyboard and a gesture-controlled layout.

You then enter your password (numerical, plus a,b,and c), or run your fingers between the points.

Having done this you are invited to enter an email address where you will receive a confirmation message that this is the address to use to enable password alteration.

You then need to ensure that your iCloud settings allow for Documents and Data to be stored for the App 'Private Camera Pro'.

The last thing that remains, in order to ensure your photos are secure, is to import any you want to protect and then delete the originals.

Cost
The App is free and there is an in-App purchase for $3 to enable additional functionality.

Indispensability
Until iOS delivers better security, this is a great way to protect your visual media.

Dependability
The App works as suggested.

Security
This is an App to increase security, rather than be a cause of leaks.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Snoopers beware... your days are numbered.

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


You can get Private Camera Pro here and support for the App here.


Thursday, 15 May 2014

Word Lens - App Review



This is a translator with a difference, in fact a big difference.

Rather than enter text, you point your iOS device at a sign or some text and get it translated.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The App is pretty intuitive to use.

Touch the bar at the top of the screen to define the translation to be effected.

You can choose from:

Reverse words and erase words; these are really to get you familiar with the App and convinced that it actually works; it does.

English to and from any of:
French
German
Italian
Portuguese
Russian
Spanish

Simply point your device at the text. The device can be angled in either landscape or portrait mode, as well as being locked into either of these modes.

Pressing the play button enables you to translate as you pan; pressing pause allows you to click on any particular word and check it in the dictionary.

Cost
The App is free but you need to pay for the individual dictionaries through in-App purchases.

On the plus side, the App does not need an Internet connection once it has been downloaded.

Indispensability
This isn't an App you are going to use every day but, it does come in useful at times. One particular use is to understand road signs with text... obviously, there are very many more (menus for example... although the translation might put you off trying some exotic sounding dish).

Dependability
The ability to pause and check individual words increases your chances of a contextually correct translation. The App is a definite help although, like all translators/dictionaries, it is not foolproof.

Security

ACIDS Test Rating:

Escargots; not going to try them then!

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


You can get Word Lens here and support for the App here.


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Actions for iPad - App Review



Wouldn't it be pleasant (at least sometimes), to control your PC just as you would your iPad.

This App makes that possible.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The first thing you need to do is to download the desktop companion; this is free and painless. Having done this, and allowed Actions Server to launch on your PC, you can go back to the App.

Provided your PC and App are on the same network, you should see your PC in the 'Select a Computer' list. The App will generate a four digit key which you now need to enter on your PC.

I would suggest that the next step is to experiment with the icons that you will see on the App screen, whilst sitting in front of your PC.

Having noticed that it was easy to press a key (experimentation stage) and then want to press escape to get rid of a window, I found no pre-programmed icon. If you want to write a new button, it couldn't be easier... here's how to get that escape key:

Press the pencil icon
Press create
Type a name for the action 'Escape'
In the shortcut dialogue press the ellipsis (...) and then touch the 'ESC' key on the displayed keyboard
Pick an icon and a colour

That's it.

Cost
The App costs $4 and there is an in-App purchase for $3 to enable 'macros'.

Indispensability
It's one of those Apps that you never knew you needed but, one used, can become addictive.

Dependability
The App works as suggested. Be careful when creating your own buttons that they do what you expect.

Security
The App shares your Wi-Fi network but uses a key to allow mischievous access.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Addictive; you have been warned.

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


You can get Actions for iPad here and support for the App here.


Saturday, 10 May 2014

Math Duel - App Review



Mathematics is great for mind training, quite apart for being an essential part of everyday life.

This App enables you to pit your wits against your iPad, or use it in two player mode and challenge someone else.

It is also great at helping the younger generation.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
You start off by deciding whether the 'game' is for one or two players.

The settings allows you to set many parameters, including the largest possible number, the number of terms, as well as which operations are to be tested (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division). There is also the ability to set a timer.

Once you press the 'done' button, it's game on.

In my opinion, the real beauty of this App is the two player mode where the parameters do not have to be the same for each player. This way, people of different abilities/ages can pit their wits one against the other, in a handicap style.

Cost
The App costs $3, which makes it considerably less expensive than other forms of entertainment.

Indispensability
If you ever have to look after 2 children of school age, you would give your eye teeth for this App. It is also excellent on journeys to keep youngsters distracted, at least for a while.

Dependability
The App works and has been well though out.

Security
This is a standalone App and no issues were detected.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Training and peace for kids...

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


You can get Math Duel here and support for the App here, as well as follow on Twitter @ElliesGames


Thursday, 8 May 2014

Poetics - App Review



If you take poetics in its literal sense of the art of writing poetry then, this App takes the definition into the 21st century.

We are no longer limited to words in a constraining (even if not artistically) form.

This App is a breath of fresh air, very much a blank canvas.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Life starts with a blank screen, excepted a few icons at the bottom; this is where you start.

The camera icon will take a photo (no surprises there), and then allow you to retake or use the image for the next step.

The 'move and scale' function is a little confusing at first as it only really moves the window a tiny bit; the 'use' function actually takes you to the enhance, effects, adjust, sharpness, and focus functions.

The text icon allows you to use the keyboard and enter text onto a label. This label can then easily be moved (one finger) or rotated (two fingers).

Should you wish to use an existing photograph then, use the 'duplicate' icon, having first allowed the App access in your Privacy Settings.

Once you are content with the outcome, use the send icon to save your masterpiece to your camera roll or share it via email, Facebook,Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or send a postcard.

Cost
The App costs $2 and the sending of a postcard involves the use of a Sincerely account, which is free to set up but needs credits to operate (Sincerely gives you access to some brilliant cards).

Indispensability
Sure, this App could not really be described as indispensable but, it really is liberating.

Dependability
No problems encountered during testing.

Security
The ability to easily share via email, Facebook,Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram is the usual double-edged sword.

ACIDS Test Rating:

You might not be Aristotle but, you've got a better tool than he ever had.

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


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


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Air Scanner - App Review



This App enables you to transfer whatever is being captured by your iOS camera lens directly to a PC (including one running large screen presentations).

There are no wires or additional purchases required.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
This App could hardly be easier to use.

To start ensure that your iOS device and PC (or whatever) are on the same wi-fi network .

Having launched the App, you will see whatever your iOS device is pointing at on the screen, as well as a url (possibly 192.168.0.189:8082), a padlock icon and a flash icon.

Just enter the url in a browser on your PC, Mac, or Linux box and see the image.

If you want to project a still then press the padlock icon.

If you want more light, press the flash icon.

It really is as simple as that.

Cost
The App cost $5 but, compared to hardware solutions to the same 'problem', it is almost free.

Indispensability
This App has more uses than you can shake a stick at!

The developer mentions presenting hardcopy materials from books, magazines, or physical objects as part of your lectures or meetings; that's just the start.

How about explaining to someone how to complete an intricate task (where 2 heads are not better than one, as the second one just gets in the way), or even as a monitor.

Just use your imagination.

Dependability
Air Scanner works with Firefox, Explorer, Safari, and Google Chrome... and should work with other browsers as well, although these were not tested.

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

Security
Anyone who has access to the url, and is on the same network, also has access to your screen content.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Now, if only I could project... well, now you can.

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


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


Saturday, 3 May 2014

Alarm Clock Radio - Sonio Pro - App Review



How do you wake up in the morning? I'm not thinking about your mood but, the method you use to ensure that you get out of bed. This App allows you to use a radio station, instead of the more usual methods of generating 'noise'.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
You start off by giving the App access to your current position, so that it can get you the appropriate weather.

The screen now changes to a clock with a 4 day weather forecast. Tapping on the screen repeatedly dims the background, until the darkest setting when the screen springs back to its brightest setting.

You now need to press on the 'i' at the bottom right on the screen to get access to the settings. These include whether or not the alarm is on, and then (this is the differentiator for this App) pick a radio station from the list; you can also use music, nature sounds, or a 'buzzer' (sounds like the pips on an old-fashioned speaking clock). One can also personalise the background either to one of the persist, or use one of your photographs.

Cost
The App is absolutely free, and at that price you cannot complain.

Indispensability
An alarm clock of some sort is indispensable; waking up to a radio station can be a pleasant alternative to others.

Dependability
The weather forecast seems to come from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute; no doubt an august body but, perhaps, not best placed for all local weather forecasts.

It takes a while between pressing the 'i' for settings for the screen to change; not a problem as such but, you might think that something is not working.

Security
This is a self-contained App so, there are no apparent issues.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Much better than the 'standard' alarm.

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


You can get Alarm Clock Radio - Sonio Pro here and support for the App here.


Thursday, 1 May 2014

Grid Diary - App Review



It's said that it's a good discipline to keep a diary every day; I can vouch for that.

The important word is 'discipline'; it's great to put the day's events behind you and into perspective but, actually doing it is another matter.

This App helps you get there.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
As you'll have gathered from the name, this App involves a Grid. This grid , by default, contains 8 questions... from 'how much money did I spend today' to 'what matters of interest happened today'.

You can easily customise these questions to make them most appropriate for your personal requirements, either by moving them around the screen or by making up your own. There are also neat icons to add weather and moods descriptors to your day.

Tap the 'magic wand icon' and get a whole new set of questions. Any day that has had some information input will have a dot in the monthly calendar, thereby making it very straightforward to know if you have entered something.

The reading mode makes it more elegant to view your entries.

Cost
The App will set you back $3.

Indispensability
This is a great tool to help you at least start the discipline of keeping a diary; if that interests you, this is a good place to start.

Dependability
There were no problems with the App during testing.

Security
It is very easy to share a diary entry via Twitter, which has a default text of 'My diary (date) #GridDiary!, to which is attached a screen shot. At least you have the possibility of changing your mind about sharing your experiences with the Twittersphere.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Start a diary...

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


You can get Grid Diary here and support for the App here.