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Thursday, 28 September 2017

Earthlapse - App Review



The developer says:

"Turn your iPad or iPhone into a window aboard the International Space Station. Experience stunning views of Earth captured by NASA astronauts. Touch the views and control the planet with your finger. A truly amazing one-of-a-kind experience.".

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Tap the screen to bring up the options, and most importantly settings (the ubiquitous cogwheel). Here you can make a number of choices:

Display
There are on/off toggles for motion effect, show weather (pick your desired location), show clock, show title, keep display on (if plugged in or battery level above 15%), and zoom live view. In addition you can set the transparency and info transparency through slider controls.

Sound
Again, there are on/off toggles for sound effects and ambient sounds (pick from 9 different ones), and a slider for volume

Display
At the bottom of the screen choose from 8 different view types, including a live view from the International Space Station.

Cost
The App is Free.

Indispensability
Unless you use the App on a spare device as an interesting diversion, it is more likely to come in for occasional use.

Dependability
The App is best viewed in landscape mode.

The live view from the International Space Station can be black; this is not an error, as there's not much to see on the dark side of the earth!

Security
The App is self-contained, so no concerns on this front.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Free views from ISS, and more.

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


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


Friday, 22 September 2017

Wax for iPhone - Own Your Record Collection - App Review



The developer says: "your record collection is yours - not a bunch of check marks in a database.
search for records, add them to your collection, and let them tell a story. customise every detail about each album"... so if you're into music, read on...

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Not surprisingly, you start with an empty collection where you can either use the + button to get started of use the View Grab List (which is where you have records that you don't actually own but want to get.

Using the barcode scanner will bring up a list (if there is more than one) of the records, which will typically be the various versions based on where they were purchased. This then brings you to a screen with the artwork, genre, style, country, and release date. The more ellipsis will allow you to view on Discogs, as well as search Ebay or Amazon (links to amazon.com).

Pressing the + now will allow you to either add the album to your collection or grab lists.

The Settings cog allows you to pick between sorting by artist , shaking for a random selection, as well as e-mailing details.

Cost
The App Costs $0 (as in free) but there is an in-App purchase of $3 to include all media types.

Indispensability
This is a neat way of cataloguing a record collection, without using the almost ubiquitous iTunes (and obviously also not needing to import anything).

Dependability
The App works very well, although for your old items, there won't be and barcodes, so you will need to enter the information manually.

Security
The App needs access to your camera if you want to be able to add records by scanning their barcodes.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Always good to have another way of cataloguing things (painlessly).

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


You can get Wax for iPhone - Own Your Record Collection here and support for the App here.


Monday, 18 September 2017

PhotoTangler - App Review



The developer states:

"PhotoTangler Collage Maker is a powerful image app that instantly turns your favourite photos into beautiful collages. It allows you to blend them together in unique and creative ways. It's easy, fun, and the results look like magic! Just drop photos on the canvas, and watch PhotoTangler seamlessly blend them together with any other photos nearby. Anyone can get gorgeous, professional looking results, even with no graphics experience!"

Let's put it to the test.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
This is one of those Apps with an uncluttered interface, just how we like them.

The whole screen real estate is initially perfectly clear, and is limited to a few icons across the bottom of the screen. To the left you will find:

Add Images
These can be from existing Photos, from the iOS device camera, as well for adding captions. The choice of fonts is absolutely amazing, and the sizes vary from a modest 12 point to a whopping 256. You can also enable text outline, and edit drop shadow settings, including colour (if required).
Settings Cog
Alter the background colour from the default pale grey to any one of a myriad, chosen with the aid of a colour wheel and slider.

Trash
No explanation required.

There are then (also at the base of the screen but on the right) three editing modes:

Image Editing
Drag and pinch items to rotate and resize. The image is within a set of defined points.

Canvas Editing
Here you are actually selecting the whole of your work (as opposed to individual parts).

Blending Editing
Double click on an element and edit the blending shape, outer radius, or inner radius. This enables you to edit with great precision.

Once you're finished, your masterpiece is easily saved, and you can even specify the aspect ratio, as well as image quality.


Cost
The App Costs $3.

Indispensability
Not necessarily for everyday use but, if you want to make a collage, an easy way to proceed.

Dependability
The App works fine, although the response time will depend on the newness of your iOS device.

Security
The App is self-contained, so no concerns on this front.
The App needs access to your photos and/or camera.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Even the artistically challenged can make a collage.

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


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


Thursday, 14 September 2017

URGENT – Read BEFORE updating to iTunes 12.7



So, there I was happily (well not unhappily at least) running iTunes 12.6. When the invitation to update to 12.7, which should just have been an evolution, arrived. 

I was stunned by what happened!

Where are the Apps (not to mention ringtones) … GONE!

Here’s an article that you might like to read BEFORE updating.
… and what did I do… well, roll back to 12.6, of course (and that’s not exactly a painless exercise).

You have been warned.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Sketch Me! Sketch&Cartoon - App Review



I can't draw for toffee; that's not false modesty but a fact.

This App enables you to take images and make them look like sketches.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Choose a photo from your saved photos, or take one with your iOS camera.

Now choose from more options than you can shake a stick at, including: black and white, pastel, dull pastel, pencil, cartoon (2 options) photocopy, halftone (2 options), and more.

You can now change the brightness, contrast, and saturation.

And for the final touch, use a geometric shape (as well as heart, or others) to add further effect.

Et voilà.

Once you have finished your masterpiece you can save it to your photo album (camera roll), e-mail it, share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or open it in another App.

Cost
The App Costs $2.

Indispensability
I guess the App is only indispensable if you are going to live the lie that you can sketch... and you can't.

Dependability
Amazingly good rendering of images.

Security
The App will need access to your camera and/or photo album.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Impress others with your new-found sketching skills

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


You can get Sketch Me! Sketch&Cartoon here and support for the App here.


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Tweety Pro - App Review



The developer says:
"View your Twitter timeline & mentions on the lock screen or inside any app to quickly get updated about the world around you with Tweety."

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
First up is setting up the link to your Twitter account, or even accounts.

You can now set up your options and with decent screen real estate as it is within the App that these settings are accessed.

Show Tweets From
Choose between All, or restrict it to any individual accounts you follow.

Number of Tweets
Pick how much information you want from 5, 10, 15, 20, or 50 Tweets.

Update
Pick between real Time, 30 or 60 seconds

Theme
Pro or Minimal

Quick Actions
On or Off

Dark Mode
On or Off

Open With
Safari, Twitter, Tweetbot, or Twitterific

All that remains now is to flick down from the top of your screen to access the notification centre, press Editand then add Tweety (and Tweety 2 if necessary) and then press All that remains now is to flick down from the top of your screen to access the notification centre, press Done.

Tweets will now appear in your notification centre.

Cost
The App Costs $3.

Indispensability
I wonder if Donald Trump uses this...

Dependability
Worked flawlessly in testing.

Security
The App will need access to your Twitter account)(s).

ACIDS Test Rating:

Choose your Twitter feed(s) in notification centre.

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


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