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Wednesday, 27 December 2017

What... no more reviews ?



Today, you 'should' be receiving an App review but, all good things come to an end... in this case, it might be more of a change in periodicity.

The first App review was published on this blog on 18th August, 2012 and over 5 years have elapsed since. During this time 442 Apps have received the STARS treatment.

At the beginning, Apps were innovative, in that they were the first to offer 'whatever'; over time, things have evolved into a 'me too' attitude.

The interest for you (and indeed I) in reading/writing these reviews has therefore, inevitably, declined.

So, from now, only Apps that are 'different', or where the developer/publisher has convinced me that their offering is worthy of a review will receive the treatment.

How does this affect you, the reader? Well, you will receive only occasional reviews... and the occasional rant.

All the best for the New Year.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Mr. Cocktail - App Review



The developer says:

"Every drink and ingredient has an actual picture to highlight its' qualities.

Recipes are historically accurate and have a description about their origins and evolution.

Ingredients are non-specific. Regardless of what brand of Bourbon you own, you can make any Bourbon cocktail. Mr. Cocktail is also smart enough to know what ingredients can be substituted for others".

I like the attitude.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
If you know what you're looking for, use the Search function, otherwise either use the 'all items' (where drinks are based around an alcohol e.g. Gin, Rum, Brandy, Vodka...), or 'all cocktails' (where the emphasis is on Sours, old fashioned, highball, dairy (yuk!), and Tikis).

Each cocktail has some interesting information and tips as well as the list of ingredients.

You can opt for metric or 'standard' measures.

Cost
The App Costs $0... you just need to add the ingredients and work.

Indispensability
I guess that cocktails are great whenever it is but, the 'festive season' might make them even more desirable.

Dependability
If you want to be picky... and start an argument without even having had a drink, the instructions are a bit sparse.

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

ACIDS Test Rating:

It's the season of goodwill...

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


You can get Mr. Cocktail here and support for the App here.


Friday, 15 December 2017

PlantSnap Plant Identification - App Review



The developer says:

"PlantSnap is a mobile app that helps you identify plants, flowers and trees. Simply snap a photo of the plant, and PlantSnap tells you what it is!

PlantSnap can currently recognize 125,000 species of plants and trees, which covers most of the species you will encounter in North America and Europe. If you live outside of those areas, PlantSnap will still recognize many plants or trees that you encounter, and ALL of them very soon".

As someone who is horticulturally challenged to recognise anything beyond a rose or tulip, this App had me intrigued.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The first time you start the App you will receive a few pointers. I suggest you go through them as they will increase your chances of 'success'.

The first of those tips is to make sure you take a photo of just one plant (fairly obvious but, worth nothing anyway).

As with all photography, it is best to have well framed, lit, and focused shots (who knows, using this App might even improve your general photography skills).

You now need to either register with Plantsnap (e-mail and password to log in, and first/last name as well to set up account), or use your Facebook account.

Now point your iOS device at the plant you want to 'recognise' and take a snap. You can additionally pinch to zoom in order to get a better rendition. Then, press Done.

The App now does its thing and presents you with options that may fir the bill, as well as the likelihood (in percentage). Place a Tick next to the best match and Accept. The item is then stored in My Collection. Click on it and enter a whole new world; not only have you got a name for your plant but information about the description, as well as many botanical descriptors (Kingdom, Subkingdom, Super division, Division, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species...); very comprehensive.

Cost
The App Costs $4.

Indispensability
This App should appeal to the neophyte (that's me) looking to recognise a flower, all the way to the experienced who are looking for further clarification.

Dependability
The App recognised the plants that we used as tests.

Security
The App needs access to your camera in order to take photographs of the plants/flowers you want to recognise. The App also, optionally, requests access to Notifications.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Grapple me grapenuts, as David Bellamy would have said.

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


You can get PlantSnap Plant Identification here and support for the App here.


Monday, 11 December 2017

8mm for iPad - App Review



The developer says:

"8mm Vintage Camera captures the beauty and magic of old school vintage movies right through your viewfinder. Dust and scratches, retro colors, flickering, light leaks, even frame shakes, all can be instantly added with a single tap of the finger".

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
Take yourself back to the Keystone Kops era.

At its simplest, just press the big red Record button and press again to stop. Simply doing so will give you a 'vintage' movie.

The App is however capable of far more than that.

Turn the wheel and choose from various effects: Sakura, XPro, Noir, 60s, Pela, Indigo, Tuscan, Two-Color (sic), 2 Strip, Sienna , 1920, or 70s; that should give you enough choice.

Press the Reels/Clips button and access your movies, which you can optionally with opening and ending titles, and even this gives you a choice of 5 themes (minimalism, elegant, silent film, and light leak.

You can also set the aspect ratio (4:3 or 16:9), resolution (480, 720, 1080), and frame rate (normal or 18 fps)

Cost
The App Costs $2, and there is the opportunity to spend a bit more by purchasing additional themes.

Indispensability
For the casual user, one could hardly say that the App is an absolute must have but, it will give you hours of fun, especially when you share your creations.

Dependability
The App works... all the effects are meant to be there.

Security
The App needs access to your photos, microphone, camera, and optionally location.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Amazing that computing power allows us to show things the way they were before

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


You can get 8mm for iPad here and support for the App here.


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Blink - Quick Memo - App Review



The developer says:

"Small memo, Huge change, Blink.

Blink has remarkably fast accessibility and intuitive usability. It also has Minimal & Clean UI design. You can check everything at a glance with a unique and non-listing method. You can set priority markers and repeating notifications.

Do you have something to buy on your way home? Things must done today? Plan for dinner with good friends? Or something just comes to your mind?

Type down what you have to buy, to-do list, your dinner appointment with your friends and sparkling ideas on Blink and never forget! You can leave memo with a simple tap! No more complicated steps!"

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The easiest way how the App works is to try it out with an example:

Tap on a blank area of the iOS device screen and this brings up a window into which you can type text. This will appear in 'pole position' on your list.

Tap on your text and it changes colour, cycling through black, blue, and red.

Do this for a few items and the top of the page will display your notes.

Now tap and hold any of the items you entered and you have five icons that appear:

Order - the item you tapped will move to 'pole position'
Edit - self explanatory
Share - send the item through a myriad of services
Delete
Archive

In addition you can choose how often you receive a reminder (based on colour), as well as font and other options.

Cost
The App Costs a nominal $1.

Indispensability
If you're looking for a simple and efficient way to manage reminders, this is just that.

Dependability
The App works as expected.

Security
The App needs access to send you notifications.

The availability for sharing information is the usual double-edged sword.

ACIDS Test Rating:

Reminders, differently and easily.

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


You can get Blink - Quick Memo here and support for the App here.