We’ve collected the top four reviews, roundups and how-to articles from across the AppStorm network in September. Whether you’re interested in Mac, iPhone, iPad, Web, or Android apps, there’s bound to be something you didn’t spot over the course of the month. Now would be a good time to explore a part of the AppStorm Network you’ve never seen before!
Thanks for reading AppStorm, and I hope you enjoy looking over some of our favourite posts from last month!
Best of iPad.AppStorm
Whether you’re new to owning an iPad, or a seasoned pro, it’s always enjoyable to find great new apps! While no list can claim to be comprehensive or exhaustive, this list of fantastic iPad apps should satiate even the most ravenous of appetites.
This is a roundup of simply the best iPad apps around, you need look no further. I’m going to include the old favourites, there’s a reason they’re favourites, but I’m also going to try and shine some light on some fantastic apps that may have flown under the radar.
In today’s world of light notebook toting individuals and mobile society, many of us forget the large displays of our desktop computers and look forward to the small displays of our Macbook Air and ultraportable devices.
Sometimes, however, the small displays on our notebooks just don’t cut it in terms of screen real estate for some projects or applications. Sometimes we need a little extension. External monitors are a great solution to this problem, but what if your iPad could fill that need?
Air Display solves the problem of normal external displays and lets you use your iPad as a wireless external display for your notebook or desktop Mac. Let’s check it out!
Last month we ran an intriguing poll that simply asked what type of iPad case you used, and the results got me thinking. The success of the iPad has allowed an almost laughably vast industry to grow up simply providing cases and covers of all shapes and sizes, covering every possible need while allowing you to spend up to $4,900 (for an iPad case made from the finest alligator skin) in the process.
No other item I can think of has caused such a strong bout of case-fever. Even the Nokia 3310 only had one actual type of case, albeit in an almost unwaveringly disgusting smorgasbord of colours and designs. The clearest thing that was highlighted by the poll is the surprisingly even spread of cases people owned and used, there seemed to be no clear consensus on the ‘best’ way to protect, carry, and augment the iPad.
I decided to give it some thought…
1Password Pro from AgileBits is here to try to solve all of your password-related problems. Available for Mac, iPhone, iPad and now Windows as well, this is one application that no computer user should be without. The idea behind it is to keep all of your super strong passwords kept safely behind one master password (hence the name). But does this really make you safer online?
We’re going to take a look at the iPad version of 1Password to see how easy it is to use, if it really can make password management easier and if it’s worth your money.
Best of Android.AppStorm
There’s no shortage of clock and calendar widgets in the Android Market. You can find everything from the super-sleek MIUI clocks to the highly functional Simi Clock Widget and a whole bunch of them that come with launchers and widget sets. But in my experience, not one of those fits my requirements to a T. There is always some customization that I have to have, but that is not possible with the widget I choose.
There were no bounds to my happiness last week then, when I finally bumped into one that was so customizable, I’m now lost for ideas on what to do with it! The widget is called Minimalistic Text, and I’m going to take this opportunity to introduce you to the basic concept behind it, discuss the interface and walk you through the creation of my own customized home screen clock widget.
OK, so you’ve just heard on the news that people are starting to turn into zombies. No one knows how or why, but one by one, the population are turning into brain-thirsty living dead. What are you going to do to survive this awful apocalypse? Well, fret no more, because you can survive with the help of this roundup of essential Android apps to help you live in a society overrun by flesh-eating zombies.
This list attempts to cover as much as possible: from finding out the latest news about what’s going on, to first aid, food, equipment, geography, organisation, security and even preparation for such a day. It’s not going to be easy, but survival is essential until the government scientists work out some kind of cure. You can do this, I have every confidence in you. Just pay attention. One small piece of advice before we start, always go for the brain stem.
There are many different Android Tablets on the market today, and it may seem hard to decide which one suits your needs the best. Most of these tablets are very expensive, which makes shopping for one slightly difficult. ASUS wants to change all of that, with their new tablet, the Eee Pad Transformer. What’s special about this tablet, aside from the detachable keyboard dock, is the price. The Transformer is available for $399.99 for the 16GB WiFi model, and $499.99 for the 32GB WiFi model.
The detachable keyboard is what truly sets the Transformer apart from the other tablets. The dock will set you back an extra $150, but when you learn all of the features, it’s well worth it. Not only does the keyboard make typing a breeze, but it also houses a second battery, which can essentially double the battery life of the tablet. I picked one up a few weeks ago; read on to see my full review of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer.
Iíve always been fascinated by activity trackers and GPS technology in general. It surprises me how accurately and effectively it’s done. Once a connection is established to the satellites, it sends a signal to them and calculates the time it takes to respond, then uses math to determine your position on the globe relative to the position of the satellites. This is just a basic explanation on how GPS technology works, to give a general idea. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that, but that’s not what this article’s about!
Today I’d like to cover Endomondo. Yes, it’s another fitness activity tracker; read the rest of the article to learn more about it and find out why I like it more than RunKeeper and the other similar apps.
Best of iPhone.AppStorm
By far, the standard by which most GTD systems are measured against is the original book, Getting Things Done by David Allen. Not only did Allen outline how exactly to get your life on track, but he also sparked a revolution, and many of the apps mentioned this week follow that very system. OmniFocus for iPhone is one of those apps.
There are varying levels of GTD apps, from the very basic to the hardcore, and OmniFocus for iPhone falls into the latter category. Sure, you could buy another GTD app, but if you want one that really goes above and beyond, you should look at OmniFocus. In fact, why don’t you read more about it after the break.
Starting a blog or website can be difficult. There are seemingly countless options for where to host your site, what kind of publishing system you should use, how you’ll get things to the site; the amount of options can be freeing but also paralyzing, as it’s hard to find one that will work “just right” for what you have in mind.
Enter Squarespace. Squarespace is a hosting and publishing system designed to make running a weblog or website incredibly easy. Outside of being such a well-integrated service, the part of the deal that really sweetened the pot for me was the fact that they had a native iPhone app, titled appropriately enough, Squarespace. Read on to find out why this was such a big deal!
When you think of multi-player games for the iPhone, you most likely think of Scrabble, Words With Friends and other word games. However, there are a multitude of multi-player games for nearly every game genre available in the App Store.
After the break are 45 great multi-player games that should keep you and your friends busy for quite some time. So, whether you’re into board games, card games, strategy based games or shooters, there’s something here for everyone.
It’s official, Apple is holding a press conference on October 4th to discuss the iPhone. We’ve been waiting for this with baited breath for months now, and yet today, less than a week before the event, what do we know about the new iPhone? More importantly, what don’t we know?
Let’s take a moment and piece together this puzzle after the jump.
Best of Web.AppStorm
Invoices are used all of the time by various organization types. From freelancers to large businesses, a lot of people rely on the need to present a total cost for their services in a standard document form. There are quite a few web apps that make this task so much simpler by providing an online interface to both create and manage these. However, if funds get low and you can’t afford to fork out monthly for access to your favorite invoice app, there are plenty of solutions to solve this predicament.
One of these is Pancake. You pay once, install on your own server and can use the app without limits to your heart’s content. Read on to find out more about this powerful new contender in the invoicing field.
Google’s always had a minimalist design, one of the simplest designs on the web. And for the most visited website in the world, that’s provided a very user-friendly approach making searching somewhat of a breeze. The problem is, Google is no longer about search since, with the arrival of a plethora of additional services, that part of Google’s business has become so much less significant.
As Google has added new products, services and apps, they’ve featured their own unique interface so, while the main search page became refined, the other sites got left behind. However, Google has recently started a full, unified redesign process across their sites connecting them all up with similar design trends: a modern, minimalist red and white scheme.
After taking a break from social networking, I was interested to see a review of the Twitter app Wren on Mac.AppStorm.net. Wren’s a beautifully designed app for posting on Twitter, and nothing else. You can’t see your Twitter feed, DMs, @replies, or anything else. All you can do is post your thoughts to Twitter.
Sounds like a crazy idea perhaps, but truth be told, most of us are bombarded with too much information anyhow. It’s nice to share your thoughts online throughout the workday, and sometimes you come across something you feel you’ve got to share. Problem is, you’ll likely find yourself still browsing random links a half hour later instead of getting back to work.
Wren is a Mac-only app, and it’s only for Twitter. But turns out, most social networks have a way to post online without getting distracted by your feeds. Here’s how you can use Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and even Reddit and Hacker News in a distraction-free way.
When you think of an office, board room, classroom, community center, or anywhere else that people meet to organize and work together, what’s one of the first things you can picture? Often it’ a prominent bulletin board where random announcements, pictures, important memos, random email forwards, and more are tacked for everyone to see. Sure, they’re often random and somewhat a mess, but they’re an effective way to share a bit of info with anyone that happens to walk by.
We’ve gotten to the point where you almost need a project management app to manage your project management apps. There’s so many ways to collaborate today, and yet most of us still resort to sending emails to team members and tying strings on our fingers to keep from forgetting stuff. Why not bring back the simplicity of a bulletin board?
That’s what Trello does.
Best of Mac.AppStorm
It’s hard to believe that we’re coming up on a year since the Mac App Store was first announced. It seems like only yesterday we were itching to get our hands on a marketplace full of great utilities, games and other goodies all custom tailored to the Mac platform.
While categories like Games took off dramatically right from the start, the offerings for designers and developers got off to a much slower start and are just now starting to really take off. Below is a collection of over thirty useful Mac App Store apps for designers. I’ve intentionally left out obvious favorites like Pixelmator and tried to keep the list more towards hidden gems that you may not have tried yet. Take a look!
I used to absolutely love menu bar apps. Years ago, it was a fairly tiny niche of the Mac app market that contained only a few really solid gems. These utilities provided a quick and easy way to control iTunes, run a quick maintenance script and get back to what you were doing.
At heart, menu bar apps were essentially thought to be little things that perhaps didn’t quite merit a full on application but still merited a permanent, always-on spot on your Mac. Things have changed though and I find myself becoming annoyed when I download an app and find that it has no alternative to the menu bar mode.
Should developers move past the trend of offering menu-bar-only apps in favor of giving users the power to decide? Let’s discuss.
Back when I first started writing for AppStorm, I got to review a very pretty GTD app that had just come out called Wunderlist. Back then, it was just getting started and it barely even had a Mac and a Windows app.
A little more than 6 months later, Wunderlist now stands as one of the most popular ‘Getting Things Done’ app, not just in the Mac, but on several other platforms like Android and iOS. What has changed since then? Let’s take a look at how Wunderlist has evolved.
As a full-time professional writer, I’m always on the lookout for utilities that will improve my workflow and help provide a much needed boost in efficiency.
Today we’ll take a look at thirty of the best utilities around to help serious writers in their work. Whether you want a better way to work with Markdown or need something to help you plot out the scenes in your next novel, this roundup has just what you’re looking for.
Share Your Ideas
Is there something in particular you’d like to see on the site next month? We’d absolutely love to hear your suggestions for articles, topics and giveaways. Just let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading AppStorm!