Love it or loath it – and yes there are those who loath it – the iPod and now iPad are perhaps the greatest tech breakthroughs in recent history. For ancient history: see the wheel…
Most people have more apps than they can ever feasibly use, which is why with only 8GB of space I am one of the fortunate ones. There is only so much room, so I often have a purge.
I pay for some apps, and get the others for free. This is a short round up of those that seem to survive the purge…
All apps work well with OS4
The calendar function on the ipod is ok for notes, but if you want to organise your task and life then you need something a bit more powerful. Informant has been around for a few years now, starting life on the pocketPC format, and I have used it since then. The latest version syncs up with your home computer, but now will also use Google, and all the sub-calendars of google, by wi-fi sync. That means my secretary (read:wife!) can take an appointment and it will find it’s way to the iPod. If I had and iPhone it would be even better. Why not just use Google’s downloadable app? I tried it. It is too slow and clunky to my mind. For the iPod it keeps the data when it is out of wifi range and syncs when it can. You can also add to it on the go and it will update google next sync.
I have always been a mind mapper because of my dyslexia, and this is the cut down version of the official MindMap software by the Burzan foundation that sits on my home PC. The cutdown size works great until you get to a certain size of map, then it starts to slow significantly. Very useful for the odd note, and planning the day or week out though. Try the free version first to see if it is suitable before you buy it. You can export the maps to the PC to print off, even if you don’t have the PC software.
It’s not pretty, it just does the job. I have to account for my minutes so that my boss knows what I am doing, and this has been a real time saver. At the end of the month I simply export a spreadsheet and hand it into him. On the free version I had the odd crash, but nothing now. Again, get the free version and try it out.
I love cycling, but am a bit rusty when it comes to mechanics. Do you turn the screw this way or that to tune the gearing? How do you true a wheel? Do I have to take a chain off to give it a proper clean, or is there another method. Bike doctor answers all these questions and more. Although it isn’t as good as a Haynes manual it does the job for the majority of problems. Note: disk brakes are not covered. For further information read this bike doctor app review
You can now edit materials put in drop box which, in short, cover all the Microsoft office doc types. Drop box is basically online storage, and a really quick way of sharing information between 2 PC’s. Now you can also edit and access your files on the go. If you are a memory-stick-aholic who is always porting things backwards and forwards, check it out on the web first, try it on a couple of PC’s with friends, and then get the app!
(These last two are just for fun, but great!)
I am a meddling magician. I don’t even think I get the title of amateur. However I like to dabble and this is right up my street. It’s a card trick where the punter pretends to select a card, thinks of it, and puts (mimes putting!) it back in the deck. The magician then reveals that card that has never been told. Ok, so there is no deck of cards in this app, it’s the iPod/phone. Once they tell you the card they think of you touch the screen in a secret series of places in such a way that it reveals the card to the audience! Very clever. It costs a few pounds, but works so well it’s worth it. There is no demo for this sadly.
Fancy writing a bit of hip hop? For a while this app became less than useless. It wouldn’t work with other music making apps that I had. It kept crashing. With the update of OS4 this seems to have been taken care of and it works better than ever. It’s based around 16 drum pads, but you can build patterns too that can be put into sequences, and with a little fiddling you can even drop the tracks to a new file and trigger it from one drum. A complicated piece of software, but if you like your rap/hip hop then its worth getting. You need to install further software on your PC to get the best from it – that will allow you to use any samples that you can download. Basic editing functions are included on the app, as well as tuning, cutting, reverse, volume, and a few basic effects.
Andrew Gray (40years and counting) has an addiction to information, and writes for a popular road bike cycling blog . He has one wife, two kids, and one dog. The dog tells him what to write, most of the time.