Every week a few of us from team TiPb will bring you our current favorite, most fun and useful App Store apps, WebApps, jailbreak apps, even the occasional accessory, web site, or desktop app if the mood strikes us. As long as they’re iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch related, they’re fair game.
To see what we picked, and to tell us your pick, follow on after the break!
This app was inspired by Leanna's App for That post last week and I can see why she chose it. This app is superb for creating, sharing and syncing lists of to do items between users.
My wife and I share the grocery shopping in our home. We now make lists which are synced between out iPhones automatically. Once we have a list, either of us can add to it and it always stays in sync across our devices.
When you are in the store you can open the list and check off the items as you get them; and it works perfectly. I have been looking for an app like this for some time and now I have it. What's even better is that it is multi-platform and free! Now the wife nags me silently with Wunderlist so my ears are saved! (Hope she doesn’t read this)
Wunderlist syncs between iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, and Windows. Syncing is seamless and in the cloud. If you’re concerned about security, Wunderlist has got you covered with SSL 128 bit encryption over HTTPS too.
[Free - iTunes link]
I love, love, LOVE apps that hook into Dropbox, because it means that I don't have to worry about re-syncing data when I restore devices (and lately, that's often, since it's beta season). I've got all kinds of note-taking apps, but I decided I wanted a different way to capture thoughts and little things that happen on a daily basis; more of a journal/diary type of app that I could look through by date and just recall the events of the day. I found Day One recently, and it's wonderful. It's a universal iOS app that not only syncs with Dropbox, but also has a companion Mac app that is available in the Mac App Store. It's an elegantly designed system that is simple enough to quickly jot down what's on your mind, and the fact that it's on all three platforms makes it very easy to capture items before you forget them. You've got a passcode lock, so your more private thoughts are protected, and with TextExpander support, you can save even more time. It's just text for now, but iCloud sync, tags, and photos are coming soon, and the developer was very responsive to my questions about future features. If you're looking for a nice little way to log some ideas, Day One is a contender.
[$1.99 - iTunes link]
Ok, it isn't an official App Store app (yet), but it's still implemented a lot better than that "other" social network's default iPhone app that constantly crashes or fails to push me notifications. To be honest, I use the web app version of Facebook more than the native app. Google+ is still one of the better mobile web apps I've seen.
I may not have push notifications (yet) but the layout is clean and easy to navigate. You can easily create a Google+ shortcut on your homescreen for easy access as well. While we all wait for Google+ to go public and for the native app to appear, the web app has managed to keep me entertained and meets my needs just fine for now. I actually find it quite enjoyable to browse and use.
Savage Interactive is going to be our guest on this Monday's episode of Iterate, our new mobile design podcast, and so I've been spending some time this week using the app as preparation. And loving it. There's such a visceral thrill that comes from finger painting with digital ink, with pushing colored pixels around an iPad canvas, from layering, from smudging, from bending it to your will until it realizes your imagination.
There are a lot of bitmap painting apps in the App Store, but Procreate offers all the power you'd expect in a UI that's both apparent and approachable. Your tools are all neatly laid out around your canvas, they quickly come up when you call them, and they quietly go away when you tap out of them. No fuss, no muss. Just fun.
And I do mean fun. There's something incredibly liberating about having the grid and the mouse and the pixel precision of Photoshop taken away from you. You're left to explore the touch and the color and the spaces negative and positive, and the feel of the medium. Cool screen, hot results. Just ask my little friend, the dragon....
[$4.99 - iTunes link]
More and more I use the iPhone's camera, not just for taking video or photos, but as a document camera. I realized how dependent I had become on this feature during a recent visit to relatives.
Both my nephews received shiny new laptops from their doting grandfather, and his first recommendation was to register them. I could barely contain the laughter watching these two boys tipping their laptops up so they could copy the registration number from the bottom into the form on the screen. Both of them have smartphones with cameras, so I showed them how I deal with this kind of issue. Tilt the laptop once, snap a picture of the serial number tag from the bottom - return to productivity. Not only can you now comfortably copy the serial number (and enlarge it with a simple pinch if the numbers are too tiny to read), but by saving that .jpg, you now have a permanent record in case of loss or theft.
I do this in my classroom as well. Best idea I ever had, since the person responsible for inventory loses her database at least twice a year, causing us to have to send her serial numbers for our computers, printers, smartboards, etc. I now have a file with photos. Every time she requests serial numbers, I just email her the whole folder (which, yes, I have backed up in multiple locations).
Your iPhone's camera can be your ticket to replacements with your insurance company. In case of theft or fire, they want a list of your losses - along with serial numbers. Start now!
As many of you know, I am a math instructor and part of being a teacher is keeping track of grades. Numbers on my iPad is perfect for this. I have my spreadsheets set up to find the totals of each grade category and calculate their final grade. I even specifically designed them so that they determine the students' current grades so when I'm inevitably asked "what's my grade in the class right now", I can whip out my iPad and give them an immediate answer.
Students (even college students) also occasionally forget to put their names on their quizzes. So while I'm returning the graded quizzes, someone ends up claiming the unnamed quiz. Before, this would be a pain for me because I'd have to write down who gets the score and remember to add it to my spreadsheet at home. Now I just pull out my iPad during class and update their grade right there.
[$0.99 - iTunes link]
My pick of the week is Flipboard. It is the best way to access news, magazines and your social networks in a gorgeous magazine-style interface. You can add your networks and your desired content which will be added to the app desktop into tiles that look great.
In addition to the most popular social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, etc.), you have access to ever increasing content from news sources, magazines, editor's picks and much more. The new update provides an always accessible red ribbon which you can tap to access content broken down into categories.
Flipboard is the way I would like to see online news (CNN, NYT, WSJ) done on the iPad. This is just perfect.
You’re part of the team as well, so we will be choosing one reader to make a submission each week! Just look for the announcement on twitter or our Facebook page each weekend for a chance to be picked! In the meantime, let us know your pick of the week!