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Author

Jordan Merrick

I write for a number of Apple-related sites, including Sparsebundle and am the author of Backing Up Your Mac With Time Machine, a Made for iBooks book that explains everything about backing up your Mac. You can find me on both App.net and Twitter.

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Flickr has enjoyed something of a resurgence ever since Marissa Mayer took over as Yahoo!’s CEO. With their excellent Flickr iPhone app and storage limits being increased to a whopping 1TB, the popular photo sharing site is back with a vengeance.

Unfortunately, the experience of using the Flickr website on the iPad, for both browsing photos and making edits to metadata, has always been something of a mixed bag and is usually not a pleasant experience. Flickr Studio aims to bridge the divide between Flickr’s extensive service and your photos, letting you make all sorts of changes to both photo and metadata in an app that really pushes the envelope when it comes to Flickr’s API.

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With the convergence of technologies in the living room, it was only a matter of time before games consoles and mobile devices, such as the iPad, collided. This Second screen experience has been around for a while with apps of varying degrees of quality and functionality. Wether it’s Sony’s BEYOND Touch, an app that lets you use your iOS device as a control device for Beyond: Two Souls, or Microsoft’s Halo Waypoint, that provided a real-time map of the matchmaking game you were currently playing in Halo: Reach, the purpose was always to add a new level of interaction and replay value to games, providing an enhanced experience for gamers.

With the launch of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, the latest in the long-running franchise, Ubisoft has also released Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Companion on the iPad that offers a great experience and genuinely adds to the game, not detract from it.

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Gneo is an interesting task management app that tries to do things very differently. On first glance, the app appears to be a cross between Trello and any other GTD app, but what sets it apart is its advanced feature set and rather unique take on overseeing your entire task list.

The app isn’t without fault and, in some instances, the app can be frustrating but it sets itself apart with a fresh perspective on task and project management that stops this from being just another todo app.

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Apple’s Numbers app, part of the iWork suite of apps for iOS, has often been one of the most popular apps for crunching those numbers on the go, despite some rather painful limitations. It was certainly not a perfect app, far from it, but it worked well enough and looked good enough to still be useable, especially in the absence of any form of Microsoft Office for iOS.

With the relaunch of iWork on both Mac and iOS, Numbers received a huge makeover to include some of the new, and welcome, features that have made them so popular.

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Among the (many) announcements at Apple’s October 2013 event was the updating of iWork for iOS, now free for any existing users and those who purchase a new iOS device. One of the last bastilles of leather and wood effects, iWork was completely revamped and brought in line with iOS 7.

For PowerPoint refugees and anyone wanting to easily create slick presentations that are gorgeous to watch, as well as build, Keynote is a great example of how Apple can really push the boundaries of what is possible with iOS and just cements the idea that the iPad is just as good at content creation as it is consumption.

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Microsoft has been a little more forthcoming with developing iOS apps and, although Office for iOS is still but a pipe dream, the folks at Redmond have been busy working on apps such as OneNote, Xbox SmartGlass and SkyDrive.

Their latest release is Microsoft Remote Desktop, providing access to your Windows PC remotely from the comfort of your iOS device. It certainly isn’t the first remote access or screen sharing app for iOS and, up to now, there’s been a rather busy market for apps such as this. Things are about to change as Microsoft’s offering is not only free, it’s very easy to use and provides a great way to access your Windows PC remotely.

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Task and project management apps such as OmniFocus and Things aren’t just popular, they’re a necessity for anyone wanting to keep track of tasks and projects all the way from start to finish. While I probably spend more time trying out new GTD apps than actually getting anything done, I’d be completely lost without any sort of task management app that lets me track individual tasks and projects.

My latest GTD distraction is Firetask, a project-orientated task management app that promises complete and simple control of your tasks so you can spend less time procrastinating and more time, well, getting things done.

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One of the best text editors for iOS, the Markdown-powered Byword has been a firm favourite of ours with its simple iCloud and Dropbox integration and clean, distraction-free layout. With the release of iOS 7, the Portuguese-developed app has embraced this and has been updated with a more fitting UI and some other enhancements that make writing any quantity of text even more of a pleasure.

I put the latest release of Byword, now only available for iOS 7, through its paces to see what benefits it brings for those using Apple’s latest iOS release.
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iOS 7′s bold new design convention gave many developers the chance to completely reinvent their apps, free from the shackles the previous constraints of iOS’ stylings. Vemedio seized this opportunity and have recently released Instacast 4, the latest update to their flagship podcast app, which has been completely redesigned with a new look and feel, as well as looking to the future of iOS by making iOS 7 a requirement.

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Document organisation is becoming ever more popular with those wanting to move to a paperless workflow. Whilst apps such as Evernote allows us to keep everything in one place, it’s multipurpose functionality can make it a little bit overwhelming when wanting to organise specific documents.

Doo attempts to be your central location for all your documents, regardless of what popular syncing service they may be stored in, whilst using some iOS-specific features that add to the experience. Unfortunately, the experience is one lacking many things. I test drive Doo for iPad to see what it does, though perhaps more accurately, doesn’t do.

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