Oh, how we have adapted!

Humankind is almost unique in nature: we are one of the rare species that is adept at using tools to fashion a liveable environment around us rather than being a species that has no choice but to adapt through evolution (For example, certain moth species evolved into butterflies in order to avoid nocturnal predators such as the bat). Man, as a species, fashions an environment to suit his needs. From sea-level to the highest peaks, from the desert areas to the extreme cold of the poles, humankind has adapted his environment in order to survive.

Changing our world to suit our needs implies progress, of course: for thousands of years, humans lived in caves either scavenging or eating raw meat. Fire would have been used for warmth alone, until our ancestors discovered the delights of cooked food (no doubt by accident). Our brains developed into what they are now through the eating of cooked meat, according to most experts. This, in turn, would have led to the carving of tools, which allowed our forefathers to adapt to the extremes of nature. And then there is language, of course, adding to the mix: spoken, articulated communication allowed us to spread our ideas, helping us to become masters not only of our own destiny, but masters of all we survey.

And so it continues…

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Lately you may have noticed the consistent stream of headlines that pertain to user security and data safety. People are getting worried about how secure their mobile devices, and information, actually is. With this thirst for security comes a service and app combo that wants to help secure your personal data.

The service and app is called SecureSafe, a multi-part service that employs encryption on many different devices and on many different mediums. From photos to docs to passwords, SecureSafe can secure them all. Let dive right in!

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If there is one thing that the iPad is great at doing, it’s gaming. As the iPad’s specs have been upgraded, more and more “heavy-duty” games have filled the App Store. Unfortunately, these new games can overshadow the great, simply fun games.

Today’s roundup will showcase fifteen arcade-style games for iPad. There’s no long plot line or fancy graphical fireworks in any of these games, but they do provide you with hours of classic entertainment. See which games made the cut after the break.

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Almost 2 years ago, Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey founded a company called Square, and released an eponymous service and iPad application that promised to revolutionize the way that people pay and get paid.

Signing up for the free service netted you a free card reader that plugged into the headphone jack and allowed you to take credit card payments on your iOS device. A while later, Square released Card Case, an iPhone app that let you start a tab and pay using your name at any business that utilized the Square system. I’ve been absolutely fascinated by both of these apps, and all of the things that Square has been doing since. So much so, in fact, that I’ve often wished that I had a small business of my own, just so I could use this more often.

We’ve talked about Square before, so I won’t go into the specifics of how the service itself works. Instead, I want to talk about a new addition to the service. Last week, Square added a third iOS app to their lineup: Square Register. Register takes the register-like features of the original Square app, and fleshes out functionality to provide a more POS-like experience. Interested to see what Square Register does for you that the original Square app might not? Read onward!

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I’ve been an iPad user since day one and loved my experience with Apple’s stellar product. I’d definitely say I’m qualified to talk about the iPad, owning the first-generation iPad and, more recently, the new iPad. In fact, I’ve got all three generations here at my house after making excuses not to sell them as I’ve upgraded each year.

For nearly two years I’ve been an iPad user and, with the arrival of my new iPad, I’ve been trialing it as my primary machine. In this article, I’ll be explaining a bit about my experience and discussing some of the apps I’ve been using.

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To-do software is somewhat akin to sports teams, in the sense that everyone has their favorite. Users develop strong allegiances, while apps like Omnifocus develop cult followings. Insult a popular to-do app and be ready to feel the wrath of angry power users. Thanks to apps like Clear, even the simplest to-do apps have diehard fans.

Despite vast differences, all to-do apps are rooted in the basic concept of lists, but most bury this basic idea in complicated databases and an abundance of chrome. TaskPaper by Hog Bay Software puts the “list” back into “to-do list” and saves all task lists as plain text files. TaskPaper doesn’t offer a full-fledged GTD experience per se, but it provides many of the key features without the unpleasant complexities.

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Our featured sponsor this week is iDraw, a superb, and feature-packed, vector drawing and illustration app for the iPad!

Professional Vector Editing Comes to the iPad

Josh reviewed iDraw a while ago and found it to be an excellent application, really one of the first apps that made you feel like you had a professional layout tool on an iOS device. Since then it’s only improved!

Alongside great features like layers, text, images, multi-color gradients, RGB color picker, brushes, pen tool, customizable canvas styles, grid snapping, masking, and PDF export, iDraw has added features such as;

  • Shape libraries
  • SVG Import and Export
  • Dropbox Integration
  • Dimension lines
  • Boolean path combinations
  • Canvas scale, Rulers, and Units (mm, cm, inches)
  • Pen tool multi-point selection and editing

Grab a copy of iDraw and create mockups, illustrations, and vector designs on the iPad!

At AppStorm we love helping you get the most out of your devices, mostly by giving you the low-down on the latest and greatest apps! Occasionally, however, it’s good to highlight the very best apps available; whether they be old classics, or new gems.

Recently each site has published a massive, and eminently thoughtful, roundup of the very best apps available, and I’ve collected them all together! Our editors and teams went to herculean lengths to ensure that these roundups would be more than worth your time, so without further ado…

Enjoy!

On Wednesday Google unveiled something that has intrigued and horrified people in almost equal measure; Project Glass. Google’s own description of the project is a mangled collection of buzzwords, but goes thus;

“We believe technology should work for you — to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t.

A team within our Google[x] group started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment.”

Google are pushing forward with augmented reality, bringing us ever closer to being able to buy Google Glasses and see our world from a whole different angle (complete with ads). Whether this scares you, or fascinates you, I’d like to know whether you think augmented reality, in general, is the future?

The tablet form factor is ideally suited for so many different tasks, but it would seem particularly well adapted for use as a note-taking tool. The touchscreen, coupled with an on-screen keyboard, is ideal for both typing and scrawling, and this is something app developers have been keen to use to their advantage.

Remarks from Readdle is another app designed to transform your iPad into the ultimate notepad, but rather than focusing on typing or handwritten notes, both options are made available. With the ability to add images and annotate your files, and a helpful selection of writing and drawing tools, things look good from the word go.

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