There are many cloud storage services available these days (SkyDrive, Google Drive, SugarSync, Box and even Apple’s iCloud), but in my mind, Dropbox reigns supreme. I love the file management system, the ease of syncing content between devices, and the manner in which I can share files with others. Simply put, I’m a Dropbox fanboy.
Just before the holidays version 2.0 of Dropbox was released, bringing with it a brand spanking new design and new features geared towards uploading and managing photos. Having put away my ugly sweaters and wiping the eggnog from my chin, I’m ready to let you know if version 2.0 is a winner. All you have to do is hit the jump. (more…)
Back in December of last year, I wrote a review of TexPad for OS X and I was seriously impressed with it. I gave the app a solid 9/10 as it made typing TeX on a Mac simple, easy and pain-free. Now the developers, Valetta Ventures, have released an iPad version and they very kindly provided me with a promotional code for the purpose of this review.
TeX on an iPad, you say? Well, there are barmier things that have been written for it. Let’s have a look at the iPad version of TexPad and see if it fares up to its Mac counterpart. (more…)
Microsoft’s development for the iPad has, in my opinion, been a little sketchy in recent times. Although there has been chatter of the entire Microsoft Office suite being released for the iPad (thanks to a job posting on Microsoft’s website), nothing much concrete has emerged apart from two components of the Office bundle, OneNote and Lync.
Yet, even Microsoft’s development of OneNote for iPad has been a little lacking as well — the current version hasn’t seen an update since December 2011, over 8 months ago — and even searching for the keyword “Microsoft” in the App Store on the iPad brings up the alternative query, “Did you mean mochasoft?” Of course, there are apps out there that offer full Microsoft Office compatibility and try to emulate some of the features seen in the popular office suite, such as CloudOn and QuickOffice Pro HD, however up till recently there has been no decent alternative to Microsoft OneNote.
That has changed, however, with the release of Outline+ which offers intuitive note-making as well as full OneNote support and a whole host of other features. I managed to download the app and give it a whirl. Here’s what I thought of it. (more…)
A few weeks back, Second Gear updated their note taking app Elements to version 2.0. This added a completely redesigned UI and lots of new sharing support. The app functions as a Markdown editor in the cloud with full Dropbox sync support. It has a bunch of other basic features including printing, TextExpander, sharing to the web or publishing on Tumblr or Facebook, word counting, and the ability to export as HTML or PDF.
Elements is a fully universal iOS app, so you can use it with your iPhone and iPad seamlessly for the price of one app. It’s also very helpful to have when you write a note down at work and then want to find it once your phone has died. Read on to discover more about the potential of Elements 2.0…
PlainText is a plain text editor, one of many in the App Store, but due to its simplicity, ease of use, and feature set, it stands out among the crowd.
Although iCloud is launching in just a few months, there are still a lot of questions surrounding the service. How will it improve my workflow? Will it be better than MobileMe? Does it really replace current backup and sync services?
I can definitely sympathize with these concerns. MobileMe wasn’t exactly a smashing success, particularly since it cost about $100 per year too much. I use a free Dropbox account to sync both documents and data to and from my iPad. Since Dropbox is supported by many excellent apps, it can effectively serve as a cloud-based file system for your iPad—for free.
However, it looks like Apple has tried its best to address MobileMe’s faults with iCloud. A free account comes with 5 GB (about twice as much as Dropbox starts with), and boasts complete integration with Lion and iOS 5, elegant web apps for managing emails and calendars, and painless document and data syncing.
Given these improvements, can iCloud really change the way we use our iPads? Or is it just a flashy, not as full-featured alternative to Dropbox?
The newly refreshed Macbook Air is the best laptop Apple has ever devised for students. Even the lowest end model, with its paltry (by current standards) 2GB of RAM, would be fine for most students I know. Add the Air’s ridiculously fast SSD into the mix, and you’ve got a seriously slick machine.
But wait, what other Apple product is impossibly thin, has flash-based storage, and is super fast? The iPad, of course.
In many ways, the iPad seems unstoppable: its stable of professional, beautifully designed apps grows by the day, its iOS operating system gets more efficient and productive with every update, and its hardware is way ahead of competitors.
At half the price of the MacBook Air, the iPad suddenly seems like a more than capable option for a cash-strapped student. But could it really serve as a student’s only computer?
Sunshine on a Cloudy Day?
So, its been a few of months now since the Dropbox dev team released an iPad version of the hugely popular Dropbox app, but what does this mean for iPad users?
It’s a cloud backup service, isn’t it? Shouldn’t you just sit tight and wait for iOS 5′s iCloud service? Well, in a word, no. I’m going to show you how to make this little gem of an app sing, dance, and do other cool stuff. You will begin to think differently about Dropbox, how you use it, and what untapped potential it has. Would you like to:
- Break out of the 1GB local favourite storage limit?
- Keep persistent copies of books, photos and music, even when you empty your Dropbox?
- Download music and films remotely, using only the iPad?
- Work in a new way to break out of the 2GB total free space limitation?
- Run scripts remotely?
Let’s take a closer look…
Ever since I can remember, the internet has given us the promise of a unified system where the documents, photos, and files we use on our home computer can be easily accessible from anywhere. I create a file on my home computer, and it magically appears on my home computer, my laptop, my iPad or any other device you can think of.
Dropbox and apps of its kin have delivered to a reasonable extent, but for me, as a budding todo list organiser, as a blogger, and as someone who enjoys writing, the process wasn’t nearly as smooth as I’d have liked it to be when it comes to writing.
Although there are a range of writing applications that can sync over Dropbox, I found them all lacking for one reason or another – the syncing sometimes wouldn’t work, the interfaces were cluttered or just poorly designed, and the whole experience was frankly quite frustrating.
After a long (Google) quest, I discovered a tool that looked to satisfy all of my needs quite wonderfully, and was beautiful and minimalistic to boot. Simplenote.
The iPad ships with its own note-taking application that’s fine for normal use. It has an attractive notebook style interface with some limited customisability in fonts. For some fast word processing, this is an amicable solution for most users, especially those who don’t want to invest their cash in anything better after buying a $499+ device.
However, there are some of us who use notes a lot for something more than just a few words. There are also some of us who use it so much that we need a solution with a bit more organisation, say, into classes for a student. ThinkBook is one of many alternatives available on the App Store and it’s an application that we’ll be taking a look at today.