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ElectricSlide is a really simple concept executed brilliantly. Anyone who has ever had to give a presentation will know how frustrating it is to move files around or to try out connections just to get your hard-crafted work displayed on a screen somewhere. How awesome would it be to simply turn up at a conference or a meeting and just press play on your iPad, and have it all presented perfectly and seamlessly over the resident Internet connection?

This is the promise of ElectricSlide, and it was with great enjoyment that I took this slick app out for a test-run to see what it could do, and if it lived up to the promise. Read on to see what I found.

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Outlines dominate the teaching and note-taking landscape. Many PowerPoint slides consist of an idea header with organized bullets that go into additional detail. High school teachers often required students to submit paper outlines prior to the first draft. Tony Buzan, the self-proclaimed creator of mind maps, argues that the brain doesn’t develop ideas in this traditional outline format; instead, ideas develop radially, starting with the central point and branching out into detailed topics and subtopics. According to Buzan, mind maps are more efficient and useful for capturing and developing ideas. The increased use of colors and images also helps the creator to retain and express ideas in an enhanced capacity.

Mind maps have several advantages over outlines. They provide a beautiful way to visualize data, especially for presentations and papers. Mind map topics can have complex dependencies and relationships that move far beyond the limits of a hierarchical outline.

Users looking for a mind mapping application will find a slurry of choices, from simple subscription-based solutions, to complex cross-platform behemoths. iThoughtsHD by CMS is a feature-rich mind mapping solution that supports many export and import options.

How well does iThoughtsHD stand up against the competition? Read on to find out.

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CloudOn is a revolutionary way of working with fully-featured applications without having to install anything except for a small viewer app on your iPad. It works by using a virtual working environment — a Workspace — which links to one of several cloud-based storage providers, so none of your personal work is stored anywhere on CloudOn‘s infrastructure. You get to use your favourite cloud storage provider with all of their security protection, backup provision and so on whilst still working with industry-standard Microsoft Office 2010 and Adobe Reader, and all that right on your iPad.

That’s a pretty decent offering for a free application. Let’s take a closer look to see if it’s usable and practical working with this solution on the iPad’s tablet environment.

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Back in March of last year, I took a first look at Moneywiz, a really nice yet simple money management app for the iPad, and I loved it. The app got a solid 9 out of 10 and I ended the review saying:

The answer: it’s absolutely brilliant. It proves that money management apps don’t have to be boring and functional – the interface is simply stunning and although it’s not yet been optimised for the new iPad, on a retina display it looks absolutely fantastic.

Since then, Moneywiz has been tweaked and altered considerably and a couple of days ago, version 1.4 was released for all to feast their eyes on. So, in light of this, let's take another look at this fantastic money management app and see if it still lives up to that impressive 9 out of 10 rating.

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For some people, the stock Mail app on iPad is old-school. It can be difficult to fully integrate with a Gmail account and it doesn’t seem as swipe-intuitive as some of the other options that are available for iPhone. On that note, the iPhone has more email options than I can count but admittedly, the iPad feels really left out.

But I’m staunchly in love with Mail.app. It handles all of my email perfectly well in a beautiful, easy-to-read and easy-to-navigate interface. That makes me the perfect candidate to review Birdseye Mail, the first third-party email app for Google users I’ve ever seen that tries to take full advantage of the iPad’s large 10″ display. If an app like Birdseye can win me over, you know it’s good. (more…)

Spreadsheets, whether you use them for menial tasks or to crunch some serious numbers, have found a home in almost every computer. Over the years however, they’ve evolved and grown into monstrous beasts that often can grind an older computer to a halt! So, for that very reason, there aren’t that many powerful spreadsheet applications on mobile devices.

The developers behind Permanent, a new and budding app for the iPad, are determined to change that though. Are they off to a good start? Let’s find out for ourselves.

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RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a great way for people to stay up to date on the latest updates from their favorite websites. Google Reader has become one of the most popular RSS services available since it is free and easy to set up. Whilst Twitter might have replaced RSS for some users, I find value in knowing that there are certain websites that enable me to not miss any important updates. A quick search of the App Store leads to many app results for RSS apps that utilize Google Reader, including options such as Reeder, Mr. Reader, and Pulse but buried beneath the search results is a nice addition called Ziner.

Ziner’s tagline is “Where the simplicity of RSS returns.” Just one look at the screenshots and it can be hard to argue with that claim. Content is presented in a clean magazine format that can help remove the stress of the unread count. This raises a question which is: do consumers want simplicity with their RSS or would they prefer powerful callback features much like in Mr. Reader? One look at the new Mr. Reader update and the excellent review put together by Viticci makes a valid claim for more powerful RSS. Can simple still win in the RSS competition? Let’s dive in and take a look at Ziner to find out.

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I work from home, and that requires a lot of discipline. Without a boss looking over my shoulder, it’s easy to check the clock and realize I’ve spent the day watching reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I need to stick to a schedule, and I’m the first to admit I need some help with that.

Enter Daily Routine, a time management app that’s all about customization, and I can create as many different routines as I need for all my different activities. Will all that customization, not to mention the very distinct Daily Routine interface, just end up getting in my way, or is this the thing to get me on track? (more…)

Maybe you’ve been reading an article and a term popped out at you, but you didn’t want to stop reading for long to research it. Or you were sitting at a dinner party, and someone mentioned a movie you hadn’t heard of, but you didn’t have time to hit up IMDB or Wikipedia and read about it. I get moments like this all the time. The team behind Dunno calls them brainslaps, and they don’t want you to miss another one ever again.

Dunno is a free cloud-based app that does research for you while you wait. It’s a universal iOS app and also available on OS X. Think of it like Wunderlist or Evernote, but instead of adding things to a to-do list or jotting down some quick notes, you’re getting research done while you’re away from the Web. (more…)

Passwords are a giant pain in the behind (pardon my language). First and foremost, passwords need need to be secure, and in order for them to be secure they have to be a long string of letters (random mix of uppercase and lowercase), numbers and symbols (for good measure). When you create a strong password they’re nearly impossible to remember, the theory being that if you can’t remember it how will anyone trying to hack your account crack the barrage of characters you created.

So, when you create these 15+ character passwords, how are you to keep track of them? There are certainly a number of options available (I know some opt for a good old-fashioned spreadsheet), but if you want a secure, user friendly experience 1Password has been to the go-to choice for quite some time. In December 2012, AgileBit released version 4 of 1Password, which includes an impressive list of new features. Hit the jump to take a peek at what the new 1Password has to offer. (more…)

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