Now, is it just me, or are children’s television and literary characters a little bit, well, bland lately? Can you honestly see Bob the Builder being around another hundred years from now like Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit? No, me neither.

Move over Spongebob Squarepants and Dora the Explorer, our childhood classics are now available on iOS and they are better than ever. Hit the jump for a trip down memory lane.

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Well, we’ve come to the conclusion of our Secondary Pythonista series. “Evaluating the End Product” is the title, but if you’ve been following along at home, you know our script is not complete. In the first part of this article we’ll finalize the script. In the second part we’ll review what we’ve done through this series, and where we could go with our little script.

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Autumn brings about a return to routines. The leisurely days of summer are over. Kids go back to school and life becomes busier as extracurricular activities resume: after school sports and choir practice, school plays and orchestra performances. Kids aren’t the only ones caught up in the go-go-go; parents have PTA meetings to attend, gym sessions to sweat through, book clubs to host and date nights to prioritize. As the calendar fills up and we feel stretched ever thinner, gathering over a home-cooked meal becomes more difficult. We’re too busy to plan and shop, too tired to cook, too rushed to sit down for thirty minutes as a family.

Here on Foodie Friday, the month of September is dedicated to gathering around the table for a home cooked family meal. Each week I’ll be sharing an app that makes cooking at home 5 nights a week simple, easy and fun. Look for tips on sharing the workload (it’s not all on Mom’s shoulders) and getting kids involved. Find clever ideas for prepping ahead so you can get dinner on the table in minutes. Whether you’re a busy professional couple with one child or a stay-at-home parent to four, making time to gather around the table as a family is a challenge. Make a goal this month to start a new routine, with a little help from your iPad.

Keep reading to find out more about my first pick of the series.

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A couple weeks ago, we began a journey to talk about iPad apps that professionals can use. We promised to take a look at lots of different job markets and maybe strike upon some apps you might have overlooked in your own field.

Today, we’re taking a look at the iPad and professional filmmakers — everybody from directors to actors — to see how they could benefit from carrying an iPad around. Read on to find out what made the industry jump at the tablet when it was released and what makes the iPad important for them years later.

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Just look at the iPad. Look at that ever-so-thin, yet robust, metallic body. Look at that expanse of touch-sensitive glass, mounted on top of a bold, bright, high resolution display. You’ll just have to make do with thinking about all the processor power squeezed into the unfathomably small crevice between the two. This, surely, is a product made with the photographer in mind.

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Whether you travel frequently or trade multiple currencies on a daily basis, a currency converter will always come handy. There’s a handful of them on the App Store, but I’ve realized many aren’t intuitive enough when you need them the most. Indeed, when you’re trying to bargain a price in a local flea market and have to fight with your handheld device to get the conversion rate, you’re not at an advantage. The same applies when converting large amounts you’re trading, especially when you need to do it fast. Thankfully, Smart Coin solves the problem as it’s a gorgeous and intuitive app that takes a one-screen approach, so you get all the information you need at a glance.

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As any photographer will know, regardless of what equipment they possess, or the quality of their technique, camera-derived art is as much based on post-capture processing, as it is on the pressing of a shutter button and all that leads up to it. The iPhone was one of the first devices truly to combine these two halves of image-making into one package, and as a result, iOS is blessed with both good variety and good quality in the image editing department.

Sadly, many of these fine apps don’t make it onto the iPad, or at least not in a format optimized for the larger screen. This is, of course, because few iPad owners use their tablets for anything other than posterity snaps. But as a keen photographer myself, I’m often left wishing that I could utilize that large ten-inch expanse for some editing; let us not forget that Apple, themselves, manufacture a Camera Connection Kit to facilitate the uploading of externally-taken images.

So imagine my joy when I discovered recently that Afterlight (formerly Afterglow), the iPhone editor of the discerning applier of filters, had been updated to version 1.9, and optimized for iPad in the process. How well has it made the transition, and can it set a new benchmark for photo fiddling on the biggest brother of the iOS family? I set about finding out…

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When Tony Blair was re-elected back in 10 Downing Street on 7 June 2001 after a landslide victory for his Labour party, his first speech at the University of Southampton reiterated his top priority, “education, education, education”. In short, his speech highlighted his party’s commitment to investment and reform in Britain’s lagging education sector, which had suffered under the “neglect” of the Conservative Party. His speech, I believe, rekindled the public interest in education — and also became one of his most memorable soundbites. Although I don’t support the Labour Party or their principles, I do credit Mr Blair for awakening the dormant giant that is education — and it shows nowadays.

Almost every major technology company has a page of their corporate website dedicated to education, touting how their products will “change lives” and “enhance basic classroom activities”. Microsoft‘s, for example, demonstrates a variety of its products, such as Microsoft Office 365 and Windows 8, whereas Apple opts for a more device-orientated page, touting how its products such as the iPad and Mac allow pupils to “tap into their potential” and have “inspired learners”. OK, so it’s a bit cringeworthy, but you get the point.

And now, there’s a new area to focus on: educational videos. Sure, we’ve all heard of the likes of TED and the Khan Academy — both of which offer excellent material — but now, there’s a new kid on the block that wants to give these two a run for their money. Mobento describes itself as a “video learning platform” which not only has an outstanding database of videos for your viewing enjoyment but it also allows you to search within videos for the actual words spoken. To help me understand a bit more about this amazing product, I spoke to Sumner Murphy, the founder of Mobento — here’s what he (and myself) had to say.

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Sometimes, I play video games. And sometimes, when I play video games, I play RPGs. I wasted more hours on Skyrim than I care to admit (not-so-curiously, the money I spent on ordering in pizza skyrocketed after that game’s release). I went to a university where our idea of fun on a Friday was playing Borderlands together. People on my floor still loved the old Pokemon games on Game Boy. And yes, we spent many a night re-watching Star Wars.

Despite that, though, I’d never played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (which I’m hereon shortening as KOTOR). It wasn’t because I had something against RPGs or Star Wars, clearly. I had simply never had the opportunity. When KOTOR celebrated its tenth anniversary with an iPad version of the now-classic game, I took note and picked up a copy. Read on to find out if it translates well to the iPad and if it’s worth laying down hard-earned cash for.

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So often, it’s the flashy graphics and prime soundtrack that pull me into games, but at the end of the day, it takes more than that to really connect with any app, game or not. If it’s all flash and no substance, it won’t sit long on my home screen. There’s little flash in Ending, but what it’s missing in the looks department, it more than makes up for in solid gameplay. I’ll take a look at why Ending is such a great game and why you should give it a shot. (more…)

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