Posted in Opinion

New York Times Digital Sale


The New York Times has joined in the cyber Monday fray. It is offering 50% off a 26 week digital subscription. You can read about the deal here. You can buy it for yourself or give it as a gift.

The fine print states:

Gift subscriptions can only be purchased for users who are not currently subscribed. Please allow 24 hours for gift subscription order processing.

Smartphone and tablet apps are not supported on all devices. Subscriptions do not include e-reader editions, Premium Crosswords or The New York Times Crosswords apps. Prices shown are in U.S. Dollars. Gift subscription period begins the day of redemption. Redemption codes expire five years after date of purchase. Other restrictions apply.

If you have been waiting to get your subscription, now may be the time.

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Posted in App, Opinion, Review

MindNode Update to 2.0


MindNode, a mind mapping program for your iOS devices has been updated to version 2.0. If you use mind mapping to help you organize your thoughts, this program, in conjunction with MindNode Pro, allows you to create and share mind maps between your iPad and Mac.

iPad Screenshot 1

The program is a universal app and works on the iPhone and iPad. However, on the iPad, the larger screen real estate makes for a better experience. You can watch a short screencast of the app in action here.

According to the developer, this is a major update and the following features have been improved:

• Folding

Hide and unhide entire sub tress directly on the canvas or in outline view.

• Smart Layout
Automatically keep your canvas organized.

• Node and Branch Styles
Change the font, text size, text color, shape and line style of your nodes and branches.

• MindNode Pro features
MindNode touch will now correctly display images and cross connections create on the mac. It’s now also possible to exchange documents between the two platforms without loosing attributes.

• Document List
New grid based document list to browse documents more easily.

Many more features and enhancements:
• Resize nodes on the canvas
• Zoom level independent node well
• Create nodes via an accessory view when in edit mode
• Duplicate documents
• Multiple selection in document list

iPad Screenshot 4

This app is recommended if you want to use mind mapping to organize your thoughts. The ability to pinch to zoom in and out makes reading and working with this app a pleasure on the iPad. The added benefit of syncing with a Mac allows you to take your work in the office or on the go. If you are looking for a Mind Map program for your iPad, this is a great product.

Posted in Commentary, Opinion

iTunes and App Stores Down? [Update]


It appears that the iTunes and App stores are down. At first, I thought is was me…But, there are posts appearing on Apple’s support site. That does not bode well for downloading Lion in the next couple of days.

Here are a couple of links to discussions about iTunes being down. Site, site.

If you are having problems connecting to the stores, you are not alone.

UPDATE [2011.07.13 6:30 a.m. EDT]MacRumors is reporting that Apple sent developers an email to let them know the store may be down. Purportedly, the email states:

“iTunes Connect will be undergoing scheduled maintenance on Wednesday, July 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PDT.

During this time, iTunes Connect will still be available. However, pricing changes made between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. PDT will cause the app to become unavailable for purchase until maintenance is complete, at which point the app will become available at the new price. To avoid interruptions to the availability of your apps, do not make price changes during this time.

Lastly, customers may not be able to purchase apps in the Mexico, U.K., Australia, Switzerland, Japan or Norway storefronts during the scheduled maintenance.

Regards,

The App Store team”

Does this mean Lion may be released soon?  We’ll have to wait and see.

Posted in App, Opinion, Specs

How to Lock Your iPad with a Passcode


Wrong Passcode—try again

If your iPad was misplaced, lost or stolen, would you want your information (email account, notes, photos, contacts, etc.) in someone else’s hands? If not, you should make sure your iPad is locked – not physically, but with the built in Passcode Lock. The feature requires a passcode to be entered when you first turn on your iPad.

To enable the feature that will password lock your iPad, do the following:

Turn On Passcode – Simple v. Not

Tap – Settings > General > Passcode Lock. — Before you tap “Turn Passcode On”, note the “Simple Password” switch below.

The default passcode is a “simple” four digit code of your choosing. However, you can choose to enter a more complex; thus, less guessable code by sliding the Simple Passcode switch from the default “ON” to off.

Simple Passcode
Not so simple

After you have decided whether you want the simple or not passcode, tap “Turn Passcode On.” And enter your passcode – Don’t forget it…! More importantly, consider what your 4 digit code will be in light of a recent article about an app developer that recorded over 200,000 passcodes and found a pattern seen below. Thus, before you enter a “simple” password, think about whether it is a guessable pattern.

Enter Time When Passcode is Required

Next, select when you want to require the passcode to be entered. The default is immediately. You should keep that default. Why would you want the passcode to be entered after several minutes of authorized use?

Erase Data Following Improper Code

At first, this feature sounds cool and you would want this on. Depending on your work, it may be a great idea to select the feature “erase all data” after 10 failed password attempts.

But – do you have kids who can’t read, don’t care or do you really want to have your data erased if you forget your password? You need to make that call based on your own comfort level.

Forgot your Passcode – What to Do?

According to Apple, “If you cannot remember the passcode, you will need to restore your device using the computer with which you last synced it. This allows you to reset your passcode and resync the data from the device (or restore from a backup). If you restore on a different computer that was never synced with the device, you will be able to unlock the device for use and remove the passcode, but your data will not be present.” Read that last part again, you can unlock your device for use, but – your data will not be present.

Conclusion

If you travel, take your iPad out of the house, or have sensitive data on your iPad, you should strongly consider locking it with a passcode to ensure your data stays safe.

Posted in Opinion, Review

Maven Web Browser Adds New Twists to Browsing


Right now, for a limited time, you can get a free browser for your iPad…What you have one already…? Not like this one!  Check out this web page to see it in action.

Maven Web Browser gives you much more than you are used to on your iPad.

There are extended features like dual pane browsing, save password to your favorite sites, a bookmark jog-dial, reader feature, and more. You can even control the brightness of the page with a jog-dial.

It may very well change how you browse on your iPad.  For free, you gotta try it.

Posted in App, Commentary, Opinion, Review

Dropbox for iPad


As an iPad user, one of the things that may slow you down is a cable. You may feel like you have documents on your computer that you NEED to have on your iPad. To get them on the iPad, you think you need to sync with iTunes with the white wire.

Enter Dropbox. Dropbox is a method via software to sync folders and files via the cloud in a relatively easy way. Let’s say you have a file on your desktop you are working on and want to continue working on it at lunch via your iPad. Without a cable or emailing yourself the document, it can become complicated.

What if you could simply log into a folder in the sky with your iPad that had your most recent documents? What if the changes you made to your documents on your iPad would automatically be synced back to your computer without having to email them or tether your mobile device to sync. That’s the magic of Dropbox. You will need to set up an account that gives you 2GB of free storage.  If you use this link to sign up, I get a little extra free storage for myself.

A short video showing the Dropbox concept is helpful to watch. The free Dropbox iPad app can be downloaded. You will also need to download the app for your operating system to sync the folders with your laptop or desktop. You can choose your OS here.

You can even share folders with friends of clients so they have access to the latest changes you are making.

Once you have the account, you will be able to do some amazing things with apps like iAnnotate, ReaddleDocs for iPad, and GoodReader for iPad. These apps will allow you to save, read and annotate your PDFs with little to no effort. Imagine needing to read a PDF that you want to mark up for corrections. With these apps and Dropbox, you will soon learn to leave your highlighter, notepad and papers behind.

I plan on reviewing some of the above apps soon. I encourage you to try out Dropbox and see how it changes your iPad experience. I encourage you to make sure you look for apps that are Dropbox compatible.

Posted in App, Commentary, Opinion

Onswipe – Look @ Me on an iPad or iPad2


WordPress is now compatible with the OnSwipe platform that makes it easy for publishers to enhance their content on touch-enabled devices (e.g. iPads). That means, if you look at this blog on an iPad, you will see the content displayed in a different way.

The article layout, depending on the orientation of your iPad will change as well. If you blog, you may want to look into the various tweeks and tools available.