Posted in App, Review

Flow by Moleskine

Flow by Moleskine is not just another app for those wanting to get ideas down on paper, it’s a productivity tool that allows you to fine tune what you want to capture on “paper” when inspiration strikes. This universal iOS app recently won an Apple 2019 design award.

The app features different drawing tools that can be fined tuned to your liking and saved. You can change nibs and ink flows. There are a wide variety of combinations and colors available and easily selectable. You can choose between different paper styles and colors.

Although there are some limits placed on tools and paper, there are more than enough combinations available. You can also export and share your work. The ability to undo in a variety of ways also makes this app useful.

The app is free to try for a few days. After that, there is a monthly or annual subscription price. Right now, following WWDC 2019, there is a 60% discount on the subscription. ($1.99 per month / $11.99 per year) It is not clear how long that may last.

You can also sync between iOS devices when you use the same Flow account.

So, this alternative to Paper is certainly worth trying.



Posted in Opinion, Review

iPhone X – Way Cool


Credit Apple Inc.

I have been playing around with my new iPhone X since the Friday launch date. Here are some quick thoughts about using it.

  • No Home Button – No Problem – I have forgotten about missing a home button. Opening the phone is as easy as picking it up, tilting it towards you and swiping up with your thumb. The phone automagically opens with the facial recognition.
  • Quitting Apps – One thing that I could not figure out was how to quit apps. On older phones, you double tap on the home button and then slide the open apps up to quit them. To accomplish this now, from the home screen, you slowly slide your thumb up and leave it about half way up the screen for a moment. Then, you will see your running apps in a stack to the left. Tap and hold on one and a red “-” will appear at the top left of each app. Tap on the red “-” over each app you want to quit that and the app will quit. If you are in an app, at the bottom, you will see a small line. Tap on that line and swipe up to the middle to accomplish the same thing.
  • Battery Percentage – I am used to seeing the percentage of battery at the top left. There appears to be no way to make that percentage number appear and stay. The 2 work arounds are to plug your phone into a charger and you will see the charge. The second way is to swipe down from the top right to access your control panel. There, you will see the battery percentage.
  • Update Apps – Make sure you update the apps for compatibility with the new iPhone. A few apps did not work. I also found that if I had a problem that deleting the app and reinstalling seemed to help.
  • QI Charger Not – Last, I chose not to get a QI charging pad to lay the iPhone on at this time. All of my cables currently work and I think I will hold out until Apple comes out with their version that will allow the Air Pod, Apple Watch and iPhone to charge.

If you happen to be near an Apple store, check the availability with the Apple Store app. An iPhone X may be closer than you think.


Posted in App, Review

Scrivener for iOS Released


Scrivener for iOS has been released. If you are familiar with the Mac or PC version, this universal iOS app finally brings the typewriter, ring-binder, scrapbook, and more tool to your iOS device.

If you are not familiar with this app, think of it as a word processor that helps you get your ideas down and organized more than formatting for final production. You can “compile” or export your complete document or manuscript into Word, PDF, EPUB and other formats.

If you are a person who writes, researches, or puts together written projects, this is a powerful writing and revising tool. There are a lot of features which may, at first, seem overwhelming. Remember, this app is designed to help you get your ideas down, organize them and then export them into a useful format.

Scrivener Screenshot binder

A big concept to understand about Scrivener is the idea that each project can be broken down into smaller parts like text, research, notes and trash. The app uses a notebook analogy. The binder, seen on the left above, is the place where your project is stored and can be manipulated. Tapping on one section on the left, allows you to see your working area on the right. This is where you enter your text. You can create as large a chunk of text as you want or break it down into itty bitty pieces like note cards. If you think of your manuscript as a group of notecards, you will find writing much easier.

Scrivener Corkboard

The cork board is another way to view your manuscript. These pieces of text can be moved around like note cards to help you better organize your thoughts.

scrivener overview screenshot

If you plan on using this app on your iPad, get the Apple Smart Keyboard so you can have even more screen real estate as the software keyboard will be hidden. The software keyboard has been augmented to include additional tools. Above, you can see the iPad screen without the Apple Smart Keyboard. Below is a screen shot without the keyboard attached. Another feature is the ability to pinch to zoom in and out to make the text appear larger or smaller without actually changing the actual font size set.

Scrivener Screenshot Without Apple Keyboard

When you first get the app, make sure you review the included written tutorial. The tutorial is in the form of a binder. Walk through the lesson and get familiar with the app.

The ability to sync between your computer and iOS devices is limited to Dropbox.

The search capability is very nice. Pull down on the left side to search for terms.

The developer has a screencast showing an overview of Scrivener for iOS for the iPad. You can watch it below.

Below is a list of features provided by the developer:

Get Started
• Interactive tutorial project
• Keep each manuscript and supporting materials in a self-contained project
• Import Word, RTF, Final Draft and plain text files
• Easily split imported text into separate sections

Get Writing
• Write your manuscript in sections of any size
• View all sections as a single text using the “Draft Navigator” (iPad only)
• Quickly navigate sections using the “binder” sidebar
• Format with fonts and presets
• Comments, footnotes, links and highlights
• Simple bullets and lists
• Insert images
• Pinch-zoom to resize text
• Full-screen mode (iPad only)
• Typewriter scrolling mode keeps typed text center-screen (iPad only)
• Write a screenplay using scriptwriting mode
• Live word and character counts
• Set word and character count targets
• Find and replace
• Customizable keyboard row provides quick-access buttons for formatting, navigation and punctuation
• Comprehensive keyboard shortcuts for external keyboard users

Find Your Structure
• Write in any order and reorganize later
• Write a synopsis for any text section and see it in the outline
• Expand, collapse and drill down into sections of your project
• Rearrange sections as index cards on the corkboard (iPad only)
• Project-wide search
• Track ideas using labels and status
• Apply custom icons to your sections

Refer to Research
• Import research material such as image, PDF and media flies
• View research files or other sections right alongside your writing (iPad only)
• Every section has its own notes area for jotting down ideas
• Supports multi-tasking split screen mode (supported devices only)

Share Your Work
• Compile to a single document for sharing or printing
• Use different formatting in your exported or printed document
• Export to Word, RTF, Final Draft, PDF or plain text
• Convert rich text to Markdown for sharing with Markdown apps
• Create and email zipped backups of your projects

Work Anywhere
• Use Dropbox to sync between devices and with the macOS and Windows versions of Scrivener*
• Copy projects between devices via iTunes

* Requires a Dropbox account. Scrivener is not compatible with iCloud.


This very rough overview post was written to get some basic information out about the app and let you know it has been released. If you have been waiting for Scrivener for your iOS device, you should not hesitate to get this app if you want to be able to take your Scrivener projects with you. Keep in mind, not all of the features of the Mac version are present.

If you are looking for an app to help you draft manuscripts, documents and other written projects, you will find this app fits your needs.

Posted in App, Review

ScanSnap Cloud – Scan to the Cloud

ScanSnap Cloud icon

A new service offered by ScanSnap allows you to now scan items directly to cloud services without a computer. You will need to have an IX500 or IX100 ScanSnap scanner to use this feature, have your scanner connected to a Wi-Fi network with internet access and set up a ScanSnap Cloud account.

The steps for this new process are found below on this video. You will need to download a separate app for your Mac and update your scanner via USB cable first. A firmware update will be needed to update your scanner. You will need to setup a ScanSnap Cloud account using the app.

Once this service is activated, you will not be able to use Scansnap Manager, the app currently used to save scanned files directly to your computer. However, by turning off the service and reactivating ScanSnap manager, you will be able to scan directly to your computer again.

[Update: Make sure to run the various updaters for ScanSnap manager first as well.]

You can check on the status of your scans via your iOS device using this app.

ScanSnap Cloud Services Screenshot

You can now scan directly to your Evernote, DropBox or Google cloud services. As part of the setup, you can designate where different types of scans will go. The app is supposed to automatically separate photos, receipts, and documents and send them to different cloud services selected by you.

According to the developer, the new service promises to automatically deliver “scans from your iX Series ScanSnap to your favorite cloud services without the need for a computer or mobile device. It intelligently sorts data into documents, receipts, business cards and photos, then sends it to the cloud services of your choice. Scan directly to the Cloud, and access your files anytime, anywhere through partner applications including Dropbox, Evernote, Expensify, Google Drive, Google Photos and OneDrive. This app allows you to easily configure the settings for ScanSnap Cloud and view your scans.”

If you want to skip a step in your normal scan process to speed up the process of getting your scans into the cloud, check out ScanSnap Cloud.

Posted in App, Review

LiquidText – PDF Doc Reader Update 2.0

LiquidText PDF icon

LiquidText is a superior PDF that allows you to actively review and markup PDFs on your iPad and so much more. The app itself is free. The new Multi-Document pack is on sale for $8.99.

Using the app, you can load a PDF and by pinching, compare pages in different parts of the PDF.

LiquidText ScreenShot iPad Pro

To annotate, you can highlight and select text that can be swiped off the PDF and stored on the side work space. Once the comments and notes are in the work space, you can connect and organize them as you see fit.

By tapping on the comments, you can be directed back to the part of the PDF where the comment is linked to.

LiquidText Compare


This new update includes the ability to purchase the New Multi-Document Pack that lets you work with multiple documents and webpages in a single LiquidText workspace (one time in-app purchase required).

• Pull together excerpts from multiple documents

• Search across all the documents in a LiquidText file

• Compare documents side by side

• Make comments that refer to multiple documents

Once you start using LiquidText, all other PDF document apps will seem like they are missing something. Try the active reading process using LiquidText for a different PDF experience. This app is for the iPad only.


Posted in App, Opinion, Review

OmniOutliner 2

OmniOutliner for iPad icon

OmniOutliner, a great app that helps you outline your ideas, projects and thoughts, has been updated. If you are looking for a way to create a variety of lists, including to-do items, OmniOutliner by the OmniGroup is worth checking out. It has recently been updated to provide some fixes and improvements.

One of the advantages of the iOS app is its ability to store documents in iCloud so you can access them from your Mac desktop version. Literally, you can start, continue or finish projects on the go or at your laptop.


A nice feature is the ability to drag and drop items in your list to help you modify your ideas on the fly without having to retype or copy and paste. There are built in templates to help you get going. The drop down triangle allows you to collapse lists to make them more manageable.

With multiple columns available you can check items off, keep up with assignments of the list items, add dates and more.

The OmniGroup has been making great Mac and iOS apps for years. If you are looking for a way to create simple or more complex lists or outlines, you should check out OmniOutliner.


Posted in App, Review

Drafts 4

Drafts 4 icon

Drafts 4 is an action note app. Open the app, get your note, thought, or idea down and then act on it. With the text you enter, you can share, email, message, create reminders, post to social media and more. The app also works with Dropbox, Evernote and Google Drive so you can append and prepend to files and notes.

If you need a customized action, you may create one or find it already exists on the Drafts Action Directory. An action is built from “steps” so you can organize, build and rearrange steps to accomplish more with your text.

The keyboard has been modified to allow you to speed up the process of entering and sharing text. Tap on the keyboard image below to see some of the other tools built into the keyboard.

Drafts 4 Keyboard

The app even works with your Apple Watch.

The most recent update includes the following improvements:

– [Change] Action importer fix.
– [Fix] Selection of “All” or “Trash” tabs not properly restored across app restarts.
– [Fix] Selection of “All” action group not properly restored across app restarts.
– [Change] Re-enable meta tag generation in MultiMarkdown processor. Broke some workflows.

Think of Drafts as a one stop shop for your text. You don’t need to open a bunch of different apps to enter your text, just put it into Drafts and then send it where you want it to go.

Posted in Review, Specs

New iPad Pro Available Today – Compare

Credit Apple Inc.

Credit Apple Inc.

The new iPad Pro 9.7 inch is finally available to those who ordered it early and at various store locations. The new smaller iPad pro works with the Apple Pencil and has a smart keyboard available as well. Don’t forget, the smart keyboard acts as a cover for the front, but not the back. If you want a cover for the back, consider Apple’s silicone case in various colors.

If you can’t figure out which model is right for you, check out the Apple Compare iPad page. There, you can compare sizes, colors, wi-fi v. cellular v. combinations, etc. You can also see the differences between the cameras, memory, processors, touch ID and Apple Pay availability and more.

Posted in App, Review

AirTable – Cloud Database


If you are interested in using and learning about databases that can be synced with your various devices via the cloud by using a browser on your Mac and an app on your iOS device, check out AirTable.

The feel is like a very flexible spreadsheet. However, it is really a powerful relational database. Collaboration is also possible. You can share tables, see changes, chat with teammates and more.

Content too can be integrated with services like Dropbox, Box, Evernote, Google Drive and more.

There are starter templates that allow you to get going fast. You can create your own too. The templates are set up for both personal and business functions. The template categories include: personal, sales & customers, event planning, project management, human resources, and software development.

The pricing is set up as follows: Free unlimited databases that do not exceed 1,200 rows per database and up to 2GB database / attachment space size. For $12 per user per month, you get up to 5,000 dos and up to 5GB. For $24 per user per month, you get 50,000 rows and up to 20GB of space along with priority support. There appears to be enterprise support coming soon.

According to the Airtable website “You can add as many collaborators and bases as you’d like for free, as long as each base falls below the per-base record limits described above. If any of your bases exceeds those limits, you’ll need to upgrade the team to which that base belongs (if you are a solo user, you are considered a “team” of one person).

For paid teams, you will be charged the per-user, per-month fee for each person you’ve invited to collaborate on bases belonging to that team. You will not be charged for read-only collaborators.

If you’re using Airtable for a nonprofit or an educational institution, you may qualify for a discount.”

There is a support page that addresses popular questions. You can see Airtable in action at these video pages.

To check out the iOS version of the app, click here. The Mac version is here.


Posted in App, Review

Pigment – Coloring on an iPad?

Pigment icon

While walking through a toy store, I came across coloring books for adults – that is more complicated images to color in with coloring pencils or ink pens. I wondered if digital versions of this existed and came across Pigment. This app touts itself as being a true coloring book experience for adults. It has Apple Pencil and 3D touch support too!

After downloading Pigment, you are presented with a few screens to show you how to use some of the features.

As part of your download, you have several different books with drawings included to color. Some drawings are locked and you need the premium access to access.

There are 8 different coloring tools like pencil, marker, paint brush, and fill. You can use your finger, an Apple Pencil or other 3rd party stylus devices.

Pigment Screenshot 1

There are many colors to choose from. The Apple Pencil works amazingly well with the app. The thickness and strokes vary depending on the pressure applied as you would expect with the Apple Pencil.

You can zoom in and out, undo, change the size of the drawing tip and more. With the iPad Pro and Pencil it really feels like you are coloring. The app touts the zone out or zen like relaxation benefits of taking your mind off of other matters while you color.

You can subscribe to Pigment Premium Access which is a paid subscription that gives you unlimited access to all of the designs in the Pigment Library and removes watermarks on shared and saved images. You can also print high resolution images with the service. You can get the subscription as a weekly, monthly or yearly service. Your iTunes account will be billed accordingly.

Try out Pigment and see if you too experience the relaxation and joys of getting your mind off of your work for a little while.