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Easy Annotate – Side by Side PDF Annotation

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Easy Annotate icon

Easy Annotate Dual PDF Editor is a PDF mark up tool and more. It solves a problem that many have when reviewing PDFs for a project – the ability to see, side by side, two different PDFs.

With this app, you can read, annotate, compare and link PDFs side by side. The app offers students, business professionals and researchers the tools to read, annotate and compare PDFs side by side easily and efficiently.

 

Easy Annotate Screen Shot

The app also allows you to create links between PDFs.

 

Easy Annotate Link

 

You can also export and share your PDFs to DropBox, Google Drive or a WebDAV account.

You can learn more about the app from the developer’s website. Right now…it’s Free.

Drafts 4 – One Stop Text Entry

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Drafts 4 icon

Drafts has been  updated to version 4. This iOS universal app is a one stop shop for entering text and sending it to where you want it to be used.

The idea is simple. Open one app to enter your text and send it to the app or place where you want that text to be. This app saves you from having to open and switch between different apps to enter text.

Capture your thoughts and ideas in Drafts now then decide where you want to send them later.

The text you enter can be something you want to post on Facebook, Tweet, send to reminders, email, make a note, and more. There is even integration with Dropbox, Evernote and many other third party apps. Learn more about Evernote integration here.

You can create or use actions via the action directory to allow integration with apps like OmniFocus, Day One and Fantastical.

Conclusion

If you want one app to capture your text, ideas, tweets, email, calendar events AND save time, you need to get this app. It will take a few tries to wrap your head around the usefulness of the app. But, once you do, you won’t look back.

Fantastical 2 for iPad

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Fantastical iPad icon

Fantastical 2 for iPad has been updated and is on sale for the holidays for a limited time for $7.99. This iOS 8 app gives you the ability to help manage tasks, appointments and more in one app.

Calendar task view

 

One of the many reasons to get this app is the ease of entering events and information in plain English and have the app translate that into the task or event entry for you.

Screenshot event entry

Like its cousin Fantastical for the Mac, Fantastical for iPad makes entering events into your calendar simple. There are many built in short cuts and ways to make entering or searching information easier. When you add information, you can toggle whether that is a task or calendar event by tapping the icon to the left of the entry. If you click on details, you can enter the location, alerts and other notes as well.

Other shortcuts are available. For example, swipe from the right edge of the screen and a search window appears. Swipe from the left edge of the screen and reminders appear.

If you want further tips and tricks, go to the Flexbits support page here.

Fantastical Today Widget View

Don’t forget the Today widget that allows you to view today’s events and information from Fantastical by simply swiping down from the top of your iPad from any home screen or app. You may have to add Fantastical to the today widget.

Conclusion

With the inevitable new years resolution to be more organized next year, buy this app now and begin your path to better time management and organization.

Day One – Capture Ideas and More

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Day One icon

Whether you are simply looking to get your thoughts, ideas or journaling done painlessly or planning on keeping better track of your time as a New Years resolution, you should get Day One on your Mac and iOS devices. The iOS version of Day One is on sale through Dec. 26 for 99¢.

The app was also a 2014 Design Award Winner from Apple.

Day One

This app makes journaling and capturing ideas relatively painless. It has the ability to automatically capture GPS information, weather information, date and time, photos, etc. all at the same time you enter your note or thought.

The Mac version is shown below. Note, the ability to enter a quick entry from the menu bar to capture that thought or idea no matter which app you may be using.

Day One Mac View

Importantly, no matter what device you are using (iOS or Mac), it can sync quickly and seamlessly to your other devices with Day One installed using iCloud or Dropbox. This means, when you enter information on one device, it will appear on the others.

Day One iOS images

iOS views of Day One

Features

The app is packed with simple to use and powerful features. Some of the features include the ability to:

  • sync (via iCloud, Dropbox)
  • capture photos
  • automatically add weather and temperature
  • automatically add GPS location
  • automatically add date and time
  • publish and share (via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • look at your notes from different views
  • search
  • use Markdown
  • reminder to enter
  • tag

The video below is from Day One that discusses Publish and social media options.

 

Privacy

If privacy is a concern, you can read about that here. The policy is the company does not have access to the data unless you give it to them. You can use a passcode to log into the app or on iOS devices with Touch ID, your finger. You can even encrypt the data on your iOS device with a passcode.

Sync – Painless (and Issue Resolution)

Once all of your devices are using the same iCloud account and have internet access, the syncing is quick and painless.

The only issue noticed was my iPad Air 2 did not seem to sync the notes from my iPhone 6 and Mac via iCloud as expected. This is probably not an issue with the app but rather the way iCloud handles syncing. The problem was solved by turning off iCloud on the iPad in Day One’s settings. Then, powering down the iPad. After restarting the iPad, open Day One and turn on the iCloud sync feature. After performing this, the app immediately synced all the notes and entries from my Mac and iPhone 6. Have Wi-Fi access for faster syncing, especially if you capture photos.

Search

The search feature allows you to The app does not appear to allow you to search Tags within the general search feature of the app. You have to tap on the tags and then search for your tags.

Conclusion

Run, don’t walk to get this app to capture and share your ideas, thoughts and events. Don’t forget, the Mac app is a separate purchase than the iOS app. Get both and begin journaling your life.

Typed for Mac Released

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Typed icon

A new typing app for the Mac has been released. Typed is “a distraction free, zen based writing experience.” Put simply, less is more when it comes to focusing on your writing. When you want to get an idea, thought or part of a paper written without being distracted with formatting, colors or tons of font choices, Typed can help you.

Typed Focus

Typed uses Markdown, used for writing and creating information for the web, to structure your documents. You don’t need to know Markdown to use the app. However, if you blog or create other information for the web, this app can be used to create the post.

Zen Preferences

Another unique feature is the ability to choose white noise background noise including wind, rain, and more. These choices are available in the Preferences menu. Click on the image of the kind of background sound you want and you will hear it.

Features identified include:

  • Minimal UI
  • Stunning typography – Typed features a selection of great typefaces, including the app’s signature style that clearly differentiates headers from regular text.
  • Responsive layout – Typed scales the size of text to fit your window size.
  • Zen Mode – Cut the distractions, and focus on the words.
  • Six beautiful audio tracks to help you stay focused
  • Live character and word count
  • HTML Preview
  • Auto Save support
  • Full Screen Support
  • HTML, RTF and PDF (via print) Export
  • Intelligent cursor placement when adding links and formatting content
  • Full complement of keyboard shortcuts

If you are considering a minimalist writing app to use to focus on creating content or blog, try Typed. This distraction free app will help you get your ideas down without being distracted by all of the options available to format a document. Currently, the introductory price is $19.99.

Boom2 for Mac Released

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Boom-2_icon

This post has not a lot to do with an iPad. However, if you enjoy getting better sound out of your Mac, try Boom2. It is compatible with Yosemite. There is a 7 day trial period too.

As soon as it was installed, the difference in sound was apparent when playing music from iTunes.

You can review the features on the company page.

Another cool feature is the ability to run audio files through the app so they can play better on other devices like your iPad.

If you have a prior version of Boom, you can upgrade for a 50% discount. Compare the differences here.

Do yourself a favor and try the sound experience.

Setting up iCloud Drive

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iCloud Drive Favorites

With the release of Yosemite, Apple’s latest operating system for Mac computers, a new feature/service has become available. iCloud Drive allows you to store various files, whether presentations, spreadsheets, PDFs, images or any other document. Once the materials are stored there, you can access them from your iOS devices running iOS 8. These include iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC. Some apps you have may need or rely upon the ability to store files in iCloud Drive.

The process of upgrading or updating to iCloud Drive is straightforward. You will need to turn the service on both your iOS 8 devices and your Macs running Yosemite.

Starting the Service on Your Mac

On your Mac, go to System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive. Check that option to turn it on.

set up iCloud drive

You will be asked if you want to use this service. If you have other Macs that are not running Yosemite or devices that have not upgraded to iOS 8, you will not be able to access the documents stored in iCloud Drive until you have updated those devices.

You can then click on Options that will appear next to iCloud Drive and see which apps are using iCloud Drive to store information. Once set up, you will then be able to see the various folders and documents in iCloud Drive. The initial process may take a while…be patient.

iCloud Folder

It was not clear why many PDFs, Pages documents and other materials were copied into iCloud Drive from my Mac. For example, a 33 MB PDF on my computer appeared in the iCloud Preview Folder. Some of the materials may have been attachments in Mail or previously shared via iCloud –  but that is a guess. However, be prepared for large and small documents to be moved into the drive even if you did not plan on that.

At first, it was not understood why Spotlight seemed to “see” the documents on the iCloud drive. After disconnecting the internet from the Mac, it was noticed that the documents were still available. So, it appears that the documents in iCloud drive are moved to a iCloud Drive folder on your Mac for use, editing, etc.

You may need to do some initial pruning from iCloud Drive to delete or move files back to your Mac after the first set up. Make sure you have a backup or duplicate of the documents iCloud has moved in case you need that document before you delete it. You may simply want to drag the various documents moved into your documents folder on your Mac to empty your iCloud drive initially. For example, set up a folder on your Mac in the Documents folder called iCloud Moved Items. Then, move the items from your iCloud Drive into that folder for sorting. Be careful not to move other items that iOS apps may be using via iCloud folder or you will not have the materials available on your iOS devices.

Later you can set up your own folder in iCloud Drive and manually move the materials to iCloud Drive that you want to be there.

To delete files from iCloud Drive, simply select the materials to delete and move them to the trash. You may be warned that doing this will result in deleting the materials from your iOS devices too. iCloud Delete

Turning on the Service on Your iOS 8 Device

You will need to turn on the service on your iOS 8 device as well. Go to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive > and slide to On. You may be told that non iOS8 devices you own will not be able to use iCloud Drive until they are updated to iOS 8.

After you select the option to set up the drive, it may take a few minutes to complete the update.

iCloud Drive setup

Following Set Up

Apple explains that “To upload your files to iCloud, simply drag them into the iCloud Drive on your Mac running OS X Yosemite or PC running Windows 7 or later. Or start a new document using an iCloud-enabled app on your iOS device. Then you’ll be able to access those documents from all your devices.”

Remember, this is a new service. Use Time Machine to keep back ups.

You can learn more about iCloud Drive from Apple or iCloud Drive FAQ.

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