Posted in App, Review

Typed for Mac Released


 

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.

Posted in Accessories

Bamboo Fineline Stylus


Bamboofinline_LargePen

 

 

Wacom has introduced another stylus in an attempt to address the never ending question, Can I get a better stylus to simulate writing on my iOS device?

The newest stylus, the Bamboo Fineline, is a bluetooth, USB charged, pen like device that is compatible with the latest iOS and several apps, including Bamboo Paper. When you link the new stylus to Bamboo’s Paper app, you are provided with a fineline bonus pack of extra notebooks that normally require an in app purchase.

The device is compatible with iPads featuring Bluetooth® Smart technology: iPad (3rd and 4th generation), iPad Air, iPad mini (1st and 2nd generation) – or newer.

You can watch the device in action below.

After having used the stylus, the usual concern of the slight clicking sound when the nib touches the screen comes to mind but, it is really not that big of a deal. The other option is a squishy nib that feels like you are writing with a thick wet noodle and is quiet. So, the slight tap should really not be an issue.

The nib is 1.9 mm thin and feels solid instead of squishy like the other Bamboo stylus nibs. As to the way the pen feels, it is comfortable and there is palm rejection with apps that support the pen. This rejection allows you to comfortably rest your palm on the iPad if you want.

The sensation of ink flowing from the pen nib using Bamboo’s app is pretty good. If you have bad handwriting with pen and paper, don’t expect to see any difference.

The pen is charged using a USB connector that plugs into the rear of the pen. You flip up the rubbery end piece to expose the slot where the USB plugs in. There is some concern that that piece will soon disappear or break off…We’ll see.

The stylus comes in a variety of bright metallic colors.

The cost is about $59 US. You can get a pen from the Wacom Store, Best Buy and other stores.

If you have been waiting for a stylus that feels solid and is capable of writing fine lines, you will enjoy this one.

Posted in App, Review

OfficeTime Update – Time Tracking App that Syncs


OfficeTime icon

If you need/want to track and bill your time, you may be looking for an iOS app that works with and syncs to your Mac/PC. You should consider OfficeTime. This app allows you to set up projects and categories of billing events to quickly capture the time you spend with all of the details identified.

iPad Screenshot 2

You can even capture expenses and track your time while you are on the go with your iOS device. View reports of time spent on various projects on your iOS device.

When you get back to the office, you can sync to the separate  Mac/PC app. The process is painless as long as you are on the same wireless network when attempting to sync.

iPad Screenshot 3

Once the information is on your Mac, you can then create invoices, reports and more.

If you are interested in learning more about the apps, contact OfficeTime.

Posted in App, Review

Clear Syncs and Works with Mac


Clear

If you are looking for a simple and elegant GTD (to do list) program for your iOS device, Clear may be just for you.

The simple interface is easy to use and intuitive.

Today, the Mac version of the Clear is being released and is on sale for 50% off. Now, using iCloud, you can sync between your iOS device and the Mac version. Take and modify your lists on the go and review them on your computer.

Posted in App

Keynote for iPad – Best Practices


If you have been using or want to use your iPad to do Keynote presentations, you may want to review the recent Apple knowledge base article Keynote for iPad: Best practices for creating a presentation on a Mac for use on an iPad. Your presentations will look best if you follow these tips.

The article reprinted in its entirety for you below:

  • When you create a new presentation on your Mac, use one of the following themes:
    • Black
    • Blackboard
    • Craft
    • Gradient
    • Harmony
    • Modern Portfolio
    • Moroccan
    • Parchment
    • Showroom
    • White
    • From the bottom-right corner of the Theme Chooser screen, set the Slide Size to “1024 x 768.”

  • Use fonts common to both the Mac and iPad platforms. Fonts that are not available on the iPad are replaced with the Helvetica font.
  • Choose from these Master Slides:
    • Blank
    • Title
    • Title & Subtitle
    • Title & Bullets
    • Title, Bullets & Photo
    • Bullets
    • Photo
    • Photo – Horizontal
    • To ensure your images look their best and are optimized for use in Keynote for iPad, scale them to their intended size before adding them to your slide and use the PNG format whenever possible. You can convert your image easily using the Preview application on your Mac:
      1. Open Preview.
      2. Open the image you want to convert to PNG.
      3. Use Adjust Size from the Tools menu to scale images to their intended size.
      4. From the File menu select Save As and then select the PNG option.
    • If you need to use an image in a PDF format, use the Preview application to reduce the file size by Compressing your PDF files.
    • Do not override the theme backgrounds by making changes in the Slide Inspector’s Image Fill drop-down menu.

  • Keynote for Mac can reduce the size of images and videos to match their use on a slide and keep the presentation size to a minimum.  It’s always a good idea to back up your document before using the Reduce File Size feature.
    1. To reduce the file size of an individual image that you’ve masked or resized to a smaller size, select the image and choose Format > Image > Reduce Image File Size.
    2. To reduce the sizes of all masked and resized (shrunk) images, and shortened videos, choose File > Reduce File Size.
Posted in App, Commentary

Lexis Advance Legal App Updated


Lexis is, in part, a legal research service. The Lexis Advance HD app is an intuitive mobile interface specifically for the iPad. You can access LexisNexis Advance services whether on the go, in your office or in court. Although the app has existed for some time (with some issues), this update makes a big difference in the quality of the services delivered.

iPad Screenshot 3

New features in this version include:

Ability to view annotations; enhanced navigation for multi-part documents; search across 21 additional content types; numerous new filters for narrowing results; search terms bolded in results list; go directly to document if searching single citation; select from Recent & Favorite filters; visual indication that document has been saved to a folder.

iPad Screenshot 5

Although the app is free, you need to have a current Lexis Advance subscription and valid ID/password to use this app.

The features of the app include:

– Instant Search – with the help of suggested search terms run a search without having to select a specific source, delivering relevant results for both text and citation. Filter answer sets according to jurisdiction, date, legal topic, key word or court.

– Evaluate your Case with Shepard’s® – Validate whether cases and statutes are still good law and save your findings in your folders for easy access wherever you are.

– Stay Organized with Work Folders – You can create work folders on your iPad which synchronize with your web-based Lexis® Advance application. You can then save documents and searches in your work folder, access them again at any time and any place, and even highlight/annotate key passages.

The ability to synchronize work folders between your iPad and web-based Lexis service is very helpful.

If you are interested in learning more about the services offered, check out this page.

Posted in App, Review

Index Card App – Stacks above others


If you have an affinity for working with index cards, you will love the updated Index Card app for the iPad.

It presents the best of what you use index cards for – capturing or organizing information and ideas with the modern tools to search, reorganize and share that information.

iPad Screenshot 1

Quite simply, you create index cards by starting a new project. Then, tap on the + to start your first index card. Type in the title and then synopsis. Tap back to have access to the back of the card for a place to put even more typed information.

You can choose different card colors by tapping on the color swatch on the left and selecting the color of your new card.

The settings are minimal and sufficient. You can choose different backgrounds for your cards to sit on, change the fonts and link your cards to your Dropbox account.

iPad Screenshot 3

There are 3 different views for your cards: card view, outline view and vertical view. You can choose the view at the top left. In any view, you can tap hold and drag the card or information to a new place to create a new order.

Sharing the cards is easy as well. You can send them via email in “Indexcard”, TXT or RTF format.

The ability to stack or clip together index cards into a logical group is a great bonus. Although it is not completely obvious how to accomplish that task initially, once you understand it, the value of a stack is invaluable. To stack cards, tap on edit at the top right and then tap the cards you want to stack. A blue check mark will appear at the bottom right of each selected card you want to stack. Tap stack, you will be given a chance to name the stack and the cards will be stacked.

To unstack, tap on the stack and tap edit. Select the cards to unstack and the “unstack” button becomes available to tap and remove that card from the stack. One or more cards can also be moved to another project by tapping on the move button.

You can also choose the vertical view, and then drag and drop cards within a column to create a stack. Once you drag a card under another card, you will be able to name your stack.

Once you get the app, review the included “Tutorial Project.” This set of cards walks you through using the app. Make sure you look at the cards in the different views and rotations so you get a sense of how to use the app.

Pros

Simple, intuitive, easy to use tool. Easy to understand. Great organizational tool.

Cons

It is not apparent how to easily uncreate a stack once it is created should you decide you no longer want the stack.

Updated feature requests:

My personal feelings are not meant to disparage the app. I would love to use the app more and think that the following features would be a natural fit for the app: Draw on back: With so much room on the back of a note card, it would be nice to be able to draw out a thought or image. Scale: It would be nice to scale the size of the cork board up and down to have a view of more cards at a time for easy movement of the cards. Test Mode: For students, it would be nice to add a feature to allow “test” mode to allow you to practice taking a test once you create notecards for reviewing a school project.

Conclusion.

If you are looking for a great index card app, do not hesitate to download and begin using Index Card. For $4.99 it is cheaper than the price of 2 spiral bound stacks of index cards at Staples.