Archive Reviews

Review: PhotoFrame - Make Your iPhone A Digital Photo Frame

Want something more than black staring back at you when your iPhone goes to sleep? Do you love to show off your photos, or how about showing products from your companies latest range. Then this application could for you.

PhotoFrame turns your iPhone into a digital photo frame. Not only that, as well as rotating through your photos it also displays the time, day and date on your screen, so if you're non watch wearing it does away with having to wake your phone to check the time on a regular basis.

It's interface is clean and easy to use, and PhotoFrame comes loaded with some attractive images to get you started. Customization is easy if not entirely clear at first. There's no icon for setting the preferences nor are the preferences in general settings. It was just by pressing the screen that I discovered clicking on the date the preference panel appears.

As I said customization is easy as there are only two settings to choose from. Slideshow speed and your images from which you can add up to 20 from your iPhone photo library and that's it, you're done.

The application also supports shake to shuffle images and if you want to speed up the slideshow you can flick through the images by touching them with your finger.

The downsides; it has to be manually started each time you want it to start up. It would be a nice fix in the next upgrade if you could get it to start automatically, and it's a bit of a killer on your battery life. I spend my time turning off everything so  I can save battery life, so do I really want to turn on something that's going to drain it more?

That aside, I do like the app and use it from time to time.

Verdict:
If you love your photos and like to show them off it's worth a dollar to you.

By: AQBenkie (www.learnmacsonline.com)

PhotoFrame

$0.99

Review: PDF Expert - PDF Viewer & Wireless File Storage

 

This week Readdle released their latest application: PDF Expert. The application essentially turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a wireless disk utility with advanced PDF capabilities. PDF Expert is the little brother to Readdle’s Readdledocs application with the same underlying technology and user interface, but a master’s degree in PDFs. The wireless disk technology is the same as Readdledocs, which requires that you have a wireless network to access the iPhone with. I hope one day to be able to transfer data over bluetooth, but currently now iPhone application allows you to do this. This feature works well enough, but just be sure that your iPhone is on the same network your computer is on or you will not be able to connect to the application.

Organizing Files is very easy.

The file viewer is created for viewing PDFs, but supports a variety of formats including photos, videos, office documents, and more. You can organize your content into folders and it allows you to email anything you have stored on the iPhone. What really makes PDF Expert really nice is that it allows you to access password protected PDFs as well as search text in PDFs, which is amazingly useful. Like Readdledocs you can bookmark any part of a document as well as view the document full-screen, devoid of any menus or the iPhone’s status bar. The application is nice in that it handles even large PDF files well with less lag than the iPhone’s built-in viewer. You can copy portions of a PDF to be pasted elsewhere on the iPhone, but this feature only works for text. This feature itself is very nice and in my opinion makes this application very, very handy, especially if you can make your own PDFs (Cough, cough any OS X user).

PDF Expert gives you plenty of tools to manipulate PDFs

PDF Expert does have the ability to email files up into Readdle’s own storage solution, which you get 512MB of free storage when you buy the application. I honestly do not recommend you use this; rather I just suggest using some other online file storage service such as Dropbox, Live Mesh, or MobileMe. It is not that they online service does not work, it is just that are much better solutions out there with much more free storage and their online storage web interface is pretty awful. Other than Readdle’s propriety storage I cannot think of anything to complain about with this application. The ability to access Webdav servers like MobileMe’s iDisk would have been nice, but I suppose that you should just check out Readdledocs or Onedisk for that. Overall though I really like this application and hope that the features eventually move over to other Readdle products. The advanced PDF capabilities of this application make it extremely useful if you are looking for a good way to view and pull information from PDFs. This application is handy and I recommend it to anyone who needs to manipulate PDFs on the go. PDF Expert by Readdle is available in the app store today for $4.99

By: Hunt Henning (www.thedigitalcheatsheet.com)

 

PDF Expert

Full Version: $4.99

Review: Close Call - Emergency Details On Your Wallpaper

For someone with a serious medical condition, this iPhone application could potentially save your life.

There's nothing complicated about Close Call, it simply lets you put a telephone number along with a message on your iPhone's wallpaper. It's how you use this information that makes all the difference. For someone with a serious allergy, it can be used to alert medical personnel of such, or if the phone is lost, a secondary phone number can be used in the hopes of a kind soul returning it.

The message can be put on any image in your photo library and once saved it it will then appear as your wallpaper. A handy tool in one sense but more importantly an essential one for those with certain medical conditions so for that I give it top marks.

By Annette Q Benkie (www.learnmacsonline.com)

Close Call

Free

Review: Birdhouse - Twitter Application

Very rarely does an application leave so many users dumbfound and confused even after an its own introduction video. One such application is Birdhouse, which is described by the developer as “ A notepad for Twitter”. After spending a few days with Birdhouse I was surprised to find myself using the application quiet often.

I guess the first major question is: “What exactly does Birdhourse do?”. Well, the application is actually simpler than many realize. Basically Birdhouse is a glorified notepad for your thoughts. You open the application, joint down an idea, rate it, and then decide if you want to publish it to Twitter at the moment. That’s basically it. You can rate tweets (or twoots as the video calls them), sort them by rating or date created, and publish them to and from Twitter. Even the options are simple, you basically have support for multiple accounts and then have the option to type in your email address so you can back up tweets via email.


The next major question is “Why should I buy this application?”. Well, it really depends on what kind of person you are. Birdhouse is meant to be an accessory application, not a main Twitter application. It serves primarily as an idea pad. If you like your tweets to be prolific, the buy it period. Personally, I have found that when I have a question I want to ask my Twitter friends (Officially called “Followers”) I would open Birdhouse, type in the basic gist of my idea, and close the application. After playing with Birdhouse I believe it can be best described as an idea pad. If you want a nice application that lets you organize your ideas, rate them, and share them with your friends than Birdhouse is a great choice.


This application is not for everyone.  If you want a good, full-featured Twitter client you will be sorely disappointed. There is no ability to easily reply, favorite, or direct message tweets and your options are extremely limited. If you want a small application, free from all the noise of the various other things going on in your life then Birdhouse is your application. Birdhouse is basically a place to refine your own Tweets on the busy little device that if your iPhone. Part idea pad, part-Twitter, and part-self-improvement application Birdhouse is certainly an interesting little grab. I personally enjoy the application and will continue to use it in the coming months. I would watch the online video and if you are still, kind of, or sorta ,remotely interested in the application, even if only a little bit, I would seriously consider buying Birdhouse. It is a solid application that I have grown to love like my own little tweet factory, my Birdhouse essentially.

By: Hunt Henning (www.thedigitalcheatsheet.com)

Birdhouse

Full Version: $2.99


Review: Type Drawing - Lovely Drawing with Letters

For those of you who spend any time on social networks like Twitter you've probably come across a link sending you to view artwork created with letters and words. It's all the rage at the moment and it's officially know as 'Type Drawing'. So popular is it that there are entire websites dedicated to it, and even a dedicated Flick group. So of course it just stands to reason that there should be an iPhone app as well.

Meet 'Type Drawing' the little application that can make artists of us all. For $0.99 I couldn't resist trying it out. It's very simple and easy to use and depending on how creative your mind is could fill many an empty moment. Plus it's one of those applications that if you find it's not for you the kids are guaranteed to make good use of it.

When you turn it on first you are given on option of backgrounds to draw on, the choices being from coffee stained notepaper to your own photos. You can also take an image with your camera and use that as a background on which to draw upon which is a really nice feature. Next are fonts, nine of which to choose from. There are several selections to make in the font section from type of font, size, color and transparency. Your final choice are the letters or words you want to use. None of these choices need to be made in any particular order and can be changed mid-drawing which is a plus. 

 


Once the technical bit is done it's time to have a little fun. Simply slide your finger over the screen and words will appear as if paint from your fingertip. It is also at this stage that I'd like to thank the developers for the multiple undo button. Without that I think I would have thrown it in the corner within the first few minutes.

I had great fun playing around and experimenting with it. I can't say I created any masterpieces but it's definitely an app that's going to stay on my phone.

By Annette Q Benkie (www.learnmacsonline.com)

Type Drawing

Full Version $0.99