Searching For Faces Within Photos for iPad

Faces Support in Photos app for iPad

There’s a lot that you can accomplish within the Photos app on your iPad on iOS 8:

  • Built-in tools help edit the exposure, contrast, saturation, and more with non-destructive edits
  • Videos in the library can be trimmed so that you’ll always fast forward straight to the best parts
  • Third-party photo extensions can spice up images, or even show you the EXIF information of your shot (e.g. ISO, shutter speed, etc.)
  • Photos are auto-sorted by Moments, Collections, and Years; but you can also create albums out of hand-picked collections of pictures and videos

However, Faces are still strangely only half-supported on iOS. I love this feature on the Mac because it helps me identify and tag the faces of friends and family in my shots. The first few times require some manual tagging, but the algorithm quickly picks up on who “Po”, “Nicole”, and “Leona” are, and their names start to appear automatically as suggestions for me.

Unfortunately, aside from albums, there isn’t any way to tag sets of pictures on iOS — but don’t worry, as long as you’ve got a Mac, specifying Faces in Photos for OS X will sync that same metadata over to iOS. The only catch is that you’ll have to search for the names in the search bar, because they won’t appear as albums on your iPad.

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Deals: AluPen Digital Fine-Point Stylus at 30% off

Alupen

Today’s featured deal is for those of you who love to sketch and draw, but desire a smooth digital equivalent to using a pen and paper.  With simple ease of use you are instantly off and running in no time.  The AluPen Digital Fine-Point Stylus is now on sale at 30% off! It’s a great deal that will run you only $34.95 – instead of its standard price of $50.  Here’s some info about this AluPen Stylus and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

Use the AluPen Digital Stylus to write and sketch on any touchscreen with unparalleled precision. The stylus requires no setup, so you won’t have to connect it via Bluetooth or download a proprietary app before getting to work. Just twist the stylus to reveal the nib and use it with painting, note-taking, and other apps. You’ll find yourself knee deep in creativity and productivity like never before.

iLounge ‘The Best iPad Stylus Award’ 2014

  • Write & sketch on your screen w/ ease & precision
  • Write on your device screen as naturally as you would w/ pen & paper
  • Protect the tip w/ a retractable head
  • Twist the body to reveal the nib
  • Use immediately: no Bluetooth pairing or use of proprietary apps required
  • Save battery w/ auto-sleep feature: turns off after 3 minutes on idle

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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Super-simple spending tracker: My Finances for iPad

The generically named My Finances app for iPad is an easy way to track everyday expenses and generate simple, clear reports that will show you what you’re spending your money on. In a world of automated and complicated finance apps, My Finances does one thing and does it easily and well.

IMG_0645I had a simple question: “Where the heck is all my money going?” Maybe you’ve been there, too: at the end of the month I have a giant hole where my paycheck used to be, and I can’t, for the life of me, figure out where it all went. Also, I plan to move soon and wanted a handle on my spending so I could make a realistic budget for the future. Knowing that as for all things in life there’s an app for that, I started to browse the app store for some help. Yikes! Talk about app overload: I think there are as many finance apps as there are weather apps or to-do lists. Many of the apps are very sophisticated, automated, and comprehensive. Probably the best known is Mint, which has many good reviews and happy users: you connect it to your accounts and it automatically tracks incomes, spending, investments, etc. But I was looking for the opposite of automated—I was on a mission to see where every dime went; if I let it all happen behind the scenes, how would I get that granular level of awareness? So I downloaded the free versions of three apps that seemed the most simple, looked like they would generate the clear report I wanted, and got decent reviews. After trying them all for a week, I settled on My Finances, and then ponied up for the paid version.

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Still Waiting For A Decent Instagram Solution for iPad

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[I’ve been meaning to get to this for a little while now, and it’s not news about Hootsuite; it’s really more of a rant about Instagram because I’m having more fun with the service now.  I also thought it deserved some follow-up since we had a number of very helpful commenters chime in on my last post.]

I got really excited when  I first heard that Hootsuite could schedule  Instagram posts, but that feature isn’t quite what it’s touted to be. Hootsuite did gain the ability to add streams, posts, and searched hashtags as columns, but it doesn’t actually post anything to Instagram from within the app.

What Hootsuite can do is schedule posts and place them into a queue with the text already in place; later on, at the appointed time, you’ll then head to that queue and use the iOS share feature to copy that text and picture into the Instagram app (which you must have installed). This is decent for users with a single Instagram account, but it isn’t useful for managing  multiple brands across different Instagram accounts — which is what I had wanted it for. Hootsuite is also only optimized for iPhone users, as there is currently no iPad-optimized version of the official Instagram app. If you want to schedule posts from the iPad, you’ll have to use a blown-up version of the iPhone app.

This is disappointing, although it isn’t Hootsuite’s fault. Instagram has relaxed when it comes to content (no more square picture restrictions!), but they still insist that content has to be posted straight from their own app. So, until that changes, all that social media management apps like Hootsuite can do is essentially ease the pain of cutting and pasting content into Instagram.

It doesn’t make sense to me that the iPad is treated as a second-class  device in the Instagram world. Visual apps thrive on the iPad, and browsing experiences, especially pictures, are much improved on the larger display. It’s really surprising to me that, given the popularity of the service, that Instagram still has no official presence on the iPad.

 

 

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iPad App of the Week: Lara Croft GO

Lara-Croft-GO-for-iPad

Who doesn’t like great iPad apps? At iPad Insight we definitely do. With that in mind, we offer up a quick review of an excellent iPad app, or a few great iPad apps, here each week.

Our picks for Best iPad App of the Week are published here every week. Check out all out picks below and you’ll soon have a collection of stellar apps for your favorite tablet.

This week’s pick is Lara Croft GO by SQUARE ENIX INC.  As soon as you launch this new rendition of Lara Croft, you will be taken back in time to the nostalgic days of double fisted pistols and grunts as Lara glides through the jungle solving puzzles and interacting with the stunning graphics.  With easy to use controls, beautiful scenes, and intuitive gameplay, Lara Croft will bring you hours of fresh gameplay that gets exceedingly harder and more challenging.

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Deals: ‘Twenty’ Digital Audio Bluetooth Amplifier at 20% off

_Twenty__Digital-Audio-Bluetooth-Amplifier

Today’s featured deal is for those of you who are looking to revive  your outdated, aging speakers.  Now you can transform those  nostalgic gems into something you can be proud of by adding this quality digital amplifier.  The ‘Twenty’ Digital Audio Bluetooth Amplifier by Griffin is now on sale at 20% off! It’s a great deal that will run you only $119.99 – instead of its standard price of $150.  Here’s some info about this Digital Amplifier and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

Twenty is a digital amplifier that lets you crank up the volume without compromising the sonic integrity. Rather than spring for the newest, high-tech Bluetooth speakers, use Twenty to connect your phone or tablet wirelessly to your current speaker setup.You’ll be serenaded with beautiful, wireless, and most importantly—loud, audio that will impress even the neighbors.

  • Increase audio volume while preserving sound quality
  • Easily set up to immediately start streaming audio
  • Power your subwoofer
  • Wirelessly connect to devices w/ Bluetooth
  • Physically connect to devices w/ optical cable
  • Enjoy a minimalist design compatible w/ any room decor
  • Listen to your audio as it was intended to be heard

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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Dispatch Email App Hits The iPad

Dispatch 3.0 for iPad

I originally bought Dispatch so that I could triage emails on my iPhone a little faster for work. I make heavy use of flags for emails, but I find those often aren’t enough for me, as they don’t have any categories or due dates attached to them. The differentiating factor for Dispatch was that it could share (“dispatch”) entire emails and send them to other apps on my device, which was really handy for quickly turning emails into tasks in Things or 2Do. The catch was that Dispatch was iPhone-only when I bought it, so I couldn’t take advantage of the larger screen on my iPad at work.

That has changed with today’s 3.0 update, which turned Dispatch into a universal app that works on iPhone on iPad. As a result of having owned the previous iPhone-only version, I gained Dispatch on the iPad for free.

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Fun arcade-style racer: Horizon Chase-World Tour for iPad

Horizon Chase is an engaging arcade-style racing game with hints of greater complexity and better graphics baked in. It hits the sweet spot between being too complicated or too simplistic, and has no in-app ads or distractions to detract from your driving enjoyment.

IMG_0636I love driving games, and it seems they bifurcate into two categories: simplistic arcade types like Pole Position, or sophisticated, super-realistic simulations like Real Racing. That’s great when you have a few minutes to kill, or when you’re ready to settle in for the long haul of car configuration, long racing series, and chasing points for a life-long racing career. But what about the in-between times? That’s why I love Horizon Chase: it offers some of each world. In Horizon Chase you’re a race driver starting out his or her career with a basic car and no understanding of what it takes to win. Still, Horizon Chase is fun from the first race, with almost no learning curve. If you’ve played any kind of first-person driver on your iPad, you’ll instantly understand this one.

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Deals: MOTA 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub at 35% off

MOTA 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub

Today’s featured deal is for those of you who are looking for a solution to their charging woes.  Now you can plug-In up to 4 separate devices without out the mess and hassle of carrying multiple charging solutions that all use unique chargers.  The MOTA 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub is now on sale at 35% off! It’s a great deal that will run you only $18 – instead of its standard price of $28.

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2Do with Push Sync is Live!

2do push sync update

It took a little longer than the stated two weeks, but 2Do with Push Sync is now live on the App Store. I tested the sync speed earlier this morning at work while I ticked tasks off of my content calendar.

The sync isn’t instantaneous, but it’s reliable. I can complete tasks on my iPhone and have a completely updated 2Do list when I get back to my iPad a few minutes later. I’ve come to expect this kind of data sync from my iPhone and paired Apple Watch, and it’s really great to have it in one of my favourite universal apps.

2Do wasn’t the first to do push sync — OmniFocus and Things got there first — but adding the feature to 2Do really helped to tighten up one of the few remaining weak points of the app: sync speed and consistency. Things is still top notch in terms of syncing speed, but 2Do has closed the gap considerably with today’s update. It has made a great app even easier to rely on.

The only thing that will require some getting used to is the shift of the “new task” button’s location to the bottom of the screen. This makes a lot of sense on the iPhone because you previously had to reach up with your thumb every time you wanted to add a new task, but I’m not sure it fits as well on the iPad where you’d use the device in two hands. I wouldn’t even register this as a complaint — just an observation of how changes can be applied to universal apps in a way that caters more to one device type (the phone) than another (the tablet).

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Quick take: Race the Sun for iPad

IMG_0642Race the Sun is a twitchy endless flyer that is somehow calming at the same time. In the game you pilot a super-fast hovercraft (think one of the speeders from the original Star Wars) across an alien landscape, dodging rocks, boulders, and man-made obstacles to get as far as you can. Your ship is solar-powered, so you need to clear each level, as the sun goes down, before you run out of sunlight. You can pick up extra time by running over “tris” or blue orbs of power. As you clear a level and enter the next, the sun rises again, giving you a new lease on life. The graphics are monochromatic with the exception of the tris and other bonus-providing objects you can run over. The shapes are not-quite-natural geometric forms, and the shapes of the objects and greyscale coloration add a zen-like feeling to the game play.

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