A lot of iPad apps falsely tout that they’ve been re-imagined for the tablet form factor, when they’re really just reconfigured versions of their iPhone counterparts. Fantastical 2 for iPad is refreshing because it’s the real deal. This app takes the best concepts from Fantastical on the iPhone and Mac — the DayTicker, list, and week view — and adapts them as a dashboard that’s completely unique and tailored for a tablet display.
Each of the three distinct sections of the dashboard are scrollable and connected. This means that swiping through the DayTicker can adjust the events shown in the list view (bottom-left), as well as change the highlighted dates in the month view (bottom-right). Similar behaviour applies if you scroll through the list view, or tap on a different date in the month view; manipulate one section of Fantastical, and the rest of the display will adjust dynamically.
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A few months ago the Omni Study App was released and looked to capture a new segment of the education market. It was soon recognized by the App Store as a best new app. Needless to say, any writer would be excited to review such an app, and I was too. Unfortunately, the results were disappointing and buggy to say the least.
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Apps like Brainfeed frustrate me somewhat. It’s a great looking app, but it has some content issues. The idea behind Brainfeed is that it serves up educational videos in a variety of topics, some of which are free to view, but most of the videos require an in-app purchase in a variety of tiers, the cheapest being $15 for a yearly subscription. However, (you can probably guess where this is going) a 20 second check of YouTube revealed that the videos were easily available here. Fair enough, I thought, the free videos on Brainfeed are available on YouTube. What would be interesting though is are any of the paid videos available? The short answer is yes. The app doesn’t give you the titles for the locked videos, only screenshots, but it is easy to find the locked videos on YouTube with a quick search of videos from the video creator’s channels. To give an example, one of the locked videos was by ‘Stuff of Genius’. I dialed up their YouTube channel and the locked video was there to watch for free. [click to continue reading…]
Card Shark Collection Deluxe is an app for solitaire enthusiasts. I was a big fan of the 4 deck version of Spider Solitaire on my desktop computer. Since an iPad is a comfortable way to play solitaire games, I began seeking a good version of Spider Solitaire. I tried several apps and then I discovered Card Shark. This is an app with a multitude of Solitaire games including Spider Solitaire. The first thing that impressed me is the ease of moving the cards. It is very quick and smooth. I was also pleased with the features and variety of solitaire games.
Card Shark Collection Deluxe has over 70 different solitaire games including the 1, 2 and 4 deck version of Spider Solitaire and 1, 2 and 4 deck versions of Spiderette which is a smaller version of Spider Solitaire that is quicker to play. When you start Card Shark, it remembers the last place you were. This is an opening screen of the 4 deck version of Spider Solitaire.
Touch and drag the cards to the appropriate pile. When there are no moves, touch the deck at the bottom to deal another row of cards. When you start playing, you will see 2 arrows at the bottom left.
They are the Undo and Redo buttons which will let you undo or redo your moves. If you want to start the game over from the beginning, touch and hold the Undo button at the left. At the bottom right is the “home” button. Touch this and you have several choices.
New Game – This wil bring up a fresh game of the card game you were playing.
Statistics – This will show statistics for your play of the game. They include what percentage of games you have won out of games you have started, the total time you have played that game, the average playing time, the fastest win time and number of moves, your current win streak and longest win streak and the average win time. You also have the option to reset the statistics for the game.
Rules – This is your how-to-play for the game.
Restart – Restart the current game.
Resume – Go back to where you were in the game.
More info – This will take you to the developer’s website. [click to continue reading…]
Stick Around – Nothing to do with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator….
When teaching, one of the great practical ways to inspire discussion, debate and higher order thinking skills is by categorisation/card sort exercises, ideally where a student can decide to put things in a certain order, and change their mind by moving their idea about depending on the discussion. Back in the ‘good old days’ (pre-iPad), I would spend ages making a card sort exercise – writing it out in Word, printing it, maybe laminating it (or if I was feeling lazy not bothering), cutting out all the cards and placing them in envelopes with paper clips on so they didn’t get lost. I’d then repeat this for however many sets I needed for the class. I’d feel my life force drain away in front of my eyes as I repeated this tortuous process for each of my classes, with the realisation that I still had a ton of stuff to mark and plan, but knowing that it would generate a good lesson of discussion, argument and discovery. [click to continue reading…]