Back in the good old days of my very early teaching career, I had this wild idea that teachers could digitise text from worksheets and link them to a Word Document via the hyperlink option. Students could click on the links and get their work in electronic format. For my master plan to work I needed something to change our grubby old photocopied thousands of times worksheets from 1982 (you know the ones) into digital, editable text. I found a cool program called AABBY Finereader which did exactly that. Several years later, AABBY and I have reunited, although this time their scanner app FineScanner is getting the once over.
I do love an app which streamlines my life and de-clutters it from the hell which is otherwise known as paper, and my current weapon of choice in this crusade is Scanner Pro by Readdle. I was interested to see how AABBY’s FineScanner would stack up against it, given that AABBY have a long and distinguished history in converting paper to digital. [click to continue reading…]
Speaky is an app which highlights why the iPad is so cool. Very simply, all the app does is read webpages and text to you. However, the way the app is designed, makes the whole process completely streamlined.
I am a big fan of apps which help workflow and make your life easier, and Speaky is one of those apps. Here is the process: [click to continue reading…]
Parallels Access is a new iPad app launching tonight – that promises to let you experience Mac and Windows applications as is they were made for the iPad. It ‘applifies’ your Windows and Mac apps to make them feel as it they’re native iPad apps.
The app is published by Parellels, the makers of the excellent Parallels Desktop application for running virtual machines on a Mac. Parellels coined the term ‘applifies’ to describe the way it customizes and optimizes desktop applications and enables iPad native taps, swipes, and gestures when using them.
I’ve been testing the app out for a few weeks now, and it’s as good as advertised. Here’s my quick review of this very impressive new app:
Parallels Access is an iPad exclusive app for now, but versions for Android and other platforms are being developed. There’s a free companion agent app that is installed on your Mac or Windows machine.
Here are the availability and pricing details for the app:
Parallels Access for iPad is initially available for purchase on the App Store(SM) as an annual subscription at $79.99 for each computer being accessed. Each Mac or PC being accessed needs its own subscription. The Mac Agent is available immediately, and the PC Agent is currently in beta and is available at no charge during the beta period. Parallels Access hardware requirements include an iPad 2, iPad 3 or iPad mini and a Mac running OS X (Mountain Lion 10.8, Lion 10.7 or the upcoming Mavericks 10.9 after it launches) or a PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8. If a Mac user also runs Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac, then Parallels Access will also “applifiy” all of its Windows virtual machines and apps so they work like they were made for iPad.
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Todoist is a fantastic and gorgeous to-do list or task management app for the iPad and iPhone, Android, Mac and Windows, and web browsers. Its iPad app just came out a little over a week ago and I installed it that same day. Within 24 hours of starting with it, I had signed up for a premium account, installed the Mac app, and switched over entirely to Todoist across all my devices.
For me, that’s a big deal – as I rely heavily on a great task management app to run my work and life. I’m not a big power user of calendar apps, but managing tasks is something I’m obsessive about and focused on day in and day out.
I’ve used a lot of to-do and task management apps over the years – everything from Outlook Tasks and OneNote, to Pocket Informant on Windows Mobile, to Remember the Milk and Toodledo online and on the iPhone, to Things and OmniFocus on the iPad and the Mac, and most recently Wunderlist due mainly to its cross platform (Android and iOS) capabilities. So it takes a lot for an app in this category to impress me. In fact, even more these days, because now I want an app that works great on Mac, iOS, and Android.
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Search on the iPad is one of those subjects I don’t think about much, except of course when I really need to find an email or document – and then my thoughts generally just extend to being disappointed with incomplete results or the need to search in multiple places, because just about all my essential data is held in various separate cloud services.
The CloudMagic app offers a fantastic solution for finding data very easily on the iPad – across a great range of cloud services. It supports iCloud, Dropbox, Evernote, Gmail, Google Contacts and Calendar, Google Drive, Google Apps, Box, SkyDrive, Exchange, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Office 365 and quite a few more popular services.
Oh, and did I mention that it’s ridiculously fast too? It is – it starts showing results as you type and it returns full, categorized results just about instantly when you finish entering a search term.
Here are a few more of the features highlighted on its App Store page:
- Add any number of accounts and search through all of them in one go. Got more than one email account? Add both and search through them together.
One view of all your data
- Get a quick snapshot of all recent updates across all your data.
Rich previews and actions
- Allows you to quickly preview content and take common actions like open attachments, reply, forward, retweet, etc.
Partial word search
- You can find what you are looking for in just a few keystrokes.
- Works across desktops, smartphones and tablets.
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