Quick Look: Fleksy Keyboard for iPad

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Here’s the dream I’ve had for the iPad for a few years now: I head to a café and pull the tablet with its Smart Cover out of my bag and start to write. I don’t just mean write emails, but write little stories and blog posts over a period of an hour or two. I want to be able to forget I’m using a tablet touchscreen to write. I want to be productive and comfortable while I type.

Out of the keyboards available at the launch of iOS 8, I think Fleksy is the closest to realizing this dream, and $0.99 is a laughable cost to pay for the efficiency this keyboard brings to the iPad.

Incredible Typing Experience

Fleksy doesn’t have any sort of swipe integration, but it does have gestures embedded into the keyboard. You swipe left to erase the word you just wrote, swipe right to add a space, and swipe down to select from auto correction suggestions. Fleksy definitely has a learning curve because you can still correct the previous word while you’re typing a new one out, but it really flies as a touch typing keyboard after a bit of practice. For once, I feel like auto correction is working for me, instead of against me.

I also think this is the best fit for typing because it’s the closest keyboard for mimicking the speed of typing on a physical keyboard. Swiping with Swype is great on my iPhone but it’s just a bit too much screen space to cover on my iPad’s 10″ screen. Touch typing with six fingers just feels more comfortable than any other software keyboard I have ever tried, and it’s proving to be more comfortable as well, since my hands never have to wander very far from the keys to make corrections.

Issues

The only major improvement I want at this point is easier access to numbers. I want to be able to tap and hold keys to enter numbers and symbols. At the moment these are all hidden in a different view of the keyboard, whereas other third party keyboards make these keys available via gestures. There’s also no gesture or button to hide the keyboard, which is a strange oversight.

Conclusion

Keyboard are definitely still a little unstable on iOS. Sometimes they’ll crash between apps or stop working altogether, but I think that will be fixed by an iOS update sooner rather than later. Even if Fleksy was the only one available at launch, I’d already be very happy. It’s leaps and bounds better than QuickType, and I love the simplicity of being able to pull the iPad out and write without any additional accessories.

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Activity Monitor Touch – a Bit Like Having Activity Monitor on Your iPad

Activity Monitor Touch for iPad

Activity Monitor is an essential utility on a Mac that gives you a wealth of real-time information on CPU activity, memory usage, disk activity and more on your Mac PC. Activity Monitor Touch brings the look and feel, and some of the functionality, of Activity Monitor to the iPad (and iPhone).

Activity Monitor Touch has four sections, all easy to get to in a single tap on its bottom nav bar: Info, Usage, Battery, and Process. Here’s what each shows you:

Info: Basic system info for your iPad – the device name, UDID (Unique Identifier), OS version, capacity and more. It also shows a snapshot of current system status with details like Uptime, free (program) memory, free space, remaining battery percentage, and WiFi connection status / details.

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iChromy – Chrome Style Web Browser for iPad

iChromy web browser for iPad

iChromy is new browser app for the iPad that promises to bring ‘the best of Chrome’s interface and speed to the iPad’. I’m a huge fan of the Chrome browser on my MacBook Pro desktop; it’s my every day primary browser on the Mac, usually with a crazy number of tabs open all day long (26 as I write this post). I find it to be blazing fast generally and much, much faster than Safari.

So as soon as I saw iChromy hit the iPad App Store I was very interested and very keen to see whether the app could do a good job at bringing a Chrome-like experience to the iPad. I’ve had it on my iPad for a couple days now and have used it quite a lot. So far, I’m quite impressed with it.

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Review: LogMeIn Ignition for iPad

LogMeIn Full Screen View

View of my laptop's desktop via LogMeIn Ignition.

In Countdown to iPad – iPortal (Use Case 45), we explored how an iPad could be used as a portal into and onto other computer platforms. LogMeIn Ignition remote access software gives iPad that ability. [click to continue reading…]

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Desktop App = A Little Bit of ‘Multitasking’ on the iPad

Desktop iPad app

New Desktop app lets you ‘multitask’ on the iPad

OK, so this is not real multitasking.  Let’s get that out of the way right off.  The new Desktop app for the iPad does not suddenly make it possible to run multiple apps at once on the iPad.  But … it does let you use a series of useful widgets within the app itself that will allow you to multitask while using it.

So, for example, you can have a Maps widget open at the same time as a Calculator widget when trying to calculate a journey time. Or have a browser widget open at the same time as one for composing a new email, and copy and paste between the two and send a mail without leaving the app.

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Review: PhotoFramePlus for iPad

PhotoFramePlus for iPad is an app that helps you turn your iPad into a lovely digital picture frame when it’s not in use – with a clock and calendar added into its display. I love the idea of using the iPad as a photo frame when it’s not hard at work, I’ve been looking forward […]

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Quick Look: iDisplay for iPad

*** Warning: This post is being written while deeply frustrated and outright pissed off at how much time I’ve wasted this morning with this app – so take it with as many grains of salt as needed. iDisplay for iPad sounded like a nice idea – a neat way to display apps running on my […]

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