I’ve started to listen to podcasts again, but the first-party Podcasts app from Apple is still a little buggy as of beta 4 of iOS 9. Beta 5 did come out yesterday and it may have fixed the issue, but it actually doesn’t matter to me any more because, in the interim, I ended up buying Overcast.
What I really like about this app is the gigantic set of buttons, and the spacious, non-standard layout. There are more ornate podcast apps out there, but there’s a beauty to the simplicity of the icons and white space present in Overcast. Subscribing to podcasts is dead simple if you know the name of the show you’re looking for, and the interface makes it easy to find new shows by category or podcast network. This doesn’t sound remarkable but it’s a lot cleaner than the default Podcasts App, which prompts me for a URL whenever I want to add a new show.
The funny thing is that I didn’t actually need to buy Overcast. The basic features in the freemium version are quite enough for me, as all I really need area list of shows and a way to download new episodes automatically. Smart speed can cut silences out of recordings and Voice Boost enhances the listening experience, but I just haven’t felt the need to use these features so far. I’m simply content to use the incredibly clean and post-iOS 7 interface.
The main reason I decided to pony up for the $5 in-app purchase is because I want to see more indie apps like it. I’ve read enough articles at this point about the viability of being a developer on the App Store, and so I want to make sure I’m actively supporting the software I really enjoy using.
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With iOS 8, Apple expanded the iPad’s ability to share information in many different ways. This has long been a frequently requested feature that was already available on various other mobile platforms in one form or another. Sharing information and data, in any form, can be a very useful tool for all iPad owners. I want to discuss three of the best ways iPad users can share information, and the processes they can use to make this possible.
It’s been difficult to write about Notes in iOS 9 because I really want to like the app, but it just hasn’t clicked yet.
It isn’t due to a lack of utility. The share extension is great, the way that pictures, drawings, and links are formatted is very tidy. In fact, the extension is even more flexible than I’d thought. I can share attachments right from Mail or Dropbox and pop them into Notes, which means that, if I had a Mac at work, I could probably Notes in a similar way to Evernote. I tend to make a single note for each project and drop related files into that note, just to keep everything in one place. The key difference is that I have yet to install the public beta of El Capitan on my Mac, so I don’t know how well the OS X version of Notes works.
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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 Angry Birds 2 by Rovio Entertainment. With the sequel to one of the most popular mobile games ever released it’s all about the extras. Rovio has added new multi-stage levels, bigger and better slingshot gameplay, Pig boss battles and a big improvements to the graphics engine. Are these improvements enough for you to download this epic sequel?
To use Apple services you need to start with an Apple ID. Your Apple ID is based on an email address you would like to associate with your account. Your Apple ID is your gateway to adding all kinds of content to your iPad, including Music, Apps, Movies, and Books. When you set-up your Apple ID you have the option to also use the same ID for your iCloud services account. However, this isn’t a requirement. You can also choose to set-up one Apple ID for for iCloud services, and a separate account for your iTunes, App Store, and iBook Store purchases.
Confused yet? Apple recommends creating one ID for both services to eliminate some of the confusion. They caution that using multiple Apple IDs might be confusing and might cause issues with accessing purchased content or using some services. However, in the event that you still want to keep your services separate, he is a quick and dirty how-to.
I’m now responsible for a number of Instagram accounts at my day job, and so I’ve been the lookout for apps that can manage multiple accounts, simultaneously. Given the popularity of the service, I’m surprised how difficult this task has actually been.
Hootsuite would have been my first choice because it can handle Twitter and Facebook. I can customize each brand into a tab, and each tab can have several panes for tweets, direct messages, or searches for specific hashtags. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that Hootsuite has no access to Instagram.
The next app I decided to try was Grab for Instagram. It’s a free download with no in-app purchases, and although it won’t let me post images or video due to API restrictions, it does support multiple logins. I can use the sidebar to switch between accounts, check on engagement rates, and repost images that are deemed on-brand.
So far I’m liking Grab for Instagram, but not loving it. I’d really like for the app to save my logged accounts through iCloud so that my iPhone and iPad stayed nicely in sync. Having to log in to the corporate accounts twice — once on my iPhone and once again on the iPad — just feels pointless when I’m using the same app on both devices. However, until I find something better, Grab for Instagram will have to do.
[If anyone has any recommendations for great Instagram-compatible apps on the iPad, I’d be all ears.]
Today’s featured deal is especially useful for the DIY individuals in your life who love to tinker with their electronic devices and perform their own repairs. When it comes to repairs on our mobile devices, most people don’t think they are qualified to do it themselves. While that’s true for some, one of the best ways to gain confidence and be successful is to have a great set of tools. The iFixIt Pro Tech Screwdriver & Jimmy Tool Bundle is now on sale at 39% off! It’s a great deal that will run you only 59.95 – instead of its standard price of $100.
Background App Refresh was introduced with iOS 7 two years ago, but I’ve found that it only seems to work about 50% of the time for me. I still see many of my apps — e.g. Reeder, 2Do, Evernote — syncing upon startup, when they should have already loaded most of the data in the background. The issue here is the way iOS asks users to simply trust how it will balance the load of background tasks, when it should really allow us to prioritize specific apps that we always want to keep up-to-date.
That’s why the latest blog post from 2Do has me excited. Push Sync is promising faster syncing that pushes changes from my iPad straight to the iPhone, moments after I’ve made a change, and regardless of what syncing service I use for my tasks. You can bet I’ll be testing this new feature out when it hits the App Store in two weeks.
Security–it’s on our minds more than ever before. It seems like there isn’t a week that goes by where we don’t hear about some new exploit that allows someone to hack your most personal information. With our mobile devices containing more of this information with each new iteration, we need to stand up, take notice and do something about it. Through our own due diligence we can monitor some of this information. But what about our devices? What can we do to keep our iPads, and our data more secure?