Great apps are a big part of what makes for a great mobile (or even desktop) device. As iPad users, we’ve been fortunate that right from the start there have been rich pickings when it comes to great iPad apps – and we continue to be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding excellent apps for just about any purpose. Our weekly picks for iPad App of the Week celebrate some of these, and appear here every Saturday.
This week’s pick is Numerics – Dashboards to visualize your numbers, or just Numerics from here on out in this post.
Numerics lets you visualize numbers and statistics from a wide range of web services, social networks, and business services. Here’s a little slice of its APP Store intro:
Create your own unique dashboards from hundreds of pre-designed widgets that show a mix of website analytics, social media engagement, project progress, sales funnels, customer support queues, account balances or even numbers from your spreadsheets in the cloud – everything your business needs to monitor.
Numerics makes a direct connection between you and your services. We never see your credentials or host your data.
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I don’t use Facebook Messenger often, but I think it’s great that it was released for iPad. Facebook seems like one of the de facto messaging services for a lot of my friends at work and from university, and bringing the Messenger app to the iPad does show some forward thinking on Facebook’s part. Just as with Google and Hangouts, Facebook is treating the iPad as a primary platform, and allowing users to begin a chat on the desktop, and then continue it from basically any device they choose.
I’m also impressed with the app’s UI in general. It’s your standard two-panel affair, but it does have some fun along the bottom bar for messaging. There’s a clever photo picker, easy voice messaging, and large tappable stickers to play with. The UI sounds are also really on point. Just about the only thing I don’t like is the strange naming convention for updates. Facebook Messenger is supposedly at v8.0, but the latest update notes show a simple text display change, alongside general bug fixes and improvements. I’m guessing this is just a weird joke from the Facebook developers mocking the way that the industry does versioning on the whole, but as a user, it’s plain confusing.
I’ve said this before, but I’d really like to see more of the popular messaging apps make the leap from iPhone-only to becoming real cross-device services. After all, with the announcement of iOS 8 and mainline features like Continuity, even Apple is pushing for a consistent experience across devices. Facebook made the switch, and I’m hoping other services like LINE Messenger are paying attention.
Being a teacher and a die hard geek, I’ve long been searching for a way to take my courses online in a meaningful way where students can engage in their work in Martini fashion (anytime, anywhere, not drunk). There have been lots of, what we might call ‘Virtual Learning Environments’ over the last ten years, some terrible (I’m naming no names here) and some pretty good. There has always, however, been the stumbling block that the student still has to go somewhere to get hold of course materials, ie to a computer. What I have long been after is a medium where the work goes seamlessly to the student, and likewise, the teacher can create courses in an effective, time efficient way. We might just have found this with iTunes U 2.0 which has been recently updated by Apple. [click to continue reading…]
I’ve been waiting for the release of 2Do III ever since the release of iOS 7 last Fall, and I’m trying to keep from calling the third version of the app “3Do” (I blame 2Fast2Furious and its ilk for that). 2Do was one of my all-time favourite task management apps on iOS, and even though I don’t use the current version of the app, I can’t help but check the developer blog every now and then to check on the app’s status.
As it turns out, 2Do III is still in active development — no surprise there — but there was a very tasty teaser that I had missed in early June. The post teases the iPhone rewrite, but because the app is a universal one, I’m sure the iPad changes can’t be very far behind.
Info Zooming means extra details can stay hidden until you need them, and 2Do seems to have far fewer “save” and “cancel” buttons than before. It looks like changes to task fields — such as the tags, categories, and due dates — are saved instantly, so you can quickly jump from one field to the next without extra taps. That’s a little detail that saves a lot of time in the long run.
What’s a little shocking is that the 3.0 update — if released before the apocalypse — is coming out for free to all current owners of the app. I joke about the long development time, but if it took the devs this long to really come up with this many great features, I’d be more than happy to pay them another $10 to check their 3.0 app out.
This week ZAGG has announced the new ZAGG Rugged Folio – a rugged and durable iPad keyboard case. ZAGG are a leading maker of iPad keyboard cases and a number of other popular iOS and mobile accessories. Their iPad keyboard cases are among the best I’ve ever used and the keyboards on those cases are always especially good.
The new Rugged Folio looks and sounds quite promising for those who need this sort of durable keyboard case in their work environment. Here’s a little of ZAGG’s intro for the Rugged Folio:
The ZAGG Rugged Folio wireless Bluetooth® keyboard features a tough polycarbonate shell and soft silicone interior that deliver unmatched protection. A unique, magnetic hinge secures the iPad at virtually any angle and converts into multi-function modes, while a lithium polymer battery provides up to two years of typing between charges.
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