Publishing on iOS has never been a terribly smooth process for me. The closest I got was the Blogsy app, which had a WYSYWIG editor and support for multiple blogs. Unfortunately it had an interface made for iOS 6 and just couldn’t afford to keep up with subsequent iOS updates.
The next best thing has been the official WordPress app, which can handle the three self-hosted WordPress sites that I post to. I write in Markdown in another app like iA Writer or Ulysses, and then post the draft as HTML into the WordPress app, and then add extras like categories, tags, and pictures. It doesn’t take very long, and it mimics what I’d do on the desktop, but the WordPress app feels pretty uninspired to me. It works, but lacks the polish of the web app. It’s not fun to use.
My latest workflow has been using Ulysses 2.6 and its new publishing features, which can take my Markdown-formatted post, and then add images, categories, tags, and even featured images and excerpts. All before I ever even see the WordPress interface.
This doesn’t sound like a huge deal but for the fact that Ulysses doesn’t seem like a full-fledged online writing app. I expect it to handle text well, but I’m surprised at how smooth they’ve managed to make the publishing and previewing processes.
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. Continue reading
Let’s be honest, sometimes it can look a bit weird to the uninitiated outsider when they see you magically waving your fingers in different ways all over your shiny iPad (things look even weirder if you start talking to it via Siri too). However, from a user’s point of view, gestures on the iPad can really speed things up on a productivity level. Here is a guide to all of the major gestures in iOS 7. Practice makes perfect here and the more you use these gestures, the more you will find yourself flying through your iPad.
The five fingered grab
If you are in an app and you want to get back to the home screen quickly, put all five fingers on the screen and ‘grab’ your fingers together to a point. Graphically, you will see the app shrink and then disappear into the home screen.
When I was at school, I struggled badly with random, un-filed bits of paper, leaky ink cartridges in my Parker Pen and terrible hand writing (as well as chronic laziness and an addiction to Cricket). I’m sure this approach to my organisation affected my school work. If I would have grown up in the iPad age I think things would have been different. The following 5 apps have been tried and tested by me and my students and rank highly as apps which work brilliantly to keep work organised in the cut and thrust of a busy school day.
The iPad is notorious in not having an accessible file structure. As we know, files are often saved in app, or to the camera roll or to iCloud where you can access the files on another device, as long as you have the corresponding app. The other problem is that the more files you generate, the more you eat into your precious iPad storage. Continue reading