Are you like me – a bit of an iOS app addict? I’ve never found Apple’s App Store to be particularly helpful for discovering new apps. A recent tweet by Adam Christianson of the MacCast mentioned something called Applr, which I had never heard of. It turns out that Applr is a web app that helps you find new iOS apps, by following other people and seeing what they’re using. Other users can also follow you, to see your favorite apps. READ MORE
If you haven’t noticed, I switched to an iPhone recently, after a couple of years with an Android device. (I recently promised a post explaining my reasons for switching, but just realized that I’ve already written it). The posts here tend to be about my experiences, which is why you’ve seen some iPhone-related posts lately.
Siri is one feature of iOS that has received some knocks, but that I’m finding to be quite useful. I love being able to say, “remind me when I get to work to return John Doe’s call,” and have that reminder pop up as I arrive at the office. That set me off in search of other Siri commands.
Katie Floyd is the host of one of my favorite podcasts, the Mac Power Users, and over on her blog she highlights an app that could help you out if you ever lose your iPhone or iPad. Contact Lockscreen Info is an app that makes it easy to add your contact info to the lock screen of your iOS device.
At this risk of sounding like a snob, I can say that user reviews of certain iOS apps seem to miss the mark at times, because of uninformed users. This often seems to occur with subscription-based apps, such as LastPass, where users don’t realize that a subscription is required to get the full features of the app. Other times, this happens when users don’t seem to understand the limitations of iOS, and the workarounds that these limitations require of developers. One example of this is EverWebClipper, an app that makes clipping web pages into Evernote much easier on iOS devices, but somehow has received many low reviews.
iOS devices are handy, but limited. I’ve written previously on some workarounds I’ve come up with to address these limitations, such as how to download full resolution images from Dropbox to your iPad. Another way that you can “hack” your iPad is to set up Safari bookmarklets, which are bookmarklets that run code and let you perform a variety of actions, such as sending a page to Instapaper, clipping content into Evernote, and more.
When Photo Stream first came to iOS, it wasn’t too useful for anything other than moving your photos between devices. Photo Stream was an all or nothing deal – if you turned it on, all your most recent photos were synced between devices. At the outset, you couldn’t selectively sync photos, and you couldn’t share photos with anyone on a different iCloud account. That’s now changed.
There are many weather apps on the iOS platform. In the winter, I’m a weather geek, so I have several of them. One of the coolest ones out there is Dark Sky, which can tell you when it is going to rain, down to the minute.
Put this into the category of “interesting, although I’m not sure I’d use it.” If your whole life is in Evernote, and you also keep a journal, then you may want to check out Ever Journal Free For Evernote. The app lets you input journal entries, which are then sent into Evernote in a “My Journal” notebook.
If you hadn’t already heard, Google Chrome for iPhone and iPad was released this week — and it promptly became the #1 free app on the app store. This is something that we’ve been waiting for with baited breath, and something that I, personally, was never sure would happen properly due to the rivalry between Apple and Google.
Have no doubt, though, it’s here — and it takes the best of Google Chrome’s desktop browser and jams it neatly and prettily into your pocket.
One of the best features of Google Chrome for iOS is the integration of Chrome’s sync technology. If you have ever wanted the ability to open up any device — iPhone, iPad, Android, any computer that you’ve signed in to Google Chrome on — and pick up browsing from where you left off (again, on any of them), then you have reason enough to love Chrome for iOS app as the final piece in that puzzle.
It syncs your browsing history, open tabs, omnibar searches (yep, all that omnibar instant search power is in there, too), passwords, bookmarks, etc., etc., etc. Chrome was always great for being able to hop from computer to computer, but now you can hop from computer to computer to mobile and back again — and seamlessly, at that.
That’s just the tip of it, though. Google Chrome for iPhone and iPad is blazingly fast, has an intuitive interface, and comes with niceties like easy, swipe-based tab switching, tracking of recently closed and most-visited web pages, voice-based search capability (Google’s not Siri’s), search within web pages, and the ability to request a switch to desktop mode for entire sites at the touch of a button.
Google Chrome for iOS also includes Incognito Mode, and allows you to have as many open tabs in the browser as you damned well please. Chrome for iPhone is beautifully designed and extremely intuitive, and Chrome for iPad is the closest thing to a desktop browser that you will find on any tablet.
If you can get past the occasional (if persistent) few seconds of waiting, though, Google Chrome for iPhone and iPad could be your go-to web browser replacement for mobile Safari (it’s certainly more stable than Safari for iPad). The possibilities excite me to no end. I’m thinking some version of Chrome extensions would be a logical next step! Either way, Chrome for iOS gives me yet another reason to jailbreak my iPhone and iPad: to cull Safari out of default browser status, once and for all.
40Tech is pleased to offer a guest post by Carlina Yepinski
Even though rising industry costs are pushing tickets prices higher and higher, movies are still one of the cheapest forms of entertainment in America. There are tons of free apps that provide any kind of movie information you seek.
Whether you want to know what movies your favorite star is likely to appear in next or get recommendations on your next DVD rental, there’s an app for that. Here are a few free ones that will provide you with an instant movie fix on Android or iPhone.
- IMDB – The Internet Movie Database app offers all the search features of the full site, including names, shows, movies, and even TV schedules. The front page displays two or three of the latest news stories and allows you to keep up with things you want to see with “Watchlist.”
- Hitfix – This entertainment news site’s app offers the latest in movies, TV, music and sports as well as feature articles. You can view by category or date posted and can even check out local stories.
- Movies by Flickster, With Rotten Tomatoes – Find movies near your current location, check our trailers and read reviews courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes before heading to the theater all in one app. You can even rate titles you’ve seen.
- Fandango – As long as your theater uses Fandango for online ticketing, you can find show times and order tickets directly from your phone. Don’t forget to double check the theater’s official site to verify show times.
- Get Glue – This social network app lets you share all of your entertainment interests with your friends. Check in to TV shows, movies, music, podcasts, books, even video games. For movie fans, in particular, you can get recommendations for what to watch next based on your likes.
- Redbox – The Redbox company, famous for its $1 DVD rentals, now has an app that does for rentals what Fandango does for theatrical releases. The app searches for kiosks near you and lets you browse each kiosk’s inventory. While you cannot watch trailers, you can view ratings, runtimes, genres, cast and plot. Reserve the title you want on your phone to make the checkout process even quicker at the machine.
Carlina Yepinski is the primary researcher and writer for networkmonitoring.org. Her most recent accomplishments includes graduating from Kentucky State with a degree in communications and computer science. Her current focus for the site involves server monitoring tools and application monitoring.