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Tag: iPod Touch (page 2 of 3)

App of the Week: Atomic Web Browser [iOS]

App of the Week : Atomic Web Browser | 40Tech

Mobile Safari has it’s good points, but there are several places where it leaves a lot to be desired. There are speed issues when loading, the lack of any real multitasking (resulting in windows constantly reloading when you exit the app and return), no background tab or window loading, etc., etc., etc. To compound these issues, the last few iPad versions of Safari (including the current one) are unstable at the best of times, their regular crashes making browsing a chore.

There are several Safari alternatives for iOS, all if them trying to overcome the shortcomings of the stock iPhone and iPad browser. The best of the lot, however, considering features, usability, and price, is Atomic Web Browser.

Atomic Web Browser has been around since December of 2009 and while it has floated back and forth between $0.99 and $1.99, it has held steady at $0.99 for nearly a year. It also has a Lite version which has nearly all of the same features, but for $0.99, getting niceties like the ability to set a homepage isn’t a bad deal. Anyone who’s read my work on 40Tech before knows that’s high praise, too. It takes a lot to get me to shell out money if I don’t have to, and I’ve found it to be completely worth my while so far.


It used to be that Atomic and other mobile Safari alternatives were sought after for real tabbed browsing and the ability to switch User Agents and view mobile pages as if they were served on a full-sized computer. Those are minor features these days, and Atomic has become useful for so much more. Here are the highlights (go here for the full list):

  • Load tabs in background
  • True multitasking
  • Add JavaScript as bookmarks
  • Share links on Facebook and Twitter
  • Configurable swipe and tap gestures
  • Save pages for offline viewing
  • Download manager with Dropbox, iTunes and email support
  • Import/Export bookmarks
  • Jump to top/bottom of web pages
  • Change and lock font-size for specific sites
  • Full-screen browsing with configurable buttons
  • Launch homepage, last session, or last viewed
  • Bookmarklet that sends pages to Atomic Web Browser from Safari

There are a ton of other features as well, such as setting the colour of the browser, ad block, private mode, air print, web compression (for faster browsing), search engine plugins, on-page search, view page source code, and more.

Atomic Web Browser Background Tabs Atomic Web Browser Download ManagerAtomic Web Browser Action ButtonsAtomic Web Browser Options

There are a few other browsers that compare with Atomic, the closest in both price and features being Mercury Browser, which I have been using on my iPhone for the past while. Mercury Browser is almost identical in features and has a few interesting possibilities like a library of common bookmarklets that can be installed (which is a bit buggy), a bookmarks springboard, and speed-dial-like dashboard for your favourite sites.

Mercury Browser’s extra features are great, and combine well with an interesting and pretty interface to make for fantastic browser, but I find that Atomic is easier to navigate. The Atomic Web Browser’s look and feel is more minimalist and straightforward in its approach, and for me — and more importantly, my wife — that translates into a better overall experience. Both have free and very functional Lite versions, though, so you should give them a try to see what suits you better.

Your turn:

What’s your favourite browser for iOS?

App of the Week: Planets, Free Stargazing App for iPhone, iPad [iOS]

40Tech App of the Week: Stargazing App Planets for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

When I was a kid, I was an astronomy nut. I was in love with the planets, the stars, nebulae, constellations, you name it. I read everything I could get my hands on. I even did a science project presentation in grade five (I think) on black holes. Somehow or other, though, as I grew older and the whirlwind of life, family and general stuff caught me up, I lost a lot of what I knew and never found the time to pick it up again. What bothered me especially was that I couldn’t identify more than four or five constellations any more — and that’s the sort of fun star gazing that I really wanted to share with my little girl.

Belatedly, it hit me: I own a GPS-capable, compass-packing smartphone. Somebody must have created a stargazing app for the iPhone and/or iPad. There’s an app for everything, or some other such marketing phrase, right? Of course, it turned out that there were several apps of varying costs and degrees of complexity — and the one that struck the balance with me was simple, free app (with over 5 million downloads) called Planets.

Planets doesn’t compare to the feature-sets of some of the paid apps like Starwalk for iPad, but it isn’t bogged down by complications either. It’s a straightforward 2D or 3D view of the heavens, augmented by some location-based gyroscope action. This is especially useful in the 3D view, as it allows you to get a look at the constellations and planets as you turn and point your iPhone or iPad. The 2D view provides a some useful information at a touch, such as rising and setting times of planets, the sun, and the like, but it’s the 3D virtual planetarium that gets me.

Constellations on the iPhone with Planets for iPhone, iPad | 40TechView planets, stars on the iPhone with Planets for iPhone, iPad | 40TechPlanet rise, sunrise, visibility of planets with the naked eye on iPhone, iPad | 40Tech

While Planets for iPhone and iPad could benefit from providing more information about specific stars and planets, and I wouldn’t mind a bit of interactivity and a photo of a nebula or two, I love the fact that me and my kid can quickly identify artwork in the sky and can even see where things should be if there wasn’t so much light pollution or the sometimes perpetual cloud cover we get on the Northwest coast – or if pesky things like daylight hours or the plane of the Earth get in the way. I also like that the Planets app actually tells you where the planets of our solar system happen to be hanging out, and at what times they might be visible to the naked eye. I found Saturn outside my door the other day. I’ve always loved Saturn. It’s pretty.

Photo May 18, 5 30 06 PMPhoto May 18, 5 30 59 PMPhoto May 18, 5 31 31 PMPhoto May 18, 5 32 11 PMPhoto May 18, 5 32 30 PMPhoto May 18, 5 33 03 PM

If the regular planetarium view doesn’t cut it for you, Planets also has several other views that make the sky look impressively colourful, including X-ray, Radio, Infrared, Microwave and Hydrogen-a. There are also some twirling shots of the planets in the globe section, but that part of the Planets app definitely needs more information and other bells and whistles to be interesting. Still, for a free app, it’s a great little stargazing assistant, and one that I get regular use out of.

You can pick up Planets for free at the iTunes App Store.

What’s your favourite stargazing app for your mobile device?

How Have You Tweaked, Personalized, Customized, or Hacked Your iOS Device?

hacked iphone

Last week, we asked you how you’ve tweaked your Android device, to make it all your own. Now, it is time for iOS. If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, let us known in the comments how you’ve tweaked your device. Admittedly, that can be a bit harder to do on iOS than on Android, but we have some pretty clever readers.

Read more

Word Lens: Real Time Language Translation (iOS)

Word Lens: Real Time Language Translation | 40Tech

File this under very cool and potentially useful. Word Lens is the kind of app you will want to have on you when travelling, or when presented with text in a language you don’t understand that you just have to know the translation of. I say “will want” because, so far, it only works with Spanish and English, so it is useless for your other translation needs. It’s still awesome, though — the bees knees, even.

All this iOS app needs is a device with a camera, and — with no network required — it will translate the text that the camera sees, in real time. It works surprisingly well, too! I think that, next to (prepare for Star Trek reference) a Universal Translator, this is best thing to happen to translation software in a while. Maybe Google will buy them and offer the tech for free some day soon. For now, however, even though the app looks free, it will actually cost you $10 per language set. That means that you need to spend $10 to get it to translate Spanish to English and another $10 for the vice versa. For what it does, though, and especially as it adds in more languages, Word Lens might actually be worth it.

Check out the video below:

Word Lens is a Mind-Blowing App that Translates Any Text Your Camera Can See On the Fly [Lifehacker]

How to Search By Tag in Evernote for iPhone

How to Search By Tag in Evernote for iPhone | 40Tech

For long-time Evernote for iPhone users, searching your notes by tag is probably not an issue. However, the email I received last night from one of our own Grown-up Geeks made me realize that new users to the iPhone version of Evernote might be in for a bit of frustration. In light of this, I decided to put together a quick how-to post based on the email response I sent our reader. Check it out below.

In order to browse by tag in Evernote for iPhone, you just need to follow these steps:

Open Evernote and tap Notes from the bottom menu


Tap the search bar up top (where it says Search Notes)


As the search bar is activated, it will expand and just below it you see “Advanced search” — tap that


In the next screen, you will see the Tags button — tap it

Note: You can add several other search filters from this screen, as well!


Tap the tag you want to sort by

Once selected the tag will have a checkmark. To search within multiple tag, select more than one.

IMG_1755 IMG_1756

Tap “Advanced” in the top left corner, to go back to the advanced menu

You will be able to see a list of the tags and other search criteria you chose here.


Tap “Notes” in the top left corner, to go back to the notes list

Your notes will now be sorted by the selected tags — to get back to general note view, tap the “All notes” button.


Hopefully, this post will help some iPhone Evernote newbies out. If you’re reading this and it seems too convoluted to you — and you haven’t bought an iPhone yet — you might want to consider Evernote for Android. The new version puts tags right upfront – and there are a few other Android-only features that kick the iPhone’s Evernote squarely in the pants.

Evernote 2.0 for Android Screenshot

Have other Evernote questions? Post them in the comments, and we’ll do our best to answer them.