iPad iPhone Kindle Opinion

Tech for travel

Summer vacation time is closing on those of us in the Northern hemisphere once more. In honor of Towel day and its idea of preparedness, I thought I’d share some thoughts on what tech I bring with me when I travel.

iPad iPhone Kindle Tips & Tricks Tools

What’s in your bag?

I am lucky enough to travel as much as suits me, but not much more. However, I have developed a list of things I bring with me whenever I go travelling. There are two lists; the core list and the extended list. Here goes:

Apps How To iPad iPhone Tips & Tricks Tools

Blogging on the go, WordPress for iOS

While I do most of my blogging on my computer, uploading the posts and images directly through the control panel. However, from time to time I will write a post while on the go, using my iPad or even (shudder) my iPhone to write and post the update.
Whenever I do that, my choice of app is easy; because all my blogging is done on blogs using WordPress, I use the official WordPress app, which lets me do many things, such as comment management, tag and category management, and, of course, posting, scheduling and editing blog posts:
The WordPress app uses the XML-RPC framework to talk to the blog itself, and allows you to do pretty much anything that you want to do with regards to comments, posts and pages, as well as reading usage stats for the site. It allows you to configure several sites, and you can readily choose between them from the app:

Apps How To iPhone iPhone OS Tips & Tricks Tools

Creating your own ringtones on iPhone

One of the most annoying things to me as a user, is the fact that I’m not able to assign my music files as ringtones. The “offical” way of adding more ringtones, is by buying them from Apple, however, you can generate them yourself, using your iPhone and a computer. To do so, you need an app that will create the ringtones for you, I use RMakerPro, but you may of course choose whichever you want. Here’s how I do it:

Apple iPad Opinion

A new iPad

So, the latest iteration of iPad was announced last week. The new iPad, as it is named, is supposed to “have redefined yet again the category that Apple created just two years ago with the original iPad.”
Me, I’m not convinced. Let’s have a look at the facts, the improvements announced are as follows:

Apps FotoWare FotoWeb iPhone OS Software

FotoWeb Desktop for iPhone

It has been an exciting few months, seeing the development of FotoWare’s app for iPhone. Launched at the Tech Days at Palma de Mallorca, it received many excited murmurs.
The app does a few things that have been asked for. First off, you an search in your FotoWeb archives, and create alerts for these searches, enabling you to quickly see when new images come into the system. In addition, it contains a star rating system, allowing you to rate photos on the go.
However, easily the most exciting feature is the upload feature. You can upload images straight from your iPhone (or iPad) to the archives, editing metadata before upload. The app is straightforward and intuitive to use, and, best of all, it just works!
The app stores the searches so that they are available from the search box, and searches can be updated by pulling down and releasing the search window. In viewing mode you have sideways scrolling between photos. When you reach the end of an archive (or the hits within one that match your search), you can move to the next archive, simply by continuing to scroll sideways.
The iPhone app will be available for free from the app store as soon as it has gone through the approval process, and is supported by FotoWeb 7 SR4. If you’re interested in seeing how it works, ask me, and I will give you a quick demo!
Note: the screenshots in this post are from the beta version of the app, the app will look somewhat different when uploaded to the AppStore. The Album and Pinned options on the front page have not yet been implemented.
Caveat lector: I used to work with support at FotoWare. This blog is my own space, I am not paid to write it. I write about FotoWare and FotoWare products because I believe in them..

Apps apps Opinion

Survival – how news media should adapt to a challenging present

Over the last ten years, I have been an active consumer of online news media. This has cost me nothing, simply because the online news outlets I read are financed by ads. According to Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corporation, this trend must change if news media are to survive. While I think that his approach – simply shutting people who don’t pay out – isn’t the way to endear himself to the consumers, I do think that he has a point.
Until recently, I had a subscription for the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. About four months ago, I cancelled it, because I never read it anyway, mostly because I already knew most of what it said already, having read several online newspapers at home, at work and in transit. Will I ever take up a subscription to Aftenposten again? Maybe. But not for the paper version. Instead, I will gladly take up a subscription to their tablet app.
I say tablet app, instead of iPad, because I am in no way certain that I’ll still be using an iPad ten years down the line, but I most certainly will still be using a tablet of some kind. The first attempt at creating a good app for news consumption from a single source on the iPad comes from Wired magazine. Their app is free – as it should be. Instead, users pay per issue they download.
Let me just say this at once; reading Wired Magazine on the iPad just works. It’s quick, it’s comfortable, and gives me more value than the magazine itself ever did. Another example of an excellent solution is MacLife tablet edition, which also shows off the strengths of the iPad format for magazine consumption.
What makes me think that this would work for newspapers? I can only speak for myself. However, I know that I only really read a very small number of newspapers, most of which more or less conform to my political views. I want editorials on subjects that interest me, and I want to have it on the go. Having an app that, every morning, downloads the most recent edition, is just what I need and want. I can bring my pad, and the app, with me on public transport, reading the articles that interest me.
Why do I think that’s how they will save themselves? By offering a two-tiered system, the newspapers reach two markets. The model I’m envisioning is something like this: The first tier only offers headlines and a little detail, with no analysis. This should be free, or ad-funded. The second tier should have detailed articles with editorials and additional content, such as guest writers. I would willingly pay for a subscription to the second tier, which would give me more news, of higher quality.
What would I want from a newspaper app? At the very least, these three criteria should be fulfilled:

Android Android iPad iPhone OS Operating systems

Another feature I’d love to see on the iPad

The iPad is great, and iOS is, well, neat. However, there are a few features from Android, that I would love to see on the iPad. Chief among these is widgets.
On my Android phone, I have widgets telling me how much power is left on my phone, the number of days until my wedding, and a photo of my fiancée, to mention a few. Others include widgets to turn on and off various services on the phone, set the sound profile, and turn airplane mode on or off:

On my iPad, the only things that could fall under the header of widgets, are the little numbers on apps like Things, Mail and Newsrack, telling me how many outstanding tasks, and unread emails and blog posts I have:

So having established that I want widgets, what do I want them to do? For one, I’d love to have a widget for toggling airplane mode, a countdown to my wedding day and one to toggle sound and rotation lock.
I’m sure there are other things you guys would want to see; feel free to use the comment field to share them!


And so they did…

A while back, I wrote a blog post entitled Give me my rotation lock switch back!, where I suggested that, instead of only giving us the option of using the (former) rotation lock switch as a mute button, that they gave us the choice, and so they did.
I did suggest that they include a few other options as well, such as using it as a way to switch networking on and off, though these are not available yet. Who knows, maybe that, too will change in the future.
Anyway, here’s how to make the change:

iPad iPhone OS Opinion Safari Web browsers

Give me one bar, make it do more!

I have said it once, and I’ll say it again; I love my iPad. It’s light-weight, instant-on and, most importantly, for the most part, it just works. However, there are a few frustrations, some of which I’ve mentioned previously, such as what they did to the rotation lock switch.
Now, most of the time I spend on it, is spent browsing the web. However, whenever I go to open a new page, I am presented with this:

Now, I like the fact that I can search from the browser, but why make it a separate box? If it were up to me, Apple’d take an idea from Google Chrome, and make it look like this:

Make one bar, its default function an address bar, unless something that is neither a URL, an IP or a combination is inputed, in which case it performs a search instead.

File management iPad Opinion

My number one wanted feature on the iPad

As should be obvious by now, I love my iPad, and bring it with me most everywhere I go. I use it for work and play, planning and doodling in equal amounts. It has more or less supplanted my netbook as my default unit for web browsing, emailand many other things.
Along with my android phone, I’ve got internet access most anywhere I go, and am very happy about that fact, too. There is one feature from my android phone that I’d like to see however, which is only currently available on iOS devices when they’ve been jailbroken; a unified file management system.
On any and all android devices, you can access the file system, and any files on it, directly from the unit, allowing you to modify them at will, and opening them in other programs.
Sure, there are apps that sort of do what I want, but they don’t do it particularly well, nor particularly elegantly. moreover, i think it’s something that should be handled, not by some app, but natively, in the OS.
Like my wishes for what used to be the rotation lock button, I understand, and to some extent accept that this might not be forthcoming for some time, though I honestly think it would be a mistake on Apple’s part not to implement it soon.