General Apps

App of the Day – CloudOn

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CloudOn brings Microsoft Office to the iPad and allows you to save the documents you create right to your DropBox account.  Once you choose between Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint you are greeted with a robust version of the application which can be used just as you normally would on your computer.

Documents can be saved to Dropbox, Google Drive or your Box.net cloud storage.

Get CloudOn free here.

pdfpen

PDFpen

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Hardware: iPad 2 WiFi/3G
Interaction: finger, Griffin Stylus, Adonit Jot Pro
Export/Share: Email, iTunes, iDisk, WebDAV, DropBox, Evernote, FTP, Google Docs

PDFpen from SmileOnMyMac, LLC joins a small collection of PDF annotation apps like iAnnotate PDF and PDF Expert that allows a user to import PDF files, annotate them on their iPad and share them through a variety of popular web services.

The user selects from six basic markup tools: highlight, free hand, shapes, underline, strikethrough and squiggly underline.  Once the appropriate tool has been selected the user can brush their finger or stylus along the word they want to annotate.  I found most of the tools to be pretty intuitive, once you select it all you need to do is drag your finger/stylus across a word and it will be properly marked-up.  Sadly, the finger seemed to be the best tool for this, with the Griffin Stylus coming in a close second.  The more expensive Adonit Jot had some issues, but I think that was because the app was designed for a ‘larger’ capacitive footprint and the appeal of the Adonit Jot Pro was that it has a fine point of contact.

PDFpen falls apart when a user wants to use the free hand tool to scribble notes on the pdf.  While suitable for signatures I found it very difficult to write a small note.  As a teacher, this would not be a suitable for writing feedback directly on a student’s paper.  While you could create a textbox with typed-text in it and drag in an arrow pointing to a highlighted section of the pdf the lag time to do this was pretty noticeable.

Smile Software has the potential of offering a fantastic app.  PDFpen shares documents through a wide-range of popular solutions, namely DropBox, Evernote and Google Docs that would integrate nicely into our school’s iPad 1:1 program but for the hefty $9.99 price tag I couldn’t justify making this a required app for my faculty.

rhapsody_app-70x70

Rhapsody

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Rhapsody is a music service that I have subscribed to long before it became popular.  For a monthly fee you have unlimited access to almost any cd from any artist out there.  Originally the service cost me $9.95 a month, which allowed me to stream their entire music library to my computer.  If you wanted to download a song it cost .79 cents, although I never quite understood the desire to own the song if you could stream it anytime you wanted.  Recently their subscription rates have changed with the introduction of the Rhapsody app to iTunes for your Apple iPhone/iTouch.  To keep streaming to your computer(s) the subscription now runs you $4.95 a month.   If you want to be able to stream your music to your iPhone/iTouch it costs $14.95.

shazam

Enlightenment for the audiophile in all of us.

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Ever been in a bar with all your friends…maybe it’s an 80’s club in Prague where your mind is so hazy from Jameson’s whiskey that your vast reportie of music knowledge is running a losing foot race with the amount of dying grey matter in your head.

Well, never fear….Shazam is here. No, Billy Batson isn’t about to utter his famous words and come to your rescue as Captain Marvel but a free iPhone app from Shazam Entertainment is.

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