iOS Tip: Alternatives to iOS Stock Apps for iPhone & iPad

hero_frontApple’s core iOS apps are good enough for what they are intended for but there are much better apps out there that can improve your iPhone or iPad experience. A lot of them are free and the others are worth the price tag. Here I will offer a list and short review of each.

Weather

Image-1-1Yahoo! Weather – A gorgeous and elegant app with much more info such as hourly and five day forecast, radar map, wind & pressure, precipitation, sunrise & sundown times, and moon info all with beautiful background pics from Flickr – Free for iPhone

Calendar

0Calendars by Readdle – A free alternative for both the iPhone and iPad. I love that you can swipe between each month instead of hitting left or right arrow buttons. Also, instead of seeing colored dots where you have appointments you can actually read them in the month-view calendar. Much better especially when you want to quickly glance at what you have going on. – Free for iPhone and iPad.

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App Review: MyScript Calculator

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Unfortunately my favorite simple calculator, Operations, is no longer available for the iPad. Although, if you’ve downloaded it before it was removed from the App Store, you can still download it by clicking on the “Purchased” tab. Unfortunately, if you haven’t you’re out of luck. However, in my research to find a valid replacement of a free and ad-free simple calculator I stumbled upon MyScript Calculator. All other simple calculators were not ad-free or had to be paid for so this is my next recommendation. It’s different but I actually like how it works. There are no buttons like standard calculator apps. Instead you write your operation with your finger or stylus. MyScript effortlessly translates your handwriting and quickly calculates it right before your eyes.

MyScript supports the basic operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division – as well as exponents, square roots, percentages, absolute values, trigonometry, constants (pi, e, phi…), logarithms, (quantities), and factorials! 😉 I tried to do cubed roots but it wouldn’t register correctly. I even tried raising a number to the 1/3 power to see if that would work but it didn’t. So there are improvements that can be made. Hopefully there will be an update for this. Therefore this is more than a simple calculator and is almost capable of being called a scientific calculator. However, for most calculations this app certainly does the trick.

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iOS Tip: How to Search for Text in Safari

Ever have the need to find a certain keyword on a website? A very useful but little-known tool the Safari browser has is the ability to search for text. This can be helpful when rereading an article and trying to find a particular section. On computers and laptops searching for text is easily activated by pressing control+F or command+F. The reason why this feature is often overlooked in Safari for iOS is because it is hidden in plain sight…

To search for text on a webpage just type in the search field located on the top right of Safari.

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Yes, the same search field used to search the web. This is why this feature is hidden in plain site. Most people only see the search field as a means to search the web. If you are looking for certain text on the site you are on just type in the search field. All these “search suggestions” start appearing as you type. These suggestions further hides the fact that you can search text but if you notice under all the “search suggestions” and right above your keyboard it says, “On This Page (# matches).” In the example below there are 5 matches.

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The “On This Page…” bar is often overlooked but it is telling you how often your text appears on the current site you are on. Now just press and hold in the “search suggestions” area and drag up. This will drop the keyboard and reveal the option to find your keyword.

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Press “Find ‘keyword’” and you will see all of them highlighted on the site. Just press the arrow keys until you find the section of the site you are looking for!

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And that’s pretty much the gist of it. Hope this was helpful!

@DarrylMendo

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App Review: Clear – A Beautiful & Simple Gesture-Based To-Do List App

clear
Clear aims to make your experience of completing tasks as pleasurable as possible. With gesture commands it is a breeze to create, edit, and cross off tasks from your to-do list. Pull down to add a new task, swipe to the right to mark it completed, and long-press and drag up or down to move a task around based on priority. Because of how simple it is to use you will find yourself putting everything that comes to mind that you need to get done. I’ve tried many other to-do list apps, both free and paid, and the one thing I just couldn’t get over was the fact that it felt like a task in itself just to create a to-do list. Clear takes that pain away. No due dates to set, no sharing options, or other settings that become distracting. This is simple and straight-forward. Make your list, get your work done, then cross it off. That’s it.

I’ve been using this app for over a year now and I have to say it is one of my most used apps. I use it daily for both work and personal life and I definitely get a lot more things done. There are also several color themes to choose from and as you can see from the above screenshot Clear uses the idea of a heat index to show priority.

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MinutePhysics – Educational and Entertaining Science Video Shorts

I stumbled upon a YouTube Channel called MinutePhysics. Under it’s description it describes itself as, “Simply put: Cool physics and other sweet science – all in a minute!” (Although the videos run about 2 to 4 minutes or so but you get the idea.) The videos really break down complex topics such as ‘The Big Bang’ or ‘Does the Universe Have a Purpose?’ As the video is narrarated you can see a hand drawing several simple drawings with markers to help the viewer understand the narration. It’s a great visual aid that really complements the voice over. I am positive many science and math teachers can put these videos to good use in the classroom. I find them not just educational but entertaining as well. I’ve always had a fascination with space and I find myself just scrolling through all the videos and watching ones with interesting titles that really peek my curiosity. There are currently over 80 videos to choose from. Here are just a few for you to check out. Enjoy!

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iOS Tip: How to Hide the Newsstand App into a Folder

Let’s be serious; most people don’t use the Newsstand app. I know I don’t. Yet, iOS does not allow users to hide it in a folder. Therefore, it’s a useless app taking up space on your home screen. Fortunately, there is an extremely simple solution that only takes about thirty seconds!

From your Mac or PC download an app called ‘StifleStand.’ It is a very small file and the download time should only be about one or two seconds.

Once it’s downloaded, open the file and the following screen should appear:

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Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer with the USB cable. StifleStand will immediately recognize your device is connected.

Hit the ‘Hide Newsstand’ button and watch your Newsstand app ‘magically’ disappear into a folder. The folder will be named ‘Magic’ but you can just as easily rename it into anything you want and put in any other apps you want to keep in there.

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  Notice the folder named ‘Magic’                       You can rename it & add other apps

It’s as simple as that! No fuss, no jailbreaking. If you actually do use Newsstand then don’t bother with this. The app won’t open when it’s inside a folder. That being said, if you do put Newsstand in a folder and want to eventually use it again all you have to do is drag it out of the folder and it will work just fine. So give it a try; you’ll be glad you did!

Download StifleStand:

Mac Version     PC Version

Source: http://filippobiga.com/stiflestand/

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iPad App Review: Haiku Deck – a Simple & Fun Presentation App

Haiku Deck is a very friendly and easy to use iPad app that helps you to create beautiful presentations. It is so smooth and easy use that creating presentations actually becomes a joy.

It allows for just two lines of text per slide and as you type the text size changes so that it is always filling the slide horizontally. The idea is that the viewer shouldn’t be reading long paragraphs. It should be short and easy to read while the speaker still delivers the main content.

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