Tag Archives: iPhone

App Review: MyScript Calculator


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! ūüėČ 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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App Review: Clear ‚Äď A Beautiful & Simple Gesture-Based To-Do List App

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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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:

Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 10.05.43 PM

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.

photo-18               photo-19

¬† 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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How to Afford iPads for the Classroom – Refurbished iPads

The Education Institution Discount is not the only way to save on iPads. Apple also sells refurbished iPads straight from their website. You can’t get the latest models¬†but if you don’t mind settling for an iPad 2 or even an Original iPad you can buy them at a discount rate¬†plus you still get the same 1-year warranty you would get when buying a brand new one. The refurbished iPads are also equipped with a new battery and a new outer-shell and they are all Apple Certified not to mention free shipping!

Apple Certified Refurbished

Fast, free shipping on all refurbished products.

We test and certify all Apple refurbished products and include a 1-year warranty.
All refurbished iPad models also include a brand new battery and outer shell.
Limited supplies, but updated frequently. Availability is guaranteed upon receipt of full payment.

The cheapest refurbished iPad is the Original iPad for $279 (with 16 GB¬†and Wi-Fi only). The cheapest iPad 2 is $319 (with 16 GB¬†and Wi-Fi only). This is $60 cheaper than buying them in bulk¬†through the Education Institution Discount! It’s $80 cheaper than buying it brand new! For the cost of the cheapest New iPad (3rd Generation) you can get a 64GB iPad 2! That’s four times more storage space! The caveat is Apple’s site for purchasing refurbished iPads are in sync with their inventory and the cheapest iPads tend to sell out pretty quickly. You may have to keep checking their site to find the exact model you want. Here is the full list of prices:

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How to Afford iPads for the Classroom – Education Institution Discount

To get iPads in the classroom is not an easy task. The latest generation usually starts at $499 and Apple will usually also have available last year’s model at $399. These, however, are not your only options. Apple has special prices for education institutions both for K-12 and for higher education. When buying iPads in bulks of ten Apple discounts the cost for each iPad. For example, buying a 10-pack of the 16gb Wi-Fi only New iPad (3rd Gen) would cost $4790.00 which would be $479 per iPad saving you $20 each or $200 total. If you don’t mind sacrificing the Retina Display and slightly better specs and settling for the 16gb Wi-Fi only iPad 2 (which is not a bad idea) the 10-pack would run you $3790.00 again saving you a total of $200 off the original cost of ten iPad 2’s and $1000 better than the cost of the 10-pack of New iPads which could go towards another set of 10 iPads. The ultimate decision would of course have to be left to whoever handles the money and the technology of the district – probably the School Business Administrator and Director of Tech. Click to see the full list of iPad prices for the Education Institution Discount…

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App Review: OnLive Desktop – A Free Microsoft Office App

I finally found a Microsoft Office app that is actually free! There is no doubt that Quickoffice Pro and Documents To Go are excellent apps in their own regards but as I’ve mentioned before if another app is free, ad-free, and proficient enough for classroom use then it will have to be the go-to app. Paid apps may usually be superior but the cost times the number of student iPads for a classroom can outweigh the benefit. Quickoffice Pro is $19.99 and Documents To Go Premium is $16.99. Times that by a classroom size of anywhere between 10 to 25 students and you can already feel that a free app is sounding like the wise choice. Especially when that money can be used for other educational or productivity apps. So the search continues to find such an app. Enter OnLive Desktop.

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Coming Soon: Guided Access

Today Apple had their annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC 2012) announcing things like their new Macbook Pro and new updates for the operating system for iPads and iPhones called iOS 6. Among other things, one key feature that stood out to me as a teacher is called, ‘Guided Access.’ Here is the official description from Apple’s website:

“iOS 6 comes with even more features to make it easier for people with vision, hearing, learning, and mobility disabilities to get the most from their iOS devices. Guided Access helps students with disabilities such as autism remain on task and focused on content. It allows a parent, teacher, or administrator to limit an iOS device to one app by disabling the Home button, as well as restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen. VoiceOver, the revolutionary screen reader for blind and low-vision users, is now integrated with Maps, AssistiveTouch, and Zoom. And Apple is working with top manufacturers to introduce Made for iPhone hearing aids that will deliver a power-efficient, high-quality digital audio¬†experience.”

This being a blog for teachers what caught my attention was, “It allows a parent, teacher, or administrator to limit an iOS device to one app by disabling the Home button…” This new feature allows a teacher to chose an app and then disable the home button basically restricting the students from exiting the app and then trying to open other things such as youtube, facebook, or whatever else. So if students are given iPads during their Algebra I class to use the Quick Graph app to graph a system of linear inequalities, they will not have the temptation to open the Messages app¬† and start texting all their friends about how bored they are in math class.

And that is the key factor. Once students become accustomed to fact that the iPad can be restricted then they will lose the distraction of trying to do other things once they get their hands on the iPad. All it takes is one student to open a funny video and the whole class becomes distracted. A teacher’s worst nightmare would be a classroom full of students with iPads who are not on task because they’re too busy on twitter, facebook, instagram, youtube, pandora, draw something, and anything else other than what the teacher needs them to be on.

I look forward to this update which is not due until the fall of 2012. Unfortunately, however, the iOS 6 update is only available for the iPad 2 and the New iPad (3rd Generation) and will not be available for the Original iPad which is sadly what I was given. Regardless of that fact, Guided Access will be a welcomed feature for teachers.

Click to see the full iOS 6 Preview from the official Apple site.

-Mr. Mendo

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