The best photo app I’ve come across in awhile is Snapseed. It’s free (owned by Google) and offers a significant amount of control over image adjustments. It provides your basic crop, rotate, straighten features as well as a “Tune Image” section which gives you the ability to modify the brightness, ambiance, contrast, saturation, shadows and warmth. This is all you will need for most images.
The control adjustment for each of the tuning features, referred to as a slider, is as easy as a swipe of a finger; to the right for + and to the left for –. Very intuitive.
Snapseed also offers the fun features that have made apps such as Instagram so popular, but with more creative liberties available in post-editing: variance blur, vintage, black & white, grunge, tilt-shift (which is a modifiable edge blur and automatic vivid enhancement–my personal favorite) as well as a host of high quality frames & borders.
A “Compare” button lets you easily flip back and forth between the original and modified image throughout the post-production edits.
One of the best, and unique, features of the app is the “Selective Adjust” which allows you to tap your finger on a specific area in the image and adjust the brightness. This allows for finer tuning adjustments than almost all the other iPhone/iPad photo editing apps on the market.
The app is available for both iPhone and iPad and is a great addition to the IE practitioner’s app toolbox for any project requiring photo editing.
Available in the iTunes App Store
Image to Text by Ricoh Innovations is a free app that lets you extract the text from an image. You take a photo of the page of text, then send it to yourself in an email, which arrives with a text version in the body of the message and the original image attached. You can then copy the text into any text editable application and make necessary changes.
It has a pretty high accuracy rate, but occasionally misses a word or two. Glancing through for spelling errors and making a few corrections is still much faster than re-typing an entire page of text.
1. You can only send on page/image at a time
2. You must be connected to the internet when you send the image; it can’t sit in your outbox and wait for a connection to be re-established
Despite the drawbacks, I have found this incredibly useful in a variety of circumstances and it has saved me literally hours of time.
Find it in the iTunes App Store
SignNow-Sign and Fill PDF & Word Documents has been an incredible resource for electronic document signing. There are a number of electronic signature apps but this is by far the best one I’ve used. As Head of Program Development with my organization, and currently in the process of developing an international program from the ground up, I am constantly signing agreements with overseas organizations and institutions. This app allows me to seamlessly open the electronic file, sign, date, and email back to the other party for signing.
The key features of this app are:
- The quick menu (which offers Insert Signature/Insert Text/Insert Today’s Date/Insert Check Mark)
- Stores multiple saved signatures and initials
- Beautiful and user-friendly interface
Trello is a free web-based project management application using the kanban management paradigm.
The online interactive interface is akin to a white board with individual cards (corresponding to tasks) which allow users to add content, labels, create/update task lists, mark project elements completed, assign tasks to project members and more. It is a simple, visual way to project manage for individuals and ideal for collaborative group project.
Rather than sending project members multiple group emails regarding specific project elements, all the details related to one project component can be saved on the task card and updated in real time. This program can be used for projects ranging from website development, re-branding projects, video production, new program development, and more.
The program also provides mobile app platforms on iPhone and Android.
Sugata Mitra’s TED talk, Build a School in the Cloud, on developing a learning lab in the cloud encourages students to use technology as a tool to teach one other. An educational researcher well before his time, Mitra experimented with the use of computers to facilitate learning in rural India in the 90s. His longitudinal study revealed some key ways in which technology can enhance learning.
Edshelf is a directory of digital tools for educators; containing websites, mobile apps, and desktop software that are rated & reviewed by educators, for educators. Each reviewed product features an overview video and text outlining how to engage with the product. Ratings, reviews, and categories allow users to learn more about how to apply the technology, specifically in an educational setting. The social component (ie profiles) allows users to access an online community of educators and their real-world professional colleagues.
Evernote’s new product is an effort to convert even the most traditional luddites into digital archivists.
Teaming up with Moleskine the new Evernote Smart Notebook uses Evernote’s Page Camera feature to capture the pages of their enhanced paper notebook with smartphones and tablets. Evernote Squared Smart Notebook features the unique “Evernote squared” page style with dotted lines designed to ensure a clean image during digital capture. Their Smart Stickers allow tagging of content; when capturing a page with Evernote, the Smart Sticker icons become searchable, digital tags.
A great solution for those who want the analog pleasure of pen and paper but the digital luxury of accessing content from the cloud–keeping digital and analog workspaces synced.
Many have moved to the dual, or multiple, display workspace in recent years. A number of studies have been conducted on improved efficiency as a result of using a second screen. Jon Peddie research posits adding a monitor can boost productivity by 20-30% and Microsoft claims the increase in efficiency can be anywhere between 9-50%. Earlier this year the New York Times posted the article, In Data Delgue, Multitaskers go to Multiscreens.
For those of us who travel internationally and find that our workspace is more often at the local coffee shop than the home office carrying an external monitor can be slightly cumbersome (try it on a bike in SF!).
The solution is Air Display by Avatron. Air Display turns your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch into a wireless display, to extend or mirror your computer screen (your computer can be either a Mac or PC). It is among my most frequently used iPad apps and a must for the traveler’s productivity app list.
Download it from the App Store