Tag Archives: iphone

Snapseed

20140418-134502.jpg

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

20140418-134932.jpg

Advertisements

Image to Text

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.

Two drawbacks:
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

20140419-114647.jpg

20140419-114653.jpg

20140419-114659.jpg

20140419-114704.jpg


Evernote Smart Notebook

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.


Air Display

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


Best Productivity Apps for Your Smartphone

I often receive comments about how well I leverage my smartphone.
I don’t just use it as a phone or email device. My phone serves many functions in my daily life from secretary, scanner, telecommunications device, access to news, and keeps me on top of tasks, projects and deadlines. I believe apps are what make these small units indispensable and essential for boosting productivity and efficiency.

I currently use the iPhone 4, but many apps are available on a number of devices including Blackberry, Android, Palm. I have noted which device platforms offer the applications I have reviewed below.

I will briefly review some of my favorite and most frequently used productivity iPhone apps. Keep in mind, these are just a few to get started. I’ll be sure to feature more in a future post.

Awesome Note-This is by far my most frequently used iPhone application. Awesome Note lets you take down notes and categorizes them in custom folders.  The multiple views lets you create To Do lists, view all notes on a calendar, set reminders (with alarm) as well as geo-tag, add photos, and email the files. The interface is beautiful with a variety of templates and fonts. The thumbnail view is akin to a virtual bulletin board filled with post-it notes where you can view your To Dos, ideas, work projects, book recommendations, and more. The other feature that makes this application a must-have is the ability to sync your information into the cloud, using either Evernote or Google Docs. (You have to be on a wifi connection to sync). This means that you always have a back-up of your information and can access your lists when you’re on your computer.

JotNot Scanner Pro-For anyone who travels or occasionally works remotely. This application lets you take a photo of a document, receipt or other physical page and converts it to a PDF, JPG or PNG file.  It provides numerous options to send on the file including email, fax, send to Evernote, send to Google Docs, send to Dropbox, Send to WebDAV/iDisk, and more.  This works great if you need to get a hard copy of a document to someone and you don’t have access to a scanner or fax machine. An essential mobile office tool. *Available on Blackberry and Android.

Dragon Dictation-Dragon Dictation is a voice recognition application powered by Dragon® NaturallySpeaking® that allows you to dictate your speech to text and send on as text or email messages. They makers say that speaking is up to 5 times faster than typing, so it can also improve your efficiency. Dictation takes some getting used to, and while the software recognition is fairly good there are still times when it doesn’t process your speech correctly. Proper nouns can be especially challenging. A nice feature is that you can tap the incorrect word and it will come up with options for replacement. *Available on Blackberry and Android.

Pulse News-A great news aggregation application that lets you customize your news RSS feeds. The interface uses a grid system that showcases rows for posts from a specific site and columns for different feeds. You can send links out via email, Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites from within the application. *Available on Android.

Skype-Skype’s application lets you make and receive free calls, and have recently added the video feature. For any travel you do outside the US, or if you want to avoid racking up your phone minutes you can make free calls on 3G and wifi connection. This application also allows you to IM/Chat with your online contacts.  With the 4.0 OS multi-tasking feature you can stay signed into Skype while you’re in other applications or your phone is in standby. Your contacts can still see you’re online/signed in and can call or IM you (which comes up as a notification alert). *Available on Blackberry, Android and Palm.

NotifyMe-This is a great application for reminders. Sometimes people like to use their calendars for tasks or reminders such as making phone calls, working on a project, or a reminder to send a specific email. Nowadays many of us share our calendars with family members or colleagues so these “tasks” or reminders tend to clutter our calendars and are taking up a time frame on our calendar but aren’t really appointments. This applications lets you type in your task or reminder, as well as additional content, and alerts you when it’s due. An overdue tasks comes up in the upper right corner of the application icon (I keep this application on my homepage to ensure I don’t miss my alerts). This has an online version you can sync with and also allows you to connect with other users to put tasks on their Notify Me account.

Evernote-Another note-taking application that offers a few features that Awesome Note doesn’t (although the interface isn’t as pleasing) There is a desktop program as well as a web clipper, which lets you store content from a website you’re visiting with a touch of a button on your web browser.  You can input text, photos, and audio files. Another great feature Evernote offers is text recognition within photos. This means you can take a photo of a book cover, sign, or document and search for a part of the phrase later without having to actually create categories and tags (which it does let you do as well).  All of your clips and notes are saved in the cloud. Evernote has been featured as one of the top productivity apps on numerous websites and books. *Available on Blackberry, Android and Palm.

WordPress-A great way to blog on the go!

*Available on Blackberry and Android.

 

 

Have an app you love and want to recommend? Please post it in the comments.


A New Genre of Filmmaking

It was only a matter of time before video and video editing came to the mobile device. The next generation does just about everything else on their phone and now they can shoot HD video, edit clips, and post original movies on their favorite social networking site in a matter of minutes.

According to a recent article by CNN the iPhone 4 has just made making videos that much easier.

Which is also great news for educators who would like to post content about their school and programs on the web. You now don’t need to even purchase a digital camera with a video recording function. If you have a phone then you’re on your way to marketing your program cost-free online.

Apple even offers their own video editing application, iMovie, although many cite significant limitations in the program. One other popular third party option is ReelDirector.

I believe it is the day is just around the corner when other smartphone companies jump on the bandwagon and offer the same video features on their new devices.

A few ideas to market your program using your iPhone 4 video functions are interviewing current students about their experiences being on your campus. Even better, if you have local alumni or you are traveling abroad to recruit students meet up with former students and record a short clip of them telling prospective students how your school perpared them to secure a job and provided them the key components to launch their successful career (even better: for the interview have them seated in their office or giving a quick video tour of their company).

Take your phone to student activities, events and school (or professional) sporting events (soccer, aka “football” is a big draw for most international students). Even a short clip of what your student commons area looks like during lunchtime gives prospective students a feel of your campus.

The possibilities are endless and I can guarantee that since organic video already plays such a prominent role in our society it won’t be long before the phone application stores are filled with top-notch video editing apps.