App Review – Irishify

Today’s App Review is Irishify by Holden Ghim. To celebrate St. Patrick’s weekend I am going to do an Irish App Review. This App allows you to add Irish themed stickers to your photos to mark the day. With a choice of shamrocks, hats, text, leprechauns and more the opportunities to turn yourself green are endless.

All you have to do is take a photo or load on from your camera roll and you are ready to go. While some stickers such as flags need to be unlocked with an in-app purchase there are still plenty of stickers to choose from so you can give yourself a big ginger beard, shamrock boe-tie, leprechauns hat and then you can add in some little leprechaun friends and finish off with shamrocks. Text can also be added. You can choose to type your own text in a color of your choice or you can use some pre-made text stickers which say all kinds of things from “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” to “Kiss me I’m Irish” and of course since half the world thinks all us Irish do all day is drink you can also add in text such as “Drunky McDrunkerson” and “You look like I need a beer”.

The App has no use other than for entertainment purposes but it can be fun if you want to create some greetings for friends. All creations can be saved, shared through email, facebook and twitter and if you have a printer hooked up to your device you can also choose to print.

So why not celebrate with a picture created with the App which can be downloaded for free from HERE.

 

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App Review – The File Converter.

Today’s App Review is The File Converter by Ghost Mobile. There have been many times where I have landed myself in a situation where I have landed something in my Dropbox and left my Macbook at home without realising later that I will have to use a PC which many not be able to open a specific file created on my Mac. The most common issue I have is forgetting to export Pages documents to Word or PDF. My usual solution to this would be to open on my iOS device in Pages and export again. While this is a great and tried and tested solution I do need the Pages App. Another mistake would be forgetting to export something like a Photoshop .psd file which cannot be opened without the software itself.

The File Converter is great in situations like this and will takes files from your email or iOS device. Below are the options available.

  • Video Converter: Convert to 3GP, 3G2, AVI, FLV, MKV, MP4, MPEG-2, OGG, WEBM, and WMV
  • Document Converter: Convert to PDF, DOC, DOCX, TXT, ODT, FLASH and HTML
  • Audio Converter: Convert to MP3, OGG, WAV, WMA, AAC, FLAC, M4A, and MMF
  • E-book Converter: Convert to EPUB, MOBI, PDF, LRF, FB2, LIT, PDB, TCR
  • Archive Converter: Convert any file to ZIP, BZ2, 7Z, GZ

The App may not be one I would use all the time but definitely one that I can see saving me in emergency situations like the one described above. I can definitely see the e-book and documente conversion options being very useful.

The App costs €2.69 and can be downloaded  from HERE.

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App Review – Posing App

Today’s App Review is Posing App by Sia Mendo. I have trained and had experience as a photographer so understand how important it is to having poses in mind when going on a photoshoot. Several situations arise when your mind would go blank and you cannot figure out what to do next. The most common issue I had was that a model was in a mood where she just did not want to be there so it was a major struggle getting good photos. Now as a photography teacher I see my students facing the same problems and this App is fantastic to have for those awkward moments or even just to look at beforehand for ideas.

The App contains sets of black and white line photos showing different suggestions for poses for all groups of people including children, women, men, couples, groups, wedding and glamour. Each set contains at least 20 different examples so there are plenty to choose from. You can add any ones you like to a favorites folder to access easily later.

As an added bonus the App also includes tips and tricks where it advises on different aspects of a shoot from the basics of using lighting to making your model feel a ease. There is also advice on photographing eyes, legs, body, head and hands as well as suggestions on composition and what equipment to use and avoid in certain situations. For examples it tells you the right aperture range to use for portrait shots.

The App is definitely an asset to any photographer whether you have been at it for years or just starting out.

The App can be downloaded from HERE.

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App Review – Fluency Finder.

Today’s App Review is Fluency Finder by Lantz, Glass and Gaskins, LLC. As an ESOL (English as a Second Language) Teacher I never really know what stage my students are in their learning when they start. Students are usually varied between those that can read, write and speak English but not accurately. Some students can speak but not read and others can read and write but not speak. This App is a great help during the initial screening process and can be used after too.

Fluency finder tracks a students progress and means all records are right there on your device which cuts down on mass amounts of paper work.
To begin all you have to do is add students to the App and select an appropriate passage for them to read. This can be read from a device or you can print a copy. As the student begins to read the App times them and you can mark any mistakes they make on your device. By tapping + you indicate a student makes a mistake and – indicates that the student corrected their own mistake. After tapping finish you automatically see the results. There are different fluency levels and you can measure readings from 60-175 words per minute so it is easy to find a speed that would suit an individual student.

I have found this App to be a massive asset to my class and really enjoyed seeing the comparisons between the initial recorded results and the results in the classes final week.

The App does cost $6.99 but is great for what you get and it can be downloaded from HERE.

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App Review – Haiku Deck

Today’s App Review is Haiku Deck by Giant Thinkwell. When it comes to making presentations I have only ever used Microsoft Powerpoint or Apple’s Keynote with Keynote being my preference. I figure Keynote works so why change something that isn’t broken. I important animations and videos and may use Apps like Animoto or Video Scribe to liven them up but Keynote is always my template so when discovering Haiku Deck I wasn’t sure if it was something I would try and have or try and use after.
I have to say for a free App I am very impressed there are so many visual and text options available and I kept expecting a ‘to use this function you can purchase an in-app….” pop-up to appear but it didn’t. There were some themes that can be bought in bundle for €1.79 which I got to add some different options for myself. What I like is the simplicity of it. A picture says a thousand words and with Haiku Deck you can add backdrops from the in-app selection or choose from photos on your iPad or from your Social Media sites.

There are occasions where Haiku Deck is lacking the functionality when it comes to graphs that I get from Keynote but I am definitely going to use it for presentations and it will be a nice switch between for both me and my students who I am sure get tired after seeing hundreds of keynotes.

Once completed you can export the Haiku Deck to PDF, Powerpoint or Keynote as well as sharing via Social Media or Email and you can also embed it in a website. This accessibility to share is fantastic and leaps above what other presentation Apps offer.

Keynote will still be my default presentation creator but this App is definitely one to consider if you do a lot of presentations and are looking for something a little bit different. I will definitely be using it. It can be downloaded from HERE.

Meet Haiku Deck from adam tratt on Vimeo.

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App Review – WhatsApp Messenger.

Today’s App Review is WhatsApp Messenger by WhatsApp. When I got my first iOS device I was so excited with Apps like Ping where I could message other iOS users for free and cut my texting costs after years of paid texts and watching my character numbers so I wouldn’t get charged tons I was excited to finally have them free. This was made even better when iMessage came out and I was able to message so many more people for free without a 3rd party App. WhatsApp is a 3rd party App but perfect as it is compatible with all smart phones so you can message friends with iOS or other branded smart phones if you get them to download the free App.

The App allows you to send pictures, videos, text and more just like any normal message would and also allows group messages. The App is free and has no hidden charges. The only requirement is that you have an internet connection. However, if you do loose connection don’t worry because the App will save the messages until you get your connection back. This is one failure I found with many similar Apps.

The App is free and can be downloaded from HERE then all you have to do is get your friends to do the same and there will be no stopping you.

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App Review – Build-a-Card

Today’s App Review is Build-A-Card – Mother’s Edition by ISBX. So if like me you were too late to create and order a personlised card like those in Cards App which I reviewed yesterday I would definitely recommend trying out Build-a-Card Mother’s Day Edition. For 89cent the App allows you to insert a picture of your choice from your cameral roll or Facebook and also allows you to take a new one.

There are 20 different card templates to choose from and each one is different and original so if sending multiple they can be guaranteed to be different. After choosing your photo and template you can then add different clip-art with choices given from adding flowers to chocolates or even teddy bears. After all this is done you can also add your own text. What is handy is that the App gives you default text and all you have to do is rewrite or just edit the names. This is perfect for anyone who is stuck for words.

After your card is complete you can choose to share it via Facebook or Twitter, save it to your camera roll or email it.

Given all the different features I think this is a great deal for 89cent and hadn’t expected so many different options. Build-a-Card also have Apps for different occasions such as Christmas, Birthdays and Easter and having tried this one I will definitely consider those in the future.

To get the App you can download it from HERE and I hope everyone has a Great Mother’s Day.

 

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App Review – Cards.

Today’s App Review is Cards by Apple. With Mother’s Day tomorrow I decided to try out a cards App and after trying quite a few terrible ones (which shall remain unnamed) I stumbled across Cards by Apple. First thing before I go further is how did I never know that Apple have a Cards App? The App is pretty cool and the Cards created will be send in traditional printed form rather than email or social media. The templates are nothing too flashy but you can add in your own images from your camera roll or take some new ones and add text. When it comes to adding text the one difficult I had was that the keyboard was over the area with the text so I couldn’t see the letters I was typing and ended up having to retype due to errors.

Unlike other free Apps the selection of template isn’t limited to a small set with others being available through in-app purchases. Instead there is a large selection. Each card can be customised both inside and outside and a customised envelop. Each card costs €4.49 for Apple print off and  to send out once completed which is a bit pricey given all the euro shops we have around these days hat you can get cards from but those cards aren’t customised and having seen the quality of Apples customised calendars I would imagine these cards to be of the same high quality.

So if you have a big birthday or occasion coming up or maybe you just want to say thank you then  why not consider Apples Cards App which can be downloaded for free from HERE.

 

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App Review – Pet First Aid.

Today’s App Review is Pet First Aid by Jive Media. For every pet owner there is always the worry of an emergency situation where an animal eats what they shouldn’t or gets bitten by an insect or gets in a fight etc. Two days ago my youngest cat came in licking her lips I couldn’t figure out why until I discovered a half eaten chocolate cake the next day! By that stage she had slept it off and obviously must not be allergic to chocolate but it could have been one of those ‘oh no what do I do’ situations.

Pet First Aid App is great for instances just like this. The App is suitable for dog and cat owners and offers advice about everything from treating bites and stings, training for emergency situations such as drowning, bleeding and chocking, advice on giving pills as well as telling you what is normal for your pet when it comes to heart rate, pulse, temperature etc. As well as giving text and picture illustrations there are also great videos that you can watch.

A real bonus to this App is that you can also add in your own pets details. I don’t know how many times a vet has asked me what ear drops or flea treatments I normally use on my vet or when was their last vaccination. While I have all that info I usually forget to bring it with me so this App is a massive help.  You can also add microchip numbers in there which I never usually carry around with me.

The App is by no means a replacement to a vet so in a real emergency do get to a vet asap but it is a great resource for information.

To get the App you can download it from HERE.

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App Review – Sign language Apps

Today I am going to be generous and give two Apps instead of one. As many who have used or even heard of iOS devices know accessibility is a major feature in them and especially functions like Siri that make communicating easier. I recently stumbled across two Apps which are similar and translate text/ voice to American Sign Language.

The first App is Speech2Sign by Parkland School District. I was really excited about this App but it doesn’t seem to work. I believe it is new and the App claims that it can convert your voice into sign. What it did for me was that it converted what I said into pictures of the letters of the alphabet in sign. So I could learn the letters that would allow me to sign those words. I thought the App would be more interactive than just getting pictures which were inaccurate during each trial I gave it. I also found that there is no obvious back button or menu so if I want to try another phrase I have to quit out of the App and restart. The App is a wonderful idea and I wanted so badly for it to work but unfortunately it doesn’t on either  of the devices I tested it on (an iPhone 5 and an iPad mini) Hopefully the developers are working on this and will update the features soon so when they do you will be able to download it from HERE

The second App as mentioned above has a similar theme and translates text to American Sign Language. Marlee Signs by MEDL Mobile features deaf actress Marlee Matlin and all and guides you through various every day phrases and if you want to spell out a word in sign you have to do is type in a phrase and the App will magically translate your phrase into ASL. Unlike Speech2Sign the App produces videos of Marlees translations so you do not have to rely on having to decipher pictures.  The App is initially free and offers a free pack of videos featuring Marlee these videos cover the alphabet, numbers, everyday words, questions and conversations. It is also free to translate a word you type into sign language. As optional add-ons for €1.79 these include around you, home, around town, around the world, and baby signs.

Trying to free features I was more than a little impressed and found it so much easier to learn from videos than pictures which is the only option that many sign language Apps offer.

I would definitely recommend people trying out the App since it is free to try and then you can decide if you want the add-ons. The App can be downloaded from HERE

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