iOS eCookbook App ‘Mind Watering’ Will Have Your Mouth Watering

mind watering

I’m not the 1 who does the cooking in my family. I used to cook, though, & can fully appreciate how easy the iPad app Mind Watering makes it look, with step-by-step instructions, to create amazing meals that can easily be classified as food porn due to the presentation of the dishes alone. 

Tip: Mind Watering, which usually costs $4.99, is on sale for FREE until Wednesday. If you want to check out this inimitable app, grab it in the App Store NOW! It’s a big app with lots to download, but totally worth it for what it can give you or even just to browse.

mind watering

The stunning photos of each creation in Mind Watering, combined with the choice of dishes featured, make the Mind Watering eCookbook app food porn all on its own. Mind Watering is an outstanding eCookbook app with some absolutely amazing dishes to choose from that will have you drooling before you can say Vanilla Lavendar Creme Brûle (featured in the photo above from Mind Watering).  

However, Mind Watering is more than just a basic eCookbook. It includes visuals with absolutely everything, innovative ways to show you how to complete just 1 step in their step-by-step instructions, subtle video that shows you how some of the food looks as it is being prepared or as it cooks, & it is fully gesture-driven. 

Tip: Make sure to check out all of the photos I couldn’t fit into this review. They will be displayed in a gallery at the end of this post in all their beauty. 

Let’s dive right in & take a look at what makes Mind Watering 1 of the best examples of an eCookbook app available for iOS. 

mind watering

Upon opening the app, you are presented with a cover that says Look & Cook, which is a phrase that holds real meaning in Mind Watering. If you swipe to the right, you can read about the 2 chefs who are the minds behind Mind Watering. 

Swipe to the left from the cover when you’re ready to begin & you’ll be greeted with a black screen with red writing that introduces the 1st chapter or collection of recipes: Everyday. These are recipes that were chosen for people who need to make a quick dinner that is also unique & delicious. You can see some of the recipes from that chapter along the bottom of the photo above. 

Tip: The left/right scrolling bar (in the photo above) at the bottom of the black screen won’t be there automatically. Just pull up from the bottom of the screen to access this feature that acts both as a table of contents & a speedy navigator through the whole book. 

mind watering

Just like the recipes in the rest of the book, the recipes chosen for Everyday are not the same one’s that you’d find in your average cookbook. Especially a cookbook on quick dinners. Nothing is made in a crockpot & everything is extraordinary, in the true sense of that word (strange & wonderful). 

On the black page, you can tap the centered + button to see an overview of all the recipes in the Everyday collection (photo above). The red title-text of the recipe is also a link to jump right to that recipe. When you choose another chapter, using the scrollable bar I mentioned above the photo in the “tip,” you can also press the + button for an overview of that collection of recipes. 

Before you stop reading & decide that this app is filled with strange things you’d never eat, I ask you to give the app a try. Sure, I’m a foodie & I’ll try just about any food. The more different, the better. If you’re not a foodie, though, I guarantee that you will still get something out of Mind Watering. 

Even if you can’t find 1 recipe you’d like to try (which I find hard to believe), Mind Watering is filled with tips for cooking, step-by-step directions on how to do everything (some steps have steps), & it is simply beautiful. That alone should be enough for a download. Beautiful food, even if we won’t cook it ourselves, can inspire us to stretch our food boundaries the way beautiful art inspires our lives. So, read on.

mind watering

Using the scrollable bar I told you about (in the last “tip,” before I started ranting about giving things a try), just swipe your way through the whole listing of what’s included (50+ recipes) or select a chapter by tapping a word above to jump right to that section in the scroll-bar. Find something you want to take a look at? Tap it & an image will pop up before your very eyes. 

What you will see is a full-screen presentation of the finished & divine-looking recipe (even more divine on a Retina screen iPad). 

Not what you’re looking for? You can either open the bottom scroller up again, or you can just start swiping right & left to flip through the book of title images that are just like the 1 in the photo above. 

Exactly what you’re looking for? Then, tap the circular Look & Cook button in the lower, right-hand corner to enter the exciting & interactive world of that recipe. 

mind watering

mind watering

The world of each recipe begins with the Look part of Look & Cook. The 1st image you’ll see is a bird’s eye view of a table covered in all the ingredients to make that recipe (photos above). Who knew a collection of ingredients arranged in such ways could be so artful. 

In the bottom, left of the tabletop image is a little box that gives you some useful information about that recipe. It tells you how many people it will serve, how much time it will take to prepare, & how much time it will take to cook. That way you know before you dive in if this recipe is even going to work for you.

Tip: If at any time in either the Look or Cook section of a recipe you’d like to get out of it & look for something else, just tap the Back arrow in the upper, left corner of the screen.

mind watering

mind watering

For some recipes, the tabletop is the only Look image. Other recipes include more images of the finished products (check out the Truffles, seriously). Some recipes pair a glimpse at part of the finished product with cooking tips or a quote (top photo), & others have just a page of text to give you information you need to know before you start cooking. 

You can just keep swiping left through the Look section until you come upon the Cook section or you can tap the word Cook in the top, right corner of the screen. That will take you directly to the 1st page of the Cook section, which starts with the recipe page. 

mind watering

The recipe page (example in photo above) is what you’d expect, although it’s minimalistic use of color & the clean fonts make even this look just perfect. I love how they made the text part of the page resemble the shape an old-fashioned recipe card. They made good use of the framing around the recipe card to give you navigational control & to always remind you of the name of what you’re cooking. 

Tip: Don’t worry overly much about reading the whole recipe. Make sure you have all the ingredients. The rest of the pages in the Cook section will walk you through all of it. 

From the recipe page, you can email the recipe to someone either from the top, left corner, or the bottom, right corner where it is accompanied by social networks Facebook & Twitter for more ways to share what you’re cooking or ogling. 

You can also turn on the voice activation from this page, or any of the Cook pages. Just tap it & from then on, you can turn the pages to go through each step in the recipe just by giving voice commands. You say “Next” to go to the next page & “Back” to go to the previous page. This gives you total hands-free control of the app so you don’t need to worry about getting your iPad dirty while you’re cooking. 

You can alternatively navigate to the rest of the steps in the Cook section either by swiping left or by tapping the number of the step at the very bottom of the card. 

mind watering

mind watering

mind watering

However you navigated, here’s what comes next. Each of the numbered steps is on a page of its own with a photo that illustrates what that step looks like. There are 3 other types of illustrative devices used often to better help you understand what you should be doing & what it should look like. 

  • Video photos (top photo): Some photos will have a little video camera in the top, right corner. There’s nothing you have to push to watch. It just means that that photo is on a video loop. It will show you, in the top photo’s example, what your rising bread looks like as it’s baking, so you know just how brown it should be when it’s time to take it out. There are several examples of this throughout the recipes.
  • Grouped photos (middle photo): Photos are sometimes grouped together to further break down a task that you do in 1 step. They are numbered to let you know what you should do 1st, 2nd, etc. Again, this shows you exactly what you should be doing, which is useful with complicated techniques or tasks you have never done before. 
  • Stacked photos (bottom photo): This time there is also more than 1 photo being used to illustrate a broken down task, but with this example, the photos are all as large as the 1 you 1st see. To see the next step illustrated, you must press the next letter on the photo. This is useful when small, grouped photos might be too small, but when a task really needs to be broken done illustratively. 

There may be other examples that I missed because I didn’t look at absolutely every recipe, but these 3 seemed to be the most common tools used. 

mind watering

A note for people who find the text too small to read: If you just tap anywhere on the text in 1 of the steps, you will then see a page like the 1 in the photo above. The picture gets smaller & the text gets bigger making it easier to read. To go back to the bigger picture option, just tap the photo. 

Do you notice the oddly raised look to the time measurement for how long something should bake in the instructions above? I did too. And, you know me. If there’s a button, I will push it. 

mind watering

When you press a number that is an increment of time, a timer pops up (photo above). This handy integrated feature lets you set a timer for the length given in the recipe, start it, & then you can take your iPad with you while you take a well-deserved break. That way, you never have to worry about not hearing the oven timer, because the timer has come with you in the form of your easy to tote iPad. 

I think that concludes our tour of Mind Watering. Hope you enjoyed the ride & are planning to visit on your own. With the feature-set included in this app, you’d be silly not to try it all out on your own. 

Whether you are a foodie like me who will try any of these recipes, or a reluctant trier of new things who could use some inspiration, or just a food porn enjoyer, Mind Watering is an app to meet all of those needs. 

The flawless development of every feature in the app make using Mind Watering a delight to use & never a frustration. The intuitive gesture-based navigation will get you where you want to go in no time & also no frustration. And, the gorgeous, mouth-watering photos on almost every page of Mind Watering is the icing on the torte (cake sounded too mundane after looking at this app). 

If those 3 reasons alone are not enough to get you racing to the App Store to download Mind Watering, I don’t know what else to say. You’ve got me at a loss for words, which you know never happens. 

With that, I end. Oh, but stay tuned after my sign-off for the gallery of photos I couldn’t fit into today’s review. 

That’s it for me today. Until later, … 

Mind Watering Gallery

mind watering

Let’s start with the overviews of each collection/chapter. 

mind watering

mind watering

mind watering

mind watering

mind watering

mind watering

Now, Just Random Yummy Photos

mind watering

mind watering

mind watering

mind watering

mind watering

Contaqs Is the Contacts Manager You’ve Been Looking For

Contaqs

I spent a great deal of time recently looking for a contacts manager. I have close to 150 contacts & I just wanted a better way to organize them, search them, & use them than Apple’s Contacts app. 

There are a ton of contacts managers & many of them are FREE or have FREE versions to try before you buy. Many of them integrate social functions like adding recent Facebook updates or Tweets, but I decided this was not a feature I needed. I think I may have downloaded just about all of the available FREE apps & a few paid ones to boot. 

Well, I finally hit the jackpot with Contaqs – the Contact Manager. It has absolutely everything I was looking for & more that I didn’t know I wanted until I got it. 

There is no FREE version of Contaqs to try, so I just had to take a leap & hope that Contaqs was a good app. My leap paid off in a big way. 

ContaqsContaqs

Contaqs is a universal app (photos above show main view on iPad & iPhone). There are very few contacts managers that are universal, so this is really quite a bonus feature for Contaqs. 

There are so many features packed into this “enhanched address book” that it is hard to know where to start. 

Let’s start with searching, which is the 1st thing you do when you open your Contacts app anyway. 

The list view (photos above) is quite beautiful & elegant, especially compared to the bare bones Apple Contacts list view. Contacts are displayed on mini-profile cards with their photo in a little circle & their main information available right on the card. 

If you’re just looking for a phone number or email address, you don’t even have to open the profile to find it in Contaqs. It’s right there on the mini-profile. 

Contaqs

Searching for someone in Contaqs is super easy. Just click the 3 lines in the top, left corner to open up the options menu.

From this menu, you can do just about everything. For searching, you can always just type the name into the search bar at the top of just about any screen & find the person easily. But, if you can’t happen to remember the name of the person you’re searching for, you’re in luck. 

There are also about a billion ways to search for people without knowing exactly who you’re looking for. Contaqs calls these Smart Lists & there are many of them. 

You can search for people using everything from family relationship & nickname to city & zip code. You can also search for all the contacts you have that have a birthday in their profile or all the contacts that don’t have an email or address listed, etc. You can even search for all the people who don’t have images in their profile. 

Contaqs puts badges after all the “without” Smart Lists, so you know exactly how many people you’re sorting through before you choose that list. 

Contaqs

One thing the iPhone version has that the iPad version is missing (at least I can’t find it) is a filter available from the main view of the contacts. 

The filter is located under the 3 lines that opens the options menu. When you press it, you get a list like the 1 in the photo. You can sort your contacts by everything from first & last name to company & city, plus many more. 

This filter then reorders your contacts list according to the filter you chose. 

The other thing the iPhone version has that the iPad does not makes a lot of sense. It has a Keypad accessible through the options menu. This allows you to directly dial your iPhone & make a call without leaving the app. 

I think my only wish for Contaqs is that when you finish making a call, texting someone, or sending an email, you would be returned to the place you were at in the app. I noticed this feature in 1 or 2 of the other apps I tested & I really liked it, but you can’t have everything. I’ll take Contaqs lovely user interface & seamless contacts management over my little wish any day. 

Contaqs

One last way to find people is by location. You can either search for all the contacts you have that are nearby (which brings up a map with the contacts listed to the left) or you can just bring up a map with pins on it locating all the contacts you have that have an address (photo above). 

Just click on any pin to see who the person is & click on the blue arrow to got to their profile information. You can even search for a specific person in the search bar, as long as that person has an address listed in their profile. 

ContaqsContaqs

Now that you’re done searching & have found the person you’re looking for, let’s look at how you can interact with the mini-profiles. 

When you’re just in the list view of contacts, the quickest way to get ahold of somebody is by swiping right on their little profile. This will open up an elegant little menu (left photo) that gives you the options of calling them, emailing them, & texting them. 

When you tap 1 of those options, you are taken to the appropriate Apple app that does that function (Phone, Email, Messages). Calls are made immediately. No dialing necessary. Texts & emails are started with that person’s information entered (if they have more than 1 way to contact them by a certain method, a pop-up of those options will come up for you to choose which 1 you want). 

You can also swipe to the left on the little profiles in list view. This brings up 2 options (right photo). The top option will create an email with that person’s contact information in a convenient card format ready to send to whomever. The bottom option lets you edit that person’s profile information. 

ContaqsContaqs

If you’d rather just view a person’s entire profile, just tap on their name in the list view to bring it up. 

The profiles have a cool little feature that lets you see the entire photo of the person instead of just the little circle. Just grab the circle & pull down to make the photo above it grow larger (left photo). 

Another neat feature available in the profile view is a button to add the person to your home screen. Pressing it brings up a web page in Safari with a square photo icon & the person’s name. From there, you just follow the directions to add the button to your iDevice’s home screen. 

That means that you then don’t even have to open Contaqs to contact that person. You just press the icon on your home screen to call the person & it also opens that person’s profile in Contaqs. 

You can also edit a person’s profile from the profile view. Just click the pencil to start editing (right photo). This brings up all the fields that are available in Apple’s Contacts app & lets you add a photo if you have 1. 

Contaqs

There are 3 main ways to view your contacts in Contaqs. Just open the options menu to choose whether to view your Favorites, all your Contacts, or Groups of contacts. There are badges next to each 1 to tell you how many people or groups are in each view. 

ContaqsContaqs

Putting people into groups is very easy. You can press & hold on a contact in the list view & just drag them up to a group (left photo), if you have groups already made. You can also drag them to the delete button to get rid of them. 

Additionally, you can press the pencil in the list view & tap the circle next to each name you want to put in a group. Then, you just press the word Contacts at the top of the screen to bring up a menu that lets you add the selected people to a group, to Favorites, or just contact those people using email or text (right photo). You can also Copy the selected people & Send their information to others via email.

If you need to create groups from scratch, just go to the Groups view from the options menu & choose Add Group at thee bottom of the screen. Creating groups is great if you frequently need to contact a group of people all at once or for finding people quickly based on group affiliation. 

Contaqs

Oh no! I forgot to tell you how to add a new contact. I guess that’s a pretty basic thing you’ll need to do. 

Creating a new contact is as simple as pressing the + button in the top, right corner of almost any screen. You can also open the options menu & choose New Contact right at the top of the list. Then, just enter the information & click the checkmark to finish. 

Contaqs

There are 3 more features in Contaqs that are both essential & cool. 

Near the bottom of the options menu you’ll find the selection to Backup your contacts list. Backing up your contacts list is relatively quick & creates a file that you can email to yourself as an attachment & save somewhere in case you ever lose your iDevice or for some other reason lose your contacts. 

Below the Backup option is an option to Remove Duplicates. This cool feature scans your contact list & alerts you to any duplicates that exist. You can then choose what you want to delete. 

Contaqs

The last feature is just plain cool & quite a bonus feature for a contacts manager.

Contaqs has several ways to keep track of the birthdays of your contacts. You can see all the birthdays you have added to your contacts in list form by selecting Birthdays in the options menu. You can also just view Upcoming Birthdays to see birthdays that are happening soon.

But, the best way to view birthdays in Contaqs is using the Birthday Calendar (photo above). You can flip through the months & see everyone who has a birthday in a given month. Click on the day that has a picture on it & the contact information for that person pops up under the calendar. It’s really very cool!

Contaqs

The very last selection in the options menu is Settings. The Settings menu has loads of useful things you can set for your preferences for Contaqs. 

The 1st thing in Settings is Accounts. This shows you which accounts you have linked to your contacts (like iCloud or Exchange). You can choose to have Contaqs show all the contacts in every account or just the contacts in a certain account. 

Secondly, you can choose which of the 3 main views Contaqs opens to: Favorites, Groups, or Contact list. On the iPhone, you can also choose to have the app open to the Keypad, instead. 

Under My Contact, you can choose which contact is yours by selecting from the list under Set My Contact. 

Turn on the Birthday Reminder to have Contaqs alert you when a contact’s birthday is nearing. Once you turn it on, you can choose the reminder time, day, & sound of the alert tone. 

Deleting the cache can really save you some space in the memory footprint of the app. 

Under the Support section, you’ll find frequently asked questions, what’s new in the most recent update, a walkthrough for the app (which I guess you don’t need now), & a link to send suggestions to the developer. 

Phew! That was quite the walkthrough! If there’s a feature I missed telling you about in Contaqs, I just won’t believe it. 

It was a long, hard search to find a contacts manager that met all of my expectations, but Contaqs made it all worth it. Contaqs is beautiful to look at, easy to use, & has features that make keeping in touch with your family & friends fun. Take the leap & try Contaqs today. 

That’s it for me today. Until later, … 

Posts: My New Essential Blogging Tool For the iPad?

PostsIt’s not often that I get to write a review about an app as I’m using it. Actually, that never happens. But, today I’m using a new blogging app called Posts for the iPad.

As you may already know from the marking at the end of every 1 of my blogs, I am a steadfast user of Blogsy for writing & publishing my blogs (I don’t own a computer, only an iPad). In fact, I have forgotten how to blog using WordPress’ own app or the browser. I would be lost if I had to post a blog that way. Blogsy has been the only way I’ve done my blog since soon after I began. (Here’s my review of Blogsy from last year).

I have an excellent relationship with the Blogsy developers & really have few complaints about the app as a whole. But, as always, there are a few things on my wish list that are not in Blogsy. Some things I didn’t even know I wanted until today.

Yesterday, Posts went FREE temporarily (as of right now, the $10 app is still FREE). It was on my AppShopper Social Wish List, along with about a billion other apps. This is the 1st sale that Posts has had. So, I grabbed it up & had time to play with it immediately.

I have to say, I am awed, stunned & completely impressed! I still love Blogsy, but Posts may be my new essential tool for blogging.

Enough about me & my tale. Let’s get to reviewing Posts!

PostsPosts is made by Apple Design Award-winning developer Pico & it’s easy to see how design is central to their philosophy in Posts.

The app is laid out with mini-pages instead of a list-view of past posts. The mini-pages are organized by date, making it extremely easy to find past posts. If for some reason you can’t find a post, you can always search by keyword & look on a little calendar where every day you’ve posted is highlighted with a dot.

A note about the keyword searching, which has been on my wish list for Blogsy for some time: Posts’ internal search engine is so sophisticated I am swooning. Usually, if I search the word Blogsy online on my blog, every single post comes up because it is tagged on the end of every post. Posts’ search engine somehow found my Blogsy review in an instant with just the word “Blogsy” as my search criteria. No idea how it does that, but I’m in LOVE!

PostsPosts supports the WordPress (self-hosted or hosted by WordPress) & Blogger platforms. You can even manage multiple blogs in Posts all from 1 centralized spot. With just a glance, you’ll know everything you need to know about all of your blogs.

If you don’t already have a blog, you can start 1 in Posts, too.

In the settings (gear icon), you can set up 2nd or 3rd, etc. blogs, decide how many posts you want the app to sync with, pick your sync mode & see how much storage space the app is taking up. This is where you would delete a blog account, as well.

The devil is in the details in Posts. I like that you can even choose the color of the little labels on the corner of the mini-pages & the dots on the calendar.

PostsBesides keeping track of all your past posts, drafts, Pages & submissions, Posts lets you manage comments right from within the app!

Posts keeps track of all your unread comments with a badge to let you know just how many that is. You can approve, trash, or mark as spam any comment. Plus, you can reply to comments & even see the post being commented on in seconds by pressing the eye icon (upper, right corner).

Tip: You can even see how many comments you have on each post with red badges at the bottom of the mini-pages for each post that has a comment.

This little bonus feature of Posts really pushed my in-loveness factor over the edge. Managing comments in the Safari browser on the iPad is just undoable for WordPress. It takes forever, if it gets done at all. That means moving to the WordPress app to manage comments, which is all I use the app for. Posts’ comment management makes all of that unnecessary & makes Posts all that much more essential to me.

PostsBut, let’s get to the writing of posts, which is really what a blogging app is all about.

Writing a blog post in Posts (which I’m doing right now) is dreamy. It actually feels just like using a word processor. You don’t have to worry about HTML (unless you want to). And, you can pull in photos & lay out your post just like it will look when it gets published.

Tip: To get to the editing view of a previously published post, just click the pencil icon (upper, right side).

PostsIn fact, you can even do a live preview (at right) of how your post will look by pressing that eye icon again. That takes you to a web view of your post even while you’re writing it. No more publishing & then catching mistakes in text & photos. You can do a preview & see exactly where everything will be placed when you publish.

This is amazing for the anal-retentive (and ex-copy editors, like myself). With the preview, you can see if paragraphs are dangling in an ugly way under photos or if that reference you make to a photo at right really is to the right of the text.

When you’re done looking at the preview, just hit the back button to go back to writing. It literally takes seconds. I’ve gone back & forth between the 2 like 20 times already!

PostsFormatting your text is simple. There are the quick buttons at the top of the screen to bold, italicize, center, etc., your text, or you can press the Font style button to get a pop-up menu with more options.

From the pop-up, you can change the style of the text (headings, body text, etc.), choose a font & change the size & color of your text. There is even a button to remove all formatting if you change your mind after doing a lot of changes.

Tip: There is, of course, an Undo button in the top, left corner that has multiple numbers of undos.

The button to embed a link in text is also at the top of the screen (looks like chain links). It also brings up a little pop-up menu where you paste the link in or (wait for it) search your past posts for a page to link to! I do so many links to past posts that this feature will save me an immense amount of time! The pop-up is also where you choose whether the link opens in a new tab & what text pops up when people hover over the link.

Tip: If you get a link in Safari & open up Posts, when you highlight some text, it will actually offer to paste the link in for you, which is extremely cool!

The last 2 buttons at the top of the screen let you add a page break (where it says “Read more” & then provides a link) & a button to indent or outdent the text for pull-out quotes. (Outdent is something Blogsy is missing. If you set a pull-out quote & change your mind in Blogsy, you’re kind of screwed).

PostsPostsThe other big thing, of course, when writing posts is inserting photos. Photo management in Posts is phenomenal!

All you do to pull in a photo is place your cursor where you want the photo to appear & hit the photo button (top, right corner). This brings up a pop-up menu for your Photo Library that you’re probably familiar with.

But, that little pop-up does something else amazing.

It’s a mini-browser! You can switch from Media to URL & enter any web address for an image or video or enter an address for a Flickr, Vimeo, or YouTube image or video & that’s what will appear in your post!

(Sorry about all the exclamation marks, but I’m excited) You can even preview the image or video in the pop-up before you insert it.

Once an image is on the page, you can resize it by dragging the corners, just like in Pages, or you can open the image Inspector by tapping the image & choosing it (or click the little “i” in the bottom, left corner of the image). If you do drag from the corners, make sure you keep the aspect ratio because Posts does not keep it when you change the size this way.

The image inspector lets you set a specific size, choose the way text wraps around the image & write a cutline.

Now, the really, really, really cool thing for me that Posts can do, but Blogsy cannot, is run photos side-by-side.

Due to the fact that Blogsy supports so many blogging platforms & some do not allow side-by-side photos, you can’t place photos next to each other in Blogsy.

In Posts, you can! After 1 photo is in place, just place your cursor in the same place & pull in another photo. You just have to make sure that you size the photos with enough space for each other. Otherwise, they won’t run next to each other.

PostsOnce you are done writing & formatting (or before you start, whichever you choose), you can open the Post Properties settings (the “i” next to the photos icon in the top, right corner). This is where you set the title, slug & excerpt for your post, choose which tags & categories to put it in, set the post format, make it a sticky post & decide if you want to allow comments & pings. This is also where you choose if it is a draft & whether to make it public or private.

Tip: If, for some reason, you need to look at the HTML of the a post before posting, just click the HTML button from the editing screen (top, right corner).

PostsTo publish a post, just click Done. A pop-up menu will give you several options, including Publish (or Update if the post is already published). You can save drafts locally or online, which is very cool.

Conclusion

Now, after all this good, you might think that making the decision to change to Posts is already made. But, there are a few negatives in all this goodness.

I think my biggest annoyance is that when writing, you can only go about 1 sentence-space down under what you’re writing & as you write, you have to keep moving the screen up. It doesn’t give you much room to write & you’re constantly having to move the screen to see what you’re writing.

Another thing I noticed is that there are a few times when there are some inconsistencies in the writing process. For instance, when I started writing this post, all the paragraphs looked like they had no space in-between them. But, when I closed the app & reopened it, this ccorrected itself. Also, at times, when I brought in a photo, there would be an enormous amount of space underneath a photo. All I had to do to fix this was delete the photo & bring it in again.

The last little annoyance is that when writing, you cannot scroll through a blog easily because every time you touch a photo, it stops you & starts to bring up the pop-up menu.

These 3 things, though, are really quite small & so easily fixed that I am tempted just to overlook them & move on over to Posts.

UPDATE: Now that I’ve posted, I want to add that there is no space added around photos when you place them to the right or left of text & Posts does not support cutlines in WordPress, apparently.

Really, the one thing I’d miss a great deal in switching from Blogsy to Posts is a word count. If a word count exists in Posts, I can’t find it. In case you hadn’t noticed, I write a lot! So, I like to keep track of how long I’ve gone in case I’ve gone completely bonkers & need to stop.

I plan to contact the developers with my few concerns, keep using Posts for now to see how it goes & I guess the decision will make itself.

UPDATE: Contacted the developer, who seems very nice, & was told that all of these issues are planning to be addressed in future updates.

However you feel about your current blogging method, if you have an iPad, you just have to try Posts right now. It’s FREE! What do you have to lose?

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

Dr. Seussisms That Rock

Okay, this is in no way a technology infographic. That said, I'm running it anyway, because it is foundational to how I live my life & how this blog gets run. I'm sure if we get creative, we can even apply some of these to iOS & iDevices, if not apps. But, suffice it to say, these are some must-reads & I'd feel just crappy if I didn't run it.

oneSafe Is My New eWallet/Password App & It Should Be Yours, Too

oneSafe

oneSafe is stuffed full of usefulness.

oneSafe – Secure Password Manager & Data Vault (universal, $5.99) is my new eWallet/password manager & it is so absolutely fabulous that I must tell you all about it so you can start using it too.

Don't let the price-tag scare you. It is actually extremely economical for these types of apps, especially since it is universal. However, if you're on the fence, the developer has decided to give away a few promo codes to iOS Affairs readers. If you're interested in trying oneSafe after you read all about it, leave me a message in the comments or send me an email & I'll send promo codes to the 1st few lucky readers on a 1st come, 1st served basis.

oneSafe

oneSafe is a password keeper, eWallet & private document protector, all in 1.

oneSafe has won many awards & received much praise from the app reviewing community. It is even listed as 1 of the Best Password Keeping Apps by AppAdvice.

So, what is oneSafe? It is an app secured by military-grade encryption that stores all of your confidential information (passwords, credit cards, documents, etc.) using 1 password.

Instead of having to remember all of your passwords, you just have to remember 1 password & oneSafe remembers the rest.

oneSafe

oneSafe offers 3 different types of passwords for you to choose from when setting up the app for the 1st time. You can choose between a simple 4-digit numerical code, a visual code (where you draw lines among 9 dots) & an alphanumeric code, which is the most secure using numbers, letters & special characters.

oneSafe

You can even set a 2nd password for information that you really want protected. This “double protection” section of the app is perfect for things like credit cards & other financial information.

Once you have your password selected, you're ready to enter oneSafe & begin setting it up. oneSafe offers loads of customizations so you can keep your information stored any way you choose.

When you open the app, there are sections for Computer, Wallet, Work & Documents already set up, but you can rename, reorganize, or delete any of these categories & come up with ones that suit your lifestyle better, if you choose.

oneSafe

Using iCloud, you can keep all your devices running oneSafe in-sync.

You can also choose to turn on iCloud & use it to keep all of the devices you have oneSafe installed on in sync. That way, when you make changes or additions on one 1 device, you need only sync to have the changes reflected on all your devices. This cuts down significantly on data entry.

oneSafe

Adding information to oneSafe is easy enough, though, with more than 100 preset templates that not only make it easy to enter your information, but also makes it easy to keep track of & appealing to look at.

All information is stored on credit card-shaped cards with additional space underneath the card when you are focused in on it for phone numbers, notes & web links. This is a handy place to store phone numbers in case you lose your actual card.

To begin adding things like passwords and credit cards, you just go to the section you want the information to be stored in & press the + sign. This brings up a New Card menu that gives you the option of choosing a template to use, taking a picture of an actual card with the camera, or importing items from iTunes or your Photo Library, which is great for bringing in documents & photos (Pages, Word, Excel, PDF).

oneSafe

Choosing a template to use is a breeze. Templates are organized into 3 categories: Wallet & admin for cards, IDs, bank accounts, etc.; Username/password for web accounts, emails, etc.; & All-purpose templates.

There are sub-categories within each category & there is a search option where you can just type in the word for the template you're looking for.

There are already specific templates made for the most common sites, like Facebook & Twitter, major email providers, credit card companies & banks & the like. These templates are colored to look like the websites or companies that they represent, so they'r'e easy to find when you're looking through all your cards.

oneSafe

If you don't like the look of a card, just choose a different look. When you are focused in on a card (like in the photo below), there are 3 tabs to the side of the card on the iPad (on the iPhone, the tabs are along the bottom of the screen): a star to add the card to your Favorites section, Actions that allow you to send the card by email or duplicate it & Card options that let you change the look of the card.

The choices for changing the card's visual style are plentiful & are organized into categories like Colorful, Grayscale & High tech/Geek.

Just scroll through the options and tap the 1 that you want your card to look like. It's that simple.

oneSafe

A really neat little detail that I love is that you can also bring a photo/icon onto each card. Just click the little square where a photo goes (where the magnifying glass is) & oneSafe does a quick Google Image Search based on the name you have entered for that card.

Then, you just select which image you want to use & like magic, you have an authentic-looking card with official logo & all!

oneSafe

The in-app browser is completely private.

oneSafe is able to do the Google Image Search because the app also has an ultra-secure, private in-app browser. This is very handy because it means that you can open up websites like Amazon or your bank account right from oneSafe & enter your log-in information without having to remember it while going to Safari or copying & pasting it.

The browser doesn't leave behind cookies & there is no history.

When you are focused in on a card, just press the little arrow to the right of a website name to launch the private in-app browser to that specific website. Once in the browser, you can click the eye icon (upper, right) & up will pop your log-in information (like in the photo above).

You can even have oneSafe log in for you. When you are in the log-in box for any site, just tap the chain icon next to the eye icon & it will give you the option of entering your user ID &/or your password with just a tap. It's super fast, easy & cool! This is especially useful for long passwords that you just don't want to type in or are hard to remember.

If you don't want to use the in-app browser, you can just click on the password you need on any card & choose to copy it so that you can then paste it into the window in Safari.

Some other great features of oneSafe include:

+ Back-up all of your information regularly with the touch of a button & keep it stored somewhere (it's encrypted & needs a passcode to unlock) so that if you ever lose your device, you can restore oneSafe with ease. You can even choose to have the app remind you to do regular back-ups from the Settings menu.

oneSafe

+ Customize the look of each section of the app. Just tap edit & then tap the square next to “Choose a motif for the category.” This will pop up options from plain & conservative to fun & colorful (my favorite is at left).

The options for motifs are different on the iPad & iPhone. (The iPhone also has an optional shelving look, too, that I love & wish were on the iPad.)

+ Set up an additional password for any section of the app under the same area where you name & describe the section.

+ Mark cards you use the most as Favorites (using the star) & look for them in the Favorites section, which groups them all together.

+ Move cards between sections easily, duplicate cards & put them in multiple sections & move multiple cards at a time using the Edit button in each section.

+ Keep track of attempts to break in to oneSafe with a setting that displays break-in attempts as a badge on the app.

+ There is a user guide in the Settings section that can tell you anything I may have missed. The only downside to the user guide is that it takes you to the app's website in Safari instead of staying inside the app.

+ Seach your entire database from the Search section.

For those of you wondering about that military-grade encryption, here's a photo that describes in detail the security behind oneSafe:

oneSafe

oneSafe is just a gem of an app with so many features, I couldn't possibly list them all here. If you have any questions about oneSafe, feel free to leave a comment & I'll elaborate. And, don't forget to send me an email or leave a comment if you'd like to get oneSafe for FREE with a promo code from the developer.

Supplies are limited, so speak up now or you'll just have to go spend the $6 for oneSafe. With all of the features I've mentioned though, combined with the fact that it is a universal app, you cannot find a better deal on an app of this kind.

That's it for me today. Until later, …

Little Inferno Combines Arson, Chemistry for Fun

Little Inferno

I know a lot of you like the game My Laboratory. I know because you search for it & read that review a LOT! Today, I’m going to tell you about another game that uses chemistry-like combinations to create big fun. It’s called Little Inferno (HD universal game here).

Little Inferno is a lot more complex than My Laboratory. But, deep down, the premise is very similar.

LIttle Inferno

The story of Little Inferno involves your new ownership of a Little Inferno fireplace set. You just received it. Now it’s time to set things on fire. You don’t know why. You don’t know where you really are. You don’t really know a whole lot. You really don’t know what that face in the back of your fireplace is.

Little Inferno

But soon, you’ll be lighting stuff on fire with abandon & loving it without question. As you play, you unlock videos that tell more of the story (which I’m not going to reveal here) & letters from your neighbor (& others) who also owns a Little Inferno come regularly (you can burn those, too).

Little Inferno

You start out with a certian amount of money to buy things to burn out of a catalog. Each item costs a certain amount of money, but will create even more money when you burn it. That’s how you make money. You buy things. Burn them. Money comes out of them as they burn. You collect the money. You buy more things to burn.

There are little spiders that come crawling around, too. Tap on them to earn a little extra money.

Little Inferno

You’ll get new catalogs to buy things out of as you progress.

Now, you’ll be surprised how this in & of itself is fun. I’m not kidding. I have no arsonist tendencies, but each of the things you burn do funny things & watching them burn is fun.

Little Inferno

But, that’s not where this story ends. The fun really comes (& extra money & new catalogs) when you start figuring out combinations of things to burn together to meet the Combo requirements. All you get is a title (like Seafarers COMBO) & you have to figure out which things to burn together to get that COMBO.

This is where Little Inferno is a lot like My Laboratory. You must figure out what 2 or 3 things combined together create another thing. Little Inferno just adds some destruction to the process.

If you get stuck, there’s a terrific walkthrough that give you hints or outright tells you the answers to each of the combos.

This is really a beautiful game graphically. The story is compelling. And, you get to light things on fire for fun.

So, get crackling (excuse the bad pun).

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

Mosaic Creator Only Way To Go Mosaic

Mosaic Creator

Close-up shows all the photos that make up this fox.

I see just a ton of apps in the App Store for creating mosaics out of your photos. Most are just pieces of crap (excuse my language). But, they are.

Most mosaic creators use stock photos or just colored tiles to create really bad mosaics of a photo of your choice.

Mosaic Creator is not like that. You won't get that from the reviews of this app, which are very poor. But, when I want to create an amazing mosaic (a real one, made up of all my photos), Mosaic Creator is the only way I do it.

Mosaic Creator

Set the tile size with a slider.

I've used Mosaic Creator with both my iPad's (1 & 3) & with both my iPhone's (4 & 5). I've NEVER had any crashing issues despite the fact that the app warns that it is an issue if you have too many photos or you try to create too detailed a mosaic. I always create the most detailed mosaic & use all my photos (about 5,000).

When you open the app, the instructions for use are right there. No guessing on how to use this app! You can open the Options menu up to set a few preferences & choose how big or small you want your tiles to be using a slider. The smaller the tiles, the smaller the tiles.

You can also choose whether the app adapts colors to make the main photo look more realistic (which means your little tile photos will be toned a certain color, but it makes the overall effect better). There are also options to let the app use photos multiple times & to prioritize high-contrast areas. Play around & see what you like best.

Mosaic Creator

Choosing your photos ...

There is a little trick with Mosaic Creator. If you just choose a photo and click Start, the app often tells you that you have not chosen any photos as a source (the Tiles), even though every album can be selected. I just go through my albums in the Photo Library section & unclick most of them, unclick the Camera Roll & click it again. This seems to work to make the app recognize that I have selected photos as a source for the big photo that I choose.

You cannot select individual pictures to use as tiles, but you could make an album of the photos you want to use & then just choose that album as the source of the tiles.

The next task is to select which photo you want made into a mosaic. Just click the Photo button to see your Photo Library & choose which photo you want. Then, click Start.

Mosaic Creator

Watch Mosaic Creator in action.

You can then close the app & let everything happen in the background. Mosaic Creator will notify you when your mosaic is done. It can take a few minutes if you choose small tiles &/or if you choose a lot of photos as source tiles.

But, I think you're missing a lot of the fun if you close the app during the process. Half the fun is watching your image materialize before your eyes. Each & every tile that makes up the big photo in the mosaic is a little piece of your Photo Library. A little piece of your life.

Mosaic Creator

The final outcome ...

When Mosaic Creator's done, you get a really cool image made up of all the pieces of your life that you selected from your Photo Library. You can zoom in on the image & see each & every little photo that is making up the whole image (like in the very top photo of this post).

I think there's a metaphor in there, but it's very early & I can't quite grasp it :)

Mosaic Creator is a great example of learning how to read App Store reviews. Sometimes they can be very helpful & warn you away from a bad app. But, sometimes they are just full of people who can't figure out how to use the app or don't know how to use their device. Mosaic Creator reviewers, I think, are for the most part in the latter category.

Learning to read App Store reviews is an art, not a science.

So, if you want to create a mosaic, you can trust Mosaic Creator to make you a memorable one that will stand the tests of time.

That's it for me today. Until later, …

Mad Libs Meet Digital Age

Mad Libs

Mad Libs app for kids (and big kids).

Adult Mad Libs

I’m feeling awfully silly this morning, so I decided to spread the silliness with a review of the official Mad Libs and Adult Mad Libs apps for iOS. Both apps are universal, meaning they can be played on the iPad, iPhone & iPod.

Mad Libs

Random Mad Libs facts …

I’ll go out on a limb here in thinking that most of you know what Mad Libs are. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 30 years, Mad Libs is a game where you are given a story with blanks that you fill in with random words & it ends with hilarity.

The only difference between the Mad Libs app & the Adult Mad Libs app is in the maturity of content for the stories. The regular Mad Libs has your usual stories about writing book reviews, saving princesses, etc., that you probably remember from grade school. Adult Mad Libs has stories about pick-up lines & getting drunk. Personally, I like the regular Mad Libs better, but either can be fun given the right group of people.

Adult Mad Libs

The honestly ridiculously simple instructions for playing Mad Libs.

The fun of Mad Libs really comes from playing with the right people. Sure, you can play with people who when asked for a noun always answer “yarn” or “dog.” But, play with the right people & you get answers that cannot be printed here.

Mad Libs can be fun either way & with whomever you play. Even yarn & dog can make a funny sentence when placed in the right blank. You just never know. Sometimes a Mad Libs result will have you laughing for days. Sometimes it will have you rethinking your life. Sometimes it will just have you rethinking your pastimes.

Mad Libs

Hit hints for examples of words that you could use.

Now, with Mad Libs for iOS, you can actually play all by yourself, something that is impossible to do with the books you buy at the store (which are getting more & more expensive by the year). It may not be as much fun as playing with a group of friends, but it can pass the time & make you laugh all by yourself.

The reason you can play by yourself is that Mad Libs & Adult Mad Libs for iOS has you choose words without seeing the story at all. All you know is the title. You do 1st pick out the story you want to play, but then, you just see a blank like the 1 pictured above.

The checkmarks keep track of how many words you have answered & have left to answer & you can press Hints to get a list of words that meet that blank’s requirement flowing below the blank. Use 1 of them or just use them to get an idea & fill in the blank on your own.

Mad Libs

The selection of books available in Mad Libs.

Adult Mad Libs

Mad Libs & Adult Mad Libs are both FREE to download & include 1 FREE book to play, with about a dozen or so stories in each book. Additional books are available for purchase & are considerably less expensive than their paper counterparts.

Adult Mad Libs

Both apps contain the same things on the main screen: Statistics about how you’ve been playing & sharing, Instructions to play, Quick Review of word functions & an About section.

The Quick Review can be helpful, because even the most astutue among us do sometimes forget what an adverb is & how it is used.

Mad Libs

Keep track of just about all the stats you could ever want.

Mad Libs

Of course, there has to be social side to to it since it is a game on an iDevice in this century. So, the creators of Mad Libs made the Stats section to help you keep track of how many Mad Libs you own in your library & how many you’ve completed, tweeted, emailed, shared, etc., plus, how much time you’ve wasted playing this funny game.

You can also Tweet or share on Facebook any finished story or really anything in the app.

Adult Mad Libs

Stories are displayed on coaster-like boxes that you shuffle through.

Mad Libs

The original Mad Libs has the same story choice selector.

So, just download 1 of the Mad Libs’ apps, pick a story, from 1 of the books you own & pass your device over to someone so you can enjoy the hilarity that comes from throwing random words into the ether & ending up with a story.

Mad Libs

Finish up your funny with a silly photo.

Oh, I forgot to mention that besides just choosing words, you also get to choose a photo to represent the story you’ve written.

You know how there is always a little drawing at the top of the Mad Libs in the paper editions? Well, in the digital version, you can choose a photo from your Photos app or take a new photo of your silly group to illustrate the story you’ve just done.

The completed story looks like this:

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

About Mad Libs

About Mad Libs

100 Lists Become 1 in the Amazing Priorities List-Making App

Priorities

On the iPad, Priorities looks amazing, but on the iPhone it shines.

I wrote a round-up previously detailing 16 list-making apps that really rock. But, things change, and new apps gain my attention. My new 1 and only list-making app is called Priorities by developer Hand Carved Code. If you’re a list maker, you need to check it out!

If you’re already a digital list maker, you should recognize the brilliance that is Priorities right away. If you’re still a paper and pen list maker, I think Priorities may be the app that helps you make the digital transition (that point is especially for my sister, Jenny). If you’re not a list maker, I’ll see you tomorrow :)

The transition

I keep a ton of lists on many different subjects: blog ideas, games I own that I haven’t played, daily tasks, quotes I like, etc. So, transferring my lists from my iPhone-only list-making app seemed like it would be a big deal. But, Priorities was so fun to set up and enter items into that it didn’t feel like a chore at all.

When I decided I needed a new list-making app, I knew exactly what I was looking for and what I wasn’t. I wanted a universal app that synced between all devices so I could look at my lists on my iPad and iPhone. I wanted the ability to keep multiple lists, back up all data to the cloud, make repeating tasks, set reminders for things that were urgent, set sub-tasks, and keep track of when I had completed certain tasks. I also wanted it to be attractive looking and give me some creative space to make it my own visually with font choices, colors, and Emoji.

Those were the basic requirements I had. Priorities meets every single 1 of those requirements and far more that I never even considered.

Weeding out the not-so-good

On my way to finding Priorities, I tried many other list-making apps. I really liked Toodle-do for its many features, but it is very institutional looking and drab, in my opinion. Not to mention, over-complicated. I liked Finish and Carrot for their uniqueness, but they are both iPhone only. I still like Listary, my old list-making app, but it too is iPhone only, and it went through a period where all it did was crash. Very frustrating.

Finding my list-making mecca

Priorities

The way Priorities looks on an iPhone.

Priorities currently costs $2.99, but I grabbed it up in a 99 cent sale awhile back. (Most apps go up and down in price daily, so you can watch for a sale if you want.) But, even at $2.99, Priorities is well under the average list-making price point.

Priorities is also a highly-rated app by App Store users. It is currently at 5 stars, which is quite a feat.

I finally got up the courage to start moving my lists to Priorities just last week. I should’ve done it sooner, because it took me only an hour or so to enter almost everything. I still have 2 very long lists that need to be moved, but I’m not scared to move them now.

Why it’s so good

There are so many features that help make Priorities a superior app that we’ll just go through them 1 by 1 until I’ve convinced you.

The basic premise behind Priorities, which makes it different from other list-making apps, is that no matter how many lists you have, all of your urgent items (that you star) are filtered into 1 list, My Priorities.

That means that you can have 25 lists on 25 different subjects, but when you’re looking for the items on those lists that have to be done today, for instance, you only have to look at 1 list to find everything.

You can see what I’m talking about in the top photo in this post. That is my current My Priorities list on the iPad. To the left is a list of all my list pages. To the right is the filtered My Priorities list. It keeps items grouped together by the list that they’re on and organized by how you have set it up (by due date 1st or star 1st or manually, etc.). But, in 1 glance, you can see all the items on all the lists I have that are either due today or that I’ve starred independently because they’re important or urgent (items that are due today automatically become starred, if you set the app up that way).

So, that’s the big, stand-out feature in Priorities, but there are so many other features that all together make it a flawless app.

The set-up

Priorities

The Settings section in Priorities is extensive.

Let’s take a look at the Settings section of Priorities, which is where I usually start with a new any app.

Settings are accessed through the gear icon at the top of the list of pages on the iPad and at the top of any single list on the iPhone.

Priorities

The Settings is where you’ll make all of your decisions about how the app is going to look, how default reminders and sorting is handled, whether you want a passcode on the app, whether you want a badge on the app icon, and it’s where you connect to the Priorities Cloud and do backups and restores.

You will notice some differences in the Settings between the iPhone and the iPad. Although this is a universal app, it is not just an app that is twice its size on the iPad. It is designed to work differently on both devices to take advantage of their different screen sizes and maximize what each does well.

Tip: On the iPhone, you can swipe left and right through all of your available lists.

You’ll really want to go through each of the 5 areas in Settings before you really start using the app:

  • Data: This is where you’ll set up cloud backup so that you make sure to never lose your data. It is also where you decide whether you want items with due dates to show up in your device’s Calendar app, and where you can export all of your pages at once via email. Pages are just another word for lists in Priorities really. Each list is on its own page that is named and can have sub-lists. You can email individual lists with a button on the bottom of each list.
  • Backup & Restore: Here, you can set Priorities to automatically back up all of your lists to the cloud where it stores 4 weeks worth of them. You can also backup immediately and do an email backup. It’s also where you’d go to restore your data if it were lost.
  • Reminders: Choose reminder sounds, turn on alerts (pop-up notices when something is due) and the icon badge, and set the defaults for when you add a reminder to any item. This includes the default due date, due time, auto-star feature, alerts, and auto-snooze for alerts.
Priorities

From Steampunk to Grunge, set up how Priorities looks.

  • Appearance: My favorite bonus feature is found here. Choose from preset themes or create your own by picking the pattern for the title bar (I chose flowers), the background for the app (I chose copper), the font (I have different fonts on each device), the paper the lists are on (antique white), and whether you want Page Effects (that realistic page flipping look).
  • General Settings: On the iPhone, you can choose to have a count of starred items at the bottom of the screen in the app and choose whether you want the ability to use the app in landscape mode. On both devices, you choose how you want your lists sorted, if you want completed items to automatically unstar (go off the My Priorities page), and whether you want completed items to automatically be deleted rather than keeping them and deleting them by hand. This is also where you set up a passcode lock.

It is literally taking me longer to write this post than it did to set up Priorites and get started using it, so don’t think that all these words mean complicated or hard to set up. I’m just long-winded and like to make sure that everyone’s questions are answered.

Getting started

Now that your Settings are in order, it’s time to start creating some list pages and adding some items to those lists.

Priorities

This process couldn’t be simpler. 2 pages are already started for you. The My Priorities page is set up as a default, and I believe there is 1 initial page set up when you open the app, which you can rename or delete by pressing Edit on the Pages list.

Setting up a list page is done on the list of Pages located on the left side on the iPad and in the far right window button on the iPhone. The button “New Page” is what you push to create a new page. Tricky, huh?

When you set up a new page, it’ll ask you to name it, choose a color to represent it, decide whether you want to share it with someone else who has Priorities (I’ll talk about that in a bit), and decide whether you want reminders, which you want to have turned on if you want starred items from that page to show up on the My Priorities page.

Priorities

Once you have pages set up for your lists, you are ready to start adding items to those pages.

Just press the + button to add an item to your page (bottom of the screen on the iPhone, top, right corner of the screen on the iPad). It pops up a window where you name the item and add all the info concerning it on the iPad. On the iPhone, there is just a little window above the keyboard where you type the name of the item. To access the rest of the information you want to set, press the button with the 3 dots and you’ll get a window like the 1 in this photo.

You can set: The due date (a calendar pops up and you choose a date), if you want. The due time, which appears after you’ve set a due date. An alert time to be notified that the task is due. Due time and Alerts are set using the usual iOS dials.

You can also set the task to repeat (explained below), add notes to a task (phone numbers, emails, and URL links are all live, so you can tap on them and go directly to the phone, email, or Safari), and change the Page that the task is on.

Priorities

The repeat feature is amazing in Priorities. It doesn’t just endlessly repeat a task. It lets you decide if you want the task to repeat after the due date, which is how most apps do repeat tasks, or after you have completed the task.

What this means is if you choose “after due date,” a new task will recur at the frequency you choose whether or not you complete the task initially. If you choose “after completion,” a new task will not recur until you have done the task. That means tasks will not keep piling up on your list. It will just recur after you do the task in the 1st place.

You can set the frequency to daily, weekly, every 3rd Tuesday, every 3 days, the 3rd Sunday of every month, or any other frequency you can come up with!

Tip: To set up a sub-task on an existing task, hold down on the task for a second and swipe down. A sub-task will appear and you can set all the data for it, as well.

Again, I have used far more words and time to explain these features than it takes to actually create a task and assign all the features you want to use. It literally takes seconds to create a task and maybe a minute to add any additonal features.

That is really all you need to know to make lists and use Priorities, but that is not where the feature list ends. Let’s take a look at other features.

Additional features

Priorities

Priorities not only syncs between devices. It also syncs on the Internet. You can go to the Priorities web page to edit your pages and manage your tasks online. Priorities Cloud is a secure server that stores all of your data.

Priorities

If you know someone else with Priorities and you want to share a list with them (handy for shopping with family), you can share a list with them through this sync service, too. Create a sync account to share pages with others. Then, when you create a list and it asks about sharing, just choose who you want to share with.

Priorities

Have I mentioned that the entire app is searchable? Just click the magnifying glass (top, left on Pages list on both devices), and type in a word you’re looking for. The results pop up (even tasks that are completed) organized by list. If you want to then go to the list that the item is on, just tap the bar with the name of the list, and it will take you there.

A little thing I’d like to point out is that when an item is completed, it is not only crossed out and checked (something paper and pen list makers say they’ll miss if they go digital), but it also adds a little note to tell you which day it was completed on. This is a great feature for people trying to remember the last time they did something or keep track of how often they’ve completed a task.

Priorities

I mentioned this briefly, but you can choose to integrate your iOS calendar and Priorities. If you choose to do this, any item that has a due date will be turned into a calendar item and added to your calendar.

Alerts pop up on your screen at the designated time. Alerts are different than banner notifications. They require you to press a button to keep doing what you were doing on your device, so it is harder to ignore them.

I think the last feature I’ll mention is templates. I haven’t used this feature yet, but if you create a list for something like what to pack for vacation or make a grocery shopping list that you want to use again, you can make it into a template so that an identical list is available in the future without you having to do the work all over again.

I’m really embarrassed to admit this, but I can’t figure out how to assign a list as a template. I will look into it and update this post when I get that information. Apologies.

Almost the end

I hope by this point you realize that Priorities is 1 of the most comprehensive list management apps in the App Store. If you haven’t, I guess I didn’t do my job very well :)

If all you need a list-making app for is to keep track or 1 or 2 things (which is what my mom said she does), Priorities might be overkill for you. But, if you are an earnest list-maker, Priorities is a dream come true. And, whether you get it for $2.99 or 99 cents, you will not be disappointed in this rock star of the list-making world.

I think that’s the end of my saga.

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

Creative Design Tools for Non-Designers

Tracy:

This post is not about apps in the traditional sense that I usually write about. It's about web apps, mostly.

I especially liked the web app Clue that lets you set up a test for your website. Others are able to take the test and let you know what they remember about your website. Amazing!

Originally posted on Digital Media Arts:

creative-tools-image

Face it; you’re not a Web designer. You may try your digital best, but hey, you’ve never been trained in the art of virtual aesthetics. But that’s okay, because we can’t all be Web Van Gogh’s. 

However, for those of us that run websites and don’t have a dedicated design team to allocate work to, it’s still necessary to participate in the design process, from wireframing to reviewing, and all those little tweaks along the way.

Luckily, there are plenty of great creative design tools available on the Web that are easy enough that any non-designer can use them. Check out the list below to see if there’s something that can help you look like you play a designer on the Web.

deviantART muro

muro, by deviantART, is a browser-based HTML5 drawing application for the site’s members that allows them to create images from scratch, featuring over 20 brushes, multiple…

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