App Update: Instapaper Pro

Instapaper Pro, an excellent app that allows you to read saved webpages without internet connectivity (and one of my go-to apps on my iPhone and iPad), has just been updated with several new features, with the most notable being the redesign of the reading screen on the iPad version. Instead of being located at the bottom of the screen, the controls (font, brightness, favorites etc) are now at the top, similar to what you’ll find on Apple’s iPad Safari browser. Other changes specific to the iPad include:

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Fail: Opera Mini Web browser and Acid3 benchmark

Acid3 is a suite of tests which benchmarks a browser’s performance in standards compliance and page rendering. Desktop versions of Opera fair pretty well, but Opera Mini Web browser falls (alot) somewhat lower than that. iPhone Safari scores 100/100, but fails the last portion, an image render. Opera Mini Web browser makes do with a score of 74/100 AND fails the last image. At least it betters Internet explorer and Sony PSP’s Netfront browsers which added all together, barely crack 50/100!

Opera Mini Web browser Opera Software ASA, Opera Mini Web browser, FREE!

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Debut: Opera Mini Web browser – The fat lady has sung

My wager: Apple will never let a competitor’s web browser into the App Store, cost me a particularly good horse. I may be the only one not happy about the debut of Opera Mini Web Browser. Had you met Hillie, the pony-horse, you’d be equally upset.

It’s small consolation that in her place is the only current alternative to Apple’s one-horse webkit monopoly lead by iPhone Safari. Opera Mini is cute; it has all the pertinent functions in easy-to-reach places and better in-app settings than iPhone Safari. It also generally handles website formatting better than good ol’ WebKit and has a lovely implementation of tabbed browsing. Overall, it’s a ‘good’ experience which would bring in a TouchMyApps rating of Grab. In some cases, it loads slower than Safari and iPhone OS controls are substituted for blocky, oddly-placed alternatives _almost_ as if Opera Software ASA wanted nothing more than to spite Apple for its two-year boycott of NIMBY* software. But it is worthwhile, especially if you find yourself at the mercy of mobile browsers more often than not. Feel free to discuss Opera Mini Web browser VS Safari in our forums.

Opera Mini Web browser Opera Software ASA, Opera Mini Web browser – Free

Piccies and more in-action deductions (whew!) after the gap:

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Dunnit! todo app FREE for ONE day

Earlier this month, we touched on the release of the first non-game/entertainment app to integrate the social gaming platform Openfeint for the iPhone. Well, that very app, Dunnit! is now FREE for 1 day, courtesy of FreeAppaDay.com. With its easy to use interface and features that include tagging, repeating tasks and multiple task entry (not to mention Twitter and Openfeint integration), its hard not to like Runloop’s Dunnit! And now that the price tag has dropped from $4.99 to FREE, this is one App Store download you shouldn’t miss out on today.

Dunnit! Runloop Ltd, Dunnit! – FREE (very limited time)

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Scanner Pro app Updated to 2.0

One of the great things about the iPhone camera is that it can essentially turn your device into a portable document scanner. TMA’s SteveNaka reviewed several of these apps in the past and found Readdle’s Scanner Pro to be one of the best he’s come across at the App Store. With the newly released 2.0 update, Scanner Pro features some nice improvements:

  • Smart page edges detection
  • Camera stabilization while taking images
  • Password protection for the entire application
  • Google Docs integration (upload scanned documents to Google Docs)

With the ability to upload to Dropbox, MobileMe, Google Docs and more, as well as scan from a range of items (business cards, receipts, whiteboards etc), Scanner Pro should come in handy for students or while doing business on the road.

Scanner Pro Readdle, Scanner Pro (TMA Review) – $6.99

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WritePad in Review – Nothing to Write Home About

WritePad for the iPhone or iPod Touch is a text editing software App which allows you to ‘write’ using your finger or a stylus on your touchscreen, and it’s converted to text. To be honest, I’m not 100% sure why anyone would want to buy or use this App. It’s not responsive enough for use for notetaking in meetings, as you have only so much space on your screen to write and you must wait for that to be recognised and entered into your document before you continue. Feel free to discuss this review of WritePad in our forums.

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Office² In Review – My New Portable Office

If you’re at all like me, you’ve integrated almost every aspect of your life with your iPhone. For me that means along with all the games and media, I also have what I need to do much of my job all in the palm of my hand. Luckily I happened to have Office² from developer Byte Squared sitting in my hands. Read on to see if this productivity app gets the job done.

Feel free to discuss this review of Office² in our forums.

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Vlingo In Review – Voice To Text On Steroids!

Voice to text is far from new technology. The ability to speak into your phone and tell it to call a specific person has been around for quite sometime. Unfortunately, that’s really been about all you could do till now. With recent improvements to everyone’s favorite iDevice, we found ourselves able to launch/control other features of the phone but even that was just a marginal improvement.  Taking the next step in voice-to-text evolution, vlingo corporation offer more than just s sonorous name in their latest update of Vlingo, they offer email and SMS paste, too! Feel free to discuss this review of Vlingo in our forums.

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Dunnit! todo app integrates Openfeint

While there are plenty of fully featured and very solid Todo and Task Management apps for your iPhone (Pocket Informant, Appigo’s Todo, To-Do List Pro, there are currently none in the market that makes use of OpenFeint to help motivate users to “get things done”. Thanks to Runloop however, Dunnit! becomes the first non game/entertainment app to integrate the social gaming platform into the app.

Runloop believes that adding collectible achievements to a To Do list app will provide increased incentive for users to remain productive. Integrating OpenFeint allows users to compete against their friends and colleagues. Points are earned by simply using the app to get things done.

Aside from the aforementioned feature, Dunnit! looks to be a simple and well designed todo app that includes Twitter integration (tweet your completed tasks/achievements to boast just how productive your are), tagging, repeating tasks, multiple task entry and more. Personally, I’m not entirely sure just how many folks will find the need for OpenFeint in a GTD app, but regardless, kudos to Runloop for bringing something new to the table and one that could very well catch on with other non-game developers. More info and video after the gap!

Dunnit! Runloop Ltd, Dunnit! – $4.99

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Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite goes 3.0 – gets integration woth Dropbox, Box.net and Google Docs

While most of us are still in awe of iWorks being  showcased on an iPad at the recent Apple Event, many forget that there are solid and almost fully-functional office suites for the iPhone as well. My personal favourite – Quickoffice (TMA Review)- just got updated to version 3.0 with a short but significant list of new features.

  • Access your Google Docs, Box.net, Dropbox, & MobileMe accounts!
  • General enhancements.

I’ve seen quite a few moans out there that there is no way to utilize the power of Google Docs on the iPhone. Well, now you can! You can access all of the files there just like you could with the MobileMe account as well. Quickoffice will download them to the iPhone to make any changes and then upload them back after they are complete. The Box.net integration is also a nice touch, since it is a medium used by some other productivity suites, like iThoughts (mindmapping)TMA Review.

Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite Quickoffice, Inc., Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite – $9.99

The full description and screens are found after the gap.

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