Todo apps are great. They can help you stay on top of all the things that need getting done and as far as your iDevice goes, there are thankfully plenty of options available. One “problem” however, is that most of them are very much “list” based. There are times when you just want to keep things simple, like when all you need is a reminder for something – this is where HiFutureSelf comes into play.
Readdle, makers of the trusty ReaddleDocs app, has just updated their PDF Expert for iPad (see our iPhone review) with 2 useful new features. Already able to annotate text and allow for handwritten notes, the app now gives you the ability to include signatures into any PDF file. Rather than have the user scribble them out every single time it’s needed, PDF Expert provides a template area where you can carve out your signature beforehand. Once it’s created, simply tap and hold on the area of screen you’d like for it to appear and choose the option “Signature”. Rinse and repeat. With the template, it eliminates any potential inconsistencies and makes the process much quicker.
Omnifocus, long considered as THE premier Task Management tool that is based on David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology, has now been updated on both the iPhone and iPad to fully support the upcoming iOS 4.2 update. The biggest addition is background sync completion, which means that users can now finally close the app even though it hasn’t completed the sync process. Like many faithful Omnifocus addicts on the iPhone, I found it counter productive that I had to wait until sync was 100% done before I could exit and do other things on the iPhone. With this new feature, it’ll be much easier to quickly add something into the inbox, hit the sync icon and leave without further delay.
One of the more confusing aspects for both the geeks and casual users of iOS 4.0 is definitely the multitasking part. A friend of mine, after having recently bought an iPhone 4 complained to me about a bug which caused the whole screen to shift. Only when it happened again and I was around to witness it did I reveal to her the secret — that it was in fact the multitasking tray. And I’m not even going to start about the bizarre idea of mixing in there all recently opened apps regardless of whether they support multitasking or not. But thankfully for this last part, a clever team of devs - XCool Apps – have come up with a completely legitimate solution – AppSwitch.
Several months after 3rd party Google Voice apps started appearing on the App Store (namely GV Mobile +), Google has now released their own official Google Voice app for the iPhone. With it, users can enjoy all major Google Voice features on their iPhones, including:
- Cheap rates for international calls
- Free text messaging to U.S. numbers
- Voicemail transcription
- Display your Google Voice number as caller ID when making calls
The app also supports push notifications, where it’ll instantly send you alerts whenever a new voicemail or text message is received in your account. If you’re already a user of the Google Voice service (currently only available in the US), be sure to take this official (Free) app for a spin.
Google, Google Voice, 3.1 MB – Free
Three of the apps I rely on most on my iPhone and iPad have all been recently updated with new features and improvements. The biggest update goes to Instapaper (now v2.3), which is an indispensable app for those who wish to save articles on the web for later offline reading (see our review). On the iPhone, users will now see the first few lines of text from articles in each row (previously only available to the iPad). New to both iPhone and iPad, the list now shows the approximate article length and progress read with rows of dots, much like on the Kindle’s home screen. The other new feature is the ability to enable “dark mode” automatically based on where you are (the app is now location-aware). So depending on what time it is on your iDevice, the app will invert the color scheme of the background (black) and text (white).
GoodReader, arguably the best and most popular PDF reader app for the iPhone and iPad, has just received the highly anticipated update that brings about a new and significant feature: Annotations. No longer are you able to just browse your PDF files with GoodReader, you can now highlight and markup text (underline, crossout, insert etc), create sticky notes and even scribble your own notes (along with lines, arrows and circles) right on the document.
This 3.0 update rocks. I’ve tested the latest version on both my iPhone and iPad and the annotation features work wonderfully. Being able to finally make notes and highlight the pdf file just like you would with a text book or magazine is absolutely indispensable. Best of all, both the iPhone and iPad versions of GoodReader currently costs only $0.99, which is a fraction of what you’d pay for similar apps that also support annotations. If you’re in need of a highly capable PDF reader, there’s really no better option on the App Store.
I have never been a big fan of keeping a ToDo list. It always felt that it takes more time to write things down to do later, than actually doing them, thus wasting valuable minutes and attention span. But that was until I became a project manager. Once the burden of several complicated projects fell on me simulain, I noticed more and more that unless I jot things down, I tend to forget them occasionally. But we’re in the iCentury, right? So when simple jotting is not enough, enter the various Task keeping apps and more specifically – Pocket Informant (Calendar & Tasks).
Appigo’s Todo, a highly capable and fully featured task management app for the iPhone/iPod Touch has just received a significant update that finally takes full advantage of iOS 4.0. Todo now supports Hi-Res graphics for the Retina Display, multitasking, ability to create multiple alerts per task and even local notification. For those who rely on Todo to keep track of their busy work schedules, these new additions will undoubtedly make the app even more handy.
Coinciding with this 4.0 update, Appigo has also launched their new Todo Online service, which allows for over-the-air Cloud sync for all your iDevices that run Todo. The asking price for this new feature will cost $19.99, and a 14 day trial subscription is also available. Make sure you grab this update if you’ve already purchased the app.
I purchased my iPad in part to take notes at business meetings – at least that’s what I told myself when I plunked down the cash. The iPad comes with a note taking app (Notes) which like it’s cousin on the iPhone is woefully limited. Luckily there are many alternatives in the App Store (many many alternatives). A new one seems to pop out every week! Not only that, but they’re constantly in flux with bug fixes and feature enhancements.
Depending on the situation (taking personal notes, meeting minutes, lecture notes, etc.) and your preferred method of note taking, your choice of an app may differ, because there is a wide variation in the approach and functionality available. If you haven’t looked closely at the options, you may be pleasantly surprised at what’s available!