TouchMyApps » Reference http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Tue, 16 Dec 2014 03:04:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.5 Quick Pick: Thesaurus Rex by Dictionary.com http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/05/02/quick-pick-thesaurus-rex-by-dictionary-com/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/05/02/quick-pick-thesaurus-rex-by-dictionary-com/#comments Thu, 02 May 2013 14:31:13 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=72505 Whether you’re a student, writer or just someone who likes using big words, the Thesaurus is undoubtedly one of the best tools to have around. The largest resource on the web is Thesaurus.com (owned by Dictionary.com), and they’ve recently released Thesaurus Rex, a universal iOS app that has 550,000 synonyms & antonyms and features several handy functions, like … Read more]]>

Thesaurus Rex iphone app

Whether you’re a student, writer or just someone who likes using big words, the Thesaurus is undoubtedly one of the best tools to have around. The largest resource on the web is Thesaurus.com (owned by Dictionary.com), and they’ve recently released Thesaurus Rex, a universal iOS app that has 550,000 synonyms & antonyms and features several handy functions, like sorting by relevance or A-Z, filtering results in real time by complexity, and more.

Thesaurus Rex ipad app

Thesaurus Rex on the iPad

What’s to like:

  • Nicely designed UI
  • Sort by Relevance (shown in out of 4 rating) or A-Z
  • Offline access for most features
  • Ability to filter results by complexity and length
  • Rhyme and Syllables option (in-app purchase) further filter synonyms by rhyme and sort by syllable count – great for poets and lyricists
  • Examples and Tip option (IAP) provides more context to results and example sentences and tips.
  • View word origin and history
  • Save synonyms to favorites
  • Audio pronunciation
  • Spotlight searching reveals results as you type
  • $2.99 much cheaper than competing “premium” (and ad-free) Thesaurus apps that can cost well over $10

What’s not to like:

  • Favorites doesn’t sync between devices
  • Search results sometimes not as extensive as Thesaurus.com
  • App doesn’t save recently or most searched words
  • Audio pronunciation and word origin/history requires internet access
  • Would be nice if Rhyme and Syllables and Examples and Tip add ons were included without IAP

For most folks who use the thesaurus once in a while, looking it up on the web should suffice and there are even plenty of free (ad supported) options available on the App Store. But if you’re serious about your words and require offline access, Thesaurus Rex is one of the most comprehensive thesaurus apps around. Thanks to its very reasonable price tag (currently $2.99), features like complexity/length filter (along with the IAPs) and an easy to use interface, T.R is a solid choice on the iDevice.

Thesaurus Rex by Dictionary.com Dictionary.com,, Thesaurus Rex by Dictionary.com

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Google Search app for iOS gets Google Now feature http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/04/30/google-search-app-for-ios-gets-google-now-feature/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/04/30/google-search-app-for-ios-gets-google-now-feature/#comments Tue, 30 Apr 2013 09:16:03 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=72401 Google Now has been available to Android phones for several months now, and it has finally arrived for the iPhone and iPad. Described as ”the right information at just the right time”, Google Now is the latest feature found within the Google Search app. Once you sign into your Gmail account, “Cards” will appear at the bottom that provide … Read more]]>

google-search-google-now-feature

Google Now has been available to Android phones for several months now, and it has finally arrived for the iPhone and iPad. Described as ”the right information at just the right time”, Google Now is the latest feature found within the Google Search app. Once you sign into your Gmail account, “Cards” will appear at the bottom that provide helpful info like local weather, currency conversion when travel abroad, traffic conditions to your next likely destination, sports scores, flight status and much more.

Simply swipe said cards left or right if you don’t need them. According to Google, the more you use it and over time, prediction will improve and more cards will appear. To help pull in relevant info, Google Now relies on Location Services, but because the app doesn’t use the device’s GPS – rather it receives “passive” updates from nearby cell towers and WIFI hot spots – the feature shouldn’t be a battery hog.

With the implementation of Google Now, the Google Search app has become even more of a single hub for all things Google, be it accessing Google Apps like Calendar, Google+, Drive, or the very impressive Google Voice - a more than capable competitor to Siri.

Google Search is free to download for iPhone and iPad and you can read more about Google Now here. 

What’s New in 3.0

Answers before you ask with Google Now:
• start your day with weather & traffic conditions
• get updates on your favorite teams & news

Learn more about location
To provide up-to-the-minute information, Google Now turns on Location Services. Even though the icon stays on, the app has minimal battery impact:

• The app doesn’t turn on the GPS. Instead, it receives passive updates from nearby cell towers and WIFI hot spots.
• If your battery is running low, the app pauses location updates.
• The app stays asleep unless your device moves a long distance.

If you see an impact on your battery life, please tell us about it by tapping feedback in the app settings. You can also turn this feature on and off as you like in the privacy section of the app settings. Learn more at http://goo.gl/9GKI2

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Languages released for iPhone – a cheap and gorgeous offline translator http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/10/25/languages-released-for-iphone-a-cheap-and-gorgeous-offline-translator/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/10/25/languages-released-for-iphone-a-cheap-and-gorgeous-offline-translator/#comments Thu, 25 Oct 2012 19:02:42 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=70502 Languages, brought to you by Sonico (iTranslate+) and Tapity (Grades 2), may very well be the last translator you’ll ever need on your iPhone or iPod Touch. It’s not only beautifully designed and works offline, but it’s also just $0.99. Twelve complete language dictionaries are included (Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch etc.), so there’s … Read more]]>

Languages, brought to you by Sonico (iTranslate+) and Tapity (Grades 2), may very well be the last translator you’ll ever need on your iPhone or iPod Touch. It’s not only beautifully designed and works offline, but it’s also just $0.99. Twelve complete language dictionaries are included (Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch etc.), so there’s no need for internet access to look up words and phrases – most ideal for when traveling with your iDevice.

Besides being lightning quick (and it really is fast compared to other translation apps), Languages also supports unified search, meaning you can simply start typing a word and results in both languages will begin to appear. This helps eliminate the need to constantly switch back and forth manually between a given language. Moreover, this is the first translation tool on the iPhone I’ve seen that relies heavily on gestures. For instance, you swipe right to search the dictionary; swipe right to clear the current search; and pinch to close the dictionary.

You won’t find more advanced features like voice recognition or verb conjugations (you’ll need iTranslate+ for that), but for simple translations, offline use and a snappy UI, I can’t think of a better app out there for iOS at the moment. And the fact that it’s only $0.99 is a huge bonus.

Languages Sonico GmbH, Languages - $0.99

Description

Lightning-fast translation that works without an internet connection.

Features
◆ Offline translation. Most translation apps require an internet connection. Languages stores all words on the phone itself so you always have translation when you need it, whether you are traveling internationally or simply don’t have a connection.
◆ Lightning fast. Start typing a few letters and boom, you already have the translation you need.
◆ Unified search. Type a word from either language and you’ll get the results you want. No more switching modes.
◆ Search or browse. Search is great but sometimes it’s useful and fun to explore a language by browsing through the words alphabetically.
◆ Innovative A-Z index for quick browsing.
◆ Common phrases included for most languages.

12 complete language dictionaries included
◆ Spanish-English
◆ German-English
◆ French-English
◆ Italian-English
◆ Dutch-English
◆ Portugese-English
◆ Swedish-English
◆ French-Italian
◆ French-Spanish
◆ German-French
◆ German-Italian
◆ German-Spanish
◆ Most offline translation apps charge $5+ for each language pair.

Pro Tips
◆ Tap and hold the index to magnify the letters.
◆ Swipe to the right to search.
◆ In search, swipe to the left to go back to the dictionary.
◆ In search, swipe to the right to clear a search (much faster than reaching for the clear button).
◆ Pinch to close a language dictionary.
◆ Tap and hold to move a dictionary on the shelf.
◆ Tap a word to copy it.
◆ Tap the flag icon to switch the primary language.

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New and Improved: Google Search for iPad http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/22/new-and-improved-google-search-for-ipad/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/22/new-and-improved-google-search-for-ipad/#comments Tue, 22 Nov 2011 16:27:31 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=61194  The Google Search app has been updated and it’s now better than ever on the iPad. The new features make searching for what you want much more interactive and easier as well. Google Instant starts displaying results as you’re typing the search term; a slide-in pane lets you slide back and forth between browse pages and results; … Read more]]>

 The Google Search app has been updated and it’s now better than ever on the iPad. The new features make searching for what you want much more interactive and easier as well. Google Instant starts displaying results as you’re typing the search term; a slide-in pane lets you slide back and forth between browse pages and results; visual search history can be accessed by swiping right to reveal snapshots of pages you’ve visited (organized by search terms), and more. Here’s the full list of “What’s New” for the iPad:

✓ See search results and websites side-by-side to quickly browse pages and results
✓ Swipe through the image carousel to see image results in full-size
✓ Compare search results as webpage snapshots in Instant Previews mode
✓ Use Google Instant and search suggestions to get to search results faster
✓ Revisit past searches with Visual Search History
✓ Highlight what you want to see on a webpage with the new Find button
✓ Easily share pages and +1 sites
✓ Quick access to other Google apps like Gmail, Calendar, Docs and more

After even the first few minutes of using Google Search on the iPad, the slide-in pane feature alone made it difficult for me to go back to Safari. The downside is that since it wasn’t designed to be a full fledged browser, the app doesn’t support tabbed browsing. Still, for day-to-day googlin’ on the iPad, the host of new features definitely makes this a keeper. Check out the video demo after this space.

Google Search Google, Google Search, – Free

[Google Mobile Blog] … Read more]]>
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Eight apps for a broken arm http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/06/15/eight-apps-for-a-broken-arm/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/06/15/eight-apps-for-a-broken-arm/#comments Wed, 15 Jun 2011 11:40:23 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=53484 After breaking my arm a couple of months ago, I learned a bit of biology. Bones are serious buggers, you know; they don’t just Lego into place after snapping. But even at 31 and five fingers down, I applied myself very fastidiously to apps that I could use one-handed. At first, they may seem eclectic, … Read more]]>

After breaking my arm a couple of months ago, I learned a bit of biology. Bones are serious buggers, you know; they don’t just Lego into place after snapping. But even at 31 and five fingers down, I applied myself very fastidiously to apps that I could use one-handed. At first, they may seem eclectic, but I assure you that they were the best medicine. If you’re intent on joining my club, send in your resumes, apply something heavy/swift to your long bones, and then follow the gap!

Stanza

After being unimpressed by Apple’s fancy with superfluous effects, poor typography, and piss-poor real book emulation, I quickly opted for simpler alternatives. Stanza still remains my favourite reading app. It is easy to use, backed by tens of thousands of free books, and boasts good text effects and resizing options for reading both indoors and outdoors. For member of my club, its button placement and navigation is great, but you don’t have to break an arm to enjoy it. The best part? It’s free.

Stanza Lexcycle, Stanza, 10.01MB – Free

Need help with Stanza? Try TMA’s how to transfer article.

WordBook

If breaking an arm wasn’t hard enough, my favourite reference, Enfour’s Oxford Deluxe English Dictionary, went on the fritz with a new update, deciding not to boot on my iPod touch 4G. Bugger. In the meantime, the already excellent WordBook kept hitting with good updates, good interface, and a much better save and export engine. Oxford has the upper hand as a reference, but now comes 2nd when I just want to dig into definitions, synonyms, and save and print my bookmarks. For the price and convenience, there is no better English dictionary. If you’re shy an arm or a couple of fingers, WordBook plays nice. You can annotate, bookmark, flip through daily vocab, and have a jolly good time with just one hand.

WordBook English Dictionary & Thesaurus TranCreative Software, WordBook English Dictionary & Thesaurus (TMA Review), 19.99MB – $1.99

WritingTips

Written by bestselling author, Alice Kuipers, WritingTips is nothing more than a collection and exercises of tips in any of eight categories. Its design isn’t great, and some of the tips are doubtless oldies, but it’s compact; everything comes under one, pithy roof. If you can get over the poor typesetting, constantly changing text sizes, and strange framing, there is a lot to enjoy about WritingTips. Because WritingTips sports such a simple interface, it is easy to pick up and put down without ever lifting another arm.

Writing Tips Rich Lowenberg, Writing Tips, 2.82MB – $0.99

Pages

Well, there are a lot of great writing apps out there, but Pages is the one I turn to most. Why? Compatibility and overall polish. I don’t like Apple’s strange insistence on the emulation of analogue items in a digital app, but otherwise, pages responds faster, and is easier to use than many other productivity apps, especially if you plan to add photos or other media. There are myriad small user-interface issues, but each iteration gets better. On my iPad, Pages can relax with me next to my pillow in any screen orientation I see fit, and operates wonderfully one-handed. Writing is slow – that can’t be helped when half of your team plays hooky – but it is much easier than dragging a mouse or touchpad and jumping to the keyboard.

Pages Apple®, Pages, 87.90MB – $9.99

Instagram


While not as sexy as a real polaroid, Instagram sure sets the barn on fire by emulating great photo frames, and allowing you to share with all your friends on your favourite social networks. I love this app. For the broken handed, Instagram’s thumb-driven interface is simple genius. Even adding a couple of effects or frames can be done easily with just a lap and a thumb.
Instagram Burbn, Inc., Instagram, 6.77MB – Free

Photogene

This app is a life-saver. Strapped into my upper-arm-down cast, even sitting up hurt. Forget Lightroom and Photoshop. Forget Photomatrix Pro. Photogene has gotten better and better each iteration. Today, it can export my photos in full resolution, has a rudimentary layer design for dodge and burn effects, interfaces seamlessly with my photo library, and does most of what Lightroom does, but for a small fraction of the price. Caveats? The vignettes are pretty poor, there aren’t real layers yet, and sadly there is no universal binary. But this 2,99$ app is worth it for both the iPod/iPhone and iPad. Prop your iPad up in its nifty sleeve and enjoy full-featured, one-handed editing. If you’re interested in seeing what PhotoGene can do, check out my Flickr stream; most of my photos go from D200 to iPad through small Photogene adjustments and onto Photoshop.

Photogene Omer Shoor, Photogene (TMA Review), 4.10MB – $1.99

Photogene for iPad Omer Shoor, Photogene for iPad, 6.38MB – $2.99

Home Design 3D by LiveCad for iPad

There is no such thing as a cheap do-it-all portable alternative for true workstation CAD suites. Nevertheless Home Design 3D is killer. It’s square-based level designer isn’t the easiest to wrap your head around, but when you do, it’s intuitive and quick. LiveCad have added dozens of house add ons such as doors, windows, bathroom fixtures, and more. For a home interior designer, it’s got pretty much all you need. Adding other floors, basements, etc., is really sometimes foul, but overall, this app is killer. No matter the time of year, it comes at the top of my must-have list. The only thing that can be tricky to operate is the 3D view (yes, it has a 3D walkthrough of your house); all other features work great if you’ve only five fingers.

Home Design 3D By LiveCad - For iPad Anuman, Home Design 3D By LiveCad – For iPad, 46.22MB – $5.99

Home Design 3D By LiveCad - For iPhone Anuman, Home Design 3D By LiveCad – For iPhone, 52.89MB – $4.99

Infinity Blade

What’s a recommended app-list without a game? I’m not a big gamer, but I enjoy a good hack and slash now and then. Infinity Blade’s excellent (and easy) navigation and fighting interface is violent, yet incredibly easy to navigate. No matter how invalid you are, you can kill baddies with a single hand and look as bad as Boba Fett while doing it.

Infinity Blade Chair Entertainment Group, LLC, Infinity Blade (TMA Review), 583.93MB – $5.99

As much as I’ve enjoyed my break (get it, get it?), I’m enjoying getting back in the saddle even more. Instagram, as much as I love you, I do prefer to take time with an my Nikon FM2 or my D200. But, when I finally upgrade to an iPhone, I’ll be playing instantly with the likes of  Photogene and Instragram without the annoyance of a PC interface.

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Library App Reviews: Goodreads, iBookshelf and Book Crawler http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/03/31/library-apps-goodreads-and-more/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/03/31/library-apps-goodreads-and-more/#comments Thu, 31 Mar 2011 18:05:11 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=49893 Goodreads iBookshelf Book Crawler . We all love books, right? If you’re like me, your reading list is long and getting longer every day. We’ll never finish them all, but heck, when someone recommends a book, we probably still want to jot it down for future reference. A good list can be a real blessing when … Read more]]>
Goodreads iBookshelf Book Crawler

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We all love books, right? If you’re like me, your reading list is long and getting longer every day. We’ll never finish them all, but heck, when someone recommends a book, we probably still want to jot it down for future reference.

A good list can be a real blessing when trying to remember an author or a book we’ve just read, finding the name of the next book in a series, or easily sharing our favorite books with friends.

The three apps reviewed here are excellent candidates for keeping track of all the books we love and all the books we want to read.

To find the best book library (or book list) manager app, you’ll have to figure out how you want to use it. Goodreads is best for those who use the Goodreads web service. If you don’t want to keep your books and personal preferences online or want to to have more flexibility in what you keep on your list, then Book Crawler or iBookshelf may be more in line with your needs.

######### Goodreads iBookshelf Book Crawler
Backup autosync
to website
Dropbox, E-Mail,
Desktop
Dropbox, E-Mail,
Desktop
Library Finder no WorldCat WorldCat
Author Info yes no no
Price Compare yes yes no
Goodreads Reviews yes yes yes
ISBN Scanner Red Laser pic2shop, ZBar,
Red Laser
pic2shop, ZBar
Import/Export CSV, others CSV CSV
Track Loans no yes yes
Offline Viewing no yes yes
Sharing Friends &
Followers
E-mail, Twitter,
Facebook
E-mail, Twitter,
Facebook
Universal App no yes yes

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Free versions exist for all these apps, so you can try them out yourself first before selecting one.

Individual books, audiobooks and ebooks may be added manually (author & title) or by scanning the ISBN barcode – the rest of the information is automatically looked up. I did not test any of the apps on an iPod Touch or iPad 2 – though the reliability of their cameras for scanning barcodes could be an issue unless Red Laser is used.

One feature all these apps have in common is that they can import and export their data as CSV (comma separated value) files which can be opened in word processors and spreadsheets. For bulk updates, like when you want to copy your books from a paper list or external book database (or move it from one app to another), you’ll probably have to do a little CSV editing to make the transfer, but it does work without too much effort (I’ve done it).

Once you’ve added your books, these apps let you organize, track (ownership, loans, want-to-buy, etc.), and share your books with others. Plus you’ll have searchable list whenever you need them.

Warning: Any time you store lots of information on your iDevice, it is essential that it gets backed up regularly. The device backup that occurs when you do a sync to your computer does not save 3rd party app data. One glitch or a bad update and all your work can be lost. Both iBookshelf and Book Crawler have excellent backup and restore database features, but they are manual – you must remember to do it. Goodreads auto-syncs to the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about it.

 


Goodreads v1.2.1

If you’re a book lover and haven’t taken a look at the Goodreads web site yet, I highly encourage you to do so. One might call it a “Facebook for Book Lovers” (but without all the craziness and noise). On Goodreads you’ll find over 4 million members who have created an astounding collection of books, reviews and recommendations far larger than anything else you’re likely to find – and it’s free! You can meet new friends there (or invite your existing friends) to share reviews and recommendations for the books you’ve read and/or want to read.

The Goodreads app (it’s also free!) has the most polished user interface of the three apps reviewed here for the iPhone, but it does require an active data connection to display more than just a simple list of books.This app allows you to add books to your personal on-line collection (scan in the ISBN or enter title/author), find out what your friends are reading, and build your wishlist by perusing lists of books others love.

My all time favorite: Dandelion Wine!

Goodreads has a vast pool of information such as author pictures and bios, lots of detailed user reviews and info any bibliophile would love. Since it’s maintained by volunteer librarians, it isn’t always perfect, but there are plenty of people (librarians) who will make corrections if you alert them on the forums – or become a librarian yourself.

I was disappointed that the series number of a book is not displayed in the app (like it is on the web) unless the number is included in the title. This may not be an issue for everyone, but I like to follow author’s characters chronologically.

Summary

For anyone with a Goodreads account, this app is a must-have. It provides a good clean interface, book scanning capability (device camera required) and auto-syncs to your web account. Note that a data connection (cellular or WiFi) is required to use the app. The app has not (yet?) been enhanced for the iPad.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Goodreads Developer: Goodreads
Reviewed Ver: 1.2.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: Free App Size: 9.5 MB
  • Ties into your Goodreads account
  • Instantly syncs all updates to Goodreads cloud (this is goodness)
  • Lots of information about books including details of many editions
  • Must-have for Goodreads users
  • Requires an online connection to display more than a simple book list
  • No series info displayed in-app unless included in title (which many are)
  • Can’t add additional information about books other than comments and tags

appstoreicon

 


 

iBookshelf v2.10.1

This app is part of a group of similar media database apps for books (iBookshelf), movies (MyBoxOffice) and music (Disk Tracker) which are also available in an all-in-one app called My Library that contains all their features. If you’re interested in tracking more than just your books, take a look at My Library. Free Lite versions also exist for all these apps.

iBookshelf is an easy app to use with a broad feature set. Books can be sorted 8 ways and a collections feature exists to group books together into named subsets for separate sorting and viewing. You can also customize the app’s look and feel through its settings in the Settings app. The iPad and iPhone user interfaces are fairly similar.

This app is unable to fill out book information from online sources once a book is saved in its database. So after importing CSV files or manually adding a book without doing an online search for data, you can’t make the app look it up later. If books are entered one at a time, however, this usually shouldn’t be a problem.

Local libraries containing the books you wish to read can be listed and Dropbox backup/restore are available as in Book Crawler (backup/restore is essential in any app that saves data on your iDevice). If you own the QuickReader or MegaReader apps, iBookshelf has a custom interface that connects to them from the app itself. Like Goodreads, it has a Red Laser scanning camera interface which works well with lower resolution cameras, plus it can autoselect the best camera based on the device being used. If you want to get book recommendations, it also contains an interface to the iRecommends app.

Summary

While perhaps not as polished as the other two apps, iBookshelf does a good job with collecting data. It has a very motivated developer who is open to feature requests and who makes frequent updates. I tested a soon to be released version that is focused on stability improvements (something each of these 3 apps under review could use).

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: iBookshelf
iBookshelf Lite (free)
Developer: Josh Pressnell
Reviewed Ver: 2.10.1 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $1.99 App Size: 6.5 MB
  • Scans up to 16 data sources for book information
  • Interface to QuickReader and MegaReader for e-books
  • Connects to iRecommend app to get book recommendations
  • Universal app
  • Can’t autofill additional information about a book once it has been saved
  • User interface is functional but occasionally awkward to use
  • Documentation is only on web site
  • Backup is manual

appstoreicon


 

Book Crawler v3.1

Of the three apps reviewed, Book Crawler has the most pleasing user interface (especially on the iPad) and provides the most flexiblity to customize your library. More information is collected and displayed by this app than the others. If your goal is to include a lot of information about your books, then this app will give you the best experience.

Book Crawler has a dedicated Author section where you can view and rate individual authors and look for other books they’ve published. Besides the standard book data fields, Book Crawler includes several custom fields that can be labeled and used to add additional information about your books, like who recommended a book, the date added to your database, etc. Additional authors (or narrators for audiobooks) can be added as well to any book.

Book Crawler has the most flexible interface for adding new books individually or in batch. Most data fields can be given default values from the app settings panel and CSV data can be input in almost any order. Like iBookShelf, the number in a book series is either automatically added or easily entered later and books can be sorted based on your choice of 18 data fields.

Book Crawler can tag books with multiple labels and you can build smart collections (groups of books) based on complex rule sets. For example, you could create a collection of books marked with the tag “Female Protagonist” that were published after the year 2005 with a 4 star or better rating and are owned by you. Any book matching this criteria is automatically added to the collection.

Summary

From a feature standpoint, this app is hard to beat plus it looks great. I ran into some intermittent stability problems, but nothing serious and overall it delivers all one would want. Good documentation exists throughout the app to help one learn how to use it. The app has a very motivated developer who makes frequent improvements and gives quick responses to questions.

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Book Crawler
Book Crawler Lite (free)
Developer: Jaime Stokes
Reviewed Ver: 3.1.1 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $1.99 App Size: 6.5 MB
  • Attractive and functional user interface (especially on the iPad)
  • List and rate authors
  • Lookup additional books by author
  • Several custom data fields
  • Good in-app documentation
  • Smart Collections
  • Universal app
  • Correcting misspelled author names is best done by delete/replace
  • A few features (e.g., collections, adding multiple editions) are awkward to use
  • Backup is manual

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Google Translate App arrives on iPhone http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/02/08/google-translate-app-arrives-on-iphone/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/02/08/google-translate-app-arrives-on-iphone/#comments Tue, 08 Feb 2011 23:26:19 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=47890 Google’s surprisingly accurate translation service, first seen on the iPhone back in 2008 as a web app, is now here as a standalone app for the iDevice. Google Translate accepts voice input for 15 languages, and like the web app, it can translate a word or phrase into one of more than 50 languages. Even … Read more]]>

Google’s surprisingly accurate translation service, first seen on the iPhone back in 2008 as a web app, is now here as a standalone app for the iDevice. Google Translate accepts voice input for 15 languages, and like the web app, it can translate a word or phrase into one of more than 50 languages. Even more impressive, you can listen to the translations spoken out loud in 1 of the 23 supported languages. There’s also a handy zoom feature that enlarges the translated text to fit the entire screen. Definitely a useful feature if you’re making your way around a foreign country and in need of directions and what not. As with all Google apps, this one’s free and well worth your while.

Google Translate Google, Google Translate, 1.9 MB – Free

App Description

Translate words and phrases between more than 50 languages using Google Translate for iOS. For most languages, you can speak your phrases and hear the corresponding translations.

With Google Translate you can:

* Translate text between 57 languages
* Translate by speaking the text instead of typing it (15 languages)
* Listen to your translations spoken aloud (23 languages)
* Display translations in full screen mode to make it easier for others nearby to read
* Star your favorite translations for quick access even when you’re offline
* Access your translation history even when you’re offline
* Spell out the translation of non-Latin script languages (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, etc..) in Latin characters to read it phonetically (e.g. Pinyin, Romaji)
* View additional dictionary results for single words or short phrases

Translations between the following languages are supported:

Afrikaans, Albanian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Arabic, Basque, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh, Yiddish

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Hugh Johnson’s Wine Guide 2011 in Review – Possibly useful for sommeliers, useless for everyone else… http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/09/24/hugh-johnson%e2%80%99s-wine-guide-2011-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/09/24/hugh-johnson%e2%80%99s-wine-guide-2011-in-review/#comments Fri, 24 Sep 2010 14:52:37 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=40178 Those sommeliers have one of the best jobs in the world, don’t they? Drinking good wine and getting paid for doing it and even more for writing about it… Well, one of the best-selling wine writers, Hugh Johnson, has decided to jump on the iOS bandwagon and release his own wine guide on the App … Read more]]>

Those sommeliers have one of the best jobs in the world, don’t they? Drinking good wine and getting paid for doing it and even more for writing about it… Well, one of the best-selling wine writers, Hugh Johnson, has decided to jump on the iOS bandwagon and release his own wine guide on the App Store. Hugh Johnson’s Wine Guide 2011 is now available to help us, common folk, decide what bottle we’ll be drinking this evening.

Hugh Johnson’s Wine Guide 2011 (though it seems to be a bit early to release a 2011 version just yet) is deemed by its own author to be more of an encouragement than a specific charter. With this in mind let’s examine it in more detail.

Wine Guide has 2 main features – Wine-speak and browsing/searching for various wines with comments from Hugh Johnson himself. The former is meant for the aspiring sommeliers to learn the ins and outs of the terminology and is a comprehensive dictionary of all-things wine related. The dictionary is also equipped with a handy search option, as well as marking the grape varieties with a special icon for easy distinction.

The catalogue is what it’s all about though. You can browse it by region or by country to get to the producer list. However you won’t be able to find specific wine brands with most entries; they’re are just a few general words about where the producer’s vineries are and what grapes they use. Some are more detailed, some even have a bit of information on the actual vintages, but those are few and far between and still don’t contain anything on the specific brands of wine they offer.

On the upside a nice feature is the overview information on the region complete with a map and some general vintage information, usually split by region. You can also search the catalogue by country, region, grape variety and/or minimum rating, including a filter to limit the results to Hugh’s current selection only.

The interface of the Wine Guide is more or less ok, though for some reason it doesn’t support the Retina display, providing for pixilated text and blurry images on the iPhone 4. Also the intro video with Hugh Johnson himself is stuck in portrait mode for some strange reason. The ability to favourite producers for quick access later is a plus though.

Hugh Johnson’s Wine Guide 2011 is in many ways a disappointment, especially with such a big name behind it. The information provided is not nearly enough to help make a choice in the wine aisle and the general overview, while quite interesting, is mostly of use for (aspiring) sommeliers, looking to broaden their knowledge of the regions. But if you’re one of those just looking for a helpful guide to select a nice bottle of Cabernet, this app is definitely not for you.

With this I declare Hugh Johnson’s Wine Guide 2011 officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Hugh Johnson’s Wine Guide 2011 Developer: Hachette UK
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $7.99 App Size: 9.98MB
  • Region overviews with maps and general vintage information
  • Nice Wine-Speak dictionary
  • Almost no information on individual producers
  • No wine brand information or vintages

appstoreicon

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Apple’s Awesome iOS 4 Apps http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/06/28/apples-awesome-ios-4-apps/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/06/28/apples-awesome-ios-4-apps/#comments Mon, 28 Jun 2010 21:07:17 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=35295 Apple seems to be on a roll of late with App Store app lists. First came The Best Games You’ve Never Played, a roundup of hidden gems that haven’t quite burned up the app charts. Now they’ve released the Awesome iOS 4 Apps list, a collection of apps and games that have been updated to … Read more]]>

Apple seems to be on a roll of late with App Store app lists. First came The Best Games You’ve Never Played, a roundup of hidden gems that haven’t quite burned up the app charts. Now they’ve released the Awesome iOS 4 Apps list, a collection of apps and games that have been updated to take advantage of iOS 4′s new features, like support for the Retina Display and Multitasking/Fast App Switching. Here are some notable that have made the list:

Now I haven’t tried all 42 apps on the list, but I don’t think I’d consider all of them to be awesome. I suppose it’s all a matter of personal preference and interests (and of course, apps that actually have been updated for iOS 4 already). The entire Apple roundup can be found right here on iTunes.

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White Park Bay’s Oxford Reference Series in Review – The devil is in the details http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/01/white-park-bays-oxford-reference-series-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/01/white-park-bays-oxford-reference-series-in-review/#comments Mon, 01 Feb 2010 08:41:51 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=26779 White Park Bay recently released a handful of new Oxford Reference Dictionaries to add to its already strong suite. The new dictionaries feature a few upgrades to the Oxford Reference series I reviewed before. These include: better mail integration and indexing as well as a structured note-taking system. For 14.99$, they remain a little pricey, … Read more]]>

White Park Bay recently released a handful of new Oxford Reference Dictionaries to add to its already strong suite. The new dictionaries feature a few upgrades to the Oxford Reference series I reviewed before. These include: better mail integration and indexing as well as a structured note-taking system. For 14.99$, they remain a little pricey, but are great titles for the would-be know-it-all.

All of White Park Bay’s apps are updated to support the new features which make this suite a much more worthwhile buy. The contents speaks for itself; Oxford’s dictionary series is one of the most pithy and wide-reaching reference series on a number of subjects. And that series is translated for 1:1 use on the iDevice – a great idea indeed.

In my previous article, I decried White Park Bay’s lack of note-taking and streamlined email support. Thankfully, both have been fixed. Note taking is accomplished by tapping a pad icon in the lower right hand portion of the screen and can be filled up with new information, comparisons – anything your heart fancies.

White Park Bay have made that easy. Thankfully, emailing is also much better. After sending an entry to email, the app is resumed from the same entry. Both of these tweaks are very helpful, especially as electronic dictionaries should benefit from their platform.

Unfortunately, White Park Bay still have left out one very important piece: resume function. When you exit a dictionary, current progress isn’t saved. After resuming, you are brought to the directory listing, not the last entry. And, after emailing an entry to someone, rather than resuming from the last read spot, the app defaults to the entry title. The series has been updated to let through fewer user-forceable errors, but it isn’t yet free of them. Landscape mode for the most part, is usable, but when sending an article via email then switching to landscape mode, the following rendering error pops up. And when entering landscape from portrait, the current article disappears from the right-hand column. There have been a number of tweaks which help this series stand out, but there is a long way to go.

The suite is great. There is no denying that Oxford Dictionary series is one of the best sources for fingertip browsing. And with so many items for perusal at the App Store, White Park Bay have a trump card for encyclopedia/dictionary buffs. But they are missing the mark in one spectacular way: these references are electronic and should be designed from the ground up to deliver content with all of the benefits of the format. Notes and better email support help the suite to reach maturity, but the absence of resume is a quizzical omission at best. While the suite is getting better, it isn’t yet at the level it should be for its price.

White Park Bay Software Ltd White Park Bay, Oxford Reference series, 14.99$

If you enjoy iDevice reference titles, you may enjoy the following articles.

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New App: National Geographic World Atlas – A Journey All around the Earth http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/01/21/national-geographic-world-atlas-a-journey-all-around-the-earth/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/01/21/national-geographic-world-atlas-a-journey-all-around-the-earth/#comments Thu, 21 Jan 2010 07:20:56 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=26462 If only Professor Otto Lidenbrock and his nephew, Axel, were born a century and a half later – their trip to the interior of the earth would have been spared a few mishaps. As it is, National Geographic World Atlas comes at a poignant time: when the news of earthquakes and floods constantly tips all … Read more]]>

If only Professor Otto Lidenbrock and his nephew, Axel, were born a century and a half later – their trip to the interior of the earth would have been spared a few mishaps. As it is, National Geographic World Atlas comes at a poignant time: when the news of earthquakes and floods constantly tips all four corners of the globe in the minds of more and more people.

World Atlas allows armchair adventurers to explore the globe in: classic, political, satellite, and antique views. It also makes use of the in-built triangulation and GPS functions.

National Geographic World Atlas National Geographic Society, National Geographic World Atlas – $1.99

App Description

Explore your world with National Geographic’s World Atlas for iPhone and iPod Touch!

Easy-to-use, feature packed, and containing the world’s best maps, the National Geographic World Atlas enables you to browse, search, and zoom detailed maps of the globe.

Unlike other atlas applications, the National Geographic World Atlas utilizes our highest resolution, “press-ready” images, providing you the same rich detail, accuracy, and artistic beauty found in our award-winning wall maps and bound atlases.

The National Geographic World Atlas contains 7 different levels of National Geographic cartography, plus through our unique partnership with Microsoft, 7 bonus levels of Microsoft Bing maps enabling you to zoom in close enough to see your home!

Learn more about the world around you using the up-to-date, expertly researched, Flags and Facts database which contains concise geographic and socio-economic data.

Find even the most remote places in the news, using the built-in search tool and place names directory which contains nearly 7 million entries!

Mark, annotate and save your favorite places with the intuitive push-pin tool. Add pictures from your photo library, or take a new picture on camera equipped iPhones.

On-the-go? GPS enabled iPhones can quickly center the map to your current position, making the National Geographic World Atlas a handy companion for global travelers.

Features

  • High resolution National Geographic cartography, the same used to print our award-winning wall maps and bound atlases!
  • Preloaded with 3 different styles of world maps, down to country detail. Additional detailed zoom levels and Microsoft Bing maps require internet connection to view. Map Library feature allows you to download and save National Geographic maps for faster access and offline use.
  • Easy-to-use and fast place name search tool, with over 6 million database entries (major cities index is preloaded; full search requires internet or cell connection).
  • World Flags and Facts database, expertly edited and up-to-date with concise socio-economic and geographic data.
  • Push pin tool enables you to mark, annotate, and save your favorite places. Push pins come in a variety of colors and can tap into your iPhoto library or camera.
  • GPS enabled iPhones can center the maps to show your current location.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet.

Languages
English

System Requirements
Compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch. Requires iPhone OS 2.0 or later.

National Geographic World Atlas National Geographic Society, National Geographic World Atlas – $1.99

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10 New Oxford titles from White Park Bay http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/25/10-new-oxford-titles-from-white-park-bay/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/25/10-new-oxford-titles-from-white-park-bay/#comments Fri, 25 Dec 2009 15:11:44 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=25214 White Park Bay’s collaborative efforts with Oxford have already brought a slew of Oxford reference titles to the iDevice platform which were reviewed at TMA. This week, they are bolstering their current offerings with 10 more titles, 7 of which were launched this week. In addition, White Park Bay have also upgraded their older app … Read more]]>

White Park Bay’s collaborative efforts with Oxford have already brought a slew of Oxford reference titles to the iDevice platform which were reviewed at TMA. This week, they are bolstering their current offerings with 10 more titles, 7 of which were launched this week. In addition, White Park Bay have also upgraded their older app suite with email and note-taking features from the new apps. White Park Bay’s newest releases are below:

Oxford Guide to Countries of the World Oxford Guide to Countries of the World – $14.99

Oxford Dictonary of Modern & Contemporary Art Oxford Dictonary of Modern & Contemporary Art – $14.99

Oxford Dictionary of Islam Oxford Dictionary of Islam – $14.99

Oxford Dictionary of Food and Nutrition Oxford Dictionary of Food and Nutrition – $14.99

Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable – $14.99

Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable – $14.99

Oxford Dictionary of Hinduism Oxford Dictionary of Hinduism

Oxford Dictionary of Hinduism Oxford Dictionary of Hinduism- $14.99

For more information, follow the gap:

Press Literature

White Park Bay Software, a leading iPhone Apps publisher, announced today that it has signed an extension to its content partnership agreement with Oxford University Press to publish ten more of Oxford’s reference titles on the iPhone Worldwide.

“We are really excited about the extension to our partnership with Oxford University Press”, said Steve Tagger, MD of White Park Bay. “Oxford are the benchmark for high quality reference titles. The combination of Oxford University Press’ excellent content and White park Bay’s strong Apps and marketplace reach on iPhone really sets this partnership up for continued success.”

The extension and expansion of White Park Bay’s Reference catalogue on iPhone will see the launch of a further ten titles from Oxford University press.
The additional titles, which will be released in phases starting from 23rd December 2009, widens the scope of the iPhone catalogue and includes flagship titles “A Dictionary of Modern and Con- temporary Art” and “Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations” compiled by Ned Sherin.

The complete launch catalogue is:

  • A Guide to Countries of the World
  • Concise Encyclopedia
  • A Dictionary of Contemporary World History
  • A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art
  • Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations
  • The Oxford Dictionary of Islam
  • A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition
  • Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
  • A Dictionary of Buddhism
  • A Dictionary of Hinduism

The range opens up the scope of White Park Bay’s catalogue to the home consumer in addition to delivering a high quality information experience to students and professionals alike.

“Consumer demand for reference products and services on iPhone is growing,” said Steve Tagger. “As one of the leaders in high quality cutting edge reference Apps on iPhone we are perfectly placed to deliver what consumers want. We have bolstered the range through our partnership extension and having listened to our customers added some cool new features, so we are confi- dent the quality of the Apps will shine through to reflect the quality of the content from Oxford University Press”

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