Nichols Solutions Blog

Mobile Development / iPhone App Reviews

App Review – Scraps

This application was released on July 31, 2009 into the App Store.  I had been looking around for an app like this as sometimes I need to copy something quickly from a webpage to reference later that I really don’t need to book the entire website for.  Now, with this application, I no longer have to bookmark the application or copy it to my notes and lose the formatting.  I simply have it in Scraps and can keep all of the formatting, make notes and email it to have when I get back to my computer.  This really helps me save time from the way that I was doing it before.  Really handy for all those phone numbers that the wife always calls and asks for as well…just pull up Scraps as I’m sure it’s one she asked for in the past 🙂  Below is the applications description.  Head on over to the App Store and download Scraps today!

Scraps Description:

Scraps is a simple, lightweight iPhone app that provides a place to put anything you’d like to copy and that you aren’t quite sure what to do with it yet.

Scraps preserves important data – e.g., when you copy text from a website, formatting and URL information are also copied.

** N.B.: Scraps requires iPhone 3.0 **

Features:
– Paste plain text, formatted text (such as from a website), URLs, and images into Scraps.
– Add notes to your clippings to keep track of them.
– Quickly email the clips you want.  The original link (if available) is attached.
– Archive all of your clippings via email.
– Automatically formats emails: your clippings are “quoted” to distinguish them, and the original link is included.
– Adjust rich text clippings: change font size, set text to black on white background (if for some reason a website’s theme is not properly copied) and switch to plain text.

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August 30, 2009 Posted by | iPhone Application Review | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on App Review – Scraps

App Review – 18,000 Cool Jokes

This application was released on June 28, 2009 into the App Store.  This app has incredible graphics and some really great jokes!  I like the ability to be able to save some of the better ones to your favorites to allow you to bring them up faster when wanting to tell a new buddy.  You can view jokes by category or simply shake the device for a random joke.  Great for those days when you need a good pick me up!  One of the best joke applications that I have loaded onto my iPhone.  Would like to have the ability to censor the dirty jokes out for the children in future updates but I love this app!  Below is the applications description.  Head on over to the App Store and download 18,000 Cool Jokes today!

18,000 Cool Jokes Description:

Ever been in a company through friends and family, telling each other jokes?  Now, there’s an app that will always give you more and more jokes to tell and laugh.  And if you just feel like wasting 5 minutes, you can always open 18,000 Cool Jokes and put the smile on 🙂

18,000 Cool Jokes is the only app that puts so many jokes on your iDevice and in your pocket!  There are thousands of funny jokes for every taste, which makes it perfect for spending several minutes when you feel bored, or you want to break the ice with someone.

The features you’ll find are:
– Filter jokes by length – Short / Medium / Long
– 18,000 jokes – and no internet connection required!
– 48 categories
– Favorites section, to store the jokes you really loved
– Shake detection for random joke
– Gorgeous colorful graphics
– Intelligent algorithm for joke selection, so you don’t have to read the same joke twice
– Send a joke via e-mail, to share the fun with your friends

Have fun!

For more info, please visit: http://www.cramzy.com

August 24, 2009 Posted by | iPhone Application Review | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on App Review – 18,000 Cool Jokes

App Review – HoursTracker

This application was released on August 10, 2009 into the App Store.  For those freelancers out there, this is the application for you to keep up with your time!  You can enter in different jobs and “Clock In” and then you can work, answer calls, turn phone off, turn phone back on; then when you are finished with the job, choose “Clock Out” and it has kept up with all of your time on the job.  You can also enter in your rate, tax info, etc. and it will calculate your hours and money.  Developer provides a pretty detailed description of the feature set of the application and is continuing to improve this already great app!  Don’t stop reading here, read the detailed description below and go ahead and grab this valuable asset to your company!  Below is the applications description.  Head on over to the App Store and download HoursTracker today!

HoursTracker Description:

Hours Tracker is an intuitive application for keeping track of your time.  It is perfect for people who work hourly jobs and need to turn in a time card or time sheet, contractors who bill for jobs or projects separately, or those who simply just want to keep track of the hours they have worked.

Features:
* Intuitive user-interface for ease-of-use.
* Keeps track of time worked for multiple jobs/projects (even at the same time).
* Updates onscreen hours and money earned in real-time for active jobs.
* Supports full edit, delete, and add of jobs and hours worked.
* Supports entering different hourly rates for hours worked entries, and remembers the rate for hours worked in the past (useful if your rate changes).
* Allows free-form comments to be added to hours worked.
* Allows viewing of hours across jobs, grouped by day, week, or month.
* Displays date formats and currency symbols based on the iPhone’s international settings.
* Exports data via e-mail in human-friendly or computer-friendly formats as message and/or attachment.  Use the export to fill out a timesheet or track earnings on your desktop.
* Uses standard iPhone Mail application for e-mail data exports.

Hours Tracker supports tracking time worked for multiple jobs and can export that data via e-mail in human-friendly form and in spreadsheet-friendly CSV (comma-delimited) format.  E-mail exports can be sent via message body and/or file attachment.  The user interface of Hours Tracker is designed to match the look/feel of standard iPhone applications and streamline common tasks.

Touching a job brings up a menu with options for clocking in or out and cleaning up old data by date (if you have already turned in a time card for it or otherwise want it removed).  Touching the Clock In button starts a timer for that job and Hours Tracker begins displaying details about the time being tracked.  Hours Tracker will keep track of time worked and money made while Clocked In, even while you use other applications, talk on the phone, even turn your phone off.  Touching the Clock Out button records the time worked.

Information about jobs (e.g. the name, the hourly rate, time worked) can be edited at any time by touching the arrow next to the job name.  You can also delete or edit time worked (change the start/end times, the effective hourly rate, or add a comment) and add time worked in the past or even in the future.

The “Review Hours” tab gives you a report-style view of the time worked.  This view summarizes time worked by a job and your choice of Day, Week, or Month.  This allows you to see the bigger picture without having to drill down into each job.

The “Export Data” tab lets you customize the e-mail export and then prepares an e-mail message to be sent by the standard Mail application on your iPhone (no extra configuration needed).  You can use this e-mail to fill out your time sheet, time card, or to fill into a spreadsheet on your desktop.  You can select an e-mail address to send to, set the message subject, and specify data export formats.  You can choose between “Friendly” (a nicely formatted summary of time worked), “CSV Data” (a spreadsheet-friendly comma separated data format), and “Nothing” options for both the message body and attachment of the message.  All changes made on this screen are remembered.

August 22, 2009 Posted by | iPhone Application Review | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on App Review – HoursTracker

App Review – Sheep Thrills

This application was released on July 29, 2009 into the App Store.  Basically this application is just a soundboard of sheep sounds.  Has images of the sheep for you to figure out which sound is what.  You touch the image, it plays the sound.  For me, this application just didn’t quite do it for me; however others may love it.  Below is the applications description.  Head on over to the App Store and download Sheep Thrills today!

Sheep Thrills Description:

Sheep Thrills brings the latest in comedy sheep sounds and original artwork to your iPhone or iPod touch.  Until now whenever someone made a sheep gag all you could do was your best sheep impression and hope for the best.

Now Sheep Thrills gives you a variety of hilarious sheep sounds to fit any occasion or situation.  From run of the mill farm sheep, mad sheep, embarrassed sheep or even undead zombie sheep; Sheep Thrills has it all in Ovine terms.

So go ahead download Sheep Thrills today and enjoy a little laugh on us.

August 22, 2009 Posted by | iPhone Application Review | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on App Review – Sheep Thrills

App Review – My Blue Screen

This application was released on August 19, 2009 into the App Store.  I do like this application for the simple reason it reminds everyone how unstable the Windows platforms are!  Every time I have to go work on someone’s Windows based computer, I cringe at the thought.  This application allows you to create a custom blue screen error message, commonly referred to as the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).  You can now save the image to your photo library and also check the Blue Screen of the week.  I would like to see some improvements, the ability to make the image a full screen image for one instead of it displaying just on the monitor screen.  I would also like the ability for the application to store your previous screens that you have created within the application to create it again quickly or to add/delete things from it.  The ability to email from directly within the application to friends would also be a plus that would email the full size image to whomever you select.  And the final thing, the ability to save the Error of the Week to your Library as well.  Below is the applications description.  Head on over to the App Store and download My Blue Screen today!

My Blue Screen Description:

With My Blue Screen you can create your own funny or clever error messages.  Your message will be displayed in the classic Blue Screen style.

What’s more there’s also an ‘Error of the Week’ section where you can view the best errors created by My Blue Screen users.

Some user comments:
“A great way to make your friends laugh” Rated 4.5/5 – AppStoreReviews

“I tricked my brother thinking that I have a PC on my iPod and it crashed!  LOL for this app!!!” 5/5 – Review excerpt from Promo Dispenser

“This is a pretty cool app to play around with” 4/5 – Review excerpt from Promo Dispenser

August 20, 2009 Posted by | iPhone Application Review | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

App Review – Convert ~ the unit calculator

This application was released on August 11, 2009 into the App Store.  This application has one of the best user interfaces that I have seen!  I have found this application to be a nice addition to my collection and will use this more frequently than the other conversion applications that I had in the past.  I really like that you can add some of your most used conversion factors to favorites so that you can quickly pull them up later.  The currencies are updated automatically from the servers or you can manually update it.  Just pick what conversion you want, choose the unit from and the unit to, then type in the number.  You can copy the result (OS 3.0 or higher) for use in other applications.  You can also switch the units around if needed by simply tapping on the unit and the arrow will change direction for you.  It also has a regular calculator built-in for you which other conversion applications that I use have not had.  Below is the applications description.  Head on over to the App Store and download Convert ~ the unit calculator today!

Convert ~ the unit calculator Description:

Convert is a unit converter and calculator designed with simplicity, usability and beauty in mind…

In a nutshell, we created Convert because we just weren’t satisfied with any other unit converter in the App Store.  Once you try Convert, you’ll see how much thought and effort went into making it so intuitive and efficient to use.

FEATURES:
– Simple, elegant user interface.
– Built-in calculator…no need to switch to the Calculator app.
– Unit calculations.
– A simple way to set your favorite units.
– Currency conversion values updated live.
– Copy & paste (for OS 3.0 users and above).
– Innovative “Disclosure Picker” for revealing unit names makes selection easier.
– Revolutionary “Magic Lens” displays only relevant info, reducing clutter.

UNIT TYPES INCLUDED:
– angle
– area
– computer (bits, bytes, gigabytes, etc.)
– currency
– energy
– force
– length
– power
– pressure
– speed
– temperature
– time
– typography (points, picas, pixels, etc.)
– volume
– weight

Convert enables you to easily perform complicated unit calculations…

Having a dinner party and need to triple a recipe?  Let’s say your recipe calls for 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of sugar.  Using Convert, you can quickly find out that tripling it is a half cup and save yourself a lot of scooping!

August 17, 2009 Posted by | iPhone Application Review | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

App Review – iPranks

This application was released on July 28, 2009 into the App Store.  Below is the applications description.  This application is hilarious!  I did the picture hunt game with my wife and she almost broke my iPhone when the scary picture came on!  I used the second Oriental Spa game on a friend at work that likes to visit those spa’s sometimes…you should have saw his face!  I can’t wait to see what other pranks are added in future updates.  I think this will be a great app for continuous fun at getting back to those friends who are so gullible!  Below is the applications description.  Head on over to the App Store and download iPranks today!

iPranks Description:

IPRANKS!  THE MOST AWESOMEST IPHONE PRANK APP EVER!

Hate your loud, annoying, obnoxious, jerk friends?  Do they need lessons in proper iPhone etiquette?  Then SCARE, ANNOY, or EMBARRASS them.  iPranks is the first prank suite of it’s kind with 3 unique simulated apps with 3 unique pranks!

*** PRANK 1: “PICTURE HUNT” ***
Punk your friend with “Picture Hunt”!  Disguised as a photo memorization game, the serene nature photos conceal the horror that awaits.  Adult diapers not included.

*** PRANK 2: “ORIENTAL SPA” ***
Friends got yellow fever?  We have just the cure.  Let them embark on a sensual choose-your-own-adventure only to be rewarded with the “hottest” reward this side of the Pacific…

*** PRANK 3: “BUBBLE BUNNIES” ***
Sick of friends hogging your iPhone?  Let Bubble Bunnies handle it.  Disguised as a sexy button-masher, if they think they can handle these girls, think again!

August 17, 2009 Posted by | iPhone Application Review | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on App Review – iPranks

App Review – BizSnap

This application was released on July 22, 2009 into the App Store.  Nice simple interface.  While I only have the iPhone 3G, the camera isn’t the best for this application as is stated in the description.  I was able to take a picture of my business card and it got about 70% of the information correct.  I think this would be a great application for all the iPhone 3GS owners to have as it would save tons of time entering contacts from business cards.  The feature that I really like is the receipts as I travel often and find that my skills of keeping up with receipts is horrible, especially when it comes around to tax time.  BizSnap has a very nice looking interface and I’m sure the developers will continue to make this a great application.  Below is the applications description. Head on over to the App Store and download BizSnap today!

BizSnap Description:

BizSnap lets you create contacts and capture receipts on your iPhone in a snap!  **** ATTENTION ****, watch BizSnap in action at: http://www.bizsnap.cc/video.html

BizSnap requires the iPhone 3GS with its higher resolution camera.

BizSnap uses a photo you take of a business card or receipt, passes it through a sophisticated optical character recognition (OCR) engine, then allows you to use the resulting text to create a contact or capture receipt details.

Features:
– Automatic contact field detection for United States formatted telephone numbers and street addresses (international address support coming soon).
– Automatic receipt date, subtotal, tax, and total field detection.
– Unlimited card and receipt snaps, no service requirements.
– E-mail receipt snaps
– Paste images from other applications (e.g., e-mail) to use as card/receipt snaps.

Tips & Tricks – BizSnap’s OCR will be as good as the photo you take, so keep the following things in mind.
– Be sure you are using the app with an iPhone 3GS as it has a higher quality camera than the iPhone and iPhone 3G.
– Hold very still while taking the photo to avoid a blurry image.
– Orient the iPhone camera to match the orientation of the text on the card or receipt.
– Take the photo in an area with bright ambient light.
– Make sure there are no shadows cast on the card/receipt when taking the photo.
– For glossy business cards make sure glare does not obscure portions of the text.

August 17, 2009 Posted by | iPhone Application Review | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on App Review – BizSnap

App Review – Hurricane Supply List

This application was released on July 13, 2009 into the App Store. I can see where this would be a very beneficial application for those living in the hurricane areas to shelter in place and have exactly the things they will need. It tells in detail of how much water per person, etc. Some of the supplies even have a picture for them with the description. You can also touch to check off an item in the list to make sure that you have everything. I would like to see the developer add the ability to add/remove items from the list as well as the ability to show how much of an item you have in stock. Below is the applications description. Head on over to the App Store and download Hurricane Supply List today!

Hurricane Supply List Description:

A complete list of supplies you will need in case of a hurricane.  Includes things you will need before, during, and after the storm.  Includes item descriptions and pictures.  You can find hurricane supply lists from many places like your local grocery store or even online.  The problem is that they are all different and have a very small list of items.  What we have done is reviewed hundreds of supply lists and come up with a complete list of everything you will need to be ready for a hurricane.  Just check off items as you get them to make keeping track of your supplies a cinch.

August 16, 2009 Posted by | iPhone Application Review | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Other – iPhone Application Sketch Book

Well, today I received my iPhone Application Sketch Book.  Dean Kaplan, from Kapsoft, was so kind to have sent me one of these so that I could give my opinion to other potential iPhone Developers.  I am happy to say that I can officially get rid of all my scratch pieces of paper that I have thrown together in my laptop bag now and have one central location for all of my iPhone designs and project mockups.  Having this one “Sketch Book” will allow me to be more productive in meetings with clients and co-workers as all of the drawings and notes will be in one location.  The “Sketch Book” is filled with 100 blank to scale iPhone templates that you can layout how you want your application to appear on the screen and make any notes of that view’s functionality on the same page.  Every page at the top has a place for Application Name, Screen Name, and Notes.  What more could a developer ask for?  I think it would benefit all iPhone developers as well as clients that are seeking iPhone applications to be designed for them.  This way the client could have all the graphics and what they are wanting to show to the iPhone developer.  It would also enable the iPhone Developer to show their client exactly how things would be laid out on screen and allow input from the client instead of getting everything finished up and seeing if that is what the client had in mind.  The pricing for this is $14.99 which is a great deal! It is a spiral bound notebook, has nice thick pages, and is all around a quality product. Below is the products description. Head on over to the iPhone Application Sketch Book website and get your copy today!

EDIT: I think I forgot to mention that this product is now an invaluable part of my design process for all future applications by Nichols Solutions!

Details:
This attractive notebook holds 100 blank to-scale iPhone templates ready for you to design that next big App hit. This is an inexpensive way to keep those important User Interface (UI) designs organized and at your finger tips with plenty of room for notes and annotations.

If you already know that you want to order a large quantity, please email us at info@mobilesketchbook.com for pricing.  We also have the capability to produce custom Sketch Books in small quantities to your Graphical Design specifications.

A recent survey of iPhone Application Designers revealed that 95% use traditional paper and pencil to sketch layouts of their ideas and User Interface designs.  Most thought they could benefit from a way to keep these sketches better organized.  What do you think?

Kapsoft also provides a host of Software Design Consulting Services from iPhone Programming, iPhone Accessory Design (select member of “Made for iPod – Works with iPhone” program), to Enterprise Cloud based programming.

August 14, 2009 Posted by | Other | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Other – iPhone Application Sketch Book