Saturday, 30 April 2011
iTunes with Red Cross has set up an iTunes page where you can easily donate to help for the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief. If you can spend 5€ in an application for your iPhone I am sure you ca also spend 5€ (or more) to help Japanese people.
Make sure you click here and do your donation now:
Here is my first Safari Extension ever, Scrollbars. It changes your default safari scrollbars by a thin iOS-like scrollbar. Really nice.
It uses CSS to modify the style of the page, removing the standard scrollbars and using instead the thin scrollbar generated by CSS. I have found it does not work correctly in some sites that have their own CSS style I guess. I'm not sure if there is any way to overwrite that, but if I find it I will update it.
Please go ahead and download it from this link:
All feedback is welcome!
I have been using for a while YoruFukurou Twitter Mac app. It is full of features and free. You can download it at http://sites.google.com/site/yorufukurou/home-en
The only thing I was missing was a Safari extension that would add a button in my toolbar to send the URL to YoruFukurou. So, I did one based on Echofon It by Favio Basile (http://www.cosmicmission.com/)
Go and download it now at:
Here I am again reviewing a new iPhone calendar app. Now the turn is for SmartCalendar by Korean developer Minuk Apps.
This app synchronize with the iOS build in calendars. It has two main views, a month and a week view and it offers a lot of customization options plus a list view.
A peculiar thing in this app is that you can treat events as tasks marking them as completed in the list view.
Here are the month and week views:
Both views include always a text description of the events. In the month view, for events that spread over several days, you can choose to show a thin arrow that goes over all of the appointment covered, in a really nice way.
Whenever you select a day in the month, a nice pop up screen will appear with a detailed view of the day and other useful information like week view, date, and interestingly, a counter with the days to that date from today.
Also, you can select if you want the detail view attached to the lower part of the screen instead of a floating screen by pressing the small inverted triangle indicator.
In both month and week view you can change the view to see the holidays. These holidays come from a previously selected calendar from your iPhone (for instance, your local holiday calendar)
Also from the month view, and by double-tapping in a day, you can open the day detail view. I somehow do not like how this day view has been implemented. Have a look:
In the list view you can mark events as completed, treating events as tasks. This can be useful if you do not use any other task management app.
All views offer an alternative view when you rotate your device as you can see below. Specially the week view becomes a nice time based view.
Whenever you want to add an event from any of the views, you are asked to use the build in iOS event creation window or the one from SmartCalendar. In case you choose the last one, you can assign a color per appointment.
And a final comment, the app allows a lot of customization, from the color of the calendar, to the week numbering, and it even offers 4 different themes for the app look.
As a summary, I find this app really nice for those who like detailed month views. Also in case that you want to use your build in iOS calendar as a task list. And you can get this all for 1.59€ at the iTunes App store.
You can also follow the developer on twitter at @SCalDeveloper.
Finally I have decided to buy Calmanac for iPhone and give it a try. Here are my impressions.
Calmanac by Ceptacle is a calendar app that simulates a desk and a wall calendar like the one you might have hanging on the wall at work. It has two basic views, the Desk Calendar and the Wall Calendar.
The Desk Calendar shows your day appointments and some extra information like the sun and moon rise and set times as well as a week summary on the right side of the screen. Sun and moon information are updated automatically based on your GPS coordinates. Neat!
This view has only portrait orientation. You can scroll through the days by moving your finger up and down on the right side of the view. Today's date is indicated by a small red clip while the selected day is identified with a black clip. Very cute. Birthdays are displayed with a small red gift icon. For multiple day events, you will see a small line going through the days that the event covers.
Another of the interesting characteristics of this app is that you can assign icons to appointment automatically. You can for instance assign a small meeting icon to all appointments that contain the text "meeting". There are some predefined strings, so you might see already some of these icons when you start up the app for the first time.
How do you access the settings and how do you change to the Wall Calendar view? Just by pressing on the right lower corner. Another way to change to the Wall Calendar view is by double tapping on the week summary area of the Desk Calendar view.
The Desk Calendar view has up two three levels of zoom where you can see up to one week in detail. It emulates a wall calendar very well, giving you a very nice four month overview. And if you turn your iphone horizontally, you can have an overview of the whole year. Double tab on any area, and it will zoom in.
You can really get into a nice zoom detail where you can even see the names of the birthdays. Double tab again to zoom out.
And after all this explanation, here it is my opinion. I think it is a great idea but honestly, this should have been an iPad app, not an iPhone app. The Wall Calendar view in horizontal is almost impossible to read on the iPhone 4 screen. However this would be great on an iPad screen.
Another annoying issue is the event creation. You click and hold on the screen to add or edit an event, but I have noticed during my tests that events are created too often by mistake, to the point of becoming really an issue.
Also I have noticed some speed issues, although I would consider it normal due to the amount of data that the app is handling.
And one bug that I hope it is corrected: whenever there are two birthdays in one day, it overlaps the names making it unreadable.
All and all, I like the app but I find it difficult to use on my iPhone. I hope the developers polish this first version and they release soon an update. I will wait for an universal update for iPad.
If you want to buy the app, visit this iTunes store link.
Do you have your iPhone usually docked at your office or at home? Do you want an app that always tells you what is coming next in your agenda? Then MetaClock by Meta-Glamour is what you are looking for. And here it is my review.
Whenever you start MetaClock you will be presented with a nice analog clock. But this is not just a clock. First of all, you will see around the minute and hour markers some red marks. These are you appointments in your calendar, so you can see when you are busy next. And yes, it uses the iOS Calendar app calendars. All day events are shown as a circle in the center of the clock. Very clever design. Also, the markers for the events become thinner as the event is further away in time. And events that are happening after more than 5 hours are shown in white color.
What else you can do? From the main clock view, Swipe the clock up and you will see under the clock the list of events for today. Swipe it down to go back to the full screen clock.
Back in the main clock view again, swipe the clock down to access the count down view. You will see the list of today's events in your calendar. Select one and you will get a count down till the appointment start time. Useful if you want to see how much time you have left. Swipe it up to go back to the full screen clock again.
By pressing just once on top of the clock, you can easily access the settings and add event buttons. On the upper right corner the setting button appear. On the left side the add event one. The screen to add events is the standard iOS one, so you should be familiar with it.
About the options, you can
- set MetaClock to be always on, by not activating the block screen as long as the app is running,
- select which calendars to show,
- display hour marker,
- display the date number,
- display the day of the week,
- remove the second marker if you find it annoying moving all the time,
- display all day events,
- change the hour, minute and second markers for dots
- customize the color for the appointments and the hour and minute markers,
All and all it is a great way to use your iPhone as a nice desk clock whenever it is connected to your dock. The app is quite simple but useful at the same time and it uses very cleverly all the iPhone swipe gestures to reduce the user interface elements.
Do not hesitate to visit their web site where there is a video explaining how to operate the app.
You can get MetaClock from this itunes store link.