TweetDeck for iPad

Nope, there’s no mention of it if that’s what you thought when you read the title. But it is the subject of this musing.

I wonder if we will still see TweetDeck on the iPad following the Twitter buy-out. I really hope so as I love TweetDeck on Chrome, it’s by far the best Twitter experience, in my most humble of opinions, and I truly hope that an iPad app is stil in the making and that it will offer a similar experience to “ChromeDeck”.

What do you think? Will we see TweetDeck on the iPad?

I am @craigt44 on Twitter and you can find me on Google+ here.

Panamp for iOS

Panamp is a music app for the iPhone from Clever & Son. It allows you to listen to your music, control playback, organise tracks and browse your music collection all via a very well considered and designed user interface.

Panamp Logo

The Panamp UI has clearly been given thought, not only are the aesthetics very pleasing but the overall experience is one that will keep the user coming back (it’s certainly kept this geek interested). Controls are very intuitive and Clever & Son have designed in some very nice gesture based controls to make playback control and queuing tracks very slick.

Panamp syncs fully with your iTunes library so you will find all of your music, podcasts and iTunes playlists available. On first opening the app there’s a similarity in layout and presentation with the native iPod app as you are presented with lists of your music. Lists of songs, albums, artists and your iTunes playlists are available via the icons at the top of the screen. However, Clever & Son have made great use of the screen real estate and each list shows a larger selection of tracks, albums and playlsits than the native app.

There are three distinct areas to the app. Search, Music Library and Dynamic Queues.

Search
The left most icon along the top bar invokes the search feature which works exactly as you would expect.

Dynamic Queues
The right most icon along the top bar takes you to the music queue, which is one of the best features of Panamp.

Music can be queued very easily on-the-fly. Navigate to the artist, album or track you want to add to the queue and simply swipe right. The artist, album or track is instantly added to the queue which can then be re-ordered simply by dragging them up or down the queue. Tap any track to begin playing it immediately and use the controls at the bottom of the screen to pause, resume, skip through the track or select the next (swipe left) or previous (swipe right) tracks.

Queue
Queue

The queue can be updated immediately by adding more tracks, re-ordering them or removing them (swipe left on a track to take it out of the queue).

Music Library
Panamp is a music payer so of course artists, albums and tracks can be played directly from the appropriate list simply by tapping om them. Tracks are played in order and the same intuitive controls are invoked enabling full control of playback.

Cascading Views
When viewing the playlist, album or artist lists, tapping a title instantly expands out the contents of that playlist, album or artist. Tapping the title again intuitively rolls the contents back up. This is another great feature that demonstrates attention to detail in the design process. There is no need to jump around different screens, moving back and forth to view contents of albums. They are simply cascaded right there on the same screen.

Cascading View
Cascading View

 

Panamp is kept in sync with your iTunes library at all times, including playlists and supports iCloud and AirPlay.

The Panamp site talks about interacting with your music being an effortless delight and they are absolutely right. Panamp is simple to use and offers a very intuitive user interface that makes listening to your music that much better.

Panamp is available now from the Apple App Store, priced at $2.99 /£1.79 /€2.39.

I am @craigt44 on Twitter.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the app to review for this article

Bamboo Paper for iPad

Bamboo Paper for the iPad is a note taking app that allows the user to scrawl directly onto the iPad using a finger or capacitive stylus (I prefer the latter). Version 1.2 (current) allows for a single notebook to be created which is presented to the user at launch.

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From this initial screen it is possible to rename the notebook (tap the title), reset it by tapping the trash can (this takes the notebook back to “factory”, complete with instructions) and output the book either by email (as a PDF) or by printing (AirPrint). Tapping the settings icon allows the colour of the notebook to be changed as well as the paper type (plain, ruled or squared).

Tapping the notebook cover opens the notebook to the first page. On first launch (and until you clear the page) this first page gives an overview of the functions along with a few tips.

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Along the top of the page there are icons for selecting the pen colour and line thickness, an eraser, for clearing the page, for returning to the main screen, undo, redo, one to bookmark the page and one for sharing the page. The options for sharing are via email (as an image), save an image to Photos and print the page.

Along the bottom of the page are the navigation icons for page forward, page backward and page scanning. Tapping the page scanning icon (the centre dot) brings up a navigation panel that allows you to scroll though the pages of the notebook, tapping the required page to navigate to it. Bookmarked pages show up in this view with a little red bookmark icon in the top right hand corner.

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Right now the features are limited and a number of additions would make it a much more useful tool. The ability to add multiple notebooks, to delete individual pages, the addition of Dropbox integration and other sharing options would take this app to the next level.

Bamboo Paper is a very useful app. Notes can be scrawled on the fly and stored and shared later. Go and grab it here (iTunes link).

15-July-2011 Update: I’ve just received an email from Wacom Europe to say that Multiple notebooks are coming in the next few days along with other “nice features”.  Multiple notebooks is a very welcome addition (looks like there will be a small $2.99 charge for multiple notebooks).

21-July-2011 Update: Wacom have released version 1.3 which includes the option to purchase multiple notebooks for just $1.99 / €1.59 / £1.49.

I am @craigt44 on Twitter.

Text Candy Pro

When App Candy Productions approached me to review Text Candy Pro I have to admit, I hesitated. This isn’t the kind of app that I would particularly look for in the app store and I didn’t want to be in a situation where I had to review something I didn’t really “get”.

However, having had a few days with Text Candy Pro, memories of old have come flooding back and I find myself trying to think of new images to create. Remember those good old days of ASCII character pictures sent over SMS? That’s where Text Candy Pro comes in.

Text Candy Pro is an app for the iPhone to create text images and send them to friends and loved ones in an entertaining and creative way.

The images have a certain hand-drawn look to them and the number of images you can create are virtually limitless (only your creativity and imagination set the boundaries).

The app comes with several images already available in the 10 categories from which you can choose. There are animals, cartoons, holidays and more. The “Texpics” can be sent via email, Facebook or SMS (although the intention for SMS is that the message is sent from iPhone to iPhone so be aware of that if you expecting the message/picture to look the same on a different phone).

Textpics can be saved to favourites (handy if you use a particular image frequently) and there is a handy “recent” tab in which you can, obviously, view your recent Textpics.

This is a fun app which certainly brought some memories flooding back for me. If ASCII based images are your thing then you’ll get a kick out of Text Candy Pro.

More info about Text Candy PRO is available here.

I am @craigt44 on Twitter.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this app for the review

New Apple Tablet?

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the title for this post.

Today, a colleague offered up a blast from the past in the shape of an Apple Newton MessagePad.  18 years on it’s amazing to see it working.  It’s not what you would call blisteringly fast but it reasonably accurately recognised my hand-written scribbles and converted them accordingly.

This particular model is the M100 or “original MessagePad”. I won’t go into detail about what it offered as a simple Google search will reveal all.  Take a look at the Wikipedia entry for the device.

Needless to say it was an entertaining look at Apples past!  Seems they were a little ahead of themselves.

I am @craigt44 on Twitter.

(better picture to come!)