iOS 5.0: Twitter integration

One of the most useful features of iOS 5.0 is, in my opinion, Twitter integration. In the new OS it’s baked right into the heart of pretty much everything.

If, like me, you tweet a lot and get tired of copying something out of one app and pasting it into your Twitter app, you may rejoice at the addition of Twitter integration in iOS 5.0. Yeah ok it’s perhaps never been that much of an issue but by baking Twitter into the OS our lives on Twitter have certainly become a little easier.

For example, on the iPad, when I am perusing my photo albums and spontaneously decide I need to share a photo on Twitter, previously I had to come out of the photo app, open up my twitter app, open up the compose screen, hit the photo button, choose the image, write my tweet and send it. Now I can just select “Tweet” from the actions menu, write my tweet and send it. Simple.

20111022-141419.jpg

As Twitter functionality is built into the OS, this ability to tweet immediately is available from within many apps. Another great feature of iOS 5.0.

What do you think? Is it useful?

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

The photo is of the band Beyond Words, performing during the awards presentation in which they were voted Best Trio 2011 (their second time winning this award).

iOS 5.0 battery life

The jury is still out on whether battery life under iOS 5.0 is the same, worse or better than in previous builds of the iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch software.

In the meantime, if you are experiencing much faster battery drain, there are a number of things you can try.

Firstly, makes sure you only have notifications set for the apps that you really want notifications for. Sounds obvious I know but notifications are generally set for way more apps than you will typically want or need notifications from.

The same can be said for location services. You will find a lot of apps with location services turned on. Go through them and turn off anything you don’t want to use location. At the bottom of the location services settings screen tap on System Services and turn on Status Bar Icon. This will show the location services arrow in the status bar whenever one of the system services is using location. This will give you an idea of which system service is potentially draining your battery. I found that the time zone setting was the biggest culprit here and have since turned it off.

Finally, and I’d actually recommend doing this first, carry out a full charge cycle of your device. All that means is run the devices battery flat, to the point that the device turns off. Then charge it back to 100%, ideally without interruption to the charging.

Why charge cycle the device? After such a large update to the operating system software, it often needs to re-learn the extremities of the battery charge (it’s lowest and highest charge levels). The software learns this by depleting the battery fully and then charging it back to full.

I reported an issue with the battery draining rapidly on my own 3GS. Take a look at the screen grab below of the battery usage settings screen.  Pretty dire eh?

Despite turning a lot of the notifications and location services off, 9-10 hours was the most I could get out of it.  However, after giving the battery a full discharge, followed by a full, uninterrupted charge to 100% I am happy to report that battery life is back to where it was prior to the update.

So, first port of call, should you be experiencing poor battery life after updating to iOS 5.0, is to charge cycle your device.

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

 

 

Welcome back notes app

The introduction of iCloud to Apple devices has had a greater effect than I thought it would.

I’ve never really used the Notes app on my iPhone or iPad, finding it too limited to the device on which it is being used.

Notes I created on the iPhone were stuck on the iPhone. That made it pretty pointless to me. Yes, I use Springpad (and used to use Evernote) but sometimes the simplicity of the Notes app really appeals. Sometimes I just want to open a notes app, enter some text and close it again.

The inbuilt Notes app on iOS devices is just like that. It’s quick, simple and easy. Now that the notes I type on it appear on both my iPhone and iPad, irrespective of which one I create the notes on, I’m using it a lot.

Welcome back Notes app.

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

iOS 5.1?

I anticipate an update to iOS 5.0 in the not too distant future. Alongside reports of faster battery draining I’ve certainly noticed some odd behaviour here and there.

The most obvious is a blanking of the screen when switching between apps, predominantly when switching back to Safari. There have been a few instances of a slight flickering too, although I’ve not pinpointed where this is most evident yet.

Therefore, I expect to see an update in the not too distant future. A huge release like this will always carry a few bugs (truth be told most, if not all, phone software contains a lot of bugs…. the key is to make sure they aren’t critical or particularly noticeable to the end user). So it goes without saying that there will be an update to follow.

Have you noticed any issues with iOS 5.0? I’d be really interested to hear what you’ve found.

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

WordPress for iOS updated to v2.9

The already brilliant iOS WordPress app just got a whole lot better with the introduction of version 2.9, featuring much needed additions such as rich text editing, quick links and a lot more space to enter all of your words.

It’s so easy to make things bold for example, or to strike out text.

Links are much easier too with the quick link button…. as easy as this. I would like a few more options in the link dialogue box (for example to set the target etc) but it’s a great leap forward and makes the app much quicker to use.

These are great updates and make for a much more productive app.

Go download it! Seriously!

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

Perfect Web Browser v2.9 for iPad

Perfect Web Browser for iPad was recommended to me over on Google+. I resisted the urge to try it as Safari, for the most part, is a perfectly competent browser and, at £2.99, I didn’t see the point in paying for something that the iPad can already do very well.

Of course the lure of new and shiny got the better of me and I soon found myself navigating around the interwebs on a new browser!

First impressions are good. Perfect Web Browser comes with a raft of very useful features (see the full list below) which make browsing that little bit easier. “Proper” tabs are supported as are multi-touch gestures for changing tabs, navigating forward and backward, for closing full-screen mode and more besides.

I particularly like the ability to tweak the font size via a quick drop down menu. I’m always doing that in Chrome and really miss it when on the iPad and using Safari.

One other notable feature I like is the inclusion of a desktop browser rendering option. The drop down list lets you select between Mobile Safari (this is the default), Safari iPad, Safari iPhone, Safari Mac, Firefox 3.6, IE6, 7 & 8, Opera 10.5 and Chrome.

Has it replaced Safari on my iPad?

No.  There are a couple of reasons for this.

It crashes from time to time. Within the first half day it had crashed three times. It needs some work to make it more stable.

It doesn’t seem to like Javascript and fails to open pop up windows and certainly doesn’t like the Google Analytics site (doing things like opening the web address of the site rather than the corresponding stats page).

Perfect Web Browser isn’t “perfect” but it’s not bad. Some tweaking to make it more stable should see it become a very good browser.

Perfect Web Browser is available in the app store for £2.99 on the iPad. It’s also available for the iPhone, albeit for an additional cost of £0.69.

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

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.

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.

20110630-203403.jpg

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.

20110630-203552.jpg

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.

20110630-203727.jpg

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.