Category Archives: iPhone Apps

Quick Look: Evernote 8.0 for iPhone

Evernote 8.0 hit the App Store this past week, and it’s probably one of my favourite app updates in recent memory. I’ve tried a few other note-taking apps — namely the Apple Notes app, Microsoft OneNote, and Bear — but none of them fit the way I think or want to recall my notes. For the longest time, Evernote felt like it was ailing in terms of its formatting and iOS interface, but Evernote 8.0 seems to solve both of those issues with one big update.

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What’s on your iPhone Home Screen?

img_0673_iphone6splusspacegrey_portraitWith the start of a new year, I thought I’d take another look at my iPhone home screen, and make some decisions on what I “need” and what apps I have simply accumulated over the last 3.5 months since purchasing my iPhone 7 Plus.  The majority of my most used apps live on the first home screen page, with the next page consisting of mostly folders and recent downloads that I have yet to decide if Im going to keep or not.  Since there is only room for 28 app icons on one screen I have assigned (5) icon slots with my most frequently used folders.  These folders are broken down into two groups–my most used app categories like Social apps and Productivity, and brand based apps such as Apple, Google and Microsoft.

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Quick Look: Day One 2 for iPhone

I can get stuck in a lot of thought loops where I’ll run a scenario or purchase over and over again in my head. My way of working around this form of anxiety is to write things out: sometimes in the form of articles, but more often in little journal entries just for me. The act of writing helps me to feel things out and suss out little details that I’d overlook if all the variables are just kept in my head.

I have chosen Day One 2 as my journaling app because it works very well across my iPhone, iPad and Mac. I like the idea of a digital journal because it’s always available for quick capture, even in situations where a paper journal would be impractical or impossible to write on (like on a crowded subway train), but Day One also brings a host of other great features to enhance the journaling experience.

Most of my entries contain just text, but there’s a lot of metadata that you can choose to add to your journal entries. I can add what music I’ve been listening to, the number of steps taken in a day, and even the weather (although I’ve never cared about recording the temperature of a day). The most interesting attachments for me are photos, but I find it cumbersome to attach them because I keep the bulk of my shots in Lightroom, and they need to be exported before I can add them to Day One.

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Quick Look: Polarr for iPhone

I’m a full-time Lightroom user on iOS and the Mac, but if someone were to ask me today which iOS photo editor I recommended, I’d be torn between Darkroom and Polarr. I’ll be up front and say that I like Darkroom’s speed and UI a lot more, but it really bugs me that exporting with Darkroom maxes out at 12 Megapixels. That isn’t a big deal if you’re an iPhone-only shooter, but all of my cameras shoot at 24 Megapixel, and it’s important to me to preserve that extra detail.

Polarr isn’t quite as attractive or simple as Darkroom, but it outputs shots at full resolution, and has a number of really cool time-saving features up its sleeve.

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Quick Look: Lightroom 2.6 for iPhone

I’ve had a few days with this newest Lightroom Mobile update, and I’m still on the fence about whether it’s a net improvement. The previous UI wasn’t scaling well for new editing features, so you had to do a lot of scrolling before you could go from basic exposure controls to something more advanced, like Dehaze. This v2.6 update to Lightroom has re-designed the editing interface from the ground up, making for much faster, tiered access.

One definite plus to this new design is that editing, on the whole, feels much faster. There’s a horizontal for Light, Color, Effects, and Optics controls. That’s just four categories for controls, as opposed to the seven different sections available in the previous version of Lightroom.

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My Favourite Widgets on iOS 10

Widgets feel pretty dead on macOS, but they’re finding new life on iOS 10. We’ve had widgets on our iPhones for a little while now, but it was iOS 10 that empowered them to become mini versions of my favourite apps. Their evolution has been so gradual that I’ve forgotten to talk about them, until now. It always takes a few months after a major release to see how developers embrace new features, but here are a few widgets that I’ve really been enjoying.

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iPhone App of the Week: Living Earth – Clock & Weather

Living Earth for iPhone

Who doesn’t like great iPhone apps? At iPhone Insight we definitely do. With that in mind, we offer up a quick review of an excellent iPhone app published here each week.  Check out all out picks below and you’ll soon have a collection of stellar apps for your favorite phone.

This week’s pick is Living Earth – Clock & Weather, by Radiantlabs, LLC  Living Earth is a completely new perspective on time and weather. Living Earth presents a stunning live 3D simulation of our planet with weather, forecasts and world clock for cities all around the world. In addition to your location, you can view the Earth from any perspective using a variety of different real time weather maps of current and forecasted conditions.

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Quick Look: Air Video HD for iPhone

My iPhone 6S Plus makes for an excellent mobile media machine — the trick is getting my media onto it. I use Netflix a good 80% of the time, but I’ll occasionally want to re-watch my own library of movies and ripped DVDs, and Apple doesn’t present a very easy path go sync those to the iPhone. AirDrop seems like the easiest way to quickly throw files onto the iPhone, but iOS 9 and 10 have a weird habit of sending videos straight to the Photos app, which really doesn’t provide a very good playback experience. The controls are all tucked into the corners of the interface, and Photos doesn’t bother to remember where you left off in a video.

I first looked to Infuse to provide my mobile media solution because it looks great and plays basically any file I can throw at it. Unfortunately, Infuse also has issues getting files from my Mac and onto the iPhone. I used to be able to rename my .mp4 or .mkv files as .Infuse files before transferring them over, but this no longer seems to work on iOS 10. Every video sent over AirDrop is placed in the Photos app.

This change has led me to rediscover an old favourite from the App Store: Air Video HD. Air Video HD is awesome because it has a lot of flexibility for media: I can stream things locally on my home network, online over LTE, or download things to my iPhone for easy offline playback. The best part of Air Video HD is that it makes each of these things very, very easy to set up. All it takes is a good 5 minutes of configuration and you’re pretty much ready to use it. Continue reading

Another Look at Money Pro for iPhone

I’ve already written about Money Pro on our sister site, iPad Insight. It’s been my main finance app for over a year now, and even after all that time, I’m still learning to use all of the features in this $5 app. My goal is simply to adhere to a monthly budget by recording all of my expenses. I’ve pre-set all of the income from my salary, and already put aside whatever I’d like to put towards savings, so Money Pro only involves the money that goes towards rent, food, and fun stuff — the monthly expenses, really.

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On Returning to the Official iPhone Twitter App

I don’t tweet a lot, but I do check Twitter on a daily basis to catch up on news. I’ve used Tweetbot for years and have been very happy with it, but a recent convo with a friend got me to try the official Twitter app again — and I’ve been quite surprised by how good it has become. Twitter’s official app is in much better shape than Facebook’s own mobile app.

Rich Tweets

One of the first things I noticed in my return to Twitter’s app is how it treats links within tweets. Whereas Tweetbot will expand most links, Twitter seems to expand all of them. I’m liking this change right now because it makes my feed feel a little more rich, and an interesting hero image can compel me to visit a webpage more often than 140-character description.

The downside to this is that it can take a lot longer to scroll through my feed. The whole list is long because most of the people I follow will link to articles or images. I’ll have to see which I prefer over the long term: occasional bits of media and a lot of text, or a timeline that’s littered with text and rich media.

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