Tag: Typing »
We rather liked Elements Dropbox Powered Text Editor when it was first reviewed last year. Developers, Second Gear Software, were obviously determined to make it all the better by releasing a significant update in August of this year and they've gone one better by releasing yet another major update in the form of Version 2.1.
The most significant addition here is that of iCloud support. Elements 2.1 now allows the user to sync their settings, appearance preferences and scratchpad contents between different devices thanks to such support. Something that's particularly ideal for those who use the app on both iPhone and iPad.
As well as that, there's now the ability to copy the Markdown generated HTML preview to the clipboard enabling writes to transfer their words to the CMS of their choice, ideal for those using an CMS that Elements doesn't yet support.
Along the way, Second Gear Software has also fixed numerous bugs and changed a few minor things. Most curically, Elements now requires iOS 5 to run.
The update is available now for free for existing owners. Those yet to give Elements a try can purchase it for $4.99.
While the iPad can definitely be used to write (emails, blogging, etc), it isn’t necessarily ideal for writing more than short posts and emails. One solution would be to grab the iPad Keyboard Dock or a bluetooth keyboard. But the obvious problem with buying one of those is (1) the price and (2) it’s just something else to carry around. Inventor Cliff Thier came up with a solution that doesn’t involve carrying around another largish gadget.
The iKeyboard isn’t on the market yet. It’s one of those Kickstarter projects that will be funded and put into production only if a certain amount is pledged ($4000 in this case). The iKeyboard would attach to the iPad and create a sensation of touch-typing by providing tactile feedback similar to that of a real keyboard. The iKeyboard is light-weight - much lighter than carrying around a bluetooth keyboard. It seems that it will be cheaper than a bluetooth keyboard considering people that pledge over $30 will receive a first-generation iKeyboard (hopefully meaning that the product will be around $30).
Thier, along with industrial design firm IDEAZ, seem dedicated to making an experience akin to a real keyboard experience,
The designers at IDEAZ have managed to match the force required to depress a key on the iKeyboard to the force needed to depress a key on an Apple keyboard. They’ve also succeeded in making the iKeyboard's keys travel a distance equal to that of Apple keys. We now have a fully functional prototype that works pretty well.
At the time I’m writing this, $14,376 has already been pledged to the iKeyboard. Looks like we’ll be seeing an iKeyboard in the near future. But there are still solid reasons to pledge. $30 or more will reward the pledger with the first-generation product and $50 or more will get the first and second-generation (when it comes out). Both increments will be asked to participate in providing feedback to create a better second-generation product. Interesting in supporting iKeyboard?
Version Reviewed: 1.0
iPhone Integration [rating:5/5]
User Interface [rating:3/5]
Re-use / Replay Value [rating:3/5]
Email n' Walk is exactly that. How many times do you type on the go... walking to your next meeting while simultaneously trying to type on your phone and watch where you are going. I think a huge number of us have, heck I'd be willing to make up a statistic on the spot, let's assume 78.4% of us have tried it at some point. Well, what this app essentially does is, where there normally is a white background to your email as you compose them, there is now a screen that takes the image from your inbuilt camera to show you where you are walking.
Having precious little time between classes, I tend to walk and email often. I have had colleagues over the years with interesting definitions of funny who scare me because I never watch where I am going. Well now they can't scare me because I can finally see in front of me. I can almost liken this app to a spy tool. You can be staring at the phone in front of you 'concentrating' and yet actually be watching what is going on in the outside world. The developers do warn you on iTunes that they "...can not be responsible for your stupidity..." and advise against walking in traffic, which is always good advice.
You use the app by clicking the icon which launches a simple screen to compose your email. In this screen, all you have to do is enter text into the subject field and then your message. The frustrating thing here is that there is no return key as it is replaced with the send button. This can sometimes be a bit irritating if you use the return key often, because you will habitually hit it a few times writing some emails. Anyway, once your email is composed you hit send, which launches you straight into the email client so you can now choose who you are sending it to. From there, you just send it as usual.
The developer may possibly want to consider if it would be possible to have the entire screen as the camera area. The keyboard still obscures half the screen, but this is probably an Apple limitation. Other than that, I like the idea of this app a lot, there really is so much potential. Now that I have seen 'the future' I want this concept implemented more! I tweet a fair bit and would love for one of the twitter programs I use to implement this feature.
Don't get me wrong, the concept is still in it's early phase, so there is plenty of work to do to make it really fantastic, but just think about the potential. I'm really excited about this and I can't wait to see it implemented into other programs.
I have shown this app to a number of people and almost all of them have exclaimed "No Way!" when using it, as well as walking away with my iPhone. For the price, the app is definitely worth buying. It may be that with further updates they will inflate the price due to added usefulness, so I would advise you lovely readers to grab this one while its only $0.99. Have fun showing this one off to your friends.