This week at 148Apps.com, Carter Dotson asked the question that so many iPad owners have thought to themselves: “Why can’t I work from just my iPad?”
“I’m sick of desktops, laptops, and netbooks. The iPad is lightweight, has great battery life, and I don’t have to take it out of my bag when I’m flying. Most of the work that I do is writing, covering iOS and Android, so it seems appropriate to primarily do this work from mobile devices, right? That’s what I want, but there’s still just so many shortcomings that keep it from being a regular reality.
“What I find is that for basic tasks, the iPad is great. I like the focus that the iPad’s limitation of running a single app on screen at a time provides, especially for writing. I use a portable Bluetooth keyboard, and while it’s not full-size, the benefits I get from being forced to focus on what I’m writing is a huge benefit. As well, with the customer support job I work with that uses Zendesk, I discovered that it’s actually quite easy to do it efficiently through Safari and the Zendesk mobile app. I didn’t feel like I was any less productive in working from the iPad than I do when I work from my Mac in this case. But it’s the exception to the rule.”
Meanwhile, Amy Solomon at GiggleApps.com took a trip to the zoo via ABC ZooBorns: “My son, a fan of these other apps, was excited to hear about ABC ZooBorns, asking me about a list of his favorite animals, all of which are included – much to my son’s excitement. I too enjoy the list of animals included – be it more traditional zoo animals, such as tigers or zebras, but also including some unique choices such as Ural owl, wombat or quokka. We do love to look at these animals as babies, especially those are simply precious to look at such as baby Gorillas or Elephants.”
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-07-24 :: Category: Education
Finally, AndroidRundown.com featured a story about a fascinating new KickStarter project named InstaCube. Joseph Bertolini writes, “It streams photos directly from any user’s Instagram account and displays them on a large 6.5″ LCD touchscreen. Display those photos from the park yesterday or randomly check in on some friends, because what good are those photos if they are stuck on a tiny phone screen all the time. Probably the greatest element of InstaCube is its ability to stay away from being one dimensional by including full access to Instagram. Doing this allows for photo browsing, ‘liking’ of photos, and InstaCube will even display live photos of sunrises and sunsets from around the world.”
Summer’s heading to a close, but we still have so much more to offer across the 148Apps network. Keep track of all the latest happenings, as well as reviews and contests, by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook. You’ll be glad you did.
I want to just work from my iPad. I’m sick of desktops, laptops, and netbooks. The iPad is lightweight, has great battery life, and I don’t have to take it out of my bag when I’m flying. Most of the work that I do is writing, covering iOS and Android, so it seems appropriate to primarily do this work from mobile devices, right? That’s what I want, but there’s still just so many shortcomings that keep it from being a regular reality.
What I find is that for basic tasks, the iPad is great. I like the focus that the iPad’s limitation of running a single app on screen at a time provides, especially for writing. I use a portable Bluetooth keyboard, and while it’s not full-size, the benefits I get from being forced to focus on what I’m writing is a huge benefit. As well, with the customer support job I work with that uses Zendesk, I discovered that it’s actually quite easy to do it efficiently through Safari and the Zendesk mobile app. I didn’t feel like I was any less productive in working from the iPad than I do when I work from my Mac in this case. But it’s the exception to the rule.
The problems always come in when I have to work with files. For example, when I have to upload images to WordPress, it does not go well. Until iOS 6 hits with the ability to upload images from the browser, I have to upload through the app, which requires that images be placed in the body of text, not in the galleries that are below posts. Adding images to an article from the iPad is problematic as well, as the menu doesn’t display properly unless I’m in portrait.
Thankfully, things are a little better outside of WordPress. An app like GoodReader for iPad helps when trying to work with files and performing basic tasks like unzipping archives or just saving photos to the Camera Roll, but it feels like a workaround to a real solution, and it’s ultimately more time-consuming. Android is better-equipped to deal with files, but it’s still a clunkier experience than working from just a computer.
Now, what about remote computing apps? These either require having a computer set up and running somewhere, like with LogMeIn, or using something like OnLive Desktop, which requires a good enough low-latency wifi connection, which can be hard to get while mobile. Clear’s mobile WiMax hotspot worked well enough for me on a recent trip to Chicago, but most publicly-available wifi spots struggled with it. This isn’t even considering the key problem with all remote computing apps: the touch screen is not a mouse, and trying to use it as one is awkward.
Really, that’s the problem with the iPad as a work device. It may be a post-PC device, but work is still caught in a PC state of mind. I am at a point where I can do most of my work if absolutely necessary from my iPad, especially writing and answering emails. But I still hit a bottleneck where it’s woefully inefficient. Until the necessary services adapt to the needs of tablet users like myself, I will still have to fight through that bottleneck.
Designed for those telecommuting workers, Work+ is an app for finding new places out and about to work. Those who work at home or have jobs they access through a computer may find their home or apartment distracting, or come down with a case of cabin fever. Work+ is designed to help find places to work around the city, and to keep track of the best places to work while out and about. It looks up the locations of hotspots and Foursquare checkins to find good places to work based on various criteria. Want a quiet coffee shop, or a restaurant with no noise preference? The app can find these. As well, it uses background geolocation in iOS 5 to track when a user leaves a location, noting the time and allowing the user to rate it or save it in their favorite locations. This does mean that the app requires an iPhone or 3G iPad as they have the GPS signal necessary to make the app work. Work+ is available for free from the App Store.
Increasingly few people in this modern era work solely on weekdays. Many people, such as myself in the past, work on a rota system meaning that they might work anything from 8 days on to 4 days off or 4 days on and 3 days off, all depending on their type of work. An app such as Workdays aims to help users know exactly what is coming up next with their rota so that they can plan ahead easily.
The app calculates the schedule according to how many days are worked before a set amount of holiday. It can then calculate this for a number of months into the future thus ensuring that the user always knows what’s coming up. Workdays are colored in grey while days off are more colorful making it easy to just glance at the calender and determine if the user is working on that day.
The color scheme can be changed according to preference and users can create and edit appointments and events for each date making Workdays a pretty flexible tool for the shift worker.
Most anybody that’s worked in an office, or in any position that requires use of a computer that’s connected to the wonderfully distracting World Wide Web, has likely done it: slacking off from their work in favour of sending a tweet, updating their Facebook status, or perhaps, simply browsing the net to look at anything other than what they should be. It’s much more interesting, and can even feel a little daring at times — unless, of course, Mr. Boss walks by with an over the shoulder peer that ends in seeing his star employee sending a tweet that reads, “I hate work. Want to go home!”
iSlack attempts to recreate exactly what’s detailed above in the form of an iPhone game.
The game presents the player with an on-screen image of the main character sitting in front of his new iMac computer. All the while fellow employees are wandering by, but they’re not too interested in what he’s up to: as the game’s rather comical tutorial pages detail, they don’t want to be there either. Four on-screen buttons on the lower portion of the screen allow the player choose what their character is looking at on-screen at any given time — one being boring spreadsheet graph work, one is Twitter, and the other two being websites of game developers Trainyard and Kaida Games — the latter of which is responsible for the creation of iSlack itself.
The game has a highly-polished presentation, includes Game Center integration and several giggle-inducing moments. iSlack is available now in the App Store.
We took a quick look at Gigwalk back in February when it was still in beta. But the app and the service are now out of beta and accepting both gigs and workers.
As a quick reminder, Gigwalk can be described as a casual mobile workforce. As a Gigwalker, you log into your account and see what open short jobs are available around you. These jobs typically pay $3-$7 for a quick walk into a business, snapping a couple pictures, and filling out a quick survey. For business, it’s a great way to crowd source the small data gathering jobs that need to be done. Things like documenting restaurant menus, hours of operation, locations of red light cameras, and product display details. These are the kind of jobs that businesses need done, but traditionally it’s rather expensive to send out a person to gather this data. For the Gigwalkers, it’s a quick and easy way to make a few extra bucks. Do the jobs, they get approved, and you get money via Paypal.
What makes Gigwalk special is that it is perfectly tailored for the mobile user and these short jobs. From the need of these quick data collection jobs, to the integration with the mobile device. It’s one of the best examples of what a mobile platform is really capable of doing to change the way business is done that I’ve seen. The potential here is gigantic.
I had the chance to sit down with Matt Crampton and Ariel Seidman two of the three co-founders of Gigwalk to talk about the platform, and where they hope it will go. Right now, Gigwalk is available in a few major US cities such as San Francisco, New York City, and Philadelphia, but they hope to expand to other cities, and eventually internationally as demand grows.
I asked Matt & Ariel about the typical Gigwalker. Are they doing one job per day or 20? Turns out Gigwalkers run the full gamut. They have one user with over 600 jobs done already. While they have other users that will do the odd job when it’s close to them at lunch or right after work.
Interesting in joining Gigwalk? Start by opening the Gigwalk app and registering or logging in. From there look at the map and see what gigs are available around you. Click one for instructions on getting started. An easy, casual, second job. Work when you want to. Who can’t use a little extra beer money these days? Get walking.
Into Gigwalk? Let us know what you think in the comments. Also, take a look at the great Gigwalking Tips site for some more ideas on what Gigwalking is all about.