Cheatsheet is a handy utility for iPhone

Cheatsheet is a handy utility for iPhone

iOS developer Christopher Adam Overholtzer is my kindred spirit, and we've never even met. In the press kit for his app Cheatsheet Quick Reference and Notes (universal, free with in-appp purchase), he notes: 

"Cheatsheet was made by Adam Overholtzer, a UX designer and iOS developer living in California. He never remembers his employee ID number."

I was never able to remember my employee ID number, either. Or my wife's PO Box combination. Or where I parked the car. Or where my damn keys are. Fortunately for me, Christopher has done something about that. Here's my look at Cheatsheet for iPhone and iPad.

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Sago Mini Toolbox lets toddlers discover hammers, scissors and more

Children’s app company Sago Sago is known for their “mini” series of apps, which are designed for preschoolers and include colorful and playful themes. This trend is continued in the company’s latest title - Sago Mini Toolbox, which debuted today in the iOS App Store.

As its name implies, Sago Mini Toolbox has a building theme that allows children to explore tools such as hammers, saws, rulers and scissors. The app has a “making” philosophy that encourages kids to pick a tool and build (or saw, or drill) something with it.

Like most Sago apps, the user interface is simple for younger children to understand. My 3-year-old son immediately knew how to start in on a building project, and the app provided the right tools for him to use. He also had no problem completing the task thanks to the kid-friendly graphics and controls.

The one thing I love about these types of apps is that they achieve a nice balance between entertainment and education. Though I may be using them to engage my child while I am at a doctor’s appointment, I don’t feel so bad about that parenting choice as they are learning in the process. They aren’t just playing a mindless game with heavy advertising.

My only critique of Sago Mini Toolbox is that the projects are fairly scripted — you saw, drill or hammer where the app indicates. This is useful as it keeps young children on task with achievable goals, but it does take away some of the creativity and free-form exploration that an older toddler would enjoy. It would be nice to have a series of scripted projects, along with a few exploration areas that allow children to choose any tool they want.

Sago Mini Toolbox is available for $2.99 in the iOS App Store. It is geared for the pre-school set who can utilize the simple controls and appreciate the repetition of the tasks. The app also is very kid-safe with no in-app purchases or advertising.

Any.Do updated with new list sharing, list filters and themes

Popular To-Do List app Any.do was updated today to version 3.0 which features an improved user interface, list sharing, theme support and more. The changes were applied across all platforms including iOS, Mac, web, Chrome and Android.

The first change you will notice with Any.do is a new guided tour that launches the first time you use the app. The four-step tour greets you with a Welcome screen and introduces you to Any.do’s list organization, the three new views (Date, Priority or original List), and group sharing. Once you view the guide or press the “skip” button, you hop right into the app and can begin organizing your to do list.

Any.do 3.0 has a revised usere interface that is standardized across all platforms, which makes it easy to use as it is the same no matter which device your are using. One UI for all devices has its drawbacks, especially on the desktop. It is clear that Any.do is focused on mobile, with a layout that looks great on the iPhone and iPad. When viewed on the desktop as shown above, this mobile-centric user interface has a lot of extra space.

Any.do maintains the familiar experience of grouping your lists into defined folders such as personal, work and more. You can arrange the folders on the main screen by dragging and dropping them into the desired location. You now also can select any list to be your default list, a feature that was added in the latest version of the app. Because of the background syncing, these changes are propagated across all supported platforms automatically.

From the main folder view, you can easily view the tasks inside a folder by tapping on it. The default view shows your tasks according to date, but you can change that and select one of three views including date, priority status and original list. These new date and priority views are useful as they bring your most important tasks to the forefront.

Like most good task managers, Any.do supports recurring tasks, reminder alarms, priority status (star), notes, subtasks, and attachments. It also allows you to share a task and assign it to another any.do user. Mulitple users can share the task and add comments as needed.

When viewing your to do list, each task is listed along with an icon to indicate whether the item was shared, starred, is recurring or has an alarm. Only one icon is shown per task and not all task features are shown. For example, there are no icons to indicate whether a task has a note or a subtask.

This handling of notes, attachments and subtasks has not changed and is a major detractor to the appp as you have to tap on the task multiple times to see if these items are included with the task. If you have only a few tasks each day, you may remember which ones have subtasks or notes. If you are working with an overload of tasks, it is quite cumbersome to tap on each one to see if there are any important notes or subtasks included.

The latest version of Any.do keeps its popular Moments feature on iOS, which allows you to drill down your task list one item at a time. When using moments, you can mark a task as completed or easily reschedule it for another day. You are allotted five moments per month on a free standard account and unlimited moments with a premium account.

Any.do 3.0 is available now on iOS, OS X and the web. It is free to use on any platforms, though advanced features require a subscription. As part of the version 3.0 launch, Any.do is discounting its premium subscription, lowering the price to $2.99 per month or $26.99 per year.

YouTube Kids provides a safe environment for kids as long as they are not too savvy

YouTube Kids provides a safe environment for kids as long as they are not too savvy

YouTube recently debuted a new iOS app desgined for the younger genration. The company’s YouTube Kids app promise to provide kid-friendly content in an interface that “even little ones can navigate.” How does YouTube Kids deliver on its promises? Read on to find out what my little ones thought of YouTube Kids after using it for a few days.

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ViewExif is a handy iOS extension for viewing photo Exif data

ViewExif is a handy iOS extension for viewing photo Exif data

ViewExif from Steven Zhang is a useful utility for iPhone photographers of any level.  Though it installs as a standalone app, ViewExif actually is an iOS extension that allows you to view the Exif information of photos on your iPhone. This Exif information is stored with each photo and contains a range of photo and camera settings including ISO speed, exposure time, aperture, location information, camera make and model,  leans make and model and  more.

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