Apple’s iCal has been greatly improved with the iCloud service. Users can now sync their To Do lists and calendars across multiple Macs and iOS devices for free. This simplifies and makes it easier to manage one’s life. Yet, iCal is slow at handling multiple calendars and To Do lists.
iCal makes adding non-default items to calendar events or To Do items difficult. One has to change the calendar or list after it has been created, which greatly slows down the process. This builds a big enough barrier to prevent iCal from being useful in everyday life, like grocery lists and tasks around the house. But here is a solution.
Apple updated their mobile OS to version 5 this week. This new update has a number of great features including iCloud, which allows applications to sync files between iOS and a Mac. Yet, for some users, it still does not replace a file manager like the Mac's Finder.
There are many iOS applications that allow users to manage files on the iOS, but the best one is GoodReader by Good.iWare. That is why GoodReader is this week's App of the Week. It has a number of great features that include:
On the iPhone, Bejeweled 2 has four different games: classic, action, endless, and blitz. Blitz is probably the most addicting of the four as scores can be compared with friends on Facebook. Blitz also only lasts 1 minute, so it can be played over and over anytime you have a minute to kill.
The iPhone 4 makes a great flashlight since it is always there. While the front screen works ok to illuminate a dark area, the camera's flash does a much better job. In order to use it though, one needs to have a flashlight app.
After testing numerous flashlight applications, I finally found this week's App of the Week. While there are many flashlight applications out there, most have ads that get annoying and are slow to launch. This flashlight app is free and does not include any ads.
This week's app is a folder synchronization tool called arRsync. This is a great tool that can backup or synchronize folders and files. Any folder that the finder sees, whether local or network based, can be synchronized.
arRsync does a nice job of backing up folders from one's local hard drive to an external or networked hard drive. The best part about this tool is that it is free.
If you are tired of using iTunes or email to transfer photos to iPhone or Aperture, there is a better way. With a push of a button, you can have all your new photos transferred from an iPhone to iPhoto, Aperture or a folder on the Mac.
This week's "App of the Week" is a game for the Mac: Land Air Sea Warfare. This real-time strategy game pits two to four similar armies of different colors against each other on different types of battles fields. While there are many types of victory options, the main one is to just wipe the opposing enemy off the map by building the biggest army. LASW does have some team options (player + computer vs computer + computer), but no multiplier (player vs player) options at this time.
Each army has a multitude of different types of units to attack the enemy like submarines, tanks, helicopters, destroyers, bombers, fighter planes, and hovercrafts. There are also plenty of defensive units like walls, anti-aircraft jeeps, surface to air missile launchers, 155mm caliber canons, anti-air SAM launchers, long range artillery, torpedo launchers, and heavy defense installations.
This week's "App of the Week" is Catan By USM. Catan is available as separate downloads for both the iPhone and iPad. Both versions are $4.99 with an expansion pack costing $3.99. The game was updated recently with better graphic options and faster game play.
The Settlers of Catan is a fun and relaxing strategy game to play against the computer or with the family. I have played this game more than any other on the iOS this summer. Both of my elementary age kids love to play and watch me play it as well. If you never heard of this game, you have to give it a try.
This article marks the start of a new series here at T-GAAP. Each week I will highlight a new or updated application for either the Mac or iOS.
This week I will be highlighting an education application for the iPad called Math Bingo. Both of my kids are in early elementary school and are working to improve their skills. I was unsure about the application at first, but it was only $.99, so it was an easy decision to give it a try.