We love ourselves some comic books and have since we were very young. We're also big fans of digital books and have enjoyed reading on our iPhone for many years now. Unfortunately, the small screen of our phones don't make for an optimal graphic reading experience. Don't get us wrong: we used to read plenty of comics on our iPhones, but it wasn't great, panning through all those miniature panels.
Literally our first thought when we heard about the iPad was: that'll make comics reading a dream. And it has, but who's running this dream?
Tabletop RPGs –– the kind you play with rulebooks and funny dice, like Dungeons & Dragons –– may be products of your imagination, but using maps can avoid arguments about how far the elf wizard is from an onrushing orc. RPG Cartographer and Battle Map let game masters design environments and track character movement in them, and each brings its own approach to mapmaking with unique benefits and drawbacks.
We used to love RSS. Quick news bites for our on-the-go lives. Then we added more feeds -- because, hey, that's a cool site, and that one and that one -- until our RSS readers became just more unwieldy lists we had to trudge through, like to-do's and email. The bare bones articles, presented in stripped down interface, gave us little to look forward to and virtually nothing to look at. We began to hate RSS.
There's a reason Google made a multibillion dollar pitch for Groupon. There's gold in them thar deals, and ever hungry for another advertising/data collating moneymaker, the gang out at Mountain View saw the dollar signs and the projected growth. They made their pitch -- tons of smaller companies dream of being bought up by one of the big boys -- and Groupon batted it away. Wise or no?
Yeah, yeah, that's all fine and good, but what you wanted was half off a footlong with everything, not a lecture on Google economics. Well, okay, then: two social couponing sites walk into the ring and only one can walk out.
For those of you who have a Mac, it comes with Garage Band and all its super powerful tools, so why would you bother spending money on a ringtone maker for your iPhone? Well, maybe you wouldn't and maybe you'd want to make a ringtone on the fly. Or maybe you don't have a Mac, or maybe Garage Band intimidates you with all its buttons and knobs. Is there an idiot proof way to make ringtones? You betcha!
Compressed data has been the norm in computers forever. Crunching down files without losing fidelity and being able to decompress them later in perfect condition? Great idea. And with data caps being placed on mobile users, compressed files can only grow in importance. But RAR, ZIP, TAR, 7Z, GZIP? It's an alphabet soup awaiting you out there. You don't want to buy five different apps to handle every format, and Apple hasn’t gone native on this. So what are your options?
We've seen what Apple could dish up when it came to word processing, and we've seen the competitors bring occasionally impressive functionality to this realm. We've even seen word processing on the iPhone, which, while not glamorous or particularly easy, is still nice. Spreadsheets were likewise a solid contender for data crunching even if there were some major shortcomings in the apps which sought to dethrone Numbers from its rightful place.
The third and final installment is at last at hand. Presentations, the scourge of corporate meetings.
Spreadsheets aren't anyone's idea of sexy. Here's a cell, it adds up other cells; here's a cell, it averages other cells. And so on. In fact, this has long been the underappreciated workhorse in any office suite, but spreadsheets can pack loads of functionality into those little cells.
Just like Word, Microsoft's Excel has long dominated this realm. Apple has a worthy competitor in Numbers, but how does mobile spreadsheet creation stack up? Which mobile software gives you the spreadsheet power you've always wanted? Let's do the math.
Back when it was just the iPhone, there wasn't much demand for mobile word processing, but when the iPad came along, people expected full computer functionality. Apple heeded the call with mobile versions of iWork, but Microsoft Office still remains king of document software. The popular .doc is still the number one format with a bullet, and a variety of office-based software has arisen to handle it.
In our special cage match office productivity App Showdown, we go three rounds to find out who is the undisputed master of the mobile domain, Apple or its competitors.
As blizzards and the like bear down on the nation, sometimes traveling can get a little dicey, and it can be easy to lose where you're at. Granted, you could probably just pull over and open a map, but why not let your iPhone do that for you? We highlight two apps that are the leaders, Navigon's MobileNavigator North America, and TomTom's U.S. & Canada app.