iOS OCR apps

Collecting photos into Day One

As part of my daily journaling practice I like to collect photos from Messages I have received from the family during the day. For example, today I got a photo of the new member of the family, the son of Tamsin my niece. He’s going to be called Kenzo. The picture came to me through the application Whats App. It’s quite easy to press and hold on the picture and get to the dialogue where are you can choose to save the image. The images are saved to the Photo App. I did this on my iPhone and I also have a messages application which lets me look at What’s App messages on my iPad. Same thing with that application, the pictures go in the Photos app where I can use them. Now to go deeper with iOS OCR apps

Using iOS OCR apps to take it a stage further

I wanted to get a record of the messages of the conversation about the baby’s name I’d had with my mother. Looking for iOS OCR apps. So I had to try and remember which application I had to do OCR. At first I thought it was the PDF application I have, PDF Expert. It was not that one, so I had to go and look again, maybe one of the scanner applications was what I was looking for. I wondered if it was the Scanner Pro I use to turn all bits of paper into digital bits. I don’t like keeping paper around – Prefer being paperless. While I was looking for that the PDF Pen Scan+ app came into my field of view and it had OCR in the icon for it. So I opened it up and gave it a try. Turns out that Scanner Pro by Readdle will also do OCR.

Using Scan + from Smile Software

iOS OCR Apps
I opened the app and it’s a really simple interface. I imported the image which I got as a screen capture and cropped in Photos app. All you have to do is to hit the OCR button, wait a while and watch it as it does its job. I got mixed results because a part of the text was reversed – white text on a blue background. The app didn’t catch any of that text. The rest of the text worked well and I didn’t have to make too many alterations to fix the OCR.

So I went back to the photos app and converted the picture to mono, black and white. Scan+ did a better job and a large portion of the text it missed before got OCR’ed. This would not be good enough to do a large job of text but for what I wanted it was OK. There is a button in the top right corner – OCR and it gives you a choice to copy the text of the image. One Click and I had all of it on the clipboard. Good result for iOS OCR apps!

Using Scanner Pro for the OCR

I used the same image which I’d converted to black and white and imported it into Scanner Pro easily. It is a more professional looking interface.The OCR works fast and it seemed to do a better job. One problem is that it takes it section by section. I wanted to select all of the text and paste it elsewhere same as I did in Scan + but it has to be selected bit by bit. Not so good for the text I was using. It would be tedious to collect all of it to use elsewhere. So it kind of worked, but had limitations. One section of the text was accurately scanned but it forgot to put spaces in between the words. You have a button at the top allowing you to switch between the image and the text. I looked in the settings and all you can do is to change the language of the text being scanned.

There are tools in the app to crop the image and to alter the contrast and lighting of the image. It will even find the edges of the document automatically if you have a shot of a piece of paper on a dark background. That works great when you are doing the paperless thing.

Which app will I use to perform this task in the future?

Which is the best of the iOS OCR apps? Neither app is perfect but the Scan+ app came out slightly on top. The ability to copy all of the text in one go gives it the edge. I need to test it some more with different types of text. I think if I was scanning a full page of black text on a white page either app would be good for the job.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Happy Birthday My Apple Watch

img-alternative-textIt was exactly 1 year ago that I picked up my Apple Watch. 366 days, don’t forget it was a leap year and I’ve been using it every day since. I had to have the watch is delivered to my moms house in England because they weren’t delivering yet here in Spain. It worked out pretty well because it was arriving just exactly for the weekend when I was there for a wedding.

I loved the watch as soon as I took it out of the box. Even the box was kind of impressive. It was so well made and quite heavy for a cardboard box. The watch drew some admiring glances during the weekend of the wedding. Even one year later and Apple has sold 12 million of them people still say “Oh look! An Apple Watch. “

I did buy one extra watchstrap during the year to use with it. I got a dark blue strap because the light blue one that came with it is quite distinctive. I have been tempted a couple of times to buy one of the Milanese metal straps, but not from Apple because they are too expensive.

The thing I’ve used the Apple Watch for mostly during the year has been for the health benefits. It has done a reasonable job of getting me out of my chair and not sitting so much. The Apple Watch has been pretty good for recording the number of steps I take during the day. The amount of exercise I’ve taken per day has overall increased during the year.

I particularly like to use the Apple Watch to control what ever Audio is playing on my iPhone. I can keep the iPhone in a shirt pocket and not have to get it out to change tracks or the volume.

Posted in iPad.

Post PC Day 9 – iPad Artist

How to be an iPad Artist

I am an iPad artist. The creativity comes through me mostly through writing these days but I still often have the times when all I want to do is create visual art. When I was at art college I was into the drawing, painting and print making. I really did say to a girl “Would you like to come upstairs to see my etchings?” You should have seen her face when I showed her some…. Now I have the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil to go with it. I find I will have a month when I spend more time making images than doing the writing. Variety is the spice of life they say.

iPad artist

Kaleidoscope with Pixelmator

iPad art apps I like to use

Pixelmator for iPad is fantastic. It’s great for doing the basics of image management such as resizing, adding text on top of an image and working with photos. I wouldn’t have an iPad without it. Pixelmator does have drawing and painting tools for the iPad artist, but for some reason I often find myself going to Procreate for that activity. I’ll also swap into Tayasui Sketch when I want to do watercolour because I particularly love the watercolour brushes there. For unlimited creativity for image manipulation then it has to be iColorama. The range of tools in iColorama is amazing in its breadth and depth. I usually prefer iPad artist apps with layers and iColorama doesn’t do layers as such. You can put one layer of image on top of another and change blend modes, masking and do those sorts of adjustments. That’s it though – It isn’t a persistent layer to work with later in your artistic process. The app gets around this limitation with it saving states of progress as you go and saving out to the storage. So what you would do is to save something out to disk and bring it back in again to work two images together again. The best thing is to consider the iPad as one iPad artist application and move images in between apps as you need certain tools. It works great for me to do that when making artistic images with my iPad.

iPad artist iColorama

iPad artist iColorama

iPad artist – iPhone artist

The iPhone for me is too small for the sort of work I am able to do as an iPad artist. It is possible, there is a version of iColorama for the iPhone too. It is only €2.99 and I will probably buy it at some point in time. You also get Pixelmator on the iPhone as well as Paper by 53, ArtStudio, Sketches II, Artistic Studio, PS Express and Waterlogue. Many of the features are the same, just limited by the smaller screen. I look upon these as apps worth having in case you have that moment when you have to create something and all you have with you is your iPhone.

iPad Artist Book

I have written a book on this topic which is available in the Apple Book Store. It is a look at how to be an iPad artist and covers topics such as which is the best stylus to use. If you have an iPad Pro of either size then the answer is the Apple Pencil. In the book there are videos including one in which I show how I made a caricature image using Pixelmator for iPad and iColorama. Pixelmator has excellent tools for pushing pixels around. There is the warp tool and you can also twirl either left or right. When you use the bump tool it is as if you are making a lump sticking out of the canvas.

iPad artist

Good and Geeky iPad art book

Using the Apple Pencil

The iPad knows when you are using it and automatically gives you palm protection. Get better lines drawn because you have increased control of the Apple Pencil. There is pressure sensitivity in the Pencil so you get either darker lines or wider lines depending on the tool you’re using. When you use the pencil at an angle you’ll get a shading effect. The line spreads out and works like it would if you were using a real analogue pencil. Digital drawing and painting is just brilliant because you can work on your art at many levels. With the layers you are building up the drawing from blocking in shapes to getting into detail and not messing up what you have done already. Putting in backgrounds can be done after the line drawing has been done so you don’t lose lines. The you also have the zoom so getting into the fiddly detail is so much easier and like having another type of layer. The iPad artist doesn’t have to mess around with cleaning brushes and changing between tools and colours can be done in a snap. I love the digital way of working and being an iPad artist.

It’s not just about visual art

Don’t forget you also have audio and video creation available to you. Garageband on iPad is fun and there is the podcast making app BossJock. Some of these audio apps let you make music even if you don’t have a huge musical talent. Making video as an iPad artist is simplicity itself. Some video editing apps will do half the job for you. While there are apps like iMovie on iPad and Pinnacle which give you a ton of control over the video clips and the audio to go with it. My favourite is Pinnacle video editor.


Posted in iPad.

Day 8 – On being an iOS Warrior

Day 8 – An iOS Warrior

There are people such as Federico @Vitticci and Frasier Speirs who are true iOS / iPad Warriors. Federico does all his writing and just about everything else using his iPad. The only thing he uses a Macbook for is the podcasting, where it is necessary to record from Skype. As yet this can’t be done with an iPad. I wonder if you had two iPads or used an iPhone for the Skype end of it, maybe it would work? Frasier Spears runs a one iPad per pupil system in a school in Scotland. I interviewed him on the Mac20Q Podcast a couple of years back. He also does it all with an iPad. The two of these together have a podcast called Canvas to espouse the benefits and help people use iPads as the main computer. It flies in the face of those people who still say the iPad is for consumption and not for ‘real work’. Maybe when the iPad first came out that might have been the case. The iPads have got more powerful and more importantly the iOS operating system and the applications have improved hugely. In the latest Canvas episode Fraser Speirs talked about making Keynote presentations on the iPad and using the iPad to do the presenting too. I haven’t used Keynote on my iPad yet but I can feel a slide show coming. I’ll be able to send the presentation off to Another thing you can do with a Keynote presentation and an iPad is to have a kiosk style self running presentation. Great for getting information to people in an interactive way, you can be an iOS Warrior too.

Keynote app on iOS

Keynote app on iOS

Is Siri improving?

It is and you hardly notice because it is gradual. If you were to not use Siri for a year and come back to it, then you might notice the changes more. I like to ask Siri things in the morning when I am waking up. My eyes are not ready yet for looking at the screen, so Siri is just the thing I need. It is just easy stuff like what’s the weather for today? Will I need an umbrella? Asking “What time is it?” is still better than looking at the screen of the Apple Watch in a dark room. I did get a message in from my mother to tell me my niece had, had her baby. Weirdly, in this day and age she tells me that the baby weighed in at 6 pounds and some answers. So I was able to use Siri to convert this old-fashioned weight measurement into more modern kilos. There are plenty of other things that Siri can do. It’s a good idea to have a look at the help section on Siri where you see some examples of how you can use this helpful service from Apple. Siri is not perfect, but who is a good idea to keep asking questions to learn what it can do and to push Apple to give us better answers to those questions. I really do think it’s the case the more we use it the better it is going to get!

Asking Siri for help

How to be an iOS warrior

How to be an iOS warrior

Sending Messages with Siri

Creating messages by talking to Siri

Creating messages by talking to Siri

Strangle Siri at birth – Just in Case

I was just asking Siri questions about when is the next Barcelona football match. It didn’t get the answer for me correctly first time around but it worked okay the second time. It would be nice if it was able to do follow on questions. This is when you ask something and then ask a related question to follow that question and answer session. The funny thing is, just after writing this I listened to a podcast In which academics included artificial intelligence as one of the possible causes of the downfall of the human race in an Armageddon situation. Maybe Siri should be strangled at birth before we get to that situation! It did seem a little bit strange to me that artificial intelligence should be included alongside nuclear bombs and asteroids as well as health pandemics. as an iOS Warrior I’m not going to worry too much about that.

Always learning more

I downloaded an iTunes U course to see if there were any tricks I could learn. It is about automating using iOS. It has started off a bit basic but I did learn that it isn’t possible to send email to a group from Mail on iOS. Unless you do an automation using Workflow. Easy to set up and pretty cool to use Workflow when you’re an iOS Warrior.

How to be an iOS Warrior

Learning on iTunes U

Posted in iPad.

Making Videos on iOS – More PC Experience

Extra Personal computer experience Day Seven

Today was the day to do some video shooting and editing as part of my extra personal computer experience. All about my jump into going iOS only due to the iMac being in dry dock, needing a hard drive replacement. So I shot some video using my iPhone while I was out walking the dog. I live in a very quiet neighbourhood so it’s very easy for me to shoot video while walking along the road. I started by picking a camera application called Kinomatic. I could have decided upon the built-in Apple camera app, but I thought I would try out one of the extra third party apps I have. It turns out that Kinomatic is a good application for shooting video. I also tried another I that’s called FiLMic Pro which didn’t turn out quite so well. When I pulled the clips into the Pinnacle video editing application there was a marked difference in the quality of the video. Kinomatic gave me a much higher quality video all round. The video clips I got from FiLMic Pro had problems with focus, white balance and didn’t look good at all. When I’ve used FiLMic before the video has looked pretty good, so I wonder if there was a problem with the settings. It might be down to the fact I was filming myself and not able to control things as I would’ve done if I was filming something or somebody else. I used my iPhone 6 to shoot the video. I was able to use an over the air connection to send the video to the iPad where I wanted to do the video editing. It’s possible to do video editing on the iPhone, but when you have a larger screen available, why struggle with something smaller.

Sending the video to the iPad from the iPhone

Air Drop from the iPhone to the iPad

Air Drop from the iPhone to the iPad


Using Kinomatic

Shooting with Kinomatic

Shooting with Kinomatic

Shooting with FiLMic Pro

FiLMic Pro

FiLMic Pro


Which iOS video editor to use

It’s been awhile since I did any video editing on iOS and I have one or two I can choose from. There is the old favourite, iMovie and the one I’ve used before is Pinnacle. Both of these have their good points, but in the past I have preferred using Pinnacle. So today I went for this one and tomorrow I will try making a movie using iMovie on iOS. I do have a number of editors for video and some of them are very easy to use. You just throw the video clips in and it kind of organises itself. I wanted to get something to give me more control with the clips in the timeline.

It was time to reacquaint myself with Pinnacle

Seeing as I’d already brought the video clips in from my iPhone onto the photo roll it was extremely easy to see these clips in the Pinnacle video editing application. Then it simply a matter of dragging and dropping the clips into the timeline and making a few alterations here and there. It is possible to trim the amount of video before dropping clips onto the timeline by using in and out points. From within the application there are a number of tutorial videos you can get your hands on to learn out more on how the application works exactly. There were a number of things I had forgotten and I needed to be reminded off. I had to watch the video on how to add titles, so that the titles were on a layer over the video already on the timeline. It was a simple case of dragging the type of text I wanted from the selection available, onto the video in the timeline and choosing the button composite. Once that was done it was also possible to change the font of the text and the colour.

Editing Video in Pinnacle for iOS

Editing Video in Pinnacle for iOS

Choosing elements from the themes

Within the area containing the themes there were openings and endings as well as text titles to be added. There were lower thirds to choose from, for example. Some of these elements have drop zones in which you can drop photos or videos. There is a limited selection of these things, but the ones there are quite useful and look as though you could have made them in the Apple Motion 5 application. When using some of these you’ll end up with some fairly impressive looking videos to post to your video sites Such as YouTube. You have to render the video when you are using titles and theme elements.

Render the video clips with titles

Render the video clips with titles


In Pinnacle you have a decent variety of transitions. With these transitions to go from one clip to another it’s always best to keep it simple. It’s usually better to go with a straight cut or to have a cross dissolve. It’s not good for the viewers eyes if you use too many different types of transition.

Getting professional effects with pinnacle

There is a type of transition called the L cut. This is where they sound from the second clip starts before the video of the next clip. All you have to do is to separate the audio from the video in the timeline and make a cut in the right place to do this type of audio transition. Have a look at the tutorial videos to see how to do this.

Uploading the final results of the video editing

I tried to upload the video from the Wi-Fi at my home. But I have such a poor Internet connection, especially for upload that I ended up having to cancel it before it got halfway. I would have left it running so that it could finish, but I needed to leave the house and go to work. Where I work I can connect to a 4G connection and with this, the video that didn’t get even halfway in over half an hour, was uploaded in less than two minutes.

A good more personal computer experience

Editing video is no problem at all on iOS. Adding video and audio clips is easy. Manipulating it all on the timeline is fast and effective. I was able to see that everything was looking good and ready to export out of Pinnacle. I sen the editing video out to YouTube and here are the results. I left in the questionable Clips shot with FiLMic so you could see the difference between it and the video from Kinomatic. The sound recorded better with Kinomatic also.

That was all I did this morning with my iPhone and iPad – Shoot and edit video. Apart from the usual looking at the emails, Twitter and Facebook as I was having breakfast. I dictated this into Ulysees on the iPhone and edited it on the iPad when I finished work. During work I used Editorial and the automation tricks I have set up to help me do my job. I uploaded the finished video when the iPad was connected to the iPhone Hotspot. Blazing fast upload with 4G. I listened to podcasts while at work with the Overcast app. Wrote into the journal I keep in Day One.

Posted in iPad.

More Personal Computer Experience

Getting things done with iOS – More personal computer –  Day Six

We all have to get things done and there are numerous applications available to help us sort things out in our lives. The big daddy of them all is Omnifocus. This is the one with all the bells and whistles and the pricetag to match. If you’re going to do your get things done work done with Omnifocus then doing it on iOS is better as it’s a little cheaper to buy the application to use on your iPad and your iPhone. There are numerous other apps to try that offer similar features and sometimes just enough facilities as you’re likely to need. So if the cheaper one does all that you need then why spend the extra money for your more Personal Computer experience with iOS.

More Personal Computer

Find one that works and stick with it

I noticed that some people change their GTD (Get Things Done) application with regularity. Obviously, when new ones come out they offer more services and you get tempted. I like to have Omnifocus for the overall big picture and I use other apps for specific tasks. I like to use the application Due when I’m at work. It’s great for specific tasks that have to be done at certain times of the day. It’s very good at giving me reminders. Due is also pretty sweet for setting one off or repeating timers. No point in bothering with the truck when the skateboard is good enough. This Due application has a nice feature where it will remind me every five minutes until I’ve done what I need to do. It’s a fantastic little application for doing the management of those odd little tasks that need to be completed during the day. Something like Omnifocus is better when you’re looking at the bigger picture. It is a great app for a More Personal Computer Experience

Due app iOS - More Personal Computer experience

An App for timers and reminders

what about Trello?

I had a brief look at this application about a year ago and didn’t really get it. I couldn’t really see how it would fit in with what I do and how I work. Then I couple of days ago hi saw a video by woman called Dana Malstaff who was showing how to use Trello and I got quite interested. What I like about it is that it is a very visual interface and particularly good for using on iOS. You have items within your various lists and you can drag and drop them from one place to another. It seems to be a good application if you are working with a team. If you need to move files and information in between team members you can use Trello to do this sort of thing. I’m still in learning mode with Trello and I’m having a better more positive vibe with it. After laying out the cash for Omnifocus I’m not going to jump ship. Maybe I could use it for specific areas of my life. I could use in in a similar way to Dana Malstaff and her Boss Mom empire for running the Good and Geeky book business.

Geek of the Week with Trello

Good and Geeky needs more marketing organisation for sure. In the same way she has a BossMom of the week I could have a Geek of the Week. With Trello I could organise who I’d like to ask. Then have a list for those I’ve confirmed and good choices and then a list for the Ones done. Probably would need another list for people who have been asked and are not going to be Geeky of the Week for whatever reason. No way will I forget who has been asked and so on.

Working with the iPad

I wrote the first part of this with Sir on the iPhone because it is what I had in my hand. When I got home I switched to the iPad for the bigger screen and to use the Mac Bluetooth keyboard. I’m sitting on the sofa and it is comfortable enough for the typing process. How do you like to type on the iPad? Are you a fan of dictation with Siri? Siri is great when you have good internet connection. With my iPhone on 4G I’m finding it responsive and accurate to get the words on the page. How’s that for a More Personal Computer experience.

I’ve got so used to working one app at a time I have to remind myself about the split screen feature. Now I have Uylsses on the left side of the screen and Trello to the right. Handy to look at the app I’m writing about. In any case when I’m writing it is better to have a distraction free mode of looking at only one app. Ulysses is super for that when writing. Everything else just gets out of the way so the words and the ideas contained within are front and centre.

My first Facebook video.

I spoke about my Post PC experience. How it is not post Political Correctness but Personal Computer. This is a bit strange really in that the iPad is a more personal PC. I think Post – as in after is incorrect. I having a more Personal Computer Experience by using the iPad and iPhone as my only computers.

Making a Facebook Video

Making a Facebook Video

Posted in iPad.

A trip to the Apple Store – Day 5

I got to the store before it was open and had to wait for 10 minutes before I could get to the Genius Bar. The guy there was very helpful and we agreed on getting the hard drive replaced in the iMac. It wasn’t as expensive as I thought it might be! It’s going to take the week before it will be done. I only get one day off per week so I have asked if they can make sure it is done ready for next Wednesday. He did initially say it would be 7 to 10 days, but I pushed him on trying the hardest for next Wednesday. Otherwise it will be two weeks here in Barcelona.

I have and SSD drive in my bag and I asked if it would be possible to fit this into my old iMac. He told me that they can only change the parts like for like. I can understand that being the case if it’s under warranty with AppleCare. It does seem a little bit strange that they can’t do it when we’re talking me having to pay for the parts getting put in. The other possibility was to take the iMac to an authorised repairer, but I think that’s probably would’ve ended up costing more money. I also asked him to have a look and see if they could remove the SD card stuck inside of the optical drive. It would be nice to have the use of the optical drive once more! I don’t use it very often but it’s good to know it is there if needed. This iMac will end up being the computer of choice for my wife when she wants to do her video work. I’m going to pass it onto her when I buy a new iMac later in the year. Possibly! With this enforced Post-PC experience there is a chance that I might simply get a small MacBook or MacBook Pro and use that for my writing work. As long as it works with Dragon Dictate it doesn’t really have to be that fantastic I terms of specs. You don’t even need such a huge screen for the writing work. But I’ll still be able to use the iMac when needed anyway!

Sitting in a cafe drinking tea

I do like a good cup of tea and the tea I have isn’t too bad. It is not as good as the English black tea I like, but it’s not as bad as drinking Earl Grey. I am in the shopping centre called La Maquinista in the northern part of Barcelona.

I have connected the iPad Pro up to the Wi-Fi of the cafe, but it is not a very good connection. It would be better for me to use the hotspot Wi-Fi from my phone. I could go back across to the Apple Store and use the Wi-Fi over there, I expect it would be better than here. I thought I might still be able to connect to it but it seems to be quite short range!

Ended up back in the Apple Store to finish off the editing of this piece. Easier todo the editing on the iPad than the iPhone. I was trying to do a Facebook update in the cafe and it just wasn’t going despite it only being text.

There’s a lot of people working in here and for the moment it is not too busy with customers. It gets crazy in here and quite loud at other times of the day. Here’s a picture of a hippy type working in the Apple Store. There a range of person types working, one or two females and not all are youngsters.


Writing into Ulysses

It’s really handy to have the Ulysees application on the iPhone in situations like this because I can dictate into it just as easily. In fact I think it is probably easier to dictate into the iPhone as I can put it closer to my mouth with the iPad. They Siri dictation is more accurate and seems to work faster when is able to recognise the words better.

Using Maps

This morning I have the choice of using the maps application on the iPhone as well as the navigation system of the car. The car system is good because it has a larger screen. I was running the maps application on the iPhone as well because I wanted to compare the two. Really I should have stuck with one because having two running, just got me confused. Mind you, I do have to admit that part of the confusion was being told to go left and I went to the right. I think it is what is generally referred to in the trade as a senior moment. At least I was able to use the GPS system to find my way after getting lost. Even when I arrived at the shopping centre I did not to go into the outdoor carpark and tried to get in the underground carpark. When I did this I ended up having to do another trip around the place to find the entrance. No problem in the end as I was still 10 minutes early for the appointment.

A good day out.

When I have got this finished I will hit the road again in the direction of Girona on the motorway and I’ll be back in time for lunch. One week to go of the Post PC Experience and I’m still happy with the way it’s going. Even the dictation is working great with Siri. Only typed in this last paragraph and done the editing using the keyboard, all the rest with Siri and accuracy has been at about 95%.

Posted in iPad.

Day 4 post-PC – Joys Of Mobile Computing

The joys of mobile computing – Day 4 post-PC

In my previous iPad I had the slots for the Sim card. It was quite handy to have mobile access to the Internet where ever I was. The only problem was the extra cost of a sim per month. With the iPad Pro being quite an expensive purchase I decided not to go with the Sim card system this time. I don’t really miss it because I have the hotspot connection to my iPhone which is working very well indeed. At my work I get 4G connection which is pretty fast. It’s easy to connect to the iPhone from the iPad and quick to get it to make the connection when I need it. The only thing is, if you leave the iPad for a couple of minutes to go and do something, when you come back you have to reconnect to the hotspot.

Importing a file into MailChimp

On my first attempt I tried to import the file from the numbers folder in iCloud. That didn’t work because the file which originally was I got CSV file had been converted to a Numbers file. So I exported the numbers file to CSV and I put it into Dropbox. I could have saved it to the iCloud folder and it will still have worked, but I decided to try something different. There were plenty of options for places to export out and also in Safari in MailChimp it was an easy task with enough options.

Adding text to an image to use as a web graphic

Adding the text in Pixelmator for iPad was easy. Getting a version of the picture out of Pixelmator for iPad, not so easy. For some strange reason when I was loading the picture using Safari to plug into the WordPress of my website, the image was coming in without the text. I had to go back in to Pixelmator for iPad to try and find a way to save out the image so it had the text within it. The text on the image was in a different layer and not getting saved into the photo library. Eventually I found one that worked. Just can’t remember now, which one it was…..

Exporting out of Pixelmator for iPad

Exporting out of Pixelmator for iPad

I do have other applications that do the same job. I have one called Over which works very well and is easy. You can take any photos you have on your device whether it be a photo you’ve taken or a screenshot and add text over the top and arrange it how you want it. The good thing about using Pixelmator for iPad is that you cannot reduce these pixel size of the file which saves the uploading time when putting into your blog post. It doesn’t really matter as far as the reader of the work is concerned as you can choose the size of the image shown in WordPress.

Other applications I’m using

I’ve started using an application called Story Planner. This is for when you’re writing a novel and you want to start off in an organised way. You can add all of your characters into the application and all of your locations. You also have a place to add plots and scenes. When you are organising a scene you can add the characters that are going to appear in that scene. You do have to have previously set up the characters available to have ready to use in that area of the software. It would be nice to make characters up on the fly. If you have to jump in between different sections of the application you could lose the flow of your thinking!

Deciding on the tension in a scene in Story Planner

Setting s for a Scene in Story Planner

Setting s for a Scene in Story Planner

Story Planner Gives you information about story structure

Smoking Zombies

There is an incredible amount of information you can see on your story after you’ve been working on it for a while in Story Planner. I’ve only just started with this story in this app although I have written ten chapters and published them on WattPad. What is there is the first draft and I’ve been learning more about story telling which will have me re-write all I have done so far and reconsider the way the story works as a whole.

Written in Ulysees

I use Blink to add links to iTunes Store applications and I might use WordPress app to post. Started the writing on the iPad and finished the job on the iPhone.

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Day Three of the Post PC Experience

Downloading files to the iOS device

When you have to do things in a different way it can seem like it’s a difficult thing to do with a Post PC Experience. It might be something simple like downloading a file which is linked from a webpage you’re looking at. For example, I wanted to get my hands on a .csv file from a webpage. On my first attempt it didn’t seem to work. I just got a message saying that it couldn’t read that sort of file. When you get files like this or maybe you get an electronic book file you’ll often get a message at the top of the screen. The message flashes on the screen for a short amount of time and you can easily miss it. What you have to do is to tap on the screen once more and the message will briefly show again. The message will be – Which app do you want to open this in? – and it will offer you an app suitable for that type of file. I have seen this sort of message and used it a number of times to get eBooks opened up in iBooks. This time Safari offered me the application Numbers. Perfect, exactly what I was looking for! I tapped on the little button and saw the file I want is opened up and I was able to use the data within it. The data was a list of email addresses of people following the NoStylus website. What I want to do with this data is add it on to my email list. There is an option within MailChimp to add a .CSV file to a list. In the MailChimp application on my iPad I can only add one email at a time. This is not a big list of emails and I could do it one at a time manually, but I would prefer to do it by importing the whole list in one go. To get around this what I’ll do, is to go into the MailChimp website from Safari and do it from there. Hopefully I’ll be able to access the file I need which will be in my iCloud account.

Post PC experience

Downloading files in the Post PC experience

The iPad versus using a laptop or desktop computer.

iOS and the whole system of using iPad or iPhone to do your computer stuff is continually getting better. There are not many things you can’t do using your iPad or iPhone. The one thing that podcasters complain about is when they want to record somebody else they’re talking to while using Skype.They want to put it in a podcast and they can’t do that. It used to be that multitasking was a problem, but now that we have the split screen available, that’s not really something to worry about.

There are a number of things you can do with your iPad that is either easier or just more effective on that type of device. When you’re having experiences like this it’s easy to enjoy the post PC experience. Some applications are particularly good when you can touch the screen and move things around. Using the touchscreen in an application like Twisted Wave to select areas of audio to manipulate, works very well indeed. Same sort of thing if you’re using video editors like Pinnacle or iMovie.

Post PC Experience with Twisted Wave

Post PC experience

Watching TV shows on the iPad

Watching TV shows on the iPad works great. It also works well using Airplay to send the video clips and TV shows to your television. I don’t think there is an application you can use to torrent anything so you’re limited to what ever you have legally. I expect if you want to do things illegally you have to be jailbroken or to use Android. I had a year and a half using an Android phone and there’s no way I would go back to that again. Neither would I ever want to jailbreak any of my iOS devices.

Using encryption on iOS devices

It is most certainly possible to read encrypted emails on your iOS devices. Whether you have encrypted them using GPG or PGP or if you are using encryption certificates. I have both available on my iOS devices. I can receive emails in whatever email client I’m using and read them on the device. This is a bigger conversation and I will have I blog post just looking at this. It’s all part of the post-PC experience!


Posted in iPad.

Day two of post-PC – rocking it with iOS

blogging with WordPress
It’s been surprising that I’ve enjoyed being in this situation. I really don’t mind that I haven’t got my two 27 inch screens in front of me. I’m enjoying the challenge of finding new workflows to get things done. Despite missing the use of Dragon for Mac I’ve been able to produce a lot of words for blog posts. I’ve been putting those words into Byword, Blogo and Ulysses. I have been able to make one audio podcast using AudioBoom. Publishing the words has not been a problem and I’ve been writing a long article about using the various blogging platforms from the iPad. Well, not just the iPad, but also with the iPhone. One of the blog posts I did using Blogo on the iPhone. I have a number of options for blogging with iOS and I want to find out which one is the best solution for me. I’ll be publishing that post very soon. I still have a number of options to try to help me weigh up my decision. Writing into the web back end of WordPress in Safari works well and there is also the WordPress application. 

iOS applications for file transfer

During my search for a good blogging application for iOS I thought I needed to use a separate application for uploading pictures to my website. The application I have on my devices for that is called Transmit. The company that makes this also has a version for using on the Mac. I would have bought that also except I already have FTP software on the Mac called Yummy. It might be a bit of a weird name for a file transfer software, but it does the job. After worked out how to connect up to my website and deliver the files to the server I found out I could use Byword on iOS to do the same thing. Byword is a very good text editor for writing in markdown. Byword has an extra paid for feature allowing connections to blogging platforms. Even though I don’t now need this Transmit application for uploading pictures for blogging, it will come in useful for other file transfer requirements. For instance if I want to upload an ebook to the website which is on WordPress, it’s not permitted to do so. With Transmit I can get around that a limitation.

A more personal type of computing

On account of the fact that you have the device closer to you and that you touch it, it is bound to feel more personal. It’s almost as if you are immersed in the computer experience. I am still using dictation. I’m talking to my computer using Siri. It’s working fairly well. I have also connected to the Bluetooth keyboard from my Mac so I can have some time sitting at my desk in the office. It’s almost like having a Desktop computer in front of me again.

What’s the next thing with this experiment

I want to do some full on podcasting and not just an AudioBoom post. It’s not very good to try and use iOS for the sort of podcast where you’re recording a call you are making with somebody else through Skype. You do still need to have a Mac to be able to do that. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple will make changes at some point in time so you can record audio and use in a podcast. I can use applications like BossJock and Twisted Wave to record audio and I will be able to publish those to my podcast channel. BossJock is interesting because when you do a podcast with it, it’s kind of like making a performance. You can add the audio effects of bumpers, stingers and the other sorts of things you add to podcasts like jingles. There is a little button to operate the microphone and when you press and hold, it will lower the volume of the sounds playing in the background.

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