Category Archives: Painting

My iPhone, Part One

This is part one of a two part article. These are the apps that sit on my iPhone. I go to page five today but expect some surprises tomorrow as I have nearly a whole page of apps devoted to something specific coming up and it’s NOT games! To be sure, I’ll be talking about some games too. Anyway, enjoy these first five pages and feel free to comment, make suggestions, ask questions, etc…

The First Page – Necessities

ListOmni is like an ultimate ‘list’ app. I use it for grocery lists (they make a reduced version for just that task) and for a quick todo list, for todos that I don’t want to schedule on my scheduler. I also use it to track apps that I’m interested in. You can really use this app for any kind of list. If you enjoy keeping lists of things then this is your tool, or toy.

Budget is a nice and easy to use budget app. I would like it better if it used a larger keypad for entering amounts of money. This is a small complaint though and for the price you really can’t beat its feature set. I’ve only been using it for a couple of weeks, I’ll have a more thorough opinion of it after I’ve spent a month under its watchful financial eye.

AwesomeNote is, as its name implies, a notepad. It’s actually as many notepads organized in as many folders as you want. It has a beautiful UI and supports portrait and landscape modes. It doesn’t need to do more.

PocketInformant is my todo list/schedule organizer. I’ve been through a few of these, all bloody expensive. This is the latest one and I hope to stick with it. Its feature list is vast so I won’t even bother iterating it here. I like its weekly view of my schedule most. Products abandoned while searching for this one: OmniFocus, ToDo.

Maps is the default mapping application on the iPhone. I’m sure there are better ones out there and I’ve tried a few. None that I’ve tried are as quick as Maps and, well, it just works.

AppStore being on my first page is probably a mistake. So easy to get to, so easy to use…it’s the devil!

Contacts is the basic contacts app for the iPhone. It does the job and syncs with my Mac. I need nothing more really.

HanDBase is an awesome database with relational capability. It’s not pretty like Bento but Bento is a piece of crap for not letting you backup your data without buying their desktop product. HanDBase offers a wealth of features not found in other iPhone database apps. Products abandoned: Bento, TapForms Database.

HiCalc is a feature rich (that is an understatement) calculator. The manual for HiCalc is huge. Truth be told I’ve not used it much but when I do need a calculator, wow, I’ve got an awesome one.

Advanced English Dictionary uses a public domain dictionary but it’s interface is really slick and it’s very zippy. I use this and one other dictionary, both are on my first page…

The Concise Oxford English Dictionary is on my phone because I need to look up British English words all the damn time. This is probably the best app store dictionary for doing just that.

QuickOffice is used less that I’d like it to be. I work with a lot of word documents at work and wanted a way to edit them whist commuting. I find that my commute is spent more on reading than writing, however. It’s nice to have the ability to edit documents when I do need to though.

Wikipanion Plus is, from what I know, the best Wikipedia browser on the iPhone. It has a feature that I simply adore. If you are reading an article and see a link you’d like to delve into, you can click that link and it will download the page in the background so that you can read it later. You can sae as many pages this way as you like. It’s great.

Weatherbug Elite is my forecaster. Pretty reliable and lets me know not only the weather but a detailed five day forecast as well.

Snapture is a great camera app. I’ve got a few others on my phone but this one is my main just point and shoot app.

Settings is on my first page because I’m always going into it and adjusting stuff for better battery life.

The Second Page – Visual Creativity

Photos is the built in photo browser. Yawn.

iMandalArt is a strange beast. I can’t even reiterate what the creator of this thing advertises because the English is so bad. It’s supposed to be a life organiser, editor, thingy kind of tool. It consists of 9 panels that exponentially expand into groupings of nine more panels. You can put text, pictures, and sound on any panel and each panel acts as a doorway to 9 more panels. You can group and refine thoughts this way. It’s a very odd beast and I wish that the developer had given more information about the Hypercard stack on which it is supposedly based.

iThoughts is my mind mapping tool of choice. Of all that I own it’s the most fluid and easy to use. I wrote a lengthier review of it on a previous entry in my blog.

LessChart is a flowcharting app. It’s not as functional as I’d like but it does the job, abliet a bit crudely. I can’t bring myself to recommend it however it gets good reviews at the app store which leads me to believe I’m missing something.

Headspace is another mind mapping app that is a bit of an oddball. You can only create one ‘map’ at any given time so it’s better suited for organizing one’s thoughts if the interface is something one is attuned to. I am not really but one day I might need it for something so it stays.

TinyPixels is a program that I was going to write for the iPhone. I would have done it differently but hey, it does the trick. It’s a pixel-by-pixel painting program meant for drawing old-school bitmaps or (as I use it for) icons. The one feature I’d like to see in it is the ability to set your document size.

Brushes is one of several painting apps I have on the iPhone. A longer review is posted in a previous entry of my blog.

Inspire is another painting app and of all of them is the most Painter-like. For those of you unfamiliar with Painter, think ‘natural media’ and specifically: oil paints. It simulates dry brush painting, palette knife scraping, and all manner of oil-paint-like things.

Layers Is yet another painting app.

Colors and again, more painting appage.

PaintBook – I really can’t get enough of the painting apps, can I? This one is nice, it allows for really fine-line drawings and uses a vector algorithm to smooth out your strokes. It works very well. Great for sketches.

NetSketch is yes..another painting app.

SketchBook – more painting…

iShodo is a Japanese calligraphy program that simulates not only the result but also the tools. It’s a very nice app that is well implemented.

ZeptoPad is the god vector-art program that I’ve previously reviewed. It’s not illustrator, it’s more like Expression but without a lot of the natural media aspects of that program.

iDiagram – I just started using this one. Will give it some time. It’s a vector based program that tries to be a bit Illustrator-like but fails due to lack of real Bezier editing.

The Third Page – Communication & Reading

Tweetdeck – this is my twitter client of choice. It has a fantastic UI that syncs with the desktop version. Very slick.

Facebook – this is here just so I can have a mobile interface to Facebook. I’d rather not clutter my apps menu with it but alas, it’s the best there is for the job.

AirMe is kind of cool. It allows me to snap a photograph and then instantly post it to Facebook with geo-coordinates so it records where the photo was taken. Problem is that it also posts a bunch of other tags. I believe I have control over what it posts and doesn’t but I’ve not fiddled with it yet.

Cooliris is a google image search browser. Simply enter keywords and images matching those keywords are returned. No control over image size returns limits its functionality a bit but it’s a nice way to browse google’s image search.

ClearCam is a jailbroken iPhone app that lets you take 4mp pictures. It does so by overlaying several shots to rid the image of noise. It does a fairly good job of it too.

xGPS is another jailbroken iPhone app. This one gives you turn-by-turn GPS tracking. Sadly I’ve found it to be too slow to be useful. The first time I used it I was impressed but haven’t gotten it to work so well since then.

Terminal is a, well, terminal for the iPhone. It can only be run on jailbroken iPhones but it’s kind of cool to be able to access the iPhone this way. There are a few features you can change by doing so.

Interactive Periodic Table – there are a ton of periodic tables for the iPhone out there. I thought this one, from the screenshots, was the prettiest. It has a ton of data and different ways to view the table and loads of neat pictures.

Great Books is a huge collection of free books. One can get any of these books free elsewhere and with a free viewer. I’m not sure why I’m keeping this one around, probably will do so until I’ve gotten through the books in its vast database.

Good Reader is without a doubt the best pdf reader for the iPhone. It’s new feature of being able to extract the text out of a pdf and view it at any font size is worth the price of admission alone. It can handle abnormally large PDFs as well.

Google Earth – I don’t use this much but DAMN it is cool having it on my phone.

Stanza lets you browse, search and download books from free and paid sources on the net. I use stanza to house all my public domain folktale and fairy tale books. I’ve about 300 of them.

Tome Raider 4 – a nice collection of free (public domain) books that I’ve yet to get to reading.

Read It Later – this neat tool lets you download web content and read it offline. It’s helpful for grabbing sites that I want to read but not necessarily bookmark. Since I don’t need an internet connection to read the downloaded pages I can save on battery.

ezShare – meh, this is the kind of software that should not be necessary. The iPhone should mount as a disc on its own. Anyway, if all you need to do is move files about then get an app that will double as a data holder like GoodReader or something.

The Fourth Page – Expanding page three

IdeaGenerator – I have this on my iPhone as an experiment. I’m slowly building a word library appropriate to my own creativity and hopefully it will do the job of kicking me from a rut when I find myself in one.

Japanese – awesome Kanji Dictionary. It’s the JEDict of the iPhone world.

Koi Pond – the best relaxation app IMO. What a wonderful gem this is and by the download count I imagine most others think so as well.

iKalied – I like Kaleidoscope apps and this one is a lot of beautiful fun.

Kooleido – Another nice Kaleidoscope app.

World Factbook 2009 – This contains a wealth of information on every country in the world. Sure, Wikipedia probably has the same info but this is well laid out and nice on the iPhone’s screen.

Trailguru – want to geotrack? This is the tool! This app will record your progress in user definable increments. You can even upload your track to a public or private website and then view them in GoogleEarth. Very nice app, unfortunately requires that it be running while recording a track. You can listen to music while tracking, however.

Camera Genius has features the built in camera app should have. Anti-shake, self-timer, grid overlay, and voice control.

Oxford Beginners Japanese English Dictionary is a fine Japanese dictionary. This should really be next to the Japanese app but alas, this is a page-by-page analysis and I’m going to stay honest.

101 Photo Effects has 101 filters to process pictures with. Some of them are quite cool, others are useless.

Xkcd is a necessary comic viewer. I love this dearly.

Fluid Motion is a trip. Truly, you ‘paint’ in a viscious liquid over which you have control of many parameters. It records your motions and allows you to overlay new painting strokes on the recorded motions. It’s quite amazing.

Cycorder – video recording on a 3g? You betcha! But only with a jailbroken phone. The videos that you can capture are not half-bad and I HIGHLY recommend this app for any jailbroken 3g with a little room left for videos.

Toy Camera – I’m not big into auto-processed photographs but this one is really neat. It runs photos, as they are taken, through any number of filters and makes them look…well…old and cheap. It’s far better than I make it sound!

Perfect Photo is a great photo editing tool that allows for cropping, rotation, levels editing, balance, etc… Good for those times when you don’t want to wait for a synch and Photoshop session. – why in heaven’s name do I need three English dictionaries on my phone? I really don’t but this one is free and quite good so it’s there. Sigh.

Page five – more of the same

Cydia is the app store for jailbroken iphones. They only have a limited selection of pay apps but who is going to complain when most of the stuff is free. I’m quite surprised at the number of ad supported apps there are but I suppose I shouldn’t be. If your iPhone is jailbroken then you have Cydia, there’s no way around it.

Icy is another developer’s idea of how Cydia should work. It’s a bit faster for getting a specific app, Cydia tends to be better for browsing.

WinterBoard gives you control over a lot of the iPhone’s functionality that you would otherwise not have including wallpaper all the time and custom themes (there are hundreds out there). I have found that some of the features are not compatible with everything and so I’ve disabled much of the ‘cool’ things.

Categories lets you put apps into folders. The idea isn’t as slick as you might expect but it does work. I’ve got most of the game that my son plays in folders so they don’t clutter up my app menu.

iBlueSky – another mind mapping app that I’ve reviewed in another blog post.

MindMeister – yes another mind mapping app, move along.

Spawn Illuminati – this is a neat little visual trip. Wait to purchase it though because one of its cooler features (symmetry) wil be available free with the next update.

Pulsar – is another visual trip thing. I find these apps make good starting points for abstract artwork.

BeatMaker is amazing. It’s a drum machine, sequencer, and editing deck all in one app. Professional musicians use this in live concerts, that should give you some idea of how utterly awesome and powerful this is. Watch the youtube videos of this thing in action and be amazed.

TypeDrawing – I have this on my phone because it’s a drawing app and it’s unique. I never know when I’ll need to draw something with text. When that need arises, TypeDrawing will be there!

a2z Pro (Unit Converter) is by far the best unit conversion tool available as you can download conversion tables made by others (and there are dozens) as well as create your own. Amazing that this puppy is free.

My O2 is the app I use to keep track of my allowances for my calling plan. I never even approach my limits so it’s just occupying an app space on my phone and doing nothing really useful.

Skype – I’ve only used this a couple of times but it seems to work okay. It’s Skype for the iPhone…move along.

Brain Challenge 2 is the first game on my list and we had to get all the way to the last icon on page 5. I only bought it yesterday so haven’t had a lot of time with it. I exercise my brain enough without games like this to occupy my time but it’s nice for what it is doing.

That is it for today. Tune in tomorrow when I talk about the rest of my iPhone. To be sure I have a few surprises coming up!


Filed under Graphics, iPhone, iPhone App Reviews, Painting