Many years ago, weekends at my grandparents’ went like this: flip on the TV, peruse through all the channels hoping to find something I like, and eventually hand over the remote to my grandfather, when he would then search the paper TV guide for that night’s programming.
The days of using those guides are long gone, but the need to see what shows are coming up is still relevant. For that, I’ve been using Television Time, a beautiful TV guide for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
When Apple introduced the App Store in 2008, much of the excitement spanned from the opportunities and functionalities these new apps would bring to the iPhone. Many of the first apps were forays into markets untouched by the stock apps – games, social networks, and read-it-later services.
Eight years later, the trends are different; with millions of apps covering almost every genre imaginable, a lot of this year’s best apps are refinements or new takes on the same functionalities some of Apple’s stock apps offer.
That’s where Partly Sunny comes in – it’s a weather app that, at first glance of its icon, looks almost identical to Apple’s Weather. But after tapping into it, Partly Sunny shakes the similarities and introduces a robust, beautiful new way to view weather information.
Logitech have today introduced a new charging dock for the iPad Pro. The Logi Base is rather unique in that it uses the iPad Pro’s Smart Connector to charge the device. To date, the Smart Connector has only been used by Apple’s Smart Keyboard and Logitech’s keyboard case.
The minimalist looking dock will work with both the 9.7” and 12.9” iPad Pro, with magnets on the Logi Base helping guide the iPad Pro into the correct position for charging via the Smart Connector. Using the 12W power adapter and no apps running, Logitech advises that it will take 7 hours to charge the iPad Pro. The stand places the iPad Pro at a 70-degree viewing angle, and it is compatible with the iPad Pro Silicone cases from Apple.
I’ve just been using my iPad Pro Smart Keyboard as the “dock” for my iPad, but I’m really tempted by the Logi Base. It looks really elegant and just being able to drop the iPad down onto the dock, without fiddling with a lightning cable, would be great. But the lengthy charge time and hefty price are dampening my enthusiasm.
Today during Apple’s September 9th Special Event Keynote, Apple officially unveiled the widely rumored iPad Pro. Apple’s new iPad features a huge 12.9-inch Retina display, their new A9X chip, a four-speaker architecture, an 8 MP iSight Camera, support for the also-announced Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, and much more. To quote Tim Cook, it’s “the biggest news in iPad since iPad.”
After updating PDF Converter and Scanner Pro with support for iOS 8 extensions last week, Readdle released updates to Documents and PDF Expert yesterday, bringing full integration with iCloud Drive and document pickers.
Similarly, Panic’s Transmit was updated with various enhancements including an Import/Export feature for iCloud Drive. These options let you save and copy files to and from Transmit (either in local or remote locations) using the native iOS 8 document picker.
I’ve been playing with both since yesterday and I noticed some good ideas and inconsistencies that I think are worth pointing out.
Microsoft yesterday updated their OneDrive iOS app to support a more seamless method of integration with their Office iPad apps. The app will now instantly open Word, Excel or PowerPoint if you tap on an Office document in OneDrive - provided you have the Office iPad apps installed. Previously OneDrive would simply display the document (.doc, .xls, .ppt, etc) using iOS’ preview, which unfortunately struggles to properly format the more complex Office documents. The feature can be turned off by going to the OneDrive settings and toggling the ‘Use Office Apps’ switch.
The OneDrive app’s Camera Roll upload feature was also improved to support background uploads, allowing the app to contine upload images when you switch to another app. The app update also included various bug fixes, most notably making uploads more reliable.
In related news, Microsoft earlier this week announced that they would soon boost the storage space for Office365 users to 1TB per person on a family plan and 1TB per subscription for those on personal or university plans. For those without a Office365 subscription, the free storage available also got a boost to 15 GB (up from 7 GB) and standalone OneDrive storage plans got price cuts (starting from US$1.99 per month for 100 GB).