iSource Picks of the Week

iSource

Picks of the Week

Welcome to our weekly installment of Picks of the Week at iSource where we provide our expanded coverage of Apple accessories and applications  Here we will promote our favorite iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac and Apple TV related items, as well as bring you occasional tips and tricks.  Hopefully many of our favorite items will also be of interest to you. Please feel free to comment on our selections, and suggest picks of your own.  Check out this week’s picks after the break

HeyTell (v2.1.2)

Picked by: Jay

HeyTell

My pick of the week this time might potentially change the way you use your iPhone  – and possibly Android device! Take a trip back in time – to when there was a technology called a walkie-talkie, then two-way radio, then push-to-talk – and merge that trip with current reality of an app called HeyTell (video demo).

This free, cross-platform app uses a small packet of your data network (“no more than sending an email”) to send “instant voice messages” to other HeyTell users on their device. Imagine recording an audio SMS by pressing the prominently large “Hold and Speak” button – like a walkie-talkie – and wait until you receive an audio message reply. App not open? Not a problem since it also has push notifications. I’ve used it while *ahem* not driving, to talk with my wife and kids across a store, correspond across the country with a professional colleague, at a conference when coordinating communication, and even when traveling as a quick notifier without using the phone itself.

It’s just awesomely easy to use, includes a “Share Location” through an integrated map, and has a nearly perfect 5-star rating on iTunes. I’ve had many compliments on this discovery by friends and family across the US and recommend that you give it a try!

(free) iTunes Link

iReader (v1.3.0.2)

Picked by: Thomas

iReader(2)

My pick for this week isn’t i-Specific, but it’s what I’m using right now on my Mac, so, uh, deal with it? :)

The name of the Chrome Plugin I’m featuring is “iReader“, and it’s basically a Chrome extension that mimics the Reader functionality of Safari 5 (which was actually based on the Readability bookmarklet — so we’ve kinda gone full circle).  iReader is completely free, stays out of my way, and makes just about every website a lot easier to read. It’s also very easy to uninstall if you don’t like it (just delete the Chrome extension and win).  iReader

(free) Link

Griffin Standle for iPad

Picked by: Joe

standle_ipad-1

The Griffin Standle for iPad is unique amongst iPad cases in that it not only protects the iPad, stands it up in portrait and landscape modes, and props it at a convenient typing angle like many iPad cases, but it also provides a carrying handle as well. The case is hard plastic, looks attractive, and even allows docking in many iPad docks.  The Standle is available at many retailers (including the Apple Store).

standle_ipad-3

($49.99) Link

Awesome Note (+Todo)  v4.9.1

Picked by: AliciaB

Awesome_Note_( Todo)

For my pick this week, I’ve chosen an app that I discovered only yesterday – Awesome Note, which interestingly combines notes and to-dos, in a neat little package that is both appealing and deceptively powerful under the hood, even in its lite version.

In a word, the app is indeed awesome. It looks good, is easy to grasp and lets you choose background, font or even the look for its many sections, layers or items, allowing you the choice of thumbnail, list, to do, detail, diary or photo views. There are lots of great features, including customizable categories with icons or sync with Evernote and Google Docs, just to name two.  I don’t know yet know the app well enough to describe its nooks and crannies but what I’ve seen so far has more than won me over.

($3.99)  iTunes Link

AppBackup (v1.0.13)

Picked by: jhrogersii

AppBackup

If you have spent much time around computers or personal electronics, you have probably learned just how valuable good backups can be. If they aren’t already, you should definitely make them a part of your digital routine. Unfortunately, while Apple has done so many things right when it comes to iOS’ polish and experience, backups are one area where they haven’t quite gotten it all together.

Sure, iTunes will backup your iOS device, but it is a single, locked file. There is no easy way to extract data from individual areas or apps from it, and the fact that it only works when you plug in your device in is a pain, as well. Ironically, the only way to improve the safety of your data is to go off the reservation and jailbreak your device. One of the solutions available once you do is AppBackup.

AppBackup is a very simple app that allows you to back up the data contained in your App Store apps. It includes an alphebetical list of all of your currently installed apps from the App Store. (Note: AppBackup does not backup jailbreak apps) You can tap on an individual app to make a backup, restore from a backup, delete a backup file, or ignore the app when doing a complete backup.

So, if you just want to save your settings or data for a few apps, you are done in a few simple clicks. If you want to backup a large number of your apps at once, you can easily do that, too. If you do want to use the All Backup, just be sure that you tap and ignore any apps that
are very large, such as GPS apps with on-board maps, and large games like FIFA 11. AppBackup backs up everything inside of the chosen apps, so the backup files for these types of apps can be quite large.

AppBackup compresses your backups, but still stores everything on your device. The files are kept in a single directory, where they are backed up by iTunes along with the rest of your device. This means, if you restore from a backup, you can just re-jailbreak, reinstall
AppBackup, and restore all of your important data in two clicks. If you need to install your iOS device as new, then you can SSH into your device and grab the backup files before you upgrade or restore. They are located in /var/mobile/Library/Preferences/AppBackup /tarballs.

AppBackup is a very worthy app for any jailbreaker’s arsenal. It is simple, easy to use, and is very reliable. I speak from experience, as it saved my hide during my upgrade/jailbreak misadventure earlier this week. Best of all, AppBackup is free! All together, that’s a pretty
good combination.

(free) Website –Located in Cydia/Utilities Section

There you have it!  Hope you enjoyed this week’s installment of Picks of the week.  Please let us know what you think, and share with us some of your favorites.

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