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.
TouchRetouch HD [ v 3.0 ]
Picked by: PatrickJ
This is a super cool little app that lets you remove unwanted objects and content from photos. If you snapped a great photo of your beautiful children and got photobombed by hideously unattractive neighbor kids, you can remove those pesky neighbor kids. Or, as in the images shown above, if I just want to get rid of the book title and author text on the image, I can do that.
The app is easy to use and has a strong set of features. You can use a brush (and adjust its size with an easy slider) or lasso tool to select areas of an image to remove. There’s also an eraser tool to refine your area selection and a clone stamp tool to help replace background areas where content has been removed. While you’re brushing to remove there’s a ‘finger hint’ small popover window that shows you a closeup of what you’re doing. I find this very helpful when working with areas that are tight to portions of the image that I don’t want removed. This can toggled on and off in settings, and if you have it on you can also set where it appears on the screen. You can make use of unlimited Undo and Redo to make sure you get things just as you want.
I’ve used Snapheal on the Mac desktop to do similar things, and this app does a very impressive job of this on the iPad.
$0.99 [ iTunes ]
Logitech Keyboard Case for the iPad 2
Picked by: Thomas
My pick this week is the $99 Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad 2, which I’ve been using for the last week or two. James wrote an epic review of the device last year so there isn’t a need to go into any major details, but I will say that it’s one of the best keyboard cases I’ve found. It’s about as light as the Apple Wireless Keyboard, has a very comfortable keyboard, and holds the iPad in both portrait and landscape mode for typing. The iPad can be removed from the case at any time by simply lifting it out, so there’s no feeling of being locked into the accessory once you start using it. I’m also loving the built-in battery – having to keep AA and AAA batteries around is a pain.
I do think the new Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover might be a step up in terms of looks and ease-of-use, but I’m still very happy with this Keyboard Case. You can buy it straight from Logitech or through a third-party on Amazon (which saved me about 30%).
$99.00 [ Link ]
Taskboard [ v 1.0.1 ]
Picked by: jhrogersii
I’ve always been sort of a power user when it comes to Calendar and Task Management. I manage both my personal tasks and all of my work projects on my mobile devices, at all times. Sometimes the apps that I use can be a bit cumbersome, and my process convoluted, but I’ve come up with a system over the years that actually works pretty well. However, just because I need that complexity for a lot of reasons doesn’t mean I can’t recognize beauty in simplicity. That’s where Taskboard, a new task management app for the iPad, comes in.
I was looking through a page full of apps that were either on sale or had recently lowered their normal asking prices, and came upon yet another task management app, called Taskboard. Yawn. Well, then I saw that the ratings were excellent, and that it was on sale for only $1.99, so I looked a little closer. At that point they had me. As many task apps as there are in the App Store, Taskboard is just about the cleanest and easiest to use, and most intuitive that I’ve seen. If I had to make a comparison, I’d say that it’s sort of like Clear, another simple task management that recently garnered a lot of attention, for the iPad.
As I said before, Taskboard is simplicity itself. You create lists that are pinned to your board, and then add tasks accordingly. You can add them in individually, or in batches, which speeds the process along quite a bit. What really makes Taskboard stand out, however, is how you can interract with your tasks once they are created. Without hitting a button, making a gesture, or going into any special mode, you can not ony reorder any of your lists, but you can also move tasks between lists by simply dragging the cards around with your finger. This is a great feature for project management where tasks may be shared between different jobs or team members, as you can just move the task cards around, at will. However you use this feature, it’s very handy and really makes Taskboard a pleasure to use.
Once a task is created, you do have a couple of additional options available. You can add notes, add a Due Date, or delete your task. You also have the option to email a task list, or print it out via AirPrint. As far as features go, that’s just about it. The only other available feature is the ability to change the background color of the board.
In future updates, I would love to see Mr Romej add the ability to have more than one list in a column. This might take a little creativity to handle overlapping lists, but it would also maximize the iPad’s screen real estate. I would also like to see Notifications added to the app. If you can add a Due Date to a task, you need to be able to get a reminder of it. However, Taskboard is definitely worth picking up as it stands right now. If you are looking for an easy way to organize your life, but don’t want to waste hours doing it, then this is the app for you.
$1.99 [ iTunes ]
WeatherBug [ v 2.0.2 ]
Picked by: Jay
I am sitting here listening to thunder. The winds are rustling the trees, and the blinds are clattering across the open windows. I wonder how intense the impending thunderstorm is. What app do I turn to first? Weatherbug for iPhone.
This ad-supported app is handy for displaying current conditions, a quick forecast, and a map of your current location, as well as saved locations – handy when traveling for work and I want to know what the weather is like at home where my family is. At a glance, I know how threatening the storm might be since there is an “alert” icon that shows up on the current conditions screen for any National Weather Service bulletins and/or Weatherbug Network: one click on the red triangle and I can read the alert.
Being from the midwest and tornado ally, I have an arsenal of iPhone weather apps and have reviewed several. Before jumping to NOAA’s website and service, my number one pick is Weatherbug. Since it’s free, I highly recommend it.
Free [ iTunes ]
HowStuffWorks for iPad [ v 1.2 ]
Picked by: AliciaB
My Pick this Week is the How Stuff Works App, the iPad version for the How-to platform, a wholly comprehensive question-and-answer database giving us normals folks insights into how things work.
If you are the kind of person that lazes around the house on weekends, scrumaging for something interesting to read or learn, look no further. You can freely and safely lose yourself in the endless universe of articles, clips, sound bytes and quizzes. The main nav bar at the top right takes you to all main sections: faves, search, quizzes, audio and articles. Typing in any simple word e.g. “rain“ will offer you details on the carbon cycle, sub Saharan Africa, acid rain, instructions on how to build a rain barrel and an answer to the provocative question “can it really rain frogs?“ (surprisingly the answer here is yes!)
But the educational fun does not stop there. Flex your cerebral muscles with quizzes, browse the audio shows or simply indulge in fascinating video footage - the topics have an extremely wide range: culture, adventure, science, tech. And of course you can share, mark as favourite or share your views on your finds to social media. There is NO WAY you will not find something interesting to read in or do with this app. This is another great choice for kids of all ages.
Free [ iTunes ]
US Store [ iTunes ]
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 in the comments section below.