Jun 29

Chrome Browser for iOS

Yesterday when Chrome hit the iOS App  Store, I allowed myself a moment of geek excitement; Chrome is my preferred browser on the PC, so I was looking forward seeing that experience translate to the iPad. 

Meh.

It’s nice, and has a familiar look and feel, but under the hood – as suspected – Apple’s app restrictions keep the browser from being much more than Safari with a Google facelift.

As confirmed by John Herrman on Buzzfeed, Apple hasn’t lifted its software restrictions, so Chrome for iOS is hobbled and not even really Chrome at all.  The result is an experience that shares little with the real Chrome browser, and one actually slower than Safari on the iPad. 

One good thing about the browser is that it allows syncing your content with Chrome on your Mac or PC.  Actually… that’s about the only good thing.

M. Nichols, Products Editor

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Jun 26

Apple's new Podcasts iOS App

One of the rumors about iOS 6 was that Apple would be moving podcasts from the Music app to its very own application on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.  Well, the rumor was true, but iOS 6 isn’t required:

This morning Apple released Podcasts, a new standalone podcast app for all iOS devices.

Here’s what Apple says about Podcasts:

Podcasts app is the easiest way to discover, subscribe to and play your favorite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Explore hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts from the Podcasts Catalog, and play the most popular podcasts, organized for you by topic, with the all-new Top Stations feature.

Browse new and noteworthy iOS apps…

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Mar 22

Air Display Getting a Retina UpdateOf all the apps on my iPad 2, the one I was probably most looking forward to trying on the new iPad was Air Display.  This iOS utility from Avatron allows you to use the iPad (or iPhone, iPod touch if you’ve got a magnifying glass handy) as a second display for your Windows PC or Mac. On the iPad 2, that was all well and good – I’d use it for a PDF viewer or for iTunes to cut down on my primary monitor’s clutter – but with the iPad 3’s 2048×1536 resolution… the app’s utility seemed like it would, well, quadruple. 

But last Friday, iPad launch day, there was no Air Display update.  There wasn’t one Monday or Tuesday.  Yesterday I found out why.

According to a post on the company’s blog, they got to work immediately on a Retina-friendly version of Air Display when the iPad 3 was announced, but after testing the update on an actual 3rd Gen iPad last week, the results were disappointing.  They continued their work and now an update is currently under Apple review and should be available in the coming days.

You can still use the current version of Air Display on the new iPad, you’ll just get a lower resolution that’s not particularly pretty.  Still, if using your iPad as a second display sounds good to you, give it a try (you can read my initial review of Air Display here, which I will update once the new version goes live).  Avatron promises improved performance on older iPads with the upcoming update, too.

M. Nichols, Products Editor

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Feb 03

Pocket PC Central iOS Software Center

Our iOS Software Center updates continue.  We’ve added new pages to our center’s listing of recommended apps. New pages include:

FTP / File Transfer iOS Apps

Internet Radio iOS Apps

Cooking & Recipe iOS Apps

Music & Audio iOS Apps

Financial & Money Management iOS Apps

By the end of February, all categories will be populated with at least three apps we recommend.  After all pages are all online, we’ll start adding new apps to each page to build a more complete listing of the best iPhone and iPad apps to help users sort through the clutter of hundreds of thousands of software titles available for iOS devices.

Submit your suggestions here.

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Jan 10

GoMusic for Google Music iPhone AppUPDATE MARCH 31, 2012: GoMusic, after being briefly pulled from the App Store, is again available for purchase and download.

As Cloud services have rolled out en masse over the last couple of years, I’ve mostly stayed away.  They’re interesting, but buggy and often useless, and aside from Dropbox (which quickly evolved from cool option to indispensable tool), I’ve tried and mostly abandoned each Cloud service du jour. 

Google Music, on the other hand, had me from my first log-in.  Google, which already powers so much of my digital life, offers the service as a “music locker,” a place to store your music online and to listen from any location, so long as you have an internet connection.

But there was a problem…

Google Music was fine while at my desk, using an Android device, or on my laptop, but mostly useless on my iPhone (there’s no official Google Music app in the App Store, but you can access the service via Safari).  So I set out to find a third-party solution that could make my Google Music collection more iPhone friendly. And after spending a good bit of time with three such apps, I’ve found the best iPhone-Google Music option: GoMusic

It isn’t perfect, but it’s by far the best solution if you’re an iPhone user.

Continue reading »

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