Productivity Archive

Mind Tree for iOS Brings Easy Mind Mapping

i2e Consulting has released Mind Tree for iOS, a mind mapping app to build and visualize ideas and concepts. It is the ultimate solution for mapping ‘thoughts and ideas.’ Mind Tree for iOS is a app for anyone who wishes to capture ideas and work on it. Starting from a central topic, quickly branch out to sub topics in a organized and structured manner. Take notes, add links and images as you evolve your concept. The complete map gives a informative overview and provides key insights into the way your central topic has evolved.

Mind Tree for iOS (Universal) – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Refresh iOS App and Web App Updated With Fresh New Look

Refresh (, the mobile app that makes it easy to discover common ground and build stronger relationships, announced today the launch of its new web app, along with a significant update for its existing iOS app. Both the web and iPhone app now feature email notifications, recent news and new data sources for insights.  The iOS update also features a new swipeable interface that makes it easy to quickly find the right insights.

Share Interactive Content in Real Time With PhatPad for iPad

PhatWare has announced the release of an update of PhatPad for iPad, their note-taking and collaboration app featuring PhatWare’s latest handwriting recognition technology. PhatPad 3.3 is now integrated with Moxtra power messaging technology, which allows users to share PhatPad, screen, voice, and chat in the real time with a touch of the button. Now PhatPad users can collaborate and interact with others right over the PhatPad content using PhatPad or any Internet browser on any desktop or mobile computer.

PhatPad – $7.99 – Download Now

MailDeck Update Brings HTML Signatures & One-Time Purchase Option

MailDeck for iPad has been updated this past week with two big features that users have been asking for in the kickstarted app of 2013.  The v1.5 update brings HTML signatures to the app and the ability for users to purchase the app for a one-time price of $14.99 versus the $4.99 Ad-removing, Exchange and signature enabling annual subscription.  As I stated in my review of MailDeck, it is an app that those who need to triage, organise and search extensive amounts of email should consider.  It is a great app.

MailDeck – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Theme Inn Launches the iOS Version of Bundle for MS Office

Theme Inn, a graphic design company that specializes in creating themes, templates, and illustrations for OS X and iOS, has expanded its assortment of productivity templates with the release of the iOS version of Bundle for MS Office. The brand new pack of designs complements the newly released Microsoft Office Mobile with 200 assorted designs for Word, 20 matching template lines for Word, 40 spreadsheet templates for Excel, and 40 slideshow themes for PowerPoint. The new collection of templates helps users of iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch save time and effort creating quality content with the new Microsoft Office Mobile app.

“We have been offering templates for the Mac version of MS Office for some time, so the release of Microsoft Office Mobile allowed as to offer the same designs for iOS users,” says Jolita Unguvaitiene, Theme Inn’s general manager. “As

Bundle for MS Office for iPad

Bundle for MS Office for iPad

with our other products, we will keep expanding this set with new content.”

Bundle for MS Office carries an impressive selection of designs: 200 unique designs for Word documents, 20 matching template lines for Word, 40 spreadsheet templates for Excel, and 40 slideshow themes for PowerPoint. They cover everything from brochures and business cards to vacation planners to modern presentations. All templates have been streamlined to make the best use of the iOS environment and are available in the US and international paper sizes.

Bundle for MS Office is available now in the App Store for $10.99.  It requires you have Office for iPad and that your iPad be running iOS 7.0 or later.

Bundle for MS Office – $10.99 – Download Now

Apple Releases Updates to iWork Apps for Mac and iOS

With the release a week ago of Microsoft’s Office for iPad, it wasn’t a question of if Apple updated iWork apps but only a matter of when.  That when is today with the Cupertino company releasing updates for all three of the iWork apps – Keynote, Numbers and Pages – for both Mac OS X and iOS as well as the iCloud based versions.

Perhaps the biggest new features for all three apps on all three platforms is the new View Only function.  This allows you to share a file but those whom you share it with are unable to edit the app.  You can initiate this feature from your iOS device, iCloud or your Mac.  Almost as important, you can now search all three for files by their name which will dramatically improve searching if you have dozens of files.

In Keynote on iOS, you can now tap-and-hold while you are presenting to illuminate on a slide.  Like PowerPoint for

Keynote for iCloud New Features

Keynote for iCloud New Features

iPad, Keynote now has a laser pointer but also gives you an array of colour markers to highlight on a slide as you are presenting.  It is provided in a small tray that pops up at the bottom of Keynote when you are in Presentation mode.

Finally there is also Retina display support now in all three of the apps for iCloud.

I have been an exclusive iWork apps user for nearly a year now and while there are still elements that the Microsoft apps do better – particularly when comparing Numbers and Excel – it works for me.

The iWork apps are either free or $9.99 each depending on if you were new to iPhone or iPad with the release of iOS 7. For Mac users, the apps are $19.99 each.  That means, worst case, you are paying $89.94 for all them, $10 less than a year of Office 365.  Plus the iOS versions are universal apps that work equally as well on your iPhone or iPad.

Keynote for iOS – $9.99 (Free to new iOS users) – Download Now

Keynote for Mac – $19.99 – Download Now

Numbers for iOS – $9.99 (Free to new iOS users) – Download Now

Numbers for Mac – $19.99 – Download Now

Pages for iOS – $9.99 (Free to new iOS users – Download Now)

Pages for Mac – $19.99 – Download Now

Microsoft Launches Office for iPad

After months of debate and rumour, Microsoft has officially launched Office for iPad today.  The new app is available for iPads running iOS 7.0 and allows users to view and edit their Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.

Now when I say months, I really mean years (which are comprised of months).  The first credible reference to Office for iPad?  According to Mary Jo Foley of Re/code, November 2011.  Read her article on it here from ZDNet

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella make the announcement and it is first major public event and launch since taking over as CEO of the company.  With a strong background in cloud solutions, Nadella is fully expected to continue to push the Redmond company into the intersection that is mobile devices and cloud based storage and apps.

Office for iPad includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint and is fully optimised for the touch interface of the device.  Microsoft was very clear that this was not a port from the PC nor is it simply the Office365 app for iPhone just blown up.  This was fully developed for iPad from the ground up.

Office for iPad leverages the cloud services from Microsoft like OneDrive and Office365 so you can access your files anywhere at anytime from any device.

In watching the presentation, there are some really clever nice features.  For example, in Excel, there is a custom number keyboard when you are editing cells.  In PowerPoint, if you are presenting and tap-and-hold you will see a laser point so you highlight something as you present using AirPlay as an example.

The Office for iPad app will be available at 11:00 AM PST this morning and is free to download to view files and present with PowerPoint.  If you are an Office365 subscriber, you can edit your documents as well.

Microsoft Word for iPad

Microsoft Excel for iPad

Microsoft PowerPoint for iPad


AstralPad Office App for iPad Adds Box Support In Latest Update

AstralPad, the most advanced document editing app for the iPad, today announced support for Box, giving Box users a better mobile solution for editing and sharing documents from the iPad. The new version of the app also makes editing documents more intuitive with support for the iPad’s native text selection and editing menus, and provides a seamless experience to iPad users.

AstralPad truly empowers mobile professionals by combining the power of visual collaboration with its advanced office app. Using AstralPad, mobile professionals can not only create Office documents on-the -go, but also collaboratively

edit them with remote colleagues, or present to virtual clients in real-time. All you need is your iPad and a good internet connection.

AstralPad Office Collaboration – Free – Download Now

Timeband Brings Project Plans & Gantt Charts to iPad

Urban Anomaly announces the release of Timeband, an iPad application for entrepreneurs, planners, strategists and ordinary people to create stylish timelines and effortlessly share them in high-resolution PDF format. The app can turn thoughts and ideas into a visual chart of activities and milestones that will be considered a work of art, suitable for sharing with any important audience. Timeband was designed for the touch interface and is exclusively available on the iPad.

“A well-constructed timeline conveys refined style and credibility. It helps others understand and emotionally connect with the project,” said Steve Barham, Director and Lead Developer of Urban Anomaly, “We made Timeband because formatting, customizing, printing and sharing a timeline schedule in standard project management software is not easy. Timeband makes it possible to use the iPad instead of a team of engineers, designers, and graphics artists.”

Timeband will pay for itself after just one use. It is an efficient way to map out the key elements and sequencing of a project, with just a few easy steps:

1. Define the start year, start month, and duration of the timeline.
2. Add groups, activities, or milestones. Define the dates or adjust them using the touch-drag interface.
3. Customize styles and colors.
4. Preview the document. Adjust paper size, orientation, and gridlines. Add a logo and custom header text.
5. Print or email the stylish document directly from the iPad.

After releasing the minimalist project management app, Timeline, which includes budget, progress, and status features, Urban Anomaly heard from many users desiring an app focused only on creating timeline schedules. Timeband was created for this purpose and can be used to:

* Organize thoughts into a coherent strategic plan or project
* Earn respect and credibility from clients and stakeholders due to the refined format of the documents
* Create a unique style that very few will be able to reproduce
* Send updates and revisions to others with very little effort

Timeband requires iOS 6 on an iPad.

Timeband is $2.99 and is available in the App Store

Timeband (iPad Only) – $2.99 – Download Now

TechMom Tuesday – Remind Me to Review Something…

Did you miss me in February? (In my defense you did get two TechMom Tuesday posts in January.)

Nevertheless, it is with a heartfelt apology that I shall now regale you with my thoughts on Apple Reminders. (Because I totally could have used a reminder for the last TechMom post. And since we’re airing confessions – I’m writing this right now because a reminder just buzzed at me from my shiny iPhone 5 toy.)

I’ve been trying to go paperless for a while now. Between the terrific toddling twosome creating confetti out of receipts and other important papers and my giant dogs who seem to believe pulped paper products are a culinary delicacy, the precariously placed post-its weren’t cutting it any longer.

Also, I was forgetting things.

Managing my tasks as work (SHOCKINGLY, I am not a professional full-time blogger), tracking family commitments, remembering doctors appointments, calendaring my blogging exploits, random to-dos, a shared honey-do list, the grocery store checklist indicating whether or not we’re out of Cheerios, and of course noting the movies that my friends seem to be so incredulous that I haven’t yet seen. (Who am I? Where are we?)

I needed something that would ideally encompass all of the above in one fabulous app.

Reminders-iPhoneAnd Apple Reminders is a standard app on all my iDevices (and my MacBook, but I couldn’t figure out a clever iPhrase for that one).

The Good:

  • It reminded me of stuff to do.
  • Integrates with Outlook tasks for work purposes. (I couldn’t test Apple Mail notes, because, well – that died.
  • I can share lists. And everyone with an iPhone already has the app. (Honey…I’ve got a great idea! Also, Clinton can cull my crazy ideas long before they’re threatening to go live on the AlliOSNews site.)

Reminders - DesktopThe Bad:

  • I am restricted to one folder (“Tasks”) for my work tasks.
  • If you aren’t a complete Apple shop, you miss out on desktop access – which could be a pretty big pain for work items.
  • There is very little space for in-depth notes about the task.

The Ugly:

  • Can you see my shopping list? We’re out of toddler snacks AND wine! (APOCOLYPSE NOW!)

Overall, Reminders is okay. It’s not great; I don’t think it sucks.

It served its purpose – blinking up reminders of the items I entered in. However, Reminders very much works best as a straight series of lists, not a comprehensive life organizer.

Now, because I know “meh” isn’t really a review you can do much with, I’ve gone a step further to look at some of the other productivity apps available.

WunderListIf Reminders is just to basic for you, check out WunderList.

It’s a free (highly rated) app that syncs across all your devices – including a Web portal and PC desktop plan – and also sharable provided your desired share-ee also has the app.

With a more comprehensive notes section as well as sub-tasks you can enter, WunderList is a much cleaner option for paperless life task organization.

If only one of the apps could now remind me what direction my iPhone toddled off… (FYI – Find iPhone app does not share which toy bin your shiny toy has been stashed in.)