Tag Archives: iPhone

app talk: CamScanner – PDF Creator & More

CamScanner – PDF Creator

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed a paper document converted into a digital form, but there’s no scanner in sight?  Or maybe you like scanning old photos to upload into Facebook or Instagram.  Guess what? Flatbed scanners are no longer needed.  If you have a smart phone (Apple, Android, or Windows) the CamScanner app turns your smartphone into a scanner for managing documents.  Not only is it quick and easy, but it can be done from any location, at any time.

Put simply, this is how CamScanner works:  Take a picture of the document/photo, CamScanner will auto crop and enhance it, while still allowing you full control of any changes.  Once your document/photo is saved, next you have the option to PDF it and/or shares your file via several options (email, Dropbox, etc).  By signing up for a FREE CamScanner account, you also get 200mb of free cloud storage and document syncing across various electronic platforms (smartphones, tablets, computers and the cloud).

With just CamScanner’s basic FREE features you’re able to scan documents, batch scan, do merging, rotating, cropping, enhancing, text searching, along with password protecting and categorizing via preset Tags.  Watermarking and limited annotations (via In Note) are also included features inside this powerful app.   If you’re still in need of additional features, a paid premium is also available.  An added plus for students and educators…upgrade to the full version for Free when you use an .edu email address.

I’m rating CamScanner as one of the top 10 apps on my list of favorites.


app talk: Audio Podcasts Made Simple

Instructors who want to make audio podcasts or other audio content available to their students may think they need computers, digital recorders and microphones to accomplish the task, but may overlook the simple solution of using their smart phone’s memo feature or free software that is available.  While the available Voice Memos that comes with ios7 can be used, I would suggest downloading the free app “Voice Record Pro (HD)”, which has more useful features.  This review will concentrate on this Apple-only app, but there are also good solutions for Android users as well.  One notable Android app is “Smart Voice Recorder”.

Besides ease of use, Voice Recorder Pro’s most important feature is the capability to convert from the Apple-specific format (AAC) to the more widely used MP3.  When you complete your recording, you can easily email it to one of the college’s multimedia specialists, who will post it to the streaming server and send you a link to go in Blackboard.  It’s as easy as that.

When you open up Voice Record Pro HD, tap on the red REC button to bring up the record quality interface and choose from low, medium and high.  Tap the REC button again to start the recording.  A large VU meter will appear and while speaking, the level indicator should approach the red 0 mark.  When recording, position the phone as close to your mouth as possible.  This may be done by stacking books or other items on a table in front of you to bring your phone up higher.  You can record straight through or you can pause and start again when you want to.  When you finish the recording, touch the stop button and you’ll see a screen with many options such as play, convert to MP3, send by email, change title and edit.  Use the edit/trim feature to delete blank space before and after your audio content.  If you’re happy with the recording, title it, convert it to MP3 and email it to us for posting.

Here is a quick summary of the directions:

  • Touch the ‘Record’ button to begin, then ‘Pause’ to take a break, and ‘Stop’ to finish your recording.
  • Touch the ‘Back’ button to navigate to a listing of all recordings made.
  • Selecting a recording will bring up a variety of share options including naming, editing and converting your file to an MP3 format.

There are many other voice recording apps available, but no cost, ease of use, mild editing capability, quick conversion to MP3 and good audio quality make it one of the best choices.

start screen edit- share- screen

app talk: Managing Your Email

If you’ve ever watched the famous Inbox Zero video presentation that Merlin Mann gave at Google in 2007, you may have been inspired to take a more active approach in managing your email. Today, in 2013, many continue to struggle with the overwhelming task of managing our email inboxes – with the added challenge of doing so via a smartphone or mobile device.

This App Talk post will highlight several popular email apps which may help you manage your email in today’s mobile world.

Mailbox, iOS, free

The new app Mailbox has hit the iOS world by storm and those subscribing to the Inbox Zero approach are excited to get their hands on it. What makes Mailbox so appealing is how it allows you to manage your messages quickly, using swipes to trash, archive or “snooze” messages until a time when you might be ready for them. At this time, Mailbox is only for Gmail users and iOS platforms, but the company behind the app is working on compatibility with other platforms. Download the Mailbox app from iTunes to “reserve’ your spot!

Taskbox, iOS, $2.99

Taskbox, another app currently only iOS and Gmail compatible, is different because it works as both an email client and a to-do list app. Taskbox also makes use of the “swipe” to more quickly handle email – sending them to trash, spam or archive. The key feature, however, is the ability to turn emails into tasks with prioritization, due dates and assignments to others. For more information, vist the Taskbox website at http://taskbox.co/ or download from the iTunes store.

MailDroid, Android, free

Are you a Droid user looking for a replacement to the standard Android email client? MailDroid may be your answer. Nice features – including the ability to save attachements to an SD card and to setup up custom email rules – make it worth looking into alone.  MailDroid supports many email services including Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail and allows you to add POP3/IMAP providers. To learn more, or to download, visit http://slideme.org/application/maildroid.

K-9 Mail, Android, Free

In a search for the top Android email clients, K9 Mail popped up on nearly every “best email app for Android” that I came across. K-9 Mail is an e-mail client with search, IMAP push email, multi-folder sync, flagging, filing, signatures, bcc-self, PGP and mail on SD card. K-9 supports IMAP, POP3 and Exchange 2003/2007 (with WebDAV). Alos, K-9 Mail is an open-source, community developed project – this allows you, the user, to become directly involved in improving the product. For more information or to download K-9 Mail, visit https://code.google.com/p/k9mail/ or the Google Play store.

More information on the Inbox Zero approach can be found at http://inboxzero.com/ and http://www.43folders.com/ .