I had the opportunity to see a demo of Phatware's Writepad at Macworld and was very impressed. It lets you simply write on the screen using your finger or a stylus pen rather than using the onscreen keyboard, and translates your writing into typed characters. You can then edit that text — copy, paste, insert characters, etc. — via simple gestures. The app has a ton of features, such as shorthand, which lets you enter just two characters to evoke frequently used words or phrases.
Infinite Skills Video Based Software Training is a free app for the iPad that gives you access to over 250 short videos that help you learn software such as Adobe Creative Suite 5, Microsoft Office, and AutoCAD. Each video is a few minutes long and shows you how to accomplish a specific task, such as correcting color casts in PhotoShop. The app requires an Internet connection, either WiFi or 3G.
These new accessories certainly caught my attention when I received a press release a number of days ago. They're made out of bamboo: cases for the iPhone and iPad, as well as earbuds. And for a desktop computer, there's a bamboo keyboard and mouse. Not only is it attractive, but they say it's better for the environment. Read more on Vivitar's site. These bamboo accessories are expected to be available the beginning of April from a variety of vendors. The earbuds will be priced at $19.99 and the cases at $29.99.
Speed.Dial ($0.99) is a simple app that lets you add contacts to your home screen. It puts an app-like icon on your home screen that includes the contact's picture and name. If you want to call the person, you just tap the icon. The app makes it quick and simple to add a contact.
I've been using alternate browsers for some time, mainly because I wasn't at all satisfied with Safari's tabbed browsing. I've used iCab quite a bit on my iPad, and like it a lot. I've also been using a preview copy of 360 Web Browser ($0.99), with version 3.0 finally being released in the App Store yesterday. This version is optimized for the iPad.
Most people are honest, at least here in rural Iowa. I know that if I lost my iPhone, they'd likely try to return it. But I've often wondered how easy it would be for them to contact me if they did find it, especially if they weren't familiar with the iPhone. One solution is to put your contact information on the lock-screen of your device, so that it's readily available if someone should find your iOS device. A free app, Take Me Home, lets you easily do this. The free version is fully functional, and comes with an attractive home screen.
Last week Google released a new version of Google Search (free). This is a great app, with voice search and the Google Goggles feature that lets you search by taking a picture. The update has implemented a new interface that's pretty cool. If you swipe right in the search results, you'll get a menu along the left (as in the image) that lets you refine your search. Check out this video demo on PocketNow.
A lot of rumors are floating around regarding the iPhone 5. Most say that it will have roughly the same form factor, but that the screen will fill the entire width of the face of the device, that the back will be aluminum again, and that it'll have the same A5 dual core processor as the new iPad 2.