iPhone

For a very limited time, Voice Dream Reader – Text to Speech is on sale for $4.99 – 50% discount

If you like books, this is a must have application for your device. Voice Dream Reader turns every book you own into an audiobook. You can listen to whatever you want, wherever you want. You don’t have to wait nor do you have to pay the massive expensive of audiobooks. Simply load your book into Voice Dream and listen to it any time. I’ve listened to the Classics downloaded off Gutenberg as well as book ordered off Amazon. Voice Dream supports Dropbox which makes it incredibly easy to import your books. And just because a book comes from Amazon doesn’t mean you can’t listen to it. Voice Dream can’t directly read those pesky DRM protected .MOBI files, but with the power of Calibre you can easily convert them so you can listen to anything you buy off Amazon.

Voice Dream is a great app to have while working around the house, mowing the lawn or driving in the car. I’ve listened to a lot of new books this year while getting all my chores done. Normally the price is $9.99, but for this festive holiday season the price has dropped to $4.99. This is about the cost of a single book. There is a nice stream of updates from the author and a wide selection of voices. If you want to listen to your books regardless of what you’re working on, Voice Dream is a must have.

For a very limited time, Voice Dream Reader – Text to Speech is on sale for $4.99 – 50% discount

If you want more details about my impressions of the reader check out this article:

Voice Dream–My Impressions After Listening for a few Hours

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Microsoft Office on iOS – Don’t get too excited

Normally this would be big news. I’m sure a lot of people have been waiting for MS Office to make it’s way onto iOS. Well, today is that day. Microsoft is offering Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

There’s only two MAJOR problems.

1. It only works on the iPhone.

2. It costs $99.99 and you need to have an Office 365 Subscription.

In one fell swoop, Microsoft offers something is both quite exciting, but at the same time is a steaming pile of poo.

Instead of making a competitor to Pages, which may be a run away success on the iPad, and charging $9.99, they lose their damn minds and make their completely untested version 1.0 product available for $100. And basically, if you use any stand alone version of Office, this iOS version is useless.

Smooth Microsoft. Smooth.

And of course it only supports SkyDrive, not Dropbox which is what millions of people use for iOS.

This seems like a complete waste. Why bother? I don’t see Microsoft gaining any market share with asinine maneuver. Buying the entire iWorks Suite is still a fraction of the cost. Or spending $20-30 on one of the other competent suites is still bargain compared to this.

Let’s see how many desperate souls go for this.

I’ll stick with Pages and QuickOffice.

Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers

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This iOS6.1 fiasco could be the kiss of death for iPad in the Enterprise

It wasn’t designed to take on corporate networks, but the iPad is a staple in big business and connecting to an Exchange Server happens all the time. For the most part it works fine, but as we’ve all becoming painfully aware, there are some issues.

This latest cock up from Apple can quite literally get an iPad or iPhone to tear an Exchange Server apart. Once it mangles the Outlook Calendar, all hell breaks loose and the Transaction Logs start spinning out of control. Then it’s only a matter of time before bells and whistles go off and a rescue attempt needs to be made to clear hard drive space before the database goes offline. And through it all, users generating huge amounts of traffic will be sent to the upper levels of management. So right there a users name and their device will be in front of the world to see just how much havoc they caused.

In the end this is going to cost a fortune, not just in time and money, but in reputation. This basically proves the iPad shouldn’t be used in business and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the damn thing was banned from Corporate America before the month is over. Company Execs are pissed at how much time and effort is being wasted keeping the mail system working because iOS6.1 doesn’t know how to handle calendar items in Exchange. This was a major problem in 4.1, was cleaned up a little for 5.1 and is now a big stinky turd for 6.1. I know for a fact companies are turning off ActiveSync or are blocking iPads from making connections to their mailboxes. With the massive lead Apple has in the tablet market, working with Exchange should have allowed them to bust open the doors to the Enterprise. Now it seems this latest issue is going to shut them right out of that space.

This is simply incredibly poor coding and testing. Apple should have taken more time and care to fix the issues they already knew about. When all the dust settles on this, walking into the office with an iPad in your hand is going to cause people to stare in horror. Will you be the one to bring down the server and stop email for the entire company?

Nice burden to put on people Apple.

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AirDisk Pro turns your iPad into a Wireless Flash Drive

I’ve written about AirDisk Pro before, but I find myself using it more and more so I thought it was worth revisiting. One of the complaints/wishes of the iPad or iPhone is the ability to use it like a flash drive. You have 32 or 64Gb just sitting and wouldn’t it be great if you could user that space to store files. Previously, you needed iTunes and a USB sync cable to pull off that little bit of magic, but apps like AirDisk make all that obsolete.

You connect to AirDisk using a browser, then drag and drop the files you want. There is no need to select the files one and at time and wait until they’re done. Grab a list and they will all be transferred over. This is perfect for grabbing PDF files or Doc files from work. It’s also hellishly convenient when you need to grab training materials or the latest update to one of the programs you need.

It’s also great for quickly getting music and movies onto your device. I used it to copy over movies without having to connect anything. Grab an entire season of NCIS or Dexter and wait for the files to copy. Do the same thing with Albums and take them with you. AirDisk will play all the standard iOS files like MP3, MP4 and will open TXT, Doc, Xls and PDF. While the player and reader aren’t bad you can easily use the Open In function to send the files somewhere else. You can open PDF files in GoodReader, .MOBI files in Kindle Reader, Doc files in Pages. AirDisk makes an incredibly convenient storage container.

Getting files off the iPad is just as easy. Again, use a browser, select the files and click Download. They will be zipped together and transferred over as an archive. You can also click individual files to have them open before transferring. This works very well for TXT and JPG files.

You can also use AirDisk to get data off the iPad from other places. It can import images from your Photo and Media Libraries. AirDisk also shows up in the Open In for other applications like Notebooks for iPad so you can easily take a document and transfer it straight over.

AirDisk can also be locked with a passcode so you documents can be opened by anyone who just happens to pick up your device. Not everyone needs to see your resume you know. It even comes with the ability to transfer files between devices without using other machines. Send a document from one device to another or send it to a friend.

All that being said, getting information into and out of the iPad is the main crux of AirDisk and it does so very well. It’s an effortless task to drag and drop files. At $0.99 this program is an absolute steal. I was skeptical when I first made a purchase, but I use this program multiple times a week to move files around. I also use it to capture pictures and transfer them to my desktop, to grab PDF files so I can convert them to MOBI and read them in Kindle Reader, to copy music so I have something to listen on my Touch without having to go through iTunes and to watch movies. Honestly, AirDisk should be built into the OS.

AirDisk Pro – Wireless Flash Drive

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iPhone 5 Production is cut, Stock falls for Apple

Oh damn, isn’t this quite a turn of events? Apple has been forced to cut production of the iPhone 5 due to weaker than expected sales. In fact, production has been cut in half. What the hell, is this the Surface?

Meanwhile, Samsung swings hard and sells a massive number of phones –

According to market intelligence firm IDC, Samsung’s Galaxy controlled 31.3% of the smartphone market in the third-quarter of 2012 compared to 14.6% for Apple.

Apple stock has dropped from $705 to $503. Still a pretty healthy value, but perhaps showing some signs of distress.

So where does this leave Apple? Can they pull it out of the mud with the next iPhone and iPad? Have they updated too quickly with only minor changes? As with all companies, you can only be at the top for so long. Apple is still making money, far more than most companies, but this could be a sign.

Apple Cuts Orders for iPhone Parts

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