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Apps Feed Readers Iphone Links Reviews Software

Reeder App 3.0 Review (link)

I spend quite a lot of my commute time consuming content from the internet on the iPhone. Its the time I spend reading my subscribed feeds. If you came here looking for reviews of feed reader apps to consider,  I used to be a Feedly user for while and then I switched to Reeder and have never looked for a replacement. Please feel free to read my review of the earlier version here. In fact I spend an easy 8 to 10 hours using the app every week, and I think thats a lot of attention just for one app on the iPhone. That just shows how good  the app experience is.

Last week the Reeder app was updated to version 3.0 which i wanted to review here. Since Shawn has already done an awesome work reviewing it here rather very elaborately, I will link to him and save myself some time.

In brief the Reeder app is awesome as ever, with a few feature enhancements. The New design gives a little more mature feel to the app while the animations give it a little more polish. All I wish  now was if the app could use the full screen space just like how Instapaper on the iPhone does, by slowly hiding the tools bar and the status bar after a few seconds to make use of the Full Screen for the content on the iPhone.

Categories
Apps Iphone Reviews Software

Byword for IOS – Review

Byword app for ios is my recent purchase on the app store and the first of its kind for writing. I don’t have a Mac yet and hence do my writing on the iPad, iPhone or on Write Monkey (you can read my review of write monkey here) on my desktop. Dropbox on both helps me keep my files synced. While I sync my files on the desktop manually, Byword has the option to sync files using iCloud or Dropbox built right within and syncs files seamlessly. Setting up sync is just a breeze. Byword handles conflicts quite nicely as well. There is an option not sync files as well for people who don’t need the feature.

To me the number of features an app has matters but also their implementation and usability. I would prefer an app that has 2 features well implemented rather than 4 features not so usable. Byword is quite a minimalist on the iOS, yet at the same time it has all the features you would need to pour out your awesomeness into words. All you can customize in the preferences is your choice from 4 nice fonts, turn on/off autocorrect, auto capitalization and spell checker. On the settings screen you can export the text into HTML or copy as HTML to paste it directly to your blog , website etc or email it. You can print the document as well via AirPrint. I haven’t tried print as I don’t have an AirPrint printer yet.

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p style=”text-align:center;”> What I like about any app is the amount of attention to detail the developers put into the small things that constitutes for a far rewarding experience than otherwise. In Byword I am delighted by the toolbar which doubles as a status bar. It’s so nice and helpful I would like to call it the awesome bar. A few pictures should explain why I would call it the awesome bar. Byword status bar Byword toolbar Byword toolbar2

The awesome bar just shows the word count initially and a tap reveals the number of characters and another tap reveals both the word and character count. Gently swipe the status bar from right to left and you will be surprised to see that the status bar just became your toolbar with buttons for inserting tab spaces, various brackets, quotes and asterisk. On the iPhone the right half of the toolbar reveals an undo button which is nice, but I liked the left and right arrow keys the most. I always felt a need for these keys while typing on the mail composer on iOS, most often I have had to delete the entire word instead of just correcting a letter in the middle of the word and it’s been a pain to get the cursor to the right spot especially on the iPhone. The last button is a nifty keyboard minimizer button. On the iPad the tool remains the same except for the undo and minimize keyboard button are replaced by up and down cursor keys. I am not sure why they changed the buttons, but personally I would prefer the iPhone buttons and functionality.

Further swiping the toolbar once more to the left reveals more buttons to insert markdown shortcuts for headers, links, images and lists. While the right set of buttons remain the same as the previous tool bar. It is questionable that markdown was created with the notion to avoid the hassles of paying too much attention to the formatting and tagging and having tool bar buttons to insert these formatting defeats the purpose of markdown. Well actually in Byword it doesn’t. The iPad and iPhone don’t have a full size keyboard where we have access to all the symbols and numbers with in reach. Most often they are 1 or 2 taps away, so instead of tapping twice to get to a hash symbol for a header we are better off with the hash tool bar button. So the toolbar saves quite a lot of taps in all with out defeating some of the purpose of markdown.

What I would like to see in the future releases of Byword is for a night mode option to just reverse the font and background color. It would be quite nice and handy for somebody like me who fiddles with his iPhone at odd hours in the night.

To sum it up, Byword exceeds expectations for a minimalist writing app and is a perfect markdown writing tool for iOS. I would recommend it to anybody who is looking for a writing app on the iOS markdown or not.

Categories
Cycling Reviews

Topeak Morph Turbo Mini-Reviewed

Its been two months now since I became a roadie with my Ridley Excalibur.  The first set of things i ordered besides some parts for the bike  was the  Topeak Morph turbo Mini.  I earlier used the mini pump from decathlon which had rest-

-rictions for use with the road bikes, given the valve types and the amount of pressure. So I was forced to look out for a  versatile pump  which can get to 100+ psi quickly with minimal efforts. After quite a few searches and research on biking  forums I ended up with the Topeak Road Morph  Mini, which  seemed to have a lot of good reviews.  But unfortunately at the time of ordering CRC did not have Topeak Road Morph in stock. So I chose to buy the Topeak Morph turbo Mini, since there was not much difference between the both, except for the pressure gauge and the size of the product, which is completely negligible as both go only on the  frame or into your jersey if you are a true scum or a back pack.

So far I have used the pump thrice and I am really satisfied with how quickly i can get my tires to pressure.  The pump is a bit large for any jersey pocket, but i am sure one can live with that rather than buy C02 cartridges every now and then. Besides pumping the air gives that extra satisfaction of accomplishing something completely on your own and a much need upper body workout 😉 .   The pressure Gauge works  perfect to let you know when exactly you need to stop, and the pump head fits snug  to the tube valve’s so that there’s no air escaping. It takes a few tries to get the head to seat correctly on “small presta valves”, as the head starts touch the rim already. This a minor learning curve, and you would get used to it after the first time, and from then on pumping air is as easy as your floor pump, only that you are little bent and pumping a little lesser volume than the floor pump.  The fold-able foot pad and the hand grip is a big advantage. With the hold from the foot on the pump, the pump stays stable on the ground and the extra hand grip that opens out makes it easier to pump. Though if you go real hard (carelessly) and  end up pumping the last air molecule  into the tube, you will end up hurting your fingers on the side walls of the pump. The only disadvantage I have seen so far.  You can avoid getting hurt if you are cautious not to pump till the very end.

The pump head fits both schrader and presta valves. The head has adjustments valves which need to be interchanged to fit the other valve. Yet another one time learning.  The pump can take up to 160 psi or 11 bar and weighs about 280 gms. I havent tried pumping to 160, i have managed 120, and 160 requires some strong arms, but i din’t bother  as road bikes run fine on anything 100+ psi and am under wieght.  It does come with a frame mount which still is yet to find use on my bike.  The pump  sways from side to side in the jersey pockets, but never has fallen off. Overall the pump is good value for money and i would definitely recommend it to anyone.

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