Posts Tagged ‘Reference’

‘The Elements’ Interactive Ebook Debuts for Mac

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

The Elements: A Visual Exploration, an interactive periodic table reference app based on the hardcover book by Theodore Gray, debuted for the iPad in 2010 to much acclaim and Touch Press has just released a version of the app for the Mac. The Elements hit the Mac App Store today and is available for $28.99.

The iPad version currently costs $13.99 and has been downloaded more than 850,000 times to date. The new Mac edition includes the same content but also features “live video demonstrations and experiments” according to the description.

Here’s a promotional video for the newly-available Mac version:

  • $1999Buy Now

    The Elements

    Last Changed:
    17 months ago
    4.00 (18)
    Mac OS

    The Elements is a special OS X edition of the highly acclaimed award-winning iPad app now downloaded over 850,000 times. It is based on the best-selling book by Theodore Gray, Popular Science...

Apple Releases WWDC App for iPhone and iPad with Session Video Access

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

If you were lucky enough to get tickets to Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference within the two minutes it took for them to sell out, Apple is going to make your time there easy with the new WWDC app that provides session schedules, venue maps, and even videos of each session, which will be made available daily for the duration of the conference.

Even if you weren’t able to snag tickets to WWDC, you can still watch those session videos as long as you’re a registered developer and log into the app with your development account credentials.

The full list of what WWDC is capable of is as follows:

  • Browse times, locations, and descriptions for sessions, labs, and special events
  • Mark schedule items as favorites with a simple double-tap
  • Watch session videos, available daily
  • Start watching on one iOS device, and pick up where you left off on another
  • Keep up with the latest news, get important notifications, and see daily snapshots
  • View maps to find your way around Moscone West
  • Provide feedback on session content and speakers within the session details view
  • Add your attendee information to Passbook for speedier on-site registration

WWDC kicks off on Monday, June 10 with a keynote event and though Apple hasn’t officially announced these bits, it’s expected that Tim Cook will lead the charge on stage and that the event will start at 10:00 am Pacific Time as in recent years. Though rumors of new products abound, Apple will likely focus on showcasing the next versions of Mac OS and iOS as it’s done in the past several years at this event.

I’m very excited to see what Apple will announce at WWDC. I’m hoping that iOS will see some significant changes to Notification Center in particular (I’d love to see some customization to what can be shown on the lock screen) amid the design changes that are expected in iOS 7 now that Jony Ive is at the helm after Scott Forstall’s departure last year.

WWDC for iPhone and iPad debuted in the App Store yesterday and is free to download.

  • Reference


    Last Changed:
    24 weeks ago
    4.50 (22)
    iOS Universal

    Make the most of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference with the WWDC app. Even if you can’t join us in San Francisco, you can still follow along each day — session videos are just a tap away....

Google Now Personal Assistant Added to ‘Google Search’ for iPhone and iPad

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Google Now, a personal assistant service that first debuted for Android devices last year, has arrived for the iPhone and iPad through an update to the Google Search app.

Google Now provides users with relevant information based on individual search history, Gmail account contents, and current location. This information, including local weather and traffic details, upcoming appointments, events, and birthdays, flight statuses, and more, is shown to users unprompted in the form of virtual cards in the main view in Google Search.

Here’s a promotional video showing how Google Now works within the Google Search app:

Google Search is free to download and requires iOS 5.0 or later on an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. To use Google Now, you’ll need to log in with your Google account since that’s how Google accesses your information to populate what Google Now shows you.

I like what Google Now can do but it’s not as robust as it could be (more thanks to Apple and its limitations on what apps are allowed to do than any failure on Google’s part). And it’s a little bit creepy as well.

Google Now lacks any sort of push notification option so you have to open the app to see what Google Now has to tell you. Google Search isn’t an app I use regularly so opening it just to see this information isn’t particularly appealing to me. Also, though I’ve had a Gmail account for years now and I know that part of the terms of service I agreed to when opening it states that Google will essentially read through my emails, it feels a little creepy that Google will “snoop” through my email, contacts, and calendar, and parse through my Google searches to bring me all of this information.

This aside, Google Now could be incredibly useful to those who make full use of Google’s suite of services. Now if only Apple would let Google and other developers integrate apps more closely with iOS so getting this kind of information is seamless and more fluid…

  • Utilities


    Last Changed:
    10 weeks ago
    4.50 (2949)
    iOS Universal

    The best of Google in one app. Say “Ok Google” and find everything from nearby restaurants to the calories in cheesecake. Google also shows you the info you need before you ask, like updates on...

‘Delicious Library 3’ for Mac Makes Cataloging Your Stuff a Snap

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

The third version of Delicious Monster’s popular media cataloging app, Delicious Library, debuted in the Mac App Store today, along with a companion barcode scanning app for iPhone and iPad.

Delicious Library made its first appearance in 2004, with version 2 released in 2008. The core functionality of Delicious Library remains in version 3: easy scanning and cataloging of your books, CDs, DVDs, and games. Version 3 goes well beyond this with the addition of recommendations of new items based on your ratings of items in your current media library and the ability to create wishlists to keep track of what you’d like to get in the future.

Your library is displayed on a virtual wooden bookshelf, a design motif present in the app since 2004 that has been mimicked by many others, including Apple in the iBooks app.

If you lend items to friends, Delicious Library 3 will help you keep track of who borrowed what and when. You can also share your library with others and see the libraries of your friends (all the better to know what you can borrow from them).

Getting items into your Delicious Library, um, library is easy, particularly if you have an iPhone or iPad. The free Delicious Scanner app will let you roam around your house to scan things willy nilly, and as long as your iPhone or iPad is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Mac, these items will be added to your library automatically. If you scan items with the app while you’re away from home to, say, catalog items you own at work, they’ll upload automatically to Delicious Library 3 once you’re home and connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

If you don’t have an iPhone or iPad, you can use a compatible USB or Bluetooth scanner, or even the iSight camera on your Mac. You can also add items manually if you have that kind of time or come across something in your collection that can’t be scanned.

I downloaded Delicious Library 3 this morning and am finding it to be more fun to catalog my media collection than I was expecting, mostly thanks to the Delicious Scanner app. If you frequently find yourself lending stuff to your friends and would like to keep better track of what you own, or if you simply want an easy way to catalog what you own for insurance or other purposes, Delicious Library 3 is a simple yet robust app that can handle the job easily.

Note that version 2 of Delicious Library is still available in the Mac App Store today for those running OS X Lion or earlier and while it’s cheaper than version 3 at just $9.99, it lacks many of the new features in version 3 and won’t work with the free Delicious Scanner iOS app. Delicious Library 3 requires Mac OS X 10.8.3 or higher while Delicious Scanner requires iOS 6.1 or later.

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    Delicious Library 3

    Last Changed:
    23 weeks ago
    4.50 (112)
    Mac OS

    Catalog your books, movies, music, video games, gadgets, and more. Delicious Library helps you create a comprehensive inventory, share it with friends, and get holistic recommendations based on your...

  • Reference

    Delicious Scanner

    Last Changed:
    26 months ago
    3.50 (32)
    iOS Universal

    Delicious Scanner is a companion app to Delicious Library 3 for OS X that scans UPC and EAN barcodes. If you don’t own Delicious Library 3, do not get this app, it won’t do anything useful...

PSA: ‘National Geographic World Atlas’ for iPhone and iPad Available for Free

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Yesterday, the National Geographic Society dropped the price of its World Atlas app from $1.99 to free. It’s not clear if this is a temporary change or a permanent one but it’s the first time this app has been available for free since it was released in the App Store in 2010. Though I hope that many of you haven’t been waiting nearly three years for it to go free so you could save $2, a deal is a deal so hop to it if you want to get this excellent app with maps and information for every country and major city on this lovely planet of ours for free.

National Geographic World Atlas gives you a virtual globe through which you can explore the world. You can zoom in on any location to see a more detailed map and read about the primary languages, religions, government type, currency, and much more for countries around the world. You can view the world in one of multiple map styles (classic, antique, satellite, or road) and even download maps to your iPhone or iPad so you can do your virtual exploration even when you don’t have an internet connection.

National Geographic World Atlas is a universal app with an interface optimized for the iPad’s larger screen and also the iPhone 5. If you have children who are curious about the world or if you like to do a little virtual exploration yourself, it’s a fantastic reference app from a highly respected institution.

  • Reference

    National Geographic World Atlas

    Last Changed:
    2 days ago
    2.00 (81)
    iOS Universal

    Welcome to the redesigned World Atlas app from National Geographic, the best world geography reference resource available. The Atlas features Nat Geo's award-winning cartography and stats and facts...

Collins Brings the World to Your Fingertips with ‘Atlas’

Friday, October 19th, 2012

I still marvel at the fact that the enormous dictionaries, encyclopedias, and atlases I used as a child to learn about the world and complete what seemed like endless amounts of homework at the time are now condensed into digital forms that can be carried in your pocket. And these digital versions can offer so much more interactivity than their older paper counterparts, making them small wonders in and of themselves. HarperCollins’ latest entry, Atlas, in the App Store definitely counts as one of these small wonders.

Atlas by Collins™ was designed to revolutionize how people find information about the world around them,” said Sheena Barclay, Managing Director of the Collins Geo Division. “This app is a gateway to an amazing amount of information about our planet, its people and the way we live. For the first time, the Apple platform provides the processing power and functionality to bring a world-class Atlas app to people all over the planet. Through Atlas by Collins™, Apple device owners can now see the world in context and keep up-to-date with it as it evolves.

Atlas offers information on the earth’s geography, environment, and population plus political maps and overviews of energy and technology usage around the world via seven virtual themed globes. The Satellite Map globe is loaded and ready for your viewing pleasure when you download the app, with the other globes available for download at no charge.

You can pinch and zoom on each globe to focus in on an area or use the search field at the top of the screen to find exactly what you’re looking for more quickly. Double-tapping on a marked point on a globe prompts a pop-up with more information.

Here’s a trailer that HarperCollins created:

As shown in the trailer, more virtual globes focusing on sports, economics, and UNESCO World Heritage sites will be available in the future via in-app purchase, though there’s no official word yet on how much these will cost.

HarperCollins also created several how-to videos for Atlas, which you can find here.

Atlas offers an impressive amount of information in a highly-polished package. If you’re at all curious about our planet and what’s happening on it, go download Atlas now while it’s still at its special introductory price of $9.99 (a bargain considering that a paper version of any reputable atlas will cost you at least twice as much). While Atlas is s universal app, note that it will only run on newer iOS devices because of its graphics-intensive nature, so don’t hit that download link unless you’ve got an iPhone 4 or newer (yes, if you have an iPhone 3GS or older, you’re out of luck here), a 4th- or 5th-generation iPod touch, or an iPad 2 or 3. You’ll need to be running iOS 5.0 or later as well.

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    Atlas by Collins™

    Last Changed:
    7 months ago
    2.50 (10)
    iOS Universal

    New UNESCO Memory of the World and World Heritage globes available to download through in-app purchase. Free Communications globe available by download with additional globes available to buy...

Quickipedia Offers Streamlined Wikipedia Access on the Mac

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Although Wikipedia doesn’t come close to Encyclopaedia Brittanica accuracy and reliability levels, it can still be a good place to start when kicking off research for a school project or to satisfy a need to delve into the traits of fainting goats to break the monotony of work. Of course you can browse Wikipedia freely and easily through any web browser but developer Arvindh Sukumar’s Quickipedia offers a more streamlined (and more covert, for those of you with observant bosses or co-workers) way to browse the Free Encyclopedia in a stand-alone app on your Mac.

Quickipedia is a lightweight Mac app that provides access to five language editions of Wikipedia: English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian. You can get to it via a shortcut button that lives in your Mac’s menu bar or by a keyboard shortcut that you designate and save in the app’s Preferences menu. Its interface is a single window with a search field in the top right corner and navigation buttons at the top to quickly go backward and forward through articles you’ve browsed and jump to sections in the current article you’re viewing.

Click the images to see larger versions

Plus and minus buttons in the bottom left corner let you adjust text size and a random page button in the bottom right will show you a random entry in Wikipedia to assist you in quenching your thirst for arbitrary bits of knowledge.

Instapaper and Pocket integration are also on the list of Quickipedia’s features so you can save articles for perusing later using your preferred read-it-later service.

One of the more handy features of Quickipedia is its integration with Mac OS X that allows you to look up any word in any app in Wikipedia through the Services contextual menu (accessed via right-clicking or pressing the Control button while clicking), saving you from the need to even type anything to search Wikipedia.

If you browse Wikipedia often or simply like to keep the number of browser tabs you have open to a minimum as you do your research, Quickipedia is a compact app that provides an efficient way to access Wikipedia. The app debuted in the Mac App Store late last week, costs $1.99, and requires OS 10.7 or later on a Mac with a 64-bit processor.

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    Quickipedia - Minimalistic...

    Last Changed:
    25 months ago
    4.00 (11)
    Mac OS

    Quickipedia is Wikipedia at its minimal best. Read Wikipedia in a beautiful, unobtrusive client only on your Mac. Whether you want a quick peek at an article, or have fun reading random articles,...

Ultralingua Revamps Dictionary App for iPhone and iPad

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Ultralingua, the software maker focused on language reference applications, has released a new app that offers several dictionaries for a number of languages via in-app purchase. The new Ultralingua Dictionary is intended to replace its stand-alone offerings that are still available for purchase, many of which debuted in the early days of the App Store in 2008.

Ultralingua Dictionary features improved search, built-in verb conjugation, the ability to change the font and font size, and more compared to the company’s previous apps. Ultralingua released the following brief video as a teaser of the new features earlier this month:

Ultralingua Dictionary is free to download and lets you sample small sections of all of the available titles. At the time of this post, there are 19 titles available for purchase including an English dictionary, English thesaurus and dictionaries for French, Spanish, German, Italian, and more. Regular pricing will range from $10 to $20 for each though Ultralingua has put all titles on sale at 50% off to celebrate the launch and give those who had previously purchased other Ultralingua apps a less expensive way to get the same dictionaries in the new app at a reduced price. This special ends today so you should make your in-app purchase sooner rather than later.

I purchased Ultralingua’s French-English dictionary for $19.99 a couple of years ago and it’s been a great reference. While Ultralingua promises that the old apps will remain in the App Store and will continue to receive bug fixes as needed, all new development efforts will go into the revamped Ultralingua Dictionary. Though you’re not required to upgrade to the new app if you purchased on of the previous ones, it may sting a little to essentially repurchase the same content again in the new app if you want to be able to use the new features.

The most tempting reason for me to go ahead and buy the French-English dictionary again in Ultralingua Dictionary is the improved search function that doesn’t require you to specify the language first before trying to search, a requirement in the old app. I’m still figuring out if that’s worth another $9.00 on top of the $19.99 I paid for the old app though my gut is saying no for the moment. The reviews in the App Store are pretty negative right now from other users who feel a little jilted regarding the new features in relation to their previous purchases of Ultralingua’s stand-alone apps. However, Ultralingua’s hands are a little tied here since Apple doesn’t offer a way for developers to credit customers or transfer previous purchases in situations like these.

Ultralingua makes quality content that’s used by several publishers, government agencies, and even Apple itself. You can’t go wrong with Ultralingua Dictionary if you need a comprehensive dictionary for another language for school or personal reference, especially given the current 50% off sale for the titles available via in-app purchase.

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    Ultralingua Dictionary Bookshelf

    Last Changed:
    10 weeks ago
    4.00 (270)
    iOS Universal

    ** Updated for iOS 8 ** [If the app is crashing, try deleting and reinstalling it. Please contact us at for help.] The best dictionary app on the App Store. 35+ titles to...

TextbookMe for iPhone Helps You Find Textbooks on the Cheap

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

The fact that textbooks cost a fortune is right up there with death and taxes as certainties everyone will face in life. I remember getting a good case of sticker shock at the start of every semester at old Big Red as I cruised the campus store in search of the textbooks that would, in most cases, bore me to tears over the following several months. Then, I didn’t have much of a choice in what I paid for my textbooks but TextbookLand has aimed to change that and now offers an iPhone app, TextbookMe, so you can find the cheapest textbook prices on the go.

TextbookLand was founded by some college students in 1999 with the goal of making it easier to find the best prices for textbooks online. The company doesn’t sell any textbooks itself but simply offers a search service that pulls information from multiple online stores and offers direct links to make purchases. At the end of the semester, you can even use TextbookLand to sell your used textbooks back to a store and get the best price for it (to do this on the iPhone, you’ll need the company’s other app, BookBuyBack).

TextbookMe is pretty straightforward to use, allowing you to search for textbooks manually by entering the title, author, or ISBN, or scan a book’s barcode using the iPhone’s camera. That last method can be a wallet-saver as you shop in your college’s bookstore if you find a cheaper price online and can wait for the textbook to get shipped to you.

Search results include offerings from a variety of stores including Amazon, Half, Barnes & Noble, eCampus, and many more. Each listing will indicate if the textbook available is used or new and its price, and offer a link to let you go right to that online store to buy it via Safari.

TextbookMe’s interface isn’t all that polished and the search results can be a little slow to load but the app is free and could help you save a nice chunk of change as you prepare to fill your mind with knowledge at the educational institution of your choice this year.

  • Reference

    TextbookMe - The Cheap Textbook...

    Last Changed:
    35 months ago
    4.00 (14)
    iOS iPhone

    TextbookMe lets your compare textbook prices at all the online stores so you can find the lowest price in seconds. Simply search by ISBN, title or author to find the book you want, then click the...