Another “top 50 Android phone apps” from the Guardian for our Android users…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/mar/18/top-50-android-phone-apps

Uploading Quick Office HD Pro documents to your Dropbox account on the iPad

Following up from Stefano’s post I have found a way to upload documents from Quick Office Pro to your Dropbox account, and it is a very straightforward process….

  •  Open Quick Office Pro HD on the iPad and notice on the left hand side both your iPad’s drive (“on Nicolas’s iPad”) and any other cloud-based accounts you might have set up (Go to Settings to set them up). My Dropbox account is referred to as “Nicolas Forsans” in the screenshot below. You can also see my GMail account below it, followed by my Evernote account.

 

  • Identify the file you’d like to transfer onto your Dropbox account. For the sake of this tutorial I will transfer the default “File Manager How to.pdf” file which comes with Quick Office by default
  • In the same way as you would select the file and send it by email or to the bin (notice the icons at the bottom of the screen, one for the bin, one for email, one for sharing), long-press the selected file name and move it to the icon that represents your Dropbox account on the left-hand side of the screen. Note: I could do the same thing to send it to my Evernote account.

  • As you drag the file to your dropbox account, the file manager no longer displays files that are locally stored onto the iPad – instead it shows you the various files and folders that make up your Dropbox account. You can then drag the file onto one of the sub-folders or (and it ill probably be easier that way) just drag it to the root of your Dropbox folder by releasing it above the Dropbox icon on the left hand side, as I’ve done it on the screenshot – you can always go into your dropbox folder later on and move the file from root to individual sub-folders
  • Job done: your file now appears in your Dropbox account; Obviously you would use the same method to bin the local file by dragging it to the bin icon, email it or send it to any other cloud-based account you might have set up

AppStart, the app that should come pre-installed on your iPad

Mentioned in my previous post is AppStart for iPad, maybe the very first (free) app anyone should download on their iPad to uncover the many functionalities of the iPad. No, it’s not a boring manual – it is a beautiful app (the designers have done a great job!) organised in many sections that allows the reader to understand how their iPad works, and what functionalities they can leverage.

I particularly like the “How to dump your laptop” section with their selection of productivity-enhancing apps, some of which we have trialled during this pilot. Also noteworthy are their “9.7 inch office”, “the lowdown printing, or how to print with no strings attached”, “apps for students / moms / dads / musicians” and many other useful sections. They basically everything with a great selection of the most popular app that help get the business done.

And it’s so beautifully done that you won’t get bored reading it!

Highly recommended. Go and download it now, it’s free. The only app that should come pre-installed on all our iPads!

Synchronising Gmail contacts with the iPad

One issue I’ve experienced from the start is the lack of built-in capability to synchronise your Gmail contacts with the iPad. This can be a pain if, like me you have come from Android and migrated to iOS, or if you’ve got your main contacts listed within Google servers.  There are apps that allow for synchronisation between the two devices but they’re not free and neither have been a straightforward affair.

There is a simple way which I have just discovered, thanks to the beautifully crafted Appstart, produced by appadvice.com and linked to by the iPads for education’s website, maintained by a consorium of Australian schools that trialled the use of ipads in secondary education. That involves setting up your Gmail account as a Microsoft Exchange server, instead of selecting “Gmail” in the list of email providers in the Mail app.

How to set GMail as an Exchange server

  • In Mail / Accounts select “Ad Account”, then “Microsoft Exchange” – instead of the built-in GMail account.
  • Enter your Google username and password, then hit “Next”
  • No comes the important part: on the next page you will be asked to enter a “Server” and “Domain”. For your email server, enter “m.google.com” and leave the domain field empty. Hit “Next”
  • On the next page you will be asked which Google services you want to sync with your device.  You can bring your Google Calendars and contacts directly on the device
  • Unless you want to delete all your existing Contacts and Calendars on your iPad, select the “Keep on my iPad” option when prompted
  • Once you’re finished, hit “Done” and you’ve managed to configure push notifications for your Google Mail account and get your GMail contacts synchronised across the devices.

Has anybody managed to get it to work?

Alternatively

Contacts sync for Gmail is the app I have used so far to import my GMail contacts onto my iPad but it requires manual synchronisation with the risk of resulting in duplicates an/or deletions of existing contacts on either device.

 

 

Testing the Moto Xoom 2

Based on my recent experience  using my tablet (Moto Xoom 2, Android, Uni belonging), I can report the following

  • During the lecture, I used the tablet to download and edit pdf handouts instead of paper-based ones using both Quick Office HD and ezPDF Reader. At the begining I felt it was still inconvenient but I got used to it and kept on editing notes by using the virtual keyboard as opposed to the  hand writing mode
  • It is a pity I did not work out how to take screen shots on this tablet
  • I found the tablet useful while writing parts of my reflection report for my Debates and Controversies module, in particular when I was in the library with limited computer facilities
  • I now rely on the tablet for everything I do, whenever I need to read or edit documents as well as during my spare time
  • Some suggestions to improve the device: tablet pen, more intelligent system, faster operation speed,  bigger screen and various colours to be selected.

To sum up, if this tablet has seminar usage with Android smartphone without more innovation and outstanding perfpormances, I would rather use my smartphone only. But it still helps me a lot with documents reading and editing!

Anyway, Have a nice weekend everyone!!

Asus “ahh sooss”

Firstly ,  I just got to know the pronunciation of Asus is “Ah sooss ” .

I have dumped the useless keyboard and moved on with just the tablet .

The best factor contributing towards this tablet is the size of the screen. I have read comments of my fellow team members on not being able to use tablets for lectures and notes which I believe is due to the screen size of their tablets.  My tablet’s screen sufficiently has space for my fingers to type comfortably using the QWERTY .

I have no intention of switching from Polaris office yet. To my earlier feedback on the non availability of option to switch between apps. I have discovered Polaris allows me to take notes in a tab just below the slides.

In addition, I use Evernote  to take my seminar or revision notes. It enables me to take pictures and screenshots of the definitions, diagrams, charts etc and tag lecture notes which is my perfect package of revision. You can also attach videos and audios, subject to purchase for the the additional space.

With apps like  Dropbox and Evernote, I no longer depend on any external storage devices. Like mentioned earlier, I need to pay for the extra storage space.

As a confession,  I sometimes still take a handout due to my fear of losing all my files. Just to add to the discomfort my battery dies very fast. Today,  I had to sit next to a power plug point and had to continue with handouts.

I have deleted non-academic apps like Facebook , Skype etc but it hasn’t helped.

Overall I am still quite satisfied. It has simplified learning. Increased productivity. Convenience manifested with the mobility of knowledge and information transfer.

Taking Notes on the iPad with Paperport Note

After using several note-taking app (eg. Goodreader, iAnnotate,keynote), I tried to focus on one which integrates voice recorder and note taking togethor, called Paperport Note. Here are my testing result:

Linking with other storage methods

This particular apps can link with other storage method (eg. dropbox, box.net and web), easily interact with your computer. There are two convenient function for transferring:

1. Quickly getting documents from dropbox, box.net, and web, moreover, it can automatically convert any version documents (except doc, docx) into PDF version.

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2. After annotating a document, it can quickly share the document to dropbox and other storage method. To highlight this point, this powerful app could share one or more specific slides of the whole document to the dropbox with the voice record (including from lecturer and yourself).

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Note Taking

After using it for a week, I found this app can replace any other note-taking app. In terms of functionalities, it can let you do annotations on the slide without having to open a new window so that this is convenient for reading the slides. Moreover, it both supports type and handwriting (including pencil and mark pen) and more interestingly, you can change the font and colour of your notes. Simply, this would be more similar to our traditional way of taking notes. In addtion, it has a more powerful function that you can record your vocie notes rather than typing words. This seems to be useful for modify at home for reviewing.

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Taking screenshots and uploading

In terms of taking a screenshot on the ipad, it is a simple power button press and home button at the same time. After that, I can find this screenshot in my photo gallery. So, this screenshot could be easliy upload by dropbox and download on my computer anywhere.

In all, the iPad plays an important role in my daily life as well as my iphone and laptop. I would say this intergration of studying, palying and connecting is incredible and have already changed my lifestyle. Next time I am considering purchase a ipad bluetooth keyboard because of the less efficient simulating keyboard, but i got to say iPad is productive.

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