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A few months ago, I got in on the MacHeist Nano Bundle.  With it came a free app called Shove Box.  To be honest, I really didn’t think much of it and I kind of dismissed it after playing with it for about a half hour.  Then a couple of weeks ago, I was browsing through my applications folder for an app to review and for some reason ShoveBox caught my eye.  I decided to give it another try and to actually use it for a significant amount of time this time around.  I am kind of glad that I did.

ShoveBox is an application that lets you basically “shove” documents, texts, url’s, music, and images into the application and gives you a space where you can save things.  Think of it as a virtual locker where you can compartmentalize and save things in.   The app rests in the top menu bar and you drag and drop whatever you want into it.  There are many other ways you can get “stuff” into your ShoveBox as well.  You can take notes, capture images through your iSight, jot down a quick note (something they call “quick jot”)  and import from your clipboard and put it all the ShoveBox as well.  I like that they give you so many options to get what you want into ShoveBox.

When you get into the app itself, it is pretty basic in design.  ShoveBox has an “InBox” where everything that you put into ShoveBox goes into here.  From here you can move whatever you put into ShoveBox into folders, if you like.  Within the app you are also given the option to use the capture feature you get when you use the menu bar.  So, if you would rather not use the menu bar, you can feel free to open up the app and do the same things you could in the menu bar.  Within the app you have the ability to flag and label your “stuff” that comes into the app.  Also within the app you can edit documents with limited formatting options.  But it gets the job done if you are doing simple notes.   You can also export anything that you put into the app itself.  This is a nice feature to have, but I notice that when I put a Word Document into ShoveBox and then try to export it, I lose some of the formatting.

One of the great things that ShoveBox did is that they created an iPhone app to compliment the Mac app.  This is not as full featured as the Mac app is, but it gets the job done.  You can capture images with your camera and create notes and save them into your folders or inbox within ShoveBox.  The Mac App and the iPhone app do sync together, but they have to be on the same WIFI network in order to sync.  They cannot just sync over the air.  This is kind of a pain because I have to remember that if I capture anything on the iPhone app that when I go home I need to sync it with the Mac app.  This may not be a huge deal to some, but to me, it would be nice to have something that syncs over the air so you don’t have to worry about this.



Overall, this is a pretty decent application.  The Mac App costs $25 and the iPhone app is free.  Not bad for what the app can do.  For those of you that are familiar with Evernote, I would say ShoveBox is a few steps below.  ShoveBox is for the person that is looking for a simple application that they can put small notes, receipts, pictures, etc into.  The one nice thing about ShoveBox as compared to Evernote, is that there is no storage limit or yearly fee, it is just a one time payment.  If you are looking to purchase ShoveBox, you can get it here.  Let me know if you have any questions, looking forward to hearing your comments.  Catch me on Twitter @shaun_27.  Here is a video below of ShoveBox.

The main reason why I got a Google Voice account is so that my wife and I could have a “home” phone number.  When we both got married we both had cell phones and hadn’t used a land line in a long time, so we decided to keep it that way.  Well, as we found out after the first few months when people wanted to get a hold of us, we didn’t have a central number that someone could call to get a hold of either of us without having to call both our cell phones.  We still didn’t want a landline and deal with the extra costs, and so when Google came out with Google Voice, I jumped at this opportunity as fast as I could.  This now gave us what I was looking for, which was a number that people could call and it would ring both of our cell phones that way we were both somewhat accessible to people by dialing one number.  The only thing I kept waiting for was an iPhone app for Google Voice, but my hopes were crushed when Apple decided to deny Google of the native app for the iphone.  Well, the wait is no longer, sort of……

Today Google came out with a workaround for Apple’s denial of a Google Voice App.  Google has always said they were going to put together a web version of Google Voice for the iPhone and today they made good on that promise.  For those of you who don’t know a whole lot about Google Voice, it is basically Google’s own online phone  system.  It isn’t like Skype in that Skype is a VOIP.  With Google Voice, you still need your own phone line, whether it be a land line or a cell phone.  When you dial someone’s number Google Voice dials your phone that you connect to Google Voice, and then it connects your phone to the number you dialed.  The only difference between this and a regular call with your cell phone or landline is that the number that you are calling from is your Google Voice phone # and not your cell or landline #.  The one nice advantage Google Voice has is that you can send SMS messages to anyone for free.  This is nice if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on text messaging.  Google Voice also has some other nice features like a neat call forwarding option.  You can set a schedule for how you want your Google Voice phone calls forwarded and to any number.  So I can set my Google Voice number to ring to my work phone while I am at work and to my cell phone after work is over.  The other nice feature is that Google Voice is able to transcribe your voicemails and send you an email with a transcription of the voicemail so that you can respond either by

I spent most of today fiddling around with the app and checking out how well it works and how similar it was to the actual Google Voice web app on my computer.   My initial thoughts on the web app is that it is very good.  It basically does everything you could do on the web app on a computer.  I was able to call and SMS very easily on the web app.  The navigation is also very easy and intuitive.    It also stays in sync with the computer web app pretty well also.

The one weird thing on the app was when I would dial someone it would ask me to dial the person, but would give a weird number that wasn’t the person that I was calling.  I would press “call” anyway and it actually went through to the person I was calling, so not that big of a deal, but just a little weird.  My other wish is that I wish there was a way to be notified you get a SMS message other than email.  I wish you could configure GV to SMS your phone number when you get an SMS on your GV #. As of right now I can only get it on email, which is I guess okay.  Overall, the app works very well.  You can add the GV site to your Home Screen so it is easier to get to the app.

As a side note, a Google Voice Chrome extension just came out as well, which is very hand to have.  The extension lets you know if you have any voicemails or SMS messages and lets you respond to them from right inside of the extention.   You can also call or SMS someone straight from the extension.  It is a pretty nifty extension to have especially if you are by your computer a lot during the day.

Overall, it is a nice app to have for the iPhone and for life in general.  So why is Google Voice so attractive?  Well, it really depends on the person and why they are using it.  For me, it gives me a central phone number for my wife and I.  I can also get FREE text messages through Google Voice, which is nice.  It is almost making me think about cutting down on my SMS costs with my iPhone plan.  And everything about Google Voice is free, outside of the international calls you make, which are at a decent price.  Unfortunately, Google Voice is an invite only app right now.  You can request to get an invite here.

A few weeks ago the guys over at laan labs came out with a video recording app for the iphone for the 2G/3G.  I was pretty excited about this and gave it a try.  You can read my initial review here  http://bit.ly/4U9P35.  Laan labs were very upfront with this first go around with the app.  They said it was doing about 3 frames per second (fps).  But they also promised bigger updates.  So I decided to take stab at the app and buy it and try it out.  It was definitely slow, but I liked the sharing options and decided I would wait around.

Well, today they came out with ver. 1.1.  And it is a big improvement from 1.0.  Here are the new features.

Speed and High Quality

First of all the overall speed of the video recording has gone from 3 fps to 10 fps.  The video doesn’t seem as choppy which is nice.  They have also have a high quality mode that you can switch to that gives your videos a little better quality, but sacrifices on length of video recording.  In the low quality mode you can record a video for quite a while.  I recorded a 5 min video in my testing. The other new feature as far as shooting video is concerned is that you can now do landscape videos in both modes

Sharing Options

This I think will be this apps strong point in the future.   For the moment, it is its downfall.  They have added to the original list of places that you can share to.  In addition to YouTube, Facebook, and email, you can now share to Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo, TwelveSeconds, or even an FTP transfer.  The other cool thing is that you can share the video over a WIFI network.  So if you want to put the video on your computer as long as your iphone and computer are on the same WIFI network you can get the video.

The bad part about this is that I have been having troubles uploading to YouTube as it takes a few tries to upload and once it uploads successfully, I have yet to be able to get my video to play on YouTube.  I get a message saying that an error has occurred.  I was able to successfully email the video and got it to play on my computer, which I couldn’t do in the previous version.   At the moment I cannot get the video to upload to Facebook or Twitter, which is a little frustrating as those are the two social networks that I use the most out of all the ones that iVideo offers.  I have put in an email to laan labs about this.

So as promising as the sharing options are, at the moment, they need a little work.  Once they get stabilized  and are able to upload the videos properly, the better this app will become.

Library

iVideo now has a place to store your video.  You can still choose to save your videos to the camera roll, but now you can also save videos to the video library that iVideo has provided.  From the library you options to share your video or delete it.

All of these are nice features and I am glad to see that this app is improving.  For the next update it looks like they plan to push the fps rate up to 15 and make the resolution even better.  It would be nice if they can work out the kinks with the sharing and uploading of videos also.  A couple of features I would like to see in future updates are touch zoom and video editing.  I am excited for the potential of this app, I hope it is able to continue to get better and better.  Feel free to go over to the laan labs website for more info and demo videos of the apps features http://bit.ly/8MgBRy

Here is a short test video that I did with the app:

Here is a link for the app in the app store: http://bit.ly/7iIi0E, right now it is $.99.

Feel free to leave comments or feedback.  Also you can follow me on Twitter @theeasymac or on Facebook on my fan page The Easy Mac.  http://bit.ly/2oHHN2\

We all know that the weather can be unpredictable, especially here in the Northwest US.  We have come to realize that no matter what we need to always be prepared for what is out there.  Well, along comes an app that does just that.  Outside, an iphone app, by the guys at Robo Cat, just made it into the App Store last night.  It is a beautiful looking app with a lot of potential.

There are a couple of main objectives the app aims to achieve.  The first is to give you a visual of what the weather is like outside now and what it is going to be like over the next couple of days.

The second objective is to keep you notified on different conditions so that you can be prepared for the weather outside.  For example, you can set the app to notify you if it is rainy outside, or if it is cold, or if it gets warm enough to wear a t-shirt.

Overall, this is a pretty cool app.  The first thing that stands out is the graphics.  They are very well done and very easy on the eyes.  To me, this will be their selling point.  I know for me, once I saw screenshots of the app, it looked so well done that it made me want to buy it when it came out. I like the additions of notifications as well.  I don’t know how much I will use them, but they are a nice addition to have.

There are a few things that I would like to see improve over future versions of this app.  The first is, I would like to view more than one city’s weather.  Right now you can only look at one city.  You don’t have the option to switch between more than one city.  Secondly, it would be nice to see an option for a 5 day forecast instead of having to scroll between each day.  And lastly, I am not the hugest fan of having to pay for notifications.  If you want notifications, you have to pay $.99 for them every 3 months.  So when you do the math, you have $2..99 for the app, then every 3 months you are paying $.99 for the app, so after about the first year, you are looking to pay about $7.  That may be a turn off for people, but I can understand why the guys who made the app needed to do this.  You can always choose to run the app without the notifications and not pay for it.  Outside gives you a month free of notifications.  If anything, would love to see a yearly subscription that maybe would be a little cheaper so that way you could entice more people to subscribe to notifications and you don’t have to resubscribe every 3 months.  I would possibly do a yearly subscription if this was an option.  Below are some more screenshots.

So there you have it.  Outside is a pretty good app and it is cool to look at.  Go get it on the App Store for $2.99.  Feel free to leave comments on the post or the app itself.  Also would love for you to connect with me on Twitter @theeasymac or on Facebook  at The Easy Mac.

A couple of days ago an app on the App Store appeared that really caught my eye.  It is called iVideo Camera, http://bit.ly/7iIi0E.  The app lets you record video from an iphone 2g and 3g.  This is a huge step forward for Apple as they have restricted apps like this in the app store before.  I downloaded the app and started testing it out right away.  The brothers who made the app let you know right away that the app is not perfect. The app only captures video in 3 frames per second, which is pretty slow.  You could also only make videos of up to about a minute.  In my tests, I found that this is true.  The video wasn’t the best quality, and it was pretty choppy, especially if you were moving around a lot.  The app also gives you multiple ways to share your videos as well.  You can share on YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo, as well as save to your phone or email.  At the moment I tested both YouTube and Facebook and sharing on YouTube would work inconsistently and sharing on Facebook wouldn’t work at alll.  I also tried to email a movie and I could only hear the audio when I emailed it to myself.  So, it looks like for now you can only save the video to your iPhone, which is kind of a bummer.  As far as uploading the video, both WiFi and 3g were pretty fast, and Edge was definitely too slow. The app itself cost $.99.  Laan Labs, who made the app, says there is an update coming with fixes for these bugs as well as making it faster.  I truly think this is a step in the right direction for Apple.  Below are some screen shots of the app and a video in the next post that I made as well.  Check it out and leave your comments.  Do you think this is a good thing?  Worth the price for now?

HootSuite last night came out with it’s anticipated iphone app.  If you don’t know what HootSuite is, go check out my review of it.  HootSuite took the main ideas of the web app and put it into the iphone app.  You can have multiple Twitter accounts on the app.  HootSuite also has their own url shortener as well, which you can put a url into and they will automatically shorten it for you.  One of the nice things about this is that HootSuite keeps stats on these url’s so that you can see who is clicking your urls.  They only keep stats for the ones that HootSuite shortens, not any other service.  Other than that you can search and see trends within Twitter.  That is basically about it.

Right now it is on sale in the app store for $1.99 till Dec. 17th, http://bit.ly/7USCNJ.  I don’t know if I would pay full price for it, but so far it is a good app.  I think it will get better if it can integrate Facebook and Linked In into the iphone app, similar to how they do that for the web app.  Below are some screenshots of the app itself.  Feel free to leave comments.

I just reviewed HootSuite the other day and now the official word is that their IPhone app is coming out tomorrow, Thursday at 9 am EST. Check out the video and the link for more info. www.hootsuite/iphone. Does anyone think this is going to be a good twitter app?

Here is the link to the teaser video of Outside Iphone App.  Leave your comments below and let me know what you think.

Here is a new Iphone app coming out by the guys over at Robocat.  There app is called Outside.  It is a weather app that has a slick User Interface (UI) along with some great features for weather.  It looks like the app takes advantage of push notification as well.  It is being submitted to Apple right now, so hopefully, with my fingers and toes crossed it will be out before Christmas.  Ok, so here are some screenshots.  Then hit the jump for a teaser video of Outside.  Can’t wait to review this thing in all of its glory!!!  Would love to hear your comments.

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