Review: Klok (Time Zone Converter Widget for Notification Center)

Review: Klok (Time Zone Converter Widget for Notification Center)

Klok is one of those gems you find in the app store now & again. For someone like me who has to deal with multiple timezones & be able to easily convert across them this app provides all of that in an elegant interface.

When you first download Klok you’ll be able to adjust all settings within the app itself. Here you can add clocks of timezones you want to view & manage. Additionally you have options to adjust what clock you want to see be it digital or analogue. However the app is truly built for iOS’s notification center. Swiping down from anywhere in iOS gives you access to your NC widgets. You can easily add in the Klok widget by hitting the “edit” button at the bottom. Once added in your presented with a simple & clean clock interface.

This at a glance shows you the time across your set clocks.

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However taking it a step further you can then tap on any specific clock to then set a time to convert across all clocks. So lets say someone in the UK asks to schedule a call at 2:00 PM their time. You simply tap on your London clock & then tap on 2:00 PM this will then change all your set clocks to their local time so you know what time it’ll be when its 2 o’clock in London.

Video Review:

Pros- 

  • Free 
  • Ease of Use
  • Accessible anywhere via Notification Center

Cons-

  • Occasional bug with clock +1/-1 icon
  • iOS only

 

All in all Klok is completely free & definitely worth the download if you deal with timezones at any capacity. Whether you want to know the time somewhere else in the world at a glance or be able to convert timezones on the fly. Grab it free for your iPhone today.

 

Beme Aims to Make Video Sharing Authentic

Beme Aims to Make Video Sharing Authentic

I’ve personally been a huge fan of Casey Neistat (Film maker, vlogger, all around great guy) & his content for some time now. Not too long ago he ventured on a journey to start a daily vlog series in which he’d share his life while also talking about his new company in the making. That company would be working on an app that is known as “Beme”. 100+ vlogs later Beme has come to the world & aims to bring a unique spin to the social media world.

Casey bias aside, Beme is a social network that focuses on video sharing in an effortless & authentic way. While I plan to overview the app next week when they release their big update here’s what I’ve learned so far about the app.

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Credit: Thanks to the user @JammyLaffers on Twitter for the invite code

The Premise:

Beme aims to record & share video immediately without revisions. There is no adding of filters, editing, or re-shooting. Just post out whatever it is you recorded. Even more unique than the concept behind it is the recording method. Beme utilizes the proximity sensor on the iPhone to start the recording of your beme. From there it’ll instantly send out your post to your followers. The idea behind this is to take the phone out of the way when it comes to capturing moments. To be looking at the person your talking to, see the sunset your capturing, and so on. Now this entails you either block the sensor by whatever method you see fit. Put it against your chest, block the sensor with your finger, & so on.

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This idea behind is really interesting. I like the idea of making video more honest & almost unobtrusive. People react differently when an iPhone is in their face. This wouldn’t completely eliminate that but it’d be more discrete. Proximity controls make it a bit difficult to see how it’ll be used in the real world & how people will interact with it. Initial testing led to a lot of bemes that weren’t meant to be sent. The bemes are ephemeral so they disappear after someone has viewed it without any option for replaying.

Sign Up Process:

As of right now Beme is live in the app store you can download it here for iOS. However the process isn’t as simple as install & setup. Their is currently an invite process in which people who have access to the app can invite their friends & the cycle carries on. Trying to create more of a community behind this app versus random fly by installs. This will last for the initial app launch phase, as the app goes public for everyone in 100 days. There’ll be a lot of updates to come along & fixes to be made as its now in the wild. As Neistat himself has stated in his vlog

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Reactions:

The interaction part of the app comes with “reactions”. Followers & other viewers of your Bemes can react as they watch your video. An overlay appears in the top right that allows you by tapping to take a selfie to show your reaction while viewing their video. This is meant to capture the response of the viewer in that very moment. Shock, joy, laughter or what have you.

 

The app is very much still in its infancy. There’s much to be improved & even explained for some new users. However the direction is taking is very interesting. Sharing without the need to create. Think of Snapchat but stripped down to just the video aspect. Storytelling being the key focus. However at the same time introducing an honesty to videos. Now with all good certainly comes bad. Privacy issues will surely arise for users who unknowingly may have posted something or sent something they didn’t mean to. Furthermore I’ve found myself reshooting my bemes due to them being cut short. Defeating the authentic feel the app is going for. In the normal video creation process you have the ability to take & edit then post. In this case it’s straight from capture to live. Picking up on some social trends while creating its own. Beme isn’t perfect but it’s a start.

Follow me on Beme at @Adrianc & stay tuned for updates to come on the apps progress.

Also be the first to comment & receive a Beme code/invite! I’ll try to distribute as many codes as the app allows.

How To: Remove Objects from Photos on iOS

How To: Remove Objects from Photos on iOS

This video was made possible by the great folks at Pixelmator. Pixelmator is a full featured image editor for OS X, iPhone, and iPad. Allowing you to edit, enhance, and create great works of art. Download Pixelmator today! Get a 30 day free trial for mac OS X users.

So you took that great selfie, landscape photo, or what have you. Then you realize theres that person or object that just throws off the photo. If only you could easily remove it. Using Pixelmator on the iPhone you can! Making it as simple as coloring over the object & few seconds later away it goes. This is a look at how to easily remove objects from photos on iOS.

Pixelmator for iPhone runs at $5 USD & while its a full feature image editor it also offers great tools like the repair/retouch tool.

This tool makes easier than ever to strike out the object from your photo as soon as you take it on your iPhone.

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Video Overview:

 

Pixelmator offers this tool across all platforms mobile & desktop. The great part about the repair tool is its simple & easy to use. Anyone can remove objects be it skin blemishes or people in the background. Repair tool removes the object while also blending in whatever is in the background. Making it look seamless. You can adjust the tool size in order to precisely color over the object no matter the size.

Before & After Example:

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Cover, wait, erase it really is that simple.

UPDATE: As of July 15th, Pixelmator has been updated to version 2.0.2 which has improved the repair tool to be 5x faster & even more precise!

Review: Phone Clean Pro

Review: Phone Clean Pro

Disclaimer: I’ve worked with iMobie in the past to provide giveaways of other software they also develop. However this review/post is in no way associated with iMobie. This software was purchased personally.

Phone Clean Pro is a utility provided by iMobie that allows you to clear up space on your iOS device be it iPhone, iPod, or iPad. By scanning for common junk files & temporary data allowing you to reclaim space on your drive. The major problem being it deletes data you don’t tell it to. Here’s my review & experience on why you should not buy Phone Clean Pro.

Video Review:

What it’s supposed to do:

So what does Phone Clean Pro actually do. The trial version offers a free scan feature while you’ll the pro to actually delete content.

You can scan, use the tools packed into the app, and restore iTunes backups of your iOS device (thankfully). Phone Clean Pro is meant to save a ton of space by deleting files from your device easily & all in one place. There are some tools packed in as well that allow you to optimize performance for both native & jailbroken iOS devices. Scan wise you have quick & deep option. Each scanning mode describes what you can specify for deletion and after the scan is complete you can then clean up your device…or so you think.

Note: Phone Clean Pro does backup your data before any deep cleaning

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What it did:

All of this is well & great however as mentioned above the big flaw here is a countless number of users have experienced deletion of files that you do not even specify. In my own testing I had it delete over 1,300+ photos & some videos from my camera roll. So it achieved its goal of freeing up space…just not the data I told it to delete. Luckily I keep constant backups of my data & had a restore point that I could jump to but still for an app that’s main feature is cleaning & deleting data you’d think it would get that part right.

I thought maybe just maybe I had a bad scan or something got corrupted. Nope, further research showed all sorts of people having similar issues. iMobie had the same robotic response to their Facebook feedback.

 

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Now the above images are just a sample of what I found from some very upset customers & rightfully so. The whole “rare” issue problem doesn’t seem to be so rare. The app clearly has been deleting key files for users without any permission whatsoever. Now I’m sure once in a blue moon it actually deletes only the data you set but the likely chance of it also deleting private data of yours without any acknowledgment to the user is a big sign to steer clear from this app.

Mind you in my own experience the app had deleted my data on my very first deep clean. My apps, messages, and other parts of iOS remained untouched however again my camera roll was completely wiped & while I could restore the data I had issues with albums, corrupted photos, and other issues. So to say I restored everything to 100% would be a lie.

What to do if your data was deleted:

While I can’t give you a definitive answer that’ll help everyone out there, here are some options. Try using iTunes to restore from a previous backup that PhoneClean made or you have made recently with your iOS device. This is usually the best course of action & can help salvage the deleted data. If you don’t keep regular backups & had no iTunes restore points you can try to invest in other software that restores iPhone lost data. Keep in mind iMobie also ironically offers this software, that choice is entirely yours. You may want to steer clear entirely & use other software.

You can also use software such as iExplorer to find old iTunes backups & manually comb through them to gain the data you want. For example grab just photos that were deleted & then sync them back to your iOS device.

Conclusion/Rating:

In a way this has been one of the easiest reviews to write in that I simply reccomend to all my audience & those who stumbled upon this wondering if it’s worth the paid edition the answer is simply no. This is a big fat DO NOT BUY warning post. Normally if I have any negative thoughts I don’t expand much further than that, however when my word can help others in wasting money & investing in tools that don’t work I’ll gladly take the time, risk, and money. There’s no use in me breaking it down pro/con style when the main feature & aspect of the app isn’t even working.

Rating: DO NOT BUY (Two Thumbs Down)

I’ve used iMobie products in the past with success & even hosted a giveaway with them. I think they make some decent mobile tools for iOS. However this is one of their products I can’t recommend to any of you who may read this. Save your money & spend it elsewhere or at that rate look for another solution or just stick to manually wiping data off & reading that usage menu to see what’s taking up the most space.

Parental Control Tips for iOS

Parental Control Tips for iOS

My thanks to Curbi the makers of an amazing parental control app for iOS for sponsoring the web safety series of content. Curbi allows you to monitor, block, and curb your children’s iOS devices easily and safely. Ensuring the most priceless of things peace of mind with your kids on the internet. Try out Curbi today!

Nowadays kids everywhere have iOS devices be it their parents, siblings, or even their own. So its important to ensure their safety on the device to prevent any trouble, wrongful spending, or just general safety. Here’s a rundown of some iOS tips you can use on any current iPhone, iPod, or iPad.

Video Overview:

 

1. Restrictions

iOS allows you to actually restrict you kids access to the device. This is highly useful in that you can tailor specifically what they can or can’t access. A great example of this being app-store purchases this prevents them from spending on your iTunes account and can save you countless dollars from kids who are purchasing things without knowing any better.

This is achieved by going to Setting-General-Restrictions

 2-Guided Access Mode

GAM or Guided Access Mode allows you to actually lock the iOS device to one app. Normally this is used on devices within the apple store or presentation devices. However using this to lock kids to one app can be highly beneficial. It has the ability to prevent tapping in defined areas of apps or even set a time limit usage.

This can be enabled by going into Settings-General-Accessibility-Guided Access 

3-App Solution

Overall these built in iOS tips are great tips packed into the OS that most parents may be unaware of. They’re great ways to control the experience of your child and limit or prevent harmful usage on the iOS devices. However all of this can be achieved even easier within an app solution. Curbi for example does all of the above from restrictions, time limits and even more but a simpler package. Furthermore the benefits of Curbi extend in that it monitors your children’s usage tracking information and reporting it to you even when your away.

You can’t always monitor your kids usage and actions on a device let Curbi handle that for you. Check out our overview post we did on the service for more info on setup. Overall these tips provide a safer experience for you and your young kids be it on their own device or yours.