Three Cool Apps I Took from Macworld | iWorld

| Computing with Bifocals

Macworld was terrific from the moment the doors opened through the drum circle that ended the event. I saw lots of cool and unique products and am in the process of covering many of them as product reviews, but I also want to particularly point out a few of the apps that I found to be unique and worthy of special attention.

This first one is a children’s story book.

What Does It Mean To be Global? by Rana DiOrio

Category: Children’s Nonfiction
Published: Sept 22, 2011
Publisher: Little Pickle Press LLC
Print Length: 30 pages
Language: English
Price: US$2.99
Free sample download available
Requirements: iBooks 1.3 or later and iOS 4.2 or later
For: iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch
Options: Read Aloud format with professionally recorded narration with word highlighting in sync with the voice narration.

It would be easy to just say this is a charming, well designed book that children and parents will enjoy, but it is much more than that.

It is fairly easy to teach children to be prejudiced and afraid of anything that is different. I know, because I was, as the song in the musical South Pacific so eloquently says it, carefully taught. Fortunately, it can also be just as easy to teach children to learn about and respect all cultures, religions, and beliefs. From that point of view this is, in fact, a charming, well designed book that never preaches, but exposes children to life and cultures around the globe. The read aloud format is great, but it is equally helpful for parent and child to read together.

Sample page from What Does It Mean To Be Global?

It is fascinating to me that for the mere price of US$2.99 one can begin to undo generations of prejudice.

This next app is from Garmin. Garmin and Navigon became one company last year. Navigon has been one of my favorite app producers since I discovered it for the simple reason that their apps keep me from getting lost. Now that the two companies are one, I can see elements of both in this new app. 

Garmin StreetPilot on Demand 7.5

Category: Navigation
Updated: Jan 27, 2012
Language: English
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Compatible with: iPhone 3G thru 4S, iPad WiFi + 3G, iPad 2WiFi + 3G

Lets say you visit San Francisco, or New York, or Chicago one a year or so. You can download StreetPilot on Demand for that specific city, or many others, for 30 days for US$0.99. You get everything you need to help you get around the city while you are there. Driving or walking directions to any destination with your progress tracked as you move. You can navigate to contacts in your address book and place calls directly from search listings. Public transit information is available in some markets and areas outside the US are covered.

The app also provides real-time traffic updates, speed limits for most major roads, and perhaps my favorite, 3D buildings and landmarks.

Sample screen

The last app is not a single app at all, but rather a company that produces training videos for all things Mac and iOS. The company is called Noteboom Productions.

Noteboom Productions videos are sold in both the App Store and the iTunes app store. They have videos for Lion, Bento4, FinalCut ProX, iMovie ’11, iPhoto ’11, Pages ’09, Numbers ’09, Keynote, Snow Leopard, and, even Drupal 6. There are additional video sets for the iPad and the iPhone.

When I say video sets, that is what I mean. The Tutor for Lion has 51 videos. iMovie has 37, Pages has 49, etc. The tutor sets for the Mac are US$4.99 each. Those for the iPad and iPhone vary. One can navigate to the company’s website, click on a specific tutor set of interest and view a sample video. From there the viewer can click to be taken directly to either the App Store or the iTunes app store.

As a trainer, I find these video’s to be well done and very helpful. Mac users who live in isolated areas should certainly check them out as they consider options for learning to use their Macs as should anyone who prefers to learn at their own pace, in the peace and quiet of their own home. Now that I know about them, I will be incorporating them into some of my classes.

These three apps/app providers caught my eye and attention at Macworld. I think they are worth checking out.

Comments

wab95

Nancy:

I really like these.

As someone who grew up in globally diverse settings, and whose children have had to grapple with that same issue of cultural adaptation and displacement as they have moved between continents, I endorse any material that embraces diversity without prejudice, particularly if it also underscores our common humanity in the process. Pity Rana DiOrio’s book came along now that my own kids are in late adolescence. They’d have related to it.

As for the Noteboom video sets, given your own professional background, I am encouraged by your endorsement. I could probably recommend these to friends and colleagues new to the Mac and iDevices - and spare myself one or two urgent calls for help.

Many thanks!

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