Proctele apps in the App Store

Proctele apps in the App Store
Click the picture to see Proctele apps in Apple's App Store

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Today is World Backup Day!

Today is an important day I discovered a few minutes ago: World Backup Day.
Thank you guys @!

Backup is increasingly important due to all those digital photos and videos most of us shoot. Not a lot of people use films these days. Developing a color-film is not so easy anymore, let alone a black-and-white film. If you're still using b&w film, you're probably best off developing it all by yourself. If not, prepare to wait.

Backup must be done on all data you create yourself. That means all your pictures, films, ripped CD's and documents and templates. Applications-backup is optional, because you can download them again or re-install from CD or DVD.

If you don't have a backup and you have that tomorrow feeling about it, think again. Imagine how you'd feel if your PC reported "Error reading <your harddisk>", the very disk where all your pictures are stored. Imagine the panic. Imagine what your family would say. Imagine how your life would be played back in your mind, particularly those hours spent with the PC. Don't let it happen! Do it! Do that backup! 

Make sure backups are made automatically at regular intervals. Configure your PC to take care of it.

World Backup Day, there are many worthy causes in the world, but this is one you definitely should support. You're worth it and so are all your photographic memories!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Great app: GPS MegaTape

GPS MegaTape makes it possible to measure a distance. It has two modes: a straight tape measure, and, an odometer (tripmeter). In the odometer mode you can record a path you walked or drove. That's a rather nice feature. 

Do as follows. When you've reached the destination, press the envelope-button on the bottom left and mail to yourself. Then open the mail and choose to open the attached file with Google Earth to see the path you traversed.

Of course you can open the mail with Google Earth on your PC too. While at the PC you might want to save the attachment to your harddisk and give it some good name for later reference. 

Here's a walk I recorded the other day (screen shot from my iPhone). The walk is the white marking on the picture: 
I usually keep my iPhone in the breast pocket of my shirt or some pocket in my jacket or overcoat. In the rather cold climate of southern Sweden taking a walk at this time of year means you need a pullover and an overcoat over the shirt. That seems to be no problem at all for GPS reception. The proof is in the picture: if reception were a problem, the white line would not be so smooth.

When you use the tape measure, it's important to wait for good GPS reception. Here's how to get a precise measurement: 
  • Wait for the indicator dot in the top right corner to turn green. It can take a few seconds.
  • When the indicator has turned green, press the Reset button to zero the measured distance.
  • Start measuring. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

TCompanion, T stands for Travel

Navigation seems to be a trivial problem for many people. They seem always to know what way to go. Their sense of directions can be such that they know within a few degrees what direction north is. It's a gift they can be proud of. Alas I'm not one of them.

It gets worse. Suppose I'm in a city. Given a map, even given my position on the map, the problem persists. I look at the map and the street signs. I'm here and I want to go there, what direction do I take? I think, Ok, I'm on A-street, but where? I'll walk to the next junction. Right, here's B-street, so I should be about ... here. My destination somewhere on the mid-point of M-street is ... there. What direction do I take from here to get there? Ok, I was over there, I'm now here, so it must be that direction.

By that time, I've probably asked somebody ... who doesn't know either.

I always get there one way or another, but it's a hassle. It was in one of those situations I realized what's actually needed. You need an arrow, which points the direction to the destination. 

That's how the idea of an app called "TCompanion - Point out direction" came to me. TCompanion does exactly what I need: It points the direction. So, here's what you do if you have TCompanion. Open the app and press the "New" button to see the map. Search for the destination and mark it. Press the "Save" on the map screen, give the destination a name, and press "Save and Point". Now you're taken back to the main screen with the arrow. Just follow the arrow until you reach the destination. The box above the arrow tells how far it is, as the crow flies. 

TCompanion uses GPS and compass, both of whom are part of your iPhone. Also, it doesn't matter how you hold the iPhone, the big arrow will always point in the right direction.

Suppose the map and the street signs were written in an alphabet you don't master. You'd need either a human guide, or, TCompanion.

TCompanion can also be used to remember where you parked the car. Open the app and press the "Here" button and name the location. 

The "Here" button is great for marking some location you want to be able to find again. Suppose you're with a travel group and the guide says: "Those of you who want to discover the city on your own for a while, please remember to be here again at ...". Mark the place and wander off with the safe feeling that you'll definitely find your way back. 

I love the TCompanion app and it has already helped me a few times. I'm looking forward to the travel season. Let me suggest you try TCompanion too.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Apps Waiting for Review

Three apps by Proctele have been updated and are awaiting App Store approval. They are "NumberWiz", "Pi, the Magic Number of circles" and "TCompanion - Point Out Direction".

TCompanion has incorrectly been labelled a tool app, but will soon be labelled a navigation app. Hopefully the new label will attract more buyers. The TCompanion is a really good and useful app. I use it as follows. 
Before I go someplace I haven't been to before, I open TCompanion to mark the exact destination (very easy: search address and mark it on the map). Arriving in the destination city I park my car somewhere not too far from the destination. To make sure I don't have to walk very far I keep an eye on TCompanion's distance indicator. After parking, I use TCompanion to point the way to go. It works great! 
I often park in a multistory car park and those often have several exits, so out in the street I mark the exit with TCompanion. In that way I can always find the exit when leaving for home.

The screen shots below, taken from the App Store, show respectively a) the search b) the marking c) saving the destination d) the pointing arrow.

And yes, TCompanion has a torch too for evening walks.