Younity

28 03 2014

Younity by Entangled Media Corp. (USA) is an iOS app for remote access of files stored on local hard drives. A desktop companion app has to be installed on the computer to provide information about files and folders on iOS devices. The version I reviewed was 1.7.4 of 2013-12-19. The app is a free universal app that means, there is just one version for the iPhone and the iPad. The app was first released on Feb 1, 2012.

The company in it’s ‘About’ section …

Younity is brought to you by Entangled Media, a company focused on changing the relationship between people, data and devices. While we obviously design and build software/online services, we consider ourselves a user experience company. Our design philosophy is structured around user behavior and unlocking the potential we all see in the technology and content around us. That is, the potential for it to exist simultaneously everywhere for us to access easily and on demand.

Younity is similar to point.io but for local storages (Point.io offers access to several cloud storages with just one login; see my app review of Point.io under ‘Related links’). Younity doesn’t include remote control, it’s just intended for viewing or downloading files from remote computers.

The company about it’s app …

Younity gives you access to all your files, from all your devices, without ever needing to “sync” your mobile devices again. With younity, you have all your music, photos, videos and documents on all your devices regardless of storage. All your files, from all your devices, all the time. You can share any file, stored on any device, with any of your friends right from your iPhone or iPad. No planning ahead required!

Younity creates a personal cloud for all your files, generated by the stationary devices. The Personal Cloud is a private cloud – younity as the provider doesn’t store your files online, it can’t access them and doesn’t know anything about you or your files (promises the company).

You don’t have to log into each computer or browse them separately. You don’t have to put files in special folders or flag them to be synchronized. There is no storage limit because you are streaming files from your devices, so you can have 2GB, 2TB or 2PB of files. If you want to download your files to a local storage of an iOS device for offline use, you can, but it isn’t required. Younity gives you instant, easy access to all your music (including iTunes libraries/playlists), videos, photos and documents on every computer you own.

Installation …

Install Younity on your iOS devices and all computers you want to have access to.
Register for the service from within the apps by using an email address and and a password. It’s recommended to use the same registration procedure on all of your devices to avoid different authentications.

You will get a confirmation mail for every registered device.

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On the desktop companion app select the folders you want to have access to.
Younity then starts a scanning process to retrieve just basic information about files on the computer.

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Scanning an entire hard drive takes a long time.
I used a pretty fast Windows 7 PC with a 115 GB hard drive with 95 GB storage utilization and it took about 2 h to scan the drive and generate the meta data containing information about all locally stored files.

Note
Younity generates metadata files which are retrieved by the iOS device later after the scan process is complete. On a computer Younity will typically use about 0.1% of your computer CPU and usually uses less than 100MB of memory (although it will often report more because that is “reserved” for use if necessary). After the scan is complete Younity typically “listens” and updates the metadata if changes of file locations or file names are made. The iOS app then downloads the updated metadata.

When you first open Younity on an iPhone, after having registered at least one computer, younity will download metadata about your files. The speed at which it does this depends on your mobile hardware (i.e. newer mobile devices are much faster than older devices) and the number of files you have. For example, 30,000 files worth of metadata going to an iPhone 4S will take about 4 minutes with a 30 MBit/s WiFi connection, whereas an iPhone 5 will take about 3 minutes. If you have over 100,000 files (only photos, videos, music and documents), it may take a very long time.

The features …

Younity offers these basic features

  • Easily and securely share files with your friends via younity or Facebook.
  • Search for files across all devices simultaneously, without having to even know which device or cloud service (ie. dropbox, google drive, etc…) the file is stored on.
  • Converts unusable file formats (e.g. WMA, OGG, etc.) to iOS-compatible formats in real-time when you stream so you can keep your media in whatever format you like.
  • Compatible with iOS, Mac OS X, Windows and soon Linux.

If you need a file that is saved on a desktop computer Younity helps to view or even download the file to your iOS device for further actions e.g. mailing it to somebody, share it on Facebook, or use the iOS ‘Open in’ command to transfer it to an appropriate app.

The core value of Younity is that there is no need to intentionally sync files to make them available and that there is just one place to access all registered ressources.

First impressions …

After installing the app on an iOS device and entering the credentials you will see this Home Screen

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with the following settings

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A really useful ‘Search’ functionality is available which shows all files on your registered computers matching the search term. Searching within content is not supported.

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To display a file stored on a remote computer just tap on it and some standard actions are available.

20131220-141106.jpg

The cons …

I found the following cons in the actual version of Dec 2013:

  • 1 Complex MS Word/Excel files are not shown correctly.
    Apple’s iWork file formats for Keynote, Numbers, and Pages are supported.
  • 2 Many file types are not shown at all, e.g. exe, ini, cfg, etc. This is a bit confusing although they cannot be handled on an iOS device they should be shown in file lists.
  • 3 Really nerving is that if you tap on a file to display the content and return to the file list it’s not positioned on the file you choosed. So you always have to scroll within the file list of Younity to go to the next file.
  • 4 An option for sorting files is not available.
  • 5 Information about files is incomplete. If you start a file search the file list doesn’t show the device and folder where it’s located. Younity lets you filter views so that you can see only files that you’ve downloaded to local storage and/or only see files that are available (i.e. they are on a device that is online and ready to stream files), but you can not browse files on a per device basis.
  • 6 Uploads of files from an iOS device to a remote computer is not supported.

During my app review the iPhone version didn’t show all ressources of my Windows 7 PC.

20131220-142132.jpg

The problem couldn’t be solved although I removed the iPhone app, installed it, and registered the device again. The app showed the ‘Downloading metadata …’ message but still didn’t show the missing resources.

Summary …

The idea is pretty good but but there is still some work to do for the developers.
The main benefit compared to many other remote access apps is that there is just one place for accessing all computers.

Related links …

Point.io

TeamViewer

Apps for File Management

Thanks for stopping by.





Go Paperless

8 03 2014

Stats say that every human living in an industrial nation uses about 20,000 kg paper in his life.

About paper …

Paper may be impregnated, enamelled, metallised, made to look like parchment, creped, water-proofed, waxed, glazed, sensitized, bent, turned, folded, twisted, crumpled, cut, torn, dissolved, macerated, moulded, and embossed. It may be coloured, coated, printed or even written on! It can be laminated with fabric, plastic and metal. It can be opaque, translucent or transparent. It is naturally combustible, or can be made fre-retardent. It may be a carrier or a barrier or a filter. It may be made tough enough to withstand acid, or soft enough for a baby’s skin. It can be read and worn as a garment. It can be re-used and recycled and it is made from a renewable, sustainable source.

The range of possible uses of paper seems almost limitless. New ways of using it are being devised daily. This evolution will continue because paper is an expression of everyday living.

  • Agriculture
    Sacks, seed packets, and animal bedding Building
    Wallpaper, damp-proof courses, roofing, flooring, flame resistant papers, plasterboard, and decorative laminates for furniture.
  • Business
    Print out sheets, receipts, circulars, catalogues, filing systems, sales and service manuals, brochures, and letter heading.
  • Cars
    Fascia boards, door and roof liners, filters the Highway Code, and driving licences.
  • Communications
    Writing pads, envelopes, newspapers, magazines, greeting cards, calendars, diaries, telephone directories, labels, business and identity cards.
  • Domestic Products
    Tissues, paper plates and cups, toilet paper, kitchen towels, table napkins, and lampshades.
  • Education
    Books, exercise books, wall charts, flip charts, and report cards
  • Electrical
    Special insulating boards, electrolytic condenser paper, wrapping and identification for electrical cables, printe( circuits, and battery separators.
  • Entertainment
    Menu cards, paper hats, crackers, fireworks, wrapping paper, programmes, playing cards, board games, kites, model aircraft, and race cards.
  • Filtration
    Filters for water, air, coffee, medicine, beer, oil, and mechanical uses.
  • Impregnated Papers
    Polishing, waxing, and cleaning.
  • Industry
    Protection for manufactured goods, in transport, transfer sheets for decorating chinaware, display boards, point of sale materials and in storage.
  • Medical
    Wrapping to keep instruments and equipment sterile, bandages, first aid bands, clothing for nurses, face masks, surgeons’caps, disposable bed pans, sheets, and pillowcases.
  • Money, Finance, Security
    Bank notes, insurance forms, cheque books, travellers’ cheques, postal orders, stamps, cash bags and security papers that contain special markings which are only visible when subjected to ultra-violet light

This is an amazing variety of applications but although there is a sophisticated recycling industry the usage of paper still destroys parts of our ecosystem.

Paper consumption …

The paper consumption in individual countries is related to their gross national product. The further increase in paper and board consumption will be different in different countries depending on whether economic saturation, as e. g. in the United States, in the North European and some Central European countries, and also in Japan, or fast increasing demand, as in China, is prevailing. But also India, Russia and some other Asian and East European countries will come up in the near future with growth rates above the average. The following comparision between the paper consumption per capita and the population in the various regions of the world demonstrate the significant differences and devine the future development of the paper demand there.

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The production and use of paper has a number of adverse effects on the environment.
Worldwide consumption of paper has risen by 400% in the past 40 years leading to increase in deforestation, with 35% of harvested trees being used for paper manufacture. Logging of old growth forests accounts for less than 10% of wood pulp, but is one of the most controversial issues.
Paper waste accounts for up to 40% of total waste produced in the United States each year, which adds up to 71.6 million tons of paper waste per year in the United States alone.
Conventional bleaching of wood pulp using elemental chlorine produces and releases into the environment large amounts of chlorinated organic compounds, including chlorinated dioxins. Dioxins are recognized as a persistent environmental pollutant, regulated internationally by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Dioxins are highly toxic, and health effects on humans include reproductive, developmental, immune and hormonal problems. They are known to be carcinogenic. Over 90% of human exposure is through food, primarily meat, dairy, fish and shellfish, as dioxins accumulate in the food chain in the fatty tissue of animals.

The tasks …

If you plan to go paperless you won’t change the stats significantly but there are some other benefits when moving from ring folders to flash memories.

Scanning documents is a daily task for big businesses but it also can be useful for private purposes. You have access to all important information without taking heavy filing folders with you, search within documents without looking through countless pages, send documents or parts of them to companies or authorities, etc. instead of copying them on new paper. Another benefit is that you still have the content even if original documents get lost for what reason soever.

Here is a brief overview of documents which are worth scanning

  • Insurance Policies
  • Receipts
  • Certificates of Warranty
  • Passport, ID Card, Driver License
  • Ad-hoc information taken with a camera

After buying an iPad about one year ago I started to reduce paper consumption. The first step is to find out the right apps and then optimize the workflow from incoming or already existing documents to permanent storage on an iOS device.

The requirements …

For me, a reliable solution is based on software of reliable software developers which should meet the following requirements:

General …

  • UI design following Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines
  • Reliable developer updating his apps regularly
  • Universal app (running on all iOS-Devices)
  • Further apps from the same developer for related tasks
  • Understandable and fast support
  • Code stability
  • iCloud support
  • Scanning

Specific …

  • Integrated camera usage
  • Saving photos as images or PDFs
  • Combining several photos as pages to a unique document
  • Connection to different well-known cloud storages including iCloud as well as WebDAV-Connections
  • Setting of meaningful filenames for images respectively PDFs
  • Organizing scanned objects in folders
  • Mailing of scanned objects
  • Availability of the iOS ‘Open in…’ command
  • Access to the camera roll and the photo stream
  • Password protection for the app
  • Encryption of documents when uploaded to cloud storages and sending by E-Mail
  • Syncing of scanned objects across all iOS-Devices using the same Apple ID
  • Printing of scanned documents
  • Extended search functionalities

There are three apps available at Apple’s App Store which meet all these requirements.

Scanning …

  • Scanner Pro by Readdle
    with an impressive user interface for scanning by using the integrated camera.
  • AiO Remote by HP
    for hardware-based scanning in connection with an AirPrint capable Three-In-One (Print, Scan, Copy) device by Hewlett Packard.
  • Prizmo by Creaseed
    for extracting text from photos and saving the content as PDF.
    This is a much more faster procedure than scanning documents with an AiO device although the quality is slightly reduced.

Document management …

  • Documents by Readdle
    as the main container for scanned documents with access to Apple’s iCloud and other cloud providers

Useful utilities …

  • File Browser by Stratospherix
    as a tool to access nearly all cloud storages as well as local computers running on OS X or Windows with powerful features like moving multiple files from one storage to another, zipping files, etc.
  • Native apps
    of cloud providers like Box, Dropbox, and iDriveSync
  • 1Password by AgileBits
    as the main password keeper for all sensitive data

It was a rocky road to find out these apps in Apple’s App Store with thousands of productivity apps. The developers of the mentioned products did their homework in the last months and today the apps are quite powerful.

As you can see this suggested solution is not based on a database system. I will discuss the alternate way to go paperless in my next post.

Feature descriptions …

Documents by Readdle

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Documents supports Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, SugarSync, SkyDrive, Office 365 Sharepoint, CloudMe, WebDAV, Windows SMB, FTP Server, and SFTP Server (as of Dec 2013).

For a full feature description of Documents by Readdle see my post mentioned under ‘Related links’.

AiO Remote by HP

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AiO Remote supports, iCloud (for syncing), Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, and any WebDAV access, e.g. iDriveSync.

Scanner Pro by Readdle

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Scanner Pro supports Apple’s iCloud so that documents e.g. scanned with an iPhone are automatically also available on an iPad.

Further considerations …

Many of the scanned documents contain information which must be available over years. So it’s indispensable to use a suitable file format which allows access over a long time and it turns out that it’s the PDF file format of Adobe.

Additionally it’s worth thinking about the folder structure where scanned documents should be saved.

My suggestions how to group the information …

I called the root folder ‘ARCHIVE’ with the following subfolders:

Long-Termed (many years)

  • Insurance Policies
  • Real Estate
  • Certificates of Warranty
  • Personal documents
  • Last Will
  • etc

Short-Termed (1-2 years)

  • Receipts
  • Carrier contracts
  • etc

I always use structured file names containing a date (e.g. conclusion of a contract) and an added short description pointing to the main content, for example 2013-12-06-AppleTV or 2014-01-13-CarLeasing.

An essential point is that there are at least two different storages so that access is still possible even if a device is broken, replaced, or not in use.

It needs some efforts to replace old documents by newer ones and to delete documents which are not valid any longer. But this is a task you also have to do when using ring binders. Nothing is more annoying than to find invalid information when searching for essentials.

Legislation …

Check the legislation in your country. Paperless storage of certain documents without keeping the originals might be inoperative. In this case the old-fashioned usage of ring binders is still indispensable.

Note
This was the case in Germany where companies sent their invoices as PDFs which were inoperative if the company didn’t digitally signed them. Legislation was changed because it hampered the workflow of small enterprises.

Security …

It’s up to where you primarily store your documents. Keep in mind that everything is stored in Apple’s iCloud if you device is backed up to iCloud. So if you don’t want your documents saved in iCloud you should turn off iCloud backup.
If you use a cloud provider it is indispensable to read the terms and conditions. Free cloud storages are subject to change and suspension without notification.
See ‘Risky free clouds’ under ‘Related links’.
A suggested provider is iDriveSync with encryption of data in transit (during transfer from your device via internet) and at rest (when saved on a provider’s server).

Summary …

Here is a summary of the hard- and software configuration

20131207-141641.jpg

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Word DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

An annotation …

Valid for reducing paper waste in the private and business sector …

If your goal in maintaining a paperless office is greater productivity, you may find it more useful to focus on that, rather than on the paper itself. For example, if you receive lots of printed documents and your main problems are finding information in them and figuring out where to file them, the scan-OCR-shred routine will serve you well. It won’t literally reduce the amount of paper you encounter, but it will address the inconveniences you struggle with.

Then there are the trees. Environmental issues, including saving forests and reducing waste, are certainly noble reasons to decrease paper usage.
MacWorld

Related links …

About paper …

Fast facts on Paper Use

Paper Consumption

About the hard- and software …

Documents by Readdle

zBase vs Tap Forms

Text Recognition (1)

Text Recognition (2)

About clouds …

Risky free clouds

iDriveSync Privacy

Thanks for stopping by.
Please do not print this page, just save the PDF version.





Documents by Readdle

28 02 2014

Documents by Readdle (USA) is a universal app for iOS devices and intended to support file management. The developer is a reliable company updating it’s products regularly since years.

File sharing is an indispensable requirement for collaborating, backing up relevant files and continue working on other devices. For private and business environments the following features should be provided by apps for the iPad and the iPhone.

  • 01 Connection to well-known cloud providers
  • 02 Connection to external storages via WebDAV
  • 03 Connection to storages attached to Windows networks
  • 04 Connection to storages attached to Apple’s routers
  • 05 Connection via SMB, FTP, SFTP
  • 06 E-Mail support for sending and receiving multiple documents from within the app
  • 07 Reading all well-known file formats (Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, etc.)
  • 08 Transfer of files between all connections
  • 09 Organization of files in self-created folders

Some technical information about SMB …

Wikipedia: Server Message Block
In computer networking, Server Message Block (SMB), also known as Common Internet File System (CIFS) operates as an application-layer network protocol mainly used for providing shared access to files, printers, serial ports, and miscellaneous communications between nodes on a network.

Not only does SMB allow computers to share files, but it also enables computers to share printers and even serial ports from other computers within the network. For example, a computer connected to a Windows network could print a document on a printer connected to another computer on the network, as long as both machines support the SMB protocol.

Though SMB was originally developed for Windows, it can also be used by other platforms, including Unix and Mac OS X, using a software implementation called Samba. By using Samba instructions, Mac, Windows, and Unix computers can share the same files, folders, and printers. This is great for those Windows-based office networks where there is a graphic designer who refuses to use anything but a Mac and a tech guy who does everything on his Linux machine.

Features of Documents …

The developers description …

  • READ
    - View Office Documents
    - Read and Annotate PDF files
    - Search Inside Documents
    - Edit Text Files
    - Read Books and Articles
  • MANAGE
    - Manage your files
    - Copy Documents from Mac or PC – Sync with iCIoud, Dropbox, Google Drive and other cloud storages
    - Share Files with Your Friends
    - Protect Everything with a Password
  • SAVE
    - Store Email Attachments
    - Download Documents from the Web
    - Save Web Pages to Read them Later
  • ENJOY
    - View Photos from your Trip
    - Watch Movies while on a plane
    - Listen to Your Favorite Music

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Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

Documents and iWork …

Of you use Apple’s iWork Suite and activated iCloud to sync your documents across all of your devices it might be useful to add an additional security layer for important documents. Why? Well, if you accidentally delete an iWork document on one of your devices it will we deleted from all of your devices.

Apple’s document management in iCloud doesn’t support the recovery of deleted documents.

So it’s worth saving documents at an additional place. You can do it by using the ‘Send a copy’ command within iWork and send a copy to an additional cloud storage which is accessible via WebDAV e.g. Box net, iDriveSync, etc. In many cases users prefer a Dropbox account (because the majority of apps support Dropbox) but there is still no chance to access Dropbox via WebDAV.

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The alternative is the usage of the ‘Open in another app’ command within the iWork Suite and choose ‘Documents’ as the destination application. If doing so Apple’s operating system moves a copy of your document to the app specific folder of Documents. An unwanted deletion of an iWork document then doesn’t affect the copy which has been saved in the documents folder of Documents. For the reverse way, from Documents to iWork, you also can use the ‘Open in’ command from within Documents.

Additionally you can activate syncing within Documents so that the copies of your iWork documents are synced with your preferred cloud storage.

Keep in mind that all documents saved in the app specific folder of Documents are only accessible on the device which contains the copy. You have to activate iCloud for Documents to automatically sync data of Documents with the app related part of your iCloud account.

Highlights …

Some impressions of the UI and my personal highlights …

  • Drag + Drop
    Drag + Drop to move files between folders
  • iOS Data Protection
    iOS encrypts all files when Passcode Lock in device settings is enabled and device os locked.
  • Office Documents Search
    Full text indexing of MS Office, iWork, HTML files
  • Zip
    Zip selectable files
  • E-Mail
    E-Mail selectable files (in contrast to iOS no limitation of the number of files)
  • Websites
    With the integrated browser websites can be saved in PDFs or HTML format
  • SMB support
    Easily connect to Windows PCs

Summary …

Documents by Readdle is an app with a perfect UI following Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines. The developer is continuously improving it’s apps.
Another noteworthy app of the company is Scanner Pro also operating on a high quality level with a perfect UI. Apple’s iWork Suite, Documents, and Scanner Pro together build a powerful extension of features on an iPad and an iPhone.

Related links …

Every app is an i(s)Land

Scanning documents

Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines

WebDAV Basics

Thanks for stopping by.





Office 365 for Mobiles

9 10 2013

After a long time of silence and not really useful offers Microsoft released it’s product Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers on June 18, 2013. Microsoft’s description starts with this hint:

Please note: An office 365 subscription is required to use this app.

Users who first want to try out the features of this app and to check whether it’s more powerful than Apple’s iWork suite first have to subscribe to Office 365. Beside many other faults Microsoft made when trying to get a foothold in the mobile market here is the next ‘MSID’.

Traction -everybody knows this from race cars- is vital to success. Launching without sufficient traction seems to be an ongoing fault of Microsoft. Instead of showing the world that the mobile Office suite is an awesome app compared to Apple’s iWork suite the company first collects money even from users who don’t want or need a subscription of Office 365 for about 100$ per year with additional 20 GB space on SkyDrive, licenses for up to 5 PCs or Macs and 5 mobile devices (other than devices already running with Windows Mobile), and permanent updating to the latest versions of the Office Suite.

The offer is worth buying for users of Microsoft products.
But for consumers and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) users, Office 365′s appeal has been somewhat less clear. Millions use older versions of Office running on their home computers, and for the majority of tasks, these aging editions are still adequate. Unless one needs to sync content across devices via SkyDrive, or have access to documents while on-the-go, many of the newest versions’ enhancements simply won’t warrant an upgrade.

Even for new customers, Office 365 might not appeal. People who use Office on only one machine, and who aren’t concerned about immediate upgrades, could also save money by buying the standalone version of Office 2013.

Microsoft wants to stimulate upgrades, and would rather that customers opt for subscriptions, which provide a perpetual revenue stream. I think the contrary will be the case. All those interested have no chance to evaluate the product without paying in advance.

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Microsoft accents that Office Mobile is a lightweight version of its desktop equivalent, not meant for in-depth content creation so much as document review, collaboration, and annotation. The new product certainly enhances capabilities of iOS devices, but much of what it offers was either already available out of the box (e.g. DocsToGo by DataViz), or through a series of workarounds. Most of the available iOS apps already allow users to view most types of Office file formats and mobile device management companies already offer iOS users the ability to access and annotate SharePoint files.

Office for mobiles goes beyond and simplifies these earlier solutions, of course, adding not only true document editing capabilities but also useful syncing features, such as the ability to begin working on a document on a PC, leave and seamlessly resume work on a mobile device with a UI fit in with the form factor of a smartphone and a tablet.

The features of Office 365 mobile …

General …

Microsoft Office Mobile is the official Office companion optimized for the iPhone. You can access, view and edit your Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents from virtually anywhere. Documents look like the originals, thanks to support for charts, animations, SmartArt graphics and shapes. When you make quick edits or add comments to a document, the formatting and content remain intact.

Details …

  • Cloud
    With your phone, you can access Office documents that are stored on SkyDrive, SkyDrive Pro, or SharePoint.
  • Recent Documents
    Office Mobile is cloud connected.
    The documents you’ve recently viewed on your computer are readily available on your phone in the recent documents panel.
  • E-Mail Attachments
    You can view and edit Office documents attached to email messages.
  • Optimized for phone
    Word, Excel and PowerPoint have been optimized for the small screen of your phone.
  • Resume Reading
    When opening a Word document from SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro on your phone, it automatically resumes at the place where you left off reading, even if you last viewed the document on your PC or tablet.
  • Presentation Views
    The Slide Navigator view in PowerPoint lets you browse slides faster, while speaker notes help you practice your presentation.
  • Edit
    You can make quick edits to Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.
  • Documents Remain Intact
    Formatting and content remain intact when you edit Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents on your phone.
  • Edit While Offline
    Your device doesn’t have to be continuously connected to the network to work on an Office document that is stored online.
    You can view and edit recently used documents even while you’re offline. Your changes will be saved online when your device reconnects to the network or to WiFi.
  • Create
    You can create new Word and Excel documents on your phone.
  • Comments
    You can review comments that have been made in Word and Excel documents on your phone and add your own comments.
  • Share
    When you’re done with your edits or comments, simply send the document in E-Mail or save it to SkyDrive or SharePoint.

Requirements …

  • An Office 365 subscription is required to use this app.
  • Compatible with iPhone 4, 4S, and 5, iPod Touch 5th Generation. Requires iOS 6.1 or later.
  • Microsoft Office 2013 on a PC is needed for features like recent documents and resume reading.
  • Office 365 account and setup necessary. Data connection required. Storage limits and carrier fees apply.

All this already was offered by Apple when launching iCloud in October 12, 2011. As of April 2013, Apple’s service has 320 million users! With the launch of iOS 7 in 2013 iWork for iCloud will be presented. This service enables you to edit all iWork documents by just using a browser.

See this mind map summarizing the comparison of Office 365 and Apple’s iWork suite.

20131001-185358.jpg

Feel free to download this mind map.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

An alternative …

When it comes to compatibility issues between Microsoft Office and Apple iWork documents it might be useful to install an app which is capable to manage and edit Microsoft file formats (usually Excel, Word, and Powerpoint documents). But there is still no need to subscribe for Office 365.

CloudOn …

CloudOn, Inc., USA
CloudOn is ready to work when and where you are. It puts Microsoft Office® on your favorite devices (iOS and Android) and provides access to the files you already store in the cloud with Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive. And, with the ability to better create, manage and share your work all from a single workspace it’s a can’t-live-without-it productivity solution you and your team can depend on.

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The features of CloudOn …

With cloud on you can manage Microsoft Excel, Word, and Powerpoint documents by using the original version of Microsoft Office on your touchscreen.

CloudOn works with the original version of Microsoft Office which is not adapted for touchscreens. So it’s no real alternative except for simple editing or just displaying of a document and annotating it.

There are some other apps available in Apple’s App Store like DocsToGo by DataViz Inc., USA with a lot of experience on developing apps for Apple’s mobiles. All these apps are much more cheaper than an Office 365 subscription and do what they should do. DocsToGo connects to Dropbox, Box, SugarSync, and GoogleDrive. Unfortunately connections cannot be established via FTP and WebDAV.

20130730-104704.jpg

Summary …

People who work frequently with Microsoft products but nevertheless use Apple’s iPad as the mobile device should use Microsoft’s Office 365 but only if there is an iPad version available for this product. When writing the article at the end of July 2013 Office 365 was only available for the iPhone or by using the 2x-Zoom on an iPad which is definitely not a suitable solution.

CloudOn uses Microsoft’s original controls, not adapted for touchscreens and is only a good choice for simple editing but not for creating more complex documents.

DocsToGo would be my suggestion if the user’s environment is primarily built up with other Microsoft products. It helps to avoid compatibility issues which occur when saving Apple’s iWork documents in Microsoft Office formats.

Related links …

CloudOn

Microsoft Office 365

Roadtest on beyondmobileltd

DocsToGo by DataViz Inc.

Apple iWork

Thanks a lot for visiting my blog.





Point.io

5 10 2013

Point.io offers an enterprise Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform (launched on July 16, 2013) and Enterprise Gateway products for specialized enterprise mobile application development. Focused on document management and workflow, the platform is designed to help enterprises embrace BYOD while maintaining control of their content.

Bring your own device (BYOD) means the policy of permitting employees to bring personally owned mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smart phones) to their workplace, and use those devices to access privileged company information and applications.

Since the Point.io Gateway handles all secure communication across the firewall, a VPN is no longer required. Users have access to more types of remote storages, including behind-the-firewall repositories like SharePoint, FTP, SFTP, Google Drive and Amazon S3.

20130729-073549.jpg

In addition to its platform launch, Point.io is unveiling two new partnerships. The first is with Stratospherix. The other is with TheHostingPros, which is offering a free Sharepoint site when a Point.io account is setup.

FileBrowser by Stratospherix is one of the top-ten most-downloaded apps in the Utilities section of The App Store. The company has over 600,000 users in 60 countries. FileBrowser is now powered by Point.io and includes all the features of the Point.io platform.

I first take a look on the native app of Point.io because I think it should contain the main features and gives an overview of how the company’s service is intended for.

The native app Point.io …

Starting in July 2013 the version 1.001 of Point.io was offered for iPhone only.
The app is ugly designed but can be used to show how the platform works.

After installing the app on an iPad I recognized some mysterious behaviors:

- available storage sites are different on iPhone and iPad
- access to Dropbox and Box was not possible on the iPhone
- switching from portrait to landscape mode on the iPad mostly doesn’t work
- files on Google Drive cannot be displayed
- file transfer from one storage site to another is not possible

Here is a complete update list from July to October 2013:

20130923-085659.jpg

Features announced by Point.io:

  • 1 You can see all your storage connections in one place. For example, Point.io provides a combined view of Box and SharePoint and will be adding additional storage locations such as Dropbox and Documentum in the coming weeks.
  • 2 With Point.io, you get access to your documents on any mobile device, from anywhere, regardless of where the document is stored.
  • 3 Share any file with anyone using secure links. Precisely control what any person can do with your files at all times (e.g. print, edit, save).
    •There is no need to ever send file attachments again.
  • 4 Remove access to any file(s) as soon as they have been used for their intended purpose. Prevent any loss of control over your documents – your files always stay on your network.
  • 5 Ensure control and security over your documents, even when others use their own mobile devices (BYOD).

An interesting application is sending a document not as an attachment but as a secured link.
This feature is new and provided neither by actual file management apps nor by any well-known cloud client apps for Box, iDriveSync, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.

20130729-073742.jpg

About FileBrowser …

With FileBrowser, the iPad or iPhone becomes a powerful tool for business and private use, allowing users to access content on company file servers, workstations or cloud storage from anywhere. The FileBrowser app is easy to use and allows files to be downloaded, edited and uploaded back to the original location or distributed to other employees, partners or customers. With FileBrowser, users can access their documents from their mobile device and no longer need to take bulky laptops to meetings or out of the office when visiting clients.

Let’s take a look on the universal app FileBrowser by Stratospherix, UK.
FileBrowser is the only file management app with Point.io integration at the time.
The best way to summarize all the features is to visualize them in a mind map.

Feel free to download the complete mind map in the following file formats:

PDF

ITMZ (Native format of iThoughts)

MMAP (Mindjet)

XMIND (XMind)

FileBrowser allows to create an account on Point.io.

20130729-101007.jpg

Stratospherix announced …

FileBrowser’s integration with the Point.io platform provides real benefits for users. With Point.io, access is simpler than ever before – users need only enter a single username and password to gain access to all their file servers and cloud storage locations.

At the time this announcement is far away from reality. One more time an app was released although it doesn’t meet the basic requirements of users yet. This is definitely the best way to lose favor with customers or to lose customers. A basic rule of app development was ignored: Release when finished.

Note
See my article
App Development + Marketing

Summary …

What are the benefits when using Point.io?

For private use with an installed version of FileBrowser your file management will look like this if and only if your different cloud accounts are supported by Point.io and, in case of connections to Windows networks, a suitable gateway is installed on the server:

20130729-124751.jpg

A benefit?
As you can see there is just one Point.io account necessary to access different cloud storages and Windows network drives. Instead of listing your connections in the left navigation window they are now listed on the right side. Not supported accounts have to be configured as usual and will still appear in the left navigation section of FileBrowser.

This image shows the situation without using Point.io but VPN:

20130729-131800.jpg

A benefit?
Point.io says that a VPN connection is no longer needed. I cannot see any benefit in that because VPN is a well-functioning and developed technique which is secure and totally controlled by yourself. If connecting via Point.io there is an additional security risk with services and tools of Point.io.

Definitely no benefits!
At the time other disadvantages are the incompleteness of services and some mysterious behaviors of FileBrowser on the iPad (no feedback when loading large files) and FileBrowser in general when accessing files on Google Drive (No display, Point.io operation failed, Error retrieving file info, Folder not found).

So the only remaining benefits are:

  • Supported cloud storages on multiple devices require just one configuration for Point.io.
    Access to Point.io then enables access to all storages configured on Point.io.
  • Sharing options increasing security like
    Allow/Disallow Print, Download Original File, Download as PDF, Expiry Date, Screen Capture, Password
    These sharing options control the level of access granted by this link.

What should be mentioned is that FileBrowser is still a powerful app with a perfect UI.
Stratospherix would be well-advised not to move Point.io integration into the foreground as they did when releasing version 2.9.1 on July 18, 2013.

Videos about Point.io …

Point.io ad

Point.io with FileBrowser

Related links …

Point.io

Stratosherix

Thanks for dropping by.





TeamViewer Mobile Support

26 09 2013

With over 100 million installations (says the company) TeamViewer is a standard tool to give support and assistance to people in remote locations. The application can also be used for presentations. You can show your desktop to an audience.
It’s even possible to allow interactions from your partner and configure the application for audio and video support. Within a support session files can be transferred in both directions.

So TeamViewer is much more than just a remote control application.

It works on all platforms (Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android), is free for private use, easy to install and to work with, and needs no special configuration of the firewall, a proxy, or a NAT router.
TeamViewer basically works on all computers where internet access is available via HTTP protocol. Additionally port 443 (HTTPS) is checked. Alternatively port 5938 can be opened for outgoing traffic.

TeamViewer GmbH
TeamViewer HD is free for personal use, i.e. use TeamViewer HD completely free of charge to access your private computers or to help your friends with their computer problems.

The developer is the German TeamViewer GmbH, Goeppingen. The company was founded in 2005 for exclusive development and distribution of web-based communication and collaboration.
Widely spread server networks ensure efficient and affordable high performance connections based on geolocation.

While the standard version of TeamViewer connects two computers the new product supports a connection from a computer to a mobile device (running with iOS or Android) to provide support even for those for users.
TeamViewer Quick Support for mobiles was released on July 9, 2013.

The features …

Communication

  • Chat
  • File transfer

Configuration

  • Add E-mail Account
  • Add Microsoft Exchange Account
  • Push and pull WLAN settings

Support

  • Import iOS Configuration Profile
  • Store confidential information into the device clipboard
  • Process list
  • View device information
  • View system diagnostic information
  • Real-time screenshot of the device

The connection is secured with 256 Bit AES Session Encoding.

Get started …

Three easy tasks to use the app:

1 Download and launch the app.
2 The other side, (e.g. the support technician), needs to install and start the TeamViewer full version on his/her computer.
3 Pass your ID on to your trusted technician, who is using the TeamViewer full version.

After entering the TeamViewer ID on the computer the user is asked to allow the connection.

20130720-095451.jpg

Screenshots …

See these screenshots to better understand the textual feature description.

File transfer …

TeamViewer Quick Support for mobiles allows file transfer from the computer to the iOS device.

Summary …

TeamViewer Quick Support for mobiles is a first approach to support mobile users. Apple’s iOS is an operating system with many restrictions. This increases security so that iOS devices practically aren’t under attack. On the other hand these limitations don’t let direct access from other devices happen.

So what are the benefits for normal users?

Well, it would be the file transfer from a computer to an iPad or iPhone.
Unfortunately the transmitted files cannot be used for further purposes e.g. by using the ‘Open in’ command to open a text document in Pages or a spreadsheet in Numbers. Even images cannot be transferred to the camera roll. So all transferred files stay in the local folder of TeamViewer Quick Support. If the developer doesn’t add an appropriate feature file transfer is nearly useless.

Regarding the capability of configuring a device everything can also be done by Apple’s configuration utility.

So, it’s a bit overstated (at the time) to talk about an efficient support tool.

If someone gets software trouble with his iPhone or iPad no technician can help because he cannot control the device. If an app is the reason, it usually has to be deleted and reinstalled. If the OS is faulty or the hardware is damaged there is also no way to help using remote maintenance.

Related links …

iPhone Configuration Utility

App Review TeamViewer

TeamViewer GmbH

Thanks for visiting http://iNotes4You.com.
Please stay tuned.





Pearltrees

16 09 2013

Accessing the internet is more and more done by mobile devices. It’s simply much more convenient than taking out a laptop computer and waiting for it to boot up. If you also do so the majority of your bookmarks will be located on your mobile devices, which can make it inconvenient to share a couple of links referring to a special topic with your friends. Sharing and collaboration is hampered because syncing of bookmarks across devices is usually limited to one and only one Google (Chrome) or Apple account (Safari).

Furthermore it’s not possible to add notes or other stuff to bookmarks managed by browsers.

As an alternative one can use a mind mapping tool like iThoughts for the iPad where the main topic is connected to subtopics containing links to websites. Using these links is usually followed by opening the devices standard browser and so you always have to return to the source application to view further topics.

Based on these considerations an app called Pearltrees (universal app for iPad and iPhone) was developed. It’s intended to bridge the gap between simple bookmarking and visualization of information retrieved from websites.

The features …

The developer describes his application as

Pearltrees . Cultivate your interests.

A pearl is an object which may contain a link, a photo, or a note.
Pearls can be organized in trees that means they can be connected to each other and build up a pool of information with the main topic in the center.

So a pearltree is like a folder that contains subfolders which can be pearls or further sub-pearltrees. You can collect what you like by turning it into a pearl and then organize your pearls into pearltrees as you like. Pearltrees can be opened (expand), closed (collapse), and put it into other pearltrees and share where and with whom you want.

20130712-150727.jpg

A visual interface allows you to create an unlimited number of folders and subfolders containing links, photos, or notes.

Because Pearltrees is a collaborative digital library, you can discover the pearltrees others have already organized on topics that interest you. For this you can explore related pearltrees, use search, or let yourself be guided by the notifications you receive.
Pearltrees also allows you to follow the activity of pearltrees organized by other enthusiasts. By ‘picking’ a pearltree and adding it to your account you will be informed when new pearls or comments are added. Finally, you can collaborate with others to organize a topic as part of a team.

A glimpse on the Home Screen of Pearltrees shows that it doesn’t follow any guidelines for a suitable user interface. There are two taskbars (one would be enough) with controls which aren’t in any context with the creation process (e.g. Buttons for the installation of the Pearler bookmarklet, What’s new, and Go Premium). All controls should be only accessible when opening the settings dialog.

Summarized:

Pearltrees is a visually organized collection of links and photos which can be accessed from others. So it’s like a social network where ‘posts’ (pearls) are arranged around topics similar to mind maps.

It’s like Pinterest with a mind map-like layout.

Can Pearltrees compete with main functionalities of a social network?

No, it can not.

It will not get the importance of a social network as it is limited to those users having Pearltrees installed on a device running with iOS or Android. All other networks just require a browser without additional software.

Collections of commented links with added images would be useful but in many cases it’s indispensable to use this collection in an additional context e.g. as an outline in a text document or on a website. Pearltrees doesn’t offer any different file format like OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language), PDF, or a simple text format. So all information is bound to the existence of the app.

So the companies announcement

Sharing with whom and what you want

is a bit boastful and in reality limited to a small number of people having an account on pearltrees.com.

Obviously collected information can be created with an underlying structure but it’s highly confusing to take advantage of it. It’s the wrong approach to organize and share interests except for leisure purposes.
Admittedly mind mapping is a perfect technology for visualizing information but Pearltrees provides a map layout which is a bit confusing. Opening a pearl hides all other pearls so the overview of collected pearls gets list. Additionally, rearranging of pearls cannot be done by just moving objects to other pearls using gestures. You have to do it within a dialog.
Other well-known format attributes available in mind mapping tools like color, text size, etc. are not available. Expanding and collapsing selected topics is also not available.

Getting started …

After installing the app you have to sign up for an account at pearltrees.com.
Objects will than be created on a cloud storage of the company.
Sign up can be done via Facebook, Twitter, or by E-Mail.

The app starts with a pearl in the center.

The first thing you have to do is installing a bookmarklet for Safari, which enables you to collect links as pearls. The installation procedure is clearly described. For frequent use of Pearltrees it’s recommended to locate the bookmarklet within the visible part of the bookmarks bar.

After doing so the app is ready to add new pearls.
If you tap on + you can select the type of the new pearl. It can be a Pearltree, a weblink, a photo gallery, or a note. To add a weblink you need to know the address. If it’s in the clipboard it can be pasted, if not, close Pearltrees, open Safari and use the installed Pearler bookmarklet to collect links. After tapping on the Pearltrees bookmark you can select the location for the new link.

The following steps were carried out to create the pearltree shown in the image below.

  • 01 Open Safari
  • 02 Open the website iNotes4You
  • 03 Select the article ‘Apple, a unique company’
  • 04 Tap on the bookmarklet ‘Pearltrees’
  • 05 Add the website to the central pearl ‘iNotes4You’
  • 06 Open the website ‘Air Mail by Apple’
  • 07 Add the website to a new pearl named ‘Printing on iOS devices’
  • 08 Adding two more websites about printing

The disadvantages …

In most cases information is retrieved from links to websites so Pearltrees competes with usual browsers and their bookmark feature.

So what’s the really new idea of Pearltrees?

I didn’t find an answer except the unusual layout which looks nice but gets a bit confusing if there are many trees with many pearls but not clearly defined pearl titles.

Note
To edit the title of a pearl -which is generated from the link and not often suitable- you have to close Safari and do the work in Pearltrees.

It’s neither an innovative mind mapping nor a suitable note taking tool. It allows saving links by using the Pearler bookmarklet which is quite comfortable.

If there is no connection to the Internet there is an option named ‘Poor connection. Tap here to start offline!’. This option doesn’t work. A message comes up and prompts to quit the app.

Because of it’s form factor Pearltrees is not recommended for smartphones like the iPhone. It might be used for a special topic with a small number of links.

In Pearltrees everything is public and collaborative by default. So you have to register for a Premium version with annual fees to keep your bookmarks private. Otherwise all the pearls you create are publicly accessible.

It’s not acceptable to pay for a workspace if you don’t use the app regularly for a long time. There are many free cloud storages available where you can share all kinds of files. I understand that the company is interested in continuous payment flow but this strategy is not accepted by the majority of the users.

The Benefits …

A funny application of Pearltrees could be to summarize a holiday with some links, notes, and many photos. Friends with access to this data can easily explore your experiences and holiday highlights posted on Facebook, Twitter, or sent by an invitation via E-Mail.

20130712-195112.jpg

For Twitter and Facebook fans it might be interesting to pearl the links posted on their accounts. Transferring Tweets or Facebook posts to a further platform might be a way to summarize information spread over an account.

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.
I appreciate your sharing to other networks.





Publishing Mind Maps

31 08 2013

If you create mind maps you may publish your work on Biggerplate, your blog, or on social networks like Google+.

Here is a description of how I do it to seamlessly allow other people to download the map. On my iPad I use the app iThoughts HD by Craig Scott, UK, which is the best mind mapping tool for the iPad.

To justify my steps you should consider that

  • Not everybody uses a mind mapping tool but nevertheless is interested in the content of your map.
  • Compatibility between the different file formats used by min mapping tools is more or less limited.
  • For some maps like feature descriptions it’s useful to additionally provide the map e.g. as a Powerpoint presentation.
  • For maps near to artworks like those of Daniel Tay you should provide the map in PNG file format.

Additionally you should know that uploading a map to Biggerplate does not work. The reason is Apple’s filesystem which does not allow direct access to app specific folders or cloud based storages when using the SAFARI or any other browser. The only files you may upload with an iOS device are photos from the camera roll. The functionality is called ‘Take photo or video’ or ‘Choose existing’.

Direct uploads from mobile devices to Biggerplate are hopefully possible in the future.

The workaround …

It’s useful to save maps on cloud-based storages additionally to the local folder of the app iThoughts. Use Dropbox, Box, or any other cloud which can be accessed by a WebDAV connection like iDriveSync (via hostname https://dav.idrivesync.com). By using a cloud storage you backup your map and you can share it with others as well.
Access to a cloud storage can be done in iThoughts when using the function Copy To Cloud. Tap on ‘+’ and enter the credentials for your Dropbox or Box account and additionally the hostname for WebDAV access.
To retrieve the sharing link use the native apps for your cloud account. All these apps are free.
I prefer Box net and iDriveSync because of the many more features compared to Dropbox and the perfect design of the website for downloads.

If your map is created and saved follow these steps.

Step 1 Create a description

Describe your map.
Add links to the files you saved in alternate file formats to improve user-friendliness.
Add some information about yourself as text or link to your website or profile e.g. on Google+.
See the images below for an example.

You can use this map description for

  • upload to Biggerplate
  • your post an Google+ or other social networks
  • your own documentation

Step 2 Upload to Biggerplate

See these screenshots to provide appropriate information to Biggerplate.

Step 3 Share your map

After uploading to Biggerplate dialogs for sharing the map on Twitter and Facebook is automatically available.
Sharing on other social networking platforms like Google+, LinkedIn, or Pinterest must be done manually. Use the image of your map (PNG) to illustrate your post and the description to give some additional information to your followers resp. visitors.

Note
If you include the PNG file format make sure that all topics which should be displayed in details are expanded and all others are collapsed. The PNG is generated by following WYSIWYG.

File formats …

You should provide all the file formats supported by Biggerplate.
This ensures seamless downloads even for people not using the app iThoughts.

For mind maps with more descriptive content try out the Microsoft Word format (docx) and the Microsoft Powerpoint format (pptx) which can be imported in Apple’s iWork Suite (Pages, Keynote) as well.

Compatibility …

Here is an example how mind maps look like in other applications if you use an alternate file format provided by iThoughts.

With iThoughts your map can be optionally saved in the file format of Mindjet (IMX). See this comparison between the map within the native app iThoughts and the map saved by iThoughts in Mindjet file format opened by the mobile version of Mindjet.

Compatibility regarding layout, sizes, and images is limited but structure and content were retained unchanged. By the way: The desktop version of Mindjet does the task much more better.

Summary …

Present your maps user-friendly by providing different file formats and a comprehensive description.

This map summarizes all the main informations of my article.

20130624-182230.jpg

You may download this map in the following file formats

PDF

ITMZ (Native format of iThoughts)

MMAP (Mindjet)

XMIND (XMind)

Related links …

Mind Mapping (3) (containing features of iThoughts)

Remarks to Mind Mapping

Mind Map vs Textual Pages

Apple on Biggerplate.com

Thanks for reading my article.
I appreciate sharing this article to your friends and followers.





TeamViewer

14 08 2013

Sometimes tablets or smartphones have to contact their big brother for downloading files or controlling the machine.

There are some apps I already tested which allow access to computers from anywhere and anytime e.g. iTeleport or VNC Viewer.
VNC Viewer for example needs an application installed on the computer which initiates a connection from outside the local network. In most cases the WAN IP isn’t fixed (the provider assigns new IPs from time to time) so that a dynamic DNS service is needed which requires further installation of a DynDNS client. To allow access your firewall has to be configured as well.

Why all these efforts?
You can go a much more easier way.

With over 100 million installations (says the company) TeamViewer is a standard tool to give support and assistance to people in remote locations. The application can also be used for presentations. You can show your desktop to an audience.
It’s even possible to allow interactions from your partner and configure the application for audio and video support. Within a support session files can be transferred in both directions.

So TeamViewer is much more than just a remote control application.

It works on all platforms (Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android), is free for private use, easy to install and to work with, and needs no special configuration of the firewall, a proxy, or a NAT router.
TeamViewer basically works on all computers where internet access is available via HTTP protocol. Additionally port 443 (HTTPS) is checked. Alternatively port 5938 can be opened for outgoing traffic.

TeamViewer GmbH
TeamViewer HD is free for personal use, i.e. use TeamViewer HD completely free of charge to access your private computers or to help your friends with their computer problems.

The developer is the German TeamViewer GmbH, Goeppingen.
The company was founded in 2005 for exclusive development and distribution of web-based communication and collaboration. Widely spread server networks ensure efficient and affordable high performance connections based on geolocation.

20130607-060659.jpg

In contrast to VNC it uses a proprietary protocol which makes the installation quite easy without further configuration of your environment.

TeamViewer supports online support, online presentation, web conferences, file transfer, and more. The application is offered in different versions e.g. a Quick Support module. It’s layout can be configured at your convenience e.g. displaying a company logo on the connection dilog. For occasional support sessions the app can be used without installing it.

See http://www.teamviewer.com/en/index.aspx

The Requirements …

Windows PC (all versions of the OS beginning with Millennium Edition including Windows Server beginning with Server 2000), Mac (OS X 10.5 and later), Linux PC (Red Hat, Fedora, Suse, Mandriva, Debian and Ubuntu Mobile iOS), Android (beginning with 2.2), and iOS (beginning with 4.3).

The installation …

Download the client applications for your computer (Windows, OS X, Linux) and your mobile devices (iOS, Android, Windows 8).

I downloaded the latest version 8.0.18051 and installed the PC version on a Windows XP Notebook for private use with the option for accessing the PC from outside the LAN. This feature is called ‘Unattended access’ and allows direct connection from an iOS device to the PC via WiFi or cellular network.

  • Step 1
    Enter a name for your computer as well as a password for unattended access.
  • Step 2
    Apply for a TeamViewer account where all devices can be registered.
    You can use this account for easy access to your computer(s) by just tapping on the device’s name without entering its TeamViewer ID.
    Registration is free. You will get an E-Mail to confirm your E-Mail address. That’s all.

After finishing the installation TeamViewer starts and shows the unique TeamViewer ID of this computer as well as a password. With this generated password your friends can access your computer by opening their own TeamViewer application, enter your TeamViewer ID and the generated password. This feature can be used for example to help your friend if he is faced with problems you are able to fix.

The configuration …

If the client version is installed on your PC open the iOS version on your iPad or iPhone and fill in your TeamViewer account credentials.
The app shows all your computers. By simply tapping on a computers name the connection is established. From now on you can fully control your computer and even can reboot it. The option ‘Start TeamViewer with Windows’ is activated by default. So don’t worry about loosing the connection after rebooting.

Here are some of the available settings of the iOS app:

20130607-061150.jpg

The running iOS app …

See this image which shows an iPad connected to a Windows 7 PC for remote control.

20130607-060528.jpg

The app in filesharing mode with access to the hard drive of a Windows 7 PC:

20130607-061440.jpg

Tap on the control at the lower right side of the iPad screen to pop up the available keyboards.

20130607-063138.jpg

Even with an iPhone basic tasks can be done. In this case it’s recommended to use the landscape mode and the option Mouse Interactions as the input method because locating the controls on the remote computer becomes easier.

20130607-064505.jpg

The main features …

Some of the features of the iOS app:

  • Remotely access unattended computers
  • Copy files from your home pc to your iPad and vice versa
  • Conveniently control remote computers using the iPad multi-touch gestures: left click, right click, drag & drop, scroll wheel, zoom, change monitor
  • Complete keyboard control incl. special keys such as Windows@, Ctrl+AIt+Del
  • Input methods:
    mouse interactions (swipe to control the mouse pointer, tap to click, double tap to execute, two-finger tap to use a right click) or touch interactions (without using the mouse pointer)
  • Meets highest security standards: 256 Bit AES Session Encoding, 1024 Bit RSA Key Exchange – Effortlessly access computers behind firewalls and proxy servers
  • Additionally to the TeamViewer ID the company generates a dynamic session key which is changed for every session
  • File Transfer from other computers have to be accepted by the user
  • QM certification with ISO 9001:2008
  • Automatically adjust the screen resolution of the remote computer
  • Overview of computers that are online via the integrated Partner list
  • supports 33 languages

All applications for computers are digitally signed with VeriSign Code Signing.
That means: The code of all applications is secured by a certificate which identifies the developer. Hacked versions have no chance.

Specials …

Use ‘Invite partner’ to establish a connection to an external computer e.g. the device of your friend. TeamViewer generates an E-Mail containing a link with which your partner can download an application called ‘Quick support’. An installation of this application is not necessary. It just has to be started.

Even if you close the iOS app and unlock your device the connection to your remote computer will be kept alive for about 10 minutes. This is the lifetime of an app which is closed and still in the task bar of the iOS device.

Concurrent access to a remote computer from more than one device is not possible.

On your computer TeamViewer can be opened with start parameters e.g.
C:\program files\teamviewer\version8\teamviewer.exe -i 18876347 –password test -m fileTransfer

On your iPad use the ‘Open in’ command in other applications like iWork to forward a file to TeamViewer. Within TeamViewer use ‘Copy to computer’ to transfer files from iPad to your computer and vice versa.

TeamViewer is also available as an MSI package for rolling out in domains.
Additionally TeamViewer Portable is available and can be directly opened from a USB stick.

Other versions of the client for computers:

  • TeamViewer Quick Support
    Simple and small customer module, runs immediately without installation and does not require administrative rights
  • TeamViewer Host
    TeamViewer Host is running as a system service and is used for 24/7 access to remote computers, including login/logout and remote reboot – optimized for server maintenance or home-office access

    BTW: Unlike most competitors TeamViewer includes an unlimited number of free hosts with all licenses – you just pay for the supporter license and your remote servers and computers are included for free!

  • TeamViewer Quick Join
    With the application QuickJoin, your customers can easily participate in your presentations. Your customers start the QuickJoin module and log in with their session data – ideal for quick and easy online presentations.

    The QuickJoin module can be customized as well. You can freely select logo, text and colors. In addition you can specify the session data (partner-ID and password) to let the participants connect to your presentation easily with a single click.

There are many options available to deploy special configurations.

Summary …

From my point of view TeamViewer is the best app for remotely control a computer, for file sharing, and connecting to your friends computers.

It remains by far my favorite remote control and file sharing app.
An easy, seamless, and free way to do the things you have to do with the big brother.

Try it out. Delete it if it doesn’t meet your requirements but I think this won’t happen.

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The reverse way,

controlling your iPad from your computer

sadly is not possible.

At the time Apple won’t let it happen because of security reasons. But there is a product -also developed by TeamViewer- which enables limited support for mobiles. It’s called TeamViewer Mobile Support released on July 29, 2013. So the app is quite new with some inevitable flaws and it’s too early to review it. TeamViewer is an innovative and reliable company and for sure it will eradicate the issues although they have to accept the limitations set by iOS. See a detailed description coming on September 26 here on iNotes4You.com.

Related links …

Remote control with iPad

Network (3) Port Forwarding

Thanks for dropping by.
Don’t hesitate to contact me via my About page or in comments if you have further questions.





Photo Syncing

30 07 2013

iOS devices are frequently used to take photos of objects or documents.
If iCloud is turned on photos are automatically synced across all iOS devices using the same Apple ID in the so-called Photostream.

A direct transfer of photos from the camera roll or the photostream to an external storage or another device using a different Apple ID is not possible.

Sharing photos via Apple’s Photostream (by E-Mail) is followed by substantial loss of quality. Sharing via a cloud client is time-consuming and not recommended if the destination device is in the same WiFi network or can be connected to the source device via Bluetooth.

I have often wondered why Apple didn’t offer a seamless transfer from one iOS device to another. Regarding this point Apple did not follow it’s own strategy of seamless usage.

With iOS 7 Apple will eradicate this flaw by introducing AirDrop.

Sending a photo or a document to someone via text or email is fine. But if that someone is right next to you, a text or an email suddenly feels like too many steps. Enter AirDrop for iOS. It lets you quickly and easily share photos, videos, contacts — and anything else from any app with a Share button. Just tap Share, then select the person you want to share with. AirDrop does the rest using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. No setup required. And transfers are encrypted, so what you share is highly secure.
(Apple on its website)

Unfortunately AirDrop is not available for previously supplied iPhone 4S, 4, etc. and iPad 3rd Generation, iPad 2, etc. So there will be still a need for an app which does the task seamlessly.

There is an app available in Apple’s App Store named PhotoSync (by German developer touchbyte GmbH) which offers many options to transfer photos wirelessly in a simple way with a perfect UI (user interface) as well as a perfect UX (user experience).

Just select multiple photos from the camera roll, photostream or self-created albums, select the destination device or cloud storage and you’re done. Sending will continue in the background – even if you receive phone calls or do other things with your device.
The maximum transfer rate is up about 2.5MB/s that means about 2-3 photos/s (depending on device and network).

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Using Bluetooth I transferred 23 images with total size of 17 MB within 81 s which is a transfer rate of o.21 MB/s compared to a transfer rate of 0.68 MB/s when using WiFi with an Apple Airport Extreme router.
So the maximum transfer announced by the developer is a dream.
Nevertheless it works fine and it’s much faster than any transfer via a cloud storage (device – cloud – device).

The main Features …

  • Transfer to
    allows transfer to Dropbox, Picasa/Google+, Facebook, SmugMug, 500px, Flickr, Box, Zenforio, (S)FTP, WebDAV, SykDrive, and Google Drive
  • Quick transfer
    allows to set a default computer (or other service) in the settings and then just transfer all new/selected pictures to this default computer/service by pressing and holding the sync button.
  • Direct transfer between iOS devices
    allows transfer from one iOS device to another with a different Apple ID if both devices are in the same WiFi network or Bluetooth is turned on.
  • Transfer to computer
    allows Wi-Fi access to your photos/videos wherever you are – from any computer on the same WiFi network by just opening a web-browser
  • Services
    supports transfer directions: Device to Computer (WiFi), Computer to Device (WiFi), Device to Device (WiFi + Bluetooth), Device to Web Services (WiFi + 3G + 4G)

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See this video with PhotoSync in action

UI impressions …

It’s always a good idea to see some screenshots before deciding to download an app from the App Store. There is still no way without stumbles to give an app back and get a refund if it’s not the right app or it has severe bugs.

The settings screen shows you some options as well as supported external storages.

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The running app shows that there is an understandable and informative feedback for users.

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iOS device to Android device …

PhotoSync is now available for Android devices. A step forward because if there is no computer available the only way to transfer photos between these galaxies is to use the Jacob’s ladder that means:
copy to cloud + share with recipient + download from cloud
That’s the price you have to pay when contacting extraterrestrial Androids.

NAS …

If you are fully integrated in the Apple hardware ecosystem you may own an Apple router like Airport Extreme. The APE has a USB port but unfortunately PhotoSync cannot communicate with an USB storage connected to the APE. This is called Network Attached Storage (NAS). So there is no chance to copy photos from your iOS devices to the USB storage.

The only way to do this is to install another app like FileBrowser by Stratospherix. Configure a new connection with the option TC (Time Capsule, Airport Extreme), enter the local IP address of this device as well as your username and password for WiFi access.
FileBrowser then allows copying photos from your iPad/iPhone to the attached storage.

Companion apps …

PhotoSync Companion for Mac OSX or Windows is a FREE utility to support the best transfer performance (unlimited number of images, background transfer, etc) for picture and video transfers from your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad to your Mac or Windows PC with the PhotoSync app.

Further information …

  • Supported transfer directions: Device to Computer (Wi-Fi), Computer to Device (Wi-Fi), Device to Device (Wi-Fi & Bluetooth)
  • All Exif data, GPS data, and file date is preserved for photos/videos in Camera Roll
  • Full support for RAW images and photos/videos imported with iPad Camera Connector
  • Requirements for FREE Mac-Companion: Mac OS X 10.5 or higher (Intel and PPC supported)
  • Requirements for FREE Windows-Companion: Windows XP SP 2 or higher, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Web-Browser-Access requires modern browsers with JavaScript-Support enabled
  • Transfer Rate up to 4 MB/sec (depending on device and network)

Notes …
In iOS 4 and iOS 5 location services must be enabled to use the application! In iOS 6 Apple changed the access to photos from ‘location services’ to ‘photos’.
For best transfer experience and performance, we recommend installation of the free PhotoSync Companion Software.
Supported wireless connection depends on transfer target: Bluetooth & Wi-Fi – transfer from iOS device to iOS Device; Wi-Fi – transfer from/to computer; Wi-Fi and 3G /LTE – transfer to web-services

A competitor …

There is another app for seamless transfer of photos from one iOS device to another available.
It’s Safety P+V by 83 Technology with the additional feature to protect use of the app and access to all photos and videos stored in the app’s local folder by entering a password.

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Related links …

Long-Haul Flight

Short-Haul Flight

Device To Device Transfer

Thanks for visiting http://iNotes4You.com.








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