Inspiration got an update

31 08 2018

The app Inspiration is for both, creating mind maps and concept maps.

What’s the difference?

Mind Maps are captured visualizations of fairly independent objects gearing for extensions and loosing much of their relevance for people who weren’t involved in the creation process. The tree limb is just connected to the bole.

Concept Maps visualize knowledge of whole systems with interacting elements and logic operations. In contrast to a tree limb objects are connected with basically all other objects like the orbs in the solar system where the gravity and the magnetic and electric fields define the interactions.

Features of Inspiration for iOS

(Inspiration Software Inc., USA)

• Brainstorm new ideas and capture insights
• Analyse information
• Understand cause and effect
• Organize projects
• Organize thoughts and topics for writing
• Take notes

The pros …

• Simple usage because of a perfect UI on an iPad as well as a Plus model of an iPhone
• Diagrams are easy to build and saved instantly
• Diagrams transform to outlines by just a single tap
• Personalization with images, colour, shape, arrow style, and backgrounds
• Using images from the web or the camera roll
• Notes can be attached to any item
• Hyperlinks can be added as floating shapes
• Templates are available after installation

The image shows a concept map I created with Inspiration on my iPhone 6s Plus.

If you’re interested in mind/concept maps read more here

Mind Maps and Concept Maps

The post contains links to step deeply into the topic.

Note

This app is just one example for a subtle difference between Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. Lots of really great apps aren’t available for Android and if they are there iOS versions are often more powerful.

Thanks for reading.





The Calculator

7 08 2018

The built-in iOS calculator on the iPhone is well-designed but you should know some hidden features which make the experience smoother.

Swipe to delete digits

Just swipe left or right to backspace and delete the most recent entry instead of clearing the entire value.

Copy / paste

You can quickly copy and paste results or any number by using long press.

Scientific calculator

If you rotate your iPhone to landscape mode you’ll get a basic scientific calculator.

Only the scientific calculator offers the memory features mc (memory clear), m+/m- (add to/subtract from temporary storage) and mr (memory recall). This is what I sorely miss in portrait mode.

Several of Apple’s stock iOS apps that are available on iPhone don’t have their iPad counterparts. These include Weather, Stocks, Voice Memo, Compass, and the Calculator App. A calculator would also be a nice feature on the Apple Watch. I know that there are 3rd-party apps (and I nearly used them all) but if I pay a lot of bucks for an Apple device I’d like to see some useful apps included without downloading payed apps, apps showing more ad than results, or free apps which most often aren’t updated with a new version of iOS.

Note
The worst and most featureless calculator app is the one pre-installed on devices running pure Android like my Nokia 6.1. The best calculator is still running on my Windows 10 powered low-cost Lumia 550. With it you get a clean, perfect UI and you’re also able to convert into lots of different units like Celsius to Fahrenheit. Sadly it isn’t updated any longer because Joe Belfiore made it official: Windows 10 Mobile is dead.Really? Well, statements are still cloudy.

More about Apple vs Microsoft calculator

Two calculators

Thanks for reading.





Discount Spreadsheet

3 08 2018

You find lots of sophisticated and powerful apps in Apple’s App Store. Some of them are shining examples for simplicity and plain design and follow the KISS principle (Keep it simple, stupid).

One of them is

Discount Spreadsheet by Luminant Software, Inc.

It got an updated UI
and a long awaited new keyboard in July 2018.

The app is simple to use, restricted to the basic needs of a spreadsheet application and lets users focus on relevant tasks. No bells and whistles.

These kind of apps can be effectively used to teach and discuss simple things with young people. It’s a first step to improve knowledge and knowledge is the basis of creativity. Transferring knowledge and initiate further discrete thinking seems to be easier than ever because mobile devices initiated a shift in paradigm of teaching and learning. It’s because a touchscreen is much nearer to human activities than any other device or textbook could ever be. What we do is mostly what we do with our hands. It’s our first approach to new things.

Lots of developers implement more and more features into their apps but only apps like Discount Spreadsheet are perfect for explaining and learning the basics of creating spreadsheets.

Learning targets could be …

learn the common actions cut, copy, paste, undo and redo which are provided by all operating systems

build a sum with cells in a column or row

enter a simple expression where the arguments are cells

insert or delete rows/columns and see that a spreadsheet app automatically adjusts the cell coordinates in a formula to new appropriate rows/columns

create a graph

access the iOS app specific folder via a browser by using a http address

etc.

Try it out and you’ll think twice before you use the turbocharged apps Apple Numbers or Microsoft Excel.

Thanks for reading.