Saturday, 6 October 2012

Use Note App to copy from Mac to iPad or iPhone

Typical scenario for me. I m using iPad to build a blog with Blogger+ App and I wanted to reset all my HTML to left border.

Now I use the iPad Keyboard Shortcuts to expand HTML but I had not built the one for this on iPad. Not worry as on my MacBook I use a Mac App called Dash to do the same role. So

  1. Pop over to Mac

  2. Start Note on Mac

  3. Type in short name which automatically expands HTML on Note

  4. Pop back to iPad

  5. Open Note in iPad and sure enough there is the new note via iCloud

  6. Copy expanded HTML

  7. Open Settings and build new Keyboard Shortcut

Note I am running MacBook 2011 with Mountain Lion and iPad(3) with IOS 6.

Friday, 5 October 2012

*ION KEY49 Midi Keyboard USB Connection

*ION KEY49 Keyboard with iPad

On recent shopping trip I popped into local Maplin Store and purchased a Midi *ION KEY49 Midi Keyboard for £70. When I got home I connected to it into my MacBook via supplied USB cable, started up Garage Band, and hey presto, now have music. Well noise really as I have yet to learn how to play.

Since then I added a Sustain Pedal, purchased from Amazon for just under £10 including delivery. I opted for one with polarity switch, and this also works fine.

Then I connected it to my iPad(3) via Camera Connection Kit, and hey presto again, works fine. Amazing amount of instruments to play with, but I want to concentrate on learning basic piano first.

I was particularly pleased to discover the keys were touch sensitive as this was not mentioned on the box. Also there is an Up and Down button to shift the 49 keys up one octave, or two if you push it a second time, and down one or two octaves.

All the keys can be used to control mdi input, with a couple of other features but as yet I have no experience of midi.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Using MacBook Pro as attached Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad.

Using MacBook Pro as attached Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad.


I use my MacBook Pro 13" together with iPad a lot of the time. For example I may have Safari running on iPad with information on how to perform some task, say adding vignetting to PhotoShop Elements, and on the Mac have PSE open so that I can perform instructions.

I have a Bluetooth Keyboard which I use on iPad when I go away for a few days and do not take my MacBook. This got me to thinking that it would be great if I could use MacBook Keyboard in similar way. Sure enough, "There's an App for that!. Only this time it is a MAC APP, available in the Mac Store for £2.99 (Oct. 2012).


Although the name refers to phone, it supports many IOS devices and so far I have used it with my 3rd. Gen. iPad. Look it up in the App Store here Type2Phone App Store.

Setting Up

I found it a bit tricky to make the bluetooth connect for the first time, but here is how I did it in the end.

  1. Quit Type2Phone on Mac.
  2. Connecting Mac to iPad via Bluetooth using iPad settings.
  3. The forgetting connection.
  4. Start Type2Phone on Mac

and this time connection procedures worked.


I opened Notes on my iPad and typed away on MacBook and it appeared perfectly on my iPad. There is a small window on the Mac which shows you the last few keystrokes but I found it easier just glance now and again at the iPad.

Monday, 24 September 2012

IOS 6 Update on Pad whilst asleep! Plus first thoughts.

IOS 6 Update

IOS6 Update

Currently on a weeks holiday with friends in Norfolk and had previously decided not to update IOS devices until I returned home on the weekend. But you know how it is….

I had with me my MacBook, iPad(1) now claimed by my wife, iPad(3) and iPhone(4). So in the evening I ran App updates on iPad(3), 18 of them and backed up iPad via iTunes onto MacBook. Once in bed I started upgrade on iPad and left it running beside pillow (holiday home had twin beds so my wife was none the wiser). Woke up a couple of times and squinted at iPad and all seemed to be progressing OK.

Next morning reached for iPad and was away with new IOS 6. I must say although an easy upgrade I am yet to be amazed. First experience was a slight disappointment. I had hoped that the Notes App would be the same as Mountain Lion, but no. Still cannot add photos or display photos of Notes created on Mac and synced across. And of course new Apple Maps in UK is not too hot and no StreetView. So Apple has created the state where nearly all of us IOS enthusiasts are looking forward to Google releasing a stand alone Map App!


Back home now. Did not have time to finish this whilst in Norfolk, too much time spent walking and board games.

IOS 6 Safari upload photos from iPad

One thing in IOS 6 I really like is the ability to upload a photo from my iPad when using Safari.

Last night whilst watching Downton Abbey I was creating a few eBay entries. The eBay APP did not accept the photos I wanted to use without cropping so I went online and used standard eBay on Safari. In the photos part of eBay I was able to select Standard and then Add Photo which opened a dialogue from which I could select photo from my iPad Photos.


This blog was written completely on ipad with Writing Kit The amazing art work created inInkflow and saved to Photos then uploaded to Flickr in Safari using technique described above. Now All I need to do is load it into Blogger+, or maybe straight into Blogger on Safari and wait for it to go viral!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Blogger+ Tip. How to make list button work.

Blogger Icon

When stating to use Blogger+ on my iPad I could not get the list button to work.

Solution is:

  1. Type in the list first just using enter key between each item.

  2. Select the whole list.

  3. Hit list button and select required format.

In fact all the buttons work better by selecting target text and then hitting button.

Blogging from your iPad

The nights are drawing in again, so my blogging activity begins to rise again. So what blogger app to use? I have the following on my iPad:



Not a user of WordPress services, so this was installed for a look-see and kept just in case.


Never really got this to work, probably my fault, but will probably delete once I am certain of the last two.


Current favourite. Easy to add images, you came include HTML and so can use MarkDown and WritingKit to prepare and paste into this. Interfaces well with Google Blogger which is my blogging vehicle.
I have written this article completely within Blogger+


A very comprehensive App but quite a steep learning curve for casual use. I will keep it on iPad and asses it more when I have time.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

MarkDown Editor for IPad - Writing Kit

MarkDown Editor for IPad

Writing Kit Icon

Having just purchased the small cheaper Kindle I discovered that you can email various types of data to and it will be converted to Kindle Mobi format and loaded into my Kindle.

This prompted me to review the few Markdown Apps I have on my iPad and I have decided to make Writing Kit my prime vehicle for creating documents I wish to keep on my Kindle. It has additional keys for entering the MarkDown commands and features to ease moving the cursor.

Another important feature, well a feature of MarkDown really, is the ability to specify native HTML for finer control, which can be mixed with MarkDown commands. I used this feature to position the Writing Kit icon on the left of the text in this article.

What's a Kindle doing on this blog.

I am now on my second iPad, the original and now the new(3), so why have I bought a Kindle.

Two reasons

  1. On recent holiday in glorious weather reading a book on iPad at best was difficult.
  3. New announcement meant Kindle price now £69 . The Touch model is £109

 For reading outside it is brilliant. It is small and weighs next to nothing.

What I did not expect is how easy it is to send other material to it, e.g. photos, useful for say screen grabbing your reminder's list and putting it on Kindle. It will take HTML amongst others formats, which you email to and they are converted to native Kindle.

The on-screen keyboard is a pain to use, not a problem to me as I only want to use it as a reader but if you do not have an iPad or similar tablet then I would pay the extra money and get a Touch or Fire model.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 9 September 2012

My suggested Apps for my Sister who bought her 1st iPad today

My sister emailed me from her new iPad tonight and here is the list of Apps I sugested she may like.

I am sure you will not regret buying the iPad. Since I gave Shirley my original iPad she has not used PC or laptop, does all she needs.

Here is a list of Apps I think all iPad users should get..

  • Flipboard .... No need to buy paers or magazines once you get this setuo
  • Instapaper ... Copies and saves web pages onto your iPad so that you can read them offline
  • Dropbox ... Share files between PC and iPad
  • Snapseed ... Edit photos
  • iPlayer ... You can now download BBC programmes to iPad and watch them offline, e.g. on the train to Brighton
  • TV Catchup ... Watch live TV. I use it to watch Cricket on Channel 5 when washing up
  • Pinnacle Studio ... Editing and creating movies. Free for next few days I think.
  • iBird ... Very good for birders, a bit expensive though.
  • GoSkyWatch ... Point iPad at the sky and it will tell you where the planets and stars are.
  • SketchBook ... Draw and paint
  • Garage Band ... One for Richard
  • Kindle ... buy books from Amazon and read them on iPad
  • Free Books ... Pay a couple of quid and have access to loads of older books. I'm reading Ana Karenia at the moment

Now if your iPad has telephone (3G) feature it will also have GPS, and so you can use
  • NavFree  ..SatNav 
  • UK Map ...  Download the maps you need and you will not have to buy any. Also tells you exactly where you are.
  • Trails ... Records where you have been. Use it when we are out walking or cycling. Also shows map.

If it's not 3G model then no GPS but these Apps may still work, using Wireless Routers to approximately locate iPad. GPS accuracy is a few meters wherever you are, non GPS it can be a few meters to a few miles depending how many wireless routers it can find.

There are over 200,000 Apps according to Apple so plenty to choose from.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

iPad photo apps - my best list

I was lucky to get a new iPad on release date and one of the first apps I loaded was Apples own iPhoto, pretty but limited and faulty - more on this later. Now a few weeks later my many photo apps are settling down to a well proven bunch.
I plan to write a more detailed review on the better ones in a little while but here is a quick overview.

The above image is roughly sorted into the order of usefulness.



A great general purpose editor with all the usual "serious photographer's" functions and with some batch tools. I cropped all the icons in this post and then batch uploaded them to Picasa Web Album all from within this app.


A very well designed powerful editor which uses the gestures available iPad to good effect. You can also buy a Mac version for little money.

Photoshop Touch

Adobe's app that first came out for Android kit. At first sight this looks really good, powerful and logical interface that will function well after some time spent in tutorials.
Main problem is that the photo is restricted to a maximum of 1600x1600 pixels, which means that you do not realise the full capability of the new iPad display.

When/If Adobe update this I will spend more time on it.


This is a new addition to my apps and I am very impressed. Lots of function and masses of pre-sets for various effects but also the ability to make your own adjustments.
This together with Snapspeed provides me with all the special effects I will ever need.

PhotoShop Express

Adobe's free photo editing app. Useful for quick adjustments and can export direct to Flickr. Doubtful I need it now I have the above.


Apple's much lauded photo app. Now I am a bit of a fanbois but this has dissappointed me. OK it looks fantastic, but the editing has a zany interface but basic editing is quite limited.
There is also a fault that it creates duplicate copies of photos. I noticed this whan after just a few days it was taking over 1GB of space and some photos had 7 duplicates. This is well documented on the forums.

I have un-installed and re-installed in the hope that I will receive notification of update that fixes the problem.

Photo Services

The above list are primarily editors. The following are tools to link to photo services, eg Flickr, Picasa etc

Picasa Web Albums

View and share photos online. You can upload from iPad to specific album and copy image URL to include in web pages or add to email.


Similar to the above but this time for your Flickr account. Very powerful, you can update and modify most things related to your Flickr photos from this app.
I use PhotoGene (see above) to upload photos from iPad to Flickr. You can add Tags but not target to a specific set but once uploaded the photo can be placed in any set from within this app.


Viewer for this up and coming photo service. I am quite new to 500px and only have free account but the word on the street is this is better for Pros than Flickr.
Not convinced yet and still evaluating service. This app is not as powerful as the previous two.


Another app for another photo sharing service. I considered using PhotoBucket as a source for photos to be used in web development. I tend to use Picasa and Flickr these days and so I do not expect to be using this much in the future.


Before iCloud I used this app to wireless transfer photos between iPad, iPhone and MacBook. I had deleted it but in the early days of iCloud I found my iPhone would at times discharge quickly. I was not alone in this and suspicion fell on iCloud so I disabled Photo Stream and this stopped problem. So I reinstalled this app.
Now Apple seemed to have fixed the problems and I again use Photo Stream and have no battery life problem.


A specialised App for those people who use an Eye-Fi card in their camera. Eye-Fi cards also provide wireless connection so photos can be shared automatically without physical connection.


This has a bit of a cult following so I thought I had better give it a try. It seems a bit "point and shooter" orientated and gimmicky for my taste so it will probably not last long on my iPad, especially as it has just been purchased for 1 billion dollars by Facebook.

Camera Apps

These last two apps are primarily for taking photo, and of course movies.


Apple provided camera App. Does a good job and of course no extra cost.

Awesome Camera

Similar to Apple'sCamera but with some useful extra features. Note this is an iPhone app but works fine on iPad. (Strange but iPhone apps look much better on my new iPad then they did on my iPad 1.)

Extra features include burst mode, delay photo until stable, interval timer, shutter delay. Also has Instagram type filters but I rather do this in Snapspeed and/ or Photo Toaster.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Mac Keyboard hidden keys.

Using my bluetooth keyboard an my new iPad the other day I discovered there were many other keys available wen depressing the alt key. Checking on Macbook I see this is also the case with its keyboard.

So here are a couple of maps that show all these possibilities

The following layout is for the bluetooth keyboard. Note this is an OEM (Othere Equipment Manufacturer) type sometimes know as a CCC (Cheap Chinese Clone) and not the official Apple one. Works fine though. I believe it is US type layout as there is only a $ sign and no £ sign, but that can be typed by shift 3 as shown).



Thursday, 22 March 2012

Adding photo using Blogger+

Trying to add photo with Blogger+

Like a lot of things, easy when you know how. The 'how' Is that Blogger+ first screen is where you choose photos and text blocks, multiple blocks of each if you wish, which can be ordered as required.

You can also add maps, YouTube, links but I have yet to try these.

This is one of my favourite photos. It is a pine weevil, photographed in Scotland.

Adding photo on Blogger from iPad using BlogPress

This is a test as I have recently experienced problems preparing blogger entries on my iPad. I am using BlogPress which allows native HTML and has neat photo feature.

This photo chosen as it is a smallish jpg.

Previously a photo failed to load, I am guessing it may have been to large. I had assumed BlogPress would reduce it. Well let's put theory to the test with a larger photo.

Well it worked but took a long time to upload the second large photo. So it looks like it is better to reduce photo first, say with photo App such as PhotoGene.

Final test, portrait direct from iPad camera. Here goes

Well appears to have worked but I cannot reduce size to match the other two.