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Entries in Facebook (3)

CourseNotes 2.0 - Share Notes via Facebook (and more)

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The first version of the CourseNotes app launched at the same time as the iPad earlier this year, but the app's Developers, Dear Panda LLC, have just released a number of significant new features with their 2.0 version.

In addition to the previous functionality that included:

  • Creating and organising notes/sketches in various ways
  • Creating To-do or assignment reminders
  • Integrated research tools to add to notes
  • E-mail and network sharing
  • A very attractive UI

the new features are:

  • Online export of notes, for viewing, sharing or printing notes online
  • In-app viewing of friends' shared notes
  • Support for bullet list formatting in notes
  • Premium note content available for in-app purchase

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Top Two

The two big features that stood out to us are 1) online sharing of notes and 2) the new premium content.

Online sharing takes the previous functionality a bit further and sits well with students who would no doubt already be avid users of Facebook. The app uses Facebook account verification to sync your notes online and make them available via a custom link that can be automatically shared via Facebook. There are three online sharing options:

  • Just Me - no sharing
  • My Friends - allowing existing Friends on Facebook to share your notes
  • Everybody - allowing any user of CourseNotes to see your notes

Additionally, you can login and see what notes your friends are sharing for all subjects they have made public. So if you were ill and missed that very important pre-test class, you can add your friend's notes to your iPad from their Facebook link, right inside the app.

This is in addition to the ad-hoc network and email sharing that was available before, so students really have a nice range of collaborative options with this new version. Facebook comments and feedback are starting to pick up with this release, so that should help spur on further development of these features.

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Premium content comes to CourseNotes via in-app purchase and initially takes the form of just two study guides, 'French verb conjugations' and 'the Periodic Table of the Elements', with the Press Release stating: "Additional study-sheets on topics including Art History and U.S. History will follow shortly after the launch."

'Shows Potential'

We are not sure who is developing these guides, but at up to $2.99 per purchase we are hoping that the quality and authority of the study guides is being verified. In a way, they can only be very generalist without official textbook Publishers being involved, unlike Inkling's official textbook replacement offering we covered last week.

That being said, with the addition of a raft of useful and popular learning resources CourseNotes could become the full-blown study companion and central repository that students need on their iPads.

If Dear Panda can build up a decent range of study aids very quickly then they could establish themselves as the go-to resource for iPad wielding students who want to share and learn together using a device that is always with them and instantly available.

Without the hassle of waiting for the OS to start up or booking a slot to use the Library PCs, students can already share, collaborate and research topics wherever they happen to be with the iPad using an app like CourseNotes.

CourseNotes 2.0 is out now in the app store at $4.99 (£2.99), a brief overview can be seen in the video below.

If you have tried CourseNotes out on your iPad and have any thoughts about it at all we would love to hear from you in the comments.

Flickpad: now with added Flickr

We wrote about Shacked Software's Flickpad back in May and we liked it, but at the time it could only be used for viewing Facebook photos and albums. We liked the innovations that had been made with the interface though and the way that you could 'flick' photos around the virtual desk on the iPad screen, it made browsing Facebook albums a lot of fun.

Now Shacked Software have released a really nice 2.0 update to their app including access to Flickr photos as well as Facebook, which for us is a big change and probably the most compelling reason to buy it.  Now all that lovely UI goodness has been applied to our favourite photo sharing site too, and it is far more valuable having the two big hitters in the photo sharing world available through the same fun interface. Flickpad is now a real winner in our opinion.

One of the new feature we really liked (and would love to see on Flickr's own app) is multiple account logins so that more than one Flickr account can be used on the same iPad, handy for those of us who have a 'family and friends' account as well as a public account and, in our case, a third (iPhoneography) account.

Have a look at the above video to get a good idea of how the app works and also how fun the interface can be compared to some of the other photo browser apps.

Flickpad is available for £3.99 ($6.99) in the app store now, but if you are not sure about plumping for the full version, Flickpad have just tweeted this out in the last few hours:

Flickpad Lite was just approved and should be in app store shortly. For those of you on the fence about the full version, give it a shot!

The free Lite version is limited to 2 User Accounts, 5 active friends per service and 5 searches per app launch, but this will certainly give you a chance to try the interface out and see if you like it, so nothing to lose.  The Lite version is available now.

Flickr and Facebook Photo Browsing Apps For Your iPad

One of the things that hits you hard when you see the iPad for the first time is the quality and clarity of the display.  When we saw that screen we couldn't help thinking "Photos!".

Two of the main online photo sharing sites at the moment are Facebook (apparently the world leader in online photo sharing) and our favourite Flickr.  You can check out our very own Flickr group for iPad artists here.

Recently, two apps have been released which aim to create a better photo browsing experience than the Facebook or Flickr websites offer to you in Safari on the iPad, so we thought we would let you know about them in case you are seeking creative inspiration, keeping up with your family, friends and contacts' images, or just want to spend some time browsing a few of the millions (maybe billions) of photos out there.

Flick Stackr

Flick Stackr has a very impressive list of features, most notably for us when wanting to share photos with others, is the ability to run in 'slideshow mode' and display it on an external monitor or TV via the iPad's VGA output.

The app also background caches photos in Sets on Flickr, hoping to deliver them speedily when you want them, rather than waiting for the photos to download when you select them, which can be a bit laborious in our experience with slow Internet connections.

For each photo you can see the comments, meta and GPS data associated with the image and also e-mail the photo (with e-mailing of multiple photos coming in the next update).

Another interesting feature is Stacks, which lets you mark photos and create what are really your own sets.  This Stack is then saved to your device, but it is not saved on your Flickr account; useful for reviewing images later without having to create albums or sets on the Flickr's site.

If, like us, you have more than one Flickr account in the household, but only one iPad, Flick Stackr has you covered, allowing multiple accounts to be active at the same time.  But you don't even need an account with Flickr to browse photos on the site, so this app can be used without being linked to an account as well.

Here is a full list of features from the website:

  • For Flickr users: you can look at your own photos, your sets, your favorites and your contacts and their photos.
  • Explore and browse Flickr groups
  • Full screen photo browser that lets you swipe through photos and zoom by pinching. (Landscape and Portrait).
  • Slideshow mode, including support for external displays (TV & VGA)
  • No need for paging while looking at large photosets. FlickStackr does it automatically in the background. Photos are cached locally for fast access.
  • Tags, exif and photo location viewing
  • A unique feature is the 'Stack'. The Stack lets you mark photos from you or any other people.
    This stack is saved on your iPad/iPhone, so that you can keep this list without having to publish it to flickr. 
    Useful when you want to review photos later.
  • Support for having multiple Flickr accounts active. This is ideal for households sharing an iPad or for people
    with multiple identities online.
  • Search photos in Flickr : using keyword + geographic location.
    Search public photos, or specifically owned by you or a person
  • A flickr account is NOT required. FlickStackr can be used by people who just want to explore flickr.
    Stacks and searches work without an account.
  • Supports all iPad screen orientations.
  • As a universal application, FlickStackr is also compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch 3.0+

It's not a bad looking app with some features that will make browsing around Flickr and working with images a lot easier than it would be on Flickr's own site and we think it has a nice set of features to recommend it over using the web interfacce, even for casual browsing.

At $0.99 (59p) from the app store it is definitely worth a try in our opinion.  If you do try it, let us know what you think in the comments.

 

Flickpad

For those of you who are sharing photos on Facebook, Shacked apps have recently released an updated version of their Facebook focussed app Flickpad.

We have featured Flickpad because the developer has been quite creative in their use of the multi-touch interface on the iPad, aiming to serve up a different way of browsing your friends' and contacts' photos.  As you will see from the video below, the interface starts off looking a bit like a pinboard with printed photos stuck all over it.  This shows the photos shared by your friends today.  From here the app gets interesting and offers some cool UI twists.

On the main screen you can drag and drop photos around.  If you don't want to look at a photo you can literally throw, or flick, it off the screen and it is replaced by the next one in the queue.  If you want to see a photo in more detail single touch on it and the view zooms in, from here you can see the comments, mark it as a favourite or share the photo.

Back on the main screen, touch a photo with two fingers to make it a favourite, including a cute little animation which folds the corner of the photo down, like bookmarking a page in a book to go back to.

Double-tap the photo (not the same as double-touch) to open the rest of the album that the photo comes from, and triple-tap the photo to see all the photos from that person.  Tap and hold on a photo from the main screen to bring up a menu from which you can e-mail the photo to anyone (even non-Facebook people), mark that particular Friend's photos as seen, along with other options.

If you want to look at the photos from a certain Friend on Facebook you can search for their name in the search bar at the top of the screen and see all their photos.

An interesting feature is the date orientated interface, as you will see from the video, you can skip back a day or two, or you can bring up a spin wheel interface which allows you to go weeks, months or further back through your Friends' photos.

Of course, Facebook needs you to login first with your account, so it is not like Flick Stackr above where you can browse the photos without an account; but as you probably know, this is not really how Facebook works.

The developers say that Flickr browsing is going to be added soon, but we are not sure how much of this will apply to the slightly different way that Flickr is organised, so it will be interesting to try the app when Flickr browsing is added in the future.  Flickpad is considerably more expensive than Flick Stackr at $4.99 (£2.99) and that is a 50% off Special.  Flickpad version 1.5 is available on the App Store now.

Be sure to watch the video below for an overview of the Flickpad app, and let us know in the comments what you think.

Flickpad - Facebook Photos for iPad from Shacked on Vimeo.