January 8, 2012 Meeting

ByMUG Meeting Notes for January 8th, 2012

For the first meeting of the year 2012, we had several demonstrations, including Pixelmator, and several input/output musical accessories. Also included were some preferred iOS apps by members of the group.

ByMUG invested in a new dongle which allows for a computer to project an iPhone or iPad’s screen onto a projection screen. Unfortunately, this device only works perfectly with the current versions of said technology. Going backwards to even the iPhone 4 resulted in limited use.

With the help of this dongle, we went through several members’ iPhone 4S’s to show off some of their favourite apps, including FlipBoard and classic video games.

For those who don’t know, FlipBoard is an amazing app that gathers news and information from various web sites, RSS feeds, etc., and collects these stories together for easier viewing on your iOS devices. It is available for both iPhone and iPad, and is free.

Tom then showed off his new iPod Nano which he converted into a wrist watch, thanks to an Apple recall on the 1st generation Nanos due to a possible battery leak.

You can find out more on this recall here.

Tom demonstrated Pixelmator

For those who are looking for an excellent Photoshop alternative, who can’t afford the $900 price tag associated with Photoshop, Pixelmator will do the trick for just about anything Photoshop can do. The site comes with plenty of tutorials, and Pixelmator itself is currently going for $30 on the Mac App Store.

Mark demonstrated the iO Dock by Alesis

This is one of the most powerful devices for your iPad, turning it into a home music studio. You can connect microphones, headphones, speakers, and even musical instruments to allow for the creation of songs. It can even be used for podcasts.

Mark said that while the sound is not as good as that of a professional studio’s it remains close enough that some won’t be able to tell the difference.

One of the perks of this device is that it does charge your iPad while it’s in the cradle, and it does come with a tray to allow for slimmer iPad 2’s to also be used.

Mark picked up the iO Dock for about $260 at Steve’s Music Store, located on Rideau Street, in Ottawa. However, a quick perusal of the store’s web site did not reveal the device as being sold.

On a side-note, Macworld Magazine’s July 2011 review has it priced at $399 US.

Mark also showed us a Yamaha MIDI Interface which connects to iPads, and goes for $34. Unfortunately, at the time of writing these notes, more information was not available, and a search on the Internet revealed this device by Yamaha: The Yamaha i-MX1.

After this, Mark showed us the iKlip for iPads. Created by IK Multimedia, the device allows you to clip your iPad to a microphone stand. Its only negative being that you need to take a hand off your instrument to use your iPad. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones who was born with a third arm.

Afterwards, we culminated the meeting with a few questions, and more of our favourite apps.

Week Cal by UtiliTap goes for $1.99 and makes for a good iCal alternative, all the while syncing with iCal. It’s currently available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The iPad edition is indicated as being “available soon again” on their web site, and goes by the name of Week Calendar HD. The iPhone edition is compatible with iPads, but something tells me iPad owners would rather wait for the native iPad edition.

Pastebot by Tapbots goes for $3.99 and makes for a great copy/paste clipboard. Designed with the iPhone and iPod Touch in mind, it will work on an iPad as well. If you download the free Pastebot sync tool for your Mac, you can then sync the iOS and MacOS versions for an even more powerful copy/paste tool.

Dialvetica by Mysterious Trousers goes for $2.99 and makes for a wonderful address book for those who don’t like Apple’s default selection. It’s available for iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads.

In closing, the group quickly discussed the idea of adding an ICE entry into your portable address books. For those who don’t know, ICE stands for In Case of Emergency, and it’s a program that allows first responders, such as paramedics, to reach your next of kin if something were to happen to you. Wikipedia has a thorough entry on the ICE program. ICE entries could include medical information such as medicine you’re taking, phone numbers of people to reach, etc.

Of course, if the reason you need help is because someone beat you, rendered you unconscious, stole your wallet and iPhone, and left you for dead, well, that’s another can of worms.

The ByMUG Team would like to thank everyone who was in attendance. Onward to the February 5th meeting.