Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Better than the Website 2: Photobucket

Lots of sites have poorly-designed apps that just aren't necessary or useful considering how well the iPad browses the non-mobile-optimized web. But a few have apps that I even prefer to the website on a desktop browser.

The latest is for photo sharing site Photobucket. Although it has long been my photo host of choice (or at least, since Yahoo! Photos shut down), the website is slow, clunky, and cumbersome to navigate. In fact, I think I share fewer photos because it's just a pain to use.

The app may completely change my photo sharing habits. The interface is simple and sleek, photos load quickly, everything works smoothly and like you expect it to.

Icons in the top right let you navigate subfolders, upload and download pics to/from your iPad, and share the photos. When you are viewing a single picture, you get the familiar list of copy-and-paste options for sharing it on different types of websites.

I have yet to run into a single glitch or bug, though I've only been using the app for a day.

This is an especially great find for me right now, because with a new baby I've been looking for ways to streamline my photo taking/sharing. I have a small camera with an Eye-Fi card in the diaper bag, and the card uploads all pics both to my computer and a private folder on Photobucket. This app now makes it ten times easier and more convenient for me to sort through those uploaded pics, move the good ones to public folders, and share them with friends and family.

The one thing I would love to see in an update is the ability to select multiple photos in an album to perform batch actions like deleting and moving to another album. Currently these actions are only available as you view each photo. But even so, I'll take this app over the website any day!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

iPad: Mommy's BFF

If a pregnant woman were to tell me she had a few hundred dollars to spend on something to make her life as a new mom easier, assuming she's already got all the standard baby stuff, my response would be: get an iPad, and no, I'm not joking.

Those first few weeks are tough. Not only aren't you sleeping much, but you're surgically attached to a growing, hungry baby for hours on end. Even when E wasn't actively eating, he was napping - but only so long as I held him and didn't move! The iPad quickly became my best friend and connection to the world. It's the perfect size to fit beside the baby in my lap - an actual laptop would be far too large and cumbersome. My case gives me several options for balancing the iPad with one or no hands free. And I have become a master of one-handed typing, which is FAR easier on the touchscreen than with a normal keyboard.

What have I been up to while baby E eats and sleeps?

- Reading parenting message boards
- Looking up breastfeeding advice
- Playing Pocket Frogs, Solitaire, Drop7, and Plants vs Zombies
- Posting to my blogs
- Shopping on Amazon
- Reading five million Cracked.com articles on FlipBoard
- Reading two million other articles on FlipBoard
- Watching Netflix (both on here and on the Wii, I admit)
- Using baby tracking apps to be sure he's eating and pooping enough
- Texting my sister for free
- IMing my husband at work
- Reading scholarly journal articles in Papers
- Reading Baby-Sitters Club books in Kindle
- Taking photos and videos of baby E
- Browsing for new apps
- Jailbreaking and tweaking my iPad
- And of course, figuring out how to work my diapers

You get the idea. He's nearly three months old now, and I'm spending a bit less of my day (and much less of my night, thankfully) sitting on the couch with him eating or sleeping on my lap. But it's still my main activity for several hours total out of each 24, and the iPad is still my best friend.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad