01.04.2018

Todd’s Topp Apps

A monthly review of must have, worthy of looking or just plain interesting apps that are relevant to the design industry. Compiled by Todd Pearce, MBDAV.

iPad Pro

So, I’ve been using the iPad pro now for just under a year. One of my main objectives was to reduce how much paper I generated. Much of it was due to printing out, marking up and then scanning and emailing somewhere. Also forms and application that all seem to want signatures and not all allow filling in on the computer.

I am pleased to report I have had a significant reduction in paper usage; but also, it’s so much quicker to do, easier to file electronically; but also, so much easier to change if you make a mistake or wish to update something.

My ‘go to’ app at the moment is PDF expert. My usual method is to take any file I need to mark up or fill in; drag and drop onto a holding folder in my Dropbox (i.e. on my main machine) – this updates almost instantly on the tablet where I can do what I need to do then simply save. Every time I make a change the Dropbox file is updated so I’m good to go (particularly as I have shared Drobox files with many clients and 3rd party consultants – so we can more or less mark up as we go, and the saved changes are there in moments. From there it’s a simple drag and drop to email or file.

So, whilst I can do all of the above from the tablet – I’m finding at the moment using both the main computer and iPad in unison is really working well for me. I’d love to hear from anyone else doing a similar thing and any systems they’ve found works for them.

Hue Sensor

Anyone using the Phillips Hue automated globes may be interested in the recently released in Australia Phillips Hue Sensor – essentially a bug’s eye sensor in a very small footprint. Complete with clever magnetic ball mount to allow good adjustment. Set it up, stick it or screw the base into place – magnet the battery-operated sensor unit into position. A little bit of set up on the app – there are also adjustments for daylight and range to tune the sensitivity – then you’re off. Like all the switches in the Hue range simply tell it what you want it to do when. I put the first one in the WC – that way the light comes on full strength during the day if it’s dark enough to warrant it. After 11pm – the light will only come on at 5% – so enough for the kids to navigate their way without having to turn anything on and the light turns itself off after the preset time after any motion has been detected (no pun intended – well actually it sort of was…)

Sensibo

Everyone’s heard of Nest and Hue – the big players in home automation and relatively easy to swap out your old kit and upgrade to the IoT. Not so easy for older wall hung AC units. There are a couple of outfits trying to assist people get control of their splits and all have their pros and cons I guess. I think for mine the Sensibo seems to offer the best value for money, ease of use and features. Check it out if you’d like some more control over your split systems – but also take a look at Ambi and Tado as well in case they resonate with you more.

If any other members use or know any new or interesting apps, please drop Todd a line to info@bdav.org.au and he’ll share with other members.