Old Webpage

If you liked my old webbpage, you'll find it here: www.jansroeber.de old webpage

Monday, February 27, 2012

Reminders - a new iOS5 feature - not sufficient for me!

With iOS5, Apple launched the reminders App, that is basically a to-do list for the iPhone.
Compared to other to-do lists, it has one USP(Unique selling point), which is "location based reminders", that reminds you of a task to be completed when you enter or leave a preset location, like "call wife when leaving the office"

In reality that rarely works and you might already be 2mi from your office, before Reminders wakes up.
Apart from that, Reminders is nothing but another basic to-do lists, that just list up what you tell them to remind you of and then alarms you at the time given by you.

You may like or not, that you can create different lists, like "work", "home" or "groceries" and that it fully integrates with the iCloud sync features, but that's all you need to know about it and there's
not to much left to say.
Very poor is, that alarm dates/times/places can only be set in a second step, after you've hit the save button once and then need to pick up the item again to set an alarm and that the fabulous location based reminders are draining your battery like mad, so that you might run out of battery, once you get there, so that the reminder might not go off due to lack of energy.

What I miss in the reminders app is:
  • fast entry of tasks with due-dates
  • tagging and smart lists
  • web based task managent
  • compatibility between platforms and/or operating systems
  • repeat-functions
  • mail-to-task funcionality
 All that being said, I'll stick with "Remember-the-milk", a fully equipped task manager app, that is available free of charge in the app store or at 25$/yr. for the pro-version that provides push-notifications for iOS user as well.
Reminders may be sufficient for the basic user, but will not be sufficient for an advanced user at all.

Any objections? Then pls. comment!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tripit-The travel organizer

When I was about to plan a trip to the US, I was looking for an efficient way of keeping track of the bits and pieces of my trip, that were already booked and eventually wanted to build a travel itinerary.
After short search on the net, I came across an app called Tripit at www.tripit.com.
Tripit consists of a web-application www.tripit.com and the tripit iOS App, that is available for free download on the iTunes app store. Both parts work together seamlessly.
The principle of Tripit is to keep track of your travel itineraries and let you add further informations you need to become well organized while traveling.
Considering the fact that most travel and hotel confirmations are mailed to you after the booking took place, Tripit has 2 opportunities of getting the necessary data in your computer and/or iOS Device.
Of course you can enter everything manually - which might be the less favorable choice.
The far better option is to forward all travel itineraries, flight confirmations, train-tickets, hotel-confirmations, show-tickets and so on to trips@tripit.com, using the sender mail address registered with Tripit.com when establishing your registration.
If you do so, Tripit.com extracts all travel data from the documents and mails forwarded to it and builds its own itinerary. This works even better if you already entered a Name, Destination and the dates you're planning to travel.
It's astonishing how well it works.
In addition you can also let Tripit read out your googlemail account and look for itineraries that have been sent to you. These are then automatically added to your Tripit account, with no manual action required.
In my case, I received plane tickets as PDF attachments to mails, hotel.com confirmations a text in mails, show tickets as html mail and it all worked out perfectly.
Whenever a part of the trip was added, I received a mail notification from Tripit and the itinerary was enriched with maps and weather-forecast of the towns or cities I was traveling to.
If you need to add elements that are not available as data or mail, you can also manually add your own flights, car trips, train rides, hotel bookings, events, meetings, shows, dinners and so on.
in the end you can export all of it to you calendar merging calendar data with Tripit data at a click.
Tripit comes in 2 versions. The free version that provides all of the above and a pro-version that monitors all of your flights and train rides and alarms you about online-checkin being opened, flights being cancelled or delayed.
I tested the pro-version 30 days for free and it did a good job, but for a non professional traveller 49$US is too expensive.
And one more thing: Tripit users can share itineraries either among themselves or by mail to whom it may concern.