5 Things - Week Ending 8/17/12

This is the 20th post in a series called 5 Things. Each week I will share a combination of technology articles and apps that I have discovered and liked in the past week. Anything highlighted in blue is a link to an article, an app, or another section of my website.

Is E-Ink Really Better for My Eyes than My iPad?

Whitson Gordon:

In the end, everyone is different, and you need to pick the type of screen that fits your needs. If you’re looking for an ereader to accompany you to the beach, you’ll definitely want to go E-Ink. If you’re looking to read inside and during the daytime, an iPad or Kindle Fire may be better. And, no matter what you’re reading on, take a break every 20 minutes or so if your eyes are feeling tired. That’s going to be a much bigger cause of eyestrain than the type of screen you’re using.

This is great advice. If you plan on doing lots of reading or you like to read outdoors in the sun I would highly recommend getting an E-Ink device like a Kindle or Nook. If you want to read some e-books, but want the flexibility to check your email, surf the web, watch videos, and play games I would highly recommend getting an iPad.

Editorial: Is Showing ‘Sent From My iPhone/iPad’ a Good Thing?

Hamza Khalid:

Whether you reply to your email using your iDevice, or post an Ad on Craigslist, your iDevice by default lists ‘Sent from my iPhone‘, or ‘Sent from my iPad.’ The question now is: Is it a good thing to leave that message in there?

I have always left the Sent from my iPhone/iPad in my email signature. The primary reason is that I want people to know that I am sending from a mobile device which might explain why my message is fairly short.

In next week's 30 Second Tips blog post I will show you how to change your email signature on your iPhone or iPad.

iPhone Discrimination: Why Reps At The Big Carriers Don’t Want To Sell You Apple’s Smartphone

Alex Heath:

Does it really sound far-fetched that reps would try to sell certain devices to make more money? It’s not that this is some huge conspiracy against Apple; store floor discrimination is merely a byproduct of a corporate environment that elevates profit margins above something as subjective as customer experience.

I really dislike companies that are more concerned about profit margin than the customer experience. You should always think twice about the advice you are getting when the person that is giving the advice has goals that aren't aligned with yours.

When I help people purchase technology, I listen to their wants and needs and then come up with a solution that makes sense for them. I am motivated to help them get everything that they need at the lowest possible price. Since the client is paying me directly for the advice my goal is to make you as happy as possible so that you want to continue to do business with me and so that you tell your friends about me.

If you want to learn more about how I help people purchase technology you can read my blog post HOW I SAVED A CLIENT $142.42 AND MUCH TIME

Yes, I was hacked. Hard.

Mat Honan:

At 5:00 PM, they remote wiped my iPhone. At 5:01 PM, they remote wiped my iPad. At 5:05, they remote wiped my MacBook Air.

Apple's Find My iPhone feature that allows you to login to a website and see where all your Apple devices is a really neat feature of iCloud. It is particulary great if you have your device stolen. You are able to remotely wipe the device from afar so that the person in possesion of your device can't get access to your data.

Unfortunately, if someone else gets ahold of your iCloud password they could remote wipe your devices and that is exactly what happened to Mat Honan.

I didn't include this story to freak you out or scare you. What happened to Mat Honan is an extreme case where some hackers were intentionally targeting his account and they succceeded. The odds of some rogue hackers trying to break into your account is very slim.

I did include this story to motivate you to make the password on your iCloud account stronger as well as different from any other password you use on any other website. I am also strongly using Mac users to backup your Mac using Time Machine as well.

Readdle Calendars

There is nothing wrong with the Calendars app that comes Apple provides with every iOS device. There is also nothing spectacular about it. I happen to look at my calendar constantly to schedule appointments and keep track of what is going on with my busy life. A couple weeks ago, I discovered a new calendar app made by the same company that makes Scanner Pro (see blog post) and I fell in love with it.

The first thing I like about the Calendars app is the Week view on the iPhone version. The Calendar app that comes with every iOS device has a Week view but it doesn't do a very good job of giving you a comprehensive overview of the upcoming week. The iPad version of the built in Calendar app does have a Week view which I use all the time.

The second thing I like about the Calendars app is the unique date and time picker. I like it better than the date picker that the default Calendar app uses.

I purchased the Calendars app when it was on sale for 99¢. It currently cost $6.99. That may seem like a steep price to pay for an app that for the most part duplicates a built-in app, but I would gladly pay $6.99 for an app that I use multiple times per day.