The Vault: Posts through August 2015
SPAM Bots took over the comments! But I am unhiding these temporarily.
Both are worth every penny: Morphwiz (www.morphwiz.com) and Bebot Robot Synth (www.normalware.com). Bebot Robot Synth is the simpler (and cheaper) of the two at $1.99. You can customize the pitches and timbre that get played or choose from many preset functions, and you can also choose whether or not you want to see a grid of notes (and you can choose how many intervals you want shown).
Pitch goes from low to high as you move from left to right on the iPad and amplitude goes up and down as you slide from bottom to top on the iPad. The tones are great and the animated robot is pretty funny to watch.
Morphwiz is amazing. I'd been playing with it for over an hour and I don't think that I had gone through all of the crazy preset functions that it has. The price of $9.99 is well worth it for this dynamic and well-designed app.
Like Bebot, some of the presets show you the tone structures. You can shift octaves and customize the presets to your liking. The app was designed by people who know music and know sound (see Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater).
This is a great new app for designing simple animation videos with accompanying audio on the iPad. In PhotoPuppet, you use your own photos or template backgrounds and characters provided by the designer and arrange them on the canvas. Hit the record button, and you can move objects around on the screen to animate them. In a manner similar to MIT's Scratch, you can design variations on a character (i.e. costumes in Scratch) to use in the animation video. Video creations can easily be exported locally to the iPad, emailed, or uploaded to YouTube.
This is an early version, and I have only downloaded the free "Lite" version, but I see enormous potential for this tool. It seems that there are some sophisticated levels of editing and layering objects, but I only installed it today and haven't had a chance to learn all of the nuances.
This is a well designed logic puzzle app with really good instructions, smart scaffolding, and fun variability. In Trainyard Express, you use your fingers to draw tracks between a starting station and an ending station. At first, it may seem like a trivial game, but as the program introduces multiple trains, track switching, color switching, obstacles, and other challenges it becomes an extremely brain-busting engagement.
I have only been playing the free version, and after about 30 levels I still have not reached a point where I need to pay to play more levels. You get an unlimited of attempts to solve the puzzle, and you can vary the speed at which your test runs go to really observe the motion and direction of the trains on the tracks you design.
My west-coast, school-administrator cousin encouraged me to check out MotionMath. It seems to be an early version (i.e. there is no menu, or at least I couldn't find it!) but I have been extremely impressed by its design. Users are required to land a bouncing ball at the approximate subdivision provided by the program. For example, if given 1/3, you have to try and land the ball 1/3 of the way between the 0 and 1.
The most impressive feature is the scaled feedback which the program provides when mistakes are made. On the first "mis-bounce", an arrow appears below the number line to indicate where the ball should land. On the second miss, sub-divisions are displayed on the number line. On the third miss, all but the correct fraction subdivision appear on the number line.
I think that the developers have done a great job with this app and I'm curious to see where it goes from here.
I'm a huge fan of @Flipboard for my iPad, and I finally checked our Paper.li for the first time after learning about it at a workshop this past summer. It's a very easy tool to use. You simply connect your Twitter account with Paper.li's login system and you can choose what types of "newspapers" you want to create. You can set up different pages for different lists or tags, or you can just have all your feeds come into one page.
It's not as pretty as Flipboard, but I really like how it organizes the Tweets by theme (as best as it can). Unfortunately, the ads really take away from the aesthetic appeal.
Header photo by Robert S. Donovan