Fedora – Newsreader
App Review —- ☕☕☕ /☕☕☕☕☕
Works on: Win desktop/ Surface / Windows tablet / Windows phone
I found Fedora Newsreader by accident not long ago. I’m always poking around looking for something to play with. I stopped and checked the app out because … well … I’ve worn a Fedora for years and thought it was a cool name for a news app, let’s try it.
Ever since my favourite news reader went the way of the dodo, I’ve been scouting for a new go-to app. I like Lead Story, and use it for exactly that – top trending stories. I wanted a more substantial app that allowed me to throw my considerable RSS list onto and pull the many news sources into one location. I have a number of apps set up for specific work related focuses and wanted to keep them clutter free, but still need a “one ring to rule them all” kind of news feed as an all purpose bucket dump for everything else.
Problem is, most readers I’ve tried are down right ugly. Fedora was described as minimalist, and that’s pretty much an accurate description. It’s a tiny program, at under 4 mgs, so even on a space deprived smart phone (like mine is at the moment), you can squeeze it in:
Simple interface, easy to figure out and no unnecessary add-ons to slow the app down. Fedora worked on all my devices – Windows phone, Surface tablet (running 8.1RT) and my Win 10 laptop without any issues. It was easy to add RSS feeds and the preloaded choices are extensive.
Fedora allows users to share any article directly from the app. Depending on what you have installed, you can send to email, reading list, messaging, Twitter, Facebook and Flipboard etc with little effort. Nice little feature that’s cropping up more and more with Win10 apps.
According to the app’s store page, Fedora should synch between devices. It did in a half assed fashion. When I initially set the app up on my devices, nothing synched. Nothing I tried worked, so in frustration I gave up. About an hour later, I returned to find everything was synched. And that was the last time I achieved synch happiness. I have never managed to get the read articles to synch, which is a mild irritation. However, the big issue I have is it won’t consistently reflect new changes made to feeds. If I remove or add any, some might show up in a couple of hours, but not all of them. The inconsistency is infuriating so if you use the app, it’s best to ignore this feature and muddle along.
The font is a bit weedy looking and not the best choice for online viewing. It looks nice, but after awhile, it’s a little hard to read if you have any vision issues. It would be nice to have the option to increase the font weight a bit.
Otherwise, a decent app which is light, fast and easy to use. Lots of built-in feeds to pick if you don’t have a lot of RSS hanging about. Worth downloading. Just don’t get your hopes up about synching. If it works, don’t think about it, just enjoy it while you can.
Vanaia™ Scanwritr App Review —- ☕☕☕☕ /☕☕☕☕☕
Works on: Win10 / Windows phone / IOS / Android / Blackberry | http://www.vanaia.com/scanwritr/
I have a nice little app for the road warrior. One of the most often requested for apps I’m asked to source is a good mobile scanner that will let a person do basic edits on a document. Vanaia™ Scanwritr ticks all the right boxes for either home or office use. As far as size goes, it’s a real feather weight at around 8mb. Don’t let the size fool you, it offers more functionality than heftier competitors, with less hassle.
It’s an excellent app to have if you are in the library doing research. You can quickly scan a page and store it to look at later. You can also scan just a section of the page if that’s all you need. If you are in a meeting, ScanWritr will let you take a quick scan of any notes being made, no need to go to the photocopier or scanner and transfer. Just fire up the app, let it scan and Bob’s your uncle!
The app will allow you to make quick edits, erase sections (I like to erase scribbled notes in margins) or type in additional notes directly on the scanned document. Once you’ve made corrections, you can email it or save it as a pdf. Speaking of pdfs,that is the one single component that makes this app so useful. You can save any scanned document as a pdf and store it in a folder on your device for future references (or emailing).
Here are the basics:
- The free version is good for the occasional use, upgrading offers added functions that are worth the modest fee.
- Basic WYSIWY get interface. You don’t need a degree in rocket science to figure it out
- Will allow you to import existing scanned documents
- Erase is easy to use
- Enhance/straighten built into the app. Quick touch-ups to brighten the document are fast and easy.
- Perfect if you don’t have access to a scanner or don’t want to cart around a load of papers. Just scan, save as pdf and come back to the document later
- You can export your scan to email with no fuss. The free version has a 5 page limit to export.
- ability to fax documents on a pay as you go basis
- Digital signatures can be inserted
Upgrading to the paid version will remove ads and give you a number of bonuses. If you are a road warrior or live on your mobile device, the small cost is well worth it. The ads aren’t distracting or take away from the functionality, just a bit annoying to accidently tap one and be pulled away from what you are doing. That has more to do with my fumble fingers than the app itself.
The only down side is it can be a bit tricky using on a phone, especially if you are all thumbs when it comes to tapping. Using it on a larger, touch enabled screen is far better. The screen can be a bit hard to line up when scanning.
Free version will allow 5 page limit exports. Allows all functionality, including creating pdfs and storing on phone
$2.29 for the basic – removes ads and the 5 page export cap. It will also watermark your emails
$4.59 pack, does the above, but adds the options to export to email, gallery, social media sharing and send to cloud. It also adds a print feature through Google Cloud Print.
Vanaia™ Scanwritr is one of those rare birds that works on multiple platforms – everything from Android to Win10, so if you have a mix ‘n match office, this is the app for you.