Category: Product Reviews

Gender Specific Pronouns Are Not Sexist

Dear Apple,

This morning I tried out the “proofreader” feature of Pages for the first time. I’m writing a novel, you see and my word processor of choice does a bad job formatting things in PDF and Word format. When I went to send it off to a friend, who is going to give it a read, I decided to double check my work with the spelling and proofreading tools provided with the application. The spellcheck worked great. The proofreader, however, flat out offended me.

I’m a fiction writer. This means I write, you know, fiction. I’m not even writing contemporary fiction. I’m writing fantasy. Swords, sorcery, dragons and damsels in distress? Not familiar with that are you? Well, after using your proofreader tool for Pages, I’d have to say that I’m not surprised to hear that.

I understand that it’s not appropriate to use certain language when writing business to business correspondence, but when you’re writing a fantasy novel calling a woman a “lady” is not only appropriate, it’s offensive to do otherwise!… [Read More]

Review: Three Apps and a Stylus

I’ve always used my iPad without a stylus. When they first came out, various and sundry types of styluses were put out as an accessory for the iPad and I wasn’t a fan. The end of the stylus often broke off after use for a short amount of time and everything out there felt weird. I figured I could do better without one, and did for a while.

Then I dove head first into writing a fantasy novel large enough in scope and scale to require maps.

Drawing is not my forte, but sometimes, you need a map! I struggled with pencil and paper to complete two maps for the book and still had more maps to create and got frustrated with drawing them on paper. So, I figured, “Why not try a sketching app on my iPad?”

I tried three before I found one I liked for the purpose.

Paper by Fifty-Three for iPadPaper by Fifty Three: Paper comes with two sketch books in it.… [Read More]

Just Grid It

Back in the day, I had one of those day planners. I kept everything in it. Business cards, coupons, appointments, you name it. Honestly, it didn’t work all that great because it didn’t bitch at me enough. I still never got to my appointments on time. I felt horrible because I was perpetually late to everything. The analog life was not for me. I didn’t find an organizer and life planner that really worked for me until I got my first cell phone with a calendar feature and now that I have an iPhone with Reminders, I get a lot more done than I ever did without it.

Organization isn’t just about keeping track of appointments and that’s something that you’ll become aware of when your kids get older and you’re realizing that you probably won’t stay in the house you raised them in because it’s just too big for you and your spouse to live in alone.… [Read More]

Random Gemini’s Definitive iPad App List

I get asked a lot of questions about iPad apps. The most common one being, “What apps should I buy?” The answer is, “It depends on what you do.”

Since I’m not you, I can’t tell you which apps you will need to make your life with iPad a happy, excellent and most wonderful place filled with sunshine, daisies and superlative enlightenment. What I can do though, is share with you the apps that make my life better. I’m a writerly type, I take lots of photos and spend a lot of time fiddling around on social networks. I’m also a mother of two teenagers and three dogs. My life can get quite hectic at times. There are days when I look at my iPad and want to kiss it because it made dinner easier to put together, or it minimized the amount of hassle I had to go through to exchange information on when appointments were with my husband and the kids.… [Read More]

Mini iPad Mini Review

1. The screen, for it’s size, is great. It’s clear, it’s sufficiently bright. I wish it had a retina display, but this isn’t holding me back.

2. The iPad Mini is light. Super light. Wicked light. The difference is like the difference between a Macbook Pro and a Macbook Air. I love this about it.

3. If you read a lot of books, I highly recommend the iPad Mini. The size is very similar to that of the second generation Kindle. The weight of it is great for holding in one hand as you read. If you game or watch a lot of video on your iPad, get the 4th generation iPad with retina display.

4. The new speakers on the iPad Mini rock.

5. Battery life is just as great as it was on my iPad 2, maybe even a little bit better.

6. There isn’t much here that I don’t like, except for the lack of cases available for the device and the lack of a retina display, which will both be things that change with time and newer iterations of the device.… [Read More]