Pixel Art App Review!

Hey Everyone!

Today I want to do a quick review ofย  a phone app that is keeping me sane lately haha. It is called “Pixel Art” created by Easybrain. It has a 4.8 out of 5 rating and has over 10 million downloads. If you like the review and wat to try it you can get it on the google Play Store: Here! and the Apple Store: Here!

Lets begin! This is a literal paint by number app. For someone like me it is nice to have a ‘game’ to play that isn’t competitive. When I get stressed or need something to do I can open this app and get lost in the process. They upload new art everyday.

The app is free with paid features. You can get it for free and unlock other pieces to paint, if you want to. I haven’t done that because there are soo many other options that you really don’t need to if you don’t want to. With this app being mostly free there are a couple ads that run, but nothing overbearing. I have been using this app for a while now and it hasn’t ever gotten to the point where they have bothered me.

Lets get into the app itself. When you load it up you see this simple start page.

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From there are are greeted with a lonnnng list of pictures that you can paint. You will notice some have locks in the top right corner. This means that you have to pay to get access to that picture. You will also notice some of the pictures have a 3-D icon at the top left. That is an image that you will rotate and paint all sides. They are a bit tougher to manage, but still fun.

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Again you can scroll through a ton of images. On the bottom you will see that you were in the library. Once you tap the ‘My Works you can see your partial and completed images. You can see some of mine below.

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Some are crazy detailed and others are simple. They really have something for everyone. When you tap an image and start you will see it like this. 4

You tap the number you want to use and tap the small square that also has that number. Real simple. You will need to use two fingers to zoom in and out to see better and keep it manageable. 5

When you complete an image you can apply a filter. I don’t think any of them look great, but you might. 6

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Another thing I haven’t worried about much are the ‘Create’ option. you can create an image with a video or a picture. It is really neat I just haven’t done it. The ‘More’ tab just has some basic settings an a quick walk through of how to use the app.

I think the rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars is very appropriate. For anyone looking for some quick, and easy fun this might be the app for you!

I hope you enjoyed the review, and I’ll be back tomorrow for “Coffee Talk” ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

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PDF To Word (Cometdocs App Review)

Hey Everyone!

I was contacted by the Community Manager of Cometdocs, to do a review of their ‘PDF to Word’ app. I gladly accepted the opportunity to do another review. I have since downloaded the app and a a few competitors and will jump right in on what I found. *Reminder: This is by no way a biased review, and I have not partnered with anyone*

Here is a link to the app in the Google Play Store.

I first asked myself, as an IT professional, who would use such an app? I found that my honest answer was really only a select few people. It could be useful for a businessman or salesman on the go, or possibly a family or college student that doesn’t have a full desktop to go about it another way. Even that one seems to be a stretch, but we will leave it there.

I next asked myself, does this really need to be an app? Could you not just go to a website converter and do the same thing? The answer is yes, buuut you really can’t beat the readiness of an app, with one tap launching. I would, at the end of the day much rather use an app.

This lead me to wonder, would you really be doing any type of converting, or real work for that matter on your phone or tablet? To answer simply yes, you could. If you fall in the category of an on the go businessman or salesman you could very well be doing some of this. Again I have to stress this is a really small percentage of people in most work forces. This is very much a niche app.

On paper the ‘PDF to Word’ app lists:

  • No limit on file size or number of converted files –Great!
  • Scanned and complex PDFs can also be converted –Great!
  • You can also convert Gmail attachments, Dropbox files, Google Drive files, OneDrive files, and iCloud docs –Great!

All of these features are great, except you would expect this from all converters wouldn’t you?

Review:

I started out just using the app I was to be reviewing. Then tested a couple other ways to convert for a proper test. I used a total of three different converters, one of which being the app under review. I downloaded two test PDF documents of average size, and one at a time I converted each one. I was looking for a good clean conversion, a reliable speed (if you are on the go you want fast), usability, and affordability.

So, the ‘PDF to Word’ app was simple to find and download. It pops right up and installs, simple. When you open it you are greeted with a nice clean Office-esk looking interface.

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You clearly can see that it is easy, you tap the ‘+’ sign to search for your file.You are then given an option to grab a file locally or from some other source. I used my OneDrive, since that is where I downloaded the sample PDFs.

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After the proper selection I was able to easily able to find my PDF files.

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Up until this point everything was great. Everything you expect to find from this app you were getting. Once I tapped on the file I wanted to convert I was honestly shocked at first.

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They seemingly went ad-free, which is cool, but at a staggering price. On top of that they went out of their way to create a wait time if you didn’t pay for the upgrade. Honestly that is a little dirty. I would rather see ads on the free version with less wait time. This is done though for a reason. They aren’t interested in free users, this app is geared for a company to pay for the whole package. This app has that.

I continued with the free version, and started my conversion. I knew there would be a wait, but at this point I already knew it wasn’t set up for a free user to use once or twice.

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I started my conversion at 9:14, it didn’t finish until 10:30. Again they were up front about the wait time. Lets be entirely honest, if this is what the free version holds it wouldn’t make sense to use it, ever. No one in their right mind would wait over an hour for one document to be converted.

I have no question that the upgrade works like it says. If you pay the $7 I guarantee you that it would take a matter of seconds. You would be very happy with the end result. It really boils down to would you spend the money for this service?

The next service I tried was web based, because I figured to avoid the cost of an app without ads you could just browse for a random converter. From my mobile device I went to google, searched for a PDF to Word converter, tapped the link to get there and was greeted with this:

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Again a fairly simple layout that is there to do a simple service. Now keep in mind that there will always be a few steps involved to get here. This isn’t an app, and you won’t have one touch access if you need this again. But it is always available and won’t take anywhere near an hour even after having to search for it. I digress, next you tap to add a file and browse to it.

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Once selected, it starts the conversion process. To my delight it was done in a matter of seconds. The whole process from google search to open Word doc took about 30 seconds.

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So the down side to this method is that you lose out on the once touch capability. It is however free and still took less time than the free version of the ‘PDF to Word’ app. (as to be expected) Browsing to a converter like this makes sense for a conversion here and there, not necessarily all the time.

Next I wondered, what would other free downloaded apps look like. I again searched the store to find a free converter and found this app ‘PDF Converter’ made by Tick talk Soft.

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Once installed they show you right away that there will be ads and that you can pay to remove them.

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I continued with the ad version, and much like the ‘PDF to Word’ app from Cometdocs, was greeted with a simple clean layout.

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You can see a small banner ad at the bottom. Nothing to be bothered by. I next tapped to add a file. Once I found it I was offered a choice of conversion. This being a PDF to Word review I chose a word doc.

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I was also asked something I never thought about. It asked which version of a Word document I wanted.

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I was then prompted to name my new word file, which was also a nice feature.

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Once I named my file and hit the Ok button I encountered my first ad.

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This was followed by one more. They weren’t videos or anything they were just simple screens to ‘X’ out of. So with the double tap of a finger they were gone, and in seconds I had my file, renamed and converted, for free.

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Again with a couple of banner ads , but done in a timely manner. Tapping the file then the preview option I could open and see my file.

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So yes this service had a couple of ads, but again the total amount of time spent, from opening the app to opening Word at the end, took 15 seconds. This app offers no ads as a subscription fee which is silly to me. This app works great for one touch conversions every once and a while.

Conclusion:

I have reviewed the three apps for conversion, in their free mode, and have to say that for me the wait time on the “PDF to Word” app from Cometdocs just doesn’t make sense in any application. Either of the two other options would work much better. Again in the free mode.

If you are the kind of person that may be doing this all the time and don’t want to search the web each time to find a converter, and ads popping up each time you name a file bothers you. It may be worth it for you to spend the one time fee of $7 and have the ‘PDF to Word’ app from Cometdocs. If you are a company looking to add something like this to all ‘Outside Sales’ cell phones, it would absolutely be worth it.

While the other two options are great for one time conversions, the ‘PDF to Word’ app from Cometdocs is really in a league of its own. It isn’t for one time use, or free use. It is there as a tease in free mode. You really wouldn’t choose it for a one time conversion. It is meant for large scale conversions. It is meant for a company to standardize their working habits, without ads. For that there is clearly a need for a fee, and $7 at that point isn’t bad at all!

Rating:

I have to rate this for both versions, as it is only fair.

For the free version with over an hour wait time it would have to be a 1/5 stars. (I think they understand why and are ok with that) An ad riddled service with fast speeds wins everyday over that wait.

For the paid upgrade version, that would be perfect for companies with a need, it would be a knockout with 5/5 stars.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this review I hope it helps! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

 

 

 

 

 

New Microsoft Surface Laptop!

Hey Everyone!

Today I want to talk about the new laptop that Microsoft launched that is said to be “your next laptop.” Also why I think its not true at all haha. Here you can watch the corny puff piece that The Verge put out. *Note, I have nothing against The Verge, I love their stuff*

Let me do my best to walk side by side with this video and give you my input.

  • Right way they talk about how this could be the laptop that could make people switch from Apple to Microsoft.
    • I doubt that! With the price point where it is, it is just as expensive, and you will always have people just tethered to a brand.
  • The deck of the laptop is Alcantarta (fabric)
    • This is a neutral point. Just a fact. He states it himself, who cares? In a matter of unspecified time it will get worn and gross. Aluminum is just the better way to go in my eyes. It is purely cosmetic, which if that’s what you want then go for it!
  • The price starts at, a rounded $1,000. He continues by saying that you should splurge and spend the extra $300 + for better specs.
    • That will put you at $1300 for an i5 processor and 8Gb of RAM. Big deal! If you waned the i7, he says about $2200! Also at this price point you could buy your fancy Mac Book.
  • Speakers are under the keyboard
    • Who cares, yet again! You don’t have a laptop because you want to rock out with loud music.
  • The keyboard keys themselves have decent travel and clickiness.
    • That is good, I would want something for myself, that was as close to a mechanical keyboard as possible. I hate typing on laptops when the keys are too low profile.
  • The track pad is fast and accurate.
    • Great, it should be. That is like saying you car goes when you push on the accelerator.

He continues by comparing the looks and what not of the Mac Book Air and the new Microsoft Surface Laptop. They have the same wedge design. The Air has been styling since 2010 and nothing has topped it. (Bull Shit) He continues to call it the king of laptops. (Again Bull Shit) I’m not sure what target audience he is trying to speak with, but in my experience, you can build a far better laptop for under the price points of both. All while still having the functionality and more usable ports. Anyway, I digress. Back to the video!

  • Says it hits the basics of what a laptop should.
    • for over $1, 000 it should be better for more than just that.
  • It has special features like facial recognition, to unlock the computer.
    • That is a cool feature and it is up and coming with changing technology. I’m not sure if that matters when you go to buy the ideal laptop though.
  • Has a touch screen.
    • Blah! Don’t get me started. I know its a crossover tablet, turned laptop, but I don’t want a touch screen until somebody comes up with a way to never smudge a screen. End of story.
  • 7 hours of battery life, while being used. Closer to 9 hours when idle.
    • That is also good. Battery life in general is becoming better and better.
  • Boasts a big screen, with great resolution.
    • I can agree that the 3:2 aspect ratio is neat, and the 2256×1504 resolution is better than most. The screen isn’t big. plain and simple 13.5 inches of screen is normal, its fine, not big.
  • They played it conservative on ports.
    • Why would you do such a thing. Is that the hipster way? this guy in the video agrees with me on this. They don’t have any newer USB-C connectors (which is still running at USB 3.1 speeds) and only have 1 USB-A port on the laptop. There is another one one the power adapter, but why the heck would you want that? There is a mini display port you most likely won’t you and a surface connector for power. I do like that they kept the surface connector!
  • It comes pre-installed with Windows 10 S as an operating system.
    • Like he states most people will just upgrade to the full blown, free, Windows 10 Pro. The Windows 10 S OS is locked down to only allow you to run apps from the Microsoft store, much like Apple products. But, unlike the App Store, the Windows Store still sucks….bad. Let me quickly say that it runs better in this lock down OS because it is managing its resources better. Once you move to the full blown 10 Pro OS you will want more than 8Gb of RAM.

In the end he recommends it. I can agree that it is different, and would be a fun laptop for a short time. I wouldn’t say that it is great by any means. I also wouldn’t say it would have people jump ship on Apple. It is overall a good laptop that will be a stepping stone to the future.

I hope you have enjoyed this tech news/video review. I haven’t really done anything like it before. It was kind of fun. I’ll be back tomorrow, I hope to see you then! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€