Aug 30, 2011

Live Fantasy Football Draft on the iPhone

Update for 2012:
The Fantasy Football Draft Monster '11 app is no longer available and has been replaced by the Fantasy Football Draft '12 HD - for Yahoo/ESPN iPad app and the Fantasy Football Draft '12 - for Yahoo/ESPN iPhone app. Because it's a new app, it's a new purchase, but even at $4.99 or $2.99, respectively, it's worth it if you need it. This year adds support for auction drafts in addition to snake drafts. Both apps are rated 4-stars as I write this.

I mentioned an app for the iPhone called Fantasy Football Draft Monster '11 - Yahoo/ESPN Live Draft App when I wrote the Prepare for Your Fantasy Football Draft with Your iPhone or iPad post last week.  I mentioned how you can use it to rank your players before the draft and, as an aside, that you can even use it for your draft (for Yahoo! and ESPN leagues).

Tonight I needed that live draft functionality. I had a fantasy football draft that both myself and my wife were participating in. My wife was using our only computer for the draft so I used the app instead.  I was initially concerned that a fantasy draft app wouldn't work well on the iPhone because of the small screen real estate. To my pleasant surprise, it worked incredibly well.  The screen was divided well by tabs and had a very intuitive user experience. I wish that I'd taken a screen shot during the draft to show you but instead you'll have to settle for the after-the-draft results tab.  I highly recommend it if you find yourself needing to draft your team away from the computer.

Aug 25, 2011

Print to PDF on Your iPhone or iPad

Update: Unfortunately, Print to PDF was removed from the app store by Apple. The developer has posted a workaround if you already have the app as well as a Mac app that makes the the app work again. Unfortunately, if you didn't download the app before it disappeared from the app store, neither of these things work.

One of the things you can do on a Mac natively is "print" to a PDF.  In other words, any application that has the ability to print can be used to create a PDF.  You simply choose the print option in that application and then "Save as PDF...".  This outputs what would be otherwise be printed to paper as a PDF that you can store later.

You can also do this on Windows by installing a program like CutePDF Writer.  It works nearly the same way except that you choose CutePDF Writer as your printer and click the Print button.

Why would you do this?  You can do things like:
  1. This allows you to do things like save bills as PDFs.
  2. You can save you airline boarding pass as a PDF for reprinting (if you lose your hard copy, for example).
  3. You can go paperless by saving anything you can print as a PDF and uploading it to a service like Evernote, a service I wrote about in this post.

Aug 23, 2011

Prepare for Your Fantasy Football Draft with Your iPhone or iPad

I debated whether to or not to write about this before my fantasy football league draft.  I knew that it might help my competition.  However, most of you are not in a fantasy league with me but may play fantasy football nonetheless.

The most time consuming part of fantasy football can be researching players in preparation for the draft. Given that, it would be very convenient to be able to easily do that when you are away from the computer, waiting in line, waiting in the doctor's office, waiting to meet a friend for lunch, or just waiting. You can with the help of one of the new apps that help you do the research wherever you are.

One of these is NFL Fantasy Cheat Sheet 2011.  It claims to have a "pick recommendation engine" and ranks the players accordingly.  It will even adjust the rankings according to the scoring system you use in your league.  It lets you add players to a wish list but doesn't let you change the rankings.

Aug 18, 2011

Reading RSS Revisited

In RSS Readers: Your Reading in One Spot on Your iOS Device, I wrote about RSS readers, of which there are many in the app store.  At the time, I told you that I prefer to use Google Reader in Safari rather than a dedicated app.  All my feeds are in Google Reader which I can read on my Mac, on other computers, etc. so I prefer having one place where I set up all of my feeds.  Plus, Google Reader in Safari on the iPhone works pretty well.

Since i wrote this, I've found something else that I think I like a little better.  Feedly is a universal app that can be run on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.  Feedly doesn't require that you subscribe to RSS feeds via the app itself.  It simply uses your Google Reader account and presents it in a more attractive way. It also uses gestures, one of which I really like.  Most pages show four entries.  On a given page, I read the ones that interest me and swipe down to mark the rest of that page as read.  That and the more attractive interface make this my go-to app for reading RSS feeds on my iPhone.

What do you use for reading feeds on your iOS device?

Aug 16, 2011

Why Does This Movie Have This Rating?

School is starting, the summer movie season is coming to a close, and those summer movies are starting to come to DVD, Blu-ray, Netflix, iTunes, etc. After a long week of work and school, you may want to watch a movie on the weekend, maybe even with the kids.

As a parent, you wonder if a given movie is safe for your kids.  More often than that, movie ratings won't give you the right answer.  The PG-13 movie rating, for example, is on such a wide range of content, it's often impossible to tell.  Don't you wish you knew what to expect? Fortunately, there are apps for that.

Aug 11, 2011

Football is Here: Keep Up

It's football season--or at least the NFL preseason.  The NFL is back playing and college football is starting soon. There's also major league baseball and major league soccer going on.  No matter your sports preference, you probably won't get a chance to watch every game you care about.  Fortunately, that's where your iPhone can help.  There are a couple of good apps for that.

Aug 9, 2011

Never Miss a Bill

There are a lot of ways to avoid missing bills if you have an iPhone or iPad: You can add them to your to-do list. You can add them to your calendar. You can download one of the many apps that allows you to enter each bill manually with the day of the month it is due, and then reminds you as the day approaches.  Or you can do something much more automatic.

Aug 4, 2011

Refill Prescriptions the Easy Way on Your iPhone

When I'm thinking about what next to tell you that you can do with your iOS device, the answer often comes unexpectedly as I use mine to do something I haven't told you about yet.  Tonight was one of those times.  As I wondered which of the many next things I could write about, my wife said something that reminded me I needed to refill a prescription.  So of course, I went to my iPhone.

That might be an obvious choice because, after all, is a phone.  I could've used it to call the pharmacy, navigate through the options until I got to the place I entered my prescription number, entered the time I wanted to pick it up on the phone keypad, etc.  I chose a simpler route.  I opened the Walgreens app.

Aug 2, 2011

Track Hurricanes on Your iPhone or iPad

With Tropical Storm Emily bearing down on the Dominican Republic, where I have friends living, I've been paying more attention to the weather in the Caribbean.  If you live on the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, or the even the Pacific Ocean, this is a time of the year you want to pay attention to tropical storms, hurricanes, and typhoons.

Fortunately, if you have an iOS device, there are a number of apps that let you track hurricanes and forecasts their position, strength, etc. on a map.  Hurricane on the iPhone and Hurricane HD on the iPad may be the best ones.  Both are from the same developer and show forecasted position and strength, satellite images, radar, etc. for both current tropical depressions, tropical storms, hurricanes, and typhoons.  They even show tracking maps for past storms so that you can see where they went and how strong they were along the way.