Best New iPad Apps: Host virtual meetings, sort email into to-do lists & get creative with photos

April 12, 2013

FuzeBox Meeting HD lets presenters share websites

San Francisco-based FuzeBox recently announced an update for its iPad virtual meeting app.

The FuzeBox Meeting HD app (free, iTunes) now enables users to initiate meetings from an iPad, and support up to 12 Full HD video streams from participants, a reasonable number for most small-and-medium sized businesses (SMBs) or enterprise business teams.

On opening the app, the home-screen gives you the option to join a meeting with log-in credentials, to view a demo or to create or log-in to a Fuze account.

As the presenter of a meeting, the app really excels. You can invite attendees by email, IM chat or by a telephone number, and then show presentations, images and videos. You can even make other attendees a presenter so they can show their own content.

Furthermore, you can zoom into certain content, bring in material from outside apps like Dropbox and use the presenter ‘pointer’ if you want to highlight something.

In fact, when it comes to sharing, Fuze has brought about some interesting new features with version 4.4 of the iPad app. Presenters can now share content from the in-built web browser and even shoot and instantly upload a video on their iPad.

Fuze has made UI refinements to the app for improved controls among other things, but much of these controls remain pretty similar. For instance, presenters are still able to mute or unmute their audio, see how good their network connection is and are able to end the meeting at any time.

FuzeBox Meeting HD is free from the Apple’s App Store. 

Mail Pilot turns your email into a to-do list

For those who have been following closely, the new Mail Pilot iPad app hasn’t come out of the blue. It is actually the result of a Kickstarter campaign which finished over one year ago.

Now out of beta, the Mail Pilot app is finally in the App Store.

So, what is Mail Pilot and how do you use it? Put simply, it combines your traditional email functions with the added bonus of pushing items into a to-do list. For example, maybe your boss has emailed to ask you to do something by a certain date – no problem, just add a date to the email and you can track when it needs to be done by.

As you would expect from any usable email iPad app (and there are more than just a few), simplicity is key to Mail Pilot.

On opening the application you are invited to add email account (any IMAP account is supported) and then to “Swipe your way to inbox zero”.

When in an email, you can set it aside to be tackled at a later determined date by swiping right, or swipe left to mark the message for group deletion or completion.

Some of the more traditional tools include a checkbox for marking emails as complete, for archiving or deletion, or for adding these to a certain to-do list. Email messages are threaded, as become custom on both desktop and mobile email.

This is not the say that Mail Pilot is perfect, though, with the $14.99 price a particular sticking point.

But perhaps as frustrating as the price is that the app doesn’t support push notifications, meaning that you won’t be notified of new emails unless you go into the application. And even then Mail Pilot only promises to manually refresh every five minutes.  

Adding more to this, the absence of local notifications means you won’t know which emails you’ve marked for dealing with later until you’ve opened the app.

Get creative with photos using Stampsy

For something a little more fun, try Stampsy.

The new app (free, iTunes) is geared towards photographers, designers and art school students and essentially lets you manipulate your digital content into artistic ‘stamps’ that can be shared out to Facebook as well as Stampsy’s own community.

Truth be told, I am not the most artistic (as you’ll see to the left) and so this may explain a little while I’ve often avoided apps like these. They often sound entertaining, but the end result leaves a lot to be desired.

Nonetheless, I persevered with Stampsy, which may be of interest to designers and photographers, if only for promotional purposes.

On launching the app, you are asked to sign in with Facebook. You are then confronted by a fairly ordinary home-screen, but with buttons to view what everyone else is creating (called ‘Kiosk’) or for creating your own ‘stamps’.

Editing these stamps is easy and done by drag-and-drop, while adding text, media items or shapes can be done from the left-hand corner. On tapping the photo button, you can swipe between local and Dropbox photos at the bottom of the screen and select your preferred photo. You can then place it on the screen.

There’s tools for adjusting colors and fonts (the selection for the latter is limited though), while you can see how your creation looks in preview before pushing out to Facebook.

Hopefully, there will be a lot more to come from Stampsy, which certainly has a lot of potential. More fonts, colors and email support would be a start, while dragging in website screenshots or photos from the iPad camera would also be welcomed.


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