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Best New iPad Apps: Create flashy presentations, store files in the cloud and watch educational videos

by Doug Drinkwater

August 9 2013

Create stylish presentations and photo albums with Flowboard

Those of you who have spent some time on the App Store will note that there is hardly a shortage of photo collage or photo book apps for iPad. I even reviewed one of the better ones, Memorability, just two weeks ago.

Flowboard is a little different however. Although it can be used for creating photo albums, the app’s developer promotes it as a storyboard and presentation app and has even detailed how some users have used Flowboard for promoting company products, previewing sections of an upcoming book or just for keepsakes.

Simplicity really is the key cornerstone to the success of the app. After signing in and viewing the brief but relatively detailed tutorial, there are easy tools on the left-hand side for creating a ‘Flowboard’. The screen to the right shows editor’s pick and your previous designs.

A quick word of warning here; don’t be alarmed by the tutorial and busy user interface. Flowboard (free, iTunes) is exceptionally easy to master in a matter of minutes.

From the home screen, you can create a new Flowboard project by tapping on 'create a Flowboard' and you can then efficiently arrange media boxes (for inserting text, images, video or PDFs -- the latter is only available to premium subscribers) in a drag-and-drop fashion.

Importing pictures is also trouble-free and you can add these from Google Search, Facebook, your photo stream, Dropbox or camera roll.

The app supports options to go premium in-app and you can share your completed presentations with the Flowboard online community. Having done this, you can share then with friends via Facebook, Twitter or email.

Stash photos and files in the cloud with Bitcasa

I reviewed Bitcasa for iPad back in February and came away pretty unimpressed – the app crashed on registration and the touchscreen control was slow at best.

However, that was shortly after the cloud storage company had come out of beta, and I was assured that the latest version is significantly better.

Indeed, Bitcasa has fortunately improved. The app (free, iTunes) doesn’t crash, the sign-up process is quick and easy and the minimalist user interface is easy to navigate. Uploading files is also easy from the ‘Activity’ menu and this screen can also be used to look at items you have favorited by hitting the star button (these can be accessed even when you have airplane mode on).

You can also view images in full-screen, do one-tap sharing to email, Facebook and Twitter and upgrade to an ‘infinite storage’ account in-app.

Do note though that the app, which is on version 2.0, still has some things that need fixing. For instance, I couldn’t see uploaded files on the ‘Upload’ section (I could on the desktop version) and could only unearth these by doing a search for the file name.

Watch educational videos with Khan Academy

The Khan Academy app for iPad and iPhone (free, iTunes) was this week updated, bringing about some excellent new features for education users.

Offering over 2,500 video tutorials on a variety of subjects, version 1.3.2 of Khan Academy lets user download entire categories by long-pressing on any topic.

Khan Academy also claims to have improved searching and also neatly allows iPhone and iPad users to download videos to their device.

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