Still got a Myspace account? This security flaw means you should delete it now

TechRadar readers of a certain vintage will probably quite fondly remember Myspace, one of the earlier social networks to monopolise our internet downtime with its friendship-breaking top pals lists and headache-inducing GIF walls. Then Facebook came along and ate its dinner.

If, for whatever reason, you’ve still got a dormant Myspace account, now may finally be the time to put it out to pasture. A serious security flaw may have left your account and details critically vulnerable.

Security researcher Leigh-Anne Galloway first spotted the flaw, posting to her blog how that, with no more than a user’s full name, email address and date of birth (all quite readily available if you know where to look), a hacker could easily take control of a Myspace account.

Invading my space

The Myspace recovery page in question that allowed for the shambolic security breach has now been patched up, and has been changed to instead point to a standard log-in page.

But it’s still probably best to now lay your Myspace account to rest. When its Justin Timberlake-led redesign of 2013 fell flat, its new look stripped the site of much of its user-generated content, such as photos, wall posts and blogs, leaving only the bare minimum of user info publically available. This may relieve some fears of anyone not paying attention to the changes to the service over the years, but any data here that overlaps with your current social media accounts could make them now vulnerable too.

The ease with which your page could have been hacked means that Myspace learnt little after its major hack of 2016, in which 360 million accounts were thought to be breached.

“It seems Myspace wants us all to take security into our own hands,” said Galloway.

“If there is a possibility that you still have account on Myspace, I recommend you delete your account immediately.”

      

Surface Pro reportedly has another glaring flaw with screen’s backlight bleed

Microsoft deployed a pretty swift fix for the flaw which affected the new Surface Pro that meant the device randomly went to sleep, but there’s another issue with the hybrid which has reared its ugly head: excessive backlight bleeding with the display.

Now, first off we should point out that LCD screens will, generally speaking, have a little light leakage at the very edge of the screen, but some buyers are complaining that their Surface Pro has a seriously off-putting amount which becomes a real distraction at times.

Check out the image below from one affected user, which shows a Surface Pro 4 on top, and the new model below, with a bright blue bloom rising up from the bottom edge (and getting worse towards the middle of the screen, basically looking something like the fading sun on the horizon).

Image Credit: Surface Guy (via: On MSFT)

This issue is more prominent in certain situations, like when there’s a solid blue background as in the above pic, or a white background, and when in portrait mode – because in landscape, the black color of the taskbar largely masks the issue.

Backlight bleed levels will vary from device to device anyway, depending on the exact quality of the panel.

Apparently, there are unacceptable levels of bleed for some users, particularly considering that the Surface Pro is a premium device (where a premium panel is expected to be used, with quality control levels that should avoid any glaring issues like this). Also, folks are unhappy that Microsoft hasn’t acknowledged that this is an issue in any way.

Bleeding hell

As one customer on Answers.com (Microsoft’s support site) puts it: “Why isn’t Microsoft acknowledging the new Surface Pro 2017 display backlight bleed defect and ignoring its customers after the launch of the product? When will they solve the problem?”

A slightly older thread on Reddit cites the same problem of ‘considerable’ backlight bleed, again stating that it’s hard to notice when the black taskbar is present – and also worryingly observes that of the Surface Pro models on display at the Microsoft Store and Best Buy, six out of seven of the hybrids exhibited this problem to some degree.

Naturally, some chatter on the net revolves around the counter-argument that this is the sort of thing you’ll only really notice if you’re looking for it – and if you just get on with using your Surface, you won’t be bothered by the bleed. But looking at some of the pictures online, it seems like there’s a definite problem with some models.

As mentioned, though, Microsoft isn’t saying anything on the matter right now.

If you have bought a new Surface Pro and are unhappy with the display, and it’s still less than a month before you made the purchase, then it’s worth contacting Microsoft and trying to get a replacement hybrid sent. Apparently, some people have managed to do this, but they’re in a minority according to On MSFT, which initially spotted this problem.

      

TalkTalk slashes broadband and TV deal prices including Sky Sports and Sky Cinema

‘Britain’s lowest priced Sky Sports bundle’. That’s how TalkTalk is promoting its latest broadband and TV deal, and as far as catch-lines go, we have to admit it’s pretty strong. Especially when you consider that it coincides with the day that Sky has completely relaunched its sports channels.

So how low is lowest? Add all eight new Sky Sports channels to standard TalkTalk Fast Broadband and pay only £28.45 per month with zero activation fee and a free TV box.

And if your prefer celluloid heroes to sports stars, TalkTalk hasn’t forgotten about you. Choose its Sky Cinema Boost instead, and pay from £27.95 per month for 17Mb broadband and all 11 Sky Cinema channels. And if you like both, then £36.45 will get you the whole caboodle! Keep reading for more information about these tremendous TalkTalk deals.

Broadband deal of the week with Sky Sports

TalkTalk Fast Broadband with Sky Sports Boost | 12 months | Up to 17Mb | Line rental inc. | 80+ TV channels | FREE activation | £28.45pm
The sound of leather on willow. The smell of burning rubber. Jumpers for goalposts. It’s all on the newly revamped Sky Sports, with dedicated channels for cricket, Formula One, football, golf and more. TalkTalk Fast broadband also includes more than 80 Freeview and HD channels. And if you want superfast fibre broadband, you can upgrade for £35 per month. Total cost of 12 months £341.40

Get TalkTalk broadband with Sky Sports

Broadband deal of the week with Sky Cinema

TalkTalk Fast Broadband with Sky Cinema Boost | 12 months | Up to 17Mb | Line rental inc. | 80+ TV channels | FREE activation | £27.95pm
Choose TalkTalk’s Sky Cinema boost and – like with the Sky Sports package – you get a free TV box worth £25 and have nothing to pay upfront. Whatever your tastes, Sky’s 11 movie channels (including Comedy, Crime & Thriller, Sci-Fi & Horror, Comedy, Disney, etc) will have plenty of flicks for you to enjoy. The monthly payments are £34.50 per month if you want 38Mb fibre. Total cost of 12 months £335.40

Get TalkTalk broadband with Sky Cinema

Sky Sports – what’s new?

Sky Sports has ditched it’s old familiar numbered channels, taking the lead from Sky Cinema – the latter dropped cardinal numbers almost 10 years ago. So that means that there are now eight Sky Sports channels:

  • Sky Sports Main Event (for the world’s biggest sporting events)
  • Sky Sports Premier league
  • Sky Sports Football
  • Sky Sports F1
  • Sky Sports Cricket
  • Sky Sports Golf
  • Sky Sports Action (for other sports, such as rugby, tennis, boxing and darts)
  • Sky Sports Arena (see Sky Sports Action)

Sky Sports News and Sky Sports Mix – both of which are free to Sky TV customers – will also remain.

Existing TalkTalk customers

Usually this is the part of our ‘Deal of the Week’ article where we have to deliver the bad news to existing customers. With a solemn shake of the head, we say “no, this is not for you”.

But this week we get to play good cop instead. These latest Sky Sports and Sky Cinema Boost deals are available to current TalkTalk customers, too. So if you’re already with the provider and fancy adding one of these TV packages, then give them a call to upgrade.

      

Chelsea’s latest summer signing Ericsson offers something new to Stamford Bridge: Wi-Fi

Chelsea FC and Ericsson have announced that they are bringing Stamford Bridge kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, with blanket carrier-grade Wi-Fi coverage for the stadium.

Wi-Fi is ubiquitous nowadays, but it still takes a herculean effort to get places such as football stadiums – especially older ones – up to spec. That’s why Chelsea have partnered with Ericsson to make sure that fans can connect with each other and their social networks without straining whichever 4G network they are on.

Ericsson has already proved it has the nous to update a stadium with Wi-Fi. It’s done a similar thing at PSG’s ground, the Parc des Princes, and explained to TechRadar that offering up this type of connectivity has meant that PSG’s backroom staff have embraced a more digital setup in their training.

Arun Bansal, SVP of Ericsson, said: “It has helped with the sports management at PSG. The coach and physical therapist can monitor players through digital data [at the ground], see what support they need.

“It is more a platform for them, helping with data storage, enabling live TV streams and so on.”

While live streaming isn’t part of the package offered by Ericsson at Stamford Bridge, it has designed, built and will operate the Small Cell network the Wi-Fi is on, so fans should expect a smooth experience when you do log on at the Bridge.

The importance of a connected stadium

Chelsea is going to wait until the Wi-Fi setup is installed before it reveals exactly what it will do with its new connective power, but there are a few hints as to what expect, from connecting fans to helping organise things behind the scenes at the club.

“A connected stadium is an important way to deliver a great experience for our customers,” said Gary Twelvetree, director of marketing for Chelsea.

“We will develop news apps and services on the platform but we will wait for the technology to be installed.”

“But everyday phone behaviour will become the norm in the stadium. It will bring better context to the match and fans can bring their own content live.”

“We can also plan our food orders better, as it can enable us to integrate payment technology more seamlessly.

“It makes the phone a more integral part of the fan experience – we could maybe give offers as they enter the stadium and we will be able to enable group participation in real time at the stadium.

“We can get the fans to share the atmosphere of Stamford Bridge with a global audience.”

While the contract for the Wi-Fi lasts just two years – there was no comment on why it is a short contract but it’s safe to assume it has something to do with Chelsea’s plans for a bigger and better stadium – Bansal was keen to point out the benefits of having Wi-Fi in the stadium and what might happen with 5G comes to fruition sometime in 2019.

“I believe with 5G we will see augmented reality and virtual reality as part of sport going forward – it is where all sports are going. But that’s a little bit further ahead of now, the Wi-Fi is the first step,” Bansal explained.

“As for the two-year contract, we wanted to start somewhere then we will improve when we can.

“5G is set to come in 2019 and the ambition is to offer it going forward.”

      

The best free audio editor 2017

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The complexity of some audio editors might be enough to scare you away, but it’s more likely to be the price tag attached to such software that sends you running. Never fear, though – there are free tools that pack professional-level audio editing tools in a user-friendly interface that you can master in minutes.

Whether you’re looking for a tool to help create a soundtrack for your home movies, or you need something to help you convert your old record and cassette collection into MP3 format while removing background static, there’s a free audio editor out there for you.

We update this guide frequently, so you know you’re always getting the best advice based on the latest version of each program.

1. Audacity

Flexible and powerful, Audacity is the very best free audio editor available

Available for any desktop platform you care to mention, Audacity is our first choice free music editor. It has a huge following, and it’s one that is entirely justified. It’s a powerful tool that would put some paid-for product to shame, and although the interface might initially seem slightly intimidating, it’s actually surprisingly approachable even for beginners.

Audacity is equipped with an extensive suite of built-in tools, enabling you to edit pre-recorded files, capture sound through an attached microphone, or even stream music and podcasts. There’s support for a wide range of audio formats for both importing and exporting, and the range of built-in effect is impressive.

There’s also a great selection of third-party plug-ins to make it even more versatile (one of our favourites is autotune add-on Gsnap, for that T-Pain effect), and a comprehensive manual is available to help you to get to grips with the more complicated aspects of the program.

Its sheer power and incredible set of features make Audacity the best free audio editor you can download today.

Review and where to download: Audacity

Download oncenaudio

2. Ocenaudio

Another powerful free audio editor, but easier to master than Audacity

Like Audacity, Ocenaudio is available for multiple platforms (Windows, Linux and Mac). While not bursting with features, it’s a great tool for everyday audio editing. Real-time effect previewing should help to speed up your work as there’s no need to apply a change just to try it out, and a highly precise selection tool makes it easy to apply the same effect to multiple sections of a file.

You can use Ocenaudio work with locally stored files, or even open those hosted online. The audio editor’s somewhat sparse interface quickly becomes a joy to use, and if you spend a little time familiarizing yourself with the keyboard shortcuts, you should fly through common tasks in no time.

Ocenaudio offers good range of effects, with more available as plugins, and there’s even the option of exporting your creations as a ringtone for your iPhone.

Review and where to download: Ocenaudio

3. DVDVideoSoft Free Audio Editor

Download Free Audio Editor

A pared-back editor that makes trimming and editing as simple as possible

There are several programs named Free Audio Editor, which is understandable (developers want their software to rank well on Google, after all), but not particularly helpful for users. Here we’re referring to the software created by the media experts at DVDVideoSoft rather than the tool by FAEMedia.

Unlike Audacity, this software won’t help you create and master note-perfect recordings or eliminate background noise – but that’s not what it’s designed for/ Free Audio Editor makes trimming and converting sound files as straightforward as possible – even for people who have never used a similar program before.

The interface is a simple icon-driven affair, with no potentially confusing menus and drop-down lists. The main attraction is a simple cutting tool, but Free Audio Editor also includes an excellent metadata editor for music files (complete with cover art), and a great selection of export formats so you can store tracks in a format suitable for your playback device of choice.

Review and where to download: DVDVideoSoft Free Audio Editor

Download mp3DirectCut

4. mp3DirectCut

Trim and normalize with this free audio editor that’s great for podcasts

Despite its name, mp3DirectCut does more than just slicing up MP3s (although it does that very well). You can record directly into the program or work with existing audio files, and although there are no fancy options, all of the basics are covered. As well as simple track splitting, this compact audio editor also contains tools for normalizing audio, increasing volume, and fading.

Automatic pause detection is available to help make it easier to decided where to split a track, and if you have created cue files to automate file processing, there’s support for those in this audio editor.

mp3DirectCut also features a batching processing option that can be used to quickly apply the same settings and effects to entire folders full of files. This is handy for normalizing a series of tracks, or increasing the volume of a set that were recorded at the same time.

Review and where to download: mp3DirectCut

Download Acoustica Basic Edition

5. Acoustica Basic Edition

A more advanced audio editor, offering mastering with effect layering

Acoustica Basic Edition is a particularly great audio editor if you’re looking for a tool for tweaking music recordings. Not only can you make your own recordings and open files from your PC, you can also import tracks straight from CDs, edit them, and export them in the format of your choice.

Opting for the free version means missing out on options such as a multi-track editor and support for 7.1 surround sound, but you still get a lot to play with. It has a very professional look and feel, and the Effect Chain – an area where you can build up and play with a layered series of filters – is a particular highlight.

There’s support for DirectX and VST plug-ins, so you can easily expand the program’s repertoire. If you want to get a taste for music editing with the freedom to move beyond the basics when you feel ready, Acoustica Basic Edition is an excellent starting point.

It’s just a shame that the software is only available for Windows for now.

Review and where to download: Acoustica Basic Edition

      

New Microsoft app is trying to solve the problem of indoor navigation

Microsoft has developed a new app called Path Guide which it’s hoping will solve the problem of indoor navigation.

GPS location software has all but solved the issue of getting lost outside if you have a smartphone, but once you get inside the building you’re heading to you’re often then left scrambling for any sense of where you’re supposed to be heading.

The reason for this is that GPS technology relies on satellite signals, the strength of which is disrupted by the thick walls of buildings, meaning that as soon as you step inside you’re left relatively blind.

There are already systems that have attempted to solve the problem of indoor location using Bluetooth beacons, like Apple’s iBeacon, or Wi-Fi signals, but both require an expensive and expansive setup, and it’s unrealistic that every building you visit will want to invest in this technological infrastructure.

To solve the problem, Microsoft has come at the problem from the other direction – user first. Its system works by getting users to guide each other. In the app, you have the option to create a ‘Trace’; you walk the path that you want others to follow, annotating your route with text, images and voice.

Dude, where’s my car?

The app tracks the distance walked and directions turned using on-board sensors, then creates a route for others to follow. You can then send the route to friends, or leave it publicly searchable.

If you’re meeting up with friends and one of you is running late, this could prove to be an invaluable service, allowing you to show them exactly where they’re supposed to be going.

As with any crowdsourcing platform, it does mean the onus is on the user to create the content, but as with Wikipedia, we have seen that crowdsourced projects can work.

One of the cool features Microsoft highlights on the app is the ability to create a ‘trace’ that allows you to retrace your steps in the opposite direction, meaning that once you’ve parked your car you can create a trace to the lift, and on returning to the lift you just start up the trace and it leads you straight to your car.

The app is currently in the development stage so it’s only available on Android, and still has a few niggly issues like not being able to run in the background, so you can’t close the app to text someone to let them know you’re on your way and still get notifications, as you can with Google Maps.

If you want to download the app it’s available on the Play Store, or you can visit the Path Guide official page to learn more.

Via The Next Web

      

Amazon reportedly launching a new messaging app called ‘Anytime’

Silicon valley giants are forcing themselves into the heavily crowded messaging app space. We saw Google reboot its messaging apps in the form of Allo and Duo. A new report now talks about Amazon contemplating the launch of a messaging app known as “Anytime”. This app will apparently have a wide range of functions and features. However, it’s not known at this point if Amazon will keep this limited to its devices like the Fire Tablet and the Fire TV, although we expect there to be some added perks for users of its products.

Amazon is said to have begun a survey with its customers on the feasibility of an app like this. There are a couple of screenshots available as well, which give us a detailed idea of how things work. One of the screenshots talks about features like video/voice calls, and extensive support for group chats. The company claims that the app will “encrypt important messages”, suggesting that encryption won’t apply to all chats, but only to a few pre-selected conversations. We hope to get more clarity from Amazon on this particular aspect.

The app will also allow you to talk directly with businesses, which could be Amazon’s way of monetizing the service. Apps like Telegram and WhatsApp have toyed around with this particular idea, so it’s no surprise that Amazon will take it up as well. There will be dedicated applications on Android, iOS, mobile, and desktops to provide seamless cross platform connectivity.

It is important to note that Amazon’s Chime, which was launched earlier this year, is also a messaging app, although it’s primarily targeted towards enterprise customers. It goes without saying that the company will use the same tech on the back-end to power Anytime. We expect more word to follow on this new app in the days to come.

      

Windows 10 upgrade creates nothing but chaos for ‘unsupported’ 2-in-1s

Some unfortunate folks who bought one of the initial 2-in-1 notebooks to hit the market and subsequently upgraded Windows 8 to Windows 10 (via the free offer) have found that their convertible is no longer compatible with Microsoft’s newest OS, as of the latest Creators Update.

These hybrid laptops, which were sold back in 2013 and 2014, run older Intel Atom (Clover Trail) processors, and were classified as compatible with Windows 10 back when it was released. And indeed they supported previous upgrades such as the Anniversary Update, but the Creators Update is not compatible with the CPUs.

Trying to install this latest update on one of these 2-in-1s brings up a ‘Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC’ message which doubtless caused more than a little head-scratching for those confronted with the error.

As mentioned, this affects machines running Clover Trail Atom processors, and ZDNet, which highlighted this issue, tried the upgrade on an HP Envy X2, confirming that it was blocked from installing the Creators Update – despite the initial Windows compatibility check giving the laptop the thumbs-up.

While Microsoft doesn’t appear to have addressed this compatibility issue at this point, Acer has documented the problem, and observed that it affects the following Intel processors: Atom Z2760, Atom Z2520, Atom Z2560 and Atom Z2580.

This bugbear effectively leaves these machines in the lurch, being stuck on the previous Anniversary Update. And not only does that mean missing out on the latest new features of Windows 10, but it could lead to problems receiving security updates if the issue isn’t fixed in a timely manner.

Security snafu

That’s because Microsoft has instigated a policy to ensure that Windows 10 users upgrade to the latest feature release, whereby a major update is only supported with security fixes for 18 months. In other words, security patches will run out for the Anniversary Update come the start of 2018.

And if this compatibility problem hasn’t been solved by then, that could potentially leave these users out in the cold and potentially exposed to threats.

The worry is that this is a deep-rooted problem which might be a thorny task to tackle, but hopefully Intel and Microsoft can put their heads together and come up with some solution.

Otherwise, the Windows 10 upgrade really shouldn’t have been offered to owners of these machines in the first place. It also begs the question whether future updates could cause problems for other PCs running older processors.

The good news is that according to Acer: “Microsoft is working with us to help provide compatible drivers to address this incompatibility.”

But it would be even better to hear some official word direct from Microsoft that all this is in hand, and folks don’t have to fret about what might happen to their convertible notebook as 2018 rolls around.

Meanwhile, if you own one of these machines, about all you can do is sit tight and hope for a positive resolution.

      

Top 10 business apps for iPad

Note: Our top business apps for iPad round-up has been fully updated. This feature was first published in July 2012.

Some people think of the iPad as something of a toy – a basic computing slab suitable for little more than lounging on the sofa poking around at Facebook and Candy Crush. But those people would be wrong – especially since the introduction of Apple’s iPad Pro range.

A large list of critical business functions, like email, messaging and many administration tasks can be performed on the iPad with only its default apps. Add in a thing or two from the App Store and your iPad can become even more powerful.

We’ve trawled the deepest recesses of the App Store to highlight our current top 10 business apps for Apple’s tablet, whether you’ve got an iPad Air, iPad Mini or one of the Pro models. This is a collection of software which can make a real difference to your efficiency, improve your relations with customers and clients, not to mention helping you out creatively.

Try a few of them out and you might just find your iPad becoming your go-to office tool. Not that we won’t permit a little bit of Candy Crush in your downtime, of course…

Price: Free

This entry actually covers three different applications, Apple’s iOS versions of Keynote, Numbers and also Pages, each available absolutely FREE (or £7.99 ($9.99) each for iPads released before September 1 2013). If you’re already used to working in the Apple environment, these streamlined tablet versions of its desktop apps will be instantly familiar.

While they’re not quite as well-equipped as their larger desktop counterparts, there’s enough here to keep you working on your essential documents without issues. It’s quite liberating to be able to dance around a spreadsheet with your fingers or generate charts on the fly, and while we’re not keen on typing large documents with the iOS keyboard, a Bluetooth keyboard is the perfect accompaniment to Pages.

Keynote could be particularly useful if you’re equipped with slightly more kit – pair it with an iPad VGA adapter and you’ll be able to hook your tablet straight up to a projector, and if you have an Apple Watch on your wrist its (simplistic) app is perfect for subtly advancing slides or activating animations.

Price: Free/£1.59 ($1.99) per month for 100GB

The ying to iWork’s yang, Google Drive is the company’s online office suite (and storage locker) is well-suited to anyone already integrated with its ecosystem, which we’d have to presume is a vast majority of its potential users. Everything you create is auto-saved to Google Drive’s cloud storage, and the iOS specific apps – Docs for word processing, Sheets for spreadsheets and Slides for presentations – support all the major formats. Once you’re finished with something, you can instantly share it with anyone just by sending them the appropriate link.

We love the collaborative element of Google’s apps, which means several team members can access and work on the same document simultaneously, but the real key here is that you can also work offline, so if you’re travelling somewhere without an internet connection you won’t lose valuable work time. Everything’s automatically synchronised with Google’s servers when you next connect online.

You can store up to 15GB for free, but have to start paying after that with Google Drive pricing plans available up to a massive 10TB.

Price: £7.99 ($7.99)

This is a fantastic idea on the face of it. Take pictures of documents with your iPad’s camera, and Genius Scan will turn them into PDFs. In practice, it’s just as effective as that simple explanation suggests. Once you’ve snapped a document, Genius Scan attempts to draw a frame around it, which you can tweak if it’s not quite bang on. Scan the document, and Genius Scan applies a transform to your photo, flattening it out and allowing you to export it as a PDF or JPG.

This is perfect for sending signed contracts on the fly, particularly if you’re not near an actual hardware scanner, and it’s a great idea for cataloguing receipts for later expense claims without having to carry an overflowing wallet.

In fact, if you’re looking to reduce any stacks of paper in your office, Genius Scan’s batch scanning function could be the perfect tool – just import all that paper, process it as you go, and have it sent right to Dropbox or OneDrive. You can even protect your PDFs for extra security.

Price: Free/£44.99 ($69.99) per year

Efficient projects are well-organised projects, and keeping all the information you need in one place is paramount. There’s a reason so many diligent individuals rely on Evernote to manage their information streams – it’s a great place to store everything from written notes to photos and web content.

Integrated sharing options and Evernote’s group notebooks make team collaboration easy, and it’s all entirely platform-agnostic, so anything you do on your iPad will automatically be reflected anywhere else you have access to the service.

We’d definitely recommend plumping for the £45 ($70) Evernote Premium annual subscription option (even despite the recent price hike) – you’ll get 10GB of uploads per month as opposed to the free version’s paltry 60MB, synchronisation to unlimited devices, the ability to attach and search PDFs and Office documents, and PDF annotation tools which come in handy more often than you might think. Once you’ve integrated Evernote into your workflow, you’ll never turn back – especially as rival services like Google Keep don’t even come close.

Price: Free

In the spirit of saving paper and reducing the number of things you have to lug around in your bag, here’s awesome note-taking app Penultimate. It gives you access to beautifully rendered and smooth inks, which make your quickly-jotted notes look amazing, and you get a host of papers to use them on (with more available through in-app purchases).

As the name implies, it’s best used with the Apple Pencil or other stylus – mainly because scribbling notes with your index finger both gives comparatively poor results and looks ridiculous.

Highly useful for taking notes in meetings or for collaborative planning exercises, Penultimate is packed with features that integrate with Evernote. As long as you don’t have handwriting like a cross-eyed GP, Evernote will attempt to interpret your scrawls and make your notes searchable, and you can quickly and easily catalogue them in folders, meaning all of your projects will stay well-organised.

Price: £15.99 ($15.99) for full version

Apple’s preinstalled and now-removable Stocks app just isn’t quite up to the task. Replace it with the beautiful and clean Stocks Tracker app (then spend the £15.99/$15.99 on the full version upgrade) and you’ll see just what you’re missing.

It puts real-time quotes on US stocks at your fingertips, with support for just about every worldwide exchange. You can make the most of its highly customisable graphs and views to create your own personal stocks frontend, and use its custom push notifications to keep a close an eye on your portfolio.

While its abilities to track historical earnings and offer buy/sell indicators are undoubtedly useful, you might find even more inspiration in the integrated social feed, where other traders discuss the stock they find interesting and what they’re doing with it.

Price: £9.99 ($9.99)

Every business has a host of systems, and usually these aren’t interconnected, meaning you’ll need to remember a bunch of logins and passwords for every single one. Forget that. 1Password lets you manage all of your access credentials on your iPad, and it even integrates with Touch ID and a master password to ensure that you’re the only one who can gain access to your password vault.

You can use it with many online services to make your accounts more secure – not having to remember a password means it can literally be a random jumble of characters and punctuation, something 1Password can generate for you. And the app can even automatically update your accounts with new info to avoid duplicates or insecure logins.

Everything is end-to-end encrypted to ensure you’re fully secure, and the iOS app also supports 1Password for Teams, a specific version of the system with differing access levels allowing a central manager to control who can see what. You can give it a try first with a 30-day free trial.

Price: Free

Making the most of the Extensions feature in iOS, Workflow essentially allows you to create your own mini apps using the features of others you have installed. Think of it as analogous to Automator for the Mac: if there’s a task you’re forever doing, you can create yourself a quick macro to get it done in a single tap.

Workflow also features IFTTT integration, meaning the app can extend its abilities beyond your iOS device and through to anything you use online. With over 200 actions built in – think things like ‘Select phone number’ or ‘get upcoming calendar events’ – you’re sure to be able to come up with creative ways to use it, and this software is user-friendly enough that even more complex activities are reasonably straightforward to set up.

When you’re done, you can run your workflows in the app, or add a shortcut to your home screen for quick access. And the best news…it’s now absolutely FREE.

Price: Free

Annotations are very important. If you’re not clear with your clients and contacts, your meaning can get lost, so make sure you’ve got a tool which can clarify your message with ease. Skitch (another app from the Evernote stable) is perfect: you can take snaps from your camera roll, add quick annotations and mark-ups, and send them on with ease. Do it with screenshots and you can make maps more useful, ensuring everyone ends up where they’re supposed to be.

Plump for the £1.99 ($1.99) add-on and Skitch will also enable you to add your own highlighting to PDF files, pointing out important passages with a couple of swipes. It’s worth pointing out that you don’t have to rely on the camera roll – you can take pictures in Skitch and annotate them immediately before sharing them via email, social or any number of other methods.

Price: £9.99 ($9.99)

Putting your ideas down on paper in a mind map is a great way to turn them from ideas into reality – or at least sift out the crazy stuff from the concepts that might work. Fire up MindNode on an iPad in the middle of a meeting room and you and your colleagues can get to work straight away. The canvas expands, so no matter how many ideas you need to get down, you’ll fit them on.

Add connections, stick on a few photos and before you know it you’ll have a solid plan. When you later come to revisit and revise, you can shut off entire branches to ensure the focus stays on what’s important, then turn individual nodes into tasks when it’s time to make the plan into a reality.

There’s a huge list of export formats, so no matter what your backend supports you’ll be able to export your mind maps and use them later on.

      

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