The Magic Plan app for iPad and iPhone deserves to have “Magic” in it’s name.
I recently helped an Arlington, VA, customer who had a new iPad and had just moved. They wanted to build a floorplan of their place. Using Magic Plan allowed us to create a floorplan quickly by clicking on the corners of the rooms. You align the rooms, add in windows, make a few adjustments to the estimated dimensions if needed, and you’re done. Once you get used to it, you can have a house done in under an hour.
Then you can even add in furniture to your floor plans or see what it looks like if you do a construction project and knock down a wall.
The app is free to use and requires a subscription if you want to export PDF files for use by an architect.
Many people have an iPhone or iPad as well as a Windows computer. While there are ways to sync an iOS device with Outlook or Windows Mail for contacts and calendar, the syncing never displays things the same way as it does on the iPhone or iPad.
iCloud Web Access
The easiest way to give people access to their information is to use iCloud. Use the icloud.com website to give them access to things in the same way it look on their iOS devices.
Create Web Links on the Desktop
Then drag the the weblinks for the specific App to the desktop. (This is usually the icon to the left of the URL and can be dragged to the desktop.) They’re formatted in the following way:
I like to rename the links from “iCloud Contacts” to just just “Contacts”.
Find New Icons
I also like to make the icons look like the Apple icons. You can use any icons you want, but these are my favorite. I download the Multi-Res ICO versions if available. Download them to somewhere that you won’t later delete. I put them in c:\Windows\icons\
Mail (for @icloud.com email) http://www.iconarchive.com/show/iphone-icons-by-judge/mail-icon.html
This set of icons is overall good if you want to make an iPhone user feel at home on Windows:
Change the Web Links to the New Icons
To change the icon:
- Right click on the link icon on your desktop
- Choose the Web Document tab at the top
- Choose Properties
- Click Change Icon…
- Click Browse… and find the .ico file that you downloaded
Then you can have a Windows desktop that looks like this. If you check off “Keep me signed in” when you login to iCloud, then you have a quick and simple setup that will be comfortable for iPhone or iPad users.
While there is a free solution for printing from iOS using a printer connected to a Mac, Windows has a good paid solution from Collobos called FingerPrint 2. If you’re looking to print from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, this is a simple solution that costs $19.95.
made2dock makes some pretty good docks for the iPhone 4/S called dock-IN-case. There are these two models (Original and Slant) and a desk model that fits neatly in the cable hole in your desk. All models are heavy and well made. The Original is a bit heavier making it easier to pull out of the dock with one hand.
What really sets this dock apart are the sizing options to fit many different sized cases and bumpers.
The original iPhone can only be updated to run version 3.1.3 of iOS. This means that the vast majority of apps in the iTunes App Store can not be loaded onto the original iPhone. It would be nice if Apple allowed developers to keep old versions in the App Store for people with old devices. But since they don’t, it’s great that you can jailbreak the phone to allow many apps to run.
I followed these instructions from iPhoneBlogr. This not only jailbroke the phone. It also unlocked the phone so that it could be used on non-AT&T carriers, especially useful if I want to use the phone when traveling abroad.
Then I restored the phone in iTunes using Whited00r 5.1.
Whited00r gives you a new app store with a links to older working versions of Skype, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Performing the jailbreak can be a little scary for some people. But if you have your iPhone 2G or original iPod Touch in the closet or ready to go in the trash, give this a try. They are still good devices if you make the Whited00r updates.