Happy hump day! Whether you’re looking forward to a break from school or some time off from the job over the holidays, the calendar continues its incessant march forward and before you know it, we’ll be curled up with some egg nog roasting chestnuts on an open fire with our loved ones. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, maybe you’d prefer a handful of tech news from the last 24 hours or so, and we’re happy to serve it up to you now…
With the souped-up cameras in recent iOS devices, the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch seem ready-made to be a mobile scanner. Readdle was among the first to tap into this potential with its paid Scanner Pro app, but this week it introduced Scanner Mini, a free, universal take on that technology. Using automatic edge detection and perspective correction, Scanner Mini turns snapshots of your documents, receipts, books, bills and magazines into a clean PDF that syncs immediately to iCloud and can be read on any Mac or PC. Should you require more superpower for sharing scans via email, uploading to Dropbox, Evernote or Google Drive and printing via AirPrint or fax, Scanner Pro is also still available from the App Store for $6.99.
Too cheap to pay $24.99 per year for iTunes Match? If you don’t mind heading over the dark side, Google Play is now offering the same scan and match technology for your music collection — and it’s absolutely free for up to 20,000 songs. “Our new music matching feature gets your songs into your online music library on Google Play much faster,” Google announced Tuesday. “We’ll scan your collection and quickly rebuild it in the cloud – all for free. And we’ll stream your music back to you at up to 320 kbps.” Yes indeed, that’s higher quality than even iTunes can serve up. The downside? There’s no official Google Play Music app for iOS, and you’ll have to be comfortable leaving the relative safety of iTunes and keeping your music collection exclusively in the cloud.
School may be winding to a close this week for the holiday break, but that doesn’t mean parents can’t keep their little ones sharp at home during the downtime. Deedil has announced the availability of Numbers Flash Cards 123, a 99-cent universal app for helping pre-K, kindergarten and grades one and two kids learn their numbers through visual and audible cues, from zero all the way up to 100. In-app coloring pages can be used to trace the numbers and even print them out when finished. If you want to try it out first, Deedil is making a free lite version available, and is celebrating the new release by making its previous Robot ABCs with Jinxie free until Thursday night. Grab ‘em while you can!
MacRumors reported Tuesday that Apple has started offering up a minor iOS 6.0.2 software update, but curiously only for iPhone 5 and iPad mini devices. The extremely brief (even for Apple) release notes simply claim the update “fixes a bug that could impact Wi-Fi.” Installing the update over-the-air initially choked, requiring users to take a step back in time by downloading and installing the full update via iTunes instead. We haven’t noticed any significant improvements with our Wi-Fi connection yet — not that we were having any real trouble before. How about you?
We can’t get enough transitions for Final Cut Pro X, and Noise Industries’ FxFactory continues to be the best way to collect them all in one place. If your holiday videos call for block-style transitions, you’ll be happy to know that Noise partner Stupid Raisins has just released Block Pop, a $49 FxFactory plugin offering 23 customizable transitions for FCPX which break the outgoing video into blocks while transforming the incoming video in the same manner. If you’d like to try before you buy, a free trial version is available for download, and Block Pop can be purchased directly from FxFactory.
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