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Smartpad vs pocket informant

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by Yuk1200, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. Yuk1200
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    Yuk1200 iPF Noob

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    I am undecided between Smartpad and Pocket Informant.

    PI has a better UI but sounds quite buggy.

    SP syncs with iCal but tasks are converted to events of 30mins cluttering your day calendar.

    Any inputs, suggestions, comments?

    Thx
  2. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    I have used Pocket Informant HD for a couple of months - but I've no experience of SmartPad.

    I, too, read that Pocket Informant was buggy but, in my (admittedly) limited experience, I've found no problems at all. As you mention, it has a very nice user interface that's almost infinitely configurable - a complaint that many Forum members make about the iPad's native 'Calendar' app. So you can choose how tasks, events, projects, appointments are colour coded and there is a wide choice of notifications and alarms - so, for example, you can have different alarm sounds for different categories of notifications.

    Maybe SmartPad does this too, but Pocket Informant 'sits on top' of the iPad's native 'Calendar' app and (optionally) imports all entries that it finds there. They can be colour coded so they can be distinguished from entries made in Pocket Informant itself.

    This is important because many other iPad apps use the native 'Calendar' app as the default place to put events, invitations etc. So, for example, if you are invited to a meeting by email and you receive that invitation in the iPad's native 'Mail' app, that app can automatically (and quite cleverly) insert that invitation into the default calendar app. Without that integration between the native app and Pocket Informant, you'd have to enter those invitations all over again.

    Pocket Informant has lots of 'hidden' features too. One of the reviewers remarked that part of the 'fun' of using Pocket Informant was discovering them!! The display is infinitely configurable - day, week, month, year at a time. Tasks, events, overdue tasks, projects, projects in progress etc etc all can be optionally displayed on the main calendar. Projects and tasks can have infinitely nested sub-tasks and projects - these can cleverly be integrated with GPS - so, say you needed to purchase some goods from the hardware store. Put that in a To-Do list and link it to the location of the hardware store using the iPad's native 'Maps' app. Next time you're driving past the hardware store, up pops the notification ('Remember to purchase some 2"x4" timber').

    Repeating events are very flexible too, with the 'custom' mode being infinitely (I keep using that word!) configurable. So, meetings that occur on the last Thursday and first Monday of every other month - no problem.

    It can sync with external calendars - Google for example - and back-up is cool, it creates a backup file that you can email to yourself for safe keeping. If you lose your iPad or all your data is corrupted, that backup can be imported back into Pocket Informant with a single click.

    You can create multiple diaries within Pocket Informant - say 'Work', 'Family', 'Golf Club' etc and have their entries optionally displayed on the main screen or restricted to the display of the individual diary. So it's easy to check if there's a clash between the golf tournament and your wife's birthday - and hide it if there is......

    If you surf to the developer's web-site, you can download for free a very comprehensive User Manual that will show you in detail what Pocket Informant can do.

    The developers are constantly updating the program - always a good sign in my view.

    As I said at the beginning, perhaps I'm not a particularly demanding user, but I've had no stability problems at all. I should add the usual disclaimer that I have no contact or other relationship with the developers of Pocket Informant other than being a very satisfied customer.

    Tim
    Scotland
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  3. Yuk1200
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    Yuk1200 iPF Noob

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    pocket informant and ical

    thanks for the nice review and good source of information.
    Question: can you sync iCal events from your iPad directly to Pocket Informant?
    I thought you cannot.
  4. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    iCal events on your Mac can sync with the iPad's built-in Calendar app if you use Apple's MobileMe service. It 'pushes' Contacts and Calendar from your Mac/PC to the iPad and updates them automatically - i.e. without the use of iTunes and without the need to connect your Mac and iPad - 'over the air' using WiFi or 3G.

    Pocket Informant then immediately reflects those changes because it dynamically imports any iPad Calendar content.

    Hope that helps.

    Tim
    Scotland
  5. PatriciaF
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    PatriciaF iPad Fan

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    I purchased Pocket Informant and wasn't all that impressed with it. I am looking at SmartPad because you can rearrange your tasks with a finger, drag it to the position you want, which is exactly what I was looking for to start with. I hate to purchase another app since PI was $14.99 but SP is on sale for $8.99.
  6. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have pocket informant and also bought smart pad today, they both have plus's and minus's.......in the limited time I've had with SP it feels less intuitive than PI but a big plus for me is the notes in SP as I can add a journal type diary to each date, very useful for me at work. It's a shame that they don't both do a free time limited trial so that you can evaluate what works for you.......for me I think that I'll probably stick with SP but still early days.

    The Archangel
  7. PatriciaF
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    PatriciaF iPad Fan

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    Hi Gabriel 1, I broke down and purchased Smart Pad and I am happy with it because it gives me the option of dragging a task up or down. I wish I found that one before PI because I wouldn't have purchased PI. I found that SP was similiar to use and didn't seem too busy to me. Wonder if PI would give me a refund if I tell them I didn't like it. Oh well. Enjoy SP:)
  8. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm sure they would sell a whole lot more if they provided free light or time limited versions.

    The Archangel
  9. PatriciaF
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    PatriciaF iPad Fan

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    I understand that PI is coming out with a great update. Don't know when or what it will be but I have both PI and SP.
  10. Robjs
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    Robjs iPF Noob

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    My experience

    I think there's a simple bug in PI. It was all fine until I imported all my contacts. I have over 1000 and now it crashes every time I click the contacts tab. Can't find a way to contact them to get it fixed. Hope this helps you!

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