Ian Tromp

Ian Tromp is a freelance writer who lives in Birmingham, England. Among other publications, he is a regular contributor to MacFormat.

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I’m a casual runner. It’s a sport that I’ve picked up and let fall many times in the course of my life. At the moment, I’m enjoying probably the most sustained period of regular running that I’ve so far managed. I do want to emphasise that: enjoying this past year of regular workouts really has been rewarding and fun.

I began this period with my iPhone, using the excellent Get Running app to get from my couch to running 5k in a few months. And then I wanted to keep track of my runs and tested a few different apps, including Nike+ GPS and Runmeter, before settling on Runkeeper back in January of this year. And I’ve stuck with Runkeeper, paying up to become an Elite member (which adds a few features and lets you sign up for half-price fitness training courses).

When Runkeeper opened up their API earlier this year, it became possible for outside developers to interface with their services. Today I’m going to be exploring one app that’s taking advantage of that capability, Lake Horizon Ltd.’s iSmoothRun ($4.99). Join me after the jump to check it out.


There are approximately a gazillion options available if you’re looking for an app to keep notes on your iPhone or iPad. The heavy hitters in the genre include SimpleNote, PlainText, Elements and Evernote, all of which either include or interface with existing online services that help to keep your notes in sync between iOS devices, cloud services and your Mac or Windows computers. Notefile is a new option for those looking for this kind of functionality.

To give Notefile a good test run, I’m using it to write this review. I can’t manage much typing on the iPhone’s screen keyboard, so I’ve paired my phone with a Bluetooth keyboard. Join us after the jump for a quick walkthrough of Notefile’s features, and a judgement of how it is to work with.


If you read RSS feeds, chances are that you have downloaded at least one or two different iOS apps of this type. I’ve tried at least ten of them, and every time I see a review of a new app, I’m inclined to check it out just to see if it does a better job than any of the others. Until very recently, I’ve been using Reeder on both iPhone and iPad, and have been very satisfied with both versions of the app.

What’s changed recently is not my choice of app, but rather my behaviour: I’ve come to question how many short-form articles I’ve been reading – I think my attention span has shrunk! Consequently, I’ve actually stopped reading my RSS feeds this week to see how it feels. I just opened up Google Reader and saw that I have a little over 800 unread items since Monday – that’s a lot of information my brain has not needed to process!

While running this personal experiment, I thought it might be a good time to check out Times from Acrylic Apps. After the jump, I’ll talk you through the app’s features…


My search is finally over. After many years of jumping back and forth between various task management tools, I think I’ve finally found the one that I’m going to stick with. I’ve tried many apps. On the desktop, Things led the pack for a long time, though its lack of over-the-air syncing between iPhone and desktop was a real problem for me, and there were aspects of its design that I never really liked. I also used Remember the Milk for a year or two, but eventually decided I wanted a desktop application.

For the past six months or so I’ve come back to OmniFocus, which I first started using in its original beta period. Though it’s got quite a steep learning curve, I’ve found a lot to love about it. The iPhone app is extremely powerful, syncs in several ways, is location-aware, and does a great job all round. And now the Omni Group has finished the set, recently releasing OmniFocus for iPad. Join us after the jump for a walkthrough of this latest addition to the OmniFocus family.