Travelling Banana Site Icon

WordPress have just released version 4.3, also known as “Billie”.

One of the new functions of this release, which I’ve already implemented, is the Site Icons feature.

Site icons represent your site in browser tabs, bookmark menus, and on the home screen of mobile devices. Add your unique site icon in the customizer; it will even stay in place when you switch themes. Make your whole site reflect your brand.

So if you are looking at this post (or anything on my website) whilst on your computer or laptop you should now see a mini banana just left of the travellingbanana.com url in the browser.

Can you see it?

If you are on your mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone you can add me to your homescreen using the Add to Homescreen feature.

You will now have a funky smiling banana as an icon. It should look something like this:-

Now you can have a useful visual identification to help you find one of your favorite websites :-)
Now you can have a useful visual identification to help you find one of your favorite websites 🙂 and a convenient link on your mobile device.

If you are visiting from an Android device, let me know the options you have and I will add those instructions here too?


You can find out more about this new WordPress release here

Functions in Pages that are different on the iPad and Mac

Apple’s Pages is their equivalent to Microsoft’s Word and is available on both the iPad and Mac. You may have discovered a few differences on how to achieve the same result or thought that some options are just not available. However, some of the functions in Pages can be accessed a different way depending on what device you are using.


Here are a couple of functions in Pages that are different on the iPad and Mac and how you can still access them by navigating to them a slightly different way.

HOW TO LOCK AND UNLOCK OBJECTS

Sometimes you need to lock or unlock an object such as a photo so that it does not move and stays in a certain area in your document – for example the object moves with text or the text wraps around the object.

Mac version

  1. Select one or more objects, then tap the brush icon
  2. Click Arrange, then click Lock. If you don’t see Lock then the object is probably set to Move with Text. To turn that off – Click Wrap and turn off the Move with Text option.

how to do the same on the iPad

The Best Stylus

The Best Stylus to buy has always been a tricky venture. Ever since iOS and Android devices have been designed with their finger friendly screens there’s always been a limitation when drawing or writing on occasions. It’s a bit of a minefield and as Apple seem to refuse to make a stylus for their own products it’s left to other manufacturers to come up with a solution.

Each one has their own special quirk and has often some alliance to one particular app, so unless you have the app the pen will work with to get the most out of the pressure sensitivity and other features you’re not going to be getting the full user experience even though you’ve paid full price!

The JaJa Pressure Sensitive Stylus. Worked great at the beginning but the first one had to be replaced and my second one just does not want to connect.
The JaJa Pressure Sensitive Stylus. Worked great at the beginning but the first one had to be replaced and my second one just does not want to connect and makes strange electrical noises

I’ve used a number of styluses from the cheap $0.99 version that feels so thin and cheap in your hands and ends up having to be dragged forcibly across your screen to the polar opposite end of the fancier pressure sensitive pens that can set quite a dent in your pocket. Which all means trying to find THE pen is extremely difficult. I don’t want you to fall for the uber cheap version but I understand you may feel wary parting with large amounts of money. Luckily I have boldly ventured forth on your behalf and can at least share my experience so far.

I’m using two different stylus or should that be styli. The main one I have been using is the JaJa Pressure Sensitive stylus from HEX3 but I’ve had some issues with connectivity and pressure sensitivity so I’m not going to recommend it here, even though I really do enjoy using it.

If I love it why am I not recommending it to you?

Well, I’m on my second pen. The first one failed to connect to the apps as promised and the button just did not work. Not to be deterred I got a replacement but this one also failed to work. The connection was better but the pressure sensitivity would not work because 90% of the time it would not come on and would make an awful electrical buzzing noise. I still have both but they are used purely as non working “insensitive” pens! Sorry HEX3 but that’s the bottom line. I really wanted to love this pen but you have ignored my emails to try and get the problem sorted but you’ve gone dark so I guess I’m on my own with broken styli!

However, not holding a grudge I’ve kept an eye on their new developments and they appear to have been working hard on some new and hopefully better models which look interesting and work across multiple devices. Maybe they’ve just been too busy developing to answer any concerns from past customers. Anyway, the proof will be in the pudding and if I venture down this route I will report my findings. I’ve been extremely disappointed by this company so I’m not too confident ordering from them again but I will showcase their new range within this article so you can make your own decision.

Continue reading The Best Stylus

Drawings and Doodles on Tumblr

The Picture Window – my adventures with an iPad, stylus and Tumblr.

I’d like to share a selection of my most recent doodles and drawings that can be found on my Tumblr account – The Picture Window. They are drawings plucked from my creative mind or inspired by surroundings or my interests.

Tom & Jerry up to their old cat and mouse tricks
Tom & Jerry up to their old cat and mouse tricks

I had been drawing some well known cartoon characters for a while that were full of bold colors and larger than life features and I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to capture everyone’s favorite cartoon icons. It’s harder than you think!

Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse

I then started to explore black and white doodling. One of my favorites is Moonlight. It’s very simple but sometimes the moon really is that big and makes you feel very small.

I made the drawing using the app Paper by 53. It really does make it easy to pick up your device and start drawing. Paper by 53 is just like using an old fashioned piece of paper. There are no fancy layers or hundreds of options to delete your work. You have a selection of pens and pencils of varying strengths and thicknesses, a palette of colors with a mixer option, a great zooming in feature for all the small detail and an eraser. With only these options available it really focuses the mind just like using the real thing.

Moonlight
Moonlight

The drawing of the cat on the lined paper is not my drawing but one I found amongst the many talented artists who post their work on Tumblr.

Sneakers
Sneakers

The featured image of the sneakers I’ve used to illustrate this post was quick and easy to do. I was really pleased with the results and I hope it conveys a sense of relaxation when you look at it. Even though I didn’t define any legs I think it gives the illusion that there are actually some there. My mind seems to fill in the blanks. I’m also hoping that the actual shoe looks like it is filled with a foot so I tried not to make it look flat and lifeless.  Did it trick your mind too?

which stylus do I use…read on

Bond Tracker for iOS

Everyone has their favorite Bond growing up and with every passing generation there’s a new Bond actor, movie and book. This app helps you track everything Bond.


James Bond, Licenced to Thrill

Splash Screen
Bond Tracker Splash Screen

Everyone has a favorite Bond and a James Bond they remember growing up with. There have been so many books, movies and even video games spanning a total of 60 years since it’s first conception in 1953 by author, journalist and naval intelligence officer Ian Lancaster Fleming that we thought we needed a handy device to log all this great entertainment.

This app was a lot of fun to create. As well as being huge fans of Bond, we love putting together useful apps to help make life a little more fun and a little easier to handle especially when there is so much information out there.

Have you looked at the web lately, phew, you can get lost out there.

We started to find that we just couldn’t remember what we had watched – call it loss of brain matter or the advancing years creeping up on us I guess! Was there a new movie, book or game out that we’d be interested in and if there was wouldn’t it be great to have something handy to help us find the info as well as help us remember too.

We’ve done the hard work for you. Let me be your Q and explain how this app works…and Bond, please do try not to break it…

the following content is for your eyes only

Talk! Speech Synthesizer for iOS

The Talk! Speech Synthesizer App for iOS is a lot of fun. Add some fun phrases or words that you like to say a lot and let your device speak for you.

How it works?

Enter Any Phrase You Like!
Enter Any Phrase You Like!

Open the app on either your iPhone or iPad and tap the + sign to add a new phrase. Once it’s been stored just tap the phrase and your iOS will begin to speak your phrase back to you. Keep adding as many phrases as you like.

You can also change the language and hear your phrase in your particular dialect or try some out just for fun. Select from British, American, Australian, German, South African, Irish to name but a few and choose whether you would like a male or female voice.

Add lots of phrases and speak to your friends via the Talk! Synthesizer.
Add lots of phrases and speak to your friends via the Talk! Synthesizer.

There’s also an option to change pitch and speed rate so you can play around with a high or low voice and make the voice speak really fast or ultra slow.

The app is currently available for iPhone but you can supersize it to fit the iPad screen for now. There are plans to release an iPad interface as well as iCloud integration to make it easier to share your phrases across multiple devices.

You can download Talk! Speech Synthesizer on the App Store. Check it out today and enjoy!

Download On The App Store
Download On The App Store

The Knitting Detective Guide

Miss Jane Marple comes to iOS so you can keep track of your favorite knitting detective on your iOS device. Easily track all your favorite Books, Movies and TV shows.


 

Miss Marple, the nosy but friendly busy-body, now on iOS

Miss Marple's Famous Hat
Miss Marple’s Famous Hat and Knitting Needles. Image: Travelling Banana

If you love all things Agatha Christie, but especially everyone’s favorite spinster amateur detective Miss Jane Marple, then you are in for a treat with our new app – Miss Marple for iOS.

The thing about Miss Marple, is that you can’t really ignore her, even though you may not see her at first. She moves around like some frail old lady often muttering something of great importance under her breath and the only sound you may hear is the faint clicking away of needles in the distance, expertly putting a new knitting project together.

Come to think of it, has anyone ever seen any of her finished results? A jumper for her nephew perhaps or a scarf for one of her many ladies that lunch or take tea and cake in her wonderful garden. I’m not sure I have, but then it’s all part of the devious mask behind the clever brain that’s working on so many things at once.

Settle in and I’ll explain how the app that we have made will help you keep track of all your favorite movies, books and tv shows.

Now where did I put my knitting needles.

Continue reading The Knitting Detective Guide

Sherlock Holmes for iOS

Can you remember which Sherlock Holmes books, TV shows or Movies you’ve watched or read? Let this app help you keep track of everything Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective.


Sherlock Holmes for iOS

Sherlock Holmes App Icon
Sherlock Holmes App Icon

Can you remember which Sherlock Holmes books you’ve read or which TV episodes and Movies you’ve watched?

Let this app help you keep track of everything Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective. We’ve compiled a list of books and short stories, TV shows and movies. You can keep track of what you’ve seen/read and discover hidden gems you may have missed.

It’s Elementary, my dear Watson!

Continue reading Sherlock Holmes for iOS

The Belgian Detective Guide

Poirot for iOS

Keep track of all things Hercule Poirot, n’est pas?

Poirot Flashscreen
Poirot Flashscreen

Remember which Poirot books you’ve read, which TV episodes and movies you’ve watched?

Let this app help you keep track of everything Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famous Belgian detective. We’ve compiled a list of books and short stories, TV shows and Movies. You can keep track of what you’ve seen/read and discover hidden gems you may have missed.

We had a lot of fun putting this app together. We found that we were losing track of which books we had read, I know that sounds impossible but it’s true, maybe it’s the advancing years of age shrinking our little grey cells but we needed some help. Even if you don’t forget which books, movies or shows you have read or watched, it is also useful as an aide to ensure you don’t miss anything.

So hence the app was conceived and born.

I’ve put together this article to delve into the app and help you understand how it works.

Continue reading The Belgian Detective Guide