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February 12th, 2013

Will 2013 finally be the year that truly useful, ready-for-prime-time iPad business apps let you leave your laptop behind? With tons of new and “newly improved” apps hitting the market, it just may be—truth be told, it took some doing to keep this list down to 10! We manage to cover some great apps in the following categories: Presentations, Graphs & Graphics, Cloud & Collaboration, and Documents & Design. Let’s roll!

PRESENTATIONS

Keynote – As far as apps go, Apple’s Keynote is the “PowerPoint killer.” It is without question the most potent presentation app available on any mobile platform, and has been retooled from scratch for our iPad rental and other iOS devices.

Presentations on iPad

Corkulous – Whether you call it an ”idea board” or a “mind mapper,” Corkulous is a simple, straightforward way to bring definition, organization, and collaboration to your ideas before they evaporate.

Sadun’s Whiteboard – Connect your iPad to an LCD touchscreen monitor rental, a TV, or a projection system (via VGA, composite, or component cable), use the familiar markers and erasers with this app, and view it all “big as life.”

GRAPHS & GRAPHICS

Analytics HD – Google’s online Analytics App debuts on the iPad as Analytics HD, empowering your charts and reports like never before. There’s a version for Android devices, while tablet PCs running Windows can access the browser-based original—and they’ll all play nice, too!

Numbers – Like its brother app Keynote, Apple’s iOS spreadsheet is far and away the best ever made for a mobile device. Although completely refurbished, it’s still the app you know and love on your iMac. Powerful, attractive spreadsheets are mere minutes away.

CLOUD & COLLABORATION

FTP On The Go PRO – This FTP client for iOS devices lets you view website components (HTML, CSS, PHP, etc.) and other server-based files (JPG, PDF, DOC, etc.), and modify them with a built-in editor. You don’t need your MacBook anymore to update your website from wherever you are.

SugarSync – Among the first cloud services, SugarSync gives you instant access to cloud-synced files from all your computers and “smart” (WiFi-enabled) devices. View and edit documents and files, save and send photos, stream movies and music, and share files (and entire folders) with anyone.

GoTogotoMeeting now on iPadMeeting – GoToMeeting was one of the first services offered for online “virtual” meetings, and is now among the first to go portable. From your iPad you can “meet and greet” people signing in from a smart phone, a Mac, or a desktop PC rental, and easily share almost anything on-screen—spreadsheets, Word docs, presentations, even video clips.

DOCUMENTS & DESIGN

iMockups – Developers and designers often need to whip up a few wireframes for their websites and apps. An iPad exclusive (so far), iMockups takes complete advantage of the touch interface to produce great results. If you need a better view, just connect to one of CRE’s plasma display rentals with a simple cable/adapter.

Dragon Dictation – Built from the core capabilities of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Dragon Dictation “turns talk to text” for note writing, e-mails, and messages. After a bit of breaking in (for you and the app), it can be up to five times faster than using the virtual keyboard.

With a simple phone call to (877) 266-7725—or an even simpler online message—our expert Account Executives will help you overcome every obstacle you face, from that impossible production schedule to a last-minute need for some tradeshow convention rentals. As always, if you know exactly what you need, just head to our Quick Rental Quote page and tell us!

June 14th, 2012

With the onslaught of apps for everything, what about apps specifically for film and TV industry? We discovered there were a lot of great ones. Here are five great digital time-saver apps for content producers out there.

#1: 1st Video Net
Maker: VeriCorder Technologies
Price (OS): $9.99 (iOS)

Can ten bucks really put “a TV studio in the palm of your hand”? If you work in a newsroom, 1st Video Net may be the ticket to media control. With your iPhone or an iPad rental you can record, edit and send podcast- and broadcast-ready video, simply and securely. Flexible enough for various newsroom systems, 1st Video Net supports cellular or WiFi transfer. (You need a VC Corporate Account, so contact sales@vericorder.com first.)

#2: 3cp/Image Control Pro
Maker: Gamma & Density Co.
Price (OS): $399.99 (iOS)

3cP/Image Control Pro (“ICP”) enables color correcting, masking and cropping of images on a calibrated iPad screen, and creates a matching 3D LUT (LookUp Table) for post-production. Images can be sourced from the camera(s), the Photo Album or WiFi. Plenty of our PC desktop computer rentals are used for this work, but with ICP the iPad joins the “heavy lifting club.” All metadata can be e-mailed to post-production personnel, ensuring color-corrected dailies and reducing line costs.

Film TV Apps

#3: Acacia
Maker: Ephemerald Creative Arts
Price (OS): Free (Android)

A camera assistant’s app for Android, Acacia recently hit version 0.8.3, cementing its position as the “Swiss Army knife for filmmakers” by adding more features. Known for its Depth of Field (DOF) calculator and media-management tools, Acacia upped the ante with a new digital director’s viewfinder.

#4: AJA DataCalc
Maker: AJA Video Systems
Price (OS): Free (Android, iOS)

The AJA DataCalc app calculates video and audio storage requirements. Supported formats include Apple Intermediate and ProRes, Avid DNxHD, CineForm, raw uncompressed and many more. Video display standards include PAL, NTSC, 2K and 4K, 720p, 1080i and 1080p. In 2007, this app’s desktop ancestor ran on a Mac Pro rental, but today any Android or iOS device will work. You can calculate media durations of seconds, hours, days or even “frame rate” when using time code mode.

#5: M3s Movie Manager
Maker: OnSet Software
Price (OS): $4.99 (iOS)

A useful tool for many members of a film crew, OnSet Software’s M3s Movie Manager is a smart, organized app for integrating dailies with related assets. This means scripts, call sheets, camera/sound reports, production data and other PDF, PNG or JPEG documents. Viewing clips that are sorted by scene and take allows you to mark “circle-takes” (possible keepers) and view a slideshow of those selections. You can send an e-mail from within the app listing all circle-takes with accompanying comments.

From audio visual (AV) equipment rentals to everything you need for conferences, all it ever takes is a single call or e-mail, or a visit to our Quick Rental Quote page, to get your best solutions!

March 15th, 2012

new iPad

In “The New iPad: Some Nice Surprises (Part 1),” we told you about the astounding new Retina display, the faster A5X processor and the impressive camera specifications. These great upgrades, however, may not be required by every user. Are there other reasons to move to the new iPad with the early adopters, or should you play it safe until the first bug reports?

Familiar feel, predicted prices

The new iPad adds but a sliver to the sleekness of the iPad 2. It’s 3/100th’s of an inch thicker (.37 vs. .34) with about 1-3/4 ounces more heft (1.44 vs. 1.33 lbs.), nearly imperceptible increases that should have no effect on day-to-day use. Like the iMac through its history, some upgrades leave the look alone and focus on the insides. If you liked the iPad 2 ergonomically – the design, the look and feel – you’ll recognize the new iPad’s pretty face and svelte body, but you don’t need to upgrade to enjoy these features.

For the new iPad, Apple kept the starting price the same (for the Wi-Fi model with 16GB of flash memory) and lowered its iPad 2 price. You won’t be giving up much if you’re not a gamer and don’t lust for that Retina display. If you do need it, and the cameras, you’ll have the extra oomph of the A5X to get the most from them – but if you have a good cell phone, forgo the 4G model and save some dough. Apple packed every bit of its smarts, style, quality and value into the entry-level price.

What to do?

It comes down to the cameras, the display and the CPU. It’s not like Apple engineers threw everything out and went back to Square One, as they did with the mighty Mac Pro some years back. They took a great product and did a combo update-upgrade with three very powerful improvements. Everything the company learned in years of making Apple Cinema Display rentals went into creating the new Retina display. If you spend time reading and playing high-end games, you are one of Apple’s top upgrade candidates.

Two more types are on that list: people who depend on mobile data networks, and the early adopters and pioneers of tablet photography. The 4G speed jump is far too great to pass up if you work and live online. You can rent laptops to cover the territory, of course, but when you need an iPad, well, you need an iPad! A mobile photographer, on the other hand, commonly uses a PC laptop or a MacBook Pro for processing, indexing, editing and “Photoshopping” – but a solo iPad can be note-taker, indexer, editor, camera and digital lab.

Not convinced? Don’t know what your business should use? Discuss it in a call or e-mail to CRE. Our expert Account Executives know their stuff, and everyone else’s, too. Whether you need audio visual (AV) equipment rentals or high-end post-production gear, CRE is your one-stop shop. And visit our Quick Rental Quote form day or night!

March 13th, 2012

The rumor mill is closed, the guesses and predictions are old news, and the new iPad is here. It has neither “3″ nor “HD” in its name. It’s “the new iPad” or, simply, “the iPad.” For CRE, iPad rentals will include iPad 2 as well as the model just introduced, which has some serious upgrades. Enough to get every iPad 2 owner to make the move? Let’s find out. Here’s part 1 of a two-part blog all about Apple’s latest core product.

new iPad

The top upgrades

The consensus “killer feature” is the Retina display that debuted on the iPhone, which doubles the pixels of the iPad 2 screen to a bright, sharp 2048 x 1536. The enhanced pixel count blows away the previous screens, and finally competes with other ultra-HD tablets in browsing, reading and especially gaming. The type of tech going into a high-resolution LCD touchscreen monitor rental is now being configured for smaller and smaller devices. Your eyes will be quite pleased with the new iPad.

In addition to having a great new screen – will rumors have it hitting the MacBook next? – the iPad marks Apple’s first “true” 4G device. Much faster than 3G, today’s 4G networks from Verizon and AT&T (which calls it “LTE”) promise video and everything else in a fast, fluid, stable stream. Of course, greater data speed makes it easy to download “stuff,” leading to costly overages, a main gripe against one of the Big Two iPad carriers (AT&T).

CPU, graphics, cameras also improved

As expected, Apple increased CPU power. While most prognosticators claimed the new iPad would have the A6, it has the quad-core A5X processor, which naturally has much in common with both the iPad 2′s dual-core A5 and the quad A6. Now endowed with true “high-def  gaming” power, the new iPad moves beyond the level of tablet PC rentals, and pretty close to pricey gamer dream machines like the Razer Project Fiona.

The original iPad had no cameras. The iPad 2′s front-facing one is okay for video chatting, but the back-facing one has under one megapixel for stills. The new iPad now surpasses the MacBook Pro in this department, with a solid 5MP camera for sharp stills and 1080p video, and Apple’s “photo-friendly experience” includes an iOS version of iPhoto. The “tablet photography” sector is brand new, so Apple is intent on conquering it. How? By helping you create as much or more content on the iPad as you consume with it.

Now appearing at CRE, of course, are all the great computers, trade show convention rentals and the high-tech post-production gear that media pros need. One call or e-mail, or one short visit to our Quick Rental Quote form, puts us to work for you right away!

Make sure to check out – “The New iPad: The More Things Change… (Part 2)” – on Thursday, March 15, 2012.

January 12th, 2012

Sure, Apple will continue to upgrade its Macintosh line in the coming year, with the next changes in the iMac likely to be with the display (as well as a cosmetic facelift). The potent Apple portables, with the MacBook Pro rental at the top of the food chain, will probably get some “evolutionary” refinement, but no major changes. So what insanely great changes are coming up this year?

Apple’s 2012 strategy

The real action at the Cupertino company in 2011 was with its iOS devices, which will continue to be the firm’s big newsmakers in 2012. One thing we know:  iPad rental will have a “3″ at the end of its model name. It seems pretty clear that Apple’s big-ticket product in the first half of 2012 will be the iPad 3, with the iPhone 5 debuting in the second half of the year. We will take a look at the iPhone in an upcoming blog – the iPad 3 is the first order of business this year.

iPad3

Despite the proliferation of mobile devices like tablet PC rentals, Apple will doubtless continue to rule the market in tablets (and smart phones). There are literally dozens of iPad-centric sites, but the original is iLounge, and its recent coverage of iPad 3 rumors (and others) is cautious and thankfully un-hyped.

Where was iPad 2 weak?

The iPad 2 added some potent new features to the original model, but still failed to live up to several expectations. The dual-core A5 chip was a bona fide improvement, but both cameras in the iPad 2 are somewhat underwhelming compared to some competitors. Not for long. All this will change with third iteration of the iPad, which will likely feature an A6 processor and new, high-definition cameras, probably the same ones that will end up in a revamped MacBook rental line, too.

When the new iPad does launch, it will probably cannibalize sales of the iPad 2. However, this gives Apple the opportunity to place its legacy model in the mid-range tablets market, currently topped by Amazon’s new $199 Kindle Fire. Despite a great deal of speculation about Apple introducing a “mini” version of its hit tablet, or putting the iOS in a downsized MacBook Air, but there has been no evidence of this being seriously considered.

CRE Rentals stays abreast of technology and supports all your important work, from intense post-production tasks with an AJA Io HD to conference breakout sessions with our first-rate trade show convention rentals. Our expert Account Executives will respond swiftly to your call or e-mail, or you can speed things along even faster with our Quick Rental Quote form. When you’re ready, we’ll be here to help!

November 30th, 2011

Recent studies show that the popular iPad rental is an increasingly significant source of web traffic in the U.S. With a little planning – and some strategic insight into the ever-busier two-way street of mobile media – you can attend conferences and be confident in your ability to drive attendees to your website with iPad. Here’s how.

iPad

Traffic leader

The respected web analytics firm, comScore, reports that smartphones and tablets (from iPhones to WiFi-enabled tablet PC rentals) accounted for nearly 7% of total U.S. web traffic in August 2011. About two-thirds of that was from phones, the balance from tablets. Astonishingly, the iPad grabbed over 97% of tablet traffic.

But the iPad is also driving more web traffic than Apple’s own iPhone – a 46.8% share of all traffic originating from iOS devices (again, in August), as opposed to the iPhone’s 42.6%. Tellingly, the total iOS share of U.S. mobile web traffic that month was 58.5% – that’s market penetration, folks. This is true despite the continuing growth of Android, which just released version 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”).

In the mix of communication

Clearly, the iPad is right “in the mix” when it comes to communications today. What makes it so potent as a marketing device – before, during and after conferences – is its portability, for one thing. But the real power lies in its “double connectivity” (WiFI and cell) and all the great apps that have been customized for it. Although the MacBook Pro is portable, too, Apple’s tablet is supremely flexible, adaptable and focused.

With access to e-mail, social networking sites and the rest of the web, you can use your iPad in real-time from your exhibit booth to draw attendees there. In addition to communications apps, the iPad has a full array of office tools for creating, editing, printing, sending and otherwise managing all of your marketing materials. You can announce breakout sessions, invite participants to interactive presentations powered by Audience Response Systems (ARS) and steer attendees to both your booth and your website.

Bottom line for business professionals

According to comScore, in 2010 over 115 million Americans used mobile devices to browse the web, use/download apps or access content. This is nearly 20% greater than just the previous year – and the numbers are even more impressive among business users. Whether using a PC desktop computer rental or a mobile device, business users have come to depend on the ability to reach their targets – worldwide, around town and in a sea of conference attendees.

When you need more than just an Xserve RAID array or other high-tech tool – when you need a solution, a plan, a strategy – you need CRE. One call or e-mail, or one visit to our Quick Rental Quote online form, and an Account Executive is on the job for you. Just let us know what you need to do!

September 6th, 2011

Mobile, powerful, flexible and customizable, the original iPad was already a great device for event planning when we blogged about the subject in January of this year. Since then, we have seen the introduction of a potent upgrade, the iPad 2, with plenty of new (as well as newly improved) apps. Here are five great iPad apps for events.

Flexible planner

OmniGraffleOmniGraffle, by The Omni Group, is among the most expensive iPad apps (at $49.99), but is worth every cent. With simple gestures you can draw shapes, make notes and develop your ideas, while templates (called “stencils”) help you track convention rentals, create floor plans, visualize processes and manage people. You can output PDFs or transfer your files to OmniGraffle for Mac with this professional-grade app.

Banquet boss

You can get a lot of power for less, too, like $2.99 for myBanquet by Upiksoft. It gives you everything you need to manage food services for small meetings or annual shareholder conferences. MyBanquet for iPadYou can import contacts, design floor plans, assign seating, manage guest lists/RSVPs and more. You can also save banquet plans for reuse and share them with other myBanquet users. There are similar programs for tablet PC rentals or laptops, but the iPad’s small form factor and ease of use make it the platform of choice.

Travel troubles?

GroundLink lets you book car service in seconds for today, tomorrow or next month. As opposed to some “limo” apps that work only in select cities, GroundLink works around the world. With the app running on one of our iPad rentals, you can see what vehicles are available, track the arrival of your car with a specified ETA, view your route and check the charges prior to booking.

The simple things

Avantar’s free White & Yellow Pages app has comprehensive listings and powerful search functions. Search for people and businesses – by industry, name, address or phone number – and work with the results to add/edit contacts, save favorites, link to sites and get GPS driving directions. Whether you need to find a photographer or some plasma rentals, this phone book is all you need.

Ever improving Evernote

The free Evernote app is the original iOS “cloud service.” Its evolving set of capabilities can help you plan an event of any size, style or purpose. Simply create a “notebook” for your event and save your notes, ideas, photos, Web sites, contacts, contracts and voice memos. You can install the appropriate Evernote program on everything from iPhones to iMac rentals, too, to keep everything (and everyone) in sync.

When you and your digital workflow are out of sync, a simple call or e-mail to our experienced Account Executives can get you back on track. With post-production gear (like AJA Io HD rentals) and everything you need for a successful trade show exhibit (like LCD touchscreen monitor rentals), we’ve got you covered – completely. (Know what you need? Use our handy Quick Rental Quote form.)

August 18th, 2011

Today, we are wrapping up our list of best iPad apps for Marketers (check out Part 1 ). These mobile marketing tools include iPad apps for event organizers to news aggregators and more. Let’s jump right in.

iPad apps

iPad apps for planning and event management

Great marketing campaigns succeed because the responsibilities are defined, the tasks organized and the schedule followed. Personal planners, like Todo, help make all that happen, and document how, as you proceed step by step to your goals. The app syncs with iCal or Outlook calendars, including ones shared on iMac rentals, enabling you to schedule reminders, set alerts, keep a conference team in sync and manage your contacts. ($4.99)

Bento is something like Todo, as it also helps you organize customers and contacts. It has a “big brand” pedigree, though, as it is from the makers of Filmaker Pro, a full-fledged relational database. Like Filemaker, Bento can track projects, organize meetings and plan events. With 25 templates to customize for whatever you could possibly have to organize – a Keynote presentation, your customer contacts, an event schematic or date/time lists of things to do – Bento will take you all the way. ($4.99)

Apps for news, info and connections

Flipboard is an “aggregator,” not a creator of original content. According to your preferences and how much personal data you are willing to give up, the app scours the Internet to present just what you want in a slick, magazine-style layout. Mix business magazines with The Onion, subscribe to whatever feeds you want and monitor your Twitter, Google Reader, Facebook and Flickr accounts. You can keep multiple “boards” with different kinds of contacts and information, making Flipboard an excellent communications solution for business and personal use. (Free)

It’s not the first app to turn into a cult, but Instapaper Pro users in the millions (yes, millions) swear it changed their lives. This potent product lets you save Web pages for later offline reading – just click to save the “good stuff,” which you can then access from smart phones, laptop rentals and other devices. It is unsurpassed as a browser tool for researchers, writers, corporate creatives and tech professionals – and the marketing pros that sometimes wear all those hats. ($4.99)

All apps are available at the App Store, iTunes, the developer’s site and other locations.

CRE doesn’t just have the best, most powerful high-tech tools – from Xserve rentals for networking to the post-production pro’s best friend, our render farm rentals – but expert Account Executives to provide specific solutions to your unique challenges. A quick call or e-mail, or a visit to our Quick Rental Quote page, will get you what you need to get you to your goal. It’s what we do.

August 16th, 2011

One reason for the Apple iPad’s astonishing success is its versatility. CRE’s experience with iPad rentals shows they can be all things to all people – a sketchpad for designers, a portable presentation platform for exhibitors, even a mobile video editor. It’s because of the high-quality apps developed for iOS, the software platform iPads share with the iPhone.

iPad Apps

The App Store launched in July 2008 with 500 apps. Apple approved the 500,000th app in late May of this year. From among them, pundits and end-users have made various lists of iPad marketing apps, many overlapping in their suggestions. Of the many apps for tracking trends, leveraging social media, publishing content, planning marketing campaigns and analyzing results, here are the Best iPad Apps for Marketers (Part 1 today, Part 2 on Thursday, August 18th).

Socializing = networking

You will need some or all of your networking apps – Twitter,  Foursquare, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. – but it is easy to overload and get bogged down. Here comes HootSuite to the rescue, managing your multiple profiles. HootSuite integrates them all so you can post breaking news, locate people, manage schedules, track stats and monitor lists, #hashtags and keywords. (Free)

Content is king

If you have a WordPress blog, the WordPress app for iPad is a no-brainer. A “lite” version focused on easy blogging, it’s best to do page design and other major work on a computer. Still, the widescreen layout gives you plenty of room to write, edit, moderate comments, add/remove images and stay on top of your content wherever you are. WordPress also released a plug-in that makes Web sites “iPad friendly”. (Both free)

Photos and graphics

Pictures do speak louder (and faster) than words.  They bring life and energy to blogs, marketing brochures and e-mail ads. Photoshop Express, now at version 2.0, is the perfect photo-editing tool for on-the-go marketing pros, a simple but sophisticated app for creating, cropping, rotating, revising and repurposing photos and images. (Free, optional tool pack $3.99)

Analyze sites and monitor ROI

AnalyticsPro is a powerful, flexible app that uses your Google Analytics account for on-the-fly decision-making. You can get detailed reports on Search Keywords, Top Content, Top 10 Countries, Referral Sources, Traffic Sources, etc., and analyze the Return On Investment (ROI) of your marketing campaigns. You can export those reports as PDF and other formats, and view them on everything from smart phones to tablet PC rentals. ($5.99)

All apps are available at the App Store, iTunes, the developer’s site and other locations.

Deadlines ahead? Conference coming? An Account Executive will help you get just what you need, to get where you need to go. Make a call, send an e-mail or fill out the Quick Rental Quote form, and we’ll get you what you need to succeed – indeed!

Watch for Part 2 of Best iPad Apps for Marketers coming up on Thursday, August 18th.

July 19th, 2011

Apple: The “iPhone Wait” and the “iPad Effect”

The iPhone Wait

Rumors are already starting to swirl about Apple’s iPhone 5, including a new design “paradigm” blending elements you see (and feel) on the MacBook Air, the fourth generation (4G) iPod touch and iPad rentals. Stricter adherence to the rounded sides, bevels and chiseled look of the reigning “Apple style” suggests the glass back may be a goner in a new, all metal case.

Media attention has moved to its other products since Apple refreshed its industry-leading iPad and upgraded its computer lines recently (CRE Rentals reported on the new iMacs in this blog). Besides some talk about increasing the screen size – which may not happen simply because there is only another millimeter or two it could possibly grow – the big question about the iPhone 5 is the same soon-to-be-ubiquitous acronym everyone else is talking about: NFC, for Near Field Communications.

Verizon, ATT&T and T-Mobile started working on an NFC payment system last year. Named “ISIS,” the proposed system would let people use everything from smart phones to tablet PC rentals for making purchases. ISIS has stalled for now, but some system or other will be ready within a year, especially since every Blackberry will have NFC starting this fall and Google is set to integrate NFC into Android before the year is gone. The only sure thing you can say about NFC and the iPhone 5 is that it’s too early to say – for now.

The iPad Effect

The “big box” electronics stores have been increasing the amount of floor space used for displaying tablets, space previously dedicated to traditional desktop and laptop PCs like iMac rentals. Best Buy is overhauling display areas in its U.S. stores, with new tablets like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, Motorola’s Xoom and the Hewlett-Packard TouchPad earning prominent placement.

This is due to the overwhelmingly successful, industry-changing iPad. The “iPad Effect” is allowing electronic retailers to stock more tablet models (like iPad, Galaxy Tab and Xoom) and carry wireless e-book readers from such makers as Acer, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, HTC and RIM.

At CRE, we stay updated and educated on everything from the latest geek gadgets to the high-end post-production gear like render farm rentals, and can outfit your office, your digital darkroom or your next conference breakout session room. Call or e-mail an experienced Account Executive or use our Quick Rental Quote form, and get the solution you need – the right one, right now. That’s how we roll!

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