Pygmy Reviews #59 – iOS Apps for Power Users

Transmit ($7.99)

Old Line Description: FTP/SFTP (and more) including local storage

From the fabulous Panic, Inc. this software is for so-called “power users”. It can download files and upload files, and thanks to the sharing abilities added in iOS 8 it can send files to/from tons of different applications. In addition to FTP and SFTP, it can also connect to WebDAV and Amazon S3. It uses Touch ID for extra security when needed as well. This definitely is not an app for regular people. It just wouldn’t be useful to most people. Like most of the apps in this post, this application would be super useful for anyone trying to use their iPad as a laptop replacement. But it’s a well designed (S)FTP client that is more than worth the money for anyone that would regularly use it. For people doing web development it’s probably a must have.

Prompt ($7.99)

Old Line Description: An SSH client for iOS

Another piece by Panic Inc., this is an nice companion to Transmit. SSH clients are another “power user” tool that would likely be even less useful to a “regular” user than Transmit. But for someone that needs to administer servers it’s an invaluable tool. It has more than once saved me when I was nowhere near a computer and needed to fix a server issue. It’s useable on the iPhone, but really only in a pinch because the screen is just too small. But just like Transmit it’s essential on the iPad for anyone trying to do more serious development. It has a lot of the same features as Transmit, including Touch ID. It is a little bit buggy at times, and I have had some issues with editing text in certain editors, but it’s worth it for the security blanket it provides.

Workflow ($4.99)

Old Line Description: An automation tool to save taps for repetitive tasks in iOS.

Workflow is another “power user” application, but is not necessarily for web development. It can allow even regular users to automate tasks, or save combinations of steps to make things easier. It can be used to do all sorts of things, like adding a shortcut to your homescreen to call/text someone, tweet a song you are currently listening to, make a PDF file from pretty much anywhere, or many more tasks. I mostly use it for nerdier stuff. Unshortening URLs, combining screenshots, quickly creating Due reminders to call someone later are just a few of the things. One of my favorite, less nerdy ones, is used to do price comparisons between products. Many stores put unit prices on their price tags to help with this, but not always. I don’t make nearly as much use of this application as I would like to, but I just can’t find tons of use cases personally. Just like the aforementioned applications, this would be extremely useful to anyone trying to use their iPad as a full blow laptop replacement. There are a lot of tasks that just require too many taps.

Slack (Free)

Old Line Description: Team communication app used to access the service of the same name.

Slack’s popularity is soaring. It has become the de facto standard for team communication, especially within teams distributed across geographic locations. The service is easy to use, reliable and fast. It has great file attachment support, private messaging and syncing across devices. It also has tremendous emoji support, and great integration with a countless number of services. Slack’s popularity is only going to grow as more and more people find ways to use it outside of the corporate environment. Public slack channels are catching on, and it’s become the IRC of the 2010s. The mobile app itself is solid. It looks nice, it’s responsive and performs well most of the time. The push notifications could be designed a bit better because sometimes it’s confusing exactly who sent a message and who they sent it to, but that is probably as much iOS’s fault as it is Slack’s. Overall the iOS app does nothing but promote the solid service, and make it even better.