Now also an excellent iPhone app
Where was this yesterday? We were in our car –– properly and correctly in a car park, we would never edit photographs on the Interstate –– and needed to do a tiny bit of work on an image that we'd forgotten to do earlier. Sometimes it's very handy getting to hide behind the third person: we were daft forgetting to do that image, we were daft forgetting to bring our iPads. If this were just about 18 hours later, we could've used the new Pixelmator 2.0.1 on our iPhones.
Very, very niche but well done tool
You're not going to need this often but let's work it out. What Monodraw 1.0 does it let you produce ASCII art – and already if you're blinking at that, you're not the market for this – like those images you've seen that are made up entirely of letters. They used to be done on typewriters because we knew no better, they were then done on computers because we were young. The makers of Monodraw want you to do ASCII art because it will last forever. They're right.
Keep on using paper just a bit longer
Its full title in the App Store is Carbo – Handwriting in the Digital Age and you're already thinking iPads, stylus or scribbling on the screen but you're wrong. This is not another app about mimicking the experience of writing on paper, it's not really about replacing paper at all. Carbo is about letting you continue to use paper but now use it in the digital world: take paper you write on and edit, copy or share it as you would anything you create online from scratch.
Easy to use, hard to spell, super graphics tool now on iPhone
You've got to say this for OmniGraffle: there aren't many other graffles in the App Store. There also aren't many tools that do what it does, and we've enthused before about OmniGraffle's ability to let the artistically-challenged among us sketch out plans, designs and notes on OS X. There's also been an iPad version, but OmniGraffle 2.1.1 is now a universal app, which means it is now on the iPhone for the first time.
Google takes on Twitch by offering live streams at 1080p 60fps
Google is making a number of small changes to YouTube, that will likely be welcomed by advertisers and gamers alike. YouTube's live streaming capability will now include support for 60fps streams, making it more suitable for gaming, while the initial advertising preroll that runs before many videos will now allow users to find out a lot more information about the advertised products, as well as making it easier to purchase.
Project Rigel to be available in late 2015, offer advanced features
[Updated with correction to erroreous CC subscription requirement] Adobe has chosen to withdraw its current photo editor for the iPad and Android tablets, Photoshop Touch, as of May 28, but has announced plans for new and supplemental technologies manifested in a number of apps to come later this year. A new photo editor, currently dubbed "Project Rigel," will offer greatly-improved speed, and was teased in a video that shows the program offering selective object removal, warping, and color swapping. The new app will be free of charge, unlike the $10 Touch app, and does not require a Creative Cloud subscription.
Wacom offers well-designed, albeit simple drawing app to pair with stylus lines
Design giants Wacom are known for their line of drawing tablets, which they've been producing for the better part of two decades. Because of this, they've become an industry standard when it comes to graphic design and digital illustration. Seeking to extend their market, Wacom recently made the leap of producing a line of Bluetooth-enabled styluses for the iPad, and with it came Bamboo Paper, a stylus-compatible drawing app designed for the iPad.
Ad blocking plans could result in request by carriers for advertising revenue cut
European carriers are allegedly working on blocking mobile advertising from major advertising networks, including those from Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. A report claims the current plans to remove the online advertising from smartphone browsers in order to save on bandwidth costs, though it will also apparently have the ulterior motive of trying to force the advertising networks to share some of their revenue with the carriers themselves.
Design, print, and assemble paper-craft toys and art
Readers might remember our Hands On for Storest, an app that gives kids physical paper props with which to play store. Today, we take a look at Foldify -- Create, Print, Fold! by the same developer, Pixle. Much like Storest, Foldify is an app that kids -- or immature adults like us -- can play with and then take part of that app into the physical world by printing it out in paper.
Almost 59 percent of European search listing removal requests denied by Google
Google is not fulfilling a high proportion of "Right to be Forgotten" requests, with more than half of requests being denied by the search company. According to its latest Transparency Report, Google has evaluated over 922 thousand requests for the removal of search listings since the program began last year, but out of that figure, 58.7 percent of all requests have been rejected.
Access to Google Map Maker denied for all while moderation system gets overhauled
Google is temporarily preventing users from being able to access the Map Maker tool, following a series of incidents concerning its misuse. Starting from tomorrow, the tool will be pulled while Google works to add some sort of moderation system to it, in order to avoid further issues such as the recent image of the Android mascot urinating on the Apple logo appearing in Google Maps.
Design giant Adobe updates digital sketchbook to include flow, opacity, and size controls
Many people would be surprised to learn that the iPad is an entirely viable way to create art, but thanks to the amount of fully-functional drawing apps on the app store, that's exactly the case. Today, we took a look at Adobe Photoshop Sketch, the brainchild of digital design empire Adobe, to see how it stacks up to other sketchbooks on the App Store.
Complaints about net neutrality issues prompts expansion of Internet.org
Facebook is allowing more online services to take part in its Internet.org free access scheme, following complaints. The initiative, which allows for free access to certain web services for mobile phone users in emerging markets, drew criticism from some over the "walled garden" created by the free service, something which goes against the concept of an open Internet and net neutrality principles.
More discounts available via dedicated MacNN Deals site
Regular readers of our Daily Deals posts may have noticed a paragraph near the top of the list for the last few weeks promoting a dedicated deals page. Today, we've officially launched MacNN Deals over at deals.macnn.com, offering discounts on a wide range of items you will probably find useful, including sections for gadgets and gear, eLearning packages, and even one for drones.
Publishers could receive larger percentage of advertising revenue from Facebook-hosted articles
Facebook may host news stories and articles on behalf of online publishers, to make it easier for users to share them throughout the social network, a report claims. Titled "Instant Articles," the service could start as soon as this month, with users expected to be able to click on and read content directly from within Facebook itself, instead of waiting for the publisher's site to load.
Cloud storage service starts public testing of multi-user editing feature
Dropbox has started to publicly test a new note-taking service that could be competition for other online productivity services, such as Evernote. A beta sign-up page for the new service advises it is called Dropbox Notes, with it revolving around allowing individuals and groups to collaboratively write and edit a document, all at the same time.
Image on Google Maps depicts Android mascot urinating on Apple
Users of Google Maps may find an odd image if they search Pakistan. Team Android reports someone has inserted an image of the Android mascot urinating on the Apple Logo. While it is unlikely to be an addition by a Google employee, it is possible that the image was added as part of Map Maker, a system that allows users to submit edits to the map for inclusion into the main Google Maps service, with the insulting image possibly overlooked during moderation.
From raw audio file to 'ready-for-air' podcast file, plus hosting
Over the next couple of weeks, our Wednesday Pointers column will continue to be devoted to writing about how to create a podcast. In previous segments, we've talked about software and hardware one uses to record the audio that is the core of every podcast, either for live group conversations, VOIP-based group audio calls, or even if you're just recording yourself. We've discussed the different types of podcasts, and how to record the content suitable for each (basically, audio-only or enhanced with images, or full-on video). This time, we offer some editing tips, how to add in music/sound effects and artwork, and then lead into hosting and publishing your work.
Sprint International Value Roaming includes unlimited free texts, 2G data
Sprint has introduced a new International Value Roaming option that will provide free texts and 2G data to subscribers visiting a list of countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, and Mexico, with calls in the countries priced at $0.20 per minute. Along with the new add-on, which can be included with a number of plans at no extra charge, travelers can acquire International Speed Data Roaming Passes, providing connections at 3G speeds. The three passes consist of 100MB of data at $15 for one day, 200MB at $25 for seven days, and 500MB of data for $50 for two weeks.
Quickly and easily add geometric elements to cell phone snaps
We do enjoy fiddling with the pictures we take with our phones and tablets; it's a great way to pass the time, and exercise a bit of creativity. Tangent by Pixite, is a relatively simple photo-manipulation app that provides a bunch of overlays and filters for users to play with. The primary attraction of Tangent are the geometric patterns and textures which can be used to increase of pull focus to a particular point in an image, and give it an interesting look.
Create sleek iOS 7 styled blurred backgrounds from your photos!
Every so often we come across an app that fills a niche we didn't even know existed -- but once we find out about it, we wonder how we lived without it before. One such app is Blurify, an app that aims at helping you create esthetically-pleasing images with just a single shake. Blurify does one thing, and it does it incredibly well -- analyze photos to create an attractive, iOS 7-styled wallpaper. The app is designed to be utterly foolproof, requiring minimal input from the user while still creating a visually-appealing result.
New app lets you create stylish blogs and journals
Adobe continues its series of excellent and rather beautiful iPad apps with Adobe Slate 1.0.1, a free tool the company says is for telling stories with photos. And it is. It's also an attempt to get you into the Adobe ecosystem, but it does what it claims and makes concocting illustrated online articles very quick and stylish.
It's like Tinder for your camera roll!
The app's full name in iTunes is "Flic – Delete & Manage Camera Roll and Easily Delete Photos to Increase Disk Space", but we're just going to call it "Flic" from here on out. Lifehack Labs says it's like Tinder for your camera roll (or Grindr, or whatever "swipe right for yes, left for no" dating app you prefer). In spite of it having a very simple function and interface, the developers -- Lifehack Labs -- put a lot of thought into Flic.
Google using Microsoft-created API to fix scrolling issues in Chrome
Google is going to be leaning on some Internet Explorer technology to fix scrolling and touch support in its Chrome browser. At the same time, Google has launched an extension for the desktop versions of Chrome which aims to reduce the amount of data used to surf the Internet, a feature that has already made an appearance on iOS and Android versions of the browser.
Customize your phone to be every bit as unique as you are
Phones are personal, which is probably why we spend such a large amount of time fussing over them. When it comes to personalization, we take our phone cases, our styluses, and our screen protectors very seriously, so it only makes sense that we'd think just as much about our wallpapers. That's where
Pimp Your Screen comes in, an app that offers hundreds of high-quality wallpapers to help you make a statement with your iPhone.
One comprehensive app for photo editing on a mobile platform
Enlight by Lightricks wants to be your one-stop-app for editing, manipulating, and applying filters to your photos on iOS devices. We're pretty sure everybody can agree that the application of sweet filters and presets is certainly the easiest way to liven up an image, and Enlight certainly has its share of those. However, the app is also a full-featured image manipulation package with a clean-looking and easy-to-use interface.
Speed-boosting update to image editor free to existing users
The Pixelmator Team today released Pixelmator 1.1 -- a major update to its image editor for the iPad. Pixelmator 1.1 comes with a unique watercolor painting technology, a collection of artist-designed watercolor brushes, a new Color Picker, and stability and speed enhancements.
Big China carriers now offering latest LTE-capable iPad models for first time
Apple's sales in China are set to further increase now that the country's second- and third-largest carriers will offer the Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of the latest iPads, the first time China Unicom and China Telecom have been able to do so. The special iPad models, which vary slightly from the North American and European versions, will support China's proprietary TD-LTE and FDD-LTE standards, as well as other LTE versions.
T-Mobile invites media to event on March 18
T-Mobile has sent invitations to the media for an event in New York City on March 18. The only clue included in the invitation is "This one's a real piece of work," which could point towards something for enterprise use rather than consumers. While this event does not bear the "Uncarrier" branding T-Mobile has used for a number of its major events, Uncarrier 8.0, the most recent event in the series held in December, involved the launch of Data Stash, a rollover data plan for consumers.
Titan X claimed to use 8 billion transistors, 12GB frame buffer
Nvidia is still producing new products in its Titan high-specification graphics cards range, with the company making an unexpected announcement during the Game Developers Conference. CEO Jen-Hsun Huang handed Epic Games CEO and founder Tim Sweeney the first GeForce GTX Titan X, declared by Huang to be the "most advanced GPU the world has ever seen."
First-class drawing tool for people who aren't first-class artists
Admit it: whether you're in the market for a drawing application or not, you're reading this in part because you hope to find out what a graffle is, and why you might one to be omni. We can't help you with the word, but we can say that OmniGraffle 6 for Mac is a superb tool for creating presentation graphics, design wireframes, and really just anything that you can draw more easily than you can write.
Support offered to Facebook users reported writing concerning updates
Facebook is introducing new tools to help prevent suicides. Working with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Now Matters Now, and other mental health organizations, users of the social network can report any posts they see where the author expresses suicidal thoughts or indicates they may be self-harming, with the possibility of a response from Facebook to the affected individual designed to help them.
Original review called the printer a solid choice, with uninspired photo printing
Editor's Note: today launches our "Living With" series, where periodically we'll revisit products that we've been privileged to live with for a while, and see how they've held up over time.
Printers are funny -- they generally have a much longer lifespan than the computers that they connect to, and a popular model may stick around for a decade or more: we still see Apple LaserWriters on active duty now and again. One of the complaints that was levied against us at the time of our original review of this printer was that we didn't have any significant cost-per-page metrics, or any comment on the longevity of the printer itself. In the limited time we generally spend with a product to assess, reviews don't (and can't) often address this. Electronista has been living with the Brother HL-3170CDW color laser printer for nearly two years now, though, so now we can comment on this.
Customize and colorize your Mac folders
Folderol does one thing: it lets you change the color of any folder you drag on to it. There is slightly more to it than that, but this is its core function, and Folderol does it well. Think of it as OS X Yosemite's colored tags, just done bigger, brighter and without taking up a tag.
Play dress-up for your house
Home Design 3D is for you if you're addicted to shows like HGTV's Dream House rather than, say, Selling New York. It's for property fans who already know that the way to choose the right color paint is to try some out on a box. Seriously. Get a large cardboard box and paint it: there is something about seeing that color on a surface with corners that really gives you a better feel than if you just toss a can of paint at your wall.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 16, 2015
Welcome to today's Daily Deals, the regular post where we find the best offers and discounts for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Since it's a Monday, almost all the deals from last week have been swept away, with new deals on the list including an UltraWide 29-inch display from LG, an Asus gaming notebook, and half-price Destiny.
Legacy Contact allows for nominated person to manage account of deceased Facebook user
Facebook users will be able to dictate what happens to their profile after their death, thanks to some new account options. A new Legacy Contact system is being introduced which will allow users to specify who gets control of their account when they pass away, giving more flexibility over the profile contents than the current memorial account list presently offers.
Beautiful, simple drawing app for the iPad
The iPad has evolved into a versatile art tool almost from the very moment of conception, drawing in both established and novice artists. However, given the nature of the medium, artists can be seriously hampered by bad tools. Drawing apps can be so loaded with features that they get bogged down, Microsoft Word-style. If you find yourself wishing for a far more simple drawing app, check out Paper by FiftyThree.
Google adds medical details to Knowledge Graph
Google has updated its Knowledge Graph, used to provide extra details in search results for common subjects, with health-related information. Vetted by a team of doctors at Google and the Mayo Clinic for accuracy, the new cards will bring up details for common health conditions, including symptoms, treatments, commonality, if it is contagious, and other relevant points, along with illustrations for some conditions.
Bluetooth stylus brings pressure sensitivity to iPad
Bluetooth styluses are a relatively new development for the iPad. They all offer some level of pressure sensitivity, ranging from 16 in the very cheap ones, to thousands of levels in the more expensive models, sometimes running well over $100. Seeing a market, big name developers like Wacom have entered the arena to design accessories to work with tablets. We checked out FiftyThree's Pencil -- one of the earlier entries into the field, and designed to go specifically with the company's Paper drawing app, though it can be used elsewhere.
FontDoctor 10 arrives for 64-bit OS X, offers bad font 'quarantine'
FontGear Inc. has released version 10 of FontDoctor for Mac. The software scans the fonts installed on a system to find and correct conflicts, or corrupt or damaged files, missing bitmaps and other problems that could cause performance issues. The Mac version of FontDoctor is compatible with OS X v10.7 (Lion) through to 10.10 (Yosemite), and costs $70 for a single use license. New features include continuous font health monitoring, a new Font Quarantine for damaged fonts, and full 64-bit compatibility.
Rapidweaver, Clear devs bring distraction-free writing to blog publishing
Every so often, we like to bring our readers' attention to crowdfunding efforts or projects that catch our eye and might be something you'd be interested in investing in. None of these crowdsourcing projects pay us or anything like that for the attention; we pick them based on what we think are their merits, and share them with you for your consideration for no reward, just the joy of helping cool new projects get off the ground. This week, we're looking at blogging platform Typed.
Architosh finds iMacs popular, need for more cores in Mac Pros
Some high-end professional vertical markets that have increasingly moved to the Mac platform in recent years are those of CAD users, 3D and visual effects artists, and other professional designers not normally associated with the "creative professional" tag, taking in everything from engineers to biomedical scientists. Mac advocacy site Architosh has recently run a survey of the industries, and found some surprising results.
Create and send graphically designed email newsletters
If you just send a lot of ordinary emails, you can skip this. If you're in a company that already has designers in-house crafting gorgeous and on-message email newsletter designs, you can skip this. If you're in the middle, though, such as a small company sending out newsletters or HTML updates to a few thousand people, or even just the newsletter editor for a club with a few dozen scattered members, Mail Designer 2 and Mail Designer Pro 2 are worth looking at.
Google adds Send Money option to Gmail in United Kingdom
Google is adding the Send Money option to Gmail in the United Kingdom. Originally available to US users since 2013, the option allows users to attach funds to an outbound email by selecting the £ symbol, which can also be used to request money, with funds transferred between users via Google Wallet. The feature is rolling out to all Gmail users in the UK over the age of 18 in the coming weeks.
You'll want to use PDFs more when you've got one of these
Right, here's the thing: by the time we're done here, you really must own PDFpen for Mac. It's just a question of which version -- and it's a more complicated question than it might be. For while there's now a new version 7 and it introduces some excellent features, it introduces them in two editions -- PDFpen and PDFpen Pro -- yet its very best abilities are already right there in version 6. Plus, there is the iPad version which we've already said we rate very highly.
Turn your favorite photos into digital oil paintings
There's a good chance that everyone reading this, at one point or another, has seen those "turn a picture into a painting or sketch" apps that were making the rounds a few years ago. More often than not, these ended up looking like nothing more than poorly-Photoshopped images -- which was essentially what they were. We checked out Brushstroke by Code Organa to see if it managed to improve on the technology.
Facebook attempts to reduce number of hoaxes in News Feed
Facebook is trying to reduce the number of fake or hoax stories that appear in a users News Feed. The social network will take into account whenever a user reports a post as a "false news story," as well as whenever users delete posts linking to an article, when deciding what is shown to other users. While Facebook will stop short of blocking the content entirely, it will give the flagged hoax a "reduced distribution" in News Feed, as well as adding a notice to the top of the post warning that users "have reported that this story contains false information."
HTC smartwatch said to share data with Under Armour fitness platform
HTC may join Samsung in launching a wearable at Mobile World Congress in March alongside a new flagship. Though lacking in detail, a report claims the smartwatch will take advantage of a partnership between HTC and Under Armour, with the wrist-based tracker connecting to the sports apparel brand's own fitness service for health and fitness tracking.
Firefox Hello allows for video chats to take place within the browser
Firefox 35, the latest iteration of Mozilla's web browser, includes a more prominent and simplified version of its video chat service, among other changes. Included in Firefox 34 as an experiment, Firefox Hello is a free app based on WebRTC, which lets users create plugin-free conversations with other contacts all conducted from within the browser rather than in an external client.