Pixelmator Pro Updated with Machine Learning Auto Enhancement, Light and Dark Modes, and Automator Actions

Pixelmator Pro for the Mac was updated to version 1.2 today with a handful of enhancements centered around macOS Mojave.

The update includes light and dark modes, which can be set in Preferences to follow the mode picked in System Preferences or full-time light or dark mode. Dark mode closely resembles Pixelmator Pro’s existing UI, but its light mode is brand-new.

Pixelmator Pro's new light mode.

Pixelmator Pro’s new light mode.

Pixelmator Pro 1.2 has also added a new auto-enhance feature for images that applies machine learning to automatically adjust white balance, exposure, hue and saturation, lightness, color balance, and selective color. Previously auto-enhancement was available individually for some of the categories in Pixelmator’s Adjust Colors tab. The new ML Enhance feature, which the Pixelmator team says was trained with millions of professional photos, adjusts all of the categories listed above at once. If you don’t like the results, the adjustments can be

ML Enhance can be turned on or off by category of adjustment and manually tweaked.

Continue reading “Pixelmator Pro Updated with Machine Learning Auto Enhancement, Light and Dark Modes, and Automator Actions”

Why Photoshop on iOS Is A Huge Win for the iPad Pro

Jason Snell, writing for Macworld on the announcement of Photoshop coming to iPad next year:

Adobe’s move to iPad instantly makes everyone who knows, loves, or relies on Photoshop a possible candidate for an iPad Pro. And make no mistake, the iPad Pro is already plenty powerful enough to run Photoshop, and with the Apple Pencil it’s got an input method that will satisfy most graphics pros. Even better, Adobe has said that it will be building in cloud syncing for Photoshop files, so that you’ll be able to seamlessly hand off projects directly from one device to another.

A lot of the criticism of the iPad Pro as a flawed tool for doing real work comes down to software. The hardware is capable—but where’s the software? These arguments have been weak for a while now—I think Microsoft Office for iPad is aces, and Apple’s iWork apps are remarkably capable, Continue reading “Why Photoshop on iOS Is A Huge Win for the iPad Pro”

Some of Apple’s Forgotten iOS Apps

Apple has just about always offered iOS apps on the App Store, separate from what apps come bundled on its devices from the factory.

Sometimes, these apps get promoted to being part of the iOS image, like Podcasts and iBooks have. Once stuck hanging out on the App Store, they now ship on the iPhone and iPad by default.

A lot of other apps weren’t luck enough to get that lifeline, and have since been removed from the App Store. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Continue reading “Some of Apple’s Forgotten iOS Apps”

BestPhotos Offers Streamlined Photo Management

BestPhotos, a photo management app from Chicago-based Windy Software that we’ve covered on Club MacStories before, was updated today with new features for quickly and efficiently organizing your photos. I take thousands of pictures each year and sometimes it feels like I take even more screenshots. Sifting through to find the best shots and discard old screenshots, duplicates, and just plain bad photos takes a lot of tapping and time in Apple’s Photos app. BestPhotos is a better solution that streamlines the whole process.

Continue reading “BestPhotos Offers Streamlined Photo Management”

App Bundles Are Coming to the Mac App Store

In a brief post on Apple’s Developer news site, the company announced that it is adding support for app bundles to the Mac App Store. According to the post:

…now, you can create app bundles for Mac apps or free apps that offer an auto-renewable subscription to access all apps in the bundle.

The post points to developer documentation on creating app bundles that that has been revised to mention Mac apps. The process for setting up a bundle, which will allow developers to offer up to 10 Mac apps as a single purchase, appears to be the same as it is for iOS developers. Unfortunately for those developers with iOS and macOS apps, it does not appear possible to create a mixed bundle of iOS and Mac apps.

→ Source: developer.apple.com

Developers Show What They Could Make if Apple Opened Up Watch Face Development

Last week we linked to Marco Arment’s article critiquing Apple’s watch faces and calling for Apple to open up watch face design and development to third parties. By the next day, Steve Troughton-Smith had an Xcode project up and running that uses SpriteKit to simulate custom watch faces. Troughton-Smith posted pictures of the watch faces he created on Twitter, which drew a lot of interest from other developers.

Troughton-Smith uploaded his watch face project to GitHub, and in the days that followed, developers, including David Smith, who’s been making Apple Watch apps for his health and fitness apps since the Series 0 was introduced, began playing with Troughton-Smith’s code. Writing about the experience on his website Smith said:

There is something delightful about solving a problem that is superficially so simple and constrained. The constraint leads to lots of opportunities for creative thinking. Ultimately you just need Continue reading “Developers Show What They Could Make if Apple Opened Up Watch Face Development”

Running a Mac from an iPad or iPhone with Remote Control for Mac

Evgeny Cherpak’s iOS app, Remote Control for Mac, has been updated with Siri shortcut support, which opens up some interesting ways to control a Mac with shortcuts. I’ve been using the app’s new Siri shortcuts for about a week and, as I covered on AppStories today, the shortcuts I’ve created that incorporate Remote’s functionality are already ones that I use every day.

Continue reading “Running a Mac from an iPad or iPhone with Remote Control for Mac”

Creating Shortcuts with Invisible Names for the iOS Home Screen and Widget

I’ve spent the past two weeks updating my iPhone’s home screen setup for the XS Max and, as I shared in the latest episode of AppStories, part of the process involved gaining easier access to some of the shortcuts I use on a regular basis. While I’m not a fan of the shortcuts-only home screen approach described by CGP Grey in episode 75 of the Cortex podcast (at some point, I believe you just end up swapping app folders for shortcuts), I do like the idea of adding a couple of frequently used custom shortcuts to the home screen. And as I detailed on AppStories, I also like to use “shortcut launchers” – effectively, shortcuts to launch other shortcuts.

Continue reading “Creating Shortcuts with Invisible Names for the iOS Home Screen and Widget”

Project Gemini Is a New iPad Illustration App Coming from Adobe

Along with details about the forthcoming Photoshop for iPad, Adobe has announced another brand new iPad app coming soon, dubbed Project Gemini:

Today we announced Project Gemini—a focused new app focused specifically on drawing and painting. Building on Photoshop’s powerful brush engine, this new app combines powerful Photoshop brushes, precise and scalable vector brushes, and an entirely new category of groundbreaking Live oil and watercolor brushes – you’ve never seen anything like them. In addition, layers, selections, and masks enable the most modern non-destructive drawing and editing workflows.

Most importantly, though, we’ve built Project Gemini with the illustration community.

Kyle Webster, of KyleBrush.com, joined Adobe in 2017 to help build Gemini and act as an ambassador and advocate for the illustration community. Along with Kyle, a group of illustrators with diverse styles and backgrounds have been working closely with us to help Gemini achieve its potential.

According to Continue reading “Project Gemini Is a New iPad Illustration App Coming from Adobe”

The State of Gaming on the Apple TV

Samuel Axon of Ars Technica published an article over the weekend about the state of gaming on Apple TV, inspired by the recent demise of Minecraft on the platform. In it he shares quotes from notable iOS and tvOS game developers about Apple’s problems with the Apple TV as a gaming platform.

On the subject of Minecraft, Team Alto developer Ryan Cash said:

“If I were in charge of the game…I think I’d really try to stay there. While the platform certainly isn’t the biggest, it continues to grow, and it’s a great way for certain types of audiences to experience gaming, often for their first time.”

Strange Flavour’s CEO Aaron Fothergill expressed similar sentiments, highlighting how easy it is to port a game from iOS to tvOS. He did, however, share one common request for the platform:

“I…like the idea of game controllers (ideally Apple ones) Continue reading “The State of Gaming on the Apple TV”

Adobe Unveils Photoshop for iPad, Launching in 2019

Earlier this year Adobe confirmed that it was working on a full-featured version of Photoshop for the iPad, but no real details on the product were given. Today that changed, however, as the app’s official announcement arrived alongside the kickoff of Adobe’s MAX conference.

Photoshop for iPad won’t arrive until some time in 2019, but when it does launch it will differ drastically from Adobe’s current lineup of Photoshop-related iOS apps. Rather than focusing on an individual subset of desktop features, like Adobe’s existing Photoshop Fix, Express, and Mix do, the aim with this forthcoming app is to provide the full desktop Photoshop experience on an iPad.

As part of its iPad efforts, Adobe has brought the same underlying codebase of Photoshop for desktop to iOS, and it has also worked to modernize PSD files for the cloud. These new Cloud PSDs will be the default file format Continue reading “Adobe Unveils Photoshop for iPad, Launching in 2019”

CleanMyMac X: Your Mac, As Good As New [Sponsor]

CleanMyMac X by MacPaw is your complete Mac maintenance solution. Redesigned with a beautiful new interface that makes it a pleasure to use, CleanMyMac X frees up wasted storage space, protects against malware, optimizes your Mac’s performance, and more.

It all starts with Smart Scan, the all-in-one center for analyzing, optimizing, and protecting your Mac. Here you’ll find sections to clean up unwanted and unnecessary files that are cluttering up your Mac’s drive. CleanMyMac also scans for malware, protecting your Mac against malicious third-party code and vulnerabilities. There’s an optimization section that can free up RAM and manage login items, launch agents, and memory-hungry apps too.

At each step of the process, you’ll have CleanMyMac Assistant at your side. It’s an intelligent advisor providing explanations of everything CleanMyMac does and recommending courses of action. CleanMyMac X is faster too. MacPaw tests show that it’s up to three times faster than Continue reading “CleanMyMac X: Your Mac, As Good As New [Sponsor]”

iOS 12‘s Adoption Rate

In my iOS 12 review from last month, here’s what I wrote about iOS 11’s slow adoption rate as it related to its performance:

While iOS 11 may go down in Apple software history as the touchstone of the iPad’s maturity, it will also be remembered as one of the company’s most taxing releases for its users. You don’t have to look far into the iOS 11 cycle for headlines lamenting its poor stability on older hardware, plethora of design inconsistencies (which were noted time and time again), and general sense of sluggishness – issues that may have contributed to a slower adoption rate than 2016’s iOS 10.
[…]
With iOS 12, Apple wants to rectify iOS’ performance woes, proving to their customers that iOS updates should never induce digital regret.

It sounds like at least part of Apple’s plan to focus on performance to entice upgrades to iOS Continue reading “iOS 12‘s Adoption Rate”

Genius Enters New Partnership with Apple Music

Today Genius, the online music encyclopedia, shared word of a new partnership it has formed with Apple – more specifically, with Apple Music. From the company’s announcement post:

Starting today, Apple Music subscribers who visit Genius will be able to play any song in full right from the song page, simply by signing into their Apple Music account.

Genius is a great place to find historical information about a song, so the ability to play any track without leaving Genius makes for a great user experience. Embedded Apple Music tracks is only one half of this partnership though. Even if you’ve never used Genius, you’re bound to benefit from this agreement because of a second piece of news. The announcement post continues:

Genius has the world’s best lyrics database and now it’s available on Apple Music. Genius will provide lyrics to thousands of hit songs on the service—bringing world-class Continue reading “Genius Enters New Partnership with Apple Music”

RECaf Review: Effortless Caffeine Tracking

RECaf is a brand-new caffeine-tracking app by Joe Cieplinski. The app does a remarkable job wringing the friction out of tracking caffeine, making it an excellent example of the benefits of using a narrowly-focused utility to get the best possible user experience.

Tracking anything is hard. It’s easy to forget to do and an interruption of the thing you’re trying to track. As a result, entering data is often sporadic or abandoned entirely. Cieplinski gets this and has built an app that is unusually sticky.

Continue reading “RECaf Review: Effortless Caffeine Tracking”

Apple Frames: A Shortcut for Framing Screenshots from Every Apple Device

When I published my iPhone XS Frames shortcut two weeks ago, I noted that my goal was to eventually support screenshots and device templates from other Apple devices, starting with the Apple Watch and MacBook Pro. After two weeks spent rebuilding the shortcut and asking Silvia to prepare several more templates, I’m happy to re-introduce my shortcut as the new and improved Apple Frames – a comprehensive custom shortcut to frame screenshots taken on every Apple device. Well, at least most of the current ones that the company is still selling.

Continue reading “Apple Frames: A Shortcut for Framing Screenshots from Every Apple Device”

Apple Watch Face Legibility

In a post on Marco.org, Overcast developer Marco Arment critiques the design of many of the current Apple Watch faces. Using a variety of analog watches as references, Arment highlights the design elements that make them legible, few of which are followed by Apple’s faces:

Across a wide variety of brands, styles, and price points, a few key design principles are clear:

  • The hour markers for 12 (and often 3/6/9) are more prominent.
  • The hour indices are much larger than the minute markings.
  • The hour hands nearly touch the hour indices.

These all improve legibility by making it as fast and easy as possible to know which hour is being indicated (and minimize the chance of an off-by-one error), first by orienting your eyes to the current rotation with the 12 marker, then by minimizing the distance between the hour hand and the indices it’s between.

Arment Continue reading “Apple Watch Face Legibility”

Fantastical’s New Shortcuts, Complications, and Notification Actions

Fantastical was updated last week to version 2.10, which brought support for some of the key features of iOS 12 and watchOS 5 – namely Siri shortcuts and complications for the Infograph watch faces. I want to highlight some of the changes in this release and how they fit my usage of Reminders as my main task management system.

Continue reading “Fantastical’s New Shortcuts, Complications, and Notification Actions”

AppStories, Episode 82 – Our Apple Watch Faces, Complications, and Docks

On this week’s episode of AppStories, we talk about how we’ve set up our new Series 4 Apple Watches including the complications we use, new apps we are trying, and what’s in our Watch docks.

Sponsored by:

  • Linode – High performance SSD Linux servers for all of your infrastructure needs. Get a $20 credit with promo code ‘appstories2018’
  • Freshbooks: Online invoicing made easy.

→ Source: appstories.net