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”

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

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”

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”

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”

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.

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→ Source: appstories.net

Connected, Episode 212: NanoHippo

Stephen answered Myke’s PopSocket challenge, and Federico attempts to name all of iOS 12.1’s new emoji.

On this week’s episode of Connected, the most accurate description of iOS 12.1’s new emoji you’ll ever find. You can (and should) listen here.

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→ Source: relay.fm

Apple’s Watch Face Problem

Jason Snell today published the article I’ve been itching to write, outlining the current mess that is Apple’s watch face ecosystem. The Apple Watch in so many ways is in its best position ever, which makes the lack of coherence in Apple’s watch face strategy particularly surprising.

As Apple continues to create new watch faces at a regular clip, those faces have grown more and more fragmented in what they can do. The Siri face introduced last year was an interesting new direction for watch faces, yet it remains one of a kind in many ways. The Series 4 Watch’s Infograph faces come with a whole new set of complications, all of which are wonderful except that they don’t work on other faces, nor do older complications work on the new faces. This lack of compatibility is frustrating enough, but what may be even more vexing is that Apple Continue reading “Apple’s Watch Face Problem”

More Than 70 New Emoji Coming Later This Fall Are Now Available in the iOS 12.1 Beta

Apple has announced that later this fall, it will release more than 70 new emoji. The emoji, which will be released when iOS 12.1 is shipped, will be included on the Mac and Apple Watch too.

The new glyphs, which are based on the characters approved by the Unicode Consortium as part of Unicode 11.0, include a wide variety of themes. For people, there are new options for gray, red, and curly hair, and for bald people. The new set of emoji also includes new foods, animals, sports, and other activities like travel.

Among the animals added are a raccoon, kangaroo, lobster, swan, parrot, peacock, and llama. Foods include leafy greens, a cupcake, a bagel, moon cake, mango, and salt. Sports have added a softball, frisbee, lacrosse stick and ball, and skateboard. There are new emotive smiley faces too.

Looking to next year, Apple says that for Unicode Continue reading “More Than 70 New Emoji Coming Later This Fall Are Now Available in the iOS 12.1 Beta”

Apple Adds More Than 30 Worldwide Companies to Business Chat

Apple introduced Business Chat at WWDC in 2017 and launched it with iOS 11.3 this past March. Today, Apple confirmed to TechRadar that the feature, which began as a beta with a handful of US business partners, has been rolled out worldwide.

As we explained in our overview of iOS 11.3:

Business Chat is a way for businesses to communicate with their customers directly over iMessage. Apple’s goal with Business Chat is to elevate the customer service experience to take advantage of the best native features of iOS, such as iMessage’s inherent privacy and security, iMessage apps, Apple Pay, and integration with Maps, Safari, and Spotlight.

Initially supported by only a handful of US companies like Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s and Wells Fargo, the roster was expanded in July to include Dish, Aramak, Four Seasons, Harry & David, and American Express. With today’s launch, that list has Continue reading “Apple Adds More Than 30 Worldwide Companies to Business Chat”

An In-Depth Explanation of Computational Photography on the iPhone XS

Outside of Apple employees, one of the people most knowledgeable about the iPhone’s camera is Sebastiaan de With, designer of the manual camera app Halide. It is fitting, then, that Sebastiaan would publish what I believe is the best explanation of the iPhone XS camera system to date. Following up on a piece he wrote about the new camera’s hardware changes, the subject of today’s article is software – specifically, all the work of computational photography on the iPhone XS and XS Max.

The piece starts with an explanation of the iPhone’s new Smart HDR feature, then details the exact reasons why selfies on the new iPhones appear to employ skin smoothing (a theory he soundly debunks). Finally, Sebastiaan details the problem that the XS camera poses for RAW camera apps like Halide, and shares about the forthcoming solution Halide’s team came up with: something they call Smart RAW.

Continue reading “An In-Depth Explanation of Computational Photography on the iPhone XS”

iPhone XS Line Capturing Selfies with the Appearance of Skin Smoothing

The iPhone XS and XS Max have been in the hands of users for a week now, and during that time many selfies have undoubtedly been taken on the new devices. Some users have noticed an unexpected difference with their selfies, however: their skin looks smoother and less realistic than it should. Juli Clover reports on this for MacRumors:

When taking a selfie in a situation where lighting is less than ideal, such as indoors or outdoors in areas with lower lighting, the iPhone XS Max appears to be applying a drastic smoothing effect that can hide freckles, blemishes, and other issues.

In full outdoor lighting the problem is less apparent, which has led to speculation that the skin smoothing is actually a result of some heavy-handed noise reduction techniques.

You can test the new camera yourself with an iPhone XS Max and an older iPhone like an iPhone Continue reading “iPhone XS Line Capturing Selfies with the Appearance of Skin Smoothing”

Connected, Episode 211: That’s Enough To Shrink Some Jeans

The guys debate the Mac’s future being tied to the quality of Marzipan apps before sharing their impressions of the iPhone XS Max and the Apple Watch Series 4. Some advice on how to listen to the show correctly is also shared.

On this week’s episode of Connected, we talk about iPad apps on the Mac and share our thoughts on new iPhones and Watches after nearly a week of usage. You can listen here.

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→ Source: relay.fm

Apple Rolls Out TestFlight Public Invite Links

Benjamin Mayo, writing for 9to5Mac:

Apple is rolling out a new TestFlight feature which enables developers to share a public URL for an app beta. Customers can simply open the link on their iPhone or iPad and automatically enroll into the beta testing group through the TestFlight app.

This feature was announced back at WWDC in June but has only just started showing up for developers inside the App Store Connect interface. Previously to public links, developers had to manually ask people for email addresses and then send out invite in emails to each person individually.

As someone who’s routinely testing dozens of apps for review purposes, this sounds a lot more convenient than the current email-based invitation system, both for developers and users. By default, developers don’t see the names and emails of users who sign up with a link. I have a feeling this option is going Continue reading “Apple Rolls Out TestFlight Public Invite Links”

Apple Completes Acquisition of Shazam

Late last year, Apple announced that it had agreed to purchase Shazam, the music-discovery service. The acquisition was held up for a time by an investigation by the European Commission, which ultimately said the deal is not anti-competitive and could go forward. Today Apple announced that the deal had been completed.

In a press release, Apple said:

Shazam has been downloaded over 1 billion times around the world, and users identify songs using the Shazam app over 20 million times each day. With pioneering innovation in music identification, Shazam helps people discover, interact with and share video, audio or printed content across devices and mediums — and allows music fans to follow their favorite artists and share in the thrill of discovery.

Apple also announced that Shazam would soon be offered ad-free to all users.

→ Source: apple.com

iOS 12 on the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPad mini 2

Andrew Cunningham, writing for Ars Technica:

I’ve been testing iOS on old devices for six years, and I’ve never seen a release that has actually improved performance on old devices. At best, updates like iOS 6, iOS 9, and iOS 10 didn’t make things much worse; at worst, updates like iOS 7 and iOS 8 made old devices feel like old devices. Anyone using an older device can safely upgrade to iOS 12 without worrying about speed, and that’s a big deal. You’ll notice an improvement most of the time, even on newer devices (my iPad Air 2, which had started to feel its age running iOS 11, feels great with iOS 12).

As I noted in my review, I was hoping someone would run actual measurements for different system features on older devices running multiple versions of iOS. Cunningham did exactly that, going all the Continue reading “iOS 12 on the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPad mini 2”