iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 16 Jul 2015 12:57:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Affinity Designer for Mac wins WWDC 2015 Apple Design Award Thu, 11 Jun 2015 09:34:39 +0000 Read More]]> Every year during WWDC Apple announces its Design Award winners to honour “outstanding design and innovation”. This year one of the apps that won the prestigious Apple Design Award was “Affinity Designer” for Mac. Touch Reviews recently published an in-depth review of Affinity Designer for Mac and we just fell in love with its design and simplicity.

In our review we said:

… The user interface of Affinity Designer for Mac is everything you’d expect from a modern app. While there is instant familiarity with the workspace from Illustrator, the user interface is more beginner friendly and is very intuitive. The software takes a more visual and gesture based approach rather than features being hidden deep inside menus.

Apple has published their own review of the app on its Awards page and the company echoes our views:

… This is an excellent example of what a state-of-the-art Mac app should be …

Affinity Designer is optimized for Retina Display and OS X Yosemite, and has a flexible and intuitive user interface that’s highly contextual, offering you the tools you need when you need them … Affinity Designer is localized in German, Spanish, French, and English, and is a modern, well-designed, highly capable, and extremely responsive design tool that’s a perfect match for today’s latest generation Mac hardware.

The developers of the app, Serif (Europe) Ltd., are extremely elated with this recognition but they didn’t forget to thank their fans for its success.

This is the stuff of dreams, and we want to thank Apple and all our fans that have made this a reality for us.

Affinity Designer is making great progress with regular updates that improve existing functionality and offer new features. The latest update supports Force Touch trackpad on the MacBook and MacBook Pro. With the new technology users can use pressure sensitivity to paint on the canvas.

Affinity Designer for Mac

We are very happy for Affinity Designer and look forward to future updates and wish them great success.


Affinity Designer for Mac is now available for a 20% discount to celebrate the award.

Affinity Designer

by Serif Labs

Affinity Designer

Professional Graphic Design Software for the Mac.
Affinity Designer is the fastest, smoothest, most precise vector graphic design software available. Whether you’re working on graphics for marketing materials, websites, icons, UI design or just like creating cool concept art, Affinity Designer will revolutionize how you work.

It takes full advantage of OS X technologies such as OpenGL, Grand Central Dispatch, Core Graphics and is fully optimized for 64-bit and multi-core processors to squeeze every ounce of available performance from your hardware – so it’s seriously fast. Whether it’s a 100 megapixel image or the most complex vector drawing with thousands of curves, you still pan and zoom at 60fps, move objects in correct z-order and see live views of all adjustments, brushes and effects as you’re working with no compromise.

Experience the best PSD import engine out there – making it easy to collaborate with other creative professionals. Along with support for PSD, PDF, SVG, AI (PDF Stream), Freehand and EPS files you get all the flexibility you need so whether you switch to Affinity Designer for all your work, or just elements of what you do, it’s completely painless.

With professional color model support, full 16-bit per channel editing, real-time pixel preview, image slices, masks, adjustment layers and tablet support, Affinity Designer is a serious tool for creative professionals.

Real-time performance
• Panning and zooming is always live at 60fps
• Live gradients, transforms, effects and adjustments
• Optimized for documents of any complexity, zoom to over 1,000,000% for absolute precision
• Live pixel and retina view of vector artwork, wireframe view, split screen mode
• Seamless switching between tools and editing modes for frustration-free design

Perfect color and output
• Professional CMYK, LAB, RGB and Grayscale color models
• Full 16-bit per channel editing
• End-to-end ICC color management
• Advanced Lanczos 3 image resampling plus Bicubic, Bilinear and Nearest Neighbor methods

Truly multi-discipline
• Rock solid vector tools that work just the way you want them to
• Live effects, blend modes, image adjustments, and raster and vector masks for any part of your design
• Use the strengths of vector and raster behaviors for the best of both worlds
• The best pen tool, node tool, curve editing, geometry operations, and smart shape tools available
• Flexible text handling including comprehensive support for OpenType
• High quality raster tools for texturing, masking and finishing artwork. Create your own brushes too.
• Optimized workspaces give focus to design disciplines including web graphics, UI/UX, print, and concept art

]]> 0 iPhone 6s to feature Apple Watch like “force touch” technology? Wed, 04 Mar 2015 08:23:37 +0000 Read More]]> Apple’s next-gen ‘iPhone 6s’ may feature Apple Watch like ‘force touch’ technology according to a new report. Apple Watch can differentiate between a gentle tap on the screen and applying force. This has been made possible by using tiny electrodes around the flexible Retina display on the watch.

Using force touch Apple Watch can provide the user with new user interactions and offers an unobtrusive way to access menu within an app or even change watch faces. According to AppleInsider’s report which cites people familiar with the matter, Apple could be looking at including the same ‘force touch’ technology in the upcoming ‘iPhone 6s’.

While describing the technology Apple refers to force touch as the “most significant new sensing capability since Multi‑Touch”. Apple introduced multi-touch technology first on the iPhone, then on the iPad and it was also extended to its trackpad. The company is known to offer unified user interface across all its devices so it is possible that after Apple Watch iPhone 6s could be the next device featuring the new technology.

It is interesting to note that the report mentions that Apple was working on including the technology even on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus however, due to technical reasons it was scheduled for inclusion in the next iPhone. It is possible that with phone screens getting bigger, sensing force could be a great way to add contextual menu’s in the middle of the screen to avoid stretching your thumb all the way to the top.

Apple is holding ‘spring forward’ special media event on March 9 where the company is widely expected to announce Apple Watch apps, availability and pricing. As the watch becomes available sometime in April we will have to wait and see how ‘force touch’ can change the way we interact with touch based interfaces.

]]> 0 Corning’s ‘Project Phire’ to offer sapphire like scratch-resistance Mon, 09 Feb 2015 13:30:50 +0000 Read More]]> On Friday, Corning announced that the company is working on ‘Project Phire’ as it prepares to ship a new glass composition which will be just as scratch resistant as sapphire while offering increased drop-protection.

Apple’s plan to replace Gorilla Glass with sapphire glass in iPhone 6 didn’t go so well as their partnership with GT Advanced resulted in dissolution due to production issues.

Apple and Corning’s Gorilla Glass share a long history. When Steve Jobs was working on the original iPhone he didn’t want to use a plastic screen, instead wanted it to be made of glass. Since glass screen would have been too easy to break someone recommended that Jobs should see what Corning was doing. At that time Corning was developing the Gorilla Glass technology however, it wasn’t ready for mass production. Jobs ordered a ton of Gorilla Glass and kept telling Corning CEO Wendell Weeks, “Don’t be afraid. You can do this.” In 2007 Apple introduced the iPhone with Gorilla Glass.

Corning’s Gorilla Glass has seen tremendous improvements since it began its first mass production in 2006. Gorilla Glass 2 was 30% thinner than the former, Gorilla Glass 3 used an entirely new composition. Gorilla Glass 4 which is expected to be featured on smartphones, tablets and other devices this year is twice as shatter-resistant in drop tests when compared to previous version.

It’s obvious that Apple makes for a large part of Corning’s revenue and they would’ve seen Apple’s move to consider sapphire for iPhone 6 as a possible threat. The company seems to have taken that as a challenge and started work on offering the same scratch-resistance as sapphire with ‘Project Phire’.

Competition in most cases can lead to innovation and if ‘Project Phire’ turns out to offer what Corning is promising then it is possible that Apple will continue to use Corning’s technology in upcoming iOS devices. Coring didn’t immediately provide any demo video or live demonstration of its new technology however, we can expect the company to share an update soon.

Glass used on smartphones and tablets is increasingly becoming another core technology. Apple has consistently shown interest in owning core technologies as it did try to “own” glass technology by partnering with GT Advanced for sapphire production.

It will be interesting to see if Apple continues to rely on Corning for its screen technology or develop something new.

Corning Gorilla Glass 4 Video

]]> 0 Google Unveils 3D Maps, Coming to iOS and Android Thu, 07 Jun 2012 16:43:34 +0000 Read More]]> Google 3D Maps

Earlier in the week, Google announced an event to unveil plans to release the “Next Dimension” of Google Maps, ahead of Apple’s announcement of iOS 6. On Wednesday, during the event, Google unveiled 3D Maps, a technology that looks very similar to Apple’s recently acquired C3 Technologies. The 3D renderings for Google Earth were all shown off on Apple’s iPad, and with the new technology expected to be released on iOS and Android.

Google uses the new 3D maps by extracting data from aerial models taken from airplanes, and then forming a 3D image from all of the data. Ground images are shot from 45 degrees at four angles and are later pieced together to form an entire 3D image. The event mainly focused on the 3D maps, where attendees were shown numerous demonstrations on how the technology worked.

Google mentioned that the new features, which is being added into Google Maps and Google Earth, will be coming to iOS and Android, “in the coming weeks”.

{via AppleInsider}

]]> 0 Steve Jobs to Receive Grammy Award for Revolutionizing Music Industry Mon, 26 Dec 2011 21:37:41 +0000 Read More]]> Steve Jobs WWDC Keynote One More Thing 2011

Steve Jobs introduced the iPod in 2001, in front a small audience, followed by a major announcement of iTunes, which lead to one of the greatest music revolutions in history. iTunes, paired with millions of iPods, iPhones, and iPads, transformed the distribution, consumption, and creation of music around the world, and made material music such as CD’s almost obsolete.

After Steve’s passing in October, the world continues to realize the true impact that he made on the music industry and the transformation of the technological industry that Apple’s products caused. On Friday, The Recording Academy announced they’ll be honoring Steve Jobs with a Special Merit Grammy Award for revolutionizing the music industry with the highly successful iTunes Music Store.

As former CEO and co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs helped create products and technology that transformed the way we consume music, TV, movies, and books. A creative visionary, Jobs’ innovations such as the iPod and its counterpart, the online iTunes store, revolutionized the industry and how music was distributed and purchased. In 2002 Apple Computer Inc. was a recipient of a Technical GRAMMY Award for contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field. The company continues to lead the way with new technology and in-demand products such as the iPhone and iPad.

The Recording Academy will be holding a special event on Saturday, February 11th in order to honor numerous visionaries with Lifetime Achievement Awards as well as Technical Grammy Awards. The Academy will also be honoring Jobs with a Trustee Award honoring Steve Jobs the following day.

The impact of Apple’s products under Steve Jobs’ guidance can be seen all around the world, and with the influence that his products had on the music and computing industry, there is no doubt that Steve Jobs is the right person to receive the award.

{via TiPb}

]]> 4 Apple Setting Up Newspaper and Magazine Subscriptions for iPad? Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:37:42 +0000 Read More]]> Something that a lot of the media outlets (both all digital outfits and converted to digital from more traditional print media) have wanted from Apple and the iPad is the ability to create a subscription type model for their publications. Indeed this is something that Rupert Murdoch, a recent convert to the “Church of Jobs”, is spending serious time sucking up to Apple’s top brass to get for his various publications.

It seems that Apple has had many of these kinds of services on hold as it struggles to keep manageable the sometimes unstable tower of new technology and services it is pushing out every few months.

Most recently Apple has relaxed a lot of its App Store guidelines, and opened up the App Store review guidelines for all the world to comment on. Not to mention adding an App Store Review Board, for app Rejection Appeals. Apple seems to have even relaxed restrictions for Flash on iDevices.

Apple ticked off yet another job on their “todo” yesterday with the release of a unified iOS Beta for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad: iOS 4.2. And even added yet more new, and compelling features like AirPrint to it’s mobile OS.

And following on from that it is being reported by various newspapers that they are in talks with Apple to produce iPad app versions of their publications targeted at subscribers. Apple is expected to take 30% of these subscription model packages as its cut, and a further 40% from iAd Revenue germinated from those publications.

It occurs to me that AirPrint is a rather timely OS feature. Because if we all get newspapers on our devices we can print copies out to read, or to give to friends! I wonder if anyone has thought of that? It also occurs to me that using “Air” in any iOS apps or Apple related products could be difficult in future. But I digress..

One big bone of contention between magazines, newspapers and Apple has always been the rules around collecting user data. User data is the holy grail of any kind of targeted, ad laden media. As we all know! The rub there is that Apple has insisted on allowing users to opt out of this kind of data harvesting if they like. Chalk one up for us, the consumer, there.

Perhaps one day you’ll be reading me writing for Touch Reviews, on an iPad!

Are you interested in newspapers and magazines being delivered to your iPad, rather than your doorstep? What would you pay for this kind of product? Have your say in the comments…

]]> 5 ‘Marvel Comics’ for Apple iPad. A Killer App Sat, 03 Apr 2010 11:02:36 +0000 Read More]]> Many people have speculated the iPad will bring genre changing applications to much of the print media industry. As a lifelong comic nerd, I was especially interested in how the comic industry would accept the new delivery medium. Marvel Comics has always been ahead of other companies in embracing new technology so it be no surprise they’ll be on the iPad from Day 1. Thanks to Gizmodo and BoingBoing, we have a prelaunch look at the new Marvel Comics app.

I’ve been reading comics for almost 20 years so I can be a bit picky about the form and presentation of a good comic. This Marvel application looks simply amazing. Navigation is through the touch, tap, flick interface familiar from the iPhone and now the iPad. Users retrieve the comic they want by moving through a series of screens that feature a cover flow interface for selecting a title and specific issue. Comics are also categorized by Featured, New, Popular, and Free. A Browse button is also provided if the reader wants to browse the whole selection available. Once a specific issue has been selected and purchased if necessary, the reader can move through the comic by using a thumbnail bar at the bottom of the screen or by using the page flick gesture the iPad is about to make famous. You can even zoom in on individual frames of the page with a double tap.

I don’t know if my enthusiasm for this application can be conveyed in words. I have boxes and boxes of back issues of comics, stored away where hopefully they will stay in reasonably good condition. This app changes all of that. Here is a central storehouse for all of my comics going forward and that is really quite a great prospect. No more hunting and searching for something I already own or having to trudge to the comic store when a new issue comes out. It’s all right here in a great user interface I can peruse from the comfort of my own home.

I’ve said in a couple of instances that for the iPad to save print media they need to make a concerted effort to use the new device to save themselves. Apple threw them a life preserver, they need to choose to swim with it. I think the Marvel Comics app demonstrates a company that gets that and has used the potential of the device to its full. When I finally do get an iPad, this app will be a must have. I hope all of the print media do as good a job as Marvel has done with this app.

BoingBoing provided a video walkthrough. It’s embedded below. Check it out to see the app in action.

And did I mention it was free? And it works on the iPhone albeit with a slightly different interface than what I’ve detailed for the iPad.

Are you impressed by companies like Marvel trying to bring themselves into the digital age? Do you prefer to feel the paper of your comics or would you be happy with digital only editions? Will more apps like this compel you to think about buying an iPad? Let us know in the comments.

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