Author: Terry White

Terry is the co-author of The Best Selling "The iPhone Book" 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th editions. He has been active in the industry for over 25 years and is the founder and president of MacGroup-Detroit, Inc., Michigan's largest Macintosh Users Group, host of the Adobe Creative Suite Podcast and a technology writer - Terry White Tech Blog.
adoberevel

Adobe Revel Gets New Features

Adobe Revel allows you to automatically sync your photos to/from your iOS devices, Android devices and your desktop computer. The iOS App has just gotten a nice update to include:

  • Support for the Retina Display on the new iPad (3rd gen).
  • Tag photos with an Event name.
  • Photos from multiple dates can be tagged as a single Event.
  • Share, export, and delete multiple photos at once.
  • Faster editing performance on iPad and iPhone.
  • View photos from a single day or event using Grid View.
  • View only your favorite photos.
  • View photos by events.
  • Adjust photo date and time.

Adobe Revel is a paid service at $5.99/month. You can do a 30 day Free trial to check it out right within the app.

You can get Adobe Revel for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch for free here from the iTunes

scannerpro

Scanner Pro goes iPad Native

I always love it when one of my favorite Apps that started out as an iPhone App gets updated to be a Universal App, which means that it’s now native on iPad. The good folks over at Readdle have updated my favorite document scanning App for iOS, Scanner Pro to be a Universal App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. They also took this opportunity to improve the user interface and increase the scanning speed.

With Scanner Pro you can use your iDevice’s camera to take pictures of documents, receipts, photos, etc. and convert them to PDF while straightening them out and enhancing the quality. Since I’ve been using this App I rarely use my desktop scanners anymore. It’s great for scanning receipts for expense reports. The PDFs can be uploaded to Dropbox.com, emailed, sent to Evernote, Google Docs or directly to your PC or Mac.

It’s one my “Must Have” Apps.

You can get Scanner Pro for $6.99 here from the iTunes

Adobe Reader

Adobe Reader for iOS Gets a Major Update

Adobe has released a major feature update to the Free Adobe Reader for iOS (and Android). While you might be asking “do I really need Reader on my iDevice since it has PDF support built-in?” I would ask you to look at and compare the list of features first. While iOS does have good support for PDF built right in and there are some great PDF Apps out there that go beyond what iOS can do, the Reader has support for things that aren’t built-in to iOS and usually are available in paid Apps…

 

Sticky Notes

You can now create sticky note comments and place them anywhere on the document. You can modify existing sticky note comments, or move them to a different location on the page, or delete them. And all this with simple touch gestures! Simply long press on any location of the page to add a sticky note at that location, or go via the dedicated Commenting Toolbar at the top.

Text Markups

Reader 10.2 supports creation, modification and deletion of text markup annotations, including Highlights, Strikeouts and Underlines. The easiest way to add these is by selecting some text (via the long-press gesture) and then choosing Highlight, Strikeout or Underline from the context menu. If you’re looking to use multiple Commenting tools in succession, you can use the Commenting Toolbar, and very easily create multiple comments in a single session. Also, the Reader allows you to change properties such as color and opacity of text markup annotations, or clear/delete a comment, by simply selecting it and using the context menu.

Free-hand drawing tool

Did you miss the scribble or drawing tool on your tablet or phone? Wait no more! Reader 10.2 brings with it full support for creating free-hand annotations – just choose the ‘Freehand’ option from the context menu, or the Pencil button from the Commenting Toolbar, and you’ll be presented with a full-screen canvas where you can showoff your artistic talents! You can also modify properties of an existing drawing such as color, opacity and thickness, and choose to move/resize or delete a drawing that you no longer need. And all these changes are saved back into your PDF document seamlessly in the background!

Ink Signature <-a big one

Reader 10.2 also brings in a very useful feature that lets you place your signature on documents right within the Reader, that would otherwise require you to go via the Print > Sign > Scan workflow. Again, you can do this by choosing the Signature button from the Commenting Toolbar, or via the ‘Signature’ option from the context menu. Pretty easy!

Acrobat Forms

PDF forms are widely used by end users, enterprises, government, and other sectors for reliable data exchange, and Adobe Reader 10.2 brings all new support for filling and submitting these forms right from your phone or tablet device! Note that in this release only PDF forms created by Acrobat are supported, and not those created by Adobe LiveCycle Designer.

Adobe EchoSign Integration

With Reader 10.2, you can now get your PDF documents signed in minutes using Adobe EchoSign. Simply choose the ‘Send for Signature’ option from the menu and you’re ready to go! For more information about Adobe EchoSign, click here.

PDF links

Reader 10.2 introduces support for both intra-document links (like Table of Contents) and web links. Also, it’s easy in Reader 10.2 to identify such links as they’ll show up with a light blue background.

Document Security

For document with certain restrictions, Adobe Reader honors those restrictions. For example, if the author of the PDF document has disallowed commenting, then Adobe Reader 10.2 will honor that and will not allow commenting on it.

Search files in File Browser

In this update we’ve also added the neat little feature that lets you quickly search for files in your Documents list. On iOS, just scroll the documents list down and you’ll see the Search Bar emerge from the top; and on Android, tap on the search glass icon on the top right to bring up the Search Bar. As you start typing the name (or part of name) of the document you’re looking for, the search list will be filtered based on that text. So, no need for frantic scrolls in long document lists any more!

Thumbnails in File Browser

Another neat enhancement to the File Browser is the display of thumbnails for files recently opened in the Reader. This makes it easy to identify recently viewed files, and provides for a richer experience.

Other enhancements

Some other enhancements in Reader 10.2 include:

Enhancements to performance and responsiveness

Email attachments opened in Android Reader are now stored on permanent storage, and are available for view/modification even after the document is closed.

The last viewed position in a document is remembered and restored when the document is re-opened at a later time. This is new on iOS with Reader 10.2, and already exists on Android since Reader 10.1.1.

Enhancements to Portfolios list and File Attachments on iOS: You can now view non-PDF children in PDF portfolios, and PDF File attachments on the iOS Reader. These capabilities already exist on Android since Reader 10.1.1

Photoshop Quiz Game

Photoshop Quiz Game

Have fun testing your knowledge of Adobe Photoshop! Our good friend Dave Cross (Photoshop Instructor) has just released his Photoshop Quiz Game App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Whether you’re new to Photoshop or a long time pro, I would dare say that you don’t know everything about Photoshop (know one does), however, if you think you’re a Photoshop guru and you want to put your skills to the test, then you definitely want to check out this “game”. While it has the word Game in the title and it is entertaining, I feel like this is more of an educational tool than a game. As a matter of fact it would really be useful as a study aid for those of you looking to pass your Photoshop ACE exam or being tested on Photoshop at school.

Three Levels of Difficulty

There are three levels of difficulty ranging from those “how can anyone not know these?” questions to those “who in the world would know this?” type questions. While I’ve been using Photoshop since version 2 (not CS2, 2.0) there are still things that stumped me in this “game.” Besides playing the three different levels you can also use the Flash Cards feature to study from.

The Bottom Line

Any Photoshop User will definitely want to check out this App. My only complaint/annoyance (besides not knowing all of the answers) was that once I started a game, there didn’t seem to be a way to bail out of it. I had to keep tapping answers until all of the questions were answered before being allowed to get back to the home screen. Hopefully I’m missing something and there’s a secret handshake or button. I’m also hopeful that Dave will continue to update the App with new questions.

You can get the Photoshop Quiz Game for $4.99 here from the iTunes

MinimalFolio

Minimal Folio Syncs the Way I Want it To

On Friday I posed the question: “What’s the best Portfolio App for iPad?” For the most part I didn’t get a ton of responses and the ones I got were Apps that I had already tried with the exception of one: Minimal Folio. As the name implied this App is not big on having lots of features. The App is simply and elegantly designed to allow you to show your photos  on the big and beautiful iPad display. Yes, this App also takes advantage of the Retina Display on the New iPad as well. While this App doesn’t have as many features as say Portfolio for iPad or Xtra Folio, but it does the one thing that I wish all the others would do and that is “Sync” with Dropbox. Note I didn’t say “Import”, I said “sync”! Portfolio for iPad can import my images from Dropbox manually, but it currently doesn’t sync them.

Why is Dropbox important?

The problem I have with most of these Apps is not how well they display the photos or the features they have in playing videos, having multiple portfolios, etc., the problem is that once you get the photos in and organized the problem is doing future updates. For example, I have a portfolio called “Recent Work”. This means that I add new photos to it regularly and delete older photos. Currently it’s a pain to do this simple task of updating in all the other Apps.

My Lightroom workflow that ties this all together

I manage my photos in Adobe Lightroom 4. I organize them in Lightroom Collections (albums). I also created a “Hard Disk Publish Service with “Smart Collections” that mirror the manual collections to my Dropbox folder. These Smart Collections, like “Recent Work” create JPGs at 2048 pixels on the longest dimensions and put them in folders in Dropbox that I can then sync with Minimal Folio. Once I click the Publish button to update any of my Smart Collections, i can then go to Minimal Folio and tap sync. The new photos come in automatically!

It gets better

There’s an iPhone/iPod touch version too. Since the App can sync with Dropbox I also have my Portfolios on my iPhone too. Once I had the iPad version set up, I bought the iPhone version. I linked it to my Dropbox account, tapped “Sync with Dropbox” and all my current portfolios came over to my iPhone like magic. While I appreciate there being an iPhone/iPod touch version I do wish that this was a Universal App instead of two separate Apps.

The Bottom Line

While Minimal Photo lacks things like slideshows, music, and custom branding I’m liable to use it more because I know that it will always have the latest versions of my portfolios with the tap of a “sync” button. Short of having an App that ties directly to Lightroom this is one of the best ones to support my workflow. Also the price is right compared to many others. There are more full featured Apps out there and if you’re an iPhoto or Aperture user perhaps the built-in Photos App is all you need. However, if you’re a Lightroom user and you want an easy way to get those photos onto your iDevices and keep them updated, organize them in the order you want, I don’t know of a better option. Minimal Folio also works with video and PDFs. It allows you to zoom in on your images. Yes you can bring images in from iTunes or from the built-in Camera Roll/Albums. Special shout out to my Google+ follower Johannes Henseler for pointing this App out to me.

You can get Minimal Folio for iPad for $2.99 here from the iTunes

You can get Minimal Folio for iPhone/iPod touch for $0.99 here from the iTunes

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