I look forward to going to Photoshop World each year and presenting. One of the tools that helps keep me on top of things that are going on is the official Photoshop World Conference & Expo App. Each year there are updates to the App, but this year the author (Shawn Welch) redesigned the App from the ground up. The new design is definitely easier to navigate. It’s also better looking. The App lets you see up to the minute messages from the conference organizers. You can see the Classes, Instructors, Exhibitors and most importantly the “My Schedule” feature. With the My Schedule feature you can add classes to your schedule based on available time slots. While I like the improvements in this feature, there is one change that I don’t like. I miss having the ability to fill a time slot with a custom meeting or event. With this update you can only choose from the available classes so that’s a bit of a step back for me. However, one thing that kinda makes up for it is that the App now syncs with iCloud. This means that I don’t have to manually create the same schedule twice on both my iPad and iPhone. I added a class on the iPad and it showed up in the appropriate time slot on my iPhone 5. It also has a 10 minute before the class reminder feature. I’d also like to be able to customize this to make it 15 minutes to an hour depending on the session.
UPDATE: Shawn has informed me that there is a way to do custom reminders by scrolling down to the bottom of an event and changing it there.
All in all the update is better and more stable than the previous version. I hope that Shawn adds back in the ability to add custom time slots (hint hint), but if you’re going to Photoshop World and you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch this is definitely worth a download.
Burner solves an interesting problem. The idea behind the App is that once you download it to your iPhone and set it up you can create a temporary (burnable) phone number that you can use when you don’t want to give out your real phone number. For example, I’ve never sold anything on Craig’s List because I didn’t want to give out my personal contact information. I didn’t want people coming to my house or having my home/mobile phone numbers. I solved the coming to my house problem a couple of years ago by moving into my own photography studio. Now I have a business address that people can come to. However, the phone number issue still remained. If I put up a classified ad I want people to be able to contact me about the product I’m selling all the way through the sales process. After the deal has concluded I don’t want anyone else calling me about it. This is where a burnable number comes in. The Burner App allows you to create temporary phone numbers that you can use to dial out on and the caller-ID will reflect that number as well as receive calls on that number that ring through to the App on your iPhone with push notifications. While the App is Free, you buy credits via an in-app purchase to setup numbers for 7, 30 and 60 days with various amounts of talk time. 3 credits set you back $1.99, 8 credits for $4.99 and 15 credits for $7.99. The pricing is not bad and the “Standard Burner” for 5 credits and it will last you for 30 days or 50 talk minutes or 150 texts. You can create the number in the area code of your choice.
When you set up the App it will need your real phone number as a point of reference and they promise to keep it secret. Other than that the setup is very straight forward. You even get a test number to play with for 24 hours. You can burn the number at any time and use the number can be used for texting too.
One of the ways I get my inspiration is by seeing the brilliant work of others. I also learn every time I see one of my colleagues present. I’ve been with Adobe for almost 17 years and I can remember the days of the printed “Adobe Magazine”. The Adobe Magazine stopped being published years ago when the web was all the rage. Now we’re in the era of digital publications on tablets and with that said there’s a NEW Adobe Magazine called Adobe Inspire. Adobe Inspire Magazine is a free publication on the iPad. It’s created using Adobe InDesign and the Digital Publishing Suite. The content is geared toward informing, enlightening, and inspiring creative professionals and hobbyists. Documenting the best of web and interaction design practices for over 10 years, each bimonthly issue features articles, tutorials, and videos by experts about new and emerging technologies as well as best practices to help you excel at your job. Learn about Adobe Creative Suite tools and services as well as web standards, design styles, and prominent artists who create compelling projects. The iPad edition of Inspire Magazine contains bonus features not found on the companion website. Best of all Adobe Inspire is FREE!
Twitter is all about short messages of 140 characters or less. Sure you can now easily tweet a picture along with your text, but then you’ll have less than 140 characters because the link to your pic is going to take up some of the text. GraphicTweets aims to combine your tweet with the picture you want to send. This isn’t the first app we’ve seen that allows you to add text to a picture and share it, but most of the other Apps are aimed at Facebook and Instagram. This is one of the few Apps aimed at Twitter first and of course it allows you to share via Facebook and Instagram too. Once you launch the App it starts you off with the ability to key in your text. You can choose font color and background color as well as size. Next you can add a photo. It can be one of your photos or one from Flickr or Facebook. Lastly, just hit the Share button and choose to share your GraphicTweet on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. I’m impressed by the large variety of font choices. It actually has more fonts than any other mobile App that I’ve seen. You can use multi-touch gestures to rotate the text or move it to where it looks best on the photo. It works as advertised, however, I’d like to see a couple of additions. First off I’d like to see this as a Universal App supporting iPad. Next, I’d like to see the ability to have word wrap in the text. Right now it seems to be limited to one line of text per GraphicTweet.
The Pantone Libraries have been a standard in graphic design and printing for as long as I can remember. Although I don’t spec out colors day to day as I used to earlier in my career, there are times that I get stuck trying to figure out what colors to use for a design I’m doing. I’m VERY color challenged when it comes to doing design work. Even when I have the main color I want, I’m not good at picking out the complimentary colors. My friend Sydney showed me the myPantone App and I had to download it that night. It does the obvious. You can browse through the swatches and lookup colors by numbers. That’s no different than having a Pantone swatch book in front of you. What made me download the App as soon as I could was the integrated camera feature. Using the camera on your iOS device you can snap a photo and then use your finger to sample the colors in the photo and the app will find the closest Pantone color to the color sample that you chose. That’s really cool, but to make it even better the App gives you not only the matching Pantone color, but you can also get the Lab, sRGB, HTML (Hex), and CMYK values. This is awesome for web design too. For example, you could walk into a business and snap a couple of photos of their existing decor. Then you’ll have the swatches needed for designing their marketing materials as well as their website. Palettes can be shared via emailed or printed as well as sent to another device in range. Colors can also be saved as Favorites. There’s even a new SkinTones Library.
One thing you have to realize is that your iPhone is NOT color calibrated and lighting conditions for the photo will also make a difference especially if the white balance is off. Since your camera is NOT perfect, this will always be just an estimate and not an exact science. It ill help get you in the ballpark faster than manually searching. However, even with those caveats I would say that this is a must have App for designers. What I would like to see is Universal version that is native to iPad.
Share your color palettes via email