Welcome to our weekly installment of Picks of the Week at iSource where we provide our expanded coverage of Apple accessories and applications. Here we will promote our favorite iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac and Apple TV related items, as well as bring you occasional tips and tricks. Hopefully many of our favorite items will also be of interest to you. Please feel free to comment on our selections, and suggest picks of your own. Check out this week’s picks after the break.
Adobe Photoshop Touch [ v 1.1.0 ]
Picked by: AliciaB
For my Pick of the Week I looked no further than Photoshop for iPad, aptly named: Adobe Photoshop Touch.
Photoshop is a wonderfully complex tool on the desktop. Especially for hobby designers like myself: I make progress by trial by error rather than by willful purpose. It dropped this week and I could control myself but for 3 whole days, until I bit the bullet and tapped on “purchase”. They make these things too easy.
Needless to say, if you’ve used Photoshop on the desktop and you have an iPad, you should get this app. Adobe has really pared things down and made everything intuitive, although it took me a while to find familiar tools. But whoa once I discovered em, the creation process was a delight. They’ve included several tutorials, which are not vids but rather step-by-step “do-it-yourselves”.
The app UI is smoothly done. The menu bars disappear and reappear on tap, adding or deleting layers is a breeze and trying out photo effects is almost child’s play. Dabbling leisurely with the creation of a logo in the app took me all of one hour to figure out how to do it and how to make it look as cool as possible. Not bad at all. Of course, there are things missing. I usually rely on Photoshop to tell me how large a file is – no such indicators here. Also, while they include some interesting fonts (30 in all) but some basic Apple ones are still missing (indeed from the iPad in general which remains a mystery to me). For a font junkie or professional it will not be enough.
Small point: the logo is quite bland don’t you agree? Strange for the company who makes Photoshop to have a plain blue logo. This is not rock and roll.
In all, Adobe has done a mighty fine job for the iPad platform in this first offering. Will they succeed in winning back the hearts of hobby users who have long since migrated to Pixelmator or various mobile picture effect powerhouses? Time will tell. This is a good first step.
$9.99 US [ iTunes ]
Picked by: PatrickJ
I sent Thomas an iMessage last night that just said ‘Hallelujah’. At the time I was also raving away to my daughter about how tremendously cool it was to see this new app for the Mac. It’s the app I feel like I’ve been waiting for forever and a day. Reflection brings AirPlay Mirroring to the Mac. So you can mirror everything you do on the iPad 2 or iPhone 4S to any Mac running OS X 10.6 or later. Bonanza! It beats the heck out of me why Apple has not yet added this functionality themselves, but rather than waiting (and waiting some more) on them, I very happily bought this app last night.
The app has zero setup and does not require you to install anything extra or do anything special on your iPad 2 or iPhone 4S. Once Reflection is installed, you just tap the AirPlay control in the Multitasking Bar and you’ll see a new entry for your Mac – select it and Bob’s your uncle as they say in the UK. Or, to put it another way, that’s it – you’re mirroring your iDevice to the Mac.
Reflection is a little glitchy and feels a bit like the 1.0 version that it is in my use of it so far, and it doesn’t handle games on the iPad 2 at all in my quick tests. Hopefully stability will improve with future updates – but for now the app works more than well enough to be a real sight for sore eyes.
$14.99 [ Link ]
Free Trial Available
Pixen [ v 3.5b4 ]
Picked by: Alex Jordan
My pick this week is a free app called Pixen. I do design work, and usually Adobe’s apps manage to handle the job just fine. However, I recently began a project wherein I need to create 8-bit, pixel-y type illustrations. You know the kind I’m talking about. Anyway, Photoshop doesn’t handle this kind of work in a way that I’m comfortable with yet. Enter Pixen, a tool designed for this purpose. If you are at all familiar with Photoshop, Gimp, or most other image editing-software, you will be right at home with Pixen. What sets Pixen apart, it the fact that there is no anti-aliasing, and color selection is limited, to ensure you create something true to old 8-bit artwork. You can get a copy of Pixen from MacUpdate for free.
Free [ Link ]
Viggle [ v 1.0.4 ]
Picked by: Brandon
My pick of the week is Viggle. Viggle is best summed up as a way to get rewards for sitting your lazy bum on the couch watching the brain cell killer. Do you religiously watch CSI? How about The Voice or American Idol? Maybe NY Ink is more your style. Really it doesn’t much matter what you enjoy, Viggle wants to know. Now, as with all free services, and I would guess double with Viggle since you get rewards – if you’re not paying for a service, you’re the product being sold. Reality here is, chances are pretty good you’re all ready the product when it comes to your TV habits. If you own a TIVO you’ve been the product for years. So, choose your battles wisely. I’ve decided that I’m OK with advertisers knowing I’m watching The Voice. And I’m really OK with getting free Starbucks, shoes from Foot Locker, or even a Kindle for doing it.
Free [ iTunes ]
There you have it! Hope you enjoyed this week’s installment of Picks of the week. Please let us know what you think, and share with us some of your favorites.