Mac|Life - Reviews http://www.maclife.com/articles/22/feed en OutlineEdit Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/outlineedit-review <!--paging_filter--><p>For many of us, our days as a student are well behind us, but that doesn’t mean old skills like writing outlines don’t come into play as an adult — and OutlineEdit for Mac makes this arduous task almost effortless.</p><p>This lightweight app offers comprehensive tools for any size of outline. Set the title, enter new items, and drag-and-drop text into place, using a full complement of convenient keyboard shortcuts to indent along the way.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/07/outlineedit-620.jpg" width="620" height="387" /></p><p>OutlineEdit goes far beyond the basics: an optional Safari extension can be used to mark web text and open it into a new outline. Text groups can be folded up after a predetermined number of lines, categories can be color-coded, and you can add side notes or checkboxes to stay organized without clutter. You can also increase or decrease text size.</p><p>Multitaskers will love OutlineEdit’s ability to work on one window while another is open as a reference. Last but not least, a variety of statistics such as number of items, words, and characters or the ability to track how long you’ve worked on the current outline put your hard work into perspective.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> OutlineEdit elegantly handles the task of writing outlines, but could benefit from the ability to change the default font.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>OutlineEdit 1.4</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Outline Edit </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://outlineedit.com" target="_blank">outlineedit.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> $8.99 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Mac running OS X 10.8 or later, 64-bit processor</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Optional Safari extension works as virtual highlighter for web text. Export outlines to Evernote, Kindle, OPML, or PDF.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Outlines limited to single font. No specific text size adjustment (bigger or smaller only).</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/outlineedit-review#comments Reviews OS X outline OutlineEdit writing Mac Tue, 28 Jul 2015 18:17:49 +0000 J.R. Bookwalter 21887 at http://www.maclife.com Titan Souls Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/titan-souls-review <!--paging_filter--><p>Titan Souls for Mac is a game about dexterity and wits — a gauntlet of boss battles undertaken by a lowly adventurer with only a blood-red bow, a single arrow, and a purple hair ribbon to her name.</p><p>The arrow is Titan Souls’ signature mechanic. Once loosed, you’ll have to retrieve it, either by hand or holding a button to call it homeward, as if by magnetism or telepathy. This enchanted arrow then charts a straight line toward its master, piercing anything in its path.&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/07/titansouls-620.jpg" width="620" height="349" /></p><p>Nocking and retrieving arrows are stationary activities leaving your hero vulnerable to attack. She’s remarkably delicate: a glancing blow from a stone fist or charged beam will send her body back to the nearest checkpoint glyph. Thankfully, the inverse also applies: one true arrow is enough to fell any of Titan Souls’ hulking contraptions or malevolent flora. Either way, death comes suddenly, and this symmetric fragility makes each encounter quick and tense.</p><p>Most enemy encounters require an additional layer of deduction. You’ll feel clever for sussing out each foe’s Achilles’ heel, but Titan Souls’ exactitude means that the gap between devising a plan and executing it is a wide one.&nbsp;</p><p>Exploring Titan Souls’ isometric overworld for the first time is a joy. Enemy titans are scattered among snowy plains and tangled forests. Unfortunately, dying too often saps the world of its wonder: repeatedly trekking between checkpoints and boss fights is not fun, a rare bit of chaff in an otherwise focused game.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Titan Souls distills video game combat to its essence, exhibiting a clarity and precision that’s all too rare — and it’s all the better for it.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Titan Souls</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Acid Nerve </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://acidnerve.com" target="_blank">acidnerve.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> $14.99 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Mac running&nbsp;OS X 10.9, 2GHz Intel Core i5 or better, 4GB RAM, 1GB graphics</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Combat is demanding — one-shot-one-kill design. Bosses are inventive; puzzle-solving skills.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Some bosses too finicky. Odd checkpointing means a fair amount of dead time.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/titan-souls-review#comments Reviews OS X Titan Souls Mac Games Sat, 25 Jul 2015 01:47:00 +0000 Joseph Leray 21875 at http://www.maclife.com Radium Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/radium-review <!--paging_filter--><p>Radium is a Mac application offering a comprehensive buffet of internet radio stations based on location, category, or direct search.</p><p>While earlier releases resided in the menu bar, version 3 adopts a small on-screen window where the action takes place; clicking the menu bar now hides the UI instead. A better compromise would be an optional setting that restores the menu bar UI for those who want it.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/07/radium-620.jpg" width="620" height="486" /></p><p>Search is lightning fast and we had no problem finding most favorite stations locally or across the country. There are far more stations available here than from iTunes, and others can be added with a URL; the developer also accepts email requests. Playback takes only seconds to begin, and sound quality is quite good.</p><p>iCloud sync is one of the handiest features, which makes favorite stations (and tracks saved in your wish list) available on other Macs or the free iPhone app. You can also buy songs direct from Amazon.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Radium offers a better internet radio listening experience for Mac, at the expense of dubious UI decisions.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Radium 3.1</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CatPig Studios </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://catpigstudios.com" target="_blank">catpigstudios.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> $14.99 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Mac running&nbsp;OS X 10.10 or later</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Comprehensive Mac internet radio client with multiple audio output support. Wish list saves songs for later purchase.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>No option to keep UI tucked away in menu bar. Poor discoverability with some buttons.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/radium-review#comments Reviews internet radio Music OS X Radio Radium Mac Thu, 23 Jul 2015 17:39:12 +0000 J.R. Bookwalter 21868 at http://www.maclife.com Glass Planner Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/glass-planner-review <!--paging_filter--><p>Glass Planner is a productivity aid that attempts to seamlessly integrate your calendar and to-do lists. In the “Plan” tab, you create and browse appointments, events and to-dos in a view that resembles Fantastical’s Day Ticker. “Act” forces focus on tasks that can still be completed today, while “Done” is a browsable archive of completed and past items.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/07/glassplanner_620.jpg" width="620" height="542" /></p><p>The app initially overwhelms, but assists with liberal pop-up tutorials and by forcing you to start off in the streamlined mode “Simple Glass.” Don’t skip ahead if you want to get to grips with the concepts. You can then upgrade, although features are split in three (essentially: projects/tags, visuals, and unlimited checklists), with varying pricing and distasteful discounts for spamming your Facebook feed. Fortunately, the app’s potential offsets these issues, but you need to put in plenty of time to reap the benefits.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Clever but complicated, Glass Planner will save time — if you put in the effort first.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Glass Planner</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Slide Rule Software </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://sliderulesoftware.com" target="_blank">sliderulesoftware.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Free </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 6 or later</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Effectively combines a calendar app with a to-do list. Plenty of tutorials.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Takes a bit to get used to its complexity.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/glass-planner-review#comments Reviews App AppLife Apps Calendar Glass Planner iOS to-do iPhone iPod Wed, 22 Jul 2015 17:40:30 +0000 Craig Grannell 21865 at http://www.maclife.com Napkin Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/napkin-review <!--paging_filter--><p>There are times when words alone can be used to eloquently describe something, but if you really want to get the message across, why not say it with pictures? Armed with an elegant set of markup tools, Napkin — which borrows its name from the jotting down of ideas on table linen — takes this concept further, allowing anyone to convey ideas or explain concepts in a more ambitious way.</p><p>For starters, you can draw lines or shapes with a mouse or trackpad and Napkin will convert those scribbles into clean, vector-based arrows, text boxes, or callouts. These so-called “napkins” can be embellished by importing images from anywhere on your Mac, or using the built-in screenshot feature to grab some or all of the display.</p><p>The latest update reduces dependency upon other software by enabling you to crop, pixelate, or blur imported images without leaving the app. Sharing your final creation is also easier thanks to the addition of third-party extensions in the Share menu, as well as the ability to drag-and-drop JPEG or PNG versions between apps.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/07/napkin_620.jpg" width="620" height="430" /></p><p>Our favorite feature is how Napkin makes short work of creating image callouts. Draw around the area you want to draw the viewer’s attention to, click to lock it, and drag into position. Arrows drawn between objects retain links when one is moved, and smart guides make it easy to position elements for a more pleasing design.</p><p>The app is priced at $39.99 exclusively from the Mac App Store, and there’s no way to try before you buy. The cost of admission feels exorbitant compared to free markup apps like Skitch — that is, until you spend time with Napkin and realize what an effortless timesaver it really is.</p><p>Despite it being worth the money, we’d love to see a couple of improvements. There’s currently no way to import PDF files (although documents can be exported in this format), and keyboard jockeys will lament the absence of built-in shortcuts while taking screenshots, which can only be done via the mouse.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Don’t let the price keep you away; Napkin is our new go-to markup app, and a whole lot of awesome that’s well worth the investment.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Napkin 1.5</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Aged &amp; Distilled </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://aged-and-distilled.com" target="_blank">aged-and-distilled.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> $39.99 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Mac running OS X 10.9 or later</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Fast, full-featured image markup. Converts drawn lines or boxes to arrows, shapes, and callouts.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Expensive, no trial version available. Lacks PDF import.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/napkin-review#comments Reviews markup Napkin OS X Mac Tue, 21 Jul 2015 18:23:36 +0000 J.R. Bookwalter 21862 at http://www.maclife.com Cities: Skylines Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/cities-skylines-review <!--paging_filter--><p>For decades, SimCity was the undisputed king of city builders. With the latest in Maxis’ simulation series a relatively disappointing affair, the time was right for a new contender to take the crown. And now, with incredibly deep, engrossing mechanics capped off by a stunning presentation, Cities: Skylines is a worthy heir to the throne.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/07/citiesskylines_620.jpg" /></p><p>There are so many things to manage in Cities: Skylines, with budgets, taxes, resources, transportation, and pollution just a few items on the list. Don’t be afraid if you’re new to the genre; the game unlocks more mechanics as cities grow so you’re not immediately overwhelmed. You’ll place a few roads and set up districts for housing, industry, and retail to get your city started. The more you build, the more people will flock to your ever-growing city, and you’ll have to support the citizenship with hospitals, schools, and recreational areas. If you run out of space, not to worry — adjoining plots of land can be purchased to expand upon. You’ll have to manage the flow of new traffic through road planning, or with public transportation options. Good planning requires patience, and if you expand too fast you’ll run out of money and resources quickly.&nbsp;</p><p>Turning a sleepy hamlet into a booming metropolis isn’t easy, of course. Citizens want electricity and running water, preferably clean — residents can become sick from polluted water if you place a factory too close to a water tank. A social media feed keeps you updated on how people are doing; add a fire department and they’ll express gratitude at having someone to get their cat down from a tree. This is a subtle way to keep the player informed without over-explaining or hand-holding, but there were still occasional issues in the city that were hard to solve. It took some trial and error (and expensive re-zoning of utilities) to figure out why one entire city was plagued with illness, for example.</p><p>Whether you’re zoomed in on an individual resident or zoomed out to see the scope of your creation, Cities: Skyline’s presentation shines. The sights and sounds make cities feel alive. There wasn’t a moment when it didn’t look fantastic, and aside from one technical hiccup that was quickly solved, it ran beautifully too.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Cities: Skylines breathes new life into the city-building genre with intelligent, satisfying systems that suck you in for hours at a time.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Cities: Skylines</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paradox Interactive </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="https://www.paradoxplaza.com" target="_blank">www.paradoxplaza.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> $29.99 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Mac running OS X 10.9 or later, Intel Core 2 Duo 3GHz, 4GB RAM, 512MB graphics, 4GB HDD</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Intuitive, addictive city-building. Huge plots of land to build up. Flawless presentation that gets better up close.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Trouble sources are occasionally unclear.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/cities-skylines-review#comments Reviews Cities: Skylines simulation Mac Games Fri, 17 Jul 2015 19:42:34 +0000 Sarah Leboeuf 21848 at http://www.maclife.com LaCie Mirror Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/lacie-mirror-review <!--paging_filter--><p>LaCie has previously produced hard drives that look like silvery spheres and metallic sculptures, and its latest avant-garde creation is this eye-catching Mirror drive.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/07/laciemirror_620.jpg" /></p><p>It certainly lives up to its name, being entirely covered with gleaming, reflective glass. The drive measures 3.1 inches wide, 5 inches long and half an inch thick, so it’s relatively chunky when compared to some of the latest portable drives. However, it only weighs 0.5lb, so it’s still slim and light enough to slip into a backpack or laptop bag.</p><p>You don’t have to worry about dropping it when you’re out and about either, as LaCie has used Corning Gorilla Glass — the tough, scratch-resistant glass used to protect the screen on the iPhone and iPad. The only thing it can’t seem to resist is sticky finger marks, but LaCie helpfully includes a cleaning cloth so that you can give it a quick polish every now and then. There’s also a carrying pouch, and even a smart little ebony stand for when you want to sit the Mirror on your desk.</p><p>Performance is respectable enough, with the drive’s USB 3.0 interface averaging around 100MB/s for both read and write speeds. That’s not going to break any records, but it’s in line with a number of other portable drives we’ve tested recently. LaCie also bundles some handy software with the Mirror.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> The Mirror is very expensive. Seriously expensive: there’s only one version available at the moment, with 1TB of storage costing a hefty $280. There are cheaper drives available, but the Mirror drive will appeal to fashion fans.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>LaCie Mirror</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> LaCie </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="https://www.lacie.com" target="_blank">www.lacie.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> $279.99 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Mac running OS X 10.5 or later, USB port (LaCie Private-Public software requires a Mac Intel processor)</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Unique design. Uses tough Gorilla Glass.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Very expensive. Only average performance.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/lacie-mirror-review#comments Reviews accessories hard drive LaCie Mirror Mac Thu, 16 Jul 2015 18:22:07 +0000 Cliff Joseph 21846 at http://www.maclife.com Adobe Slate Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/adobe-slate-review <!--paging_filter--><p>Adobe has been rolling out mobile-centric creative tools at a dizzying pace. Adobe Slate is a visual storytelling app for iPad that helps create graphic-rich, magazine-style websites.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/07/adobeslate_620.jpg" width="620" height="409" /></p><p>All that’s required to get started is a free Adobe ID (which you can set up without leaving the app), then pick a story theme from Explore to create a new “slate” and begin populating the page. Photos can be imported from iPad, existing Creative Cloud or Dropbox accounts, Lightroom libraries synced to the same Adobe ID, or by searching free Creative Commons images.</p><p>There are plenty of ways to control how photos are displayed using inline, fill screen, window, or full-width views. Some layouts offer captions that shift horizontally as the viewer scrolls for added impact, and can include entire grids which are laid out based on the orientation and number of photos.</p><p>At any point, you can use the magic wand icon to switch between themes, changing the font style, color, and motion in one tap. Adding text or call-to-action buttons (which link to external websites) is equally simple, especially when using the built-in speech-to-text dictation, a convenient feature introduced with Adobe Voice.</p><p>When finished, Slate makes it easy to publish and share via text, email, or social networks, or even embed the story into an existing website. The end results are so polished that Adobe used the app to create their user guide instead of relying on the more static, traditional PDF format.</p><p>Adobe Slate isn’t an all-inclusive web design app. Although the included templates are customizable to some degree, there’s no way to create a design entirely from scratch, and stories can’t be further edited on the desktop. The initial version also lacks the ability to embed video, and there’s no auto sync between devices, although published slates can be downloaded manually from a different iPad using the same Adobe ID.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Adobe Slate creates an opportunity to build standalone web pages in minutes without the need to get your hands dirty with code. Pros may find the template-based approach limiting, but for everyone else, this app is wonderful.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Adobe Slate</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Adobe </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://www.adobe.com" target="_blank">www.adobe.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Free </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>iPad running&nbsp;iOS 8 or later</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Import photos from cloud accounts and Lightroom libraries. Change designs by switching templates.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Can’t import video files. Sync between iPads isn’t automatic.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/adobe-slate-review#comments Reviews Abobe Slate Adobe App AppLife Apps iOS web design iPad Wed, 15 Jul 2015 18:19:27 +0000 J.R. Bookwalter 21842 at http://www.maclife.com Hype 3 Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/hype-3-review <!--paging_filter--><p>Tumult’s Hype 3 is an HTML5 design and authoring tool, with an emphasis on animation and interaction. With timeline features similar to early versions of Adobe Flash, it can be used for ecards, presentations, website creation, iBooks content, and even simple mobile apps. Hype 3 Standard is a free upgrade for previous owners of Hype.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/07/hype3_620.jpg" width="620" height="349" /></p><p>Hype has always made it easy to animate objects. You place an element in, whether it’s an image, a shape or some text, then hit the big red record button. Move the playhead along and animate the object by moving it, manipulating it and changing its opacity or color. Hype does the grunt work for you, filling in the gaps. Because everything you create in Hype uses HTML5 functions, you can view the output in Safari, Chrome, or Firefox with no plug-in required.</p><p>The biggest change this time around is an option to upgrade Hype 3 Standard to Hype 3 Pro. Confusingly, most of the extra features are pretty fundamental, though; they’re exactly the kind of thing you’d expect as standard — pun intended.</p><p>Hype Pro debuts symbols, for example — persistent graphic elements that you can use throughout a project. Okay, fine. But then we’re looking at features as basic as layout grids not available in the Standard package, and it starts to feel like rationing for the sake of it.</p><p>Fortunately, not all Hype Pro’s unique features are so mundane; it’s worth the extra just for gravity-based animation. You can add gravity to any element, making it responsive to device tilt and orientation, no keyframing required — with collision detection built-in too.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Some Pro-exclusive features should be in the standard offering, but it’s still a great, easy animation app to get everyone making cool stuff.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Hype 3</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tumult </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://tumult.com" target="_blank">tumult.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> $49.99 (Standard); $99.99 (Pro) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Mac running&nbsp;OS X 10.8 or later</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Bargain, entry-level price for Hype 3 Standard. Competition-beating physics-based animation in the Pro version.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Editable interface remains clunky, despite overhaul. Grids and Symbols don’t feel like “Pro” features.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/hype-3-review#comments Reviews Animation HTML 5 Hype OS X web design Mac Tue, 14 Jul 2015 18:05:59 +0000 Karl Hodge 21840 at http://www.maclife.com Frozen Cortex Review http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/frozen-cortex-review <!--paging_filter--><p>In the near future, robots will replace flesh-and-blood athletes as the executors of a violent sport called Cortex, which is developer Mode 7’s asynchronous turn-based take on football. Frozen Cortex actually only has three rules: ball carriers can only pass or run toward their goal line, a team can only pass three times per possession, and the game resumes immediately after a turnover.&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/07/frozencortex_620.jpg" width="620" height="349" /></p><p>In the planning phase of each turn, you can issue commands, plan players’ movement along intricate routes, and plot the arc of the ball as it moves through the air. Cortex arenas are randomly generated and studded with low walls you can throw over and high walls you can’t, creating both thin, murderous alleys and open expanses. For extra granularity, you can put each planned step on a timer, delaying jukes until blockers should be in place, or avoiding soon-to-be-congested intersections.</p><p>But both players do all this planning at the same time, blind to the other’s plans. Once each coach’s play has been submitted, they resolve simultaneously as the camera zooms in to render the action in sleek neon.</p><p>The crux of Frozen Cortex is that plays can be simulated before they’re locked in. While terrain and positioning sometimes combine to make success inevitable, there are edge cases in which the difference between a goal and a turnover is whether a defender zigs or zags, slides over to intercept a pass or blocks an intersection with broad, metallic shoulders. There’s just enough uncertainty in each play to keep tension running high.</p><p>Unfortunately, some of that uncertainty is caused by the cursory tutorial and superficial in-game manual. It’s one thing to know that the c key displays a player’s tackling radius, for example, but it’s quite another to know how tackles are triggered, how to prevent them, and how to use that information tactically.</p><p>Finding multiplayer matches is a breeze, despite the relatively few players online at a given time: you can play several games at once, and Frozen Cortex will even send you an email if your opponent submitted a turn while you were offline.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> With short, explosive games that feature both meticulous planning and highlight-reel collisions, Frozen Cortex is a great strategy-sports hybrid.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Frozen Cortex</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Mode 7 Games </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://www.mode7games.com" target="_blank">www.mode7games.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Mac running&nbsp;OS X 10.9 or later, 1.2GHz processor, 4GB RAM, OpenGL 3.1+ and 1GB VRAM</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Smart, satisfying tactical play. Funny ancillary dialog.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Franchise mode is a little threadbare. Can be frustratingly opaque until it clicks.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/frozen-cortex-review#comments Reviews Frozen Cortex OS X Sports Mac Games Fri, 10 Jul 2015 22:00:38 +0000 Joseph Leray 21828 at http://www.maclife.com