Mac|Life - Reviews http://www.maclife.com/articles/22/feed en Review: ViewSonic VP2772 Monitor http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_viewsonic_vp2772_monitor <!--paging_filter--><p>ViewSonic is targeting the pro crowd with its latest 1440p monitor, the VP2772. At a penny shy of $1,020, there are more affordable consumer panels with similar features out there. But ViewSonic is pitching the VP2772 specifically at photographers, graphic designers, video editors, and other design and multimedia professionals.</p><p>That’s because this monitor features a 12-bit color engine and 14-bit LUT (Look Up Table) that allows it to process, grade, and render 1.07 billion colors and gray scales, while covering 99 percent of the Adobe RGB color space.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/vp2772_620.png" width="620" height="503" /></p><p>Like its predecessor, the VP2770-LED, the model sports a 27-inch frame. But this monitor’s appearance can best be described as workmanlike, if not just a bit dull. It comes with an adjustable stand that can be raised upwards to 5.9 inches and can pivot 90 degrees into portrait mode.</p><p>At the back of the display are a number of ports including Dual-Link DVI, HDMI v1.4, and mini-DisplayPort, in addition to four USB 3.0 ports (two on the side and two on the rear). It also features DisplayPort v1.2 for daisy-chaining a second monitor.</p><p>Using the menu controls, you can tweak a number of display settings, including contrast, brightness, sRGB and Adobe RGB presets, response times, gamma, Dynamic Contrast, and overscan. You can also choose between a number of color tone presets, and select a power-friendly Eco Mode.</p><p>Set to its native color temperature, the VP2772 offered excellent picture quality out of the box. Brightness is evenly distributed, with no overly bright or dark spots. Nor could we detect any backlight bleed along the edges. The monitor produces deep blacks and reds, while greens, blues, and yellows appear vibrant without having to boost contrast or brightness. Once set up, everything on the screen is clearly viewable from a 178-degree angle.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> The Viewsonic VP2772 is a well-constructed professional monitor that offers superb picture quality, though some tinkering is required to correct the distorted image that’s produced on OS X, particularly reducing the sharpness to halfway.</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>ViewSonic VP2772&nbsp;</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"> ViewSonic </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.viewsonic.com" target="_blank">www.viewsonic.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"> $1,020 </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>DisplayPort, HDMI or DVI connection, Mac running OS X</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>Superb image quality. Good port selection. Wide viewing angles.</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>Boring design. Fiddly menu controls. Some OS X distortion.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_viewsonic_vp2772_monitor#comments Reviews hardware monitor Monitors Screen viewsonic VP2772 Mac Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:00:58 +0000 Kane Fulton 20966 at http://www.maclife.com Review: Blackwell Trilogy http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_blackwell_trilogy <!--paging_filter--><p>Fresh from successful and well-produced iOS ports of Gemini Rue and The Shivah, point-and-click adventure maker Wadjet Eye Games has shifted its gaze to the Blackwell series that made the company’s name. Once again it does not disappoint. These are smart, witty, thoughtful tales of ghostly intrigue, and each is better than the last.</p><p>Not everything translates smoothly to iOS. Some of the voice acting is rough (although most is excellent), and the handwritten letters you find in the first game (Legacy) can be hard to read. There’s excessive exposition in Legacy, an underdeveloped setting (and strange ending) in Unbound, and overly easy investigation-led puzzling in Convergence. And the autosave system used across all three entries doesn’t sync up with your every move, but rather just the major plot points, which makes manual saving a necessary annoyance in a series of games that have no fail states.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/blackwell_620.png" /></p><p>All three titles involve the wise-talking ghost Joey Mallone as sidekick, with Legacy and Convergence putting young freelance writer Rosangela Blackwell in the hot seat and Unbound flashing back in time to her aunt Lauren. They deal with dark themes — regret, loneliness, fear, anger, death — and every last character is flawed to a T. But there are moments of comedy to break the ice. The writing improves from one episode to the next, with ideas that initially seem clichéd or weakly-developed getting revisited and fleshed-out later.</p><p>This is a mystery that a single game cannot contain — two more exist on PC — and while the endpoints of each game may feel abrupt, they leave you wanting more. Adventure fans won’t find much unique here, but the down-to-earth atmosphere with a supernatural bent gels well with a moody jazz score and conflicted, compelling characters.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> The first three Blackwell games pack an intriguing narrative of ghosts and oddball charm in an old-school adventure package that shines brightly on iOS.</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>Blackwell 1: Legacy/Blackwell 2: Unbound/Blackwell 3: Convergence</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"> Wadjet Eye 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.wadjeteyegames.com" target="_blank">www.wadjeteyegames.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"> $2.99 (Blackwell 1), $3.99 (Blackwell 2), $3.99 (Blackwell 3) </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>iOS device running iOS 4.3 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>Great characters and dialogue. Satisfying puzzles in Legacy and Unbound. Touchscreen interface works well. Fantastic jazz score.</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>Puzzles are too easy in Convergence. First two games are short. Plot has some weak spots.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_blackwell_trilogy#comments Reviews Adventure App AppLife Apps Blackwell Blackwell 1: Legacy Blackwell 2: Unbound Blackwell 3: Convergence point-and-click iPad iPhone iPod Games Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:24:56 +0000 Richard Moss 20960 at http://www.maclife.com Review: iTranslate for Mac http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_itranslate_mac <!--paging_filter--><p>Austria’s Sonico has had a rich history of creating slick mobile productivity apps since the dawn of the App Store, but has steered clear of the desktop until now. iTranslate for Mac takes everything users love about the classic iOS version and drops it onto the OS X menu bar. Featuring more than 80 different languages, the Mac App Store edition can open automatically at boot-up, ready to be summoned via a mouse click or a user-defined keyboard shortcut.</p><p>As with any machine translation service, iTranslate isn’t always perfect, but it’s quite accurate with the right combination of languages. Popular languages such as English, Spanish, French, and German include dictionary support for common words and phrases, and many supported languages include text-to-speech or voice recognition options. (You can see the complete list of supported languages on Sonico’s website.)</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/itranslate_620.png" width="620" height="445" /></p><p>Select source and target languages by clicking the appropriate flag icons. The source can also be set to “Detect Language,” and iTranslate will automatically determine which language to use whenever words or complete phrases are entered; the app fully supports Dictation with OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 or later. Clicking the icon next to any language enables switching between male and female voices or controlling the rate for the resultant text-to-speech; the app also maintains a convenient list of recently used languages, with a search field for easily calling up others in just a few keystrokes.</p><p>Depending on which languages you’re translating, results will also be shown with additional transliteration or definitions below. You can swap between source and target with a click, although this occasionally threw up a “server error occurred” for us. Last but not least, clicking the anchor icon keeps the iTranslate window open, which is quite handy when you’re copying and pasting text from other applications.</p><p>Like the mobile version, iTranslate for Mac requires an active Internet connection for its magic to work, but results appear in the blink of an eye. We’d like to see an option to enable automatic text-to-speech after hitting the Return key, rather than having to click the speaker icon each time. The app could also benefit from additional keyboard shortcuts for common tasks, such as swapping source and target, or perhaps quickly calling up your most-used languages.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> iTranslate for Mac is an impressive successor to the iOS classic, but we’d like to see a few extra conveniences added with future updates.</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>iTranslate for Mac</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"> Sonico GmbH </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.itranslateapp.com" target="_blank">www.itranslateapp.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"> $9.99 </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>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>Faithful Mac port of venerable iOS classic. Most languages include text-to-speech and voice recognition. Anchor button keeps window open when pasting from other apps.</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>Requires active Internet connection. No automatic text-to-speech option. Lacks keyboard shortcuts for common tasks. Occasional server error messages.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_itranslate_mac#comments Reviews App iTranslate Language mac app store Sonico Translation Mac Tue, 18 Nov 2014 19:44:32 +0000 J.R. Bookwalter 20956 at http://www.maclife.com Review: Write for Mac http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_write_mac <!--paging_filter--><p>At first glance, Write looks a lot like current text-editing darling Ulysses 3, only at a much cheaper price — even factoring in a paid-for iOS version for taking work on the move. Glances three through six are mostly devoted to looking for the catch, and being surprised that there really isn’t one — not a big one, at least.</p><p>Write is a gorgeous-looking editor with a lot of power just a click away, from full Markdown support and iCloud syncing to distraction-free writing and a centralized library to hold and browse your documents — one that simply uses raw files in existing folders rather than adopting Ulysses’ database approach. Oddly, it’s being sold entirely around note-taking, but easily handles long documents, too.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/write_620.png" width="620" height="417" /></p><p>Along with all the usual editing features (such as typewriter scrolling and both global and section-based word/character counts), Write has a few interesting tricks, such as support for previewing Fountain-formatted scripts.</p><p>It’s a tool that’s best used for one-off pieces rather than your novel, though, since there’s nothing like versioning support; and even ignoring that editors like this avoid the DTP-like tools you’d find in Pages, Write’s theme/template options are weak. If you need full control over your documents, Scrivener takes the prize and Ulysses finishes second.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> An impressively powerful but humble writing app that complements the big boys well.</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>Write for Mac</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"> Tanmay Sonawane </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.writeapp.net" target="_blank">www.writeapp.net</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"> $9.99 </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>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>Stylish, efficient editing. Syncs with iCloud and iOS.</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>Lacks enough power for longer projects. Weak templating options.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_write_mac#comments Reviews App note taking notes word processing Write Write for Mac Mac Thu, 13 Nov 2014 20:26:48 +0000 Richard Cobbett 20931 at http://www.maclife.com Review: Shutter by StreamNation http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_shutter_streamnation <!--paging_filter--><p>iPhone owners are shooting more photos and video than ever, creating an insatiable demand for some way to back up all of that media. Unfortunately, most cloud services are handicapped by artificial storage limitations, a dilemma the creators of StreamNation attempt to solve with their latest app.</p><p>Shutter is billed as a free “infinite camera” app; all images and videos taken by the app bypass the iOS Camera Roll entirely and are instead uploaded directly to StreamNation’s cloud-based servers. (Existing and future Camera Roll images can also be backed up.)</p><p>And yes, everyone receives unlimited storage — but only for media imported within the app, or from an iPhone plugged into the Mac desktop uploader, which can be used to back up content even faster. StreamNation charges $20 per month for regular desktop content.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/shutter_620.png" width="620" height="349" /></p><p>Shutter launches straight into simple camera mode, ready to shoot; sadly, there’s no setting to change this behavior. The app can’t use the volume button for shooting, but does include eight live filters for unique looks. Tapping the thumbnail at bottom left opens the last image taken, where you can share, delete, add tags, or save to Camera Roll.</p><p>Behind this viewing mode is the rest of the Shutter app: an in-app camera roll, a “photo stream” of uploaded content, quick access to albums you’ve created, and links to friends on StreamNation. The barebones Settings controls automatic uploading, which can be limited to Wi-Fi connections; you can also opt out of saving images locally, keep the last 200 or 500 shots, or retain everything until 1GB of device storage remains.</p><p>Shutter’s killer feature is the ability to share an unlimited number of photos, or videos up to an hour in length, via email or StreamNation; images can also be shared to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or opened in other iOS apps for further tweaking.</p><p>Despite the lure of free, unlimited storage, it’s important to note Shutter is first and foremost a camera app. While there are workarounds to move desktop collections to the iOS Camera Roll and bypass StreamNation’s monthly fee, the app really wants to be your one and only shooter. Unfortunately, the camera is the weakest aspect.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Delivers on the promise of truly unlimited storage, but for now the built-in camera is just getting in the way.</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>Shutter by StreamNation</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"> The Digital Nation </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.streamnation.com/shutter" target="_blank">www.streamnation.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 6.0 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>Free, unlimited storage for photos &amp; videos. Rich sharing options including unlimited photos, videos up to one hour long. Backs up existing &amp; future Camera Roll content.</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>Extremely basic camera functionality. No volume shutter. App defaults to camera mode.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_shutter_streamnation#comments Reviews App AppLife cloud storage Photography shutter Streamnation iPad iPhone iPod Wed, 12 Nov 2014 19:30:39 +0000 J.R. Bookwalter 20926 at http://www.maclife.com Review: Printworks for Mac http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_printworks_mac <!--paging_filter--><p>In the heady days before the Internet and social networking, the original “killer app” for Macintosh was desktop publishing — software that is today primarily aimed at pros (Adobe InDesign, QuarkXpress), or dumbed down for the masses (Pages, Microsoft Word). Into this fertile middle ground comes BeLight Software and its inexpensive new Mac App Store solution.</p><p>Featuring more than 400 professionally designed document templates and over 1,000 print-ready clip art images (with another 40,000 available via $9.99 in-app purchase), Printworks makes short work of brochures, business cards, labels, media inserts, and just about any other kind of page layout needs.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/printworks_620.png" width="620" height="378" /></p><p>The clean UI fits in nicely alongside the likes of Apple’s iWork suite, and anyone who’s used Pages, Numbers, or Keynote will feel right at home here. Full-screen and Retina support also make Printworks a good OS X citizen, along with easy image import from iPhoto and Aperture (JPG, PNG, TIFF, PDF, and EPS files can also be used).</p><p>Printworks for Mac doesn’t skimp on high-end features like layers, smart shapes, and built-in image filters, or the ability to insert editable tables, calendars, or popular barcodes, including retail-ready UPC or QR codes. Output options are limited, although the current PDF, TIFF, JPG, PNG, or EPS export options will be plenty for users with less discriminating color management needs.</p><p>For a version 1 release, Printworks is an exceptional bargain — a well-crafted app that breathes new life into the creative possibilities for modern Mac owners.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Printworks is a slick throwback to a bygone era of Mac desktop publishing, serving up a robust palette of page layout tools in an attractive, affordable package.</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>Printworks for Mac 1.0.2</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"> BeLight 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://www.belightsoft.com" target="_blank">www.belightsoft.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 </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>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>Robust desktop publishing software for a new generation. Built-in tools for barcodes, tables, and calendars. Rich selection of templates and clip art.</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 document import from Swift Publisher or other DTP applications. Frequent crashes when moving windows from certain templates. Basic image import and file export options.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_printworks_mac#comments Reviews BeLight desktop publishing mac app store Printworks Printworks for Mac productivity Mac Tue, 11 Nov 2014 18:43:20 +0000 J.R. Bookwalter 20921 at http://www.maclife.com Review: Eclipse TD-M1 Speakers http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_eclipse_tdm1_speakers <!--paging_filter--><p>The Eclipse TD-M1 is not a cheap pair of speakers; in fact, the thought of dropping $1,300 on them gives us the cold sweats. But ease of use, stylish good looks, and a gorgeous sound make Eclipse’s TD-M1s worth considering.</p><p>What you get for your money is a 2.0 system — two discrete speakers, but no sub-woofer to boost the low end. The speakers also have an integrated 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analogue converter (DAC), so there’s no need to install one separately.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/eclipse_620.png" width="620" height="420" /></p><p>The TD-M1s are designed very much with the Apple user in mind. Naturally, they’re AirPlay-compatible, so you can connect them to your home network and stream music from sources that offer AirPlay and are connected to the same network. They also offer a direct AirPlay connection, enabling you to stream from compatible devices directly to the speakers, without using a network at all.</p><p>Other connectivity options are available, of course. There’s a USB A socket for your iPhone, iPod, or iPad (which charges them as well as providing an audio input source), a USB B port for connection to a Mac, and a 1/8-inch AUX socket to connect external devices such as a TV or CD player or just about anything that can take headphones.</p><p>If you own an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can control your TD-M1s through an iOS app. This lets you put the speakers into standby mode, choose an input source, adjust the volume and mute the sound.</p><p>Even the briefest listen clearly shows these speakers are something special. Vocal reproduction is especially noteworthy; every note and nuance is reproduced with pitch-perfect precision, giving a warmth and depth that’s seldom heard on home speakers. If you like opera or classical music, they’ll add a whole new dimension to your music.</p><p>Mid-tones are crisp, rich and clear too. Indeed, the sound stage as a whole is beautifully realized, with each individual element flawlessly integrated into the overall audio output, giving a completeness that’s sorely lacking in lesser (cheaper) speaker sets.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> These Eclipse TD-M1 AirPlay speakers offer a beautiful sound. Lively and intense, they can breathe new life into your old CDs. Previous models in the TD series were a little lacking in bass, but Eclipse has put in a lot of effort in correcting this with the M1s. Don’t waste their talents on over-compressed MP3s.</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>Eclipse TD-M1</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"> Eclipse </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.eclipse-td.net" target="_blank">www.eclipse-td.net</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"> $1,300 </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>AirPlay-compatible device, Mac with a USB port</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>Incredible sound stage. Gorgeous good looks. Wide range of connectivity options.</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 bundled remote. Expensive. Bass a little lacking.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_eclipse_tdm1_speakers#comments Reviews accessory airplay speakers Audio Eclipse TD-M1 speakers iPad iPhone iPod Mac Thu, 06 Nov 2014 21:03:27 +0000 Ian Osborne 20896 at http://www.maclife.com iPhone 6 Case Buyer's Guide http://www.maclife.com/article/iphone_hardware/good-great-iphone-6-case <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/iphone_hardware/good-great-iphone-6-case#comments Gallery case iphone 6 iPhone 6 Plus iPhone Hardware Thu, 06 Nov 2014 00:46:15 +0000 Chris Slate 20723 at http://www.maclife.com Review: Modern Combat 5: Blackout http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_modern_combat_5_blackout <!--paging_filter--><p>It’s still not easy to handle the spidery (though well-balanced) control scheme, but Modern Combat 5: Blackout proves once again that tablets and phones can do console-style first-person shooters with aplomb. As with its predecessors, Blackout sports cutting-edge graphics, a generic but solid single-player campaign, and a deep multiplayer experience. There’s nothing new here, and in fact some of the less popular modes are gone, but nearly everything has been improved in big and small ways to make this a superior game.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/mc5_620.png" width="620" height="465" /></p><p>Weapons and character classes (of which there are four) have more unlockable tiers, and even online multiplayer runs silky smooth. And best of all for folks who like to dabble in both solo missions and multiplayer matches, there’s finally a unified progression system whereby experience points and weapon unlocks apply across the board. A serviceable, barely coherent story backs the high-speed solo action, which is rather more staccato than before — with most levels lasting only three or four minutes.</p><p>The highlight of the experience this time around is not the single-player improvements but rather the spacious, multi-story maps that have been brilliantly balanced for free-for-all or team deathmatch and capture-the-flag mayhem. They capture that hectic, tension-laden console experience so perfectly that it's hard to stop at just one match.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Modern Combat 5: Blackout may be little more than an upgrade for Gameloft’s first-person shooter series, but it makes improvements in all the right places.&nbsp;</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>Modern Combat 5: Blackout</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"> Gameloft </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.gameloft.com" target="_blank">www.gameloft.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"> $6.99 </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>iPhone 4S (or newer), iPad 2 (or newer), or iPod touch (5th generation) running iOS 7.0 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>Excellent graphics. Fantastic multiplayer maps. Unified single-player/multiplayer progression system.</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>Not very innovative.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_modern_combat_5_blackout#comments Reviews AppLife Apps Blackout FPS Gameloft iOS Modern Combat Modern Combat 5: Blackout shooter iPad iPhone iPod Games Wed, 05 Nov 2014 18:56:39 +0000 Richard Moss 20892 at http://www.maclife.com Review: OmniFocus 2 http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_omnifocus_2 <!--paging_filter--><p>“Getting Things Done” (GTD) is a popular system of time management to help organize your tasks. It’s based around a process of working out what the “next action” is in any project coupled to a set of “contexts” that let you know what actions you can do, depending on where you are and what’s available to you.</p><p>Since it was released in 2008, OmniFocus has been the most thorough implementation of GTD available on the Mac. It has also had the steepest learning curve, with a functional interface, and a set of features that, while powerful, took a while to master. It was a piece of software you had to persist with, and if you did, you would end up reaping the full benefits of its power.&nbsp;</p><p>The Omni Group is clearly aiming to change the difficulty level. Version 2.0 features a reworked interface to get users into the software quickly, and make the core parts of the GTD process — projects, contexts, and the system of weekly reviews — more transparent.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/omnifocus2_620.png" width="620" height="388" /></p><p>A revamped sidebar now contains tabs for projects, contexts, items you’ve flagged, and a dedicated review tab for checking over the state of individual projects. It also brings over a feature that originated on the iOS version: the Forecast tab combines items that have been marked as “due today” along with meetings from your calendar, into one view, which highlights the key things that you have to do today. Forecast works really well as a way of getting a top-line view of how busy you’re likely to be that day.&nbsp;</p><p>Forecast also combines well with Focus mode. This allows you to focus on a project, context or folder-full of either, blocking out all the others. For example, if you’ve organized projects into folders called “Work” and “Home,” you can select the Home folder, hit Focus, and only see items connected with Home.</p><p>Though the redesign is the most important element of OmniFocus 2, there are a few other new features that add to the app’s capabilities. Quick Open, for example, enables you to hit Command + O and start typing the name of any project, context, or to-do item to go straight to it.</p><p>OmniFocus comes in a regular edition, priced at $40, and a Pro version for $80. Pro includes the ability to create your own custom views, “Perspectives,” which combine context, project, and sorting, so they’re unique to you. It also adds AppleScript support. Fortunately, both versions support syncing of your data across Mac and iOS devices.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> The new interface makes OmniFocus easier to understand and master, and the price is excellent.</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>OmniFocus 2</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"> The Omni Group </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.omnigroup.com" target="_blank">www.omnigroup.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 ($79.99 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>OS X 10.9.2 or later, 64-bit processor, 49MB disk space</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>Revamped interface. Makes daily tasks easier. Price is good. Mirrors the GTD philosophy.</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>N/A</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_omnifocus_2#comments Reviews GTD OmniFocus 2 OS X time management Mac Tue, 04 Nov 2014 18:16:45 +0000 Steve Sheldon 20886 at http://www.maclife.com