When Apple released Final Cut Pro X last year, many veterans were up in arms. FCPX wasn’t just an update to the program they’d come to rely on--it was a complete departure from what they were used to. You either loved it or hated it, and Adobe was only too pleased to welcome new clients to its platform. With Premiere Pro CS6, Adobe is working very hard to make sure its clientele stays put.
Word Off is like a sleazy used car salesman shilling a fine product. The underlying game may be sharp, tense, and original, but it's mired in a scuzzy business model. At its core, Word Off presents a smart mix between a word game and a strategy title. You play on a board comprised of hexagonal tiles, each containing a letter, and begin with a cluster of occupied spaces in one corner while your opponent starts with the same in the opposite corner.
Back when the Mac first came out, when screens were only black and white, when graphics had no transparency, no gradients, not even textures, we had pattern fills. They were rudimentary tools for giving 2D, black-and-white graphical objects some flair. Phased out from just about every software product by the mid 1990s, those patterns persisted in FileMaker Pro and became emblematic of the long-neglected interface tools known as the “design surface.” With version 12, FileMaker finally ditches the ’80s patterns and gives users the tools for making good-looking databases in no time at all.
Photographers have never had it so good. There’s no fumbling around installing new film, no saving a few shots on the roll “just in case,” and no disappointment when you get your prints back and your photos didn’t turn out like you expected. Shooting digitally gives you convenience, previews, and almost limitless shots--but it doesn’t give you warmth and character.
Every photographer needs a good tool for organizing digital photos on their computer--it’s almost more crucial than a photo editor, since not ever photo necessarily needs edits, but they all need somewhere to live, where they can be found again. Apple’s options include iPhoto (free with new Macs or $14.99 in the Mac App Store) and Aperture ($79.99). If you’re an Adobe fan, you can use a folder-browsing program like Adobe Bridge (part of Creative Suite 5) or, if you have one of the most recent versions of Photoshop Elements ($79.99), you might be using the Elements Organizer.
Apple finally transitions the last of its iLife apps to the mobile space with iPhoto, a new app that modernizes the way we manipulate images. It’s fast with a slick, touch-friendly UI, but users of the Mac version will discover it’s an island unto itself that eventually threatens to be hamstrung by storage limitations.
When the iPad was first released, critics dismissed it as strictly for media consumption. More than two years later, Apple's tablet has become a master of creation, as well, thanks to new apps and services built for iOS. The latest is Adobe Photoshop Touch, which reinvents the company’s flagship product into a rich (though limited) image-editing tool for iPad 2.
Drag and drop images into the Picturesque window, and you can then crop them or add pseudo-3D perspective, reflections, curved edges, shadows, glows, and border strokes. Each of these effects is precisely configurable--for example, perspective is adjusted by specifying the rotation and elevation; reflection by specifying length, opacity, and offset; and so on.
Lo-fi effects that nostalgically imitate old film cameras are all the rage these days, and there are plenty of apps to prove the point--especially for iOS. FX Photo Studio Pro brings all the effects you love in apps like Hipstamatic, Instagram, and Photo Toaster to your desktop. Cross processing? Check. Lo-fi grunge vignettes? Check. Super-high color saturation with lens flare? Check again. FX Photo Studio Pro has it all.
While Facebook and Flickr are fabulous ways to share your memories online, there’s something very one dimensional about simply clicking through a slideshow of photos. Why not do more for your memories by showcasing them in an artistic collage with Posterino? This Mac app allows even the most novice artists to create collages from templates and then easily print them out as a keepsake. It’s easier than doing it by hand, and as long as you’ve got the hardware for it, it’s cheaper than paying a professional service to do it.