Every time a new photo effects app pops up, it’s often frustrating to see the same sepia toning filters, blur effects, and other reliable features that are all getting rather long in the tooth. This fact makes the appearance of Fragment all the more exciting, as it produces effects that nothing else in the App Store even attempts to mimic, yet remains exceedingly easy to use and explore. The app lets you choose from one of 46 built-in base effects, which are essentially distortion masks based on a variety of shape combinations, from simple frames to abstract designs – including crystal shards, geometric patterns, and circular constructs – which distort the image in any number of ways.
Sega’s first attempt to mine the Mario Kart formula worked out rather well on iOS with Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, though it already looks a bit weathered by time (especially without iPhone 5+ widescreen support). Luckily, console sequel Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed has now likewise made the leap to the App Store, expanding the arcade-style approach with the addition of flight and boating segments across an array of colorful tracks inspired by classic Sega properties. It’s once more an entertaining concoction, though slow-paced progression and paid power-ups slightly diminish the effect of this mobile port.
Apple’s approach to its major tentpole products — iPhones, iPads, iMacs, and MacBooks — can be viewed in two distinct phases: revolutionize and refine. Save for last year’s introduction of the Retina display, the MacBook family has been solidly in the "refinement" zone, and this year’s 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display is no different. That’s not to say that Apple hasn’t made some welcome changes underneath the machine’s svelte — and oh-so-slightly slimmer — chassis to please new buyers, or those who must be forever on the cutting edge.
Deftly evading the conundrum of how to brand its core tablet after four previous models — the last two of which were largely similar — Apple’s iPad Air arrives with a new name, but more importantly, a refreshed design. Truth be told, the iPad Air looks a whole lot like a super-sized iPad mini, but the sublime sensation of holding it in your hands suggests a much more calculated design philosophy.
When iA Writer burst onto the scene in late 2010, it was a game-changer. The first true alternative to Pages, its ultra-minimal interface introduced a new kind of word processor, one that eschewed underutilized features for a sharp focus on simplicity. Writer Pro for iOS attempts to build on that concept. With a completely new workflow designed to tightly organize your thoughts, Information Architects pushes its minimal interface to the max, but loses that trademark simplicity in the process.
If the free space on your desk is shrinking faster than the free space on your laptop’s hard drive, the AluBase can help. It’s a stand that holds your closed MacBook vertically, letting you store it with a minimal footprint or connect it to an external display for the world’s slimmest desktop machine.
Roughly the same width at its widest point as an iPhone (2.25 inches) but only two-thirds the length (3.25 inches), Logitech’s Ultrathin Touch Mouse for Mac is light as a feather at less than 2.5 ounces. The pearl-white surface gently slopes downward from back to front, allowing ample space for finger gestures, yet it’s responsive enough to detect the slightest movement.
The shocking truth about tech journalists is that we often spend ridiculous amounts of time sitting in front of our computers. Sure, the bosses love it, but often that’s not so great for our health. In an effort to clean up my act fitness-wise, I decided to employ some tech to reverse my slide into desk-potatodom.
From team meetings to long-distance love affairs, some of our most important interactions happen in instant-message clients. Apple’s Messages is one of the best, but its tools for sifting through past chats are suited to basic text searches, and finding what you want can require scrolling through lengthy chat sessions. A companion app to Messages, Chatology helps you quickly search your chat history for everything from critical notes to those—ahem—romantic photos you just know are in there somewhere.
Adobe has spread the coveted Photoshop name to a number of different products across multiple platforms. Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 borrows high-end features from its namesake, making them easier than ever to actually use.