Every Monday we show you how to do something quick and cool using built-in OS X utilities such as Terminal, Apple’s command line application. These easy hacks can make life better and simpler, and don’t require any knowledge of coding — all you need is a keyboard to type 'em out!
Mission Control was released with OS X Lion to provide an easy-to-use switching manager for using multiple apps and desktops under a single user interface. As with other areas of OS X, animations in Mission Control are prevalent, but they do take time, and when switching your apps you want the fastest possible experience. Fortunately, with a little Terminal trick, you can reduce the time spent on these animations. Continue reading and we'll show you how it's done.
Have a story to tell but overwhelmed by the challenge of how to get started? Adobe wants to lend a hand in getting your voice heard with a new cutting-edge iPad app that takes the drudgery out of storytelling process.
Family Guy made its name on TV by being simultaneously derivative and edgy; it riffed on The Simpsons’ formula of an animated nuclear family with a drunken, lovingly-dumb father, but its gags went further or weirder. And it did it well. So you might have reason for thinking that Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff—which takes its cues from The Simpsons: Tapped Out—might also push boundaries and poke fun at conventions. You’d be sadly mistaken. The Quest for Stuff is a shallow, money-grubbing, cynical, and downright boring freemium city builder with few redeeming qualities.
Our neighbors to the north have a long and colorful history of strong public funding of the arts, and NFB StopMo Studio from the National Film Board of Canada demonstrates that a government agency can indeed create something of true value for the creative minds of the world. It’s perhaps the single most usable, slick, and capable stop-motion creator we’ve seen on iPad, and it’s a truly unbeatable value for aspiring movie makers.
Steve Jobs tends to get a bad rap on account of his near-insufferable nature and his demands for perfection, but a new book by Pixar president and co-founder Ed Catmull demonstrates how the famed animation studio partly changed the Apple co-founder for the better.
Despite the support of nearly every Hollywood studio, cloud locker service Ultraviolet has failed to gain much traction with consumers. Ultraviolet holdout Disney thinks there’s a better way, and the company has released an app to prove it. Disney Movies Anywhere is a free, universal app serving up more than 400 Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies (no TV shows yet) to any iOS device. Digital-only purchases made via the app are handed off to the iTunes Store, but now include the same kind of Disney Movie Reward perks that DVD and Blu-ray buyers are accustomed to.
As iOS apps become ever more sophisticated and feature-laden, it’s nice to see some creative developers opting for a more barebones, streamlined approach to app development. Loop is a notable example of a program lacking a long list of features, instead delivering a tool that serves as a solid introduction to the mechanics of cel animation. But as refreshing as that focus on simplicity may be, it also keeps the app from being particularly useful.
In theory, an app-based social media platform for creating shareable stories — by stringing words, animated images, and audio together — sounds pretty cool. NARR8 aims to do all of this and more, but it fumbles the process so badly that the intriguing idea alone won't warrant your time. The overall quality of the available reading content through the app (both user- and developer-generated) is lacking, and building your own stories is an unintuitive process rife with unnecessary hoop-jumping and technical issues.
Just as Disney has long made drawings come to life with its many classic animated films, the Disney Animated app makes what could have been a solid, static book feel exuberant and entertaining as an interactive experience, full of behind-the-scenes footage and touch-based activities. The iPad app explores the long history of Disney's in-house animation efforts, breaking down the process step by step while explaining its many aspects using more than just words.
Ever find yourself thinking that there's something fishy about Apple's performance in China? Apparently you're not the only one, as Taiwan's Next Media Animation released a video mocking their mainland cousins' government, state-owned media, and trumpeting of domestic brands over foreign ones in response to what they call "the Apple iPhone electric shock scandal."