MacLife

Syndicate content
Updated: 7 hours 34 min ago

Final Content Update for Borderlands 2 Arrives for Mac Today

17 hours 11 min ago

Few games have seen as many downloadable content additions as Borderlands 2, but the today that long string of releases over the course of 18 months comes to an end with the release of Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of Crawmerax. And just as with the previous 13 content releases, we Mac players get to play it at the same time as our PC cousins.

Developer Gearbox mentioned at PAX East last weekend that Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of Crawmerax would be the last content update for the game, but that they would continue to update the game with bug fixes and the like.

The release marks the fifth installment of the "Headhunter" series of content updates, which has generally focused on holiday-themed encounters delivering around one to two hours of fun. In the latest release, you join Brick, Mordecai, and Lilith as they venture to Wam Bam Island in what's reportedly the "biggest Headhunter add-on in the series."

Gearbox's declaration that this will be the final content update for the successful shoot-and-loot adventure means that it's most likely focusing all of its attention on the coming "Pre-Sequel," along with unannounced games specifically designed for the new Xbox One and PS4 consoles. So far, it's not clear if these new games will come to the Mac as well. You can pick up the content add-on for just $2.99 on Steam.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Allegedly 'Leaked' Photos Reportedly Show Front Panel of iPhone 6

17 hours 18 min ago

Up until now we've generally only seen renderings of what the next iPhone could look like, but a new photo from China's Weibo (via 9to5Mac) may have given us one of our first clear glimpse of the device's actual front panel. For comparison, whoever took the photo also held up an iPhone 5s next to the supposed iPhone 6 panel within the confines of what looks like a factory setting.

All of the trademarks characteristics of an iPhone panel are there — including the home button, the front facing camera, and speaker — but the panel also features a thinner bezel and a larger screen in line with previous rumors. The images follow on the heels of other rumors, most notably the "leak" of an image of the molds allegedly used for the device (via AppleInsider).

Not long after the image surfaced, another blurry photograph depicting a powered iPhone 5 or 5s set alongside the alleged iPhone 6 panel appeared on Weibo (via MacRumors), clearly showing how the 4.7-inch screen compares to the screens for the existing models. Neither of the pictures appears to depict the much larger 5.6-inch model that's also expected to appear this year, most likely a few months after the rumored release of the 4.7-inch model.

The iPhone 6 is expected to hold some surprises inside it as well, including a faster A8 processor, a better camera, and possible integration with the similarly rumored "iWatch" through iOS 8. As we learned yesterday, all these new features are reportedly enough to make Apple want to raise the price on its signature smartphone by $100, but carriers are apparently resistant to the idea.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Trials Frontier Review

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 22:27

If you approach Trials Frontier as a Trials game (capital “T”), then you’re in for disappointment. Although the game broadly echoes its console counterparts, its soul has been ripped out and replaced with the festering guts of a stinking freemium business model, and then spray-painted in mobile-friendly colors and cuteness. Yes, this is still a physics-oriented bike-balancer, set across ludicrously difficult-to-traverse tracks, but it lacks refinement and elegance. Also, it’s now largely about taking on missions from demanding cartoon characters, larger-than-life, over-the-top, hazard-filled courses (with explosions and fire and more explosions), and that encroaching sense that if you don’t spend some money on in-app purchases very soon, the game’s going to slam the door shut in your face, often and repeatedly.

For anyone who’s never gone near a Trials game, this is a trials (small “t”) effort that at first holds up fairly well against existing similar iOS titles that beat the series to the App Store. The controls balance on a knife-edge between irksomely twitchy and reasonably solid (and so are probably quite well suited to the genre), levels are short, and the game has a decent amount of character lurking. Initially, it’s quite good fun—if frustrating—nursing your cartoonish bike to the end of cartoonish courses, in order to appease the cartoonish demands of cartoonish folk lurking in the game’s central hub, a cartoonish saloon.

But even the most enthusiastic newcomers are likely to soon feel ground down by Trials Frontier. Races require fuel, which is initially in plentiful supply but after a couple of hours’ play becomes scarce, unless you’re willing to fill up the tank with acquired gems—or, of course, just buy more gems with real money. Occasional head-to-head races against robotically scripted A.I. require powerful enough bikes, and upgrades cost coins and take time to add. Again, loosening your wallet can alleviate grinding, but a few hours in, the costs become prohibitive to all but the most obsessive players.

Worse, though, is the fact that success in missions requires specific items to be acquired, and these are "won" by way of a spinning wheel at the end of each race. Fundamentally, then, you’re forced into a kind of Groundhog Day scenario, racing the same tracks again and again in order to secure a prize on the basis of pure luck—and not whether you heroically managed to cross the finish line within the tight time limit demanded to win a gold medal. 

Eventually during testing, one of the saloon people cheerily mentioned there was a new object outside to investigate. We had a look and it was a slot machine, adding yet more randomness to the game and coming with its own countdown timer. It was at about this point that we realized Trials Frontier is presumably just a big joke, trolling iOS users en masse. 

The bottom line. If you can deal with the business model, or are happy to waste a few hours before abandoning the game entirely, Trials Frontier is pretty, fairly playable, and reasonably fun. But stick around and the veneer is soon stripped away to reveal endless, soulless grinding to appease cartoon simpletons.

Review Synopsis

Product: 

Trials Frontier 2.0.0

Company: 

Ubisoft

Contact: 

www.ubisoft.com

Price: 

Free

Requirements: 

iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 6.1 or later

Positives: 

Decent graphics. Well-designed courses. Plenty of missions for people prepared for the long haul. Mobile-friendly approach.

Negatives: 

Truly miserable business model. Prizes and progression depend heavily on luck. Overtly twitchy throughout.

Score:  2 Weak

Deals: Make Sure You're Getting the Most out of Your iPhone with this Course

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 20:00

[This is an advertorial. Maclife gets a portion of each unit sold.]

Are you making the most of your iPhone? It's easy to rely on the awesome device for entertainment and basic tasks, but are you truly unlocking the potential that is housed within the powerful computing system of the iPhone? You can when you use the iPhone Productivity course, and you can get it on sale now from our Deals tab.

Imagine if you could be ten times as productive with your iPhone as you are right now. You'd get so much more done. The iPhone Productivity course promises to give you the tools to get there. With over two hours of video content that teaches you the ins and outs of your device, including tons of shortcuts and tricks that you might not know about, you're sure to learn ways to integrate your iPhone into your daily tasks like never before.

The iPhone Productivity course usually retails for $97. Head to our Deals tab and you can save 70% off the retail price. That means you'll pay just $29. It's a great price for a helpful and informative course, so grab this deal today!

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Review

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 18:20

Compared to most popular collectible card games, Blizzard's Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is relatively straightforward. Simple rules make it incredibly welcoming to new players, but they also allow for elegant strategies and varied tactical possibilities. Unfortunately, as a free-to-play game, Hearthstone runs into the same problems that have long plagued tabletop card games: it's hard to get worthwhile new cards without breaking the bank.

Based in the same universe as World of Warcraft and the real-time strategy entries, Hearthstone's battles see two opponents square off, each armed with a deck of 30 cards and 30 hit points. During each turn, you'll draw a card from your deck, play an attacking creature (called a minion), and gain a mana crystal. Eventually, someone runs out of hit points and the match is over. It's a pretty basic premise, but it creates a nice balance between short-term tactics and long-term planning—the cards you draw may be unpredictable, but your mana rate is steady.

Some cards have special abilities, too: "Taunt" forces the opposing player to focus on one minion until it dies, while "Charge" lets a minion attack faster than usual—and some spells can raise and lower your minions’ health and attack stats. Hearthstone boils down to trading blows back and forth, but complexity and strategy are derived from how these special powers interact with each other. Eventually, you’ll unlock enough cards to start building your own decks, full of cards that play well together.

Hearthstone is primarily a multiplayer game, broken into two modes. There's ranked play, which uses a matchmaking system to pair you with an opponent of roughly equal skill, and the Arena, which allows you to build a deck from a randomized supply of cards. Ranked play encourages deep knowledge of one character and one deck, while the Arena focuses more on breadth and flexibility. A turn in the Arena lasts until you've lost three matches, at which point prizes—usually a card pack or two—are doled out based on your performance. Arena is easily Hearthstone's better mode: it exposes players to a wide range of cards and play styles and encourages quick thinking, whereas using the same deck over and over can begin to feel rote eventually.

There's a tension between these two modes, however. To build a competitive deck for ranked play, you’ll need plenty of powerful cards, which Blizzard is happy to sell: two packs of five Expert cards cost $2.99. A more cost-effective route is the Arena, which is also hidden behind a paywall: 150 in-game gold, or $1.99 in real cash. Here's the catch-22: you'll need plenty of high-level experience before an Arena run becomes profitable, but you'll need plenty of cards to build a deck strong enough to climb the ranked ladder to get that experience. Hearthstone's crafting system lets you create particular cards using another currency called Arcane Dust; unfortunately, Dust is usually obtained by dismantling other cards in your collection. Any way you slice it, you'll need to spend hard-earned resources to become a competitive player.

The bottom line. Beginners and mid-range players will find that Hearthstone provides a wealth of easy-to-learn tactical card battling for free, though high-level play isn't cheap.

Review Synopsis

Product: 

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Company: 

Blizzard Entertainment

Contact: 

www.blizzard.com

Price: 

Free

Requirements: 

Mac OS X 10.8, Intel Core i3 or better, 4 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M or ATI Radeon HD 5670 or better, broadband connection, Battle.net account

Positives: 

Turn-by-turn gameplay is tense and tactical. Plenty of options for customized decks and strategies. Very generous learning curve for new players.

Negatives: 

Paying for card packs is one thing, but paying for access to the game's best mode is galling. Skimps on some game modes that other collectible card games offer.

Score:  4 Great

Deals: Keep Your iPhone, Cash, and Cards in One Place with the Vaultskin Windsor Wallet

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 18:00

[This is an advertorial. Maclife gets a portion of each unit sold.]

Who likes to try to fit both their phone and wallet into their pocket at the same time? No one, that's who. It's uncomfortable and there's not enough space. Movement becomes restricted and unpleasant, and you're constantly pressing against your phone screen and credit cards. Stop that struggle with the Vaultskin Windsor Wallet. It's on sale from our Deals tab.

By combining your wallet and an iPhone case, you can save space in your pocket and protect yourself from a pain in your leg. The Vaultskin Windsor Wallet can hold 8 cards and your cash and in addition to keeping your money protected, it will provide the same coverage for your phone, keeping all your valuables safe at once. It's stylish, versatile, and convenient all in one package.

The Vaultskin Windsor Wallet usually retails for $63. If you head to our Deals tab, you'll pay just $39.99. That's a 32% savings for you. That's a great deal so grab this offer while you can!

Samsung Execs Attempted to Neutralize Impending iPhone 5 "Tsunami" in 2012

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 13:44

The ongoing Apple v. Samsung legal thunderdome continues to be the gift that keeps on giving, with internal documents which reveal the inner workings of both companies and how they planned to counter the other's latest move.

The Verge reported Monday that newly unearthed emails from inside Samsung have revealed just how fearful the Korean smartphone maker was of the impending arrival of Apple's iPhone 5 back in 2012.

One such correspondence dated June 5, 2012 from then-Samsung Telecommunications America president and CEO Dale Sohn specifically singled out the iPhone 5, citing mobile CEO JK Shin's call to eliminate the threat.

"As you know, there will be a tsunami when iPhone 5 is coming," Sohn wrote. "This will be happening sometime in September or October. According to CEO's direction, we have to set up a counter plan to neutralize this tsunami."

The internal email was drudged up by Apple, who plans to use it as part of their offensive to allege that Samsung was so worried about the iPhone — even at the highest executive levels — they would stop at nothing to copy Cupertino's smartphone to improve their own devices.

During testimony from Samsung Telecommunications America chief marketing officier Todd Pendleton, Cupertino lawyers also produced an earlier email between Sohn and the CMO specifically showing concern over any direct attack on Apple due to their lofty status as a good customer for Samsung components.

"As you have shared previously, we are unable to battle [Apple] directly in our marketing," Sohn wrote on October 4, 2011. "If it continues to be Samsung’s position to avoid attacking Apple given its status as as a large customer, can we go to Google to ask them to launch a campaign against Apple based on the many better Android products available in the market for Q4?"

The current Apple v. Samsung trial is expected to wrap up late next week, and kicked off two weeks ago.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

Overnight Recap: Screens 3 for Mac, Fincher Off Jobs Biopic, Windows Passbook

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 13:26

Will your next iPhone cost you $100 more? As we reported Monday, at least one analyst seems to believe so, and like it or not, that could be the price of everyone clamoring for a bigger iPhone 6. Thankfully, other companies appear to be eyeing ways for their customers to actually save money, and we've got at least two such examples in today's news roundup...

Edovia Launches Screens 3 for Mac, Free Update for Current Users

Edovia announced the release of Screens 3 for Mac on Monday, a major update to the company's $34.99 VNC software. The developer is making it easy for current 2.0 owners to purchase Screens 3, because the update is free from the Mac App Store, assuming the Mac in question is running OS X Mavericks 10.9 or later. Edovia is also offering Screens 3 for Mac directly from their website for the first time ever, although that version lacks support for iCloud, which keeps remote computer settings synced between iOS and Mac.

David Fincher Out as Director of Steve Jobs Biopic

The Hollywood Reporter reported Monday that The Social Network David Fincher appears to no longer be in the running to direct the official Steve Jobs biopic based on Walter Isaacson's bestselling book. A studio source claims Fincher asked for $10 million up front as well as control over how the finished film would be marketed, which studio Sony Pictures was apparently unwilling to accept. The project would have reunited the director with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, and Fincher is said to have been pursuing none other than former Batman Christian Bale to portray the late Apple co-founder.

Windows Phone 8.1 "Works Perfectly" with Apple Passbooks

Microsoft unleashed its latest Windows Phone 8.1 upon developers Monday, and tucked away among a bevy of other goodies appears to be support for Apple's Passbook passes. "Windows Phone 8.1 supports Apple's Passbook natively. I've been using it for flights. Works perfectly," writes The Verge journalist Tom Warren via Twitter on Monday, complete with a screenshot as evidence. It's unclear if Microsoft has added support with Apple's blessing or simply reverse engineered Cupertino's work, much in the same way they attempted to sidestep Google with their own YouTube app.

T-Mobile US Launches Petition to Eliminate Overage Charges

T-Mobile US CEO John Legere is at it again, this time announcing Monday that the nation's fourth-placed carrier is planning to abolish domestic overage penalties — and is challenging rival carriers to do the same. "Today, we’re taking the change to a whole new level," Legere wrote in a blog post yesterday. "We’re capping off these past few days by ending overages for all customers on T-Mobile consumer plans." The carrier will kick off the initiative next month for bills arriving in June, and Legere has set up a Change.org campaign to make the change stick across the wireless industry, which readers can sign by clicking this link.

Common Folks Can Now Buy Google Glass, For One Day Only

Despite the negative press and the potential to be branded a "glasshole," there are plenty of folks clamoring to buy Google Glass — and if they act quickly, they might just get their chance. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Google has opened a "limited number of spots" in the company's Explorer Program, which will be available starting at 9AM EST today only, April 15. The only requirements are a U.S. mailing address and to be 18 years or older, but you'll also need $1500 plus tax just sitting around burning a hole in your pocket as well. Any takers?

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

Apple's Income Exceeds That of HP, Google, Intel, and Cisco Combined

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 01:43

We already know that Apple makes incredible profits, but it's sometimes dizzying to realize just how profitable the iPhone maker is. According to the San Jose Mercury News (via Cult of Mac), the Cupertino company generates more income than Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Cisco combined.

The Mercury News revealed the data in its Silicon Valley 150 list, which categorizes tech companies based on information from Bloomberg and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

0412sv150_175.pdf //

Apple's total annual revenue comes in at $174 billion a year, which means it manages to rake in more revenue than the combined efforts of second-place holder Hewlett-Packard and Google in third. The statistics are even more impressive for sheer profit, as Apple brings in more profits than the other companies ranked in the top five together.

As Cult of Mac notes, a recent infographic showed that the iPad maker brings in around $325,000 per minute.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Apple Allegedly Negotiating with Reluctant Carriers to Raise Price of iPhone 6 By $100

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 01:39

We've heard a lot of good things about the so-called iPhone 6, but the word from Peter Misek, an analyst from Jefferies, is that Apple is trying to get carriers to raise the price of the device by a full $100, up from its base cost of $199. At the moment, carriers are allegedly fighting the Cupertino company's advances, but that could change as the iPhone is the only significant smartphone scheduled for launch later this year.

"The possibility may at first seem far-fetched in light of investor concerns regarding possible carrier subsidy and handset price cuts due to smartphone saturation and lack of differentiation," Misek said in an interview with StreetInsider (via MacRumors). "But we think this general lack of differentiation could be the reason why Apple may be able to get a price increase. Carriers realize that the iPhone 6 will likely be the only headline-worthy high-end phone launched this year and that they will lose subs if they do not offer it."

Concept via Martin Hajek

The growing list of consistent rumors points to a phone that will come with both 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens, although the latter probably won't appear until later in the year. The device is also thought to support a new A8 processor, a thinner design, 1GB of RAM, as well as a better camera and an improved fingerprint sensor.

The device will also allegedly mark the release of iOS 8, which will bring an improved Maps app and a better version of Siri, as well as a new Healthbook app that's thought to work in tandem with the long-rumored "iWatch" to monitor readings for blood pressure, pulse, and the like.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Deals: Enjoy Six Months of Free Talk and Text on a Galaxy S2 with FreedomPop

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 20:14

[This is an advertorial. Maclife gets a portion of each unit sold.]

There's no way around it: Smartphones are expensive. Whether you're looking for an affordable alternative smartphone of your own or for a starter smartphone for a holiday gift, it can be diificult to find an affordable plan. FreedomPop has your solution with a Samsung Galaxy S2 and six months of unlimited talk and text plus 500MB of data. It's on sale now in our Deals tab.

FreedomPop has a new way of offering cell phone service. When you buy a phone through FreedomPop, you get your talk and text for free, plus 500MB of data each month. Plus, with six months of FreedomPop Premier, your data will roll over so you can use it when you need it. No contracts to tie you down, no cancellation fees should you choose to go elsewhere. Just a great service with no monthly fee to worry about.

The Samsung Galaxy S2 and FreedomPop Premier from FreedomPop usually retails for $465. Head to our Deals tab now and you can save 57% off that price. That means you pay just $199. That price gets you a phone and six months of talk, text, and 500MB of data a month. You can't beat that, so grab this offer today!

Terminal 101: Change and View Date from Command Line

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 18:28

Every Monday, we'll show you how to do something new and simple with Apple's built-in command line application. You don't need any fancy software, or a knowledge of coding to do any of these. All you need is a keyboard to type 'em out!

Sometimes you may need to update the system time from the command line, particularly if you encounter issues booting into the OS X recovery partition if your Mac has been sitting for a while and the system date is incorrect. Fortunately, this is something that is easily changed in OS X using a bit of Terminal-ology, as you will see in this article. Continue reading, and we'll show you how to switch your system date to the correct date using a simple date command.


Viewing the Date

To view the currently set system date, open the Terminal (located in /Applications/Utilities), and type the following command followed by the enter key:

date

Yep, that's all. The date will be outputted to the console for your viewing pleasure. This is the date that is set in the operating system and stored via battery backup when the computer is powered off.

Setting the Date

Now, if you need to set the date on your system to the current correct date, you'll need to know the format that is required by the date command:

date {month}{day}{hour}{minute}{year}

You'll replace each of the brackets above with the a two-digit number that represents the month, day, hour, minute, and year in that order. Don't include spaces.



For example, if you wanted to set the system date to April 12, 2014 12:10, you would enter the following command into the Terminal:

date 0412121014

When you press return, you can see that the date was set correctly by executing the date command to view the date.

Cory Bohon is a freelance technology writer, indie Mac and iOS developer, and amateur photographer. Follow this article's author on Twitter.

CanOpener for Headphones Review

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 18:21

Given that a vast amount of music enjoyment happens in the privacy of a comfy pair of headphones (or less-comfortable Apple earbuds, unfortunately), we’ve always wondered if there was some way to give the overall experience a bit more of the sonic “space” created by the physical phenomenon called “crossfeed.” That is, the acoustic energy typically associated with the temporal characteristics of how each channel of a stereo audio signal reaches your ears through open air. CanOpener promises just that, and thankfully delivers in many respects.

It functions as an alternative to Apple’s own Music app, and supports just about all of the features you depend on, from playlists to shuffle play, podcasts, and more, albeit with the significant omission of handling streaming audio. Hardcore audiophiles who refuse to compress their music will be thrilled at the support for uncompressed FLAC files, and CanOpener also plays music in the background, so we found ourselves gradually using it more and more as a primary music player. 

The crossfeed effect instantly made our soundstage more expansive, and was definitely heard in a more pronounced way with older rock and classical music recorded before the 1970s—when audio elements tended to be hard-panned left or right; the improvements are less noticeable with music recorded in the last 30 years. It’s subtle, but you can instantly compare the before/after of the sound by pressing the Bypass icon. The built-in two-band equalizer also does a nice job of boosting bass and treble, though we really like the flexibility of the Pencil EQ, a $3.99 in-app purchase that lets you draw totally customized EQ curves. Only the most intense audio geeks will opt for the $4.99 Hi-Fi Pack, however, which delivers fine-tuned dithering options essential for listening to FLAC-format songs.

There are preset profiles for an array of popular headphones and earbuds, though we didn’t find our Sony MDR-V600, Sennheiser PX 100, or Koss Pro4AAT cans on the list. No worries, as you can create customized templates for your own headgear once you’ve experimented with the app settings and dialed in optimum combinations.

The bottom line. If you’re satisfied with the current state of your headphone audio endeavors on iOS, then rock on. But if you’re looking to wring the most performance from the experience, drop a dollar for CanOpener and see if you can hear the difference.

Review Synopsis

Product: 

CanOpener for Headphones 1.22

Company: 

Good Hertz

Contact: 

www.goodhertz.com

Price: 

$0.99

Requirements: 

iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 6.0 or later

Positives: 

Does indeed improve headphone sound quality in many instances. Extensive controls. Nice EQ options.

Negatives: 

Needs more headphone presets. Enhancements can be extremely subtle. Doesn’t support streaming audio.

Score:  4 Great

Adobe Lightroom for iPad Review

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 18:12

Cloud sync with mobile devices is rapidly becoming mandatory for Mac and PC software as consumers increasingly prefer to free themselves from the desktop. Adobe is receiving this message loud and clear, countering with a new app that delivers the core functionality of Lightroom 5 for iPad. This isn’t just a tablet version of Adobe’s popular photo software—it’s a robust companion app allowing Creative Cloud subscribers to sync image collections and edit them using gesture-based tools specifically designed for touchscreen devices (an iPhone version is planned for later this year).

Edit a photo on the desktop and the changes automatically sync across to the iPad within seconds, and vice versa. To establish this connection, you’ll simply tick an icon next to photo collections in Lightroom 5, creating smaller DNG versions that get uploaded to the cloud. Introduced with Lightroom 4, these so-called “Smart Previews” act as stand-ins for full-resolution images stored on the desktop, but look great even on a Retina Display, retaining more than enough resolution to be shared straight from iPad to Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr.

While Lightroom for iPad is capable of syncing up to 60,000 photos, this is not a true cloud storage or backup service like the company’s consumer-oriented Revel. However, photographers can import and edit full-resolution JPEG images from the Camera Roll while on location, which get synced back to the desktop complete with metadata and collection information. RAW images can currently only originate from the desktop, though. In our tests, sync worked great using either Wi-Fi or cellular connections.

Edits are made in one of four views: Filmstrip, Adjustments, Presets, and Crop. While it’s impossible to include every tool from the desktop version—features missing at launch include brushes and user-created presets—Adobe has done an excellent job of taking the drudgery out of organizational tasks such as flag/reject, while incorporating the most commonly used creative tools and making them fast and intuitive.

The bottom line. Lightroom for iPad may not be a full-blown cloud storage solution, but it offers photographers more than enough muscle to keep the creative juices flowing while away from the desktop.

Review Synopsis

Product: 

Adobe Lightroom 1.0.1

Company: 

Adobe Systems, Inc.

Contact: 

www.adobe.com

Price: 

Free (requires Creative Cloud subscription)

Requirements: 

iPad running iOS 7.0 or later

Positives: 

Fluid, intuitive image editing that syncs changes between iPad and desktop. Great mix of tools and features familiar to Lightroom users. 

Negatives: 

Requires paid Creative Cloud subscription. No companion iPhone/iPod touch app. Lacks hooks to Adobe’s own Revel cloud storage service. No RAW support for Camera Roll imports.

Score:  4 Great

Deals: Learn To Slice Rails Into Heroku Like A Dev Ninja

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 18:00

[This is an advertorial. Maclife gets a portion of each unit sold.]

Do you have a web app that you want to get up and running? Well, you're going to need skills beyond just coding. You'll have to learn how to configure for web servers and databases, automate the installation of gems, and much more. It's a lot of work, but you can handle it. Especially if you have this video course for Heroku and Ruby on Rails. It's on sale in our latest Deal.

Over the course of 8.5 hours, this video course will teach you everything you need to know about Ruby on Rails and Heroku. Start with learning how to deploy your Ruby on Rails app to Heroku. Then pick up skills on how to work with Heroku itself, learning to tweak and modify it to work with your app. You'll learn to understand add-ons, fix problems that may arise, and much more.

This Ruby on Rails and Heroku video course usually retails for $95. Head to our Deals tab and you'll save a total of 69% off the retail price. That means you pay just $29. It's a price you can't beat for this course, so grab this offer today!

Deals: Get MacBooster and Do Some Spring Cleaning on Your Mac

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 16:41

[This is an advertorial. Maclife gets a portion of each unit sold.]

We're coming up on spring, which means it's time to prepare for spring cleaning. Out with the old and in with the new--and that applies to your Mac, too. You can get your desktop back to running at full speed and improve overall performance with MacBooster. It's on sale now from our Deals tab.

MacBooster will take care of all of the processes that you know you should be doing but haven't. It will scan your Mac's hard drive and removes the unnecessary files that bog down your system. MacBooster also provides protection against viruses, spyware, malware, and all of the bad stuff that wants to bring down your computer. Your computer will boot up quicker, run faster, perform its tasks with ease, and be better all around.

MacBooster usually retails for $59. Head to our Deals tab and you can save 66% off the retail price. That means you'll pay just $19.99. It's a great price for a valuable tool for your Mac, so grab this deal today!

Deals: Take 10,000mAh of Battery Boost with You with Power Vault

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 21:22

[This is an advertorial. Maclife gets a portion of each unit sold.]

If you were a super hero, what power would you want? How about having the ability to charge up your mobile devices on the go in no time so you'd never have to deal with a dead battery again? It's a little more practical than flashy, but we think it's a great power. And you can have just that with the Power Vault. It's on sale now from our Deals tab.

When you have the Power Vault, there's no need to worry about running out of battery while on the go. This is because you have an ultra-portable and always ready backup battery that can provide a blast of life to your devices. With two USB ports and speedy charging methods, you can fill up the battery of two devices in no time and still have life to spare in the 10,000mAh tank of power that is the Power Vault.

The Power Vault usually retails for $99. Head to our Deals tab and you can save 69% off that price. That means your total is just $33.99. It's a great price that you can't pass up, so get this deal today!

New 'Marvel' App Lets You Turn Sketches Into Workable iOS 7 App Prototypes

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 01:42

Ever had one of those great ideas for an app but lacked the technical expertise to show it in action? A new app named Marvel reportedly lets you turns those ideas into a workable prototype to show the deveopers with the real skills.

The process, as shown by TechCrunch, is comparatively simple. You use the app to take photos of your drawings you've taken of the concept, and then Marvel takes the photos and applies customizable "hotspots" to them for interactivity resembling a real app.

The product actually seems aimed at developers who'd like to try out their ideas before they hunker down and put them into action, but allegedly it's so simple that anyone can use it. All that's really needed are sketches of each "screen" in the app and, of course, the app itself.

As a bonus, Marvel is synced with Dropbox, which means you don't need to completely "rebuild" the app every time you need to change a screen. Simply switch out the corresponding image, and Marvel will apparently update to accommodate the challenges. You can then share the app with friends via Twitter, SMS, and e-mail.

Interested? It's free on the app store, although it's only compatible with devices running iOS 7.0 or later.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Amazon Reportedly Planning 3D Smartphone Launch in September

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 01:38

The smartphone war has focused on the two superpowers of Apple and Samsung as of late, but according to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon might open a third front later this year. The Journal reports that the massive e-tailer has been showing prototypes of the new device to developers in San Francisco and Seattle lately, and that the phone could appear in September in the wake of a June announcement.

It's a tough market to break into, but Amazon has some ideas as to how to counter that. Instead of touchscreen technology, the device will instead focus heavily on 3D gesture control complete with a full six sensors (as opposed to the two cameras you find on the iPhone). The device is also thought to include retina-tracking technology with the four cameras on the front of the device to create the illusion of 3D imagery.

News has been surfacing about Amazon's rumored smartphone since 2011, although concrete information has been scant aside from reports that the company would be breaking out of its Kindle line and into smartphones.

If the September launch date is accurate, that puts it into direct competition with Apple's own "iPhone 6," which is thought to release around the same time. The next iPhone will allegedly feature a few tricks of its own, including a faster processor, health monitoring functions, and larger sizes than we've seen in the past.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

The Week's 10 Hottest Apple News Stories, April 11

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 01:34

Sooo, just the biggest internet security problem in EVER this week, but no biggie. Lucky for Apple users, many of their services were safe, though it's not like you can't have been affected. Plus, iWatch rumors heating up this week, so we're moving into higher gear on the rumor front. And if you love LEGO, we've got a treat for you.