(You're reading all posts by Charlie Sorrel) Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie on Twitter at @mistercharlie.
About Charlie Sorrel
I was all set to pull the trigger on Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan, which gives subscribers access to Lightroom and Photoshop as well as Lightroom Mobile for the iPad and iPhone.
After all, it’s just $10 per month, right? (or €12.29/$16.71 in the EU). That’s about what I spend on Rdio, or Dropbox, and I get Lightroom on my frickin’ camera.
But I decided to hold off and see if one huge doozy of a design problem is fixed before my 30-day trial of the service finishes up. This will also give me time to check out the amazing new Adobe Photoshop Mix, which is what Photoshop for iPad should have been all along.
And the little problem that could be a deal-breaker? You’re gonna love it…
I’ve tried a lot of cases for my Mac notebooks over the years, from a dorky aluminum briefcase for my white “icebook” iBook through cheap, zip-up neoprene sleeves and on to bulky, custom-fitted, shock-absorbing monsters. But the elegant, simple and beautiful Castello Davarg York, cut from a single piece of leather, is the only one that makes any sense for my MacBook Air.
Like the MacBook Air inside, you can’t help but finger and fiddle with the York case. It’s cut from 5-ounce, full-grain leather that’s folded and then hand-stitched along two sides before finishing the edges and … well, that’s almost it. The case has no fastening or closure, and lacks a lining or padded interior, but it is shaped perfectly to fit the MacBook Air. (I tested the 13-inch size, but it also comes for the 11-incher.) It even has a little cutout on the top edge that mimics the one found on the lid of the MacBook itself.
With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, Apple is finally showing us its idea of how we’ll compute in the future. Perhaps not surprisingly, this pristine vision of our computing destiny — unveiled after years of secret, patient and painstaking development — aligns perfectly with how we currently use our computers and mobile devices.
The keynote at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month not only showed off a new way to think about computing, based on data not devices, but also silenced pretty much every criticism leveled at the company over the past few years.
Let’s take a look at Apple’s new way of doing things, which fulfills Steve Jobs’ post-PC plan by minimizing the importance of the Mac.
Do you like to wander the streets, camera in hand, ready to catch an amazing shot? Have you ever missed that shot thanks to the time taken to fumble your iPhone from your pocket and fire up the camera? Even if the answer to these questions is “No,” you should probably take a look at Shoulderpod’s S1 anyway – it’s not only a great camera grip, but also the best value you’ll get spending $30 on an iPhone accessory.
Welcome to the final part of our series about note-taking for writers (or anyone else). Today we’re going to look at getting clippings and bookmarks into Evernote, to be stored and accessible alongside your scanned, paper-based notes (Part 1) and your text notes grabbed on your iPhone or Mac (Part 2).
We’ll use a few apps and services to get this done – EverClip, Mr Reader, IFTTT and Pinboard are the main ones.
As ever, you could just do much of this using Evernote and its web clipper, but this only works in Safari and Chrome on the desktop. In 2014! Clearly that’s no good. Let’s see how we can do it better.
Gadget Watch: June 14, 2014
From waterproof e-readers and old-school (sort of) newspapers to stylish Mac stands and remarkably big buttons, here's what's new on the gadget front this week.
The Beach Vault is a threaded plastic chamber with a watertight lid. You screw it onto the sand down at the beach and use it as a sandy safe for your belongings. Not only does it make your gear harder for pickpockets to snatch, it also protects electronics from sand and salty sea.
It even comes with a matching towel. $35
Training wheels don’t teach your kid to balance a bike – how could they when they won’t let it tip? Here in Germany the 3-year-olds buzz around on balance bikes, little two-wheelers with low seats and no pedals. These let kids run and learn to balance and steer, ready for a big bike.
The FirstBIKE features a special seat that’s hard to slip out of, Schwalbe tires and a rear drum brake with a lever that won’t pinch kids’ fingers. Prices start at $130.
Grovemade desktop accessories
Grovemade produces great handcrafted wooden accessories for MacBook and iOS devices. Now it is turning to the desktop with a range of wooden stands and trays. From the $59 mouse mat (LOL) to the $19 paperclip holder, not all of it is practical, but the plywood Maple Monitor Stand looks beautiful and practical, and costs a relatively reasonable $79.
The Nova is a proper flashing flash for your iPhone, one that actually syncs with the camera instead of just acting like a dumb flashlight. You can even adjust the color and brightness of the light using the free companion app, and the whole thing connects using low-power Bluetooth 4. $60
Do you use a read-later service like Instapaper or Pocket? Click, save, ignore. Now you can have those unread articles printed into a real newspaper, which will land on your doormat just like in the olden days.
Save articles in the browser with a bookmarklet, then click to order the paper version, which will be printed at your demand and delivered to your door. Right now the service is U.K.-only, and invite-only, but it's supposedly expanding to other countries soon. £5
Hardware – it’s all about the software. The bttn is a single button that you hit to get something done. And that "something" depends on which service you hook it up to using the bttn servers. Just like IFTTT, only with a button, the device uses Wi-Fi or a cellular connection to trigger tweets, emails, your house lights or anything that hooks up to it. Yes, including IFTTT. Pre-order for €69.
Titan multi-tool collar stays
I’m not sure if these multi-tool collar stays are Skymall trashy or James Bond awesome. What I do know is that these little titanium sticks will not only keep your collar straight, but also let you MacGyver your way out of a sticky situation. They pack a half-Phillips screwdriver, slotted screwdriver, thread-cutter and bottle opener, plus imperial and metric scales on the sides.
Just keep them out of the washing machine if you value your shirt’s collar. $30.
Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite
One excuse the book-sniffing holdouts give for refusing to get with the 21st century is that you can’t read a Kindle in the bath. Which is crap – you just put it inside a Ziploc bag. But now you don’t even need that: You can buy this modified Waterfi waterproof Kindle Paperwhite and take it wherever you like, down to 120 feet below (where you should no doubt read some Jules Verne).
You can more or less double the price though – the waterproof version will cost you $240.
Yalta Noa backpack
Chrome makes some of the heaviest bags around, and this roll-top Yalta backpack, customized by Japanese artist Noa, is no exception. The hefty 3.4-pound water-shrugging sacks are cut from a canvas made by the artist, so, as the product page says, once they’re gone they’re gone. $140.
You know those cheapo gadgets you pick up at the dime store or from the racks by supermarket checkouts? That’s the kind of throwaway gadget you think you’ve got when you pick up the Clamplight MINI from Blackfire. Which is a shame, because it’s actually pretty good.
iOS 8 packs in a bunch of great new photo features, in both the Camera app and the Photos app. You now get a lot more control over your photography at the front end, with manual exposure and even a time-lapse mode, and you can edit and find your photos with a little more precision than before.
iOS 8 is still a few months out, but you don’t have to wait: Use these currently available apps to add all these new functions to your iPhone (or iPad) today.
The Walden is the first of Pad & Quill’s top-notch cases that I would actually use. That’s because it ditches the wooden frame of the company’s usual bookbindery cases, instead offering a minimal slipcover that uses adhesive strips to hold an iPad Air in place.
The result is a case as beautiful and classic as other P & Q cases, but slim and light enough to match the slender Apple tablet it protects.
Apart from letting you quickly edit and share photos (and always sitting, ready to go, in your pocket), the iPhone camera has one other great feature: It geotags every photo and video you shoot with the place you captured the imagery. You might not care about that now, but in the future when you wonder, “Where did I take that naked self-portrait?” or decide to take a look at your old vacation snaps, you’ll love geotagging.
Hell, half the time I use a map to find a photo — I can usually remember where I was better than when I was.
Lack of geotagging is perhaps the main reason I don’t take my regular camera out as often as I’d like, so I decided to do something about that. I’m using a combination of the iOS GeoTagr app on iPhone and iPad, plus a Fujifilm X100S camera and a Garmin EDGE 500 GPS bike computer.
Let’s take a look.