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Macs aren’t known for being easily customizable, but if you put a little work into it and have the right tools, you can make some great changes to really make you Mac your own. This is especially true with your application icons. With the exception of your wallpaper, switching out the icons that represent each of your applications is perhaps the easiest change you can make to your interface. Sometimes, though, the image or icon you want to use isn’t in a format that’s going to work as a Mac application icon.

iConvert Icons wants to fix all that. I’ve been using their webapp for years to convert images and Windows icons to something I could use in OS X, and I’ve never found a Mac app I’ve liked near as much. They’ve finally released an app that can live on my Mac, though, and save me the trip online every time I need a change of scenery in OS X. But will the new Mac app be as good as (or perhaps even better than) their webapp? (more…)

Finding images on the Internet tends to be difficult and time-consuming. You have to switch from one search engine to another, clicking through to a separate page for advanced settings if you need specific types of images. Then, looking at a larger version takes you to another page, from which you can check out the full-size image or the website it was found on (with yet another click and page load). I hate it.

Skyscraper (formerly Pandora; renamed to avoid confusion with the popular music service) tries to solve that problem, giving you an app to search for images online from the comfort of your Mac. It has a raft of handy features that stand it as a major player in the image-search apps arena, and does a decent job of fulfilling its tagline: “Find and download images of anything.” (more…)

It seems like most of us are taking more and more pictures with every passing year.. The only thing that matches the amount of photos we are taking is the shear amount of photo editing apps available on the Mac. These apps range from photo editing apps costing hundreds of dollars to $1 simple filter apps. The problem is finding something that works for your needs. FX Photo Studio hopes to be that app.

FX Photo Studio is a photo app based on filters that offers more customization and the ability to transfer into other photo editing apps. Who exactly is FX Photo Studio for? Is it any good? Well, all of these questions and more will be answered in this review, so let’s dive in! (more…)

Simple, cheap (or free) image editing programs are incredibly easy to come by these days. If you simply need to do some basic image adjustments, resize an image or crop a photo, there are a huge number of programs available. This simple fact means that it can be quite overwhelming to sort through all of these programs in order to find one that’s right for you. Some programs, however, offer unique, high-quality features which make them stand out as unique amidst all of the incredibly similar programs available.

One of those programs is Thumbnailer Pro. This application allows you to easily crop, resize and rotate images. Simple editing tools are also available, allowing you to make simple adjustments, view details about the image and even apply some filters. Customizable presets, batch processing and an in-app file browser are rare features in the world of low-price image editing, allowing Thumbnailer Pro to stand out as a unique program. Stick with me after the jump to learn more about the features in Thumbnailer Pro and how well the program works.

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I have a Wacom tablet, and I love using it for a variety of purposes. If I want to do any sort of digital drawing or painting it is, of course, my tool of choice. Sometimes the drawings get quite detailed, full of many layers, colors, textures and more. In cases like those, opening Photoshop is completely justified. If, however, I just want to do a quick sketch or mock-up, opening Photoshop (or Corel or Sketchbook Pro or any other feature-heavy digital drawing/painting program) doesn’t always seem justified. When I find myself in that situation, I’m never quite sure what to do. Lately, however, I’ve been utilizing a great program called Inkist.

Inkist is a great new bitmap-based drawing and painting program that is great for simple drawings. The app works well with drawing tablets, boasts a small but intuitive feature set for a quick program, and is quite well designed. It’s definitely worth looking into, especially if you find yourself constantly waiting for Photoshop to load for just a few minutes worth of work. Read on to learn more about Inkist’s features, how it works and what I really think about it.

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Everyone who has ever designed for the web in Photoshop appreciates its power, but will tell you tales about how time consuming it is to export portions of a design. Usually it involves a lot of copying and pasting, and at some point you need to take a frustration break or get completely lost.

It’s amazing that only recently an inconspicous utility hit the market that helps you minimize your workload significantly when exporting PSDs for the web. Teasingly named Slicy, the app adds the icing to any web design project. We’ll take a look at their recipe of success.

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There’s nothing easy about app design. Despite Apple’s best efforts to make the tools for OSX and iOS development as intuitive as possible, anyone who has done it knows that there’s a lot more to creating a terrific user experience than simply using fancy graphics and assembling the code.

For one thing, the interaction between the visuals and the code is important to manage well so that the app doesn’t grow unnecessarily huge in size. PaintCode, a new app from PixelCut software, aims to ease this aspect of production by providing you with an environment for drawing interface elements that are instantly rendered into raw code — so you can have fine visuals without the bloat.

Though it serves a complicated niche, PaintCode could revolutionize the way developers handle in-app graphics in a way that has implications for all app enthusiasts, so we dive in to see how well it rises to the challenge.

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There is typically high anticipation when applications that could potentially compete with the powerful Adobe CS product line-up get released. Designers everywhere are very reliant on those products in a lot of situations and while they do get the job done (and typically better than any other available option) there seems to be this burning desire for something different.

Even though applications like Photoshop and Illustrator are so widely used, you’ll often see complaints about different aspects of these tools. One common gripe is that the applications have begun to feel bloated after so many years of feature additions. If you’ve ever spent time with either Photoshop or Illustrator you are nodding your head right now. That’s probably why when a prospective, more simple, competitor pops up we’re all staring right at it hoping it can be just what we want. We hope that all of the great features we love in our CS applications make it over and all the fluff dies off.

The buzz about the release of Sketch 2 started a while back and being a designer myself I followed along closely. All things pointed to this thing being pretty darn cool so I decided to take it for a spin.

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In the Apple universe, certain developers are rockstars – from the OmniGroup to Panic, their apps are high-quality, beautiful, and full of personality. So when developer Marc Edwards and his team at Bjango released their latest app, Skala Preview, the Mac community had high expectations.

Is this tool for designers a follow-up hit from the team who created iStat, or is Bjango just another one-hit-wonder? Read on and find out!

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Mac is a dream platform for designers. Depending on how many complex features are needed to get the job done, there are a myriad of apps available for designers. It goes without saying that a designer has to handle everything from an exciting new mobile app interface to a boring brochure. Usually, the latter design need not be as ground breaking as the former and not every aspect of it has be built from the ground up.

Be it an office party, garage sale or a freelance catalog, you might never know when you will have to whip up a quick flyer or brochure all by yourself. Swift Publisher is desktop publishing app for Mac that can help you with all your design and layout needs. Come, join me after the fold to test its chops!

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