For most people, science classes were a memorable part of their education, but the reasons for this differ from person to person. Some individuals found the talk of nuclei and cell structures to be some of the most engaging and relevant information they had ever encountered. Others simply appreciated it as a good background to some of their most engrossing and creative daydreams.
Both camps could, in general, agree on one point, however — science is better seen than read. Obviously, practical considerations prevent the classroom dissection of a whale, or the physical inspection of lava. Modern technology can provide the next best thing, though, in the form of interactive on-screen experiences.
A shining light in this field has been an iPad app, named, quite simply, The Elements, which provides detailed descriptions, interactive 360º imagery and high quality videos of the periodic table’s constituent parts. Now, it has arrived in the OSX App Store, priced at $19.99. Given that a major part of the original iOS app’s appeal was the ability to “touch” elements on a display, can the desktop environment really provide the same, insightful experience?
Two years ago, a little project showed up on Kickstarter that’d excite anyone who loves old typography and traditional printing presses: LetterMpress. It was a rather ambitious project to recreate the traditional craft of letterpress printing on the then-new iPad. The project was successful, and they acquired authentic wood type collections, digitalized them, and put them inside a virtual printing press. You could drag wood type and art around on your screen, mix colors, and “print” letterpress art to your heart’s content. It was the next-best-thing to buying and restoring an antique letterpress printer.
Later that year, the Mpressinteractive team brought the original LetterMpress to the Mac, then set to work on their next app: SimplyMpress. Released just a few months ago, SimplyMpress made it much simpler to make letterpress art on your Mac, albeit without the photo-realstic printing press and traditional tools you’d find in their original app. Together, they’re the best apps for making letterpress-style art, but which one should you get?
Let’s take a look at SimplyMpress, along with the app that started it all, LetterMpress, and see which one you should add to your Launchpad before taking on your next poster design project. (more…)
Technology continues to evolve into new and different things and it continues to amaze me how far we have come just in the last ten years — heck, even in the past five years. I am not that old, but I have been able to witness the evolution of technology from black and white computer screens to now where we have tablets and smartphones that are almost as powerful as our computers. It just amazes me how far we have come.
The same can be said about the piece of technology that I am reviewing today, the Leap Motion. The movie, Minority Report, gave us a glimpse into the future when it came out in 2002 and I remember thinking that what Tom Cruise was able to do with that computer screen was amazing. I thought there was no way I would see something like that in my lifetime. Well, I only needed to wait twelve years to see a similar concept come to fruition in the Leap Motion. I have had the chance to run it through its paces and have come away with some interesting thoughts on it.
If you have been a reader of Mac.Appstorm for any considerable length of time or you consider yourself fairly up to date with the Mac software world, chances are that you are familiar with Realmac Software. The team that brought you Analog and Clear have been working hard for several months to bring you the sequel to their LittleSnapper app, and it’s called Ember.
LittleSnapper, which is no longer available from either their website or the App Store, was a digital scrapbook and screenshot tool for your Mac, and Ember is here as a revamped and exciting update to replace its older brother. Let’s take a look and see how it holds up in the competitive screenshot app market.
I’ll never forget the first time I installed Mathematica in college. I was excited by the demos, and wanted to see how much it could help me take my calculus knowledge further — and take the drudgery out of math. Turns out, it was far more complicated to use than I ever anticipated, even more so than my trusty TI-89.
Couldn’t CAS — computer algebra systems — be a bit less complex and more accessible to everyone who doesn’t have time to take a whole class on using them? Computers were designed originally to solve complex math, but normal calculators, spreadsheets, and CAS systems have remained too basic on the one end and too complex on the other to change the way most of us feel about math.
It’s more than understandable that we’d tend to be skeptical when a new app claims to make math simpler for everything from engineering to basic budgets at the same time — but that’s exactly what Calca claims. It’s a markdown text editor fused with a CAS; can it possibly be the answer to the frustrations of math?
Do you think you are already set on an app for viewing your pictures? Well, I can almost guarantee that app is slow and full of stuff you don’t need, as most of these are bundled as image viewers, image editors, and social network apps all at once. But what if we were to show you the simplest app for viewing your images without any hassle, just perfect for that occasion when you are trying to show your latest trip pictures to your family? One that, even, aims to be faster and simpler than OS X’s Quick View.
The app we are reviewing today — LilyView, from the team that brought us Unclutter and DaisyDisk — tries to remove any kind of complexity from an image viewer app. It provides a super simple way to view your pictures, and that’s about it. The concept sounds a bit lackluster, but maybe that’s good thing. Let’s see?
Lightroom 4 was the gigantic leap in image development that really set Lightroom ahead of the Aperture curve for many Mac users. It was a tremendous update, and just over a month ago, Adobe followed up with Lightroom 5 and is jumping ahead of the curve again.
I still use Aperture, which I find fits better into my workflow, but I always want to try the latest and greatest to see if it’s worth switching. And Lightroom 5 is tremendously tempting — check out a sample list of the new features. Let’s take a look at it to see what extra power under the hood it brings both seasoned pros and hobbyists. (more…)
Password managers are one of the many answers to the public’s need for higher security, particularly against account hacking and the occasional snooping around. On the Mac, Agile Bits’ 1Password 3 stands as the leader of the group with contenders like the simpler Passlocker and the free alternative LastPass coming up close.
Recently, I came across oneSafe by Lunabee Pte Ltd., a brand new addition to the list of password managers. I’ve been a 1Password user for as long as I can remember, so I was curious to see what oneSafe has that sets it apart. But more than just looking at the app’s features, I’ll evaluate how it fairs against 1Password and see if it has what it takes to become a game changer of its niche. (more…)