Despite customer outcry over Adobe’s switch from Creative Suite software in a box to Creative Cloud software as a service, the company reports that it added 221,000 paid Creative Cloud customers to its roster in the second quarter of 2013 for a total of 700,000 subscribers to date. That’s an increase over the 479,000 subscribers Adobe reported at the end of the first quarter. Those numbers, revealed as part of the company's second quarter earnings, are on track, and even ahead of Adobe's goal, according to Scott Morris, senior marketing director for Creative Cloud.
Adobe expects it will add more subscribers in the third quarter than in the second, aiming for a total of 1.25 million subscribers by the end of the year.
"Going into Adobe Max we had a lot of momentum, and that continued and accelerated once we made our announcements," Morris told Macworld in an interview. "If you look at how far we’ve come in a pretty short period of time, and if you look at our own internal goals and how we’re achieving them, we are really, really happy with the way adoption has gone."
According to Morris, customers who bought into the cloud subscription concept are committed, with 92 percent of them choosing a yearly subscription as opposed to a month-to-month—the better deal on the yearly subscription. Annual subscriptions cost $50 per month for individuals and $70 per month (per seat) for creative teams, though there are numerous discounts available for the first year. Month-to-month subscriptions cost more.
Apple on Wednesday announced the additions of HBO Go and WatchESPN to the Apple TV. Those are channels that the Roku has long offered, but they’re new to Apple’s set-top box. Despite reports that it was coming soon, the CW still isn’t on Apple TV.
HBO Go allows subscribers to stream all of HBO’s programming on demand, including all of its older shows like The Wire and The Sopranos, along with all of the movies currently showing on HBO. Not all HBO subscriptions include HBO Go access; it’s up to your cable company to support the service. DirecTV is perhaps the most prominent provider not to support the Apple TV for either HBO Go or WatchESPN, though it does offer access to the HBO Go app on iOS, which can then—somewhat convolutedly—be watched via AirPlay on the Apple TV.
WatchESPN simulcasts ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Goal Line, and ESPN Buzzer Beater, though again, access is at the whim of your cable provider. ESPN3 exists solely on WatchESPN.
What do you do when the brightest minds of the Mac and iOS developer community descend upon San Francisco for Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference? You pull aside four of those bright minds, and ask them a series of foolish questions about the week’s events before declaring a winner.
Yes, it’s another installment of our Pundit Showdown, and we’ve assembled a tip-top panel to take on all the news coming out of Apple’s developer confab. This week’s panel includes:
We talk a lot about WWDC during this podcast, from Mavericks to iOS 7 to the new Mac Pros. You may want to familiarize yourself with everything announced at WWDC if you want to make heads or tails of our podcast.
There’s certainly no shortage of password managers for OS X—there’s even a basic one (Keychain Access) built into the OS, and the next versions of OS X and iOS will include a cross-device-syncing option. But rather than over-saturating the market, these apps are catering to different kinds of users—and that can only be good news if it means better security for more people.
A case in point is Lunabee’s $13 OneSafe (Mac App Store link), one of a genre of apps designed to keep your personal information safe from prying eyes while making it readily available when you need it. (I review the OS X version here, but a $6 iOS version is also available—your data synchronizes between devices over iCloud.)
Setting up OneSafe is a simple process; a quick wizard walks you through the process of choosing how you’ll unlock your password database. Unlike most of its competitors, which support only passphrase-based unlocking, OneSafe offers a choice of four unlocking mechanisms: a four-digit PIN, a full passphrase, a pattern-drawing keypad similar to the one implemented by some versions of Android, and a set of four combination-lock wheels. (To help you if you forget your combination or password, OneSafe allows you to choose two security questions, although these are optional.)OneSafe allows you to choose from several authentication mechanisms—including, unfortunately, a relatively unsecure 4-digit PIN.
Giving users multiple options is a great idea, particularly for those who suffer from disorders like dyscalculia, or people who simply have a hard time remembering complicated passwords. Still, I’m not a fan of the app offering a four-digit PIN as an option, given the weak level of security it provides.
When Apple revealed the new MacBook Air at WWDC, the highlighted feature was its drastically improved battery life. While Macworld Lab didn’t experience the 12-hour battery life cited by Apple, our tests do show that the new MacBook Air lasts considerably longer than before. And our results were the best we've seen from an Apple laptop.Apple
To test battery life, we ran two different tests on the new models, last year’s models, and a 2013 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. In both tests we set the brightness to maximum and made sure that automatic brightness adjustment was off, backlit keyboards were off, and Screen Saver was set to never start.Movie test
In the first test we looped a movie clip in full screen mode with Wi-Fi disabled. The new 11-inch MacBook Air lasted 6 hours and 6 minutes, compared to just 3 hours and 34 minutes for the 2012 model. The new 13-inch standard configuration MacBook Air lasted 8 hours and 18 minutes, 36 percent longer than the new 11-inch MacBook Air, and 65 percent longer than last year’s 13-inch MacBook Air. Compared to a 2013 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, the 13-inch MacBook Air lasted 75 percent longer.
We also ran the tests on “ultimate” configure-to-order (CTO) MacBook Air models from this year and from last year. There wasn’t too much of a battery life hit on the new CTO model compared to the standard configuration; the standard configuration model lasted just 11 minutes longer than the CTO unit that has a faster processor, more RAM, and twice the hard drive capacity. Comparing this year’s CTO “ultimate” to last year’s, we saw that the new model lasted 65 percent longer.
If you’ve been using a Mac for any length of time, you know that it’s more than just a pretty point-and-click, window-and-icon interface. Beneath the surface of OS X is an entire world that you can access only from the command line. Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities) is the default gateway to that command line on a Mac. With it, instead of pointing and clicking, you type your commands and your Mac does your bidding.
Why would you want to do that? For almost all of your computing needs, the regular graphical user interface is enough. But the command line can be handy when it comes to troubleshooting your Mac, to turn on “hidden” settings, and other advanced chores. Many of the hints we publish on the Mac OS X Hints website require the use of the command line. It’s a good idea for anyone who isn’t an utter beginner to be familiar with it.
If you aren’t already familiar with OS X's command-line interface, this article is the first in an occasional series that’ll get you up to speed. The plan is to cover the most important commands you need to know and show you how to use them. First up: How to navigate the file system from the command-line prompt.The prompt
By default, when you open Terminal, the first thing you’ll see is something like this:
A reader who prefers to remain anonymous has some movies that he’d like to turn into an entirely different kind of media file. He writes:
I have some MPEG-4 music video files and all I want to do is lift the soundtrack from them and burn that music to CD. What’s the secret?
There are many secrets to this one. Allow me to run down a few of them that are built into the current Mac OS and Apple applications you likely have on your computer.
Use QuickTime Player X: Launch QuickTime Player X (found in the Applications folder) and use it to open your movie. Choose File > Export and in the sheet that appears choose Audio Only from the Format pop-up menu at the bottom of the sheet. Name the file and click Export. The file will be exported as a 256kbps AAC audio file.
If you like Lightroom 4, you’re probably going to appreciate version 5 even more. The latest iteration of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom introduces a new set of well-thought-out features while maintaining snappy performance. Our stock MacBook Pro 15-inch Retina Display laptop had no trouble importing large raw files, scrolling through hundreds of thumbnails, or applying sophisticated image edits. In other words, Adobe kept its house in order during this refresh.
Some of the touted new features, such as Smart Previews and Upright, are quite innovative. Others are refinements to existing tools. Some of my favorite improvements didn’t even make the top five list, yet make a noticeable difference in my interaction with the application.
Full Screen Preview is an excellent example. Now, when you press the F key, your image is presented to you in true full screen with a solid background. It’s beautiful. No more cycling through full-screen modes hoping to get what you want, but never receiving it.
Lightroom 5 can now handle PNG files alongside common formats such as JPEGs and TIFFs. And a new -Q shortcut lets you toggle back and forth between Clone and Heal spot-removal modes. These are part of Adobe's signature Just Do It improvements that make image management a little more enjoyable.
Vesper made its debut the week before Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. But with Q Branch’s Brent Simmons in San Francisco for Apple’s annual conference, the time seemed right to talk about the new note-taking app for iOS.
In this latest in our series of video chats with developers, we ask Simmons on how Vesper’s flatter interface fits in with what we’ve seen so far from iOS 7. We also talk about the possibility of syncing features finding their way into future versions of the app.
When Apple unveiled the iPad in 2010, I immediately fell in love with its impressive battery life, and couldn’t wait until they day when the same longevity would come to my Mac.
With the upcoming release of OS X Mavericks and the latest round of revisions to the company’s laptop hardware, it looks like I (alongside, I suspect, many other Mac users) could finally get my wish, thanks to a few clever software tricks that have found their way into the latest incarnation of Apple’s desktop operating system.Hardware and software
The obvious way to improve battery life in a laptop is to increase battery capacity and decrease the electrical consumption of the machine’s hardware components, both goals that Apple has been pursuing zealously for some time by changing the way that its computers are manufactured.
For example, the introduction of the unibody design allowed the company to fit its computers with custom-molded batteries that provide superior capacity in a relatively compact space. The company also continues to adopt the latest technologies, like solid-state drives and Intel’s newest CPUs, to make its hardware less power-hungry.
Apple and Mavericks have been sitting in a tree since at least 2005; Macs shine in court; and how much flatter could a title be? The remainders for Tuesday, June 18, 2013 go to 11.
If you’d been paying close attention to Apple’s earlier software, you might have noticed a fondness for Mavericks, the surf location that’s become the name of the next version of OS X. It also appeared in 2005 promo materials for Aperture. Quick! Let’s see what else we can find in old marketing materials to clue us in on the next next version of Apple’s desktop OS. Uhhhh, OS X … Cute Kid?
Apple Executive Defends Pricing in Case on ebooks (New York Times)
As is customary with just about all Macs, Apple offers a small number of standard configuration systems that you can buy off the shelf (these are the systems Macworld uses for review), along with a handful of optional upgrades that—for a price—allow purchasers to customize their new Macs. The 2013 MacBook Air is no exception: Apple offers more RAM, higher capacity flash storage, and faster processors. Macworld Lab put together an “ultimate” configuration of the new MacBook Air, and the performance gains are so significant that our configure-to-order (CTO) MacBook Air competes well against Apple’s current $1699 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro.
The standard configuration 2013 MacBook Air has 4GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 RAM, a dual-core 1.3GHz Intel Core i5 (Haswell) processor that can reach speeds of 2.6GHz with Turbo Boost, and either 128GB ($999 for 11-inch, $1099 for 13-inch) or 256GB of flash storage ($1199 for 11-inch, $1299 for 13-inch).
Your configuration decisions on the MacBook Air are especially important due to the closed design of the laptop. RAM and CPU are not user upgradable, and it's unclear if third parties will offer internal storage upgrades to the 2013 MacBook Air. (The new MacBook Air has a new implementation of flash storage, so flash storage modules designed for the 2012 MacBook Air will not work.)Configure to order
Doubling the RAM on the $1299 13-inch MacBook Air from 4GB to 8GB adds $100 to the base price, while increasing the capacity of the flash storage from 256GB to 512GB adds $300. Swapping out the standard 1.3GHz Core i5 processor (with 3MB of L3 cache) for a faster 1.7GHz Core i7 processor capable of reaching 3.3GHz with Turbo Boost (4MB of L3 cache) adds $150. Our ultimate CTO model puts all three options into a new 13-inch MacBook Air for a total of $1849.
This week's roundup of accessories includes a new, fashionable way to keep your iOS screen clean, as well as ways to listen to (and make!) music and to power up your iPhone or iPad.
It’s no secret that trying to find things in Messages is a mess. It certainly came as no news to Flexibits co-founder Michael Simmons as he was trying to build a follow-up contacts app to the company’s popular Fantastical calendar offering and kept running into hassles when trying to search through old chat sessions.
Fortunately for Simmons, he was in a position to do something about it. Flexibits tabled its Fantastical follow-up to build Chatology, a log viewer and message search that Simmons describes as “kind of a way to filter and drill down into your search and find things within iChat and Messages.” The $20 Chatology arrived Tuesday.
We caught up with Simmons during last week’s Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco. In the latest video chat with developers at WWDC, he gives us a quick preview of Chatology, explains why it’s available exclusively through Flexibits and not the Mac App Store, and shares his opinion on some of Apple’s WWDC announcements.
iChat’s transformation into Messages was not exactly welcomed with open arms by Mac users everywhere. Some find the integration between iMessages and instant messages clunky; others have experienced a lot of flakiness (some of which Apple claims to have fixed in a recent OS X update); and yet more don’t like the app’s search functionality.
It’s the last of these that Fantastical maker Flexibits has focused on with its newest app, Chatology. The software aims to revitalize the Messages search feature, providing advanced functionality that makes it even easier to find the messages that you’re looking for.
Though it’s a standalone app, Chatology does integrate with Messages; when you install it, the app hijacks Messages’s Command-F shortcut. Use that key combination and Chatology launches automatically. (If you’d rather it only launch manually, you can deactivate that feature in Chatology’s preferences—in fact, it’s the only option there.)Chatology can narrow down your search by letting you choosing whether to search chats from someone or about someone.
Searching in Chatology is much like searching in messages. Enter a search term in the field in the top right of the window, and you’ll be presented with a list of results that match. When you enter the search term, the app also lets you choose to search for conversations that contain that term or places where that term appears as a name—for example, I can search for chats about my friend Evan or chats from my friend Evan.
One of the first things I loved about my first iPad—a first-generation model bought about six months after the product launched in 2010—was the native Notes application. Silly? Sure: Even now the app is limited, providing basically a plain text file that’s mostly useful for making a grocery list or jotting down quick ideas. But I thought it was beautiful.
Why? Because Notes was more than utilitarian. It wasn’t the faux yellow tablet paper that impressed me, rather, it was what happened in the app when I rotated the iPad into landscape mode: It became apparent that somewhere in the universe, that pad of office paper—virtual as it is—was being carried around in a nice folio, perhaps one made of rich Corinthian leather, with fine stitching all around the edges.
And I had the same thought I might have had about a real folio made of real leather with real stitching: Somebody cared enough about this to try to make it nice.The Notes app in iOS appears to be made of rich Corinthian leather.
The practice of designing apps to resemble their real-world counterparts—known as skeuomorphism—has found itself increasingly in disrepute among designers and tech writers: Last fall’s ascendance of Jony Ive, who replaced Scott Forstall as the person in charge of iOS’s look and feel, meant a change of some sort was coming. And iOS (after five years) was certainly starting to feel fusty, with developments at Windows and Android at least temporarily turning the heads of formerly hardcore Apple fans.
It’s almost summer, but the Macalope’s still digging his way out from under the blizzard of dumb WWDC analysis that fell from the skies of stupidity last week. Why, oh why did the Macalope take up residence under the skies of stupidity?! What was he thinking?! There should be a zoning ordinance!
Anyway, suffice it to say that The Verge’s Vlad Savov was not impressed by iOS 7.
“iOS 7 redesign: the beginning of the end for Apple exceptionalism” (tip o’ the antlers to Waly Kerkeboom and Harry Marks).
And here the Macalope thought the iPhone 4S was the end of Apple exceptionalism. And the iPhone 5. And the iPad mini. And …
Apple didn’t try to fix or raise the prices of electronic books when it entered into the market in 2010, according to Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue. Rather, he says, the company was only working to ensure a profit for itself.
“We’re not willing to lose money in any business,” Cue told the court, referring to Amazon’s practice of 2009 to sell electronic books for less than what it paid for them.
But in doing so, the U.S. Justice Department contends, Apple violated antitrust laws by colluding with the five largest book publishers—HarperCollins, the Penguin Group, the Hatchett Group, MacMillan, and Simon & Schuster—to fix the prices of electronic books. As a result of their actions, the prices of electronic books rose in 2010, the DOJ contended.
While the five publishers have since settled with the DOJ out of court, Apple is defending its practices in a DOJ antitrust trial now under way at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Court of New York, with District Judge Denise Cote presiding.
For those familiar with the TextExpander 4 for Mac utility, it may come as no surprise that Smile Software offers a $5 iOS version of the app called TextExpander touch. While some may have been disappointed by TextExpander touch version 1’s limited feature set when compared with the Mac version, Smile has recently released TextExpander 2, a huge upgrade that has added support for more advanced “macros” and “fill-in” fields, putting it nearly on par with the latest Mac version.
In TextExpander’s terms, a macro is a placeholder that inserts variable information (like the current date, the contents of the clipboard, performing a math calculation, or moving the cursor) into an expanded snippet. A fill-in field tells TextExpander to pause while expanding the snippet so that you can fill in variable information yourself. TextExpander’s macros allow you to build some very powerful snippets.
Here’s one small example from my snippet library. I store just about everything on my Mac in plain text files that sync to Dropbox, where I can access them from my iPhone and iPad using any of a variety of Dropbox-powered text editors. I store my business expenses in one of these files, and I use the following snippet to enter an expense:
Mileage: %filltext:name=mileage% miles
Adobe has released its long-awaited and highly controversial Creative Cloud suite of applications for both longtime professional devotees and the newcomers it hopes to attract. Having historically operated on an upgrade schedule of every 12 to 16 months, Adobe is now releasing new subscription-only versions of its flagship Photoshop image-editing program—called Photoshop CC (for Creative Cloud)—along with more than a dozen of its other creative apps.
While the merits of Adobe's new subscription model promise to be a continuing topic of debate, the apps themselves are the same creative-suite products that photographers, artists, videographers, graphic designers, animators, and other people in creative fields have become attached to over the past 20 years. Although Adobe has dropped some software packages and consolidated others in the lineup since last year, the basic Creative Cloud suite will look familiar to veteran users.
As always, applications reside on your hard drive—you do not have to be connected to the Internet to use any Creative Cloud application after you’ve downloaded it. The system requires a connection every 180 days to double-check your annual subscription status (every 30 days for month-to-month subscriptions), but that is the extent of cloud involvement with typical app usage.Old-timers are back
Released alongside Photoshop today are Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, Flash Professional, Audition, Dreamweaver, InCopy, After Effects, Prelude, and SpeedGrade, in addition to companion and add-on software packages such as Edge Animate, Bridge, and Media Encoder. Muse, the year-old visual Web-design program, has entered the mix. Edge Tools & Services, also part of Creative Cloud, includes Edge Animate, Edge Inspect, Edge Web Fonts, Edge Code (Preview), Edge Reflow (Preview), and PhoneGap Build. All are available with the basic $50 subscription. Fireworks is still around, but with minimal updates. Photoshop Extended is gone, folded into the main Photoshop program. Flash Builder Premium, Acrobat XI Pro, and now Lightroom are also part of the suite. Lightroom and Acrobat XI are available both in subscription format within Creative Cloud and boxed on their own the traditional way.