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Bad Apples: the worst Mac products ever

08/27, 12:38pm

Not everything can be an iMac

There's a discussion on this week's new MacNN: One More Thing podcast about Macs versus Windows wherein one person says it would now take dynamite to get him off OS X. Just occasionally, it's as if Apple says Challenge Accepted because alongside gorgeous iMacs and sleek MacBook Airs, it has also devoted its design skills to some truly dreadful hardware. Machines so bad that we know they lost Apple customers -- even when they were specifically meant to celebrate the company's skills.

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MacNN Deals: Start your design career with these three bundles

07/16, 12:22pm

Learn web development, design apps, and keep productive with MacNN Deals

Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the sales available on our own MacNN Deals page. Today's collection of three offers could help you kickstart your career in design, including free design assets, a web development bundle, and a subscription to a service that will help you become more productive in your work.

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MacNN Deals: Improve your web design, app development skills

07/07, 7:56am

Three bundles provide help for creating apps, responsive web designs

Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the sales available on our own MacNN Deals page. Today's trio of deals revolve around design, including both apps and web design, as well as a free course to help start you off in iOS game development.

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Apple announces Design Award winners at WWDC

06/09, 4:29pm

Awarded apps span range of categories, from productivity to games

On Tuesday, Apple unveiled the winners of the 2015 Apple Design Awards, given to outstanding apps made by OS X and iOS developers. In addition, two student awards were given out to apps from across the 350 student developers who won a WWDC scholarship to attend this year. Well-known names like Fantastical 2 alongside recent entries like Metamorphabet in the annual list of winners.

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Hands On: D3lta 2.0.1 (iOS)

05/28, 10:05am

Quirky photo-editing app allows you to create trendy artwork in seconds

Geometric designs are "in" right now, and being popularized in clothing styles, jewelery, website designs, artwork, and more. Just about everything that can feature geometric designs can and will, and it's the benchmark of being on the forefront of trendy. We came across an app called D3lta which takes an unlikely candidate, photography, and juxtaposes it with the inherent "hipness" of geometric design.

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Hands On: OmniGraffle 2.1.1 (OS X, iOS)

05/25, 6:33am

Easy to use, hard to spell, super graphics tool now on iPhone

You've got to say this for OmniGraffle: there aren't many other graffles in the App Store. There also aren't many tools that do what it does, and we've enthused before about OmniGraffle's ability to let the artistically-challenged among us sketch out plans, designs and notes on OS X. There's also been an iPad version, but OmniGraffle 2.1.1 is now a universal app, which means it is now on the iPhone for the first time.

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Hands On: Autodesk Sketchbook 3.1.2 (iOS)

05/20, 7:22am

Feature-packed illustration app closely mirrors desktop versions

When it comes to art apps for the iPad, there's a ton of choices. When it comes to good, functional, and worthwhile art apps for the iPad, there's significantly less. That's why Autodesk, famed designer of AutoCAD, had created Autodesk Sketchbook. The idea was to provide a great app designed with features for illustrators and designers, and we're here to show you just what this app can do.

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Apple Watch takes top design industry honors ahead of launch

03/03, 7:59pm

Jury proclaims forthcoming timepiece 'already an icon,' wins one of 47 gold awards

Apple's forthcoming Apple Watch -- expected to be formally unveiled at a press conference on March 9 -- is already an "award-winning" product that the jury called "a delightful product offering a holistic user experience" and deemed it "already an icon." Picked from among over 3,200 products vying for world-class recognition from International Forum Design, the Apple Watch took home one of only 47 Gold awards, and one of only two given to telecommunication products.

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Hands On: OmniGraffle 6 (OS X, iOS)

03/01, 4:39pm

First-class drawing tool for people who aren't first-class artists

Admit it: whether you're in the market for a drawing application or not, you're reading this in part because you hope to find out what a graffle is, and why you might one to be omni. We can't help you with the word, but we can say that OmniGraffle 6 for Mac is a superb tool for creating presentation graphics, design wireframes, and really just anything that you can draw more easily than you can write.

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Hands On: Home Design 3D (OS X)

02/17, 1:40pm

Play dress-up for your house

Home Design 3D is for you if you're addicted to shows like HGTV's Dream House rather than, say, Selling New York. It's for property fans who already know that the way to choose the right color paint is to try some out on a box. Seriously. Get a large cardboard box and paint it: there is something about seeing that color on a surface with corners that really gives you a better feel than if you just toss a can of paint at your wall.

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Specialist site publishes Mac survey of CAD, 3D design pros

02/02, 7:49pm

Architosh finds iMacs popular, need for more cores in Mac Pros

Some high-end professional vertical markets that have increasingly moved to the Mac platform in recent years are those of CAD users, 3D and visual effects artists, and other professional designers not normally associated with the "creative professional" tag, taking in everything from engineers to biomedical scientists. Mac advocacy site Architosh has recently run a survey of the industries, and found some surprising results.

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Hands On: Mail Designer 2 and Mail Designer Pro 2 (OS X)

01/30, 4:29am

Create and send graphically designed email newsletters

If you just send a lot of ordinary emails, you can skip this. If you're in a company that already has designers in-house crafting gorgeous and on-message email newsletter designs, you can skip this. If you're in the middle, though, such as a small company sending out newsletters or HTML updates to a few thousand people, or even just the newsletter editor for a club with a few dozen scattered members, Mail Designer 2 and Mail Designer Pro 2 are worth looking at.

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Samsung installs Lee Don-tae as new global design chief

01/19, 12:13pm

New Samsung design lead former co-president of design consultancy Tangerine

Samsung has named its new vice president and global design chief as Lee Don-tae. The new lead is notably the former co-president of Tangerine, a London-based design consultancy which once employed Jonathan Ive before leaving for Apple, with the appointment said to indicate an overall design shift at the South Korean electronics producer.

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Newson confirms Apple job is part-time, working on special projects

10/01, 9:22pm

Designer will remain based in UK, lead his own company

Designer Marc Newson, recently hired to join Sir Jonathan Ive's design team at Apple, has confirmed in a new interview that his work with the iconic iPhone maker is part-time, and that he will continue to run his own design company and operate out of the UK -- confirming rumors that Newson would only be called to California on occasion. "My role at Apple doesn't necessitate all of my time, and that was for very specific reasons," he said, but couldn't elaborate on what he was working on for Apple.

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Apple hires designer Marc Newson to join Ive at Apple Design Group

09/05, 6:17pm

Duo have collaborated previously; Newson will remain based in UK

In a move that could be setting the stage for Ive's future successor, Apple on Friday confirmed that it had hired prominent industrial designer Marc Newson, a close friend and occasional collaborator to Sir Jonathan Ive, to join Ive's design team in an unspecified capacity, reports Vanity Fair. Newson, who recently co-designed a number of one-off Product (RED) items for auction with Ive, said he was "enormously proud" to join the team, though he will primarily remain based in the UK.

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Ive: 'Nothing has changed' under Cook, 'new products' on the way

06/16, 7:07pm

Company still operating by core principles laid down by Jobs, designer says

In a fuller version of an interview given to The New York Times by Apple senior VP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive, the head of Apple's hardware and software creative design team has revealed that the team has been working "for years" with "new materials" not previously seen (at least, not on a large scale) in previous Apple products, and that new products are in active development. He also dismissed the notion that the engine of innovation at Apple has changed without Steve Jobs at the helm.

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Jony Ive awarded lifetime achievement award by San Francisco MOMA

05/08, 3:45pm

Designer given 2014 Bay Area Treasure Award, joins likes of Lucas, Campbell

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) plans to award Apple Senior Vice President Sir Jonathan Ive with the museum's 2014 Bay Area Treasure lifetime achievement award at a dinner on October 30. Previous award winners of the Bay Area Treasure Award include Jim Campbell and George Lucas.

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Briefly: Twitter site revamp, Motorola Assist adds hands-free texting

01/14, 11:15am

Twitter updating look of website to match its iOS and Android apps

Social media service Twitter has initiated rolling out an update to its website, with the aim to mirror the aesthetic approach to that of its app versions to iOS and Android. Users will be able to personalize their profile more than previously, with the settings menu including an option to add accent colors. The navigation bar is a different color and style than before, and some icons have been redesigned.

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Shade 3D reaches v14, adds new features with more to come

06/24, 7:00pm

Additional improvements will be iterated rather than monolithic

Mirye Software has announced a forthcoming major new version of its Shade 3D software, version 14, and a change in the way it handles updates. The company will abandon the "monolithic" periodic release model and instead distribute feature updates to Shade 14 throughout its life cycle, the company says. Initial new features in Shade v14 that cover all versions (Basic, Standard and Professional) include a line offset tool, a redesigned 3D text tool, support for the STL format for industrial and commercial 3D printing and more.

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Report: Ive working with software teams, pushing new designs

03/22, 1:30am

Progress made from standoffs with former iOS head Forstall

Following his promotion to head of both hardware and software design at Apple, Sir Jonathan Ive is said to be regularly meeting with Human Interface head Greg Christie and the mobile software teams and is said to be favoring a more cohesive "flat" design for the overall look of the next generation of Mac and iOS software. Ive's efforts will likely be seen in the next major revisions of the two operating systems, and are not expected en masseanytime soon -- but subtle hints of change in the air can be seen even now.

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Apple awarded patents for Retina MBP, haptic feedback

02/19, 9:40am

Localizing feedback, distinct cooling system among innovations

A clever way of making sure haptic vibratory feedback is restricted to a specific area, the overall design of the Retina MacBook Pro and the structure-strengthening design of the RMBP's vents have all been given patent protection by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The latter patent complements one already awarded earlier for the asymmetrical fans used in the RMBP to suppress fan noise, while the haptic feedback patent hints at future changes for iOS devices.

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CBS interviews former Apple designer David Kelley

01/07, 10:56pm

Covers 'human-centric design,' Jobs, cancer, more

CBS' news magazine show 60 Minutes has run an interview hosted by Charlie Rose with longtime design guru and close friend of Steve Jobs, David Kelley. Kelley, who started the design firm IDEO, was the man behind Apple's original mouse and many other designs over the years. He is now head of his own school of "human-centric" design principles and recounted his friendship with Jobs, his struggle with cancer and other challenges in the interview.

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Apple designer shows off early prototypes in new book

12/28, 1:56am

Apple had phone, tablet, MacBook designs very early on

A new book by the founder of Apple's first "in-house" design contractor, frog design, brings back memorable photos of many early Apple prototypes, including a (corded) phone with an LCD display that could also send email, a stylus-driven tablet, a dual-flatscreen workstation and a MacBook portable notebook -- all designed in the early 80s. German designer Hartmut Esslinger has included many prototypes in his latest book, Design Forward.

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Apple's Ive wins British Visionary award by large margin

04/27, 2:15am

Bests WWW inventor Berners-Lee, JK Rowling, more

After being mentioned as on the shortlist last week, Sir Jonathan Ive has now been awarded the British Visionary Innovator award, a competition run by the Intellectual Property office in the UK to promote IP awareness. Ive was up against some very notable competition, including Sir Tim Berners-Lee who invented the World Wide Web; fellow industrial designer and engineer Sir James Dyson, and even Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

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Starck confirms 'Apple project' is actually Jobs' yacht

04/16, 6:20pm

Has not explained discrepancy in quotes

French designer Philippe Starck has finally confirmed that his initial quotes about a "revolutionary" Apple product that will come out "in eight months" were in fact about his long involvement in designing a yacht for the Jobs family, the Wall Street Journal reports. The yacht, which began life as a project for Steve Jobs during a brief break in his illness almost a decade ago, will be completed by his widow Laurene, Starck said.

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Steve Jobs to be added to One Club's Creative Hall of Fame

01/13, 8:15pm

Friend Lee Clow will present legendary ads

The One Club, a non-profit professional organization for recognizing excellence in the advertising and design industries will induct Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, along with creative talent Paula Green and commercial director Joe Pytka, into its Creative Hall of Fame on January 17th at a ceremony in New York City. Chiat/Day and TBWA/Media Arts Lab pioneer Lee Clow, himself a Hall of Famer, will present some of the 100 Apple ads or designs that have received One Club awards.

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Ive: Steve an inspirational friend, but also a credit hog

10/24, 10:00pm

The pair worked closely, particularly on packaging

As more details and tidbits from the Walter Isaacson-penned biography of Steve Jobs pour out, one of the voices not much mentioned in early reports but who plays an increasingly prominent role at Apple is that of the man Jobs often described as his "best friend" and which Isaacson refers to as his "soul mate," Apple Vice President of Design Jonathan "Jony" Ive. The picture he paints of Jobs is one of a close friend, relentless manager, and a bit of a credit-stealer.

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Design icon Rams praises Apple, Ive

05/26, 7:30pm

60s design for Braun influenced Apple products

German designer and "product architect" Dieter Rams, whose iconic work in the 1960s on such products as the Vitsoe 606 shelving system and Braun's hi-fi and kitchen appliances are still widely influential on designers such as Apple's Jonathan Ive, was recently interviewed by Fast Company Design and shared his thoughts on modern disposability, the principles of good design and the importance of having a company that values lasting, elegant design.

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Home and Landscape Design Studio for Mac launched

01/06, 11:25pm

Home design arrives on Mac

Punch Software (Booth No. 3526 N) has released Home and Landscape Design Studio for the Mac at the Macworld Expo . The software offers a QuickStart system to help users design a home quickly, a Going Green service with information to help build an energy efficient home, and a new object library for more realistic 3D modeling. The software is geared to help users save time and money when building a home.

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Macessity releases SlimKey V2 display stand

07/02, 9:05am

SLimKey V2 stand released

Macessity on Wednesday announced SlimKey V2, a new display stand with an integrated powered USB 2.0 Hub. Designed to match Apple's Cinema Display, the SlimKey sports an 'Apple centric' powder coated aluminum finish. Macessity says the stand can support up to 35 pounds, has an easily accessible 4-port side access USB 2.0 hub, and a recessed storage space suitable for Apple's new 'slim' keyboard. Shipping with a compact power adaptor and USB 2.0 cable included, the SlimKey V2 is priced at $65 and available to pre-order now.

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Avery unveils DesignPro for Mac, free download

06/06, 12:35am

Avery DesignPro for Mac

Avery on Wednesday unveiled the finalized version to its DesignPro software, its label and stationery designing and printing application. Being an avery product, the company includes over 1300 pre-designed layouts for their paper products, allowing users to quickly create business labels, CD labels, and more. The final version also includes over 2000 clip art and photo images for use with projects. Users can download DesignPro for free, directly from Avery's website.

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WebScripter 2.0: PHP, CSS tool released

06/03, 5:25pm

WebScripter 2.0

The Alchemist Guild has announced the release of WebScripter 2.0, a new release of the integrated development environment (IDE) for programming in several popular web scripting languages such as:  PERL, PHP, CSS, HTML/XML, JavaScript and Ruby. The tool offers features including: text editing, previewing web pages, testing scripts, managing projects, navigating code and FTP integration. The developer says that in this release, the original concept was scrapped and redesigned from the ground up with a modern OS X GUI using tabs for editing and split views for integrating features into a single window. The new design is "compact, concise and helps to keep the user in close contact with the experience. WebScripter 2.0 is priced at $40.

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Apple wins black pencils for iMac, iPhone designs

05/16, 4:55pm

Apple wins black pencils

Apple's iPhone recently won two prestigious black pencil design awards at the D&AD Awards in the UK, bringing the company's total to six since first winning the award in 1999. According to The Guardian, this makes Apple the most successful participant in the awards ceremony's 45 year history, this time taking home recognition for the design of the iMac and iPhone. Apple was among five companies who won the black pencil, with 64 yellow pencils also being awarded across 30 categories.

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Solo unveils Urban At Ease designer bag for laptops

04/09, 6:30pm

Solo Urban At Ease bag

Solo today unveiled a new designer bag made for 15-inch laptops called the Urban At Ease Laptop Messenger Bag, constructed from a durable matte canvas fabric, with an oiled leather trim and padded corduroy sleeve. The sleeve stretches to fit almost any 15.4-inch laptop, and features several interior, side, and rear organizers. The Urban At Ease Laptop Messenger Bag is currently available for $95, in either black or olive finish.

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Houdini 3D tool coming to Mac OS X

04/04, 8:10pm

Houdini 3D

Architosh reports that the Windows-based 3D software package, Houdini, is coming to the Mac OS X platform and Houdini for Mac Beta has been announced. The company is looking for beta testers and to get their Mac version in the hands of as many 3D professionals as possible. The developer says "With the recent redesign of the Houdini user-interface (UI), the program has become much more artist-friendly, claims the company, making it a great fit for the Mac. Apple's switch to Intel processors has also been a factor in developing a native Mac version."

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