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.
Compact RTS offers typical gameplay, low system requirements
Real Time Strategy (RTS) games are a typical mainstay of the desktop computer, with the genre largely failing to make the transition to consoles and gaming systems due to a lack of finesse with controls. Machines at War 3 from Isotope 244 is primarily a computer-based RTS which unusually headed to iOS devices shortly after launch. Is the desktop version of Machines at War 3 at the same level as other RTS heavyweights, despite building with a tablet interface in mind?
Showing off Metal and landscape mode, both apps offer ways to show of iOS 8
Two programs demonstrated during the iPhone 6 event in Cupertino last week are now available for download. CNN's updated news app for the iPhone and newly optimized for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, including a two-column landscape view that makes better use of the available space on the new devices' larger screens. In addition, the graphics demonstration program Epic Zen Garden, which incorporates Apple's Metal API, is also available.
Card sports the Tonga Pro GPU, set as a replacement for R9 280 at $249
During the AMD "30 Years of Gaming and Graphics" event that was streamed on Twitch yesterday, the company announced a new graphics card coming this fall. AMD announced that it would be releasing a replacement for the R9 280 with the Tonga Pro-based R9 285. The company positions the new card as a mid-level offering for $249.
New Nvidia GPUs will limit performance to save battery power
Nvidia is hoping to improve the battery performance of gaming notebooks, with the release of six new mobile GPUs. The unveiled 800M-series graphics chips will offer up to double the battery life of previous generations when the notebook is being used for gaming, with the company also carrying over a number of features from its desktop GPUs at the same time.
MacFamilyTree 7.1 released offering new web export
Synium's MacFamilyTree 7 software has received a major update, released today. Version 7.1 of the family tree creation software is optimized for OS X Mavericks, and features improved performance as well as support for Mavericks' AppNap. MacFamilyTree has also gained the ability to export websites directly from the program, which can be shared with whomever the user chooses. Chart backdrops have also been included, allowing users to add a family crest or any other image desired for their family tree chart. Based on the new Apple Maps component of OS X Mavericks, MacFamilyTree 7.1 features statistical maps that display ancestors' demographics and life data on a map visualization. Other noteworthy new inclusions are improved privacy settings, search workflow, UI and more.
Digital greeting card software features over 5100 graphics
Chronos today announced its release of its greeting card creation software, Greeting Card Shop. The program allows users to create, mail and digitally share cards and invitations on OS X. Greeting Card Shop's features include support for double-sided cards and invitations; single, double and tri-folding compatibility; and support for multiple cards or invitations per page. Panels can be edited singularly, or as multiples -- which assists with editing graphics that traverse more than one panel.
AMD Radeon HD 6970M video cards said to run exceptionally hot, fail early
Users who have a 27-inch "Mid 2011" iMac, which was sold between May of 2011 and October of 2012, may have a failure-prone video card that might need replacing, Apple has revealed. The company has started an official program to replace cards that have failed or are failing on iMacs up to three years after the initial purchase, even if the customer's original warranty has expired. Only select models of the 27-inch iMac with the AMD Radeon HD 6970M cards are affected, and customers who have already paid for repairs can be compensated.
New update rolled into DP3 Graphics Update, solves reboot issue
Apple on Friday afternoon has pushed a second update for Developer Preview 3 of OS X Mavericks, the forthcoming major upgrade expected this fall. The company sent out an update yesterday to solve a recovery issue on the new OS, but revised the update today to "Mavericks Preview 3 Graphics Update 1.0" and included additional code to fix a bug on some Mac models where Mavericks would randomly reboot at times. The update is available through the Mac App Store.
Enthusiast PCs gain Kepler GPU with 1,536 Cuda cores, 7Gbps memory speed
Origin PC has announced it will be adding the new Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 graphics card to its line of PC gaming systems. The Kepler-based graphics card packs in 1,536 CUDA cores, 128 texture mapping units, and 3.5 billion transistors, and will be accompanied by 2GB of GDDR 5 memory clocked at 7Gbps, claimed to be the fastest ever found on a graphics card.
A year after support thread started no solution on the horizon
Some owners of early 2009 model iMacs that have upgraded to later versions of Snow Leopard, Lion or Mountain Lion have been reporting issues with the included Nvidia GeForce GT 130 video card without a response from Apple, according to a year-long support thread on the company's support website. The issue appears to center around a faulty kernel extension released late in the Snow Leopard updates that remains unfixed, and causes graphic glitches, crashes and even kernel panics when the graphics card is stressed, such as during games.
New card line could cost users over $1,000
Nvidia's next graphics processor line could be announced by the company in the next few days, and will share it's name with a Kepler-based supercomputer. Leaked details for a graphics processor dubbed the GeForce GTX Titan suggests it will be the new flagship GPU for Nvidia, and will come with a hefty pricetag when it is formally revealed on February 18th.
Resolves graphics issue in late 2008 models
Following on from recent EFI updates for various MacBook Pro models, Apple this afternoon issued one specifically for the 15-inch, late 2008 model that resolves a graphics issue that can cause the internal display to flicker. The late 2008 MacBook Pro, also known as MacBookPro5,1 or MB470*/A or MB471*/A, was the first of the 15-inch "unibody" MacBook Pros with tapered sides like the MacBook Air.
Search giant aims to correct misinformation
Aiming to clear up confusion and alleged misinformation surrounding Android's graphics handling, Google engineer Dianne Hackborn has provided a deeper look into the mobile platform's hardware acceleration and rendering methods. "Full" hardware acceleration is said to have been added with Android 3.0 and higher, however the software has implemented some hardware accelerated drawing since before version 1.0.
StreamInput, WebCL groups cast wider feedback net
OpenGL 3D's latest specification was recently released by the Khronos Group at SIGGRAPH 2011. The new OpenGL 4.2 spec integrates developer feedback and adds new functionality for developers to use and improve app performance. Among the larger improvemens, shader enabling now allows atomic counters and load, store, or atomic read-modify-write operations for a single level of texture.
64-bit support, rotated resolutions new to v1.6
DisplayLink has released DisplayLink USB Graphics Macintosh Driver 1.6. The new driver brings performance improvements and enhancements, with up to four external USB-based monitors supported. It fixes a system freeze and a GUI lockup, either of which could occur when waking from sleep, enables 1920x1080 resolutions on capable models, and repairs an incompatibility with AISX-chipped Ethernet products.
Source claims three models on the way
AMD is allegedly preparing to introduce several new graphics cards that will fit into the Radeon HD 6000 series, unnamed sources have told DigiTimes. The series is said to be expanding with three new model numbers: 6670, 6570 and 6450. As the numbering suggests, the cards will serve to bolster the entry-level and midrange side of the series.
Wireless and wired variants available
Genius has expanded its line of graphics tablets with two new MousePen offerings, the M508 and M508W. Both feature a 5x8-inch working area that can be switched between widescreen and 4:3 aspect ratios depending on the specific task.
Mudbox, FBX also udpated
Autodesk on Tuesday announced Maya 2011, along with updates to its Mudbox and FDX utilities for Mac OS X. The latest version of Maya features a redesigned user-interface based on Nokia Qt, with simpler customization and dockable elements. The graphics core has been revamped to improve performance with complex scenes, while also enhancing the viewport feedback.
System utilizes CPU and GPU resources
Bunkspeed has announced that its upcoming SHOT software will integrate Iray rendering technology developed by Mental Images. The new system will allow the software to process renders using a combination of CPU and GPU resources, including NVIDIA's CUDA-equipped graphics cards. Offloading the rendering tasks to various components is said to significantly reduce processing times.
Download available for 27-inch iMacs
Apple on Monday released a firmware update for 27-inch iMacs released late last year. Confirming earlier reports, the latest download is a second firmware update designed to address issues involving intermittent display flickering. The company in December released a graphics firmware update that was also claimed to prevent image corruption and flickering, although it was reportedly unsuccessful for many users.
New update fixes bugs and adds stability
Digital Heaven has launched an update to its Final Cut Pro graphics automation software, releasing AutoMotion 1.6. The software works in conjunction with Final Cut's Motion automating both the production and management of multiple graphics: it merges Motion templates with user text data and handles revisions with live previews support for changing multiple graphics from one action.
LightWorks talks SIGGRAPH
LightWork Design has announced LightWorks 7.9 will debut at next month's SIGGRAPH computer graphics exhibition. The company is also promising a new progressive rendering technology and an update to its LightWorks Studio Edition. LightWorks is a 3D graphics rendering toolset. Version 7.9 adds Ambient Occlusion, which adds ambient lighting features for 3D images. New to v7.9 are Complex Reflective Shaders for generating realistic material effects, including reflectance shaders like Glossy Reflections, Frosted Glass, Enhanced Car Paint and others. There are extended CgFX material effects added to v7.9, as well as refinements to Specular Final Gather that provide faster rendering.
In brief: We have posted a review of Colin McRae Rally Mac, MacNN is seeking experienced web/Xcode developers, Adobe's Flash 2 Beta for Mac OS X undergoes a bug fix, an iPhone 3G ringtone tool debuts, and The Macintosh Business Users Society will hold a meeting in Philadelphia this month ... We have posted a review of Colin McRae Rally Mac. This game features over 30 cars and many famous scenic spots from the sport. While the game is a port of Colin McRae Rally 2005 on the PC, the game holds up well to age, with its rapid frame rate, and solid game mechanics. Despite Colin's comparably modest system requirements, which allows play on high-end PowerBook G4 or PowerMac G5 machines, it does not support the Intel integrated graphics chipsets, leaving Mac Mini and MacBook gamers out in the cold.
NVIDIA G84, G86 faulty
Despite NVIDIA's claims, the Inquirer reports all, not just a select batch, of the company's G84 and G86 chipsets used in GeForce 8400M and 8600M graphics cards are suffering from heat-related failures due to an unidentified substrate or bumping material used to help make the video hardware. They all share the same application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), which is the source of the problems, in both notebook and desktop PCs. The chips have been failing since last year, and earlier this month, NVIDIA said the problems will drop the value of its shares to the tune of 25 percent, and is budgeting $200 million for repairs.
It is a common fact the Mac is great for creating and working with graphics, but for too many people, the idea of drawing anything, especially on the computer, is too intimidating. Even worse, most graphics programs for the Mac assume you’re already an experienced graphics artist who won’t mind spending $400 or more for a high-end program loaded with every possible feature. Fortunately for aspiring artists, Toon Boom Studios has teamed up with artist Peter H. Reynolds (author of the books “The Dot” and the “Judy Moody” series) to create Animation-ish.
AMD GDDR5 memory
AMD on Wednesday announced details on utilizing new GDDR5 memory in upcoming next generation ATI Radeon graphics cards. Graphics Double Data Rate version 5 is expected to become the new industry standard, the company says, as it provides up to four times the data speed rates of GDDR4 memory.
Apple 11th in Web traffic
In brief: We have posted a review of DeskUNPDF, Lingoport is offering classes on writing globalized Mac apps, Apple came in 11th in Web traffic in April, and the Lasso Wiki source code has been released ... We have posted a review of DeskUNPDF for Mac from Docudesk is a very easy to use utility that converts Adobe PDF files into a modifiable form. You can edit, rearrange, add, or delete text, plus place tabular data into Excel spread sheets. You can also export the imbedded graphics. You can also take PDFs that contain spreadsheet and database data and extract that data as Coma Separated Values (CSV) and import it into an Excel spreadsheet. You can also import the information into a database.
ConceptDraw 7.6 released
CS Odessa today released ConceptDraw 7.6 an update to its drawing and business diagramming software package. The professional business graphics software permits users to create sophisticated and high-quality organization charts, flowcharts and business graphics as well as the ability to create network and database diagrams. Version 7.6 includes a specialized flowchart library as well as traditional flowcharting shapes with more than 150 objects available for use. ConceptDraw 7.6 also significantly improves text editing performance and support of Chinese and Arabic characters. ConceptDraw 7.6 is a no charge update for all registered users of ConceptDraw 7.x. Owners of earlier versions can upgrade for only $150; the full version is $300.
The long-awaited NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT upgrade for Mac Pros has been released. The graphics card features 512MB of dedicated GDDR3 memory, uses the PCI Express interface, and includes two dual-link DVI ports, and is capable of driving up to two 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Displays. It requires a Mac Pro (bus speed 1.33GHz) with PCI-Express. The card is priced at $280 and can be purchased as a standalone, user-installable item or as a build-to-order option for Early 2008 Mac Pros through the online Apple Store. Controversy ensued when Apple introduced this upgrade card as an option available exclusively to newly purchased Mac Pros in January. At the time, users presented research that shows the cards should be backwards compatible. Apple is now making the kit available, in supported fashion, to all Mac Pros with a bus speed for at least 1.33GHz.
Gefen has introduced a new USB to DVI Graphics Adapter that allows users to connect additional displays Mac OS X systems. This tiny adapter allows a plug and play connection of a DVI or VGA display to any USB 2.0 port so you can add digital video displays or projectors to your laptop and personal computer for simultaneous video delivery without needing a DVI port. Output video is delivered in the DVI-I format, allowing for either VGA or DVI display compatibility.
Fable: The Lost Chapters
Feral Interactive has announced a release date for Fable: The Lost Chapters, a new action role-playing game for the Mac: Monday, March 31st. The game invites players to take the role of a legendary Hero and create his life story from child to old man. "Players are challenged to undertake quests and perform great deeds and in so doing must make a multitude of choices and decisions along the way. Each decision and every action shapes the character of the Hero; skills, appearance and even morality are all affected." The game will retail in the US for $50.00, £35 (inc VAT) in the UK and 50 euros throughout Europe. It is currently available for pre-order from Feral's online store. Minimum system requirements call for a 1.6GHz or faster PowerPC or Intel-based Mac, 512MB RAM, 64MB graphics card and Mac OS X v10.4.8 or later.
- Domainer 1.6 ($40) an application for web site owners, marketers and investors track and manage their domain names. RAGE Domainer allows web site owners to centralize domain details, as well as those of their competitors, with one easy tuse application. Domainer also provides an overview of a domain's value through various popularity measures including Google PageRank, AlexaRank, incoming back links, and social tags.This free update allows exporting and printing of Domain details to provide a quick overview of domain information and popularity for clients or personal use. [Download - 10.8MB]
- Vvidget 10.5.2 ($190) used to automate graphs for desktop applications, dashboard widgets and web sites. The new release includes support for Quick Look: All data visualization documents made with Vvidget Builder are now browsable through the Mac OS X Finder, including Cover Flow, List and Icon views. This gives immediate access using familiar Finder controls and enables a powerful instant-on data browsing tool. [Download - form]
- Code Collector Pro 1.0 ($30) application for storing code snippets. Key features include Smart Groups: Helps users keep their snippets organized; Snippet Sharing: Snippets can be exported to single files to be shared with other Code Collector users; Customizable Syntax Coloring: Snippets are colored depending on their language; TextMate Bundle Support: Expand the syntax coloring and language support by adding TextMate Bundles. New in version 1.2 is integration with CodeCollector.net for sharing snippets online, an improved source list, snippet locking and enhanced drag and drop support. [Download - 2.5MB]
- Art Files 1.3 ($50) a stand-alone application that takes the tedious task of collecting Illustrator documents, linked images and fonts for graphics files and turns it into a simple point and click operation. Art Files focuses on gathering just the information you need to get your files packaged up for your service provider. This update improves the speed and stability of packaging all Illustrator CS3 files. The result is a massive speed benefit, repeatedly saving time whenever you collect or archive a file. In addition, Art Files now allows you to "re-link" multiple files in the same directory, handles auto-naming of single-file collections, supports custom naming of folders and more. [Download - 1MB]
- EvoCam 3.6.2 ($30) webcam software for Mac OS X. Use EvoCam to publish a webcam with streaming video, view and record video from network cameras and video servers, create timelapse movies, or use it as part of your home security system with its configurable motion sensors. EvoCam 3.6.2 adds support for more network cameras, and fixes several bugs affecting application stability. [Download - 1MB]
New, custom MacBook skins
iToppers.com has launched a redesigned website featuring new original graphic skins for iBooks, MacBooks, and MacBook Pros. The revised site also allows visitors to order a custom skin with personally-chosen graphics. "Now you can add even more style to the best looking portable computer out there with iToppers graphic skins for your Apple MacBook and iBook," the website reads. "Easy to install, [they] protect your MacBook or iBook from scratches." Customized iToppers are priced at $40 for the 17-inch MacBook Pro, $35 for the 12-inch iBook, and $37 for the 14-inch iBook. Premade iTopper skins are priced individually, with most ranging between $17-20.
Mac OS X 10.5.2 and the accompanying graphics update were released to alleviate both minor and substantial issues, but may have instigated a few issued of its own. According to users in Apple's Discussion forums [1|2|3|4], the update has created some printing problems, compatibility issues with third-party wireless routers, sound-related glitches, software freezing, and failures when using Time Machine to back up data.
Apple Graphics, WebObjects
Accompanying the Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.2 and Tiger security updates earlier today, Apple also unveiled new versions of Leopard graphics drivers, and Web Objects 5.4.1. The new graphics update advertises that improves the stability and compatibility with the Mac OS. The update is available from Apple as a free download, both through Software Update and the company's website, and requires 10.5.2 to be installed.
8800GT: not for 'old Pros'
Owners of the previous revision Mac Pros may be out of luck if they wish to upgrade to the new Nvidia 8800 GT card that is available to the new towers. Several threads in Apple’s forums [1|2|3] indicate mixed impressions, even when users contacted Apple directly; the US representatives were adamant that the card would not function on an older Mac Pro, while Apple UK employees said the card would. Users have presented research that shows the cards should be backwards compatible, some are so confident in their beliefs that they ordered an upgrade kit without waiting for official confirmation.
New AMD Radeon specs
A Spanish-language website claims to acquired photos and specifications on three new, unannounced AMD video cards. Of these the most notable may actually be the slowest of the group, the Radeon HD 3450; while it only has a 525MHz core and 256MB of 800MHz memory, it is the only one of the three known to have a DisplayPort connection, the second from the company after the previously-revealed RV635 XT. DisplayPort is intended to eventually replace DVI and VGA ports, and it may subsume HDMI as well, since companies do not have to pay for its use.
Flip Boom for kids
Toon Boom Animation Inc. today unveiled Flip Boom, a free-form animation tool designed for kids. Flip Boom is designed for younger users that have an interest in animation, providing a simple, but still maintains some features of the program's more robust sibling, Toon Boom Studio, such as onion-skinning, and coloring behind linework. The software also teaches about animation principles, such as timing and motion, allowing children to quickly understand and apply the concepts. Flip Boom is currently selling for $30, $10 off from its regular price, as a product launch special.