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Hands On: Bamboo Paper 2.5.1 (iOS)

05/19, 10:46am

Wacom offers well-designed, albeit simple drawing app to pair with stylus lines

Design giants Wacom are known for their line of drawing tablets, which they've been producing for the better part of two decades. Because of this, they've become an industry standard when it comes to graphic design and digital illustration. Seeking to extend their market, Wacom recently made the leap of producing a line of Bluetooth-enabled styluses for the iPad, and with it came Bamboo Paper, a stylus-compatible drawing app designed for the iPad.

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Hands On: Ortelius map-making software (OS X)

12/29, 7:30am

Make maps with this dedicated cartography illustration software

Ortelius is map-making software designed to be used by anyone -- from the amateur wanting to show you where the fire exits are, to the cartographer making maps for tourists. If you're doing this for a living, or at high resolutions for print publishing, then there are Geographic Information System applications and there are even fractal coastline-generating apps. Ortelius, by Mapdiva, is more for the non-specialist -- and it's made by the same company that does the similar but more general illustration package Artboard.

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Briefly: Procreate Pocket illustration app; Switcheasy's new releases

12/20, 3:11pm

Procreate for iPad creators debut Pocket version for iPhone

Savage Interactive has released an iPhone version of its illustration app Procreate Pocket, a scaled-down version of its iPad app Procreate. Intended for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Procreate Pocket is powered by a 64-bit Silica engine, offering a variety of drawing tools and 250 levels of "Undo." Among its features, its 18 layers of Blend Modes allow for versatile composition, and 1080p video recording option can document all stages of the drawing process without interruption. Priced at $3, Procreate Pocket requires iOS 8.1 or later.

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Hands On: Artboard (OS X)

12/20, 11:24am

Illustration software that's easy to use

You take your life in your hands when you ask us to draw something. Look at the screenshots here, and tell us you can't tell that we're really writers with clipart. While it's obvious we don't spend all day coloring in fantastic illustrations, we do very often need to sketch out rough images -- and that's where Artboard shines. It is a fully-fledged illustration application of sufficient calibre that a full-time artist could work in it full-time -- but it is particularly suited to those of us who occasionally need a powerful tool, and don't want to dole out the cash for a monthly subscription to a software giant.

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Fiftythree unveils Paper sketching app for iPad

03/29, 1:00am

Emulates different pens for finger or stylus

A new drawing app exclusively for the iPad debuted at midnight Thursday called Paper, intended for iPad owners who want to create and share sketches, hand-drawn diagrams, illustrations, notes or drawings. Thought not explicitly required, users of styluses will have more natural control, as the app enables the stylus to function as a pencil, pen, marker and coloring tool. The emulated tool's sensitivity works in conjunction with user movement to create different strokes without adjusting settings.

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Updates for iPad: iDraw, AccuWeather

05/16, 9:00pm

From vector maps to weather maps

Two different applications for the iPad have received updates, bringing significant new features and improvements. Vector illustration and drawing program iDraw has been updated to v1.2, a major update featuring a redesigned user interface along with new tools, new features and improved SVG support. AccuWeather for iPad, available in both free and paid editions, has upgraded to v1.8 -- adding snow, ice and rain totals along with several other user-requested features.

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Apps: RiftVault, VectorDesigner, SMTPit Pro

07/17, 6:15pm

SMTPit Pro

  • RiftVault 1.0 ($40) 256-bit AES encryption keeps credit card numbers secure, documents safe, and secrets confidential. Designed exclusively for Mac OS X Leopard. The new release includes major improvements to the UI, has a full feature set and include ssignificant stability and security improvements [Download - form]

  • VectorDesigner 1.4 ($70) application for vector drawings, diagrams and illustrations, raster image handling, filtering and color correction. This release introduces user definable templates: a template can contain all the elements that are available in a standard VectorDesigner document, such as paper size, units, rulers positions, layers etc. [Download - 4.9MB]

  • SMTPit Pro 4.1.0 ($65) FileMaker plug-in that provides a vast array of email options. You can send simple text based messages or you can send complex HTML messages. You can send a single message or an entire mail out. Its functionality is flexible enough to cover many email tasks. The new release fixes issues dealing with Files and Folders that contained forward and backward slashes and issues on Mac where the plug-in couldn't deal with files on mounted volumes in certain circumstances. [Download - form]

  • Merlin 2.6 ($225) project management software designed exclusively for the Mac. With Merlin 2.6, you will be able to publish your project file over the web either as a live HTML document so you can collaborate with other users over the web or as a static HTML page that you can share with the team. This feature opens the door for all users who wish to use Merlin but can't because they are tied to an operating system other than Mac OS X. [Download - 37MB]

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Endangered species game debuts

06/02, 8:00pm

Safari Sketch

Red Rover Games has announced the release of Safari Sketch a new match-three puzzler that uses exotic locales to view endangered species from around the world. Red Rover Games also announced a donation of US$2 for each sold copy of Safari Sketch to the nonprofit Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). In Safari Sketch, adventurers can gather hand-rendered likenesses of more than 50 exotic and endangered species of plants, animals and insects, including the Giant Panda, the Sumatran Rhinoceros, and the world's rarest insect, the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect. Players enter jungles, reefs, snowy mountains, archipelagoes, and other locales as they are challenged to find matches and clear the puzzle board before the "daylight" fades. The game keeps a journal of the illustrations the player has collected along with an entry containing interesting facts about each creature presented in Safari Sketch.

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QuarkXPress 8 offers refined interface, more

05/29, 8:05am

QuarkXPress 8 unveiled

Digital publishing giant Quark on Thursday unveiled QuarkXPress 8, the latest version of its page-layout and design software, which boasts a newly redesigned interface and simplified workflow. Quark says that the overall user experience has been refined, allowing users to quickly grab, rotate, and scale images in real time, without needing to type numbers or switch between tools, for example. QuarkXPress 8 also features an enhanced Bézier pen tool, which encourages illustration directly within the application.

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MacDraft 5.6.4 adds Mac OS technologies

03/14, 5:40pm

MacDraft 5.6.4 update

Microspot today unveiled MacDraft 5.6.4 in both Professional and Personal editions, its 2D drafting and technical illustration software, adding installers that take advantage of several Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard technologies. The new version features installers for both QuickLook and Spotlight, allowing users to quickly search for, and view, their documents. MacDraft 5.6.4 is a free update for existing users, while new users can buy MacDraft starting at $130.

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ZeusDraw 1.3 adds CMYK, PDF vector functionality

02/14, 7:00pm

ZeusDraw 1.3, CMYK, PDF

Chromatic Bytes recently unveiled ZeusDraw 1.3, an update to its vector-based illustration and design software, adding a number of new or enhanced features. ZeusDraw can now use either the RGB or CMYK color model with new documents, as well as color profile for color management in the document space. Users can now perform bitmap exports in either CMYK or grayscale. New users can purchase ZeusDraw for $90, while a 30-day demonstration version is available for download as well.

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Freeverse shows Neon Tango, Lineform 1.5 updated [u]

01/14, 10:55am

Freeverse demos Neon Tango

Freeverse on Monday announced Neon Tango, a new original game for the Mac. The company said that a fully playable version of the game will be shown at Macworld Expo ((Booth #1243, South Hall) this week; the final version is expected to ship on February 5th. Neon Tango is described as "a psychedelic arcade shooter with thrilling action, eye-popping visuals, and a spoonful of retro sprinkled on top." According to the company, the title is "conceived with a gorgeous minimalism ... Neon Tango licks the shoot-em-up genre down to its chewy abstract center." Neon Tango will be available for $25 and will run as a Universal Binary on Mac OS X 10.4 or later. A G4-, G5-, or Intel-based Mac (800MHz or faster) is required.

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