Adobe’s been keen on new mobile apps as of late, but today it announced the end of the road for one of its more popular pieces of software. As of next week, Photoshop Touch will no longer be available in iTunes, Google Play and other app libraries and the creative software company will not push new updates. Photoshop Touch was a bit of a tough sell at $10, especially when the new round of apps began rolling out for free. The last major update to Touch came in late 2012, and and in the time since, Adobe announced Photoshop Mix alongside its Ink and Slide drawing accessories. And there’s a mobile version of Lightroom now, too. With its big mobile push, the company has focused on a stable of apps dedicated to specific tasks, rather than an all-in-one solution like Photoshop Touch.
The eulogy for the aforementioned app was accompanied by a look at what’s next for editing photos on the go. Codenamed Project Rigel, Adobe’s plans for image retouching on a mobile device extends to massive 50-megapixel images. I’d surmise those stills would be accessed from a Creative Cloud library, but details are scarce at the moment. In the demo above, edits look quite smooth, but we’ll have to wait until we can put the final version through its paces before offering more detailed observations. While many of the new apps still aren’t available for Android, Adobe says its developing for that mobile OS, so here’s to hoping tools available to iOS users will see a wider rollout soon.
Filed under: Software
Still holding out for a larger iPad? Well, you’re certainly not alone. Thanks to new details from 9to5Mac, it looks like Apple’s prepping for a reveal as well. The site has a solid track record when it comes to rumors, and it reports that both hardware and software tweaks are in the works for the 12.9-inch slate. Two models, code-named J98 and J99, are reportedly in the testing phase alongside tweaks to Apple’s mobile OS to outfit the extra screen real estate. As you might expect, the difference between the two is one is WiFi-only and the other carries both WiFi and cellular connectivity. Among the changes to iOS is a split-screen feature that could be announced for current iPad models as early as WWDC in a few weeks.
As 9to5Mac notes, a similar tool was tipped to arrive with iOS 8 only to be pulled before the release, so nothing’s guaranteed there. However, the site’s sources suggest that the split-screen mode would allow for more divisions than just side-by-side windows, depending on the app. What’s more, in order to make the larger tablet more productive, other iOS changes are said to arrive for Siri and Notification Center for better use of the extra space. Expanded multi-user support is said to be in the works too, but it won’t arrive with iOS 9 at WWDC. Instead, it’s rumored to make an appearance in the fall, when we could very well see Tim Cook & Co. finally reveal the so-called iPad Pro.
The folks in Redmond are hard at work putting the finishing touches on Windows 10, and in the process Microsoft is retooling individual apps, too. Today, the company announced that key productivity features in the Office 365 Outlook app would be available on Outlook.com as well — with a key addition being Clutter. If you’re in need of a refresher, that’s the feature that keeps high priority messages front and center while tucking distractions away for later. Over time, it learns from your habits what’s junk and what’s important, and just like the full app, you can toggle it on/off it you’d like. Of course, Pins and Flags are here too, as other means of keeping your workload as organized as possible.
There’s a new pop out compose window — similar to Gmail’s — that’ll allow you to keep your eyes on another message or chunk of info while composing. The mobile web workflow was redesigned as well, and leveraging both Skype and OneDrive is a few clicks away. Retooled search, new themes, link previews, in-line images and more are all set to hit the web-based email client today for select previewers with a wider opt-in rollout on the way “in the coming weeks.” For now, head down below for a quick preview of all the new stuff.
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s (HHF) president, Jose Antonio Tijerino, thinks that “seeing a latino programmer shouldn’t be akin to seeing a unicorn,” so his group is trying to do something about it. Together with Google, it launched Code as a Second Language (CSL) courses in eight cities, including New York, Las Angeles and Miami. The idea is to introduce students to coding through 1-2 hour sessions, then steer them to the LOFT (Latinos on Fast Track) network for ongoing online instruction. Students who complete that training could later be granted internships and possibly full-time positions with Fortune 500 companies.
Volunteers or teachers learn to train kids on basic coding through a program called CS First. Google and the HHF plan to implement the CSL program in 30 additional LA schools later on, and launch pilot CSL programs at the Mexican consulates in San Jose and Washington, DC. Meanwhile, schools interested in the program can sign up here, and volunteers instructors can enlist at this link. Google also runs the Made with Code program for girls and obviously has some self-interest in developing programmers (as does Apple, which just launched its own initiative). But given that only 1 in 10 US schools teach coding, along with the lack of women and minorities in tech, the efforts are certainly welcome.
[Image credit: Televisa Foundation]
In order for Chrome OS to succeed, Google needs all the support it can get from developers. Hardware companies are certainly doing their part, namely by offering Chromebooks to people at affordable prices. That’s why it’s important when a popular service such as Viber launches on the platform, like today. Now users can start using the app to communicate with friends or family directly from their Chromebook, just as they would on iOS, Android or Windows Phone. Not only can you send text and picture messages, but also make phone and video calls to your contacts. It’s free too, which comes in handy if you’re trying talk to people across different countries.
Source: Chrome Web Store
Robotic news editors promise to save the trouble of picking and writing news stories (and might put people like me out of work), but are they really ready to replace human writers? Yes and no, if you ask NPR. The outlet held a showdown between Automated Insights’ WordSmith news generator and a seasoned reporter to see which of the two could not only finish an earnings story the quickest, but produce something you’d want to read. The results? WordSmith was much faster, producing its piece in two minutes versus seven, but the writing was more than a little stiff — it lacked the colorful expressions that made NPR‘s version easy to digest. With that said, newsies might not want to relax just yet. It’s technically possible for software to adapt to a given style, so flesh-and-bone writers may still want to update their resumés… y’know, just in case.
[Image credit: Justin Cook, NPR]
Filed under: Software
Spotify has been chipping away at the problem of choice for years now. When you have instant access to so many millions of albums at some point you cross over from being a perk, to being a hindrance. Its latest effort to expose people to new music and find the things they want involves building automatic playlists based on the time of day and mood, not unlike Google and Rdio. But, unlike those services, Spotify isn’t limiting itself to music. The company also announced that it would be adding podcasts and video content to its platform.
The new Spotify “platty”, as Abby Jacobson of Broad City calls it, is about feeding up the content you want as you want it without you having to actually dig through its seemingly bottomless library. Rochelle King, the VP of user experience and design at Spotify demoed how it works by walking us through her morning. Basically as she moves through her day, she swipes through playlists that are created dynamically just for her. That includes mixes specifically to rouse her from bed, songs to sing in the shower and when, she begins commuting, a daily dose of news from PRI through the newly added podcast feature. The idea is that Spotify will learn about you, your tastes and your habits and improve the quality of the content it serves up over time. This isn’t purely cold algorithmic playlist generation, though: Spotify is tapping its growing stable of tastemakers to help craft these experiences.
There’s more to the new Spotify than just serving up news and music catered to your morning drive to work. The app can also now use your phones sensors to detect the pace of your run and deliver music perfectly matched to the tempo of your feet. And, more importantly, it builds these playlists based on your musical taste, this way you don’t end up running to Miley Cyrus just because the BPM happens to match your slow and steady marathon pace.
A really interesting feature, though, are six tracks specifically created for running to. The “songs” (if you can call them that) are created by artists like Tiësto are exclusive to Spotify and morph to fit your pace. They’ll slow down, speed up, melodies will shift… the whole thing is built from the ground up for running. And CEO Daniel Ek promises that it will begin to use this kind of thinking to build custom listening experiences for other parts of your life.
It’s important to remember that this new Spotify isn’t just about music any more either. Video and podcast partners like Vice, Comedy Central, Adult Swim, RadioLab and Team Coco are all on board. That means you can get your news, laugh a bit and then get back to grooving to D’Angelo when the time comes.
At an event in New York City this morning, Spotify revealed more tools to enhance that daily listening experience. To keep all of the things you enjoy hearing in one place, the streaming service added podcasts to its feature set. If you’ll recall, the addition was hinted at back in November, thanks to a bit of code in a test version of Spotify’s app. That’s not all, though, the company is tacking on video as well. This means that content providers can leverage audio and visuals to beam episodes and short clips to listeners on the service. If you’re commuting and can’t watch, you can opt for an audio-only version of the selected show — safety first. Of course, the addition of video isn’t a complete surprise either, as rumors of Spotify’s plans circulated earlier this month.
In terms of content selection, ESPN, ABC, NBC, Comedy Central and many more — including a load of popular podcast networks — will be available inside the app. Broad City’s Abbi and Ilana were on hand to promote the new content stream, so if you’re a fan of the series, you’ll be able to see more of the duo. As you might expect, there’s exclusive content too, like a dance move of the day from Amy Poehler. Spotify is certainly taking aim at Tidal, as that service that offers music videos, performances and more to its subscribers. While musicians weren’t mentioned too much during today’s video chatter, there’s sure to Spotify Sessions available for viewing. Deezer added podcasts just days ago, but from the looks of it, Spotify is looking to offer a wealth of content that’s not just limited to piping in audio episodes. The new version will go live in the US, UK, Germany and Sweden today with a global launch on the way soon.
The addition of video and podcasts is great, but Spotify is looking to enhance workouts, too. Selecting the perfect tracks to match your run will be quite easy, now that the app now measures your pace and picks tunes in a matter of seconds. What’s more, the Spotify Running feature will play nice with fitness apps like Nike+ and RunKeeper later this year, so you can keep tabs on progress while easily soundtracking that 5K. If you prefer to peruse options the old fashioned way, there’s a collection of curated playlists built for a range of speeds. The streaming service already teamed up with Adidas to bring a similar feature to the shoe maker’s Go app, so it makes sense that the tool would eventually end up in the primary streaming software, too. Spotify Running is part of a massive update that’s available in the US, UK, Germany and Sweden starting today.
Whatever your views are on online advertising, it’s here to stay. But that doesn’t mean that companies aren’t doing all they can to strip the web of ads on your behalf. Perhaps the most notable is Adblock Plus, which has made a name for itself by delivering browser extensions so efficient that Google and Microsoft have paid to be whitelisted. After briefly enjoying a period on the Play Store before it was pulled by the search giant in 2013, Adblock Plus today makes a return to Google’s marketplace in the form of a browser.
Google originally removed Adblock Plus because it interfered with other apps. So by implementing the same technology into Adblock Browser for Android, it could silo the experience and immediately nullify the issue. The app itself runs on a version of Mozilla’s open-source Firefox Android browser, which offers stability and a sense of familiarity but can also block ads and speed up browsing. However, support for third-party extensions and Firefox’s synchronization features are lost as a result.
The launch comes just as European mobile carriers are said to be toying with the idea of blocking ads on customer phones to get a cut of Google’s ad revenue. The search giant won’t be happy with the return of Adblock Plus, but seeing as it already allows Chrome users to download the extension via the browser’s Web Store, we imagine it will begrudgingly remain neutral. The app has yet to reach the Play Store, so users are encouraged become testers by signing up to Adblock Plus’ Google+ community and download it once it becomes available.
Via: Adblock Plus
Source: Adblock Browser (Google+)