Apple updated various mac based accessories for the first time since their release. Bringing new versions of their Magic Trackpad, Magic Mouse, and Apple Wireless Keyboard. The big focus across all magic devices is that they’re redesigned & rechargeable. Moving from the classic AA batteries & to a charging solution based off Apple’s lightning connector.
Let’s breakdown the new hardware:
Magic Trackpad 2
The multi-touch trackpad brings the famous multi-touch trackpad from Macbook’s to the desktop. An accessory that can be bought separately or together with a new mac. The 2nd gen version sports an all new design thats sleek & in line with the other accessories. Redesigned in a complete metal enclosure with a white top to provide a sleek look. The surface itself features a sloped design but rids itself of the gap the former model had. A much more sturdier & responsive trackpad. Adopting Apple’s Force Touch technology we’re seeing across their iOS device & Macbook lineup.
The tracking surface itself is much more wider & provides an all encompassing surface for you to track/click. Housed with a lightning connector & switch to toggle power on the back of the device. The Magic Trackpad 2 will connect to your devices via Bluetooth.
However the all new trackpad will come at a steep price.
Price: $129 USD
Magic Mouse 2
The mouse received the slightest of changes. It adopted a modified design making the mouse a bit longer for easier tracking & ridded itself of the battery housing on the bottom of the mouse. While it still sports its odd ergonomic design it will now charge also via a lightning connector.
While its nothing drastic it’s nice to see the unification across the accessories & rechargeable feature.
Price: $79 USD
Seeing as the Apple Wireless Keyboard wasn’t named with the “Magic” tag this new updated keyboard won’t be receiving the “2” addition. The all new keyboard features a much more compact design while keeping the classic aluminum build & receiving the rechargeable update. The new keyboard rids itself of the unused space in order to make the function keys bigger. On top of that the keyboard will follow the design of the trackpad in order to fill the gap the former keyboard had. This makes the sloped design line up across both accessories & surely will provide a solid base for the keyboard.
Like the Trackpad the keyboard will connect via bluetooth & recharge over a lightning cable.
Price: $99 (Comes in various languages)
You can already purchase Apple’s new hardware from their site. Surely these will hit retail stores soon & we should be seeing price drops in the remaining old hardware. Overall the keyboard & trackpad designs are great to see & the unified rechargeable system Apple has implemented is a big update. No longer having to use 3rd party accessories to recharge the default hardware or spend money on batteries. On top of that updating the hardware to support Force Touch shows Apple’s push to get customers familiar with such gestures across all hardware desktop & mobile.
Grab you new “magical” hardware today!
If you recently updated to Mac OS X El Capitan you may have noticed that the dashboard feature is no longer enabled by default. If you were like me & actually used the dashboard feature then you’ll want to be re-enabling it right away.
1- Open System Preferences
2-Open “Mission Control”
3-Enable Dashboard by choosing either Overlay or Space
The two options provide you a choice to have Dashboard open as an overlay on top of whatever you have ongoing or slide over to a separate space. This is entirely up to you & how you prefer to view your dashboard. While Dashboard has been around in OS X for quite some time it hasn’t received many updates. Personally I love using it for a quick glance at useful widgets like world clocks, calculator, and weather.
Stay tuned for more El Capitan coverage.
My thanks to Literature & Latte for making this content possible. They’re the makers behind the amazing writing tool that is Scrivener & idea organizational tool Scapple.
Scrivener & Scapple are amazing standalone apps. However using them in tandem is just as easy & beneficial. Scrivener an essential writing tool that I’ve covered multiple times is a great writing studio app for a variety of needs that allows you to gather & produce all your work in one place. While Scapple is an amazing visual tool that allows you to take ideas & organize them in anyway you please.
Importing & exporting data between the two has never been simpler & theres multiple ways to do so.
As showcased in the video above there are multiple ways to import & export content between the app. Let’s break down a few.
Drag & Drop
The simplest of methods is dragging & dropping certain elements to import between the two applications.
You can easily drag Scrapple notes into your Scrivener binder or take scrivener text highlighted & convert them into Scapple notes.
Export as .OPML
If you’ve created a chart via Scapple that’d you like to export into notes into scrivener than simply export the Scapple document as a .OPML file & use the Import files feature via Scrivener to get them all synced into your binder. This allows you add further context & notes to your imported outline.
Of course you could also export as text formats if thats what you prefer.
Export Entire Chart
If you’d prefer to just export out the whole Scapple chart you’ve created into Scrivener then they’ve made that just as easy. No need to lineup & use a screenshot tool when you can simply export out as .PNG using the same export & import menu.
Once imported you can easily adjust image size & organize it wherever you please inside your Scrivener project.
These methods of import & export are highly useful in multiple scenarios. Let’s say your workflow revolves around you brainstorming ideas within Scapple. You can takes notes, make charts, and setup a visual aid for your story or whatever you may be aiming to create. From there you can export out elements or the chart entirely into Scrivener for organizational & reference purpose. You can now work in Scrivener with all your research & notes in one place. Making it easy & efficient to work between the apps. At the end of the day what makes these apps so powerful is that you can use them in any way you please. I’ve seen multiple workflows from authors, screen play writers, project management and more.
While Scrivener serves as an all in one writing tool, Scapple is the visual board for getting that idea out of your head & onto your mac or pc.
Looking for some more content around Scrivener or Scapple check out our posts below!
Quickly Record Ideas w/Scapple
Create an E-Book w/Scrivener
September 9th, 2015 Apple will be hosting its popular event in which they announce the next update to the iPhone line. Headlined “Hey Siri, give us a hint.”. Really try it, you’ll get all sorts of colorful replies from Apple’s voice assistant.
The event itself will be scheduled for 10:00 AM on September 9th at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California.
Here’s a look at what we can expect from the upcoming event.
Being an “S” improvement this will focus on mainly internal hardware changes. No noticeable design changes.
Hardware improvements such as
- A9 Processor
- 12 megapixel camera
- Force Touch
- Rose Gold Color Scheme
There’s also rumors of Apple switching to a new aluminum based shell to reduce the bending of the iPhone 6 & 6+. The notable upgrades aside from speed of course will be the Force Touch integration. Force touch is a technology Apple has integrated into their Macbook trackpads that can better detect taps on a touchscreen. Long presses, harder presses, so on, and react differently. This will tie into the iOS software allowing you to interact with items dependent on your touch.
In a long awaited update Apple’s set top box will be refreshed with some new hardware now confirmed by various sources.
Hardware wise Apple TV will now come in a slimmer design compared to the current model. More importantly the main hardware will be updated with the following-
- A8 Processor
- New Touch Based (Black) Remote
- More Local Storage
- Full App-Store
- Siri Functionality
It’s said to maintain all current ports without any upgrade to support 4K quality. The notable changes here come in the form of software & speed. The faster hardware will go hand in hand with the app-store they plan to add to their set top box. This could be a way for Apple to integrate their already popular apps across the big screen & living room. Capturing the entertainment & gaming space in one device. All suspected to start around $149. This is a big part of Apple’s longtime strategy as they have a big interest in this space. Apple is said to want to enter the streaming space under their own brand & partner with content providers to go against services such as Netflix. This wouldn’t be far different form their other models of controlling software + hardware.
iOS 9 & Watch OS 2:
We’re also bound to hear about the progress of iOS 9 & Watch OS 2 as we expect the new iPhones launch to coincide with iOS 9 which will bring a number of incremental upgrades to iOS 8. Watch OS 2 additionally will bring a whole set of features that Apple Watch users have been waiting for such as native Watch OS apps & so on. We’ll see a highlight of what we’ve already heard about each & more importantly a set date for release.
Overall the events focus will be taken up on the iPhone 6S & 6S Plus. Only to then be turned to the Apple TV. These are by no means revolutionary updates rather ones we’ve all been waiting for. Though as usual with Apple already at the top of its game they’re providing just enough to keep their customers satisfied & sales in tact. We’ll have more coverage of the event live on September 9th.
A thanks to Pixelmator for making this video series possible. Pixelmator is a great image editing tool that is available for OS X & iOS. Built with the platforms in mind taking advantage of both hardware in mac such as the force touch trackpad to iOS technologies like cloud support, OpenGL, & handoff. Find out more information here.
Continuing on with the Pixelmator series we’re focusing today on the clone stamp tool. A tool that is commonly known on image editors to clone objects in photos. This tool can be used to clone certain elements in a photo such as a water droplet & multiply it over the image. Optionally cloning can be used to hide portions of images as well.
Pixelmator’s clone stamp tool is super easy to use. Simply define first your clone source point, the object or pattern you want to clone and from there begin to drag along your cursor to paint in your cloned source. This will begin to follow the original point you set as you drag along. This can be used to fill in certain parts of the image you want covered or take something as shown in above like a water droplet & duplicate across the image.
By holding “Control” when clicking you can define your tools hardness & diameter to make it easier to precisely clone over the part you want. This in conjunction with other effects can make for great ways to enhance an image. Cloning objects has never been easier.
It’s worth noting this tool is easier to use cloning rounded objects or flat patterns than lets say a person for example. As the cloning takes into account whats in the background as well it can make a photo look uneven if you copy a source across another portion of the image. However for something with a solid background duplicating various objects is a breeze.