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Whether you are creating a Christmas newsletter to send to family or a weekly update on the progress of a project to your boss, you can make your presentation look fantastic with Adobe Slate for iPad.
Adobe’s new creativity app allows users to build their stories from specially designed templates, which are uploaded to a website so they can be shared with anyone. We’ve got an app review of Adobe Slate for you today.Concept
The app is built around the idea that anyone can present an attractive story, newsletter, or announcement for others using pictures, text and website links. The final presentation is uploaded to a special web page on chúng tôi Users can then share the story to others via the unique link. You can keep the page private, or allow anyone to see your masterpiece.Design
The pre-made stories serve as an inspiration to help you create something. Whether you are showing off your family vacation photos in a scrapbook setting, inviting family to your college graduation, or telling your customers about an upcoming sale, you can get ideas for your story by exploring others’.App Use
Users must log in using their Adobe ID to use this app. If you don’t have one, an account is free and you do not need a subscription to Creative Cloud to use it. Once logged in, you can either explore the story feed or start creating your own project.
When creating a new project, you will start with a Title and subtitle if necessary. For the title portion, you can add a background image. Then, you will add new sections below.
When adding a text section, you can adjust the font size between normal, Heading 1 and Heading 2. You can also make a numbered or bulleted list, and put the text in italicized quotes.
You can add pictures directly from your iPad, or access them from Creative Cloud, Lightroom, or Dropbox. You can also search for images from copyright-free content provided by Adobe.
Photos can be set as inline, which displays them similar to a blog roll, inline with the rest of the story, fill screen, which fits the image to the screen, but still within the story’s feed, window, which sets the image in the background so that the text or photos above and below it scroll over the top of it, or full width, which displays the picture in its full size.
You can also include a grid of photos, for which it appears you can add an unlimited number of images. I stopped at 24 in my test.
When adding a link, you will create a button. Name the button and then add the URL address. As far as I can tell, there is no way to include a link in the body of the text.
There are 11 different themes, which slightly alters the look of the story with different fonts, background colors, and layout styles.
When finished, tap the Share icon to upload the story to the unique web page. Here you can set the link to private so that only people you give it to can see it, or leave it public so that Adobe can share it on their Explore feed for others to see. You can also select to share it on Facebook and Twitter, and through email or text. If you have a website, you can create an embed code for it, as well.The Good
It is incredibly easy to put together a story with this app. I built a quick newsletter for a friend who owns a comic book shop in a matter of minutes. Everything is easy to use and works seamlessly.
You can also duplicate a story. So, if you send out weekly emails with some of the same content (like business addresses, etc.) you can make a copy and edit the duplicate with new information, preserving the original template design.
Any edits you make will also be saved as long as you hit the Share icon again so the changes are uploaded.The Bad
I didn’t find anything wrong with this app. It worked perfectly and was easy to use. I was never confused or stuck trying to figure out how to add or remove anything.Value
Adobe Slate is free to download and use. If you are a Creative Cloud subscriber, you can access that content from within the app. There are no in-app purchases. Everything available is provided to all Adobe ID account holders, whether you pay for a subscription or not.Conclusion
This is a great program for people who send weekly letters or updates to friends, family, or customers. I highly recommend it for anyone wishing to reach out to others with an attractive format, but don’t have the time (or skills) to build it themselves. Download it in the App Store today.Related Apps
Adobe Voice is very similar, but acts more as a slideshow or mini movie, using your voice to tell the story.
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Are you a standing desk owner who wants to do more standing when working away from home or the office? Maybe you don’t own a standing desk but are looking for an affordable standing desk that can be used at home and away from home. No matter your needs, StandStand is a viable option that will deliver on style and functionality.
Whether you’re looking for a standing desk for your tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, StandStand has you covered. In this review, though, we’re going to look at the most portable option available: the original StandStand.
Note: the company’s name is StandStand, and the model name of the portable standing desk in this review is also StandStand.What Is StandStand?
StandStand is a very clever portable and lightweight standing desk that was “designed from the ground up with the user in mind.” When not in use StandStand looks like random pieces of wood, but once put together, it’s a strong, stable, and elegant surface for using a laptop, tablet, or anything else you’d like – at a comfortable standing level.
Not only is StandStand convenient, but it’s also ergonomic and sustainable. It’s made in the USA with sustainable birch and bamboo. Just as people come in different heights, so does StandStand. There are four different sizes to accommodate four height ranges:
The 9″ model is for those who are 5’5″ and under.
The 12″ model is for those who are 5’5″ to 5’11”.
The 14″ model is for those who are 5’11” to 6’2″.
The 16″ model is for those who are 6’2″ and over.
If you want to see StandStand in use, the below video will show you how cool you’ll look in public with your handy portable standing desk!What’s in the Box
StandStand comes in three pieces that are neatly held together by the four pegs (two on each side) on the center piece. There is also a green velcro piece wrapped around all three handles to ensure that it doesn’t come apart while in transit.
You also get four extra “bumpons” (aka rubber feet) in case you lose one. They’re pretty small and come taped to the one-page instructional manual inside the box.Putting It Together
StandStand is super-easy to put together and should take you no more than a minute. If it takes longer, then you’re overthinking it. In two steps it literally fits together like a puzzle. An illustration is also provided inside the box in case you are having a bit of trouble with it. (It’s OK, no judgment here.)Step 1
The two smaller pieces interlock to make the base of the portable standing desk. You’ll need to unstack them, turn them on their side, and hold them so that the slots are facing away from you.
You’ll notice that one of the pieces has a thinner edge (where the slots are) compared to the other. This thinner side goes into and then slides down (or up depending on how you’re holding them) to connect with the piece with the thicker edge.
If this all seems confusing to you, StandStand has a short video showing you how it’s done.Step 2
All that’s left is to sit the larger surface piece on top. As you can see in the picture above, there are two rectangular parts sticking up on top of the base. Likewise, the surface piece has two rectangular slots that fit snuggly with them.
On the bottom of the base, you’ll also notice that there are four bumpons/rubber feet to keep the portable standing desk from sliding around on any surface. They really do make a world of a difference.Personal Experience
I found that StandStand is just as great for at-home use as it is for away-from-home use. You can easily use this on a dining room table or even a desk (depending on the height). It’s not that great with counters, though, since those are going to make it too high for comfort.
I am only 5’2″ so I received the 9″ model, and I must say, it’s the perfect height for me. I had no issue using StandStand on three different surface levels.
I don’t have a working laptop, but I do have a tablet that I use regularly. The case I use has a built-in stand, and it works great on StandStand. However, if I wanted to connect a Bluetooth keyboard to it, there’s no room for that with my current case. This is the only downside I see; I’d have to switch out my case and use a smaller stand in order to use a keyboard with it.Wrapping Things Up
StandStand doesn’t just come in this minimalist bamboo model either. If you want to be able to use a mouse with your laptop, there’s the “Mouse” and “Mouse de luxe” models. There’s even a “Grand” model that you can use on a desktop; there’s enough room for a monitor and full keyboard.
As someone who works primarily on my computer, I try to stand as much as I can so I’m not just sitting all day long. StandStand makes it even easier to do that since I can move around the house with my tablet. Better yet, I can do so when I’m traveling or want to work away from home.
If you want to do more standing in your life no matter where you are, StandStand is the perfect portable standing desk for the job.
Charnita has been a Freelance Writer & Professional Blogger since 2008. As an early adopter she loves trying out new apps and services. As a Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS user, she has a great love for bleeding edge technology. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
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If you are playing around with vector images and need to recolour something but don’t have any dedicated vector editing software. This article will show you how to quickly and easily use Adobe Firefly to change the colour scheme of vector images using AI. The process is super easy and has some pretty interesting methods and options for changing vector colours.
Vector images are digital graphics that are created using mathematical equations to define geometric shapes such as lines, curves, and points. Unlike traditional raster images, which are made up of pixels, vector images can be scaled up or down infinitely without losing resolution or quality which is why they are such popular image formats for logos and other content that needs clean sharp lines and edges. They also work flawlessly with printers and print mediums.
The only problem with Vector files is that they require speciality software to create and edit. While there are plenty of tools around they can be expensive and have a rather steep learning curve to master the basics. This is where Adobe Firefly aims to simplify things. Using Adobe Firefly – Recolour Vectors, you can quickly and easily change the colours and colour theme of vector image files.
How do you Recolour Vector Images with Adobe Firefly? Adobe Firefly Vector Recolour.
This will take you to the main page where you can upload your SVG file. Sadly this is the only file format that works with Adobe Firefly Recolour but there is a good reason for that which we explained earlier. Recolouring different file formats would have far less desirable and quality results. It’s just the nature of the beast.
Now that you have uploaded your file you’ll be able to start recolouring. So enter the colour scheme you want to achieve for your image. Sometimes really descriptive requests work well, while others keeping things simple works better. You’ll need to experiment a little.
On the next page, you’ll be given quite a few more colour options that you can play with and some extra options under the Harmony heading. The options under the Harmoney heading change the way colours are replaced giving slightly different effects. You’ll need to experiment with these because they do vastly different things and don’t seem to have a specific general rule. At least with the example SVG vector file I’m using.
When you find an image that you like the colour scheme of, hover your mouse over the image to reveal some extra colour options. This will show you a shuffle icon and a list of colours which will update the image using those colours in different ways. This option has a surprising amount of variability so it’s worth experimenting with a little.
In the world of graphic design, Adobe Illustrator has long held the reins, a titan standing unchallenged amidst a sea of digital artistry tools. But we all know that dominance doesn’t equate to universal compatibility. Every designer, freelancer, or agency has unique needs, budgets, and workflow preferences that make one-size-fits-all solutions less than ideal.
We’ve all had those moments — cursing at the screen as we wrestle with a clunky interface, or biting our nails as we watch the monthly subscription fee chomp into our earnings. It’s these moments that lead us to ask: are there worthy alternatives to Adobe Illustrator? Could there be tools that offer similar capabilities at a fraction of the cost, or even free?
The answer, as you might have guessed, is a resounding ‘yes’. It’s an exciting time for graphic design software, with a surge of new players offering rich, intuitive interfaces and capabilities that meet or even exceed those of Adobe Illustrator. Whether you’re an aspiring design neophyte seeking a more user-friendly platform or a battle-hardened design veteran looking for a breath of fresh software air, we’ve got your needs covered.
This article aims to dive into the treasure trove of Adobe Illustrator alternatives, dissecting their features, strengths, and quirks. It’s an exploration that will not only take into account the fiscal aspect but also functionality, usability, and the freedom to create without hindrance.
In the end, the goal is not to dethrone Adobe Illustrator – it is a formidable tool in its own right. Instead, we seek to expand the horizons, offering you a pallet of options to better suit your personal or professional graphic design journey. Buckle up as we journey through the landscape of Adobe Illustrator alternatives.Inkscape
If you’re looking for a robust vector graphics editor but don’t want to break the bank, Inkscape is an excellent alternative to Adobe Illustrator. It’s an open-source software that provides professional-grade tools for creating stunning illustrations, logos, icons, diagrams, and other vector graphics. With its intuitive interface and extensive feature set, Inkscape has gained popularity among designers, artists, and hobbyists.Key Features of Inkscape
1. Versatile Drawing Tools: Inkscape offers a wide range of drawing tools that allow you to create shapes, lines, curves, and freehand drawings with precision. You can easily manipulate these objects using various editing options like scaling, rotating, skewing, and more.
2. Advanced Path Editing: Inkscape excels at path editing with features like node editing and path simplification. These tools give you complete control over the shape and appearance of your vectors by allowing you to adjust anchor points and curves.
3. Text Tools: Whether you need to add headings, paragraphs, or stylized text in your artwork, Inkscape has got you covered. It provides a rich set of text editing features including kerning adjustments, text-flow around objects or along a path, text-on-path effects for curved text layouts.
4. Broad File Format Support: Inkscape supports various file formats like SVG (its native format), PDFs (with some limitations), EPS (Encapsulated PostScript), AI (Adobe Illustrator files), as well as import/export capabilities for popular image formats like PNG and JPEG.
5. Extensive Plugin Support: One of the standout features of Inkscape is its strong plugin ecosystem. There are numerous plugins available that extend the functionality of the software in various ways such as providing additional filters or effects.How Inkscape Compares to Adobe Illustrator
What sets Inkscape apart is its accessibility and cost-effectiveness. Being an open-source software, it is freely available to download and use without any subscription fees. This makes it an attractive choice for freelancers, small businesses, and hobbyists who want professional-level design capabilities without the high price tag.
Moreover, Inkscape’s active community ensures continual development and improvement of the software. New features are regularly added through updates and user-contributed plugins further enhance its functionality.
Pricing: As mentioned earlier, Inkscape is completely free to download and use. There are no hidden costs or subscription fees involved. It’s available on multiple platforms including Windows, macOS, and Linux.CorelDRAW
If you’re in the market for a robust and feature-rich design tool, CorelDRAW should definitely be on your radar. This graphic design software offers a comprehensive set of tools and features that rival those found in Adobe Illustrator. With an easy-to-use interface and impressive functionality, CorelDRAW is a top contender for designers of all skill levels.Key Features of CorelDRAW
Complete Design Solution: CorelDRAW provides a complete design solution with features like vector illustration, page layout, photo editing, typography, and more. Whether you’re designing logos, brochures, or web graphics, CorelDRAW has all the tools you need.
Intuitive Interface: The software boasts an intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate and find the tools you need quickly. With customizable workspaces and keyboard shortcuts, you can streamline your design workflow to be more efficient.
Built-in Collaboration Tools: Collaboration is made easy with CorelDRAW’s built-in collaboration tools. You can easily share your designs with team members or clients for feedback and review. This collaborative workflow ensures seamless communication throughout the design process.
Wide File Compatibility: CorelDRAW supports a wide range of file formats, including AI files from Adobe Illustrator. This means that you can easily import Illustrator files into CorelDRAW without any loss of quality or compatibility issues.How Does CorelDRAW Compare to Adobe Illustrator?
While both Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW are powerful graphic design tools, there are a few aspects that set them apart.
Firstly, pricing plays a significant role in comparing these tools. Adobe Illustrator is available only through a subscription-based model, while CorelDRAW offers a perpetual license option. This can be more cost-effective for designers who prefer to own software rather than paying a monthly fee.
Lastly, CorelDRAW’s wide file compatibility, including support for AI files from Adobe Illustrator, ensures that designers can seamlessly transition between the two software without any compatibility issues.
Pricing: CorelDRAW offers flexible pricing options to cater to different needs. The standard version of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is priced at $499 with a perpetual license. For those who prefer subscription-based pricing, Corel also offers an annual subscription plan at $198 per year.Affinity Designer
When it comes to professional graphic design software, Adobe Illustrator has long been the go-to choice. However, if you’re looking for a powerful alternative that doesn’t require a subscription and offers an impressive range of features, look no further than Affinity Designer.Key Features of Affinity Designer
Pixel-perfect control: While Illustrator excels in vector graphics, Affinity Designer goes one step further by offering seamless integration with pixel-based workflows. You can easily switch between vector and raster editing modes, allowing you to work with both types of graphics within the same project.
Advanced typography tools: Typography is a crucial aspect of design, and Affinity Designer offers a comprehensive set of tools for working with type. From precise kerning adjustments to custom ligatures and text styles, you have full control over every aspect of your typography.
Non-destructive editing: One standout feature of Affinity Designer is its non-destructive editing capabilities. You can make changes to your artwork without permanently altering the original elements, giving you the freedom to experiment and iterate without fear of losing your progress.
Seamless compatibility: Affinity Designer supports import/export for all major file formats commonly used in the design industry. Whether you’re collaborating with colleagues or sharing files with clients, you can rely on this software to ensure smooth compatibility across different platforms.How Does Affinity Designer Compare to Adobe Illustrator?
First and foremost, Affinity Designer’s one-time purchase model presents a significant cost-saving opportunity compared to Illustrator’s subscription-based pricing. This makes it a more accessible choice for freelancers, small businesses, and those on a tight budget.
Additionally, Affinity Designer’s user interface is intuitive and streamlined, making it easier for newcomers to get up to speed quickly. The software’s extensive range of features also ensures that designers can accomplish their tasks without having to rely on additional tools or plugins.
Affinity Designer also boasts excellent performance, providing smooth and responsive performance even when working on complex projects with multiple layers and effects. This efficiency can greatly enhance productivity, especially for designers who frequently work under tight deadlines.
Pricing: Affinity Designer offers a one-time purchase model with no subscription fees. The software is available for $49.99 USD, with occasional discounts during promotional periods. Compared to Adobe Illustrator’s monthly subscription fee of $20.99 USD per month, Affinity Designer provides exceptional value for money.Sketch
Sketch is a popular vector design tool specifically built for macOS. It has gained a significant following in the design community due to its simplicity, powerful features, and focus on user experience. Whether you are a professional designer or just starting out, Sketch offers a wide range of tools and capabilities to bring your creative ideas to life.
Here are five key features that make Sketch an excellent alternative to Adobe Illustrator:
Intuitive User Interface: Sketch’s user interface is designed with simplicity in mind. The toolbar and palettes are well-organized, making it easy for users to find the tools they need without any clutter. The interface is clean and modern, allowing for a smooth and efficient workflow.
Vector Editing Tools: Sketch provides robust vector editing capabilities, allowing designers to create and manipulate complex shapes with ease. The Pen tool, Boolean operations, and smart guides enable precise control over every element of your design. You can also apply gradients, shadows, and other effects to enhance your artwork.
Symbols and Libraries: Sketch introduces the concept of symbols and libraries, which allows designers to create reusable components across multiple projects. With symbols, you can create dynamic elements such as buttons or navigation bars that update automatically when changes are made. Libraries enable collaboration by sharing assets across teams.
Responsive Design: Sketch makes it effortless to design responsive interfaces for different device sizes. With its powerful layout features like constraints, resizing options, and artboards that adapt to various screen resolutions, you can create designs that look great on any device – be it mobile phones or desktop screens.
Plugins Ecosystem: One of the standout features of Sketch is its extensive plugins ecosystem. From prototyping tools like InVision Craft or Marvel to automation plugins like Zeplin or Abstract for collaboration, Sketch’s plugin marketplace offers a wide range of plugins to extend its functionality. This allows designers to customize their workflow and integrate Sketch seamlessly into their existing design processes.
Compared to Adobe Illustrator, Sketch offers a more streamlined and focused approach to vector design. While Illustrator is packed with features that cater to a broad range of design needs, Sketch prioritizes user-friendly workflows and essential tools needed for modern digital design. Its dedicated focus on macOS provides a cohesive experience for Mac users, leveraging the native capabilities of the operating system.
Furthermore, Sketch’s responsive design features and symbols/libraries system make it an excellent choice for UI/UX designers working on web and mobile projects. The robust plugins ecosystem adds even more flexibility to Sketch’s capabilities, allowing designers to tailor the tool to their specific needs.
Pricing-wise, Sketch operates on a subscription-based model with two pricing plans: Individual ($99/year) and Team ($129/year per contributor). The Individual plan is suitable for freelancers or solo designers, while the Team plan offers collaboration features for design teams.Xara Designer Pro X
When it comes to professional graphic design software, Adobe Illustrator has long been the go-to tool for designers. However, if you’re looking for a great alternative that offers similar features and capabilities, Xara Designer Pro X is a top contender.Key Features of Xara Designer Pro X
Intuitive Interface: Xara Designer Pro X boasts a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to navigate and use. Whether you’re a seasoned designer or a beginner, you’ll find the tools and functions easily accessible.
Photo Editing Capabilities: In addition to its robust vector design features, Xara Designer Pro X also includes powerful photo editing capabilities. You can enhance your images, apply filters and effects, remove backgrounds, and more.
Responsive Web Design: One of the standout features of Xara Designer Pro X is its ability to create responsive websites. You can design websites that adapt seamlessly to different screen sizes and devices without any coding knowledge.
Integrated Online Content Catalog: With access to an extensive collection of templates, graphics, fonts, stock photos, and more through the integrated online content catalog, you can easily enhance your designs and speed up your workflow.
Xara Designer Pro X offers a comprehensive set of features comparable to Adobe Illustrator. While Illustrator has been an industry-standard for many years, some designers find its subscription-based pricing model expensive or prefer not to rely on Adobe’s ecosystem. This is where Xara Designer Pro X shines as a great alternative.Pricing
Xara Designer Pro X is available as a one-time purchase with three pricing options:
$299, Designer Pro X: This version includes all the essential tools for graphic design, web design, and image editing.
$399, Designer Pro X365: The annual subscription offers all the features of Designer Pro X with added benefits such as access to new features and updates throughout the subscription period.
$39/month, Designer Pro+: The monthly subscription provides all the features of Designer Pro X365 along with additional cloud storage and remote editing capabilities.Vectr
If you’re looking for an alternative to Adobe Illustrator that is both powerful and user-friendly, Vectr is worth considering. Whether you’re a professional graphic designer or a beginner just starting out, Vectr offers a range of features that make it a compelling choice in the world of vector graphics.
With Vectr, you can create stunning illustrations, logos, icons, and more with ease. Its intuitive interface and robust set of tools make it accessible to users of all skill levels. Plus, it’s free to use, making it an attractive option for those on a budget.Key Features
Simple and Intuitive: Vectr’s user interface is clean and easy to navigate, making it a breeze to create and edit vector graphics.
Real-time Collaboration: Vectr allows multiple users to work on the same project simultaneously, enabling seamless collaboration among team members.
Cross-Platform Compatibility: Whether you’re on a Mac, Windows, or Linux machine, Vectr works seamlessly across all platforms.
Embeddable Graphics: With Vectr’s embeddable feature, you can easily share your designs on websites or blogs by simply copying and pasting the code.
Assistance for Beginners: For those new to graphic design software, Vectr offers helpful tutorials and documentation to get you up to speed quickly.How Does It Compare?
While Adobe Illustrator is undeniably powerful and widely used in the industry, Vectr provides a viable alternative with its streamlined interface and collaborative features. It offers similar functionality for creating professional-quality vector graphics but without the steep learning curve or high price tag associated with Adobe products.
For instance, if you’re a startup or small business looking for an affordable design tool that still delivers impressive results, Vectr might be the perfect fit. Additionally, if you frequently collaborate with remote team members or clients, Vectr’s real-time collaboration feature makes it much easier to work together seamlessly.
Pricing: One of the standout features of Vectr is its affordability, as it is completely free to use. There are no subscription fees or hidden costs associated with the software. This makes it an excellent option for freelancers, small businesses, and students who are looking for a cost-effective design tool without sacrificing functionality.Krita
If you’re looking for a versatile and powerful alternative to Adobe Illustrator, Krita is definitely worth considering. Unlike Illustrator, which primarily focuses on vector graphics, Krita is designed specifically for digital painting and illustration. With its extensive set of tools and features, Krita provides artists and designers with everything they need to create stunning works of art.Key Features of Krita
Natural Media Brushes: Krita offers an impressive array of brushes that mimic real-life media such as pencils, markers, and oil paints. These brushes provide a natural and organic feel to your digital artwork.
Advanced Layer Management: Just like Illustrator, Krita allows you to work with multiple layers, providing you with complete control over your artwork. You can easily rearrange, group, and blend layers to achieve the desired effects.
Customizable User Interface: Krita’s user interface is highly customizable, allowing you to tailor the workspace according to your preferences. You can arrange toolbars, palettes, and panels in a way that suits your workflow best.
Support for Industry-Standard File Formats: Krita supports popular file formats such as PSD (Adobe Photoshop), SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), and more. This makes it easy to collaborate with others who may be using different software.
Powerful Brush Engine: One of the standout features of Krita is its powerful brush engine. It offers a wide variety of brush settings and allows you to create custom brushes with unique characteristics.How Does Krita Compare to Adobe Illustrator?
For example, if you’re an artist who specializes in creating realistic digital paintings or concept art, Krita’s extensive brush library and customizable brush engine make it an ideal choice. Its focus on digital painting allows for a more intuitive and natural drawing experience compared to Adobe Illustrator.FAQ
When looking for an Adobe Illustrator alternative, you should consider whether the software has essential vector graphics editing tools such as pen tools, bezier curves, and text tools. It should also support layers and offer a wide selection of color and gradient options. Compatibility with different file formats, including AI (Adobe Illustrator’s native format), SVG, and EPS is also important for ease of use and interoperability.
The pricing for Adobe Illustrator alternatives varies. Some are completely free, like Inkscape, while others offer both free and premium versions, like Vectr. There are also paid alternatives such as Affinity Designer and CorelDRAW that provide extensive features comparable to Illustrator. It’s crucial to evaluate your needs and budget before selecting an alternative.
Yes, many Adobe Illustrator alternatives are capable of professional-grade vector graphic editing. Tools like Affinity Designer, CorelDRAW, and Inkscape come with a comprehensive suite of design and editing features that can cater to professionals. However, each software has its unique strengths, workflows, and learning curves, so it’s important to invest time in learning how to get the most out of your chosen alternative.
Some Illustrator alternatives do support AI files, but this varies by software. For example, Inkscape and Affinity Designer can import AI files. When it comes to plugins, it’s less common for Illustrator alternatives to support them. Some may support their own range of plugins or add-ons, but compatibility with Illustrator-specific plugins is not a standard feature across alternatives.
The user-friendliness of Adobe Illustrator alternatives can vary significantly. Some, like Affinity Designer and CorelDRAW, aim to provide a user experience that is as close as possible to Illustrator to minimize the learning curve for users transitioning from Illustrator. Others, like Inkscape, may have a steeper learning curve but offer a highly flexible and powerful toolset. Tools like Vectr prioritize a simpler, more intuitive interface that may be more suitable for beginners.
Thanks to social media, you’re able to share a lot in very little time. One feature that helps you share anything you want is Instagram Stories. It’s a feature that’s been available for some time now, but that some may not have tried until recently.What Are Instagram Stories?
If you know what Snapchat Stories are, then you know what Instagram Stories are. You can make up an Instagram Story of either videos or images that can only be seen once. What you share on your Stories won’t show up on your feed or profile grid.
By opening your story and tapping on the three horizontal dots, you can erase any video or picture. You can also mention someone in your Instagram Story, for example, by tapping on the camera icon in the top-left of your display.
You can also swipe right anywhere on the news section, and after taking a picture or shooting a video, tap on the Aa. Type @, followed by the name of the person you want to mention, and select that user.How to Create Instagram Stories
To the left of where you can view your friends’ Stories, you’ll see your profile picture with a plus sign. Tap on your profile picture, and the Story camera should be open. When the Story Camera opens, choose from the options at the bottom if you want to create a boomerang, superzoom, rewind, hands-free, etc.
If you want, you can also add content from your camera roll to your Instagram Stories. You can do this by swiping up when you’re at the stories camera; you should see the latest content you’ve added to your device.
At the top-right you’ll see an option that will allow you to add various images or videos to your Instagram Story. As you select what you want to add, you can see a small preview of the image selected at the bottom-left. Tap on the next button, and you can either share it with a specific friend, or you can add it to your Instagram Story.
By tapping on the happy face at the bottom-right, you can add some great effects to your face that will make an interesting story video. If you want to type out a message, tap on the A, and type out your message. You can change the style of the text to either neon, typewriter, strong, classic, or modern. The font option will be to the left of the Done option.
To add more color to your stories, tap on the pencil icon after taking a picture, and long-press on the white circle. All you have to do is choose the custom color you want to add.Conclusion
Just a simple guy that can’t enough of Technology in general and is always surrounded by at least one Android and iOS device. I’m a Pizza addict as well.
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When people ask me what’s different about the new Apple Watch Series 4, my immediate answer is simply the design. There’s way more to Apple Watch Series 4 than its appearance, but the way it looks is arguably the one difference that anyone can appreciate.
The design isn’t so different that Series 4 feels like something different than the Apple Watch on your wrist though. It’s absolutely the biggest external change to Apple Watch since the original, but I’ve encountered a number of existing Apple Watch users who can’t immediately pinpoint what’s different.
I think that’s partly because the first three Apple Watches pulled off a great illusion: blending a thick black bezel with deep black elements using the OLED display. If you’re very familiar with the actual confines of the previous screen, the new rounded corner-to-corner display feels like a serious breakthrough.
Update 12/7: This post has been updated with links to the new ECG app and other heart rate features.Series 3 or Series 4?
Apple Watch has quickly iterated with at least one major change and consistent speed improvements since the original. Series 1 addressed performance constraints, Series 2 debuted at the same time and added GPS for more precise outdoor fitness tracking, and Series 3 introduced LTE for always being connected without the iPhone.
In day-to-day usage, Apple Watch Series 4 doesn’t feel fundamentally different than Apple Watch Series 3. It’s hard to pinpoint something major that I can do with Series 4 that I couldn’t do with Series 3. The major difference for me is more about how it makes me feel when I see it. It’s just aesthetically more polished in so many ways.
With that in mind, Apple currently offers two generations of Apple Watch for new customers and upgraders: Series 3 and Series 4. Both versions come in two sizes with options for GPS-only or LTE, but only Series 4 is offered in stainless steel now.
I recommend Series 4 if you’re upgrading Apple Watches. It will feel new in ways that Series 3 won’t. If you’re buying your first Apple Watch and want to save money, you can get almost the same utility from Series 3.
Check out our Series 3 versus Series 4 comparison for more details.Video Beautiful design
I’ve worn Apple Watch every day since the original and upgraded annually to get the most out of it. This paints my perspective in a way that is vastly different than if I was upgrading from the original, but we’ll have experience from that perspective soon too [Update: Apple Watch Series 4: A big leap for the Digital Crown]. I do think there’s value in an annual deep dive on what’s changed year-to-year though and how it affects the experience. For easy access to the timeline so far:
Apple Watch Series 4 includes two notable external changes to the way it looks: 38mm and 42mm sizes are replaced by 40mm and 44mm sizes, and stainless steel now has a gold option.Display
I’ve always worn a 42mm model Apple Watch. For Series 4, I’ve tried both the 40mm and 44mm versions. The smaller version only feels like a minor decrease in screen size while the overall casing feels absolutely miniature. 40mm feels dainty on my wrist just like the 38mm version did, yet it shows almost as much content as the 42mm version. That’s impressive.
Series 4 in the larger 44mm version feels like brand new territory for Apple Watch. The iconic honeycomb app grid is larger than ever which makes it easier to use, there’s just more screen so apps can show more content, and text is more legible without cranking up the font size.
When I wore 40mm, I was impressed that Apple Watch could fit that much screen on that size device. When I started wearing 44mm, it felt like a whole new kind of Apple Watch. I imagine this feeling is the same if you’ve always worn a 38mm version.
Once you use one of the new displays, the old screens feel absolutely dated. It’s similar to the difference between an iPhone X and an iPhone with top and bottom bezels. Apple has a marketing term, Retina, for its high-resolution displays. I think it needs a catchy term for its corner-to-corner screens too.
The change in thickness is less obvious to me, but it’s there. Series 4 is thinner than Series 2 and Series 3, but it’s not as thin as the original Apple Watch yet. It’s slightly less boxy, though, and that makes it feel fresh.
The back of Series 4 is also very attractive. You don’t see it when you’re wearing the watch, but it’s worth admiring. The upgraded heart rate sensor has been redesigned to look less technical and more balanced. The area around the heart rate sensor is ceramic and not aluminum nor steel — this is a clear upgrade on aluminum models especially. Apple says this helps radio waves pass through, but it also just looks great.Gold stainless steel
Apple Watch and gold have a fun history. The original Apple Watch included the Edition collection with actual gold and prices ranging from $10,000 to $17,000. These were retired when Series 1 and Series 2 were introduced.
Apple later introduced gold and rose gold aluminum versions at normal prices (Series 3 combined gold and rose gold with a single finish that sits between the two shades). Stainless steel has always been limited to silver and space black — I’ve switched between both over the years — until now.
Like the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, Apple Watch Series 3 includes a gold stainless steel option. Personally, I’ve never considered myself a “gold” person, but I really like this gold. It’s not yellow, it’s not pink, and it’s not in your face. It’s a really restrained gold.
Apple made a version of their existing Milanese Loop to match the new gold stainless steel finish on Series 4. The original gold Edition watches came with Sport bands and leather straps (and a few celebrities had special gold Link Bracelets), but there wasn’t even an option for a gold Milanese Loop yet.
This watch color and band combination seems to get a lot of attention — and not by being obnoxious. People notice it and frequently use the word “pretty” to describe it. That seems new for the Apple Watch.
People often asked about my Apple Watch during the first year when it was new and different. Now Apple Watch is commonly spotted in populated areas so that’s no longer the case. That didn’t change when I tested the 40mm space gray aluminum Series 4, but it did when I started wearing 44mm gold stainless steel with the new gold Milanese Loop.
I hope Apple eventually makes more bands for the gold stainless steel watch. It currently ships with either a stone Sport band or the gold Milanese Loop, but I’d love to see the traditional leather Classic Buckle revived with gold hardware.
In day-to-day usage, I prefer the black Sport band with the gold stainless steel Series 4. You have to buy the black Sport band separately for now, but I think this should be a standard combination. (Other Sport band colors can work, but they have silver pins that don’t match as well as black or gold pins.)Small touches
Series 4 isn’t just a larger display and new gold finish. There are lots of external design differences.
The two microphone and air vent dots of past models is now a single microphone dot, relocated from the left side to the right. The speaker is now much louder with a larger opening on the left side (this is used for alerts, Siri, and calls, but Music and Podcasts still require Bluetooth audio). And the water eject tone introduced with Series 2 is deeper now with the speaker change.
The side button is used for toggling power, activating the emergency SOS mode, and launching Apple Pay and the app launching dock so the Apple Watch needs it. But it doesn’t have to look so button-y, especially since the Apple Watch set up tutorial tells you it’s there.
One small step back with this change is using the side button as a snooze button with Nightstand Mode and alarms. It still works, but it’s not quite as natural. I’ll take this tradeoff for the visual improvement though.
The Digital Crown replaces the red dot with a more subtle red ring on LTE models; GPS-only models have an even less noticeable black ring. It also features haptic feedback for the first time. This is turned on by default, but you can disable it for the previous experience.
In other areas, haptic feedback seems to be mapped to each tick mark on the Digital Crown, not the content on the watch screen. This disconnection is strange to me. It’s a neat trick, but I much prefer haptic feedback mapped to on-screen elements and used in subtle ways over arbitrarily firing off with each spin regardless of what’s being shown.Watch faces Infograph
Infograph is an information dense watch face that shows up to eight complications around an analog clock.
Four center complications fit within circles larger than complications on other watch faces. The top center complication can even show text within the tick marks of the clock. You can also use a new Favorites complication to show favorited contacts from the Phone app on iPhone — sort of a throwback to the Friends circle mapped to the side button on the original Apple Watch software.
Other new center complications introduced on the Infograph face include air quality index, Earth, moon, solar, solar system, UV index, and wind speed.
The outer four complication spots introduce a new corner complication style that uses a gauge to show information like high, low, and current temperature, timer progress, and more. This complication style is a very clever way of showing more information in a tight space while still being legible.
New corner complication options from Apple include air quality index and UV index, new data points in the Weather app on watchOS 5.
I found that it’s easy to spend a lot of time tinkering with the Infograph face considering how many customization options it has. This is a good problem to have — especially as more apps update to work with the new watch face.
I especially like using the task manager Things on the top center complication so the next task can appear in text around the dial and the circle complication can be a progress ring. I’m using Carrot Weather (with all the snark turned off) to add a humidity gauge to one of the corner complications.
A lot of users just want to launch apps from complications, not see information, so one fix for the variety limitation could be fitting app icons in the center slots. This could apply to the next watch face too.Infograph Modular
Apple Watch Series 4 introduces a new digital watch face called Infograph Modular. This features a digital clock for the time, an optional slot above that for the day and date, four circular complications, and a new large slot that lets apps show almost anything. Three circular complications sit below the large slot, one circular complication above it.
This is my new favorite Apple Watch face. I used to use Activity Digital primarily with the date, current temperature, and Workout complications around the Activity rings and digital clock.
Activity Digital shows seconds, not just hours and minutes, and Infograph Modular can’t do that yet. I wish it could. But I’ve otherwise created a better watch face for tracking my activity progress throughout the day.
I can see the current, high, and low temperature in one slot, my Activity rings in another, and view an updating chart of my activity progress with numbers on the same face that shows the day and date, launches the Workout app, and even shows me my task progress with Things.Full Screen
Infograph and Infograph Modular are the only watch faces that are totally unique to the new Apple Watch, but several watch faces have versions exclusive to Series 4.
Fire and Water, Liquid Metal, and Vapor are all new to watchOS 5 in circular mode, but only Series 4 has the more sophisticated full screen option. This lets the elements move around the corners of the display and the tick marks for each hour of the analog clock.
Kaleidoscope also gains the full screen option, and Color gains full screen and circular modes with watchOS 5.1 (currently in beta). These full screen modes look great on the new corner-to-corner display, but they remove the option to use any complications.
Personally, I’ve been using the water-only version of Fire and Water in full screen mode after completing my Activity rings as a way to reward myself and unwind. These full screen faces are visually pleasing but completely opposite of information dense faces.Legacy faces
It may be inaccurate to describe all other watch faces as legacy, but that’s what most of them feel like on Series 4 — especially the new 44mm size. Some are updated with rounded complications where text used to be vertical, others remove the background label in a subtle way, and some complication slots are unchanged.
The Siri watch face is simply larger which is nice for reading at a glance. Most other watch faces feel like they would have been designed more like Infograph and Infograph Modular if they were created today.
There are a few watch faces that do feel like they were made for the Series 4 that could fit into the full screen category though: Photos and Timelapse.
These faces used to reveal the thick bezel around the boxy watch face on older watches. Now they absolutely shine. I see Photos used as a watch face commonly in the wild so I think a lot of Series 4 users will enjoy it even more now.Invisible features
So much of what I have to say about Apple Watch Series 4 is about how the watch itself looks and how watch faces respond to the new display because other major changes can’t be seen — at least yet.
The accelerometer and gyroscope have been upgraded which likely improves activity tracking, but not in a way that fixes something that was broken. Apple Watch Series 3 is already fantastic at this.Fall detection
The upgrade does power newly added fall detection however. This feature intelligently detects when someone wearing Series 4 falls, presents an option to call emergency services or dismiss the alert, then automatically calls emergency services and notifies your emergency contact if you don’t respond within one minute of a detected fall.
Fall detection is turned off by default if you’re under 65. Apple says that’s because younger people often participate in activity that could be mistaken for a fall, like playing sports, but you can turn it on manually.
I frequently run with my Apple Watch and AirPods and nothing else. I stopped carrying my iPhone on runs when it gained LTE with Series 3. Fall detection and automatically alerting emergency services appeals to even me as a 27-year-old. The thought of stumbling during a run or even being clipped by a car in a hit-and-run is a real concern.
Apple warns that every fall cannot be detected, of course, but it’s a feature that has the potential to save lives.ECG
Apple Watch Series 4 will introduce the ability to take an electrocardiogram with the new ECG app in a future software update, but it’s not a feature that’s available at launch. This feature uses the upgraded heart rate sensor and Digital Crown to work. Here’s what Apple says about the new ECG feature:
Like fall detection, the benefits of having a built-in ECG reader aren’t obvious in everyday use for a lot of users. But I’m certain Apple Watch Series 4 and the new ECG app will provide useful health information to customers who otherwise may go without crucial health data.
Update 12/7: The new ECG app and irregular heart rate detection features are now available in the United States for users 22 and older. The app is very easy to use and makes it possible to share results with your doctor using the Health app on the iPhone.More
I’ll end with a collection of observations from testing Apple Watch Series 4 in no specific order:
Most of the functionality feels the same, but the enhanced Siri waveform that responds to audio input improves the user experience; Dictation still needs to be responsive
Series 4 is faster than Series 3, but the leap from older Apple Watches is much more dramatic
Some on-screen elements are truncated or even hidden behind the bezel on the 40mm version of Apple Watch Series 4 at launch, but not on the 44mm version (see the Heart app, Calendar corner complication on Infograph, and months with five weeks in Calendar app)
Apps that haven’t updated for Apple Watch Series 4 aren’t full screen yet; 44mm runs 42mm apps, and 40mm runs 38mm apps
No built-in sleep tracking, always-on display (even for the time), or camera, but the 44mm display is the first screen that feels suitable for a video call — view a portrait in the Photos app to experience
The packaging change is curious — will we see watches and bands sold in more combinations in the future?
Calendar’s ‘NO EVENTS’ placeholder text has to go — that’s a dealbreaker on Infograph for me (and it truncates as a corner complication on 40mm)
After a full year of being able to make phone calls on the Apple Watch without an iPhone nearby, you still can’t leave the Phone app during a call
I really want the six iPhone XR colors (black, white, red, blue, yellow, and coral) to replace space gray, silver, and gold aluminum finishes — white is technically still silver, but space gray is starting to look dated and matte black would be cool … and all those other colors
Apple Watch has become a lot of things for me.
It quantifies how much activity I need throughout the day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It keeps me connected to friends and family even when I want to break my iPhone addiction and leave it behind. And it’s my workout partner with Siri, Apple Music, and Apple Podcasts streaming on LTE.
These were true of Apple Watch Series 3, and they’re just as true if not more with Apple Watch Series 4 — but the big reward this year is I absolutely love how the Apple Watch looks and feels. And I have no doubt the invisible features will prove their potential in time.
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