Posts filed under Design

Animoji Performs "Bohemian Rhapsody"

The new iPhone X packs a serious punch when it comes to technology!! And with all great technology comes fun, right? If you can't have fun with tech, then you're doing something wrong (is it ok if I coin that phrase?).

When Apple introduced Animoji (animated emoji) on Stage at WWDC earlier this year, I immediately knew that I had to use this technology to create a music video for Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". That song screams for Anomoji to perform in their place, right?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you "Bohemian Rhapsody", performed by Animoji!

How did I make it? It required a little bit of creativity, Apple's new iPhone X and Final Cut Pro.

Posted on November 9, 2017 and filed under Design, How To, iPhone, Opinion.

iOS 11 is NOW AVAILABLE!

Starting today, iPhone and iPad customers around the world will be able to update their devices to iOS 11, a major update to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system and the biggest software release ever for iPad. iOS 11 brings augmented reality to hundreds of millions of iOS devices and new professional capabilities improve images in Photos and Camera. Siri is more natural and useful and a redesigned App Store makes it easier to discover apps and games.

Posted on September 19, 2017 and filed under Design, iOS, iPad, iPhone.

Markup Attachments Right On Your iPhone or iPad

One of the coolest, most powerful (and sadly the least used) new features in iOS 9 is the Markup tool in Mail. This feature allows you to quickly add signatures, lines, arrows, magnification circles and text boxes to any PDF or image file with the tap of a button. Once the changes are made, another tap allows you to easily send that file via the Mail app.

This is a great tool for signing contracts, marking up documents, annotating images and more. So why aren't more people using it? Quite frankly, because I think that most people don't know that it exists! So that's why I wrote this post. To educate and encourage you to use this tool. So let's dive in!

Posted on June 1, 2016 and filed under Design, How To, iOS, iPad, iPhone.

Change the Way People See You On FaceTime and Skype

FaceTime, GoToMeeting and Skype are great tools that help us to stay in touch with those that we care about... family, friends, colleagues, etc. The fact that we can, with the click of a button, instantly see someone else regardless of their location is a modern miracle!

With that in mind, today's post will focus (no pun intended, sort of) on the camera element of these calls. Most laptops today come with a built-in HD webcam above the display of your laptop. If not, or if you use a desktop as your primary system, there are plenty of options to add an after-market HD webcam (I prefer the Logitech HD Pro C920 camera). Even with the best cameras on the market, there may be a need to make adjustments to that camera that the built-in software can't offer.

Posted on May 31, 2016 and filed under Design, How To, Mac.

Pro-level Image Editing Without Breaking the Bank

There are certain apps that I use al the time. I mean ALL the time. Mail, Calendar, Safari, etc are some of the ones that you would expect, but one that you may not expect (for someone who does what I do) is PhotoShop. It's an incredibly powerful (and versatile) image-editing tool that allows you to do some really amazing things. The problem is, it can be expensive. It can be hard to justify the cost when the average user wouldn't use more than 20% of what it can do.

There are a lot of PhotoShop alternatives available on the market, but there's really only one that I would (highly) recommend for Mac users...

Posted on April 22, 2016 and filed under Design, Opinion, Mac.

Create a Screencast of Your iPhone or iPad

I love teaching people, including showing off new tricks and ways to improve their efficiency on their iPhone. There is a huge amount of power contained within these devices, and quick training sessions can help to unleash that power for the end-user. The problem is that it can be challenging to do this when you are remote. You can only go so far with, "Tell me what you see on your phone now".

In today's tech tip, I am going to show you an easy way to create a video screencast of your iPhone. Creating screencasts is a great way to really convey what it is you are trying to show off. Just like a screen recording of your laptop, a screencast of your iPhone is a video recording of exactly what you see on your iPhone's screen. This is super handy for training opportunities and helpful when showing off your favorite apps. Powerful? Oh yeah!

Posted on April 11, 2016 and filed under Design, How To, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Mac.

How to Create Your Own TrueType Font in Minutes

Having your own personalized font is more than just cool or fun, it can be useful. Many years ago, I had a professional typeface designer create my own font for me, and I called it "Kevin's Hand". I still use it all the time for filling out forms, writing personalized notes and more. While super-useful to have, to cost a pretty penny to create (around $400, if I remember correctly).

What would you say if I told you that you can create your own custom font in a matter of minutes using your iPad, and that it would cost you less than $10? I know, right?! And what if I told you that this font could be used on your iPhone, iPad and even your Mac? It's all true. Read more to find out how.

Posted on April 5, 2016 and filed under Design, How To, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Mac.

Display Apple Watch Faces on Your Mac

If you are fortunate enough to own and use an Apple Watch, you know how beautiful the watch faces are. Whether you prefer a simple, elegant design or something a little more functional, the quality and functionality is near-perfect.

I've been looking high and low for an equally impressive watch face for my Mac in the form of a screensaver, but my searching has been in vein... until now.

Posted on March 31, 2016 and filed under Design, How To, Mac, Opinion, Watch.

Night Shift: What It Is and How It Works

When Apple released iOS 9.3 on March 21, it included a slew of new features. One feature in particular has caught the eye of many people, literally. The feature is called "NIght Shift" and is pretty interesting.

So what is Night Shift and how does it work? Studies have shown that too much "blue light" in the evening is detrimental to our circadian rhythm. In other words, our bodies are designed to consume less blue light as we wind down for bed time, not more. Staring at a bright computer display (laptop, iPhone, iPad... you name it) doesn't allow for that natural process to take place. Instead, the excess blue light tricks out bodies into thinking it's still day time. Hence, the disruption to our circadian rhythm. Night Shift solves that problem (well, as much as it can) and here's how.

Posted on March 25, 2016 and filed under Design, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Opinion.

Save Time and Look Professional with Printed Envelopes

Maybe it’s because I spend a LOT of time on a keyboard, or maybe it’s because I’m lazy, but I don’t enjoy handwriting. Not just longer documents like letters, but even short notes. That also includes envelopes (like USPS envelopes).

Many years ago, I decided to come up with a solution to this problem. Since then, I used it for myself and never really talked about it until the other day, I mentioned this simple idea to a friend, and he was blown away by it. It’s certainly not Earth-shattering, but it’s convenient and can help to add a touch of professionalism (great for small businesses).

Posted on March 8, 2016 and filed under Design, How To, Mac, Opinion.

Customized Print Settings Made Simple and Effective

Printing on plain paper is pretty straight forward. We invoke the “Print” dialog (by going to File > Print… or using the Command+P keyboard shortcut), adjust the quantity and click “Print”. That’s it.

When we print to speciality paper (glossy, cardstock, etc.), it’s usually advantageous for us to adjust those settings slightly to accommodate those paper types. Adjusting for cardstock, for example, will adjust the rollers and print heads slightly to allow for the thicker paper to pass through. Believe it or not, as subtle as these adjustments are, it does make a difference in print quality. Manually adjusting these settings once in a while isn’t too bad, but if you find yourself printing to specialty paper often, this post is for you!

Posted on February 5, 2016 and filed under Design, How To, Mac.

Easily Add Cinema-Quality Titles to Final Cut Pro Projects

Adding a nice title to a video can help introduce the video (not to mention help to make it look professional). The design element will vary, depending on what you’re looking for (simple 2D with no animation versus 3D with animation), but that’s a personal preference and will be dictated (at least in part) by what you want the end-result to be.

In today’s post, I will show you how super-easy it is to add a title to your Final Cur Pro project and even uncover some (seemingly) hidden features that will help to make your titles come alive.

Posted on January 18, 2016 and filed under Design, How To, Mac.

Looking for a Fantastic Notes App? Here You Go!

When it comes to taking and managing notes, there are a million app options out there to choose from. Evernote, OneNote and Notability are three of the most popular options available today. They each have their strengths and weaknesses (like everything), and offer a plethora of bells and whistles.

For those who are looking for something a little simpler, yet just as effective (in my opinion) with a clean and intuitive interface (not to mention free), this tip is for you! Read on.

Posted on January 15, 2016 and filed under Design, How To, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Opinion.

How to Add a Spacer to Your Dock

The OS X Dock is a great way to quickly access the application that you use most frequently. You can drag new icons onto the Dock, drag icons off the Dock, change the size of the icons... even add a nice animated genie effect to accentuate the icon you're looking for as your run your mouse over the application icons.

About the only feature missing, in my opinion, from making the Dock completely customizable, is the ability to add a spacer between icons. Ok, I lied. Not only is it possible, but with the help of one simple Terminal command, it's super-easy to do!

Posted on January 14, 2016 and filed under Design, How To, Mac, Opinion.