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September 22 2011

00:09

Seamless Lite New Features: Custom Shapes & Shape Galleries (How-To)

COLOURlovers spend countless hours creating amazing Patten Templates using Seamless Lite. Today, we are happy to announce some amazing new feature updates to the in-site seamless pattern design process.

 

Along with the new features, Seamless Lite has been given some big love and a smoother, speedier designing experience should be noticeable.

"Save as Shape" Tool

You can now save individual elements using the newly installed “Save as Shape” tool. This will allow you to keep those wonderfully complicated design elements you have been creating for a single Pattern Template. Only NOW, you can re-use those awesome pieces in any number of Pattern Template variation by using, “My Shapes” located in your Shapes Library on Seamless Lite (when you are logged in).

 

 How To Use "Save as Shape"

In Seamless Lite, create a shape from multiple shapes using the preexisting shapes in the Shape Library. Select all layers that make up this custom shape. No need to group these either, when you save the shape as a single element it will automatically group it and give it the name you give your shape upon saving,

Select your shape layers and click, Save as Shape" in the layer tools area. 

Preview your shape element, give it a title, description if you want, tags and then Save Shape.

That simple! At this point, shapes cannot be shared with one another (unless you do that privately - it's your choice).

Shape Galleries: A Place to Show Off  Your Abilities!

A new gallery for all of your custom shapes, will be added to your profile page the moment you create and save your first shape with the "Save as Shape" tool.

 

Gallery element for your Shapes (above)

Gallery view of your shapes allows the same filter-view options as other creations on the site.

Each shape has its own information page just like the other creations on CLCOLOURlover.com. Everyone has the ability to LOVE, FAVE and SHARE this shape made by you! Additionally, you have the ability to download the .SVG file, located under the, made "with Seamless Lite" link and DELETE or EDIT the shape profile under the OPTIONS drop-down.

Shapes will also stream on to the homepage of COLOURlovers.com as they are being created. So let's see what you got?!

September 20 2011

21:38
Sponsored post
soup-sponsored
20:53
Reposted byLegendaryy Legendaryy

September 11 2011

15:03

Nettuts+ Builder: Free to Premium Members

As we prepare Version 2 of our Nettuts+ Builder app, I’ve decided to make the initial release available free to all of our loyal Premium members.

Nettuts+ Builder
Free to Premium members, or $5 on CodeCanyon.

Nettuts+ Builder turns the process of compressing scripts and stylesheets, and uploading a project to your server into as simple a process as possible.


How’s It Work?

Click the “Video Preview” button here to get a better understanding of how the App works.

Let’s say that you finished a coding project or demo. Simply drag the folder onto the Builder menu icon, and it will:

  • Create a new “Publish” directory
  • Compress all JavaScript files
  • Compress all Stylesheets
  • Optionally upload them, via FTP, to a designated folder on your server.

If you’ve found yourself manually compressing your files and uploading them to your server, this automates the entire process!


What’s Coming Next?

This app is being actively developed. Coming soon:

  • HTML compression.
  • Automatic concatenation of all scripts and stylesheets.
  • Automatic updating of HTML files with references to the newly concatenated assets.
  • Single file uploads
  • After uploading, a link to the url will be added to the clipboard.
  • Glossless image compression


September 09 2011

20:08

Reaching More Lovers of Color: Color Stream iPhone App Acquired

We've known developer/designer Sahil Lavingia for a while now and have continued to be impressed with the apps and services he puts out. One app in particular we've had our eye on is his color app Color Stream, an iPhone app that helps create & save color palettes... Something near and dear to our hearts.

So when the opportunity came along to acquire the app and provide continued color inspiration to the tens of thousands of Color Stream users, we jumped at the chance. And one of the reasons we made our iPhone app free is so all Color Stream users could switch over to our ColorSchemer app without having to re-buy anything. They'll be joining the nearly 100,000 users of the ColorSchemer app and can continue to get the updates for our top color app at no extra cost.

If you're a Color Stream user, now's a great time to join the family and get the free ColorSchemer app to continue to receive updates with the latest and greatest features and integration with the COLOURlovers community.

The Color Stream app was a well-designed and built app that worked great for creating palettes from scratch, or from a photo... but the biggest thing it was missing was an awesome community of creative people to share those palettes with, and now that's changing! We're excited to extend our community to more and more creative people and we look forward to even more inspirations that this growing and diverse mix of new users will create.

Download ColorSchemer for iPhone Now.

Sahil will continue to work on his own creative projects and sadly won't be joining the CL team... He's just the kind of creative talent we look for.

Ever Wonder How a Palette Was Made?

On every palette page in the "About" section there is a little link to the tool used to create the palette, so if you were curious if a palette was made on our site or was beamed up from a mobile phone somewhere in the world... Now you know where to look.

To our Android & WinMo members... I'm sorry our happy announcement brings you more sadness that we don't yet have an app for you to love colors on the go. Fret not, we continue to work on this and will get you something... If you're a killer android dev or know one, you can help us speed up this process by sending us an email. :)

August 30 2011

21:12

August 23 2011

19:57

July 21 2011

17:46

Seamless Studio for Mac/PC ~ Pattern Power!

What we love more than anything is helping people share their ideas & inspirations. A couple years ago we added the ability for members to color in 100 preset pattern templates and we saw your creativity flourish, but we also saw an even greater opportunity... To give you all the power to design your own pattern templates!

And without being able to save your work, import your own custom shapes, work only in grayscale... and with only our simple web version of Seamless, in the past 12 months our awesome members created more than 80,000 original seamless patterns.

So it's with great excitement for the amazing creations that will be shared that we release the more powerful desktop version of Seamless Studio!


 

Special COLOURlovers Member Price

And as a special thank you to all our supportive members here at COLOURlovers, we're giving you a $20 discount on the regular price of $49, just for being a member. Thanks for Sharing the Love!


 

A Showcase of Amazing Seamless Patterns

It truly is magical what you all are able to create using simple shapes and only 5 colors... Check out the Showcase to see some examples of the wonderful patterns being created with Seamless Studio. Or check it out for yourself, Download a FREE 15 Day Trial of Seamless Studio...


 

Beautiful, Easy to Use & Affordable

Existing pattern design tools & software were expensive, hard to use & not much fun to play with. So as part of our mission to make design super easy and accessible to everyone, we made a beautiful, user friendly & affordable vector pattern design app. These are just some of the features we packed into Seamless Studio:

Import Custom Shapes
Open SVGs from other editors to use in your patterns.

Export to Other Formats
Save your pattern as a SVG, PNG, or JPG image.

Layers / Groups
Organize and rearrange shapes simply.

Save / Open
Create projects and come back to them later.

Easy Upload
Upload your patterns straight to COLOURlovers.com.

Line Tool
Create wavy, sawtooth, straight, dashed, and dotted lines.

Infinitely Scalable
Export SVGs that scale beautifully to any resolution.

& More...
 

Start Sharing Your Patterns with the World!

Not only can you publish your patterns right to COLOURlovers.com from the app, you can also export your patterns as high res files to use in your own creative projects. Upload them to Spoonflower to get custom fabric! Print them out and sell them as part of a craft pack on Etsy! Turn a pattern into beautiful wall art with Imagekind! ...Woohoo!

July 20 2011

04:43

A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

Advertisement in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools
 in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools  in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools  in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

It is hard to argue against the value of Twitter these days, especially for businesses and professionals looking to network and stay ahead of the curve. Like the throngs of designers and developers that have flooded this social media outlet’s streams and sapped its API since its inception. And with so many amazing tools available to expand on, and enhance the overall user’s experience, Twitter is becoming even more useful and handy than ever before.

Today we have gathered several valuable resources that can help our readers take their Twitter experience to the next level. To get more out of this powerful business tool than some new followers and potential clientele connections. Hopefully you will find some new apps to dive into through the post, and perhaps even revisit some you had lost touch with. Enjoy!

The Tools

Twitterfeed allows you to automatically send your blog posts to Twitter whenever your RSS feed is updated.

Twitterfeed in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

Twileshare allows you to upload and share PNG, GIF, JPG, DOC or PDF files on Twitter.

Twilshare in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

ManageFlitter is a Twitter account manager that allows you to manage who you follow, see who isn’t following you back, find inactive accounts you follow, and easily search inside your Twitter stream.

Manageflitter in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

Twellow is the yellow pages of Twitter. Find people to follow with similar interests and add your own info to gain new followers.

Twellow in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

Twitturly tracks and ranks the urls people are tweeting. According to the site “Whether people link directly to the final URL, use TinyURL, Snipurl (snurl), or any other URL shortening service, we always count the “votes” correctly because our spiders actually visit every single site before it gets displayed here.”

Twitturly in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

Tweet Reach tells you how far a tweet has traveled. You search for a url, Twitter name, phrase or hashtag and get reports on the reach and exposure data for those tweets.

Tweetreach in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

TweetStats shows you the stats of a twitter account in graph form.

Tweetstat in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

iTweet is an alternative Twitter interface with many enhanced features making it superior to the default Twitter ui.

Itweet in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

Bird Herd makes it easy for groups, teams and brands to update a single Twitter account by sending a direct message to the group twitter account.

Birdherd in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

Twtpoll lets you set up polls to engage with and get feedback from your followers.

Twtpoll in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

TweetyMail lets you manage your twitter account from your mailbox. You can send tweets and direct messages, follow users, get alerts and notifications and more.

Tweetymail in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

Timely schedules your tweets for maximum impact. You simply add your tweets to Timely and they publish them when they will have the highest impact.

Timely in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

CoTweet is a comprehensive Web-based social media engagement, management and reporting solution that helps companies of all sizes engage, track and analyze conversations about their brands across the most popular and influential social communities today, Twitter and Facebook.”

Cotweet in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

Tvider lets you share video, audio and images on Twitter.

Tvider in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

Mentionmapp allows you to enter a Twitter username and get a visual map of the people you interact with and the people and hashtags they mentioned the most in recent tweets.

Mentionmapp in A Roundup of Valuable Twitter Tools

(rb)

July 18 2011

07:00

July 15 2011

13:26

June 23 2011

17:12

New Initiative: Nettuts+ Apps

Advertise here

Have you ever been working on a coding project, and thought to yourself, “There must be an easy way to automate this repetitive task.”? I know I have! That’s why, here at Nettuts+, we’ve begun an initiative to release desktop apps that are tailor-made for web developers.


Nettuts+ Structurer Pro

Structurer allows you to rapidly create directory structures with ease.

  • Always find yourself manually creating the same files and directories? Not anymore.
  • Need to download the latest version of the CodeIgniter framework? Or how about WordPress? With Structurer, it can be done in two seconds!
  • Need to assign custom text to new files – for example, adding a base plugin snippet to a JavaScript file? That’s a cinch in Structurer!

Windows User Instead?

In that case, Nettuts+ author, Jeremy McPeak, created a Windows version!

Blueprinter makes creating file system structures simple less time consuming.


Nettuts+ Builder

Nettuts+ Builder turns the process of compressing scripts and stylesheets, and uploading a project to your server into as simple a process as possible.

Let’s say that you finished a coding project or demo. Simply drag the folder onto the Builder menu icon, and it will:

  • Create a new “Publish” directory
  • Compress all JavaScript files
  • Compress all Stylesheets
  • Optionally upload them, via FTP, to a designated folder on your server.

If you’ve found yourself manually compressing your files and uploading them to your server, this automates the entire process!


But We’re Just Getting Started…

This is only the first step. In addition to some exciting updates to the two apps above, we’ll also working on new apps for the community. I can’t wait to show you them when they’re ready! More importantly, though, I’d like to know what you would like us to build! What would save you time when coding?

I’m currently searching for a Windows app developer to create the counter-part to Nettuts+ Builder (and presumably future apps). If you’re an independent developer, and have some samples, let me know in the comments, and I might hire you!

Tags: News apps mac

June 16 2011

01:27

Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Advertisement in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers
 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers  in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers  in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Smartphones are everywhere, and people all over the world are using them because of the many useful and amazing features they have that people love. People use smartphones for their daily work because smartphones have loads of advantages over a PC or Laptop, portability being a major one. Smartphone based apps also let you access your data no matter where you are.

With a smartphone in your pocket, you can perform every task that you would do with your laptop or computer. For the design community, there are abundant iPhone / iPad / Android resources and apps available on the net. Instead of wasting time in searching for the one you need, take a look at this collection of apps that we have compiled here to let web designers and developers find the most useful apps they can increase their productivity with.

Useful, Free iPhone and iPad Apps

iPhones and iPads are highly consumer-driven devices that come with a number of useful apps to help you in your web development process, and make it fun for you. Imagine you have all your necessary tools packed in one nice and stylish device. Certainly many of the apps for iPhones and iPads are paid apps, but they all are worth paying as they provide much more robust development tools. However, some free apps are also available that are more than enough to get you started using your iPhone and/or iPad as a web development support device.

TaskPad HD
TaskPad HD as the name suggests is a task managing app that allows you to sync tasks across all of your devices on top of managing them through web browser.

Mobiletools8 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

LiveView
LiveView gives you remote screen view best for the designers to create graphics for mobile applications. It is a tool that has proved its usefulness in creating speedy and grubby simulations, demos, and experience models.

Mobiletools4 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

WordPress
This app lets you update your posts, create new ones, moderate comments and all other related tasks that you would do via WordPress for your blog.

Mobiletools13 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Craigsphone
A Craigslist for iPad that lets you find everything related to your web development and design work. Be it customers or jobs, people to outsource to, or anything else.

Mobiletools15 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

FontShuffle
An app that lets you find the right font for your project as it contains hundreds of font families which are sorted by similarity.

Mobiletools19 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

SkyGrid
It is a RSS feed reader that gives you an easy way to browse appropriate design and development information and articles.

Mobiletools20 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Dropbox
DropBox is a magical free service that allows you to carry all your documents, photos, videos and everything else with you no matter where you go. With DropBox installed on your PC, whatever you save on your DropBox will automatically be saved to your computer, iPhone, iPad and even to DropBox website for easy access.

Mobiletools1 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

SugarSync
SugarSync is an alternative for DropBox that also lets you sync and access your files from your other devices and computers.

Mobiletools2 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

2X Client
With 2X Client, you can remotely connect and work on your Windows computer.

Mobiletools3 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Doodle Buddy
A doodling application that lets you draw up any design idea with your fingers. Colors are included in this app.

Mobiletools5 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Evernote
With this app, you can store your notes, ideas, snapshots, recordings, and anything else for trouble-free finding afterward.

Mobiletools6 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Note Hub
Another note taking app with which you can create projects and add notes, to do lists and whatever you like.

Mobiletools7 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Twitter
An official Twitter app to let you tweet and collaborate with your clients over Twitter.

Mobiletools9 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Twitterrific
Another Twitter app for those who want a different interface while staying linked with their clients.

Mobiletools10 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Skype
Take the power of Skype on your smartphone with this app. All the features of Skype come with this handy communication app.

Mobiletools11 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Fring
Fring is a Skype alternative that lets you chat and place calls to others for free if they’re also using Fring.

Mobiletools12 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

PCalc Lite Calculator
A scientific calculator for exact measurements and calculations. It is a free completely functional lite version of the paid complete calculator app.

Mobiletools14 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Square
Now you can accept credit cards on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch with no monthly fees or contract required. You’re ready to take payments just after the few minutes of downloading the app.

Mobiletools16 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Salesforce Mobile
This app gives you instantaneous access to your Salesforce information on your iPhone.

Mobiletools18 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Jot
It is a simple, high-speed whiteboard that allows you draw up your ideas and share them via email or save them as photos.

Mobiletools21 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Adobe Photoshop Express
Do not compare it with Adobe Photoshop but indeed it is a very helpful resource that you can use to crop, flip, add borders and apply different kinds of color presets to improve your photos.

Mobiletools22 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

PaperDesk LITE
It is like a notebook in your hand that can also record audio. It is a simple pad of paper with no needless decorations that enables immediate and responsive note taking.

Mobiletools23 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Font Displayer
It is a developer service that can be used to test fonts in different sizes, layouts and settings.

Mobiletools24 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Uploadingit
Upload up to 20GB of data online be it your photos, documents, audios and videos.

Mobiletools25 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Google Mobile App
This app lets you search the internet for pictures, voice, contacts, maps, images news and shopping.

Mobiletools26 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Cool Hunting
It is a high-quality iPad app with a worldwide scope that lets you explore the spaces between print and web, online and offline.

Mobiletools27 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Palettes
Another color palette creating tool that can significantly increase your productivity by letting you choose and create a color palette anywhere at anytime.

Mobiletools28 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Flipboard
Flip through the news, photos, social media accounts and everything that matters to you. With this tool, you can see your social media accounts in an easy to scan and fun to read manner.

Mobiletools29 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Getty Images
This app is specially designed for creative and media professionals that brings more than 24 million images to their fingertips.

Mobiletools30 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Useful Free Android Apps

Android is the mobile device operating system developed by Android Inc and employs a modified version of Linux Kernel. Android Inc is a firm that was later purchased by Google, and now its main competitor is the Apple iPhone which is already very popular in the market due to the many useful features. But now the Android developers have also developed a lot of useful applications for the Android that hold almost the same features as that of the iPhone.

Touchqode Code Editor
Touchqode Code Editor is an Android App that helps developers and coders view and edit the source codes that are associated with syntax highlighting, auto-complete and other features found on a standard desktop IDE.

Mobiletools31 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

HTMLeditor
A simple and fast editor to help you with coding when you are on the move.

Mobiletools32 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Eval your Javascript Code
With this app, now you can test run Javascript snippets straight from your Android.

Mobiletools33 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

AndFTP
It is an FTP, SFTP, SCP, FTPS client so that you can easily manage numerous servers right from your Android. It offers all the features that you may find in an standard FTP client such as download, upload, resume support, rename, delete, copy, set permissions and create folders.

Mobiletools34 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Android Codepad
Android CodePad is a simple source code viewer that supports syntax highlighting. It supports all C-like, Bash-like, and XML-like languages. It also automatically selects the syntax depending on the file.

Mobiletools35 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

View Web Source
This app allows you to view the source code of any web page, copy and paste the HTML, select the text and search for it. You can also share the clips with your friends.

Mobiletools36 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

PhoneGap Developer
A perfect resource for PhoneGap developers to test their applications. It also includes guides, API references and documents making it a handy tool.

Mobiletools37 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Design Snack Mobile
Design Snack Mobile is a characteristic-rich, interactive and socially-powered motivating web design gallery.

Mobiletools38 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

HTML Test
This free app lets you test your HTML skills. This interactive testing approach is used in energetic real-world atmospheres to check and train professional Web Developers.

Mobiletools39 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Magic Color Picker
A color selection tool useful for designers, artists and programmers that offers 7 different color models and RGB, HSV, HSL and YUV color modes to choose color from.

Mobiletools40 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Devcheats
This free app offers a succinct collection of cheatsheets that includes PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails, jQuery, CSS, SEO, Apache, Regular Expressions, SVN, C++, Drupal, HTML5, Javascript, Mysql, WordPress and much more.

Mobiletools41 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

W3C Cheatsheet
This app gives you quick access to useful information provided by W3C which is the leading international Web standards community.

Mobiletools42 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Firefox 4 Beta Mobile
This is a beta version available only for Android 2.0+ devices that is a feature-rich browser come with developer extensions.

Mobiletools43 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Android Developer Tools and Resources

Free Android Developer Ebook: andbook!
This is a free ebook for new Android developers that contains easy to follow tutorials intended to help you get started with coding.

Mobiletools50 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Free Android Developer Ebook: Professional Android Application Development
This is a hands-on guide that helps you build mobile applications by giving examples. The ebook helps you quickly construct real-world mobile applications for Android phones.

Mobiletools51 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Android Emulator from The Developer’s Guide
A mobile device emulator is included in the Android SDK that imitates all of the hardware and software features of a typical mobile device. It endows you with a range of navigation and control keys.

Mobiletools52 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

SensorSimulator
It is a java standalone application that imitates sensor data and broadcasts them to the Android emulator. This app simulates sensor data from accelerometer, compass, and orientation sensors and the data can afterward be used in an Android application, to turn them live through said sensors.

Mobiletools53 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

App Inventor for Android
This is a new tool from Google for non-developers to let them create their own app in an easy way.

Mobiletools54 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Common Tasks and How to Do Them in Android
Here is the collection of some common tasks that you would perform during Android development. A quick and to the point how to guide to help you on your way.

Mobiletools55 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Fireworks Template for Android
User interface elements are redrawn as vector images in this Fireworks template, and elements are labeled as per Android vocabulary.

Mobiletools57 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Android Wireframe Templates
With this, you can use letter size (8.5 inches by 11 inches) quite effortlessly for paper prototyping and getting a reasonable sense of scale. You can even get them printed on A4 papers.

Mobiletools58 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Android Developer Sense
Android Developer Sense contains completely editable Photoshop files, unique fonts and previews, the whole lot that you may require in order to modify your set in accordance with your preferences.

Mobiletools59 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Icon Design Guidelines
This guideline gives necessary information about how you can create icons for different parts of the application user interface that match with the Android 2.x framework.

Mobiletools60 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Widget Design Guidelines
This guideline provides information about designing widgets in a way that they fit with other elements on the Home screen.

Mobiletools61 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Google Android Developer tool
Google Android Developer tool is the most commonly used Android App.

Mobiletools62 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Android UI Patterns
This is a set of interaction patterns that assist you in designing different Android apps. This guide is a short hand summary of a design solution that can help you a lot.

Mobiletools63 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Android GUI Prototyping Stencil for Visio
This app is useful for those who believe that earlier prototyping is more helpful for them.

Mobiletools64 in Useful & Free Smartphone Apps & Resources for Designer & Developers

Consider our previous posts:

(rb)

Tags: Tools apps mobile

June 09 2011

16:13

The Colors of Mobile Games

When you want your website or business identity's color scheme to be fun, entertaining, or even little outrageous, you need not look any further than those highly addictive mobile games for a little color inspiration. From high flying birds to classic games with new color variations, mobile game's often use color palettes that are bright, funky, primary based and still highly usable. Here are a few games currently on top of the mobile gaming world and their color paletts that add to the fun and keep us all playing over, and over, and over, and...

Tiny Wings

Tiny_Wings

 

Feed Me Oil

Feed_Me_Oil

 

Angry Birds

Angry_Birds_level

 

Cut The Rope

cut_the_rope

 

Pictureka

Pictureka

 

Scrabble

Scrabble_Mobile

 

Doodle Jump

Doodle_Jump

 

geoDefense Swarm

Swarm


May 03 2011

21:00

Google Products You Probably Don’t Know

Google search engine is one of the best product by Google, but there are many other innovative products as well that Google is developing them in  their so-called Google Labs. Many of these products are still in beta stage, but are really useful. Today I’m going to share some of the lesser known products from Google, which can help you. Some of them may even surprise you as you might not even heard about them and yet they’re so useful.

1. Related Links

In WordPress you have used various plugins to show related pages to your post, Related Links from Google does the same thing it generate the list of related pages to the current page & display it to the user. Related Links works using Google search, it uses keyword for your title to search your site for related content & display them on your website. Currently this product is in limited to invited users only & you can ask for invitation by sending mail to relatedlinks@google.com

2. Follow Finder

There are many to tools to find followers on Twitter, but very few tools to find users with similar interest. Follow Finder helps you to find users on Twitter, based on similar interest, mutual followers, users with similar followers & users following similar list to help you identify potential Twitter followers you should follow.

3. Browser Size

Browser Size is a really useful tool for web designer & developer, as it helps them to visualize what part of their websites it getting maximum attention from users. You just need to enter your URL & your website will be segmented using a semi-transparent color layer describing users attention to different segment of your website.

4. Page Speed

As website loading time becomes one of the factors in ranking your websites in Google search engine, you need to know how fast your websites loads. There are many tools for doing that but you surely want to consider what Google thinks. Page Speed is such tool recently made available online by Google where you can check the loading time for your website.

5. Aardvark

Last year Google acquired Aardvark, It’s not just question-answer site for professional, but anyone get help here, the best thing about Aardvark is you get answers to most of the questions in few minutes, I have tried it my self & was surprised to see how fast was my questions got answered. Another great feature about Aardvark is it will deliver you answer to your mail or GTalk.

6. Experimental Search

Google Experimental Search have offers three services +1 Button, Keyboard Shortcut & Accessible view. The only problem with all this features is you can’t use them all at once, that is you use this feature one at time.

+1 Button


+1 Button is a kind of recommending Google search results to your friends, so when anyone in your friend searches Google, your recommendation will appear in search results.

Keyboard Shortcuts


This is really useful feature, I think Google should implement it to the normal search results, as it helps users to navigate between searches using keyboard shortcuts.

Accessible View

Accessible view adds to more feature to Keyboard Shortcuts it does everything the Keyboard Shortcuts does in addition to that it help you to navigate from one page to other using keyboard & magnifies the search results as you browse through them.

7. Google SketchUp

Google SketchUp is 3D modelling software which helps you to create 3D models easily or you can just download available 3D models from Google 3D warehouse & start editing them

8. Image Swirl

Most of you have used Google Image to find some quality images, but when it come to searching similar images using a standard keyword it get difficult. Image Swirl uses your generic query & group down images related to those queries into different search results, as for example if you are searching for “Design” it will groups images in website design, logo design & graphic design, hence making simpler for user to search for related images with a single query.

9. Art Project


This tool is helpful for artist around the world, as it let them explore museums from around the world & view hundred of art work from the comfort of their home. You can view various paintings in detail & explore various museums.

10. Google Scholar

Want to do some good research? Then forget conventional Google search and use Google Scholar, as it will search for scholarly literature from various sources like

academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories & more so you get more prevalent results & find really things that are really useful.

11.Google In Quotes

Google In Quotes uses Google News to find quotes of political figures. You can search for different keywords & see what have been quoted about it by different political figures.

12. YouTube 3D Video Converter

Create your own 3D videos using YouTube 3D Video converter, its easy & simple you just need to two camera to capture the video & upload them it’s that easy. You can also find the detail guide on here

13. Transit

Using Google Transit you can find about various public transit available in your area, with information about schedules, timing to reach the destination & route the transit systems takes.

14. Google APIs

Want to know about various APIs Google offers, here the periodic table of different APIs offered by Google.

15. Google Apps

Work Smarter with Google Apps as it offers easy communication & sharing data. I have been using Google Apps for more than 2 years now & it has been hassle free operation. The free package is boon to small businesses as it offers 50 free custom emails setup, but after 10 May it’s going to change to 10 users only.

If you have been using any of the above listed products, then do share your experiences on working with them in the comment section.

April 13 2011

14:16

60 Useful iPhone Applications

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Owning an iPhone is a dream for most people nowadays. And why not… it’s equipped with smart apps and softwares that leaves mouths wide open in astonishment. To continue this legacy of the iPhone, we’ve searched for even more applications to make your iPhone your best friend, navigator and adviser.

Gilt for iPad
You can shop for fashion and luxury brands at get up to 70% discounts. Its a member only community. You can check items oline and add to your basket. You will also be getting timely sales alerts.

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WordPress
Now you can edit, Manage and moderate your WordPress blog and/or website from your iPhone through this wonderful application. Thus now ou can also move around freely without worrying about your work.

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Simultravel GPS
With Simultravel you can locate hotels around your location while you travel. You also get to see their rate list so that you can compare and choose according to your budget and comfort.

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Adobe Ideas
Its your digital sketch book which lets you capture ideas anywhere you go.

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Hey Where Are You : Location Service (HeyWAY)
(HeyWAY) is a location service with which you can keep track of your family, friends or employees and you will get constant updates on their location and they can also request the details from you.

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Mobile Mouse FREE (Remote/Trackpad)
Now you can transform your iPhone in to a mouse or a remote for your computer with this wonderful app.

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PDF Reader – (File Scanner, File viewer, File Storage)
Now you don’t have to worry about checking your PDF files on iPhone. This app has multi pages PDF support.

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UX Technique
UX Technique is a reference application of methods and techniques for UX practice.

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Text’nDrive
Check your mails, reply the important one with your voice, all this while driving with Text’nDrive app which gives your freedom of handsfree.

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FileApp (Documents & Files reader)
Now quickly copy your documents and files with this user friendly app.

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TeamViewer
Now access your computers anywhere and fix the issues through your iPhone with this amazing app.

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EasyWriter
Now write emails faster and better through EasyWriter. You can also use pinch and zoom features.

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DOCUMENTS 2 FREE (Spreadsheet, Text Edit, Preview, Email, Wi-Fi)
Now increase your productivity with DOCUMENTS 2 FREE. It also has Integrated FTP Server, Google Sync and WiFi HD and works both online and offline.

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iTranslate Plus ~ the universal translator
Now you can translate into 52 Languages and this app also works on speech basis.

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Delivery Status touch, a package tracker
Keep track of your deliverables and packages and get the things ontime when they are actually required. This also helps you further in promising deadlines to your clients.

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Taxi Magic
Booking a taxi could never be easier. You can book taxi nationwide (U.S.& Canada) through this app without even doing a phone call. Both the app as well booking are free that means you just have to pay for the ride.

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CashTrails – Income and Expense Tracker Lite
Tired of making logbooks or excel sheets to know your income and expenditure details. Make a proper income & expense sheet and bring your money under control through CashTails, an Income and Expense Tracker.

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Evernote
You just got an useful video you want to use in your coming project but don’t want to get it mixed with your already soaring to-do list. Well with Evernote you can create text, photo and audio notes and even mark favorites among existing notes for a quick access.

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Messagey
Tired of paying huge bills because you can’t stop yourself to send SMS and MMS to your friends from your iPhone. Don’t worry, with Messagey you can send SMS, MMS for free. So now you can keep your status updated all the time but sending latest updates and pictures to your friends.

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Chase Mobile
With Chase Mobile Mobile Banking App you can make payments, check account balance and transaction history and do wire transfers with your iphone.

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Control4 My Home for iPad
Control your lights, thermostats, audio, video, web cameras, security system, and much more with easy taps and gestures Although you need a Control 4 system running 1.7.4 or above to runn this wonderful application.

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Skype
With Skype on your iPhone,you can make and receive calls, and instant message anyone else on Skype, wherever they are in the world. So your national and international call expenses will cut down and its also very easy to use.

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Yahoo! Finance
The Yahoo! Finance App for the iPhone brings you total coverage including quotes, real time data, comparison and analysis and much more from your favorite financial source. A very significant app for everyone.

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RF
With this Push-to-talk service send your message and your friend can hear you on his or her iPhone. Same ways your friends can also send messages like this.

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Close Call
God forbid but have you thought how will you get your precious iphone if its lost? Fill out your details and save it as a wallpaper beforehand to increase the chances of getting back this gem.

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Amazon Mobile
The Amazon Mobile app allows Amazon iPhone users to quickly search, shop, compare prices, read reviews, and make purchases from the US Amazon store.

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PennyTel Mobile
Access the international PennyTel network from your iPhone. The app automatically detects which call methods are available and shows them as handy buttons. In case of WiFi or 3G connection, you can even talk free with other PennyTel users.

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Yowza!! Mobile Coupons
Yowza instantly goes about finding Yowza deals and coupons in your geographic area. You can choose offers as per your liking. You are relieved of the tension of keeping various discount coupons in your wallet which are difficult to segregate and hold.

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Facebook
Well we really don’t need to explain about Facebook, as its running in our blood. Stay connected with your friends on Facebook, update your status, pics and comments through this app.

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Text Me! – Free SMS & MMS like Messenger
With TEXTme you can send sms and mms without need to log in every time in the application. So just choose a nickname and start chatting with your friends and family. Its available in 9 different languages.

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DRAW 4 FREE
Your creativity will get new place to develop. With this interesting app you can Draw on your screen by simple touch. You get variety of brushes and different shades of colors to choose from.

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Kindle
Are you an avid reader but not finding enough time to catch up with your best pal (books). Now You can read Kindle books on this easy-to-use interface. Amazon Whisper sync automatically syncs your last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across devices.

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TextPics Free
They say one picture says thousand words. TextPics a set of TextPics, Emotes, and Symbols which you can send to your friends as per T&C of your service provider.

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MobileLinked IM
MobileLinked IM is a lightweight multi-services instant messenger which doubles your message speed by letting you to talk to your IM Server directly. It has multiple account and multi-language support.

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Urbanspoon
If you can’t settle on your eating joint Urbanspoon can help you. Just SHAKE your iPhone and it will pick a good restaurant for you to try. So try your luck and explore good places.

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Nimbuzz: Free Calls & Messaging
Nimbuzz is free calls and messaging for the connected generation. Everything you need to communicate for free. Use it to meet, share, and connect with friends. Stay Connected.

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Carticipate
Do you want to save your Environment as well as your money. Save money on gas while helping the environment by CARticipating with friends, family, groups, or co-workers.

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CenceMe
This app is also to boost your social media interaction and increasing your web presence. It automatically discerns human activity in real-time based on the iPhone’s accelerometer sensor and microphone and shares it through the medium you want.

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Pixelpipe – Post & Upload to the Social Web
You can share your life and work with your near and dear ones on different social media sites through this cool app. It has over 75 supported destinations all over the world.

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Twitfire
You can use Twitfire for posting to Twitter. Check out latest tweets or post new one yourself and you can also add pictures and links.

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SmugShot
Add your photos and videos to your SmugMug account as you shoot them. It gives you 14 day free trail option. This app add locations to photos using iPhone’s location detectors.

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GPS Tracker
Its a real-time GPS tracking service where you can share your location with friends and family, and record tracks for later analysis.

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Shakin’ Faces Morph123 Lite
Its a picture morphing software to create a face from belnding of two different faces. So check out how will you look morphed with your favorite celebrity’s features.

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Joost – Videos at your Fingertips
You can get the latest videos downloaded from Joost under different categories like news, entertainment, sports etc. So get the page 3 news and spread it with some free texting app, which we have featured in this post.

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AroundMe
If you want to check the information at your nearby locations like hospitals, banks, Hotels, Gas Stations and much more, AroundMe is one of the best app.

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EasyTask Manager
Easytask Manager is a personal task manager which is easy to use, supports “Getting things Done” method and can be run on Mac or Windows.

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Echofon for Twitter
As the name suggests its a super fast Twitter app for the iPhone. Get, set and go share with the World what you are doing now.

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Pandora Radio
Its free personalized radio stream music on your iPhone.Enjoy all your existing stations and create new ones right from your iPhone

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YouNote Lite
Now you can take note of whatever you like, when you like, wherever you like in YouNote Lite in so many formats and options. So now you will never forget anything important.

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Google Earth
You can check any location of the world with one touch of your finger with this cool application. Get full details of the location and update the status on Twitter or Facebook.

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The Weather Channel
Check out Weather forecasts, weather alerts and more with full screen maps on The Weather Channel. You get interactive radar maps, and Google maps along with seasonal weather. You can also set any location as your favorite one irrespective of your current location.

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Bump
Can sharing with friends be such a fun. Just pick your phone and bump it gently with other bump user and hurray your data is trasmitted.

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Mancala: FS5
This app has multi player support. An interesting game, so pack your bags and starting playing with friends and add your ratings.

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LinkedIn
Now use your iPhone for making and increasing your professional contacts through Linkedin with this useful app.

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IM+
Get connected to GTalk, Yahoo, MSN/Live Messenger, AIM/iChat, ICQ, MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, and Jabber through this app.

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Free Foto Messenger: FFM
Do you want to send your Text and Photos to your clients all around the world without wasting a panny. Try this app.

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White & Yellow Pages
Now search for your potential clients details like landline numbers and websites etc through this useful app.

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Backgrounds HD
In addition of numerous options under various categories to choose as backgrounds, you can create your own.

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Adobe Photoshop Express
Now quickly edit and share photos and new ideas with your friends and clients.

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Color Splash
Now you can choose which area to be focused more by making the other area of a photo black and white.

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Speller – Free Spell Checker
Don’t take the risk of people taking you lightly because of mis-spelled words. Use this app to check spelling before sending any message.

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Opera Mini Web browser
Get better browsing experience with Opera Mini Web browser.

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Use Your Handwriting
You can choose fom different writing styles and make your own stlye statement.

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(ik)

April 12 2011

10:00

In Search For Ultimate Blogging Tools: Writing Simplified Now!

Why should you use desktop blogging editors? Well, have you ever lost a post because of you lost you internet connection? Maybe you accidentally closed the browser you were using and all your work just disappeared? Even with autosave options and occasional prompts before closing windows, occasionally content gets lost. For me the only option to avoid this is to use a desktop blogging editor. Using a desktop editor greatly reduces the chance that you will lose your work. However in this article I will showcase everything – not only desktop blogging software, but also online websites, innovative curation/blogging solutions and simplified apps for distraction free writing.

Google Docs could be a great online alternative and you don’t have to worry about any loss of content because of its regular autosave feature, but if you want any more advanced features since Google Docs is merely a text editor, then you’ll want to consider other options. The major drawback besides a lack of customization is that you don’t have access to your documents if you don’t have an internet connection. If you want to share documents between several users however then Google Docs is great. See this intro video for more information about how to use it:

Before I start my review and share the experiences I’ve had with these editors. Keep in mind that I am a full-time blogger and looking for the most efficient blogging possible. I crop and create images on my own, if I need to do some code editing I do it manually, I enjoy fast writing and WYSIWYG possibilities to create a finished article as quickly as possible. The articles I write are usually quite long and in depth. If your blog is just going to be a place where you share pictures, quick updates about your life and things you find interesting online, your preferences might look much different than mine. However I tried to be as objective as possible and picked out a few blogging editors to feature here which I think are worth taking a look at. Enjoy!

Blogo (Mac)

Price: $25 ( has 21-day trial)

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Easily publish text, images, videos, slideshows and more. With a simple, intuitive interface and support for WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, Typo, Drupal, Joomla, and Expression Engine, Blogo is the best way to maintain your blog and spread the word with Twitter, Ping.fm and other supported services.

I tried to blog through Blogo for a while, there are definitely some pros, but also several cons which made writing not as efficient. It’s easy and fast to set up and get going with, just add your blog address, login, password and you’re set. Recommended customization is image size, just head to the preferences and add max image width and height limit.

Image Editing and uploading – Blogo has a built-in image editor which let’s you crop and resize images so you save yourself the hassle of finding another image editor. If your needs are basic, then this editor will be more than enough.Uploading images is very easy, when you’re finished just click a button to upload images automatically to your server, which is a great time saver in comparison to always doing it manually through your blogs dashboard.

What I liked:

  • Option to enter full screen mode to avoid distractions
  • Easy image, video,audio and quote add an upload
  • Live preview screen to see how post would look like published
  • Handy web browser bookmarklet
  • Intelligent microblogging – you can follow your friends, search on Twitter and share posts with Ping.fm
  • Word and character count
  • If you need to copy and use some text from other sites, there is a good option to Remove Formatting, handy.

What I disliked:

  • Limited advanced customization options
  • For me the screen size for body text was too small, but I had no resizing modification options
  • Blogo assumed I needed my images aligned with text,which would be handy if I would used small images. Since I used pretty big images this auto feature created more problems for me than it was helpful, but maybe that’s just me
  • I didn’t like the default CSS styling Blogo had, but there is no option to change font size, background color and line heights.

Summary

I liked the main window of the Blogo post editor, where all the main features are just a click away. The big downside was the tiny body text field and not being able to customize anything. For the people who want a smart desktop blog editor that does most of the hard work for you, Blogo is a good pick. However if you are picky and really want control over the entire blogging process maybe you need to look for something else.

MarsEdit (Mac)

Price: $39.95 (has 30 day trial)

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MarsEdit is a really powerful and feature rich editor, which works with WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Squarespace, TypePad, Movable Type and dozens more through standard MetaWeblog and AtomPub interfaces. If you use iPhoto, Aperture, Lightroom or Flickr libraries, you’ll love MarsEdit, because you’ll be able to insert images into blog post with the click of a button!

If you use any coding editor, then you’ll also enjoy MarsEdit’s integration with BBEdit, SubEthaEdit, TextMate, TextWrangler, and any editor that supports that ODBEditor suite.

While writing a blog post I enjoyed it’s clean layout, though sometimes I missed having some of the one click features you get with a WYSIWYG editor. To keep things minimal and clean MarsEdit put all the formatting options in a dropdown menu. I think it depends on your taste – if you want a very clean interface and do not mind few extra clicks,you’ll enjoy MarsEdit.

Comparing with Blogo MarsEdit has some more text styling customization options – I could change the default font in Rich and HTML editor views and I was able to change background color in HTML view (strangely I couldn’t change the background in the rich editor view which I prefer using). But you can still use WriteRoom there (WriteRoom’s full screen writing environment gets your computer out of the way so that you can focus on your work. The result is a subtle clearing of the mind that helps you write better.)

I found this video showing how to use MarsEdit and some of its great features, check it out:

What I liked:

  • Bookmarklet which allows you to blog whatever page you’ve surfed to in your browser—it sends the page to MarsEdit, which opens a new post window with the title, link, and any selected text.
  • Clean interface
  • Coding editor integration
  • Integration with iPhoto, Aperture and Flickr
  • Spelling and grammar check

What I disliked:

Really I found just one, but big, drawback for me. MarsEdit features are hidden, making article editing a little bit slower than I would want. For example Rich/HTML view switching can be done with a keyboard shortcut or two clicks Post->Edit Rich Text. While this may sound minor, if you’re not good with remembering or using keyboard shortcuts, the time that it takes you to click every time will slowly add up.

Summary

Well, minimalism lovers will love MarsEdit, because it’s extremely clean and still very powerful. If you’re focusing on images you’ll enjoy different software integration and if you’re an information junkie then the bookmarklet will be very handy for you.

However if you want to make your writing process as efficient as possible you’ll need to remember all the shortcuts MarsEdit has and spend some serious time learning how to use it in a more advanced way.

Ecto (Mac)

Price: $19.95

With ecto you can write and manage entries for your weblog(s). You can compose entries offline and use the extra features ecto offers, such as spellcheck, creating links, attachments, and much more. Ecto is a native Mac OS X application, and offers you a more powerful and easier to use editing interface than your blog’s built in control panel.

illumineX __ ecto screenshots - a powerful blog editor for your Mac.jpg

Ecto has been the most customizable of all, though it hasn’t got some of the newest, fancy features the other blog editors might have. Most of the features that Ecto doesn’t have aren’t missed, at least by me. I am looking for an editor which does it’s best to aid just the writing process and nothing else and that’s why I think Ecto is the best one for the job.

Watch this video I found on Youtube to learn more, the author is showing some of the best features in action.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYEXGe0z4N0

What I liked:

  • Support for multiple blogs, able to easily switch and browse through them.
  • Able to set custom tags for more personalized and native usage to editor
  • Clean interface with all the main features right in front of you
  • Able to set up fully custom CSS, font, background color to editor you use, if you’re a typography geek like I am, you’ll enjoy full control to customize whatever you like both for Rich and HTML view editors.

What I disliked:

  • When I try to insert image in post I always got a popup window with a lot of image customization options. This started to bother me after a while since I don’t need to style the image. I wasn’t able to get rid of it with a “Remember my choice” checkbox somewhere, because there isn’t one.
  • Slightly outdated design. While I don’t care a lot about design if there is great functionality, Blogo and MarsEdit had much better interface design than Ecto did. The design isn’t bad, but I would like to see a better one
  • Seems to me Ecto hasn’t been updated for a while which might mean that support isn’t really available and you won’t be able to expect any future updates. Just a guess though, but I couldn’t find Ecto on AppStore and their support forum is full of spam.

Summary

There isn’t one ultimate blogging editor for everybody, I just hope after these reviews you’ll have a good insight what’s possible with each one, as for me, Ecto turned out to be the most suitable editor for now, it’s powerful, clean and efficient. In the near future I’d like to see other editors improving with greater customization tools and feature. Everybody has their own expectations and needs from a desktop blog editor and I am sure many of you will be satisfied with one of these picks!

Windows Blogging Editors

Blogjet

Price: $39.95 (has free trial)

BlogJet - blog client for Windows.jpg

The most advanced Windows blog editor and manager. Get the convenience and speed of a native application, and the ability to write posts offline.

When I was previously using Windows, Blogjet was my favorite blogging editor because of it’s clean interface and powerful features. It really has  what any advanced blogger would need. However it’s not free.

See Blogjet’s features in this video. The version that is available is an update of the one in the video. See official tutorial videos on CodingRobots Youtube page.

Some of Blogjet coolest features:

  • Auto replace – If you are tired of writing the same thing over and over again, create an Auto Replace rule for it. For example, when you type Scoble, BlogJet can replace it with a link to Robert’s blog.
  • Integration with Feed Readers – BlogJet integrates with FeedDemon, RSS Bandit, NewsGator and others for you to be able to blog about something in just a few clicks.
  • Flickr and YouTube Support – Your photos on Flickr and videos on YouTube will complement your blog – and now it’s easy to insert them in your posts, as BlogJet supports these services natively.
  • Modern Interface – The easy-to-use graphical user interface in BlogJet looks native on Vista and Windows 7. Maybe not a functional feature, but interface matters and in Blogjet you get a beautiful interface.

Windows Live Writer

Price: Free

Windows Live Writer makes it easy for anyone to write articles like a professional blogger. You can create beautiful blog posts, and see what they’ll look like online before you publish them to your blog. Plus, you can publish your posts to any of your favorite blog service providers.
Windows Live Writer 2011.jpg

This is the best alternative if you are looking for a free and quality editor, for me it still felt a little bit too feature rich and clumsy, but it’s still a very good choice and it will be easy to learn if you’re used to Windows Office products. I didn’t enjoy all the default fancy effects this editor has. You need to spend some time customizing things right from the beginning.

ScribeFire (Web Browser Extension)

Price: Free

Can be used both on Mac and PC since it’s a browser extension.

scribefire-blogging-tool.jpg

ScribeFire is an extension for the Mozilla Firefox Web browser, Google Chrome Web browser, Opera Web Browser, and Apple Safari Web browser that allows you to easily post to all of your blogs.

ScribeFire is a full-featured blog editor that integrates with your browser and lets you easily post to all of your blogs.

You can post to WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Windows Live Spaces, Tumblr, Posterous, Xanga, LiveJournal, or any other blog that supports the MetaWeblog or MovableType APIs.
As for me, I didn’t find it too useful just because I only have one WordPress blog and  the ScribeFire environment is pretty similar to WP. I see great use for ScribeFire if you have several different blogs and you need one management system for all of them. This extension makes it easy to switch between these blogs and lets you to do everything in a single environment. For example if you have blogs on WordPress,Blogger and Tumblr it may become challenging to write in all of them and be familiar with each of their interfaces. ScribeFire solves this problem and is a good option if you enjoy a web browser type blogging editor. Ah, and did I mention they added support for Zemanta, a plugin for easily adding related links to an article too?

Check this video showing how to use ScribeFire effectively with Zemanta. For me the problem was that the results it returned weren’t always that relevant to the topic, because I needed good images and very similar articles from my own article base. While Zemanta does a good job, I just still prefer doing it manually so I can be assured of better quality. But hey, I am a huge geek, don’t listen to me.

Innovative writing tools and interesting solutions

While I was searching for different blogging clients I also found a lot of different applications and websites which were dedicated to the writing process. There were also curation/blogging tools that assist you greatly while you write, but let’s start one by one.

Qrait

Qrait.jpg

A realtime curation platform designed to fulfill the needs of content curators and reduce information overload for the rest of us.

Well, Qrait isn’t out yet, but I like where it’s going, especially the content suggestion option. Basically I would use it for my drafting process mainly, letting me easily add videos, related tweets and any other information I would like to collect before I actually started writing. I see it as a management system, with it’s pros and cons. Maybe for you it would be handy just to share some content and be able to create it easily.

Curate.Us

Curate.Us allows you to make both visual clips and formatted quotes from web content that you can post on your blog or web site. Clips are screenshots that provide both back links and trackbacks to the original source. Quotes made with Curate.Us extract relevant passages from any web content, format them, and also provide both back links and trackbacks to the original source. Curate.Us also creates short links that are easy to tweet and email.

Go through it’s self-guided tour of features to learn more about this service:

Self-Guided Tour of Features | Curate.Us.jpg

Features I found interesting:

  • Add “clip this story” button to your web site enabling your readers to easily clip and quote your work.
  • Curate.Us analytics, you can track where your content is going and how much traffic is returned to your site.
  • Curate.Us-enable Your Site – Once you have registered for an account on Curate.Us, you can easily Curate.Us-enable your site. Doing so gives your readers the ability to share your content across the web while giving you the ability to see how and where your content is used.
  • You can clip quotes and screenshots with ease now!

Interesting service definitely!

Repost.Us

This service is created by the same people, who created Repost.Us.

Repost.Us - Instant Monetized Syndication.jpg

Repost.Us is a frictionless instant syndication platform where any publisher’s content can be instantly syndicated to another publisher, blogger, or website with a few clicks and no prior business relationship—24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Repost.Us automates content syndication, opening up monetized content exchange to the entire web. Repost.Us guarantees the integrity and security of the story being syndicated. Repost.Us is also search-engine friendly. Because search engines only see content on the original publisher’s site, syndicated copies are seen by search engines crawlers as a link back to the original.

Repost.Us supports four monetization models, and publishers can mix and match to find the exact formula that’s best for them. Publishers can choose from two ad-supported models, paid fee syndication with tiered pricing, or free syndication to increase reach.

I am not sure if this new approach will go wide, but I think this is a legal way to farm content and it doesn’t violate with Google as well! See how it works page, to learn more.

SimpleNote

SimpleNote is an easy way to keep notes, lists, ideas, and more. I included it because of the importance of taking notes, jotting down ideas wherever you go and being able to sync them. There is a lot of third party software that allows you to use this application on iPhone, iPad &iPod touch, Mac OS X, Windows, Android, Palm OS and much more. Read all available options here.

Simplenote. An easy way to keep notes, lists, ideas, and more..jpg

Few of SimpleNote coolest features:

  • Sharing and publishing – Keep a shared grocery list with your family or housemates. Or publish some notes from your class or meeting.
  • Use a growing variety of extras – Simplenote is an open platform. People are building lots of cool things you can use to extend your experience.
  • Instantly search your notes – Type whatever you’re looking for, and your list updates instantly. You’ll never misplace an important thought again.

OmmWriter ( PC and Mac)

Remember in the previous article where I wrote how to set the mood? Well, OmmWriter does a lot to help in this process, forget about everything and just write, even some audio is included! Look at their video for better insight:

OmmWriter Dana is a humble attempt to recapture what technology has snatched away from us today: our capacity to concentrate.

OmmWriter is a simple text processor that firmly believes in making writing a pleasure once again, vindicating the close relationship between writer and paper. The more intimate the relation, the smoother the flow of inspiration.

If you are a scriptwriter, blogger, journalist, copywriter, poet or just someone who enjoys writing, welcome back to concentrating.

TRY THE NEW VERSION FOR MAC - Ommwriter.jpg

ByWord ($4.99) Mac

If you’re Mac user however my favorite simple writing editor is ByWord with its beautiful default CSS styling, super sleek interface and handy full screen mode. It’s not free however, but for me it was worth the price.

ByWord will be handy if you’re writing a book or a lot of plain text, for bloggers who need to add a lot of links, images and video – you won’t be able to do any of this with ByWord. This software is kind of like what the iPad is to the Amazon Kindle in regards to books – you can read books on the iPad, but you’ll have a much better experience using the Kindle just because you’re not able to do anything…just read.

As for Byword – just write, no fancy options to distract you.
App Store.jpg

One more site to check out if you own a  Mac, iPad or iPhone is HogbaySoftware.

They have several great apps for the writing process and keeping you organized:

  • PlainText – Dropbox text editing for iPad & iPhone
  • TaskPaper – Simple to-do lists for Mac & iPhone.
  • WriteRoom – Distraction free writing for Mac & iPhone.
  • QuickCursor – Your text editor anywhere for Mac.
  • SimpleText – Your text synced online for Mac, iPhone, & Web.

Writer For iPad ($0.99)

Have an iPad and want to enjoy a great writing experience? No problem, check this advanced software for Information Architects.

The key to good writing is not that magical glass of Bordeaux, the right kind of tobacco or that groovy background music. The key is focus. What you need to write well is a setting that allows you to fully concentrate on your text and nothing but your text. Many professional writers use SimpleText or Textedit because these are the only writing programs that are totally distraction free. But text editors are not perfect. That’s what Writer is for.

Conclusion

What about you? Which blogging editor do you prefer to use? Maybe you’re using a blogging editor I didn’t showcase here but you feel it’s better than the ones I included? I am open to any suggestions, though I really went through a lot of editors to save time for you and show the best players on the market!

What do you think about some of the simple blogging editors and some of the more innovative solutions showcased here?

January 17 2011

07:00

January 10 2011

07:00

December 15 2010

20:45

Tools and services I couldn’t live without in 2010

Every Builder needs a hammer or something equivalent to make their everyday work and / or life easier and more enjoyable. In the past year, I’ve signed up for both free and paid tools and services that have made my life easier as an independent Graphic Designer, while also getting rid of a few from last year that weren’t quite doing it for me. I often get the weekly email of preferred apps / services / tools that would help make ‘x’ job easier, so after reading a friends, Whitney Hess, blog post on her Top 10 Tools of 2010, I thought many of you might enjoy the same. I’ve also stacked the in order from ‘I would cry if I woke up without it’ to ‘This is quite handy and use if weekly.’

Dropbox

I’m sure there is no surprise here, but honestly if you are not using Dropbox or haven’t upgraded yet to more storage you are surely missing out. This past year I’ve upgraded to the 100GB plan, which means I’ve moved all of my work files, personal documents, Little Snapper ‘inspiration’ library, iTunes library, and iPhoto library and is now accessible whether I’m on my laptop, iMac, or someone else’s computer. I’ve even found myself uploading a large file that takes a few minutes, leave the house, open the iPhone’s Dropbox app and email a file off to a client – can’t beat that! This is certainly the ‘I’d cry if I no longer had Dropbox in my life’ tool.

Cloudapp

I’ve really come to love Cloupapp over the past year. With a simple keyboard shortcut you can quickly share links of a webpage you are viewing, upload files, or take screenshots of images that generates its own short URL that copies automatically to your clipboard.

I’ve come to create my own uses for it as well. For one, I love the Photoshop Raindrop integration. It allows me to keyboard shortcut the frontmost Photoshop canvas I am working on and uploads an image, which I typically will send over to clients for approval. The reason I love this Raindrop is due to the fact that I can tell when the client has viewed it (has URL click tracking) and it helps the client visualize what the website comp will most closely look like in the browser. Fast and simple – what’s not to love about it? Oh yes, there is also the Cloudette iPhone app that syncs with Cloudapp where you can generate short Cloudapp URLS, view hits and visit your past uploads.

Wufoo

I’ve been using Wufoo for around 3 years now and functions great for my online Project Worksheets. Simple to set up; customizable if need be; saves me plenty of time when clients get initially in contact and helps weed out the serious clients from the non. I am currently using the $14.95 per month “Ad Hoc” plan (since I need more fields)and its been well worth it.

1Password

I’ve just become a 1Password user this year and honestly can say I feel a bit guilty for jumping on the bandwagon so late. This tool not only saves me time, but frustration as well – not to mention great security with the long passwords it generates. For those unfamiliar, it stores all your passwords and allows you to access them with, you guessed it, one password.

What I most love is the keyboard shortcut for when you arrive to a site that requires your login, in my case, I hit Shift + Command + ‘down arrow’ and it automatically fills in the fields and logs me in. The iPhone / iPad app is also mighty handy for those on the go moments.

Little Snapper

I’ve mentioned Little Snapper a few times in past blog posts and it deserves yet another mention. Meant for capturing, archiving and organizing inspiration, I’ve used it t build a database of great UI elements, websites, color palettes, and more with notes of what I like or could use some improving.

Alfred app

For those familiar with Spotlight on the Mac, Alfred app is similar but on steroids – meaning its faster, prettier, smarter, and more useful. If you haven’t caught the trend that I love keyboard shortcuts from the above mentioned tools, yet again you assign a handy keyboard shortcut to bring up the slick Alfred search box, which can then control your iTunes, search files and folders, browse the web or your bookmarks and more.

Simplenote

Simplenote is a great solution to… well Simple note taking. While I mostly use it as an iPhone app, it also has a great web interface that automatically syncs up. I use it for everyday note taking to an ongoing “remember to pack for vacation” list.

Typekit

This year has been wonderful with webfonts and I couldn’t imagine it without Typekit. Paying $49.99 a year for beautiful, high-quality fonts at your finger tips seems like a steal to me. I’ve used it for everything for client sites to my personal sites, including FF Dagny Web for this here blog.

What I particularly love about Typekit is the innovation and improvements that get pushed out almost weekly. The folks there really have their act together and are generally excited about pushing web fonts further and faster.

Instapaper

If you haven’t discovered the joys of Instapaper you are truly missing out. From the website to the iPhone and iPad apps, Instapaper is a must have for me, especially catching all the great links on Twitter and having no time to read them at the given moment. The reading experience is enjoyable, has nice features such as tilt to scroll on the iPhone and iPad and the ability to easily share what you’ve just read.

Reeder for Mac (and iPhone / iPad)

First let me start off by saying that I’ve been using Google Reader for years and every time the next “big desktop RSS reader” comes out, I give it a go for a day or two and then I’m right back to the web interface. However, since Reeder for Mac has been released (in Beta), I’ve been using it solid for about 2 weeks now and have no plans of turning back.

The folks behind Reeder really have a knack for simplicity, design, details (just look at how you can customize the unread count on the app box or display it as a normal badge), and forward-thinking. I also love the support of gestures while reading, browsing to the next article, etc., in addition to features like Readability integration for improved web reading experiences and ‘sharing’ services built in for a number of great sites. Don’t forget the beautiful iPhone and iPad versions of the app as well.

Little ipsum

Well maybe I could live without this one, but Little Ipsum definitely is a handy menubar tool that I’ve used often this past year. I’m all about being in the right place at the right time and Little Ipsum hanging out in my menubar is a good fit.

Worth mentioning:

CopyPaste Character

I keep this bookmarked and accessible from my browser’s toolbar. I often can’t remember all the extra shortcuts so CopyPasteCharacter gets used around once a week at the least. Click and copied and ready to be pasted.

BackTweets

BackTweets allows you to subscribe to incoming Tweets that link to your site, blog or whatever you want. Running this blog and most of my work online it’s nice to see all the good and bad things being said. This way I am able to respond or react accordingly or just monitor what’s being said.

What are some tools, services or websites you couldn’t live without this past year?

October 22 2010

05:10

David-Michel Davies – Apps and The Webbys

David Matthews Davies the Executive Director of The Webby Awards & International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences has devoted his career to championing and celebrating the very best of Internet culture. DMD oversees the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS) which is a network comprised of over 1,000 internet experts who sift through cat photos, political blogs, robot videos, celebrity tweets and more to uncover the most innovative work on the internet. We recently had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about the recent addition of several categories that focus on Apps and bringing them to the awesome Webby Awards stage.
At what point did you realize you were going to have to incorporate apps into The Webbys?
The big change is the last year has been the iPad. Certainly theres other tablets and there are apps for other tablets but, the way the iPhone was the game changer for handheld devices the iPad is a game changer for tablets.
It basically tablets something consumers were interested in for the first time and what does that mean? That means people are sitting on their couches touching the internet and being relaxed, social and sharing and sitting in their home environment and not at their desk which is a really big deal. Not to say they weren’t interacting with their mobile phone but the size of the screen makes it more of a utilitarian action.
It’s a new space and a new that people are interacting with the space and it’s being a big game changer for that industry. That was definitely a big element on how incorporated this in because the game and content was changing so quickly.
A recent wired article talked about the death of the internet and how people are shifting towards using apps instead of the internet as a whole. Do you think in the future things will be shifted more towards apps like Facebook, twitter and Skype?
I think that there’s two different things going on right now. There is the experience that apps are providing which is a really rich user experience and is much more immersive than what you would find in most traditional websites and I think that part is here to stay.  That’s something that consumers respond to and has an a much more emotional feel and I think that’s the direction things are going.
But, I what I would say is I am not as bullish on the delivery method of this experience. Right now we’re looking at downloading all these apps on all these different devices and I think that until HTML5 and some of that stuff catches up and has wide spread appeal with browser functionality and some of that stuff that you’re going to get that apps model that will continue.
I think in the longterm its difficult for closed systems like that to compete with open systems. It does create a lot of work and a lot of overhead for developers with so many different types of apps for so many types of platforms. I think where http can deliver that type of immersive experience that will pick up traction again and having a good shot and being the longterm model.

David-Michel Davies is the Executive Director of The Webby Awards & International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. He has devoted his career to championing and celebrating the very best of Internet culture. DMD oversees the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS) which is a network comprised of over 1,000 internet experts who sift through cat photos, political blogs, robot videos, celebrity tweets and more to uncover the most innovative work on the internet. We recently had the opportunity to pick his brain about the recent addition of several categories that focus on Apps and bringing them to the awesome Webby Awards stage.

DMD

Is incorporating the world of apps into The Webbys an exciting change?

The world of apps is definitely one of the most exciting changes we’ve seen in the way people interact with the internet in all the years we’ve been doing this. It’s pretty exciting and it’s definitely a big change and a really a big change for consumers. It’s really why we re-oriented and re-launched a whole bunch of new categories to honor this stuff because we think  it’s pretty significant.

At what point did you realize you were going to have to incorporate apps into The Webbys?

The big change in the last year has been the iPad. Certainly theres other tablets and there are apps for other tablets but, the way the iPhone was the game changer for handheld devices the iPad is a game changer for tablets.

It basically made tablets something consumers were interested in for the first time and what does that mean? That means people are sitting on their couches touching the internet and being relaxed, being social and sharing while sitting in their home environment and not at their desk which is a really big deal. Not to say they weren’t interacting with their mobile phone but the size of the screen makes it more of a utilitarian action. It’s a new space that people are interacting with and it’s being a big game changer for that industry. That was definitely a big element on how we incorporated this in because the game and content was changing so quickly.

A recent wired article talked about the death of the internet and how people are shifting towards using apps instead of the internet as a whole. Do you think in the future things will be shifted more towards apps like Facebook, twitter and Skype?

I think that there’s two different things going on right now. There is the experience that apps are providing which is a really rich user experience and is much more immersive than what you would find in most traditional websites and I think that part is here to stay.  That’s something that consumers respond to and has a much more emotional feel and I think that’s the direction things are going.

But, what I would say is I am not as bullish on the delivery method of this experience. Right now we’re looking at downloading all these apps on all these different devices and I think that until HTML5 and some of that stuff catches up and has wide spread appeal with browser functionality and some of that stuff that you’re going to get the downloadable apps model that will continue.

I think in the longterm its difficult for closed systems like that to compete with open systems. It does create a lot of work and a lot of overhead for developers with so many different types of apps to develop for so many types of platforms. I think when http can deliver that type of immersive experience that will pick up traction again and will have a good shot at being the longterm model.

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David-Michel Davies – Apps and The Webbys

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