What’s new in Adobe Creative Cloud?

What’s new in Adobe Creative Cloud?

From Smart Sharpen in Photoshop for improving image quality, to the much-talked about Touch Type tool (try saying that 20 times fast) in Illustrator, we’ve got a rundown of exactly what’s changed, what’s new and what’s got us a bit hot under the collar.

Photoshop CC – There’s an all-new sharpen tool that builds on the previous sharpening engines to gives you richer textures, crisper edges and maximum clarity, Intelligent Upsampling for enlarging low-res images to billboard size, a new Camera Shake Reduction function for saving shots ruined by camera motion, improved 3D painting with previews that are up to 100x faster, and much more.

Illustrator CC – The Touch Type tool lets you manipulate characters like they are individual objects (with support for multitouch devices), the ability to paint with a brush made from a photo, a font search for easily finding and filtering your font library, the chance to import multiple files into your layout at the same time, and much more.

InDesign CC – There’s faster performance thanks to the 64-bit support, a new user interface to make it consistent with Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC, support for your MacBook Pro’s Retina display for working on complex artwork, access to Creative Cloud’s sharing features and an all-new QR Code Creator so you can get people from your print work to your website in a jiffy.

Dreamweaver CC – A CSS Designer let you use intuitive visual editing tools to generate web-standard code and apply gradients and box shadows, the Fluid Grid Layout allows you to construct web designs and responsive layouts for different platforms, and put the expansive Adobe Edge Fonts Library to the test and use beautifully-style typography.

After Effects CC – The latest version of After Effects allows you to use CINEMA 4D scenes without having to render first, there’s a new Refine Edge tool that eliminates harsh matte lines when separating elements such as frizzy hair, and the already-incredible Warp Stabilizer has been upgraded to allow you to only choose specific objects for stabilization.

Premiere Pro CC – There’s a redesigned timeline and new shortcuts to make the editing process a faster one, a Link & Locate function that allows you to track down lost clips, the Lumetri Deep Color Engine for applying rich, preset colour graces directly within Premiere Pro as easily as you would a fade, and much more.

Muse CC – Muse is now part of Creative Cloud, giving you access to the 20GB of cloud storage and backup. That means sharing and collaborating on designs is easier than ever.

Behance access included – A Creative Cloud subscription now gives you access to “online creative collective” Behance, which allows designers of all stripes to showcase their work and scout for the best talent.

Sharing documents on the go – Creative files can now be stored on and accessed from Macs, PCs, iOS devices and Android devices, with any changes being rolled out across all devices that access the file almost instantly.

Want to know more about subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email Adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.  

For a limited time, you can get access to discounted pricing on Creative Cloud for your first and second year of subscription. For £362 per user per year (a massive saving of over 40%) you can put all of the new features mentioned above to good use!


App of the week: junaio Augmented Reality Browser

App of the week: junaio Augmented Reality Browser

By now we’ve all seen augmented reality in action, and while a good chunk of the iPhone-wielding public have download an AR app only to dismiss it as a gimmick, for businesses it provides a wealth of opportunities for visualising and working in a more dynamic way.

What is junaio?

junaio by metaio is one example of augmented reality being put to good use – primarily a developers’ platform, it allows you to create and then publish your own location-based experiences to several million users (or a select few if you’d prefer…) via the junaio app in the App Store.

How does augmented reality and junaio work?

Augmented reality is the process in which virtual, computer-generated elements (sound, video, graphics or GPS data) are added to real life visuals to modify a view or enhance a view.

The junaio app is an augmented reality viewer that allows you to tap into the channels developed in junaio’s developer community. Within the app, you can:

– recognise imagery and add virtual overlays
– add interactive computer-generated elements to magazines and other publications
– tap into GPS data to find a local store or service
– scan QR codes
– read barcodes
– and more…

As an app user, all you have to do is download it from the App Store, load it up and download content from any of the channels in the built-in library. Take a look at junaio’s video below to see some of these examples in action.

Who’s junaio good for?

While the junaio app already includes thousands of options for viewing everything from the location of tweeters to the nearest place to get a hangover cure, for businesses, it will really benefit anyone who needs realtime visualisation in situ. On a basic level, it’s possible to create a store channel with details of all shop locations for the end user to find their nearest option, but it would also be possible for visual merchandisers to develop apps that scan shops for to identify product placement.

Construction is another area where junaio comes into its own. So much so that Apple have even put together a case study on how engineering and construction giant, Bechtel use junaio alongside Autodesk 360 on their iPad to view mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems over images of a construction site. The built-in GPS in iPad is used along with junaio to plot their location within the site for accurate visualisations. Take a look at the case study and video here.

Our favourite feature

When it comes to augmented reality, there have been a fair few duds released over the years for mobile devices (i.e. they didn’t quite manage to recognise imagery as well as you’d hope, and you’d be left shaking your phone in an attempt to get the virtual elements to catch up), but that’s just not the case with junaio – it’s actually incredibly accurate.

The big benefit here is that it has real business potential, as the Bechtel case study above proves. The accuracy and reliability with which it adds virtual content to real life imagery means that you can develop uses for the app which take a lot of the guess work out of visualisation.

Where can I get it?

The viewing app itself is available from Apple’s App Store and is completely free – click here to head on over there now to download. For businesses wanting to develop bespoke uses for junaio on iPad, head on over to the junaio site here.

For more information about business uses of iPad, get in touch with our team on 03332 409 306 or email business@Jigsaw24.com.

Infographic: Go portable and get productive

Infographic: Go portable and get productive

Seven crucial areas that will help define how you can use mobility to increase employee flexibility and business competitiveness

Many employees now own personal portable devices that are more powerful than the desktop technology that reside on their office desks. Drawing on independent market research from Jigsaw24, and other industry sources, we consider the seven core issues that are crucial when creating a modern mobile strategy.

Infographic: Seven crucial areas that will help define how you can use mobility to increase employee flexibility and business competitiveness

Infographic: Go portable and get productive

 

To find out more about going mobile in business, take a look at our interview with Bauer Media CIO Stuart Page here or get in touch with us on 03332 409 219 or email business@Jigsaw24.com.

App of the week: Pulsar for Salesforce

App of the week: Pulsar for Salesforce

Already using Salesforce? Well, imagine having access to its features on your iPad, while getting the benefit of social, cloud and device services. That’s where Pulsar comes in…

What is Pulsar for iPad?

If you’re already a Salesforce user, you’ll know that it provides businesses with incredibly powerful tools for nurturing and closing deals. And while there are all manner of apps available for extending those capabilities to iPad, few of them do it as successfully as Pulsar by Luminix.

Pulsar provides both online and offline access to Salesforce tools on iPad, meaning you always have access to data, regardless of where you are and whether or not you have a connection (and we all know how difficult getting a connection can be…).

How does Pulsar work?

Pulsar works by hooking into many of the features of Salesforce, while leveraging much of the functionality of the iPad. The user interface has been designed specifically for the device, adding everything from one-touch social functionality to visual pipelines and organisational charts.

Pulsar for Salesforce gives you:

–  Offline access to Salesforce data, so you always have the information you need, regardless of your connection status.

–  The ability to create and edit contacts and notes while offline.

–  Access to LinkedIn, Twitter and search engine results for leads and contacts, and a LinkedIn summary screen.

–  An integrated map that shows you the location of your account’s office.

–  A pipeline view that visualises your deals by stage, and a timeline view that shows exactly what has been done with each account so far.

–  An organisational visualisation to show which contacts are allies, champions and blockers.

–  Integration with device email, calendars and address book – basically, you can see Outlook, Google, Yahoo, Salesforce events and more in one calendar. Amazing!

–  A to-do list that helps organise your day and makes sure you follow up on activities.

–  Offline access to documents that have been saved in Salesforce’s shared libraries.

Who is Pulsar good for?

Salesforce users. If you’re not already signed up to that then Pulsar’s not going to be any use to you. However, if you’re following up and closing leads, and would like to be able to do that on an iPad, this is a great tool because it puts everything you need right at your fingertips.

It’s worth bearing in mind that there is competition out there (including Salesforce’s own Salesforce Touch), but as far as free options go, we’ve not found anything that can compete with Pulsar. Salesforce’s own ForcePad app doesn’t have offline access, for example, while the Dashboard app only displays the Dashboard features of Salesforce.

One favourite feature

The unified calendars! It brings together all of your different calendars and Salesforce events into a single view so that you can easily see exactly what you have on. When Pulsar was first released, it was one of the only free apps available that allowed you to centralise everything in this way. And it was a big draw for some of our own sales team choosing to use it.

How much is Pulsar and where do I get it?

As we’ve already mentioned, Pulsar is completely free, making it an appealing alternative to many of the paid options out there. Check out the Apple App Store to find out more or to download.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Or take a look at last week’s app of the week: Filemaker Go here

The iOS apps you (and we) can’t live without

The iOS apps you (and we) can’t live without

From accountants to architects, here are some of the top apps that we have been recommending to customers.

One of the biggest benefits of Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is versatility. Apps allow you to transform an iOS device into just about anything you can imagine on a touch screen, and the Apple App Store already has a library of more than 520,000 approved apps – many of which are free. You can develop your own bespoke content that’s tailored specifically to your business’s needs but, apart from spirit levels and Angry Birds, what does the App Store have to offer?

For word processing: Pages

Pages (£6.99) from Apple is just one of a number of apps out there available for the iPad and iPhone that deal with word processing. Where this has the edge, though, is in its compatibility with Microsoft Word – it can import and export both iWork and Office for Mac files, as well as PDFs. It’s also far more flexible than its competitors, allowing you to import photos into text with minimal lag.

Download Pages from the App Store here.

For spreadsheets: Numbers

Download Numbers from the App Store here.Numbers (£6.99) from Apple is a spreadsheet tool that includes over 250 different functions. It’s completely compatible with Excel files (you can import and export the .xls file type), but bear in mind it doesn’t include pivot tables, sparklines and Macros – you’ll need to run Microsoft Office via VPN and remote desktop protocol for those.

For presentations: Keynote

Keynote (£6.99) from Apple is hands-down the best for creating and editing presentations, and you can work with both Mac Keynote and PowerPoint files. Bear in mind though, that if you just want an app for presenting that retains PowerPoint formatting, you’re better off going for GoodReader.Download Keynote from the App Store here.
For accessing and sharing files: mobilEcho, Dropbox and activEcho

mobilEcho (Get in touch for pricing) from GroupLogic has been a game changer in that IT can now give iPad users secure and managed access (via AD authentication) to files that are stored on corporate file servers. Basically, it lets iPad users access files in the same way as they would on their laptop.

Download free trial of mobilEcho here.

Dropbox (Free) by Dropbox is free but includes a storage limit, and lets you store any file type in cloud storage so you can access it on another device – you can save a document on an iPad and then carry on working on it on your desktop when you’re back in the office, without having to transfer over the latest version.

Download Dropbox from the App Store.

activEcho (Get in touch for pricing) from GroupLogic is the corporate equivalent of Dropbox, and works in the same way by giving you anytime, anywhere access to files stored in the cloud (either public or private). The one big difference: this improves security and helps you meet compliance requirements. Again, the client app is free but the infrastructure behind that isn’t.

Download activEcho free trial here.

For sketching and editing CAD files: AutoCAD WS

AutoCAD WS (Free) is purely aimed at anyone who works with 2D and 3D DWG, DWF and DXF files. It lets you view, edit and share drawings, and you can even work on designs offline or use the built-in design collaboration tools to review and approve colleagues’ work.

Download AutoCAD WS from the App Store here.

For retail and sales reports: Roambi Analytics Visualizer and Roambi Flow Viewer

Roambi Analytics Visualizer and Roambi Flow Viewer are both business intelligence apps that bring together complex data and engaging design. Roambi Analytics transforms existing business reports into stunning visual displays, while the Flow Viewer lets you turn business information (including Salesforce data) and multimedia content into a report for presenting to clients and colleagues. While both apps are free to download, for more comprehensive reporting in Analytics Visualizer, a subscription is required.

Download Roambi Flow Viewer from the App Store here.

Download Roambi Analytics Visualizer from the App Store here.

For monitoring and communicating leads: ForcePad and Salesforce Chatter

ForcePad (Free) by Salesforce Labs was formerly known as Salesforce for iPad, and gives you access to every Salesforce feature on the move. You can create, edit, clone and delete records in an Salesforce environment, view all your apps and visualforce/web/custom tabs, and post links to Chatter. This is great if you want to check leads or opportunities you’ve been assigned to.

Download ForcePad from the App Store here.

Salesforce Chatter (Free) by salesforce.com is a great way to turn your business into a social enterprise, giving employees the chance to communicate what they are working on and post photos.

Download Chatter from the App Store here.

For document management: GoodReader for iPad

GoodReader for iPad (£2.99) by Good.i.Ware is perfect for viewing lots of file formats, including PDFs and Microsoft Office files. Where this excels is in its flexibility and speed; you can load up PDFs of 100MB or more incredibly fast or even choose to load them without images, then use the annotation tools to look at other people’s comments GoodReader also uses a familiar file storage interface, and can sync with the likes of Dropbox and other remote servers.

Download GoodReader for iPad from the App Store here.

For notetaking: Evernote

Evernote (Free) by Evernote is more than just notetaking, if I’m being honest; you can take notes, capture photos, important PDFs, make voice recordings and more. Then save them all in the cloud in project folders. It’s the search function that really stands out, though, because Evernote will scan your saved images and PDFs as well as text documents for instances of your word or phrase.

Download Evernote from the App Store here.

For more of our must-have apps, keep en eye on our blog for our app of the week! Or to find out about creating and distributing apps within your business, call us on 03332 409 219 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com.

Media Asset Management with axle and Avid

Media Asset Management with axle and Avid

Let’s say you have this storage thing sorted. You’re got an amazing SAN, you’ve got nearline drives rumbling contentedly close by and the robot in your tape library couldn’t be happier. How are you actually going to keep track of all this stuff? Making sure you can find, manage and monetise assets wherever they are in your storage hierarchy is the job of your Media Asset Management system – and a good one will also help you get through ongoing jobs more efficiently. All the systems we can provide will help your creative and technical teams carry out day to day work more efficiently, so you can save money by automating workflows and ensure that you always deliver jobs on time.

axle

Released in 2012, axle allows you to take one of your facility’s Macs and turn it into a ‘media management and collaboration server’. What this means in practical terms is that it looks through any drives connected to the server, whether that’s the hard drive of each Mac or the contents of your server room, and indexes all the files on them. It then creates an online portal where you can browse every file, regardless of where it’s stored, and your users can preview low-res versions of documents, play back proxy videos, edit metadata and more. Even better, you can create different views of this portal, so people only see the files for work that’s relevant to them, and any clients you give a login to can only see files from their project. You can also save searches for quicker access to common groups of files (say, all the images tagged to a specific location, or everything shot with a certain type of lens).

While this may not sound like it’s that far above and beyond anything else out there, the great thing about axle is that it’s accessible from any device, from your iMac to your iPad to a client’s PC, so you can always access resources. And because everything is web-based, your users don’t have to spend time installing apps on their computers. You can export collections of clips straight to your editor, then view H.264 proxies of the result and flag anything you want to alter in those proxies, without having to have access to the editor yourself (this could work wonders on complex approval processes where you have a lot of non-creative parties to get sign off from).

Once you’re finished with a project, you can even arrange for axle to automatically move it to centralised archive storage – or the cloud, if you prefer to store things online – so everyone can access it if you ever need to reuse it, but it’s not taking up valuable space on your SAN. The project stays in the central index of files, so if you’re ever working on something similar the team will be able to see that some assets already exist, and hopefully save themselves some time and money by repurposing that work, rather than duplicating it.

Avid Interplay 

Interplay has been at the heart of large broadcast AVID environments for some time now, and has a reassuringly strong heritage. A enterprise scale system, it comprises all the components you need for news ingest and delivery straight to air, integrated archive and proxy management, and remote logging and editing. It may seem a daunting amount to take on at first, but you can actually start to harness the Interplay environment on a single server, and only scale up as and when your team are ready.

As Interplay has been designed to work seamlessly with your Media Composer workflow, it’s the perfect tool for managing your assets, projects, users and multi-platform delivery options from a single, central point. You can give your editors more time to cut (and spend less time ingesting and creating deliverables) by introducing lightweight Interplay Central clients to your facility – these act as a browser-based rough cut and project creation assist tool. You can then use the same interface to enable remote viewing and approvals by your clients, as well as allowing everyone to see existing assets while on set to ensure they have all the shots they need before wrapping for the day.

The remote capabilities of Interplay have been moved to the fore recently with the addition of Sphere. Using Interplay Sphere, a second server will dish up media to your remote Media Composer editors anywhere in the world as if they were at your main office, so you can provide a truly global, collaborative service that’ll cover long shoots abroad, journalists in the field or anyone who’s catching up on an edit while delayed on the train – all the while safe in the knowledge that your assets are being managed on your secure ISIS back at the facility.

If you want to see the rest of the Interplay iceberg, you can always call us on 03332 409 306, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or drop by stand F33 during BVE.

 

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or visit us at stand F33 at BVE. To keep up with all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Infographic: Is your business ready for consumerisation?

Infographic: Is your business ready for consumerisation?

Seven questions businesses must answer as they prepare for the policy, security and system concerns associated to the mobile enterprise

Consumer IT is already changing the way people communicate and collaborate. That transformation is only likely to quicken in pace during the next few years and organisations must embrace mobile technology. CIOs will need to create a digital strategy that allows for a safe and secure switch to consumer devices. Here we take a look at the questions being asked of CIOs about service support, mobility, security concerns, cloud computing, application development and flexible working…

Click here  to download the infographic as an image. Or take a look at the interactive infographic below (be sure to hit the full screen button though)!

For more information about consumerisation, get in touch with us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. Or drop us a comment below and we’ll get back to you.

Case study: iPad at Guardian News & Media

Case study: iPad at Guardian News & Media

As part of their Digital First initiative, Guardian News & Media (GNM) decided to make iPad available to their staff at a discounted rate on a shared purchase basis. Jigsaw24 partnered with GNM to deliver this transformational project for 1200 users, without increasing support costs for the IT team.

The Digital First initiative

“All media companies are facing huge disruption through the internet, and we’re no different,” said Andy Beale, GNM’s Technology Director. “Our audience is consuming our products and interacting with us now onba number of platforms, and our feeling is that we should be on all platforms, whether that’s a hardware one or a software one.” As part of preparing themselves for the shift away from print publishing to digital, GNM decided they wanted to help their staff get access to the latest digital device, iPad.

“Putting these devices in the hands of all our staff is an important part of communicating that message and saying, ‘this is our direction’, but it also helps them on that journey. Not everyone here is a digital native. We have a really broad, diverse mix of people working here and we need to take them with us,” Andy explained.

Using shared purchase to engage employees and lower costs

While GNM’s leaders were all for helping employees become comfortable with the latest technologies, simply giving 1200 iPad devices away wasn’t an option. “The commercial constraints are incredibly important for all media companies,” said Andy, “so we came up with the idea of shared purchase, which would allow us to avoid taking a lot of assets and devices on to our own overheads, yet provide large numbers [of devices] if people were interested, while keeping costs down and giving employees some responsibility in the process.”

Under GNM’s scheme, employees had a three-week purchasing window during which they could buy an iPad with accessories at a subsidised price, and pay off the cost over a year. Because they wanted staff to be as comfortable with the devices as possible, GNM chose not to dictate what
they would be used for – staff could use them in the workplace or at home, and the GNM technology team would configure and provide training for each user regardless.

GNM’s tech team didn’t have the time or resources to manage an iPad purchasing scheme internally, so our team built them a branded online purchasing portal that would let staff buy approved devices over a secure, centralised system with 128-bit SSL encryption. Once the portal was live, we helped stage a launch event at GNM’s London offices, where we were on hand throughout the first day of the scheme to offer employees advice on which model would suit them best, and whether they’d need any accessories or adaptors.

“The launch event worked really well, because as well as ‘come and get your iPad’ we had a show and tell – ‘this is how you use your iPad, this is how it works, here are some of the interesting apps you can download’ – just to answer some of the technology questions people always have,” said Executive Director Adam Freeman. “The feedback from staff was fantastic. They were saying thanks for the offer, but actually it was really great how you helped us to understand how to use the iPad.”

90% take up and fantastic feedback from staff

“Now on a day to day basis I’m in a room and everyone’s on an iPad, and they’re all taking notes on them, presenting ideas on them, showing each other documents,” said Adam. “We’re also definitely seeing more confidence in the digital platform. When we talk about iPads and how people are using them, [staff] are much more au fait with what an app is, how it works and the user experience. It’s making it easier for us to have a shared language that’s digital, because people are experiencing it for themselves.”

“We ask staff for feedback on a lot of different things and it’s quite hard to get people to feed back – particularly journalists, who are by their very nature questioning and challenging,” said Adam, “but we had about a 90% take up on our iPad offer. I’ve never been in a room with hundreds of people, presenting opportunities, and had that many hands go up that often.

“In terms of innovation, what’s really important to us is that tablets and smartphones are going to be the place where the majority of our content is consumed in the very near future. When I look back on this, having had six months of people having these products, it’s going to be even more beneficial in two years time than it is today, because everyone will be writing for tablets. [The iPad] is the next 20 years of the organisation, not the last six months.”

“People find themselves doing extra bits of work because it is just so easy and mobile.”

But it’s not just a change in attitude that GNM have seen. “There’s no doubt that it allows more flexibility in working, so the fact that people can log in wherever they are, work whenever they want to – that’s definitely making us more flexible in terms of supporting people working in different spaces, working from home, working on the move. We’ve just invested in America, for example, so we’ve put a new team into the US this year and had a lot of people go from our UK office to there, and outside of the time difference you wouldn’t know where they were, because they’re using the same systems, the same technologies.”

Staff have also found themselves picking up jobs out of hours. “You’ll be sitting on the sofa and whilst you’re on YouTube you find yourself checking your work email and thinking, ‘I’ll just answer this one…’” explains Ben McLeavy, Remote Communication Specialist. “People find themselves doing extra bits of work because it is just so easy and mobile. The main thing for me about iPad is that it is very portable, and it’s very instant. There’s no booting time, so it’s very much pick up and play – or work.”

Delivering better experiences but no extra support costs

“The initiative has been fantastic for morale,” said Adam. “It’s allowing us to make more informed choices because the people – particularly the journalists who are not at the forefront of digital product development – have got iPads themselves now, so when we talk about the new publishing opportunities iPad and tablets give us, they can easily see what the consumer experience would be like, whereas before it would have been, ‘What’s this new thing that you want me to be involved in? I don’t understand how it works.’”

And the scheme’s impact on GNM’s IT team? “We’ve not seen any increased overheads from an IT point of view,” said Andy. “We’ve taken on an extra 1200 devices, many of which are used in the work context, and we’ve not had to do anything in terms of supporting those.”

Want to find out how your business can get the benefits of iPad without increasing support costs? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 219, email us at B2B@Jigsaw24.com or take a look at our dedicated Apple for business site.

Video: How good are the new content-aware tools in Photoshop CS6?

Video: How good are the new content-aware tools in Photoshop CS6?

Tom, our resident multimedia designer, takes the latest incarnation of Photoshop for a spin. In this video tutorial, he puts the content-aware tools through their paces. In this tutorial he shows us how to use content-aware patch, move and extend features.

Want to find out more about Adobe Creative Suite 6? Call us on 03332 409 306, email sales@jigsaw24.com or send us a pigeon.

Video: Jigsaw24 Tech Support – How to configure RAM in a Mac

Video: Jigsaw24 Tech Support –  How to configure RAM in a Mac

In this step-by-step video tutorial, our Johanna (Jigsaw24 tech support specialist) runs through the ways to configure RAM in a Mac Pro, iMac, Mac mini and MacBook Pro.

For more help with your RAM, get in touch with us on 03332 400 999 or email AppleRepairs@Jigsaw24.com. Or if your problem is 140 characters of less, send us your queries on twitter @Jigsaw24tech.