Blackmagic Design announce DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update

Blackmagic Design announce DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update

Blackmagic Design today announced the immediate availability of DaVinci Resolve 12.1, which adds dozens of new features such as remote rendering, 10-bit viewers, new editing and colour correction tools, and more. The DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update is available now for both DaVinci Resolve 12 and DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio customers, and can be downloaded from the Blackmagic Design website.

DaVinci Resolve 12 is the most successful update in the history of the software and has become the industry’s fastest growing video editor. The feedback from the DaVinci Resolve community has been overwhelmingly positive and Blackmagic Design engineers have been hard at work to add even more of the features that professional editors and colourists have asked for.

DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update gives editors the ability to select clips when using the blade tool, extend freeze frames, use faders on generators and titles, perform negative timecode offsets, filter clips more efficiently, media manage groups of selected timeline clips, sort bins and footage more easily, create better filters for smart bins, and much more. Customers also get improved subclip support with Final Cut Pro 7 XMLs and improved audio rendering of audio transitions.

For colourists, DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update adds the ability to colour correct nested timelines and to decompose compound nodes along with new manual keyframe options for Power Windows, support for 3D stereo decision lists version 0.25, filtering of keyframed clips, the option to copy flags and markers when performing ColorTrace and more.

In addition, the free DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update adds support for native display profiles on Mac OS X El Capitan, along with the option to enable 10-bit precision in the on screen viewers. That means customers using the new iMac with Retina P3 display will be able to see more colour, detail and dynamic range than ever before.

Since its release in September, the rapidly growing community of DaVinci Resolve 12 editors has meant that developers are now bringing their best and most exciting OpenFX plugins to DaVinci Resolve. For example, GenArts has been working with Blackmagic Design to bring new Sapphire Builder support to DaVinci Resolve 12.

Expected in an upcoming Sapphire 9.0.1 release, Builder will let DaVinci Resolve users combine Sapphire plug-ins together in any order to create a virtually unlimited number of unique effects and transitions. “DaVinci Resolve is the first OFX host to support Sapphire Builder!” said Sapphire product manager Brian Fox, “We’re very excited that DaVinci Resolve 12.1 users can benefit from all the new capabilities of Sapphire Builder.”

To support the growing momentum of DaVinci Resolve 12, Blackmagic Design has conducted multiple hands-on training sessions with the Motion Pictures Editor’s Guild in Hollywood. “I feel like DaVinci Resolve 12 is the NLE users have been waiting for all of these years,” said Noam Kroll, Los Angeles based filmmaker and editor whose feature film credits include The Grace Of Jake (2015), Shake The Dust (2014) and Footsteps (2012). “DaVinci Resolve 12 offers the same track based system that many editors are most comfortable with, but also provides truly innovative tools that feel very forward thinking.”

“Since it was released in September, DaVinci Resolve 12 has been downloaded by more customers than any other version of the software and has become the industry’s fastest growing video editor,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “DaVinci Resolve is now used on virtually all major films, television shows and commercials! We’ve listened to feedback from professional editors and colourists and are excited to give them this free update which includes even more of the features they’ve been asking for!”

What’s new in DaVinci Resolve 12.1?

– Remote rendering on DaVinci Resolve Studio.
– Support for native display colour profiles on OS X.
– Preferences option to enable 10-bit precision on viewers on OS X 10.11 El Capitan.
– Ability to select clips when in blade mode.
– Support for faders on generators and titles.
– Ability to extend freeze frames from the start of the edit.
– Ability to media manage selected clips on a timeline.
– Ability to perform negative timecode offset in clip attributes.
– Improved support for sub-clips from FCP7 XML.
– Improved rendering of audio transitions (cross-fades) and audio faders.
– Auto scroll during timeline item resize.
– Improved sorting in media storage and media pool.
– Support for smart bin filtering based on clip type.
– Ability to move clips and timelines from a smart bin view.
– Support for moving files to the trash instead of deleting them permanently when using the media manager on both Mac and Windows systems.
– Ability to delete multiple projects and folders in project manager.
– Ability to decompose a compound node.
– Ability to grade nested timelines.
– Ability to filter clips based on whether they have keyframes.
– Ability to manually keyframe power windows in frame mode even without tracking.
– Ability to freeze the current frame on an external matte.
– User option to copy flags and markers when performing ColorTrace.
– Improved ACEScc support.
– Support for stereo decision list (SDL) v0.25.
– Support for RED SDK v6.0.4.
– Support for embedding timecode in audio output.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Buyers’ Guide: iPad for business

Buyers’ Guide: iPad for business

With nearly half of all iPad now being sold to corporations rather than consumers, the odds that you’re going to end up working with an iPad at one time or another are pretty steep. 

Luckily, they’re user-friendly, great for increasing mobile productivity and, increasingly, are capable of running the vast majority of apps you already use on your desktop or notebook. With that in mind, it’s time to arm yourself with some key specs that’ll help you work out which iPad is right for your line of work.

While the basics of iPad remain the same – Retina display, iSight camera for photo and video on one side, FaceTime HD camera for video calls (and conferences) on the other, industry-leading platform, device and app-level security – there are subtle differences between models, such as screen size, storage capacity and whether they are available in gold, that can make all the difference.

iPad Pro

ipad_pro

iPad Pro is the creative user’s tablet of choice thanks to its leading graphics performance, but with analysts predicting that large format tablets will be ruling the workplace by 2019, it’s well worth getting to grips with iPad Pro in enterprise environments too.

But whether to opt for the larger 12.9″ model, or the more recent 9.7″ one? Well, if you regularly have to use your iPad as a presentation device, the three inches of extra screen space can provide some much-needed breathing room for your pitch content, especially if you deal with incredibly detailed models or documents. And while that faster A9X processor is designed to give more power to your creative apps, it’ll work equally well as a way to speed up data-driven work, so if you want to fly through analytics analysis (and then have plenty of space to show off your results) iPad Pro is the way to go.

That larger screen also means you get a bigger keyboard, should typing on your regular screen leave you drowning in a sea of typos and humiliating autocorrect errors, or you can add a Smart Keyboard, a lightweight, full-size keyboard that is built into an iPad Pro cover, meaning it’s there whenever you need it. Just fold back the cover, lean back your iPad (the non-keyboard portion of the cover folds into a stand) and you can set your iPad Pro up like a desktop or notebook for easier multitasking.

You can also add an Apple Pencil if you want to do slightly more detailed drawing than your finger can manage, or take notes. The iPad Pro scans for Pencil activity 240 times a second, meaning there’s no lag between your hand moving and your drawing appearing on the screen, and we’ve yet to hear of any reviewer managing to defeat the palm rejection technology. It’s also pretty quick to charge – 15 seconds of charge via your iPad Pro’s Lightning port gives you enough power for 30 minutes of use.

Best for: Architects, designers, onsite contractors – anything where you need to deal with high-res, detail-heavy imagery.

iPad Pro 12.9″

– 32GB or 128GB capacity (WiFi only), 128GB (WiFi and cellular).

– 12.9″ 2732×2048 resolution display.

– A9X chip with 64-bit architecture (2.5x faster than A7 chip with 5x faster graphics).

– 12MP iSight camera with 4K video recording and 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video.

– Touch ID.

– Apple Pay.

– Available in silver, gold and space grey from November.

Prices start from £585 ex VAT.

iPad Pro 9.7″

– 32GB,  128GB and 256GB capacity.

– 9.7″2048×1536 resolution display.

– A9X chip with 64-bit architecture and M9 motion co-processor.

– 12MP iSight camera with 4K video recording and 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video.

– Touch ID.

– Apple Pay.

– Available in silver, gold and space grey from November.

Prices start from £441 ex VAT

iPad Air 2

ipad_air_2

Keeping the screen size of the original iPad but squeezing the internals into a tiny 444 gram machined aluminium body, iPad Air 2 is an excellent compromise between screen size and portability. (We particularly like it for any roles where you need to combine typing and form-filling admin work with visual documentation, because it’s easier to handle than the Pro, but still retains the same pair of high quality cameras.)

While workers in some sectors are reporting that iPad is taking over from their desktop and notebook computers, there are plenty of tools available to help you use it as a second screen or presentation device – we highly recommend pairing it with Apple TV in your boardroom as a replacement for ageing projector setups.

iPad Air 2 has a greater internal memory than the original iPad Air, which tapped out at 32GB, which makes this form factor viable even if you’re toting larger apps or bigger files. This also allows you to work in Split Screen mode, which means you can use more than one app at once side-by-side – watch a video while reading something in Safari or dig information out of your email while typing into a document, for example.

iPad Air 2 also comes with Touch ID, Apple’s biometric security measure, to ensure no one can sneak onto your iPad without your index fingerprint. So if you’re saving ultra-important files locally or have business secrets in your email inbox, opt for the newer model.

Best for: Retail – a flexible solution for POS displays, kiosks, ePOS and face to face sales.

iPad Air 2

– 32GB and 128GB capacities (WiFi only or WiFi and cellular).

– 9.7″ 2048×1536 resolution display.

– A8X chip with 64-bit architecture (1.4x faster than A7 chip with 2.5x faster graphics).

– 8MP iSight camera and 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video.

– Touch ID.

– Available in silver, gold and space grey.

Prices start from £304 ex VAT.

 

iPad mini

ipad_mini_4

If you need something even more portable, go for the ultra-light 7.9″ iPad mini. Despite not being much bigger than your phone, it still manages to be higher resolution than an HD TV, and iPad mini 4 even manages to fit in Touch ID for biometric security authentication and supports Split Screen view for working in multiple apps side-by-side.

We like iPad mini for fieldwork such as repairs or surveying, as it has all the document and data management capabilities of its larger counterparts, but is slim enough to hold in one hand, making collecting video and photographic evidence that much easier.

The slightly lower price tag also makes it a popular choice for workplace schemes, as it shaves a little off the upfront cost of investing in iPad without you losing any of the core benefits.

Best for: Field sales, on-site reporting.

iPad mini 4

– 32GB or 128GB capacity (WiFi only or WiFi and cellular).

– 7.9″ 2048×1536 resolution display.

– A8 chip.

– 8MP iSight camera and 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video.

– Apple Pay.

– Touch ID.

– Available in silver, gold and space grey.

Prices start from £311 ex VAT.

iPad mini 2

– 32GB capacity (WiFi only or WiFi and cellular).

– 7.9″ 2048×1536 resolution display.

– A7 processor.

– 8MP iSight camera and 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video.

– Available in silver and space grey.

Prices start from £196 ex VAT.

Want to know more about iPad? See the full range here or get in touch with our team by popping your details in the form below. Alternatively, you can call them on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com

Buyers’ Guide 2015: Workstations for content creation

Buyers’ Guide 2015: Workstations for content creation

When you’re working in-house, it can be difficult to gauge what kind of workstation you really need. Do you need three screens, or do you need something you can take to shoots and client meetings? Your job title says graphic design, but your boss says you need to populate a YouTube channel. However, there are a few tried and tested setups that we’d recommend to anyone with even the slightest clue of how much heavy lifting their GPU will be asked to do…

The road warrior

Our pick for web design and development, working on the go and keeping up on-set.

roadwarrior

We recommend this 15” MacBook Pro with Retina display, paired with a colour accurate screen, such as Eizo’s ColorEdge CS230 self-correcting IPS display and maybe a Wacom Intuos Pro (our designers swear by these). Alternatively, if you’re more of a shutterbug, the Panasonic GH4  manages to straddle the still and video worlds, so you’re equipped for any type of project.

The contender

Our pick for graphic designers, Photoshop addicts and budding videographers.

lastimac

If you’re being asked to do a bit of everything, a top spec iMac is always a safe bet. This 27” iMac with 5K Retina display leads the pack, and pairs well with the 24” ColorEdge CX241 self-correcting IPS display. If that seems too unwieldy, you could try a Wacom Cintiq 13HD, and we like the Canon XC-10 for corporate and events videography.

The behemoth

Our pick for anyone whose day is full of 4K and RAW files.

behemoth

Sometimes you just need a computer that puts the fear of God in the heart of any large, complicated file or program that enters it, and in those moments of need we recommend you turn to this 8 Core Mac Pro and the 27” ColorEdge CG277.

To step up your camcorder, try the JVC GY-LS300 (a versatile beast that combines ease of use with the ability to get a proper ‘cinematic’ feel), or if you’re into 3D modelling a Cintiq 27QHD Touch tablet will get you almost uncomfortably close to your image.

And finally, put your workstation to work with MatrixCMS…

Not to state the obvious, but once you’ve got your hardware sorted, you need to get your content prepped and published, be it in print or online. MatrixCMS supports the creation and optimisation for both of these, and integrates with your company’s PIM and CMS systems to make collaboration between creatives and product managers easier. They can flag SKUs and imagery within Matrix, and you can open up their notes and revisions directly in InDesign so that you can start creating as soon as the product list comes in, rather than having to dig out resources lost in decentralised systems. You can learn more (and sign up for an online demo) over at the Matrix site. 

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

NewTek shave £600 off the cost of a TalkShow

NewTek shave £600 off the cost of a TalkShow

For a limited time, NewTek are offering their TalkShow Skype management tool for a cool £2199 as opposed to the usual £2795 ex VAT, saving you a smidge under £600.

 

newtek_talkshow

 

Already beloved of pro broadcasters on several continents, TalkShow allows video producers to initiate or receive Skype calls from remote guests using desktops, laptops, mobile devices, conference room systems, internet TV or game consoles running Skype software.

It contains everything you need to manage a Skype call as if it were simply another in-studio source, drastically reducing the risk of conversion loss, aspect ratio squashing and video artefacts and giving you more professional-looking video calls with a richer, enhanced picture. And if you’re worried about space, rest assured it packs up in a convenient (and robust) 1U rackmount unit.

You can pick up your discounted TalkShow here.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Adobe launch new updates at MAX 2015

Adobe launch new updates at MAX 2015

Not content with trotting out a plethora of celebrity superusers and running a ridiculous number of workshops, Adobe have announced a raft of new updates at their Adobe MAX creativity conference in LA. The new updates affect both mobile apps (which should be updatable now) and desktop ones (which will receive the update soon). 

Adding Touch workspaces to desktop apps

Not content with bringing new apps to your phone, Adobe are adding Touch workspaces to their most popular desktop apps, so that you can work using gesture controls on devices such as Windows touch surfaces.

Adobe promise that InDesign users will be able to create layouts, while video editors will be able to scrub clips, drag and drop items on their timelines, and navigate through panels in a group, all without the need for anything as vulgar as a mouse.

Graphic designers’ holy trinity picks up updates (including a new app)

If you tend to stick with Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, you’ll be pleased to know they’ve not been neglected, either:

– The next update to Photoshop CC will be tightly integrated with the brand new Adobe Fuse CC (Preview). Fuse lets you create realistic 3D models, easily insert the 3D model into a scene in Photoshop CC with the power of CreativeSync, apply poses and animations, and adjust camera angles and lighting. Fuse is also a fast and flexible new way to create stunning 2D image compositions with 3D-like depth.

– The new Shaper tool in Illustrator CC gives you the functionality of 12 different tools and panels in a single tool. Draw basic shapes like circles, squares, and polygons, and the Shaper tool quickly and intuitive creates perfect geometric shapes for you. Plus, these will be Live Shapes so they are nondestructive and easily editable.

– InDesign CC will update Publish Online, allowing you to embed a document directly in a website.

There’s also been a particular focus on photo editing, with Adobe adding the ability to apply Dehaze more precisely to Lightroom CC, so you can control in the image exactly where you want to decrease or increase atmospheric haze.

The new Import tool automatically identifies photos from your camera card, hard drive, Photoshop Elements, Aperture and other sources, and easily imports them into Lightroom. Plus with this release of Lightroom Mobile you can take photos and apply Dehaze and other Photoshop magic as you capture the moment. These are just a few of the new features – read all about them on the Lightroom blog.

Photoshop CC has several Adobe Camera Raw updates, including the addition of Dehaze as a local adjustment. They’ve also updated the way Zoom works so it is now easier and more intuitive to move around your image when zoomed in.

Updates for UX and web designers

More flexibility in Muse, 64-bit architecture in Dreamweaver and the vaguely defined but excitingly-named Project Comet lead the updates to Adobe’s web-focused apps…

– Artboards improvements in Photoshop CC include guides for precise placement of elements, easier visualization of layers and the ability to customise the look and feel of your documents. The Photoshop CC release will also deliver the first version of Design Space, a modern design experience, inside Photoshop CC, streamlined for the requirements of web, UX and mobile app designers.

– Project Comet is a brand new Creative Cloud app currently under development, aimed at designing and prototyping web and mobile user experiences. We welcome you to be a part of the development process – sign up for the technology preview now.

– Web designers will love the new 64-bit version of Dreamweaver CC. We’ve added responsive design capabilities using new visual aids and the latest Bootstrap framework.

– Muse CC adds free-form responsive design to easily create custom websites that dynamically scale to any size screen, browser or device, without having to code or use restrictive templates.

– Flash Pro CC has been adding support for HTML5 and today we announced the ability to publish animations to multiple platforms including HTML5 Canvas, WebGL or even custom platforms – and with this release we are adding support for 4K video formats.

New video features fly in from IBC

After a successful launch at IBC 2015 in Amsterdam, Adobe brought out their latest video tools for their first American airing. Updates include…

– Premiere Pro CC ushers in the new era of UltraHD via comprehensive native format support for editing beautiful 4K-to-8k footage, and advances colour, with support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) workflows in Premiere Pro CC.

– After Effects CC now has the powerful and accessible colour tools and colour workspace that Premiere Pro has.

– Audition CC introduces Remix, a new audio feature that automatically rearranges music to any duration while maintaining the aural integrity and structure of the piece.

Pooling in Adobe Stock and the introduction of Adobe Portfolio

Adobe are also deepening Adobe Stock integration with CC desktop apps so you can easily search for and browse assets directly from Creative Cloud Libraries. For customers who have an Adobe Stock subscription, stock content can also be directly licensed from within the CC apps for use in projects, saving time and effort. They also plan to add video to Adobe Stock, which can be used for corporate videos or commercial use in advertising, television shows, websites, and more. Additionally, Adobe Stock has new features just for businesses, offering pooled licences at no extra cost to Creative Cloud for teams customers, as well as Extended Licences for usage of stock content in large print runs.

Finally, the team introduced Adobe Portfolio, a new service that lets you create a fully customised, responsive portfolio of work on your own domain – without having to write a line of code. Available soon, Portfolio will be included as part of all Adobe Creative Cloud plans. Portfolio is built on Behance, which means you can sync your Adobe Portfolio to your Behance Projects pages with a click, giving you even more opportunities to get your work discovered in the world’s largest creative social network.

Introducing new mobile apps: Photoshop Fix and Adobe Capture CC

Photoshop Fix lets you retouch and restore images right on your phone or tablet. Popular Photoshop desktop app features, like the Healing Brush and Liquify, are easy to use with the touch interface, so you can now do real retouching work right on your iPad and iPhone.

Adobe Capture CC makes it even easier for you to use your mobile devices to capture what inspires you and quickly create a brush, shape, or colour theme for professional work. The new Adobe Capture CC brings Adobe Brush, Adobe Shape, Adobe Color and Adobe Hue into a single, powerful, simple-to-use app.

There have also been tweaks to a number of existing apps, including Mix, Stretch, Draw, Comp and Clip, so there should be something useful for you whatever discipline you’re working in.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 251 or email adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

What’s new in iOS 9?

What’s new in iOS 9?

iOS 9, one of the highlights of Apple’s ‘Hey Siri’ event, will be available as a free download as of 16th  September, and aims to “make iOS devices more intelligent and proactive with powerful search and improved Siri features, all while protecting users’ privacy.”

Multitasking

One of the most exciting things from our workaholic/game addicted point of view is the new string of multitasking modes, including Picture-in-Picture, which lets you play video or conduct FaceTime calls while browsing the web, composing email etc in the background. iPad users will also get to experience Slide Over, which lets you simultaneously work in a second app without leaving the one you’re in (it appears in a sidebar that takes up about a third of your screen) and Split View, which allows you to view and interact with two apps at the same time, side by side, and resize your view to prioritise one or another of the apps.

The core apps get an update

Updates to iOS’s built-in apps include a redesigned Notes app that adds the ability to sketch designs, add photos, sync with iCloud and create wunderlist-style checklists; a Flipboard-style News app that presents you with a clean interface for reading Siri-curated content (it’s based on your interests and browsing, but you can always edit what you’re shown) and the addition of public transport routes to key cities in Maps, should you be about to head to IBC and unfamiliar with Dutch transit.

“iOS 9 is packed with intelligence that makes every experience with iPhone and iPad even more powerful — Siri can do more than ever and new proactive assistance helps you get more done before you ask, all while protecting users’ privacy,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “With iOS 9 we focused on strengthening the foundation of iOS with a deep focus on quality, and with the help of more than one million users who participated in our first ever public beta program, we’re excited to release the best version of iOS yet.”

Proactive assistance

The addition you’re most likely to notice day to day is proactive assistance, which helps Siri present the most relevant information at a given time of day and suggests actions at that particular moment based on the apps you use frequently and the time of day you use them. So for example, if you always stream music during your morning run, Siri will open Apple Music at the right time each morning, without you having to set a reminder. You can also add more context-reliant reminders, such as “remind me to call Dave when I get home”, and your phone will use location data to identify when you’ve arrived home and pull up the appropriate contact.

Apple Pay

Although we tend to get Apple Pay features slightly behind the US, we see no reason not to be excited about the fact that Apple Pay has added support for Discover, store loyalty programmes and “participating store-issued credit and debit cards”, which doesn’t sound like something that happens this side of the pond, but still. Shoppers will be able to manage their cards in the new Wallet app, which replaces Passbook.

Longer battery life, more storage and better graphics

Glory be and hallelujah. This latest release gives you an additional hour of battery life, and a power saver mode that sources say should give you an extra three hours per charge. In iOS 9, software updates will require less space to install and the Install Later feature can perform updates to your device when it’s not in use. Enhanced security features in iOS 9 keep your devices and Apple ID secure by strengthening the passcode that protects your devices and improving two-factor authentication by building it directly into iOS, making it harder for others to gain unauthorized access to your Apple ID. iOS 9 apps and the user interface now take advantage of Metal to deliver faster scrolling, smoother animation and better overall performance.

iOS 9 will be available beginning Wednesday, September 16 as a free software update for iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch 5th generation and later, iPad 2 and later and iPad mini and later. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages. For more information visit the Apple site.

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

Introducing our interactive retail app

Introducing our interactive retail app

Looking to improve customer experience, arm staff against over-informed consumers and increase sales? Our app development team have got you covered. Meet our retail app…

We’re currently using this app in our Soho service and customer experience centre (drop in if you want to see it in action) but it can be adapted and reskinned to fit your environment and branding.

Why an app? Well, for a start, it helps convert sales by giving a more personal touch to customers’ shopping experience, but it also helps you engage customers with dynamic content and deliver product information to help reduce time at till and dropped baskets.

Social media and CRM integration

Customers can log into the app using their existing social media accounts, making it easier for them to bookmark and share your content on social platforms. But because the app also integrates with your CRM systems, you can collect customer information and begin to understand their demographic.

Using this information, you can then select which content and notifications that customer gets from there on in, meaning each customer gets a properly personalised experience.

Enticing customers with special offer notifications

When paired with iBeacon transmitters, the app allows you to push offers directly to the devices of customers in your store.

When a customer enters your store or walks near a beacon, links can be pushed out containing product information, a limited time offer or a simple ‘welcome back’ message. This is a great way to entice people into the store by sending them the content that’s most relevant directly to them.

Engaging customers with dynamic digital content

The other great thing about iBeacon is that it allows you to trigger dynamic digital content, such as promotional videos or specific special offer messaging.

For example, say your customer browses your product catalogue via the app at home. The next time they pass the store and come within range of one of your beacons, details of the items they were looking at can be triggered to display on signage in the shop window, offering a discount or information about availability.

And your store doesn’t even need to be open – if a customer walks past a mannequin or display after hours, iBeacon can still trigger content or push itemised products to the customer’s device, which they can then add to their online basket or buy.

Providing detailed product information

Our app features built-in QR and barcode scanners, which means you can set up codes for key products and have customers scan for more information, to see a demonstration video or to go through to your eCommerce site.

Want to know more? Get in touch with the team at retail@Jigsaw24.com or on 03332 409 306. For all the latest news and updates, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

How Apple and Acronis are making Mac integration easier

How Apple and Acronis are making Mac integration easier

There have been times in history when Mac computers and PC servers were less than friendly, but with iOS devices overrunning offices and people outside the design department asking for Macs, those days are long gone. OS X offers you tools to make integration easier than ever, and there are some great third party tools available, too.

Let’s start with the basics

It’s a myth that you can’t integrate Mac computers into a Windows environment. The latest version of OS X, Yosemite, even supports SMB 3.0, so everyone’s on the same file sharing protocol and integration is even easier.

However, to deliver the best user experience, your servers still need a little help…

While huge strides have been made, SMB 3.0 is only supported by Windows Server 2012 and OS X Yosemite, and Mac users in a Windows environment can still experience issues like seeing certain files as ‘greyed out’ and inaccessible, or be denied certain permissions that their PC counterparts have. There are also Mac-only features, such as Spotlight search, that aren’t supported if you’re just using Apple’s built-in integration tools, but which contribute a considerable amount to your Mac users’ productivity and the hassle-free user experience they expect from their Apple kit.

Acronis Access Connect (formerly known as ExtremeZ-IP) is a tried and tested solution for solving these issues. By allowing Mac computers to connect to Windows servers over AFP, it re-enables instant search and indexing, and allows Mac users to integrate their files with volumes and file structures on your Windows network. It also returns support for Time Machine, Apple’s built-in backup technology, to the Mac.

Part of Access Connect’s appeal is that it installs quickly, and automatically integrates with Active Directory accounts and NTFS permissions. It then allows end users running any version of OS X to connect using AFP. This results in better performance from their core apps (which are all optimised for AFP) and gives parity of functionality between users.

It also makes life easier for IT admins – not just because they don’t have to deal with incompatibility-based help desk queries, but because Access Connect supports key features like single sign on through Kerberos,  DFS/network reshare, home directories, clustering, quotas, file name policies and advanced logging.

And don’t forget to back up…

If you need to back up your servers (hint: you do) but don’t have the money, capacity or desire to store all your backups locally (perhaps your office is a flood risk, or the office dog likes to gnaw through wires, or you’re just incredibly professional and thorough), then we can help there too.

Our Backup24 managed backup service allows you to back all your data up to our tier 2+ data centre. It’s based in the UK, so you know exactly where your data is, and we physically check that all backups have been successful every day. And if you’re feeling particularly worried about any particular day’s save, our team are only a phone call away. You can find out more here.

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

Using JAMF Software to tame iOS and OS X devices in the workplace

Using JAMF Software to tame iOS and OS X devices in the workplace

With the rise of OS X and iOS devices in business, finding a way to manage these devices and ensure they’re in line with company policies is more important than ever – especially if you need your Mac users to work in harmony with a PC-based workforce.  Here, we talk through some of the techniques and tools you can use to make sure all your Mac and iOS devices are managed and visible, without overburdening IT admin.

While the rise of Apple devices and BYOD/mixed platform environments can be great for productivity and end user satisfaction, it can be a cause for concern among IT admins, particularly as Apple have retired their server hardware, prompting a widespread move to managing Mac computers using Windows servers.  And as the Mac user base grows, viruses are becoming increasingly targeted at the platform, making policy compliance and disk encryption incredibly important for mobile devices and desktops alike. Happily, Apple and a range of third parties are working together to make the situation manageable.

Device Enrolment Programme (DEP)

One of Apple’s latest initiatives, the DEP is designed to make it easier for you to enrol new devices on your company’s MDM system, and reduce the chance of any user accessing the network on an unsecured device. It is not an MDM solution in and of itself, but it does make a ‘zero touch’ MDM deployment possible for all new devices, drastically reducing the time and effort involved in setting up new users.

Put broadly, your create MDM profiles for different types of device and user, then share them with Apple’s servers. Apple will assign your MDM server a unique token, and when a device connects to it for the first time, DEP will push the correct MDM profile to the device as part of the initial startup process, so your end users can’t use their new devices without enrolling them in your MDM service, and no one from IT has to be on hand to oversee registration – it’s all done automatically.

You can enrol your company in DEP at deploy.apple.com.

Preparing for MDM

Before rolling out an MDM solution for Apple devices, you’ll need to make a decision about your Apple ID policy. Many apps and services, both free and paid for, rely on your end user having an Apple ID to authenticate their identity in the App Store and other areas. For this reason, we recommend you allow users to create individual Apple IDs (however, your admin team should use a shared Apple ID to access services like DEP and VPP).

Every Apple ID requires an associated email address – the degree of freedom you wish to allow users and whom ownership of the device sits with will determine whether you allow end users to use their personal emails and existing Apple IDs, or insist they create a separate Apple ID associated with their work email address.

MDM solutions: JAMF Software’s Casper Suite

JAMF Software are one of the most experienced Mac and iOS management experts out there, and their Casper Suite management solution is even used by Apple themselves. At the core of the suite is the JAMF Software Server, which acts just like a web server. It can be hosted on any existing Windows, Linux or OS X server at your premises, hosted remotely via JAMF Cloud or provided as a managed service by our accredited team.

Key features include:

Recon, an app included in the suite which scans your existing estate for Apple devices not currently enrolled in Casper Suite. Recon can then be used to enrol multiple OS X computers remotely. It will also scan IP ranges and enrol any computer it can connect to via SSH (Remote Login).

A range of imaging options, including monolithic imaging (IT builds a standard image including apps and settings, which is then deployed locally or over the network to all computers), thin imaging (IT builds a smaller, more modular image which is installed on top of a standard OS X installation, and other restrictions and apps are deployed using profiles and policies) and zero touch imaging (enrolment through DEP).

Self Service, an app which acts like an internal App Store for your organisation. It can contain apps linked to VPP, packaged apps, eBooks, printer settings, configuration profiles and custom profiles, all of which users can install on or apply to their own device without IT intervention.

JAMF software can be run completely on windows server hardware if required.

Volume Purchasing Program and Managed Distribution

Apple’s Volume Purchasing Program (VPP) is a purchasing scheme designed to save time and money for organisations who want to buy apps and books in bulk. It allows your IT admin to purchase several licences for a particular app, then centrally assign them to end users.

Traditionally, you had to buy your licences, download a spreadsheet of redeemable codes, provide a code to each user so that they can download the app without paying again, and then transfer ownership of the app or book to that user’s Apple ID permanently. Obviously, this is quite time consuming and messy, and involves you losing ownership of the app or book.

Now, if you’re using DEP, you can use Managed Distribution to license content to your end users, meaning they can use the app or book on a temporary basis but you can revoke access at any time. All you need to do is use Casper Suite to generate an invitation email for the end users who need access, and then they’ll be guided through the installation and licensing process without the need for IT admin’s involvement.

Casper Suite as a managed service

If you don’t have the resource to handle MDM in-house, or if your IT team are all PC-based and aren’t comfortable administrating Macs or iOS devices, we can provide Casper Suite as a managed service. You tell us what needs doing; our JAMF-certified team can set up and maintain your deployment. We can even help you optimise your infrastructure for Casper Suite, so you’re getting the best possible performance out of your software.

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

Thanks for swinging by our 4K shootout

Thanks for swinging by our 4K shootout

We’ve released the models, sent our demo units back on the road and written John Harrison a long and embarrassing fan letter, but there is one thing left to do: thank you, the people, for bearing witness to our epic 4K Shootout last week. 

As well as cameras from JVC, Sony, Canon, Panasonic, AJA and Blackmagic, we managed to round up some of the best peripherals available (Zeiss, Samyang and Tokina glass, Atomos DTEs, Dedolite and Kinoflo lights, Libec tripods, IDX charge kits, Shape rigs, Konova sliders and – last but not least – HPRC cases) so that visitors could try out the cameras fully rigged, and in a fully lit environment.

ant_contemplates

Broadcast Consultant Anthony contemplates the universe

Award-winning cinematographer John Harrison was there to deliver two oversubscribed seminars on lighting for 4K. Sorry to everyone we had to turn away from the first session, but even our warren-like office can only hold so many people. Those who were lucky enough to make it in were treated to a lighting masterclass on how to make the best use of your Dedolight and Kinoflow kit when you’re shooting at high res, complete with some fascinating questions from a really engaged crowd. For those who like to keep track of these things, John was shooting on a Sony F55.

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John Harrison summons light from our boardroom floor, a feat only true DoPs can perform.

Downstairs in Wonderland, we had the shootout proper, with a Sony FS7, AJA Cion, Blackmagic Design URSA (hint, we have £1000 off these at the moment), Sony A7-S, Panasonic GH4 and JVC LS-300 all available for shooting. We’d rigged the cameras as far as possible, with a DTE on pretty much anything (thanks to Atomos for showing up in force with more toys than we knew what to do with).

We also had the incredible JVC GW-S100e 4K remote control camera system, which allows you to capture 4K footage remotely from what is possible the smallest MFT camera we’ve ever seen.

We can't tell if those guys in the back are crowding round an FS7 or queueing for free beer.

We can’t tell if those guys in the back are crowding round an FS7 or queueing for free beer.

Thanks for everyone who was involved, from the vendors who bought their kit to those who showed up last minute for the beer and networking. If you didn’t see anything that was right for you, try our Small is the New Big event on 20th August, where we’ll be pitting pro handheld cameras like the Panasonic GH4, Canon C100 and Sony X70 against each other to find the tiniest and mightiest of the current handheld crop, as well as giving you the chance to try out Optica’s latest sliders and gimbals.

You can register for our pro handheld event here.

Need 4K kit? Take a look at our best video deals here. Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.