Adobe Stock review: Our design team give their verdict

Adobe Stock review: Our design team give their verdict

It’s been just over half a year since Adobe announced their very own stock image service, Adobe Stock. And in that time, there have been significant updates, plus a load of new images added to their library.

Just after its release, our design team made the move over to Adobe Stock from the service they were previously using. While changing the tools you use day-in, day-out, is never without its wobbles, they managed to transition from Adobe Creative Suite to Creative Cloud and remain relatively unscathed, so as Adobe Stock plugs directly into CC apps, and uses a familiar Adobe interface, it was a doddle. Now they’ve had a while to get to grips with all the functionality and features, we thought we’d ask for their verdict on Adobe Stock, how it ties into their daily design workflow and whether they’d recommend making the move from any other stock service. Take a look at how they’re using it in the video below, and read on to find out their thoughts.

What’s new in Adobe Stock?

First of all, it’s worth pointing out some of the new updates since Adobe Stock‘s release. The library of assets is constantly growing, with 5 million new images and videos being added already (taking the tally from 40 million to 45 million). Adobe have also introduced Pooled Images, whereby if any member in your team purchases an Adobe Stock licence, all the images that the user then buys will automatically be shared with your creative team.

Our design team’s verdict

So what do our delectable designers think of Adobe Stock, six months on? And would they suggest making the move from your current service? We collared a few to pick their brains on everything from the layout of preview images to search options and prices…

Xenia: “The first major bonus for me is that Adobe Stock makes it really easy and quick to search for images and add them to your library straight from Photoshop. The imagery is constantly being updated too. The difference is obvious from just a few months ago when I searched for “tablet device” to now – there are more of them, and the quality of the images, taking composition and content into consideration, has improved greatly (as opposed to the sometimes cheesy ones you can come across!).

“Another thing I like is the simple pricing. Other photo stock sites use credits, meaning you have to figure out how much a credit is worth and, as each photo can have different credit values, it can get confusing. But Adobe Stock just has a simple, flat price plan. For us the ten images a month plan is perfect – at £19.99 it works out at really good value, and you can even roll over unused images for up to a year. It’s easy to manage the subscription too, as it’s through the same Admin Console we use for our Creative Cloud for teams licences.”

Liana: “There are now more options on the search tools drop-down menu, which is great. I especially like the extra long landscape size option on the orientation search tools, which is very useful if you’re looking to use images as headers or backgrounds on websites, for example. The only drawback at the moment, and this really is a minor quibble, is that you can’t uncheck a box – you have to clear them all, which means having to enter all the options again.

“The way the images are laid out is great too, as you get larger thumbnails because of the way that they’re stacked. The hover options are intuitive and ‘Find Similar’ option is also really handy. I quite like how it expands on the page when you click on an image, rather than taking you to a new page, as I often end up with loads of windows open.”

Thierry: “I find Adobe Stock really useful for mocking up how a project (especially brochures or magazine layouts) can look by placing in preview images without having to leave the application. If an image is then going to be used for print, I can simply click to purchase and the image in my project is updated to the highest quality available.”

Simon: “I really like how I can access Adobe Stock in the same place as Typekit, up in the toolbar. And once you’re browsing, the interface feels cleaner and simpler than other libraries I’ve used. It’s actually really nice to just have assets in Libraries ready to drag into any of the apps.”

– So, are you using Adobe Stock? Let us know what you think of the stock image service in the comments below. If you’d like to know more about the service and pricing for licences, click the banner or get in touch with the team on the details below… 

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

What is 12G-SDI? A guide to the standard

What is 12G-SDI? A guide to the standard

While the serial digital interface (SDI) has been the professional standard for AV interfaces since the 90s, with 4K and UHD becoming much more prevalent video formats for broadcasters (and requiring a massive four times the bandwidth of HD), moving it around isn’t as simple as pushing it through your beloved SDI cables. Step in 12G-SDI… 

What is 12G?

12G is an SDI standard developed to support greater resolution, frame rates and colour fidelity. It provides four times the bandwidth of HD, carrying 12Gbps, making it ideal for the 4Kp60 format. It’s not new as such, with 6G/12G being in development since 2012 for UHD, but has not yet been ratified by the SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers), the governing body of standards, with the draft name of SMPTE ST-2082.

For a bit of historical perspective, the original SDI standard 259M (introduced way back in 1989) could carry about 270Mbps of data. As broadcasters transitioned from 480i to 480p to 720p to 1080i to 1080P, and from copper to fibre, the SDI specification was updated, with 292 (for 1080i) carrying about 1.5Gbps and 424 upped this to about 3Gbps (for 1080p).

Who’s using it?

12G is available to any manufacturer but not many have stepped in yet to support the unratified SMTPE standard in their products. One manufacturer who has done so is Blackmagic Design. Their DeckLink 4K range of capture and playback cards all support 12G, as well as their Teranex Mini and Teranex Express (the world’s first broadcast convertor to include multi-rate 12G SDI connections).

Simon Westland, director of sales, Blackmagic Design EMEA, said that as a manufacturer they’ve always championed the use of common, open standards and non-proprietary connectivity and codecs. “What a customer wants to do is plug anything into anything and for it to work,” he said. “Fast action production has required the use of high frame rates for many years now, but while HD formats up to 1080p60 are very common, a lack of support for the same high frame rates in Ultra HD has hampered adoption of the format.

“With that in mind, we have been through nearly every aspect of our product range and added 12G-SDI, which supports single cable connectivity for the 2160p60 format. Customers can instantly see the benefits of not only the higher frame rates that 12G-SDI can offer in Ultra HD production, but also the simplicity that single cable connectivity offers. So while other technologies might be able to offer the necessary bandwidth, they will add unnecessary weight and cost, and will increase the overall risk of image degradation and signal dropout.”

Within broadcast and production, facilities are still built on 3G SDI standards, as 6G and 12G will not work over long distances and not many ‘end points’ have 6G or 12G inputs yet. We’ll probably see more 12G-enabled products at the next NAB show, but the more interesting development will be 12G over fibre, as this gives both the distance and the bandwidth to provide 4K and UHD signals around facilities.

Want to know more about 12G and Blackmagic Design video products? 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

Sony PXW-FS5 gets v1.1 firmware update

Sony PXW-FS5 gets v1.1 firmware update

The Sony PXW-FS5 has only been around for a couple of months (check out our first-look review here), and has already received its first firmware update, v1.1. This new release adds both 4K QHD output to the HDMI port, and face detection too.

The first of these updates is big news to those shooting 4K on the Sony PXW-FS5. On arrival, the FS5 was unable to record 4K internally at the same time as outputting an image externally via the HDMI port (so you couldn’t record internally and use an external monitor or recorder at the same time).

Responding to popular demand, Sony have now made HDMI output with QFHD resolution available at the same time as the camcorder is recording QFHD XAVC-L internally. This means the FS5 can record internally in QFHD resolution while being either monitored or recorded externally in QFHD resolution. Great for anyone using an Atomos Shogun, Ninja Assassin or the like.

This is at the expense of losing the video image on the FS5’s built-in display though – LCD and VF signals are lost, and only parameters are screened, but with no live signal.

The second feature in the new v1.1 update is face detection. This will help users easily focus on a selected face, and even follow that person while moving. On the LCD, each face is framed, and the camera operator can select which one is the ‘priority’ face, that can be followed automatically by focus (if the lens allows it).

– You can download the new Sony PXW-FS5 v1.1 firmware update here.

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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.

Avid Artist | DNxIO now supported with Pro Tools

Avid Artist | DNxIO now supported with Pro Tools

If you missed it over the Christmas break, Avid gifted media professionals the news that the Avid Artist | DNxIO video interface is now supported with Pro Tools. It’s another step towards their streamlined, integrated Avid Everywhere vision (and a great reason to upgrade to Pro Tools 12 and or Media Composer 8). 

Official word from Avid below:

Avid Artist | DNxIO

“The Avid Artist | DNxIO is a powerful, professional video I/O interface designed to simplify and accelerate your entire HD, Ultra HD*, 2K*, and 4K* workflow. Available as standalone hardware or bundled with industry-standard Media Composer software, Artist | DNxIO enables you to capture**, monitor, and output media quickly – in the highest quality possible. And because the interface is designed to be open and flexible, you can use it with Avid and other creative tools too – like Pro Tools.

– For Pro Tools support with DNxIO, Desktop Video for Artist DNxIO version 10.5.1 is required.

– Pro Tools 12.3 and higher qualified with DNxIO.

– For more detailed information click here.

*Pro Tools does not yet support video playback of any rates and resolutions larger than HD. However, 2K/4K/UHD playback may be achieved using DNxIO with Media Composer 8.4.2 or higher as a Video Satellite.

**Capture is only supported in Media Composer.”

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Want to know more about the Avid Artist | DNxIO? 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.

iOS 9: Our team look back at their favourite features

iOS 9: Our team look back at their favourite features

Apple launched the latest version of their mobile operating system back in September, iOS 9. As always, the new OS promised heaps of new features and adjustments, including updates to headline apps and services like Maps, Apple Music, Spotlight and more.

While all great improvements from Apple, inevitably some of the new features are more immediately useful than others, while some little tweaks might become more apparent through extended use. (Not all iPhone or iPad users use their device in exactly the same way, after all.) So now that we’re a few months down the line from iOS 9, we asked our creative team to pick out which new features have actually made the most marked improvement on their workflow and general iOS usage.

Back to app

The one feature that I think I have enjoyed in iOS 9 more than any other is ridiculously simple – but then, aren’t all the best ideas? While using one app and switching to another by tapping a new notification, iOS 9 now gives you the option to quickly go back to the original app.

Say you’re having a quick browse of the News app, then you receive an important iMessage. When you tap the banner notification and open up Messages, you’ll see ‘Back to News’ and an arrow in the top left hand corner of the screen, which will send you back to where you were in News once you’re finished in Messages. No more double tapping the home button and selecting the original app from the launcher – a small touch, but one that’s made multitasking just that bit easier.

Keyboard caps

For copywriter Becky, her favourite update has been the keyboard makeover, Apple shifting from the all caps format of iOS 8 to an upper and lowercase convention in iOS 9.

Said Becky: “A simple one, but the introduction of the lowercase keyboard in iOS 9 has made it far easier to tell when caps lock is on. It makes complete sense that when you’re typing in lowercase the keyboard is in lowercase and when you want to type in uppercase the keyboard switches to capitals.”

Better battery

We all sometimes get caught out by low battery, so Apple’s new Low Power Mode was a very welcome addition to iOS 9. This mode limits the activity of background apps and other power-eating processes (including disabling mail fetching, reducing screen brightness and turning off your screen more quickly), and kicks in when your battery falls below 20%, or you can turn it on manually under Battery in Settings.

Designer Simon Curd earmarked this as his top pick from the new features in iOS 9: “I’d have to say Low Power Mode. I don’t know how it’s supposed to work but I find the name reassuring when battery’s low, and I also happen to think the battery icon looks best in yellow.” Typical designer.

Apple Music

Apple originally launched their own music streaming service, Apple Music, in June 2015. With a three month free trial available, millions of Apple users signed up for the new service. Those sticking around to the end of the subscription saw iOS 9 tinkering with the interface to really up the user experience, according to design manager Vic.

“The whole app seems a lot snappier since iOS 9,” she said. “Menus are easier to navigate than before – especially on an iPhone screen – adding songs to a playlist is a breeze, and songs play quicker one after another. It’s certainly made me keep up my Apple Music subscription.”

Emojis

At the end of October 2015, Apple released the first small ‘point’ update for iOS 9. Perhaps the headline feature of iOS 9.1 was its Unicode support, meaning 150 new emojis and even more ways of expressing yourself without having to use real words.

Marketing coordinator Madison was particularly taken with the new emoji: “I really like the variety of emojis on offer in the latest iOS 9 update – I think it has a nicer representation, particularly across the food and animal categories. I know the unicorn and taco emojis went down well with the public, but my favourite has to be the lion. Sometimes you just really need to show your fierce lion side in a group message.”

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

Apple annual roundup 2015: All the news and highlights from Cupertino

Apple annual roundup 2015: All the news and highlights from Cupertino

Apple’s hardware and OS refreshes for Mac, iPad and iPhone have become highly-anticipated annual events. You could say this was an even more landmark year than usual though, with the 12″ MacBook, iPad Pro, a long-awaited new Apple TV, plus brand new ventures into the world of wearables and music streaming in the form of Apple Watch and Apple Music.

MacBook and more

While it was all quiet on the Mac Pro front this year, all eyes were on new Mac on the block, the 12″ MacBook, in March 2015. Thinner and lighter than MacBook Air, it features a brand new faster Intel Core M processor, up to 8GB of RAM, up to 512GB of flash storage and a swanky 2304×1440 resolution Retina display. It also features a new edge-to-edge keyboard design, a Force Touch trackpad and sports just one USB type-C port and a headphone jack. Oh, and it was also the first MacBook model to be available in gold, which is great if you need your notebook to match your neckwear.

As well as the new 12″ MacBook, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro also got a refresh at the Spring Forward event. With new fifth-gen Intel processors giving a significant speed boost, a Retina display, and more efficient storage architecture, the 13″ MacBook Pro now also features Apple’s latest Force Touch TrackPad too, as announced on the 12″ MacBook.

There was good news for iMac users in 2015 too. As well as getting bumped up to Retina 4K display with 4096 x 2304 resolution, the new 21.5″ models also feature new colour display technology that widens their colour gamut by 25% and include Intel’s Broadwell processors.

Apple announce new 12″ MacBook

– Apple Spring Forward with newly refreshed 2015 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

– Apple announce new 21.5″ 4K iMac and boost all 27″ models to 5K

Buyers’ Guide 2015: Mac for Business

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iPad updates

On to September’s Hey Siri event, which focuses on mobile devices, and there was a whole raft of new iOS goodness. Analysts and Apple fans had been predicting this was the event that Tim Cook would unveil a new, bigger iPad Pro, and they weren’t disappointed. The largest iPad to date, iPad Pro features a stunning 12.9″ Retina display, 5.6 million pixels, the latest iOS and new 64-bit A9X chip, giving it enough power to rival most portable PCs.

iPad mini also got a face lift, with a new 18% thinner (at just 6.1mm) profile, and slightly lighter, and is powered by a new A8 processor chip, finally bringing it in line with the power of iPad Air.

What’s the verdict on iPad Pro?

– Apple announce new iPad Pro and iPad mini 4

Buyers Guide 2015: iPad for Business

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iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

It didn’t take Nostradamus to predict that Apple may continue their run of annual iPhone refreshes at the Hey Siri event in September and, true to form, they unveiled iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, while discontinuing the colourful iPhone 5c. As Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said at the time:

“The only thing that has changed with iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is everything – 3D Touch lets users interact with iPhone in entirely new and fun ways, and the innovative Live Photos brings your pictures to life. These are the most advanced iPhones ever, with 7000 series aluminum, ion-strengthened glass, the new 64-bit A9 chip, 12 megapixel iSight and 5 megapixel FaceTime HD cameras, faster Touch ID, LTE and Wi-Fi. Customers are going to love them.”

– iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are in; iPhone 5c is out

Buyers’ Guide 2015: iPhone for Business

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OS X El Capitan and iOS 9

Back at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2015, the assembled crowds of devs were treated to first glimpses of both the new Mac operating system, OS X 10.11 El Capitan, and Apple’s mobile OS for iPad and iPhone, iOS 9.

The focus of OS X 10.11 El Capitan was really on user experience, with new gestures, improvements to Safari and a new, more powerful Spotlight. A few of the new features we’ve found most useful in El Capitan have been: being able to shake your mouse or a finger on the trackpad to locate your cursor; Split View in full-screen mode; being able to pin tabs in Safari; swiping to delete messages in Mail and muting individual tabs in Safari.

iOS 9 meanwhile, saw Siri become 40% more accurate and 40% faster, with new additions like starting your music player when you plug in your headphones, adding invitations to your calendar automatically, and advising you on the time it will take to get to a meeting based on realtime traffic info. She can even suggest who a caller might be by trawling your email for phone numbers hidden in email signatures. Other highlights included Apple Pay, meaning you can now pay for a coffee with your iPhone, better battery life, the News app replacing Newsstand, and more.

– Apple’s WWDC releases: An over-excited guide

Our top five new features in OS X El Capitan

Apple TV

It had been three years since Apple updated their standalone set-top box, so Apple TV was well due an upgrade when the all new model was announced in November 2015. Apple TV now has its very own App Store (which, as of December 2015, features BBC iPlayer, which is very welcome news for anyone in the UK), plus a brand new touchpad remote with Siri integration. There’s now support for games too, using the touchpad remote as a game controller. You can also pick up a very fetching Wii-style optional strap for more active gaming, or serious gamers can opt for a third-party MFi game controller.

Apple launch next generation Apple TV

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And the rest…

Earlier in the year, health, fitness and fashion freaks welcomed Apple Watch with open arms. Apple’s first wearable let users track fitness, receive notifications, messages and mail directly from their wrist, and came with a number of different options (we’re still holding out for an Apple Watch Edition from a very loving relative this Christmas). It then got an update to its operating system at WWDC, watchOS 2, which was paired with WatchKit, a set of tools allowing developers access to hardware and software to create native Apple Watch apps.

The same conference also saw Apple unveil a new music streaming service, Apple Music. As well as listening to your own iTunes library, you can stream any of the 30 million songs Apple has access to, or listen to carefully curated playlists based on your tastes.

Anything we missed that was top of your Apple list in 2015? Anything you’d like to see from Apple in 2016? Let us know in the comments below… 

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

Interview: Neil Rostance, Managing Director, Fat Free Media

Interview: Neil Rostance, Managing Director, Fat Free Media

Having to tailor content for multiple platforms and screen sizes, the demand for new formats and resolutions such as 4K – there’s always some new challenge digital creatives have to contend with. To find out more, we chatted to Neil Rostance, who’s Managing Director at Fat Free Media, a Nottingham-based video production company specialising in content for the web…

Who are Fat Free Media, and what kind of services do you currently offer clients?

We’re a video production company sitting firmly on content marketing for the web, doing video and animation – 2D and 3D – 99% of the time for online brands. We’ve specialised in that for about eight years now, but obviously in that time the landscape has changed massively for online digital content. We now try to make as exciting and authentic video content as possible, in whatever shape or form. Our team covers everything from live action and production through to 2D animation, and then the more specialist 3D visualisation and animation side.

Does that set you apart from other companies in the region, having all those different services and content available in-house?

It’s a little bit unusual for a regional company, having it all in-house, and it’s something we’re proud of. It’s really cool to be able to say to clients when they ring up that you’ve got someone who’s able to answer any questions. A lot of other companies outsource, or there’s a network they rely on, but from the start we were never interested in that. I wanted to have a team that works all at once on projects and make that the offering, and clients have really responded to that. That does set us apart both technically and also just with the rapport with clients – if they’ve got a team on their site and not working remotely in a city they don’t know, they can get answers quickly.

Neil Rostance interview

What kind of brands have you worked with before? Do you have any favourites, or any that stick out as being particularly challenging?

We do a lot of work with larger, well-established brands, so at the moment, we’re doing some cool projects with Center Parcs and Genting Casinos, as well as the industrial wing of Toyota. They’ve come to us specifically for something that is either outside their comfort zone or a new way of speaking to their clients – video. Even though these brands are household names, we get the exciting challenge of starting from scratch on how their brand talks and feels on video. You’re really going into uncharted territories when a brand that everybody recognises hasn’t done video before or maybe has but it hasn’t been as strategic as their print or direct marketing. That’s equally challenging as it is exciting.

So you can really tailor your offering to clients’ needs?

We’ve been surprised how niche we can get. Someone will come to us with a brief that sounds really specific but we’ve been lucky enough to be able to say ‘Yes, we’ve done that three or four times in different ways’, and we can show our track record. It doesn’t matter what industry it is, they get a feeling for video, and then can apply that to their own brand.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing digital creatives like you these days?

I still think there’s a lot of education to be done both as content creatives and brand holders in defining what the purpose of video content is and how people consume it. There’s still a bit of a hangover from the corporate video days and practices that do not sit well in highly interactive short form content. Big brands still seem to be thinking in old ways, and one of the biggest challenges is trying to reflect how people today consume video, and work backwards from that, rather than start by saying ‘Let’s make a ten minute video’. It’s trying to get what the viewer wants and work back from there, rather than applying content onto them.

Have you found there’s a big demand from clients for newer formats like 4K, and has that challenged your workflow?

We’ve only just tested the water with a 4K workflow, and although we want to incorporate it, we’ve only had a handful of clients even mention it, let alone require it yet. If you look at the delivery outputs we’re going through, which is web, there’s an even smaller portion of our viewers that can even access on 4K. So our output is not particularly screaming for it, but that doesn’t stop us wanting to explore it. We shoot in 4K, we sometimes edit in 4K, but to us it’s more of a testing ground rather than ready to go.

So it’s more about being ready for what clients may demand in the future?

I’m not saying there’s no future for it – it could be that we are suddenly working 100% in 4K from next month – but we don’t want to be behind the times. It does exist on the web, it’s just that we don’t get requests for it. Again, it’s a case of telling our customers that it does exist and that we can work with it, which is all part of our package.

As you’ve been going since 2007, you’ve probably seen formats and resolutions evolve quite a bit since then?

When we started, it was just at the tail end of DV tape. I started my studies shooting on reel to reel. So I have experience of analogue all the way to digital, and even though it moves very fast, 4K just means clients have more choices. Why not go with the best possible quality and work back from there? It gives more flexible options for the viewer, really.

Does it mean you’re having to update your infrastructure to cope?

The only issue that we’ve found is processing times. We’ve not had to change our infrastructure too much – luckily we’ve been given a good infrastructure from Jigsaw24 that can already handle it quite well. 4K just extends projects and takes longer to do anything, which is purely down to computer processing. So we can do it, there’s no extra special magic we’ve had to add to the workflow, we’ve just had to be a bit more patient with it. That will change and we will get used to it.

Are there any other challenges you can see on the horizon?

I’ve been seeing that our content is getting shorter and shorter, and spread across many more platforms, and many more outlets and channels. So the creative challenge has changed from creating one video for one set of viewers, in one channel, and building it from the start, to having to consider all different forms of content and how it’s consumed. That’s the biggest challenge at the moment – having to think ‘What would it be like if someone watched this on a train?’, ‘What would it be like if someone watched this on a 4K monitor?’, and having to be prepared to adapt for that full range, from a smartphone to a 4K monitor and beyond.

So you want to come up with a concept that can cover all platforms…

It’s the chicken and egg scenario when we’re brainstorming – do we create an idea and fit it to the technology, or do we bear in mind the technology and come up with an idea that forms around that? Do we let it always sit on technology that’s relevant to that idea, or do we look at all the available channels and really build the idea around the technology? I’m not fond of that, because it’s undermining the potential of the content. That’s the biggest consideration and challenge that we have creatively and technologically in our business at the moment.

Want to know more about our solutions for digital creatives? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email solutions@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

MatrixCMS: Untangling your marketing team

MatrixCMS: Untangling your marketing team

Marketing team being pulled between updating websites, catalogues, mobile content, emails and ERP systems? This video shows how MatrixCMS can help untangle your marketing team… 

Want to find out more? Give our team a call on 03332 400 888, email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Highlights from JAMF Software’s JNUC 2015 event

Highlights from JAMF Software’s JNUC 2015 event
Our team headed to the JAMF Nation User Conference in Minneapolis last week to catch the latest news in Mac management. Hundreds of Apple IT admins packed into the Guthrie Theater for the annual event based on freely sharing IT information and best practices.
 
Over three days and dozens of sessions, there was insight from a wide range of organisations – from large and small schools to global companies – all with the common thread of enabling scalable Apple technologies at scale through creative practices, from security to deployment and management. Just a few of our highlights included:
System Integrity Protection (SIP)

here was a lot of chat at the show about System Integrity Protection (SIP), which is part of OS X El Capitan 10.11, which was interesting to hear as it’s a new direction from Apple and affects Mac admins. csrutil, NetBoot and any old packages and software that install into protected directories will no longer run, however JAMF binary is on the white list so will continue to work.

Rich Trouton, an Apple veteran with over 18 years of experience supporting Macs, provided an overview: “All malware tries to get root access,” Trouton mentioned as he explained why SIP became important for Apple to implement. SIP disables root access to certain system files and kernel extensions. “SIP is a big change, but still a work in progress. I expect Apple to update this in the future.”

He also warned against disabling SIP and suggested that If you are using software that requires SIP to be disabled, “demand more from those vendors or leave them.” You can check out his full presentation here.

A new CEO at JAMF Software

JNUC 2015 was also the first JNUC with Dean Hager as JAMF Software’s Chief Executive Officer. Hager has more than 20 years of experience in leadership positions at high-growth software and technology companies including Kroll Ontrack and Lawson Software.

On his appointment, he said: “Businesses and schools love Apple products, and are continuing to adopt Mac, iPad, and iPhone devices in droves. This creates an enormous opportunity for JAMF by providing an easy way to manage these devices, helping organisations both large and small succeed with Apple. I am thrilled to be a part of it and to be leading JAMF in its next stage of growth.”

The JNUC 5k

The event wasn’t all Apple IT admin (and posh dinners) though – there was also the small matter of a 5k run open to all delegates. One of our heroic Solutions Architects, Thomas Holbrook, took it upon himself to dash around Minneapolis in the October cold, so well done, Tom!

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Want to find out more about JAMF Software Casper Suite and our partnership with them? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email solutions@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Education app of the week: PureFlow for iPad

Education app of the week: PureFlow for iPad

If you’re looking for a really simple way to create flowcharts, you’d do well to take a look at PureFlow for iPad, which our Apple Education Trainers have recently been using in computing curriculum workshops.

What is PureFlow for iPad?

There’s nothing fancy about PureFlow (Aleksandr Kozlov, free); it’s simply a very easy way of creating flowcharts on iPad. Open up the app, tap to create a new flowchart and you have a blank canvas on which to create any kind of flowchart. Tap anywhere to create a start point, and branch out from there choosing different types of objects and dragging arrows to extend your chart outwards, drag elements around, and more. Once finished, you can share your flowchart via email, Facebook, Twitter, PDF, or save it as an image.

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How can it benefit the classroom?

As mentioned, the team have been using PureFlow in computing workshops, helping to visualise ideas through mind maps and flowcharts (maths, design, even projects in creative subjects like English and drama). But it could really be used in any subject, both for presentation and in the concept and planning stages of a project to share ideas with teachers and peers, as having a visual aid is a great way to help people make decisions.

What’s the best feature?

We’ve tried a few different flowchart apps, but for basic flowcharting, PureFlow really can’t be beat. In fact, its lack of bells and whistles is probably its greatest feature (that, and the fact that it’s completely free too).

Where can I get it?

PureFlow (Aleksandr Kozlov, free) is completely free to download. You can get it on the App Store, or here on iTunes.

– Missed our last app review? Catch up with Videon for iPad here.

Find out more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom. Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306, email education@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.