Ommwriter for iPad is there - impressions from a fan

As recently announced, Ommwriter for iPad is finally here. At first, only in a few Appstores, but now, I think every Appstore should have it available. 
It works almost the same as the desktop version, with the same new sounds and visuals.

However, I have two issues with the current version.
First, there is no dropbox or other filecloud thingamajingy support. Emailing a text to yourself is really 90s. So I hope a next update will incorporate dropbox or cloudapp support.

The lack of a cloud service is a minor annoyance, my biggest peeve is with the keyboard. Understandably the guys from Ommwriter chose to modify the keyboard to blend in more with the app, and thus make it less obtrusive (and have a little wobble while typing). That's perfect in theory. however, the implementation leaves to be desired. Because, with this, they also made the keyboard more narrow. And now, I miss quite a few keystrokes, and it makes me concentrate on the keyboard, which is in contrast with what the app actually wants to achieve: concentrate on your writing.

See the difference between the regular iPad keyboard and the Ommwriter version below. Note that the latter is almost a key width narrower in width and height:

I am one of the few persons who can type blind on an iPad with almost the same speed as on a regular keyboard, and this Ommwriter keyboard really reduces my performance in speed and more importantly accuracy.

Edit
looks like I spoke too soon (RTFM!). It's actually possible to enlarge the keyboard at will..
So, you can make it even wider than the original keyboard.. That's just awesome!

It's here! Bibble 5.2 and our book "The Bibble Survival Guide"

Today, Bibble Labs released version 5.2 of their awesome raw workflow software. (Press Release)
This version has a lot of improvements and new features, like:
- support for 14 new raw camera formats
- new regional editing features, like layer transparancy, subtractive overlapping regions, rotation and distortion correction, etc
- more options for Heal & Clone tools
- copy sets, selective copying
- more advanced Preset options
and lots, lots more.

together with Bibble 5.2 we announced our book "The Bibble Survival Guide", your definite guide to everything Bibble. This 200+ pages PDF ebook (no DRM!) has extensive information for both new and experienced users of Bibble. Check out the site for information, samples and purchase.

Het is er! Bibble 5.2 en ons boek "The Bibble Survival Guide"

Vandaag heeft Bibble Labs versie 5.2 van hun raw workflow software aangekondigd. (persbericht). 

Deze versie heeft weer een hele hoop nieuwe functies en verbeteringen zoals:
- ondersteuning voor 14 nieuwe RAW camera formats
- geavanceerde tools voor lagen en regio's. Transparantie, overlappende lagen, rotatie, etc
- Heal & Clone uitbreidingen
- verbeteringen in de workflow en bugfixes

en nog veel meer.

Tegenlijk hebben Andreas en ik ons boek "The Bibble Survival Guide" uitgebracht. Een 200+ pagina's tellende e-book (non-DRM pdf) waarin uitgebreide informatie staat over hoe je Bibble op de meest optimale manier kan inzetten in je raw workflow. Een voorproefje kan op de site gedownload worden, ook staat er een inhoudsopgave.

Bibble Labs releases Bibble 5 Pro - it's the real thing baby!

Bibble Labs has (finally) officially released Bibble 5 Pro. This amazing piece of software will make your raw workflow a lot faster and easier.

Check out the full specs on their website bibblelabs.com

From their website:

Bibble 5 is an ambitious project to revolutionize Digital Photographic Workflow. Expanding on Bibble 4's speed and power, Bibble 5 is designed to unite unparalleled photographic editing capability and blazing speed in a sleek, modern interface.

Bibble 5 offers Complete Selective editing - apply essentially any image adjustment to the whole image, or just a portion of the image - Asset Managementthat is fast and flexible, and an intuitive design that's easy to learn, and is up to 88 times as fast as other similar applications.

Bibble Labs releases Bibble 5 Pro - it's the real thing baby!

Bibble Labs has (finally) officially released Bibble 5 Pro. This amazing piece of software will make your raw workflow a lot faster and easier.

Check out the full specs on their website bibblelabs.com

From their website:

Bibble 5 is an ambitious project to revolutionize Digital Photographic Workflow. Expanding on Bibble 4's speed and power, Bibble 5 is designed to unite unparalleled photographic editing capability and blazing speed in a sleek, modern interface.

Bibble 5 offers Complete Selective editing - apply essentially any image adjustment to the whole image, or just a portion of the image - Asset Managementthat is fast and flexible, and an intuitive design that's easy to learn, and is up to 88 times as fast as other similar applications.

iPhone: Push or multitasking, what's the difference?

The 3rd party Push notifications have been announced two years ago, and are finally available for general use in iPhone OS 3. Apple has put up push notifications as an alternative to multitasking, mainly because multi-tasking apps running in the background would drain your battery quicker and multi-tasking would use more memory. 

Well, it is a fact that the more apps you are running simultanious, the more memory is used. And yes, especially if an application is polling the network for new messages, that can consume battery life quite quickly.
 
So, push notifications is the solution and holy grail for iPhone users.
 
Now, back into real life. I installed Worldvoice, a "radio" application that uses push for notifications of new "broadcasts" and such. So I switched on the push notifications and played around with the application a bit. I then switched the app off and pretty soon, a push message was shown. Cool. I got bored with it, and switched off the individual notification settings for Worldvoice. The general Push setting remained "on" (because I forgot about it) - see screenshot.

After half a day, I noticed that my iphone battery indicator dropped significantly more than I am used to.
 
Did some more tests during a few days and yes, even though you're not actually receiving any push notifications, just having the push notification enabled makes that your battery drains quite a bit quicker than usual. Because the connection to the push server and phone is open constantly.
 
I am now wondering if this push is actually such a good idea. It drains battery, even without using it. This is with only one app, with very few updates. If you have three or four apps, with a lot of updates (say a twitter client with notifications for DMs and Mentions, and an MSN client with notifications for messages, etc), I think your battery will be gone after a few hours. That sucks, and I think is not much different than just run the apps in the background, really.

Do more people have the above experience (or not?) and willing to share their opinion?

Safari 4 windows vs mac tabs

Okay Apple, why are you doing this?
 
The close button on the windows Safari 4 are on the opposite side of the tab than the Mac OSX Safari 4 version. The idea behind is probably platform UI consistency (windows has the "X" in the top right corner, OSX in the top left), but it is annoying as hell when you are using both platforms.
Okay cmd-W/ctrl-W is the keyboard way (which I use mostly), but this is confusing for mouse use.

Bibble 5 Preview, an overview

Well, we've all been waiting for this since Photokina 2006 and finally Bibble Labs has released a public beta, or preview version, of Bibble 5, their spankin' new Raw workflow tool.

For those curious to try, you can go to the Bibble Labs forum and download the preview there. There's no info on the top website, so you have to sign up in the forums.

Anyway, I thought I'd give a quick overview of the nifty new things that Bibble 5 has in store for us.

Let's start with the UI. As you can see, dark is the rage, and the B5 UI clearly shows there has been some thought in that respect.

Bibble Labs decided to stick with their "edit everywhere" approach, so it doesn't matter if you're in library, filesystem or output tab on the left, you can always edit your image. I personally really like the vertical tabbing. Each tool, be it on the left panels or right panels can be "pinned", so they're always visible. That way you can have your most used tools available all the time. To save space, the panels can be "folded" away, and they'll pop out from the sides whenever you move your mouse pointer to the sides. A great feature if you are working on smaller monitors. I own an Aspire One netbook and B5 runs super on that little machine. With the UI space saving options, it is very usable on a small screen like the AAO has.

A new feature compared to the previous Bibble versions is the option to have a library. Yes, an OPTION, since you're still free to just use the filesystem (as you can see in the screenshot above). Also, B5 is not just limited to one catalog, but you can have multiple catalogues, and each catalogue can reside where ever you want it to reside. For instance you can have one main catalogue on a network drive, another locally and another one on an external harddisk. You can search and browse across those catalogues, so your "library view" is not limited to just one catalogue. Files can be offline (on a DVD for instance) and B5 will detect that. You will be able to view offline files without the actual physical media being attached. Of course editing isn't really possible without the originals, but culling and rating is no problem.

Just like previous Bibble versions, you can have your own layout. I prefer a portrait orientated thumbnail view, so my layout is like the above screenshot. For culling you may want to only have the thumbnails visible, or use the new multi-view to select the best image.

In multi-view you can have the zoom locked, so you can pan around images simultaneously. A border around an image means that image is active.

In the above images I was working in filesystem view, but it is of course more advanced to use the library, since that will offer a lot of extra functionality, like keywording, metadata browsing and searching, multiple versions and stacks.
The screenshot below shows a small overview of the browsing options for your library.

But the great part is that you can do an (almost) live search on your assets. As you can see in the metadata browser I have one image that I've converted to black&white and added a corresponding keyword to it. I can now just enter "Black &White" (without quotes) in the top search bar of the catalogs panel and voila:

I mentioned versions and stacks before. Well, that's pretty easy:

 
You can see 3 identical images, but each has a different treatment applied. It's really as simple as selecting an image and choosing that you want to create a new version from that image. You can select any image in the stack and opt to create a new version from the master file, current selected file or imported file. This gives you an almost endless palet to choose from. You can stack a selected number of photos. Master (identified by the little page with arrow symbol in the bottom right of the thumbnail frame) files and versions are automatically stacked, so if you create a new version from a file, that version will be added to the stack. You can toggle the stack view. In the screenshot the stack is unfolded, but you can also fold the stack to a single thumbnail view.

Combined all the above features offer great DAM possibilities. But the really, REALLY cool part is the local editing. And not just simple highlights, but any tool that can be done on a whole image can be done at a selection. A quick sample.

I shot this portrait of Zerlina a year ago, and while I love the look (she's beautiful), I'm not too fond of the green leaves. They're a bit too green for my taste.

So, I want to make the background a little darker and possibly also slightly less saturated.
So I select the model:

The selection is a bit rough, but for this purpose it's pretty ok. Now I selected the model, but I want to select the background, so I invert my selection. The color of the selection border changes and shows that now you've inverted the selection.

Now all I need to do is reduce exposure and saturation:

I think the model needs a bit of sharpening and slight desaturation too, so with two clicks I duplicate the layer and invert it back again so the new layer only has the model selected. Then I desaturate a bit and add some sharpening. The final result:

Of course, possibilities are endless, and the above shows that for a lot of tasks you can now leave Photoshop in the closet.
The layers in Bibble 5 can overlap as well, the regions can be simple round circles, polygons or curves (my preferred selection). There's even a brush option with selective size and strength! And each selection also has a feather region of which the size can be easily changed either by right clicking and sliding the size selector or just hovering over the feather and using your scrollwheel. With the scrollwheel you can also resize the actual selection. Moving of regions is a matter of click&drag. Adding points in a polygon or curve selection is just shift-clicking on the spot where you want to add a point. 

So far the quick intro of Bibble 5. Say tuned for more advanced samples. And be sure to check out the bibble labs forums and tutorial videos on B5!