Has the Adobe Illustrator “killer” finally arrived?

Tomorrow marks an important day for long-time Windows developer, Serif. They’re launching Affinity Designer, their first foray into Mac software. And they’ve set their sites on one of the largest and most important Mac developers in the world: Adobe.

Affinity Designer is a vector art design tool rivaling Adobe Illustrator in the same way that Pixelmator is an alternative app to Adobe’s Photoshop. Which is to say, it’s the real deal.

Affinity Designer
I’ve been using Affinity Designer on and off for the last month or so and I must say that I’m extremely impressed. With a price tag of only $40 (special price until October 9th), and a most-impressive feature set, I’m betting that it will find a home on quite a few Macs.

Affinity Designer can import AI, PSD, PDF, and SVG files, and save/export as EPS, TIF, JPG, PNG, GIF, PSD, and PDF. It also offers both RGB and CMYK color modes, including 16-bit color support.

All the tools you would expect can be found, and are easy to use. And the app fully supports Apple’s iCloud, Spaces and Full Screen mode. Some pretty cool features include the ability to use pixel-tools to your vector art and have it remain editable. And the best part, Affinity Designer is fast. Really fast.

If you’ve used Pixelmator, you’ve no doubt come to believe that there actually IS a true replacement for Photoshop. I’m here to tell you that as of tomorrow, there will be a real replacement for Adobe’s Illustrator as well. And rumor has it, they’re working on a page-layout app to compete with InDesign.

Now I’m not a fool. I don’t expect designers everywhere to suddenly dump their investment in Adobe software. But true professional-grade alternatives are out there. Watch out Adobe… you’ve been king of the hill for a long time, but the competition is heating up.

Free iOS 8 Vector UI kit

iOS 8 Vector UI Kit
Apple’s UI changes from iOS 7 to iOS 8 are subtle, yet incredibly extensive. Spacing, positioning, and font sizes and weights were liberally tweaked and adjusted. Almost every icon was redrawn as well. Mercury has released their fully vectorized iOS 8 UI kit, absolutely free, and it’s definitely worth downloading.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: Jim Dalrymple’s initial thoughts

iPhone 6
The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple, famous for his ‘yep’ or ‘nope’ posts when commenting on the validity of an Apple rumor, has posted his initial thoughts on using the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus for the last week. This is not a full review, but rather a first impression of using each device.

I liked his angle on this post. We all know what the iPhone is, and what it can do. There’s really no reason to post all manner of techno-babble like everyone else.

Apple updates iCloud Drive pricing/storage options

iCloud Drive pricing
Apple has updated the storage options and pricing for their iCloud Drive service. It’s a lot more reasonable now, though still not competitive in the market on pricing alone. Fortunately, iCloud Drive will have the benefit of working seamlessly with all your Apple devices. No other vendor will be able to offer the accessibility that Apple will with iCloud, and that (in my mind) justifies a little more in cost.