Adobe Photoshop Touch and Adobe Proto, two of Adobe’s Touch Apps designed for tablets, were updated in the past month. Today, Photoshop Touch was updated to version 1.3 with a few new features designed for iPad users with Retina screens. Last month, the web design app Proto was updated to version 1.5 with more integration between desktop and cloud applications.
Photoshop Touch 1.3: High-resolution improvements
According to Adobe’s blog post, Photoshop Touch 1.3’s primary goal is to support the new batch of high-resolution Retina screens being used by Apple in their new iPads (3rd generation). The app also supports images up to 12 megapixels, including print-quality resolutions. (The blog post makes it sound like you have to sacrifice the number of layers you can work with in order to gain the extra pixels.)
Other improvements include:
- Two new Effects: Shred and Colorize
- Smoother animation and scrolling in the organizer, tutorial browser and file picker
- New three-finger tap gesture to toggle 100 percent view and fit screen
- New pixel-nudging mode for precise movements
- Support for Apple Photo Stream on the iPad
Adobe Proto 1.5: Little improvements can mean a lot
Proto is one of my favorite Adobe Touch Apps (see my review of it here), but Proto 1.5 provides some very useful improvements that should have been in the original release. The more comprehensive list of improvements is here on John Nack’s blog, and here’s a selection of that list:
- Email interactive wireframe as attachment or share via Dropbox and other Adobe Touch Apps
- Copy and paste objects to different pages
- Share common objects across pages
- Navigations can now be pinned on all pages
- Z-index (stacking over) can be changed via Context Menu
- Show undo/redo count
- Objects snap to both CSS Column and Design Grid
- Code generated is now ordered according to the appearance in the page
- All pinned objects generate a separate common CSS file (common.css)
Generally, the improvements provide a more productive workflow within Proto, a more efficient use of materials like common navigation elements, and more useful code outside of the Proto environment. Dreamweaver users should watch this Adobe TV clip to learn how to bring native Proto files into Dreamweaver CS6.
For more information, check out the product pages for Photoshop Touch and Proto or the Adobe Touch Apps homepage.
I’m always impressed that O’Reilly’s books drill so deep into a topic they can squeeze out a 200-page book about something mundane like Google Analytics, the analytics engine used by countless websites. Most developers don’t do much more than implement the code and watch the page view statistics, but Google Analytics by Justin Cutroni (a Google Analytics Certified Partner) covers a lot more.
I was really impressed by a couple things in Google Analytics. Firstly, the book explains Google Analytics’ back-end processing far more than any source I’ve seen before. I found it intriguing from a developer’s perspective. Some may not find these details very useful but there are some practical applications for this knowledge. For example, knowing how the analytics engine parses results helps us know how long it will take for recent data to affect the dashboard.
The other aspect of Google Analytics that really impressed me is the chapter on advanced tracking techniques. It’s a large chapter (50 pages) that alone can really extend the usefulness of Google Analytics beyond what most people get out of it. The information on tracking e-commerce alone covers the price of this book. Generally speaking, the advanced information is what makes Google Analytics worth reading.
Google Analytics is also well-written and I like how Justin added some working examples and exercises on implementation, so readers can use techniques right away. Not everything in Google Analytics will pertain to a customer’s needs, but developers who use Google Analytics should at least be aware of all the service’s features—and Google Analytics covers pretty much everything.
Published by O’Reilly
It’s rare for a book to catch me off-guard with unique techniques, but Even Faster Web Sites seems to have done it. The book is written about the topic of website performance and optimization, which grants users a faster, leaner browser experience and less hassle with slow-loading pages and images. I had always known about image optimization tools in Photoshop and coding techniques that help make pages smaller and faster but Even Faster Web Sites surprised me with tactics and techniques that are a level above.
First, a strong pedigree
The book’s stable of authors is enough to make web designers take notice. The main author is Steve Souders, who works on web performance at Google and created the Firebug extension YSlow. Some chapters are written by other authors including:
This is a large group of authors from some of the most recognizable companies in the web technology industry. The books such authors put out often stand out, such as Web Form Design by Luke Wroblewski. The writing is solid and the grasp of the web technology is really top-notch.
Magic behind the curtain
One of the most impressive aspects of Even Faster Web Sites is the testing and research produced by the authors. Some books get away with stating rules and best practices, but this one provides evidence to support what it recommends. The charts and tables convinced me that I have some room to improve my own website-building practices for my clients, and I’m excited to provide even better service thanks to this book.
Even Better Web Sites is an outstanding book, and a rare book that’s a good read for designers and developers of every skill level. The only designers who don’t need this book are those who know everything about web design already. Some of the techniques explained in this book seem to border on magic. I recommend you pick up a copy and learn how your websites can move even faster.
Even Faster Web Sites
Published by O’Reilly