INPIXIO PHOTO CLIP MAC review

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Version Photo Cutter 1.4.61 and Photo Eraser 0.1.1.6
Developer InPixio
Website https://www.inpixio.com/photo-clip-mac/

 

ABOUT INPIXIO

Based in Paris with additional development resources worlwide, InPixio is a brand of Softcity and the Avanquest Group. InPixio is positioned on the key segment of photography and “Mobile to Print”.  Their drive is reflected by a direct presence in all market channels: Apple App Store, Apple Mac App Store, Google Play, Windows Stores etc. Also, by forging close relationships with a network of prestigious partners (Intel, Microsoft, Samsung etc.), InPixio has met the expectations of a public that is ever more attracted to downloaded software and mobile applications.

 

INSTALLATION & SETUP

Just Drag & Drop the application to your applications folder and you’re done really. InPixio Photo Clip for Mac consists of two individual applications: Photo Cutter and Photo Eraser.

INPIXIO PHOTO CUTTER

 

INTERFACE INPIXIO PHOTO CUTTER

  • First of the applications ( Photo Cutter and Photo Eraser ), Photo Cutter is a handy and easy to use application. Its interface is simple and preferences options are not available nor are extended export functions. The interface is a three stage editing section: Crop , Cut-Out and Photomontage. Inpixio makes editing so easy and fun really! Removing /keeping areas is piece of cake for anybody.
    Load your picture/image
    Choose Crop now or at later stage
    Set brush size for Remove and Keep
    Set quality ( where I feel the Faster method works best ?)
    Select area
    Wait for computer editing
    Check result ( adjust Edge blur to your liking )
  •  

  • Now the fun part of InPixio Photo Cutter

Photomontage section provides some starting images to work with, but you can add any image to this section by using the + sign. Below I just show you some steps and a final composition just for show.
It’s all about showing you the easy steps in creating your composition.

EXPORT OPTIONS

When I earlier mentioned limited export options, I really mean limited!  There is no other format available as JPEG, which is a shame really. All we get is a simple Save and option for Folder location, which is unsatisfying and a missed chance for a nice product like Photo Cutter. Export options should provide uploads to ‘social media’ and different of saving formats (png, tiff etc).

 

FEATURES

  • Remove Image Backgrounds
    Cutout Defined Objects Easily
    Compose Photo Montages
    Clone Image Sections To Fill Space
    Save Multiple Projects
    Precision Selection With Lasso Tool
    Use Paint Brush For Large Objects
  • Zoom/Navigate Large Images
    Drag & Drop For Optimal Control

INPIXIO PHOTO ERASER

INPIXIO PHOTO ERASER

Well next application InPixio Photo Eraser is again easy to use, but in order to obtain some result you need to fiddle around some time. Erasing objects is in most reviews shown with people in the sea or stuff like that. Anyway, images with large area’s of same colouring and objects like water, field of grass etc. These larger erea’s makes it much easier on the software to calculate replacement pixels. However removing a person in a busy city, is another level all together.
The software is confronted with many different objects, colouring and intensities which makes it a hard job to perform well. No matter how hard you try, enlarging an image will always show its been tempered with.

Small objects can easily be removed, but a large object in a complex composition is almost impossible to remove. The Cloning feature helps out, replacing an area with a similar (colour ) chosen spot creates a fairly good result. Just check the two images below where a person was removed and the pavement and surroundings have been ‘Stamped and Cloned’. The end result is okay, considering it took me 10 minutes to do the job.

If the result is satisfying is up to you….

This is about the best one can achieve with non professional tools in complex compositions. Erasing technique is complex, and I guess Photoshop will do a better job with this same image, but Photoshop is not for dummies and this is where Inpixio excels : usability at beginners level and those who are happy with a straightforward approach towards photo editing.

Still I feel Inpixio is doing a great job, and editing is fast and accurate. It does have its limitations but will help the enthusiast in editing their image.

VERDICT

Whenever you need to touch up your images a bit, change or delete background, InPixio Photo Clip for Mac gives you professional-looking results with easy use. Both applications have easy interfaces to work with and anybody should be able to the job in no time. All provided tools are handy and the Cut-Out feature works really well. Photomontage adds some nice artistic creativity and when done properly results in good compositions. InPixio is Mojave ready and works stable and fast. There is a little critic on the provided export/save function in both applications as they have Save As format change available which is a shame. An export to social media would also be a bonus for future versions. Still even without this little critic, InPixio Photo Clip for Mac really is a great tool for anyone to use and deserves our 5 star rating.

 

 

LOGOIST 3 review

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Version 3.2
Developer Synium Software
Website https://www.syniumsoftware.com/logoist

 

ABOUT SYNIUM

A 20-person team based in Mainz, Germany, is passionate about developing software for Mac, iPhone, and iPad to offer our customers the best apps out there. They started developing for Mac OS 8 in 1998 and have been creating Mac software ever since. In 2005 the company was named “Synium Software GmbH “. Their first product, genealogy software MacFamilyTree, was followed by numerous other apps. They refrain from ported Windows applications and cross-platform development because they firmly believe that software will only feel great to use if it has been developed for a specific platform, and is therefore able to take advantage of the latest technologies.

 

ABOUT LOGOIST 3

Design your logos or create an impressive image in a simple way with vector graphics in Logoist 3.  To make things simple Logoist 3 provides a wide range of templates for beginners and offers powerful tools for professionals to create beautiful designs.
Logoist 3 is all about graphic skills and creations for beginners and professionals. Create images to make your website stand out or design a beautiful company logo, its all possible with this great feature rich design tool.

 

INTERFACE

Logoist 3 has a beautiful interface and all features are easily found. Tons of clipart is available, though they all are in black. However any clipart image can be changed to any color needed to match your creation.
The Style panel provides all tools to refine them by adding color, color gradients, effects or ornaments and embellishments such as fire, snow, grass, jags, cracks, and many more.

 

 

LOGOIST 3 FEATURES

  • Combine vector artwork with pixel artwork – for example, for shiny surfaces, depth-of-field and bokeh effects
  • Non-destructive boolean operations: create great designs by combining simple shapes
  • Innovative grouping feature to structure larger projects
  • Edit gradients, patterns, text letter configurations and paths directly on the canvas for perfect accuracy
  • Generators: Add stitches, branches, grass, spikes, cracks to shapes and paths with a single click
  • 1-2-3 Logo! A few clicks… and dozens of versatile Logo suggestions appear you can work with
  • Huge clipart library included: Logoist includes over 3.000 clipart images
  • Preset styles: Over 100 configurable style presets at your fingertips
  • Export many vector and bitmap formats: PDF, SVG, EPS, PNG, HEIF, JPEG, Photoshop PSD
  • Import SVG, PDF, PNG, JPEG, HEIF images in your designs
  • Batch export: Export images and vector graphics in different configurations with a single click, ideal for web design or app development

 

One new feature is the 1-2-3 logo creation which creates a nice togo in three easy steps. After entering the name and sub-title a full list is created with automatically created designs.  The other presets presented in the interface are Card, Photo, Business Card and the Showcase. The templates available are a bit limited really. Of course any of these presets can be adapted to your wishes, still I wish the listing was longer.

GENERATORS

With Logoist it takes just a few easy clicks to add soft snowfall, grass, tree branches, flames or other elements to your design. Refine your art with jags, cracks, tears, rubber stamp effects and many more – it’s never been easier to create high-quality images in a matter of seconds. Just check the image below, and see the great created image.

 

Working with Logoist 3 is about moving objects around, not real creative vector drawing. Vector points editing is not possible. Export options for your work is versatile as it provides EPS, PDF, or SVG formats and others.

New opened files or images are set basic to 500×500 pixels, the Canvas button at the bottom of the interface gives you opportunity to change and set a wanted size.
Export setting is set to a density at 72dpi –though this will keep the created images file size small, it is insufficient for printing.
You can set the pixel density to any value for export however for export.

 

VERDICT

If you are looking for an easy to use logo creation tool, Logoist is your number one pick. Its versatile and offers a great interface and styles ready to be adjusted to your liking. No real skills needed, just click, add and adjust to finish your image for export. I like playing with Logoist as it sets no borders to your creative input apart from not being a draw tool which is better for most users really. If there is a minor point to mention it is the minimal number of presets available.
You can use the basic idea of the preset and start from there for your personal touch. Its snappy, and stable as does it support macOS Mojave right now in version 3. Have a go at the tryout version before you make up your mind, I like it!

 

 

TUNESKIT IPHONE DATA RECOVERY review

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Version 1.0.1
Developer Tuneskit
Website. https://www.tuneskit.com


ABOUT

TunesKit is a world-leading software developer dedicated to providing ultimate iTunes DRM removal solutions to customers all over the world with advanced technology and high-quality customer support.
At present, TunesKit is proud to be equipped with a professional R&D team, rigorous testing process and prompt online help system. In the future, TunesKit will spare no effort to improve the product performance as well as customer service.

 

INSTALLATION

Install the TunesKit iPhone Data Recovery software and connect the iOS device with your PC. Tap “Trust” button from the pop-up window on iOS device so that TunesKit iPhone Data Recovery can have access to the data on your device.

 

TUNESKIT FEATURES

Our personal data is beside on our computers also stored on iPhones, iPad’s and such. Like our computers, our iPhone also faces the same issues of accidental deletion of data being photo’s or messages. This is where tools like TunesKit iPhone Data Recovery comes in handy. There are many similar tools around and they all work well. What sets them apart is ease of use and fast scanning/recovery. TunesKit is both really, being easy and fast.

Now what’s special ;

The reason for making TunesKit iPhone Data Recovery distinguish from all iOS data recovery solutions is that it is the fastest data recovery tool to recover lost and deleted files on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Besides, there also exist some other flashpoints in this product.

  •       1. Easy interface
    This data recovery application is totally user-friendly, the file restoring process has been streamlined to just 3 simple steps. There’s no need to worry even if you are not skilled in computer.
    Firstly, connect your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch to the computer with USB cable. Secondly, scan and preview loss data. Thirdly, select and recover deleted files.
  •       2. Highest success rate
    Based on advanced technologies and thousands of times we tested before application insurance, you are most likely to succeed in recovering all loss data with TunesKit iPhone Data Recovery.
  •       3. Free lifetime update
    Purchasing this software is definitely cost-effective on account of the service it provides – free lifetime updating. Even though Apple’s products are updated frequently, the software we provide can adapt to your needs perfectly.
  •       4. 100% safe retrieval
    Data recovered after retrieval does not overwrite existing files, as a consequence, your files will be 100% safe.

  •       1. Recover deleted iOS data
    Many facts result in data loss on iPhone/iPad/iPod touch. TunesKit iPhone Data Recovery prevent all those kind of occurrence from your data loss, for instance, you delete data mistakenly, device or screen broken, fail to upgrade iOS, forget password, operate improperly, lost iPhone, device attacked by virus, factory reset, etc.
  •       2. Maximize restore of all data kinds on iDevice
    This iOS data recovery software of high efficiency is able to retrieve about 20 kinds of lost data which covers contact lists, SMS, iMessages, photos, videos, notes, calls, WhatApp/Kik/Viber messages, voice memos, Safari bookmarks, reminders, calendars, and so on.
  •       3. Rescue deleted iOS data from iPhone/iTunes/iCloud backups
    Benefit from the state-of-the-art data recovery technology applied in TunesKit, you can easily find back all deleted data in three smart recovery modes basing on different loss situation. As for accidental erasure, just restore loss data from iPhone directly; as for device damaged, you can restore form iTunes or iCloud Back-up with ease.

RECOVER LOST DATA FROM:

PRACTICE

So all data above is just information from the developer. More important is my personal experience using this application. The interface needs some updating really as the typeface is not very prominent, this is a personal remark of course.
The selection and information provided on the screen is accurate and useful. Scanning of your iPhone is fast, really fast…. no doubt about it. After scanning an overview of found data is presented in a segmented listing.

Step One: Connect iOS device to PC

Step Two: Scan and Preview

Step Three: Select and Recover

After hitting the Recover button, the selected data is recovered really fast and also stored in your Documents Folder. One nice extra feature of TunesKit is its ability to convert Apple’s HEIC formatted images to JPG on recovery.
This setting is available in its preferences.

Note: Update your iTunes to the latest version to prevent any trouble. Also, never launch iTunes while Tuneskit is running. In case it would sync automatically, the best way is to turn off the automatic syncing in iTunes:
Go to Preferences >> Devices >> Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically.

The list below will show you any recovery method available:


VERDICT

TunesKit iPhone Data Recovery is a time and money saver. The application comes to rescue your precious data incase of accidental deletion. It works fast and easy without any hiccups and places recovered data in a preset folder.

Its interface is providing all necessary information and even opts for a HEIC format change to JPG on recovery. Is it better or worse than the competition? I can’t tell for sure, but its scanning and recovery is blazing fast. The safe retrieval claim by the developer should set your worries aside. Just have a go at the trial version and find out yourself.

 

 

 

PATH FINDER 8 review

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Version 8.2.4
Developer Cocoatech
Website https://cocoatech.com/#/

 

ABOUT PATH FINDER 8

Path Finder 8 is the latest version of Cocoatech’s macOS Finder replacement. Finder being the integrated file handler in macOS and really improved in Mojave OS, does come with limitations. Path Finder 8 is along with Forklift the best replacement for the basic Finder. The most important change in version 8 is ‘ Modules ‘, and the way they are organised and used.

Path Finder 7, had bottom and right shelves and a sidebar, and each of them could accommodate four modules. Path Finder 8 however changed the static modules(shelves) in flexible modules. You now may add as many modules in a single window as you need. You can arrange, dismiss or drag them away if you don’t need them any longer in the interface. ( check the video’s below )

Path Finder 8 is absolutely loaded with features. It isn’t easy to find a meaningful action which is doesn’t provide.

PREFERENCES

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INTERFACE

The interface is fully customisable and with its dual pane option a joy to use for data handling. The menu bar is customisable as is the total interface including the new modules. Pat Finder 8 is a step forward but sadly also a step backwards in terms of functionality.

As I was trying to drag a fielder to Path Finders sidebar, I noticed it would show the inserting image ( line) but not actually granting access to the sidebar. This should be fixed asap, as it is one of the used features of a customisable interface.

If anyone really misses the ability to drag your most used folders to the sidebar, as was done in Pathfinder 7 but doesn’t work in Pathfinder 8, you can downgrade. Here’s the link to PathFinder 7 should you decide to downgrade: https://get.cocoatech.com/PF7.zip

Collect files with Drop Stack, then copy or move them in a single step. View and manipulate hidden files, is also one of its tricks to help you out.

 

 

 

MOJAVE DARK MODE
Dark Mode being a matter of taste, I still feel it add’s no real advantage other than when editing images. The full dark-mode of Mojave makes me search for icons and relevant interface features. Some areas read well ( good contrast ) but
most menu’s are harder to read due to lack of contrast. I understand business and selling points, but I feel Apple has overstepped itself with dark-mode. A good thing preferences allow us to choose and pick the mode we like and feel comfortable with. Path Finder 8 is in dark-mode or basic not without faults yet. Just check the Drop Stack area ( Left top ), and try to read any header. I can’t, maybe due to age but this is no good. Even in plain mode ( basic mode), there is
a image distortion. ( check the small image below ). This happens when you click your mouse in a screen area next to the opened Path Finder 8 interface. Suddenly lines darken en add thickness ? This shows Path Finder is still in development I guess. Its no big issue, but simply needs to be tackled in future releases(updates).

 

 

VERDICT
Path Finder 8 is the best replacement for your Mac’s Finder. It provides a full options interface and ease of use. The addition of Modules is a bonus but not something you can’t do without. However its interface is showing all customisable information or setup possible. The dual-pane and cover-flow are features you can’t do without. The dark-mode is not really my cup of tea, but may suit others. Dragging folders to the sidebar is a feature that needs to be implemented in next updates as it is one of the crucial aspects of file handling. Still I feel Path Finder to be a great improvement over macOS Finder. Path Finder will always remain our default file handler with or without modules implemented. Once you experienced the pleasure working with Path Finder, you never want to part.

PDF ELEMENT EXPRESS MAC 0.6 review

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Version 0.6.2
Developer Wondershare
Website https://pdf.wondershare.com/pdfelement-express-mac.html

 

ABOUT WONDERSHARE

Wondershare Technology is a key member of the National Planning Software Enterprises of China and a global leader in application software development. We have users in over 150 countries. Wondershare is committed to providing software that brings simplicity to people’s lives.

This commitment has made us an industry leader. We have research and development centers in ShenZhen and Tokyo, and marketing branches in Tokyo and Vancouver. Respected institutions such as Sino-Wisdom and IDG are among our investors. We have supported our rapid growth through dedication to our customers and are proud to offer multi-language Live Support.

WHAT IS PDF

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format used to present and exchange documents reliably, independent of software, hardware, or operating system. Invented by Adobe, PDF is now an open standard maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). PDFs can contain links and buttons, form fields, audio, video, and business logic. They can also be signed electronically and are easily viewed using free Acrobat Reader DC software.

Why do we use or should we use PFD ?

1. PDF software is universal

2. PDF software offers security

3. PDF files are searchable

4. PDF files are accessible

5. PDF files are interactive

Most used standard of business text files is the mentioned PDF format. We all receive PDF files in our mailbox and save them for later use. An advantage of PDF files is that they are compact and good for mailing, however the disadvantage of PDF files is that they are difficult to edit with Word as they probably will loose their original layout. A PDF→WORD converter is needed to easily import into Word. This is why programs like Adobe Acrobat , Wondershare PDFelement Express for Mac comes in handy.

 

PDFElement EXPRESS

PDFelement Express is the basic new version of Wondershare’s PDF Element Pro 6 application. Its interface is similar to its more expensive partner, but the menu has been moved to the left of the interface instead of the most used menu top-bar. Its a matter of taste and getting used to, when working with this new version. I prefer a menu top-bar, but as said its just a matter of taste. Dark Mode for Mojave is not implemented yet.

Preferences are not available in this version, as is the lack of an export tool like PDFelements 6 Pro for Mac. Provided Save As is always as a PDF file, wether you send/share to mail or store on your disk.

When choosing a desired function a next vertical bar opens with detailed and related options for document creation or changes. Add annotations and comments to PDF documents in just a few simple clicks. Its snappy and works well.

Edit PDFs Effortlessly

  • Edit Text: add, delete, or edit text just as easily as you would in a Word document.
  • Edit Image: add, delete, extract, replace, and rotate images in PDF files.
  • Edit Link: remove or add hyperlinks to PDF pages in order to open a file or visit a web page.

Manage PDF Pages Seamlessly

  • Split Pages: split one PDF file into multiple documents.
  • Extract Pages: extract one or more pages from your PDF document to create seperate PDF files.
  • Insert Pages: insert blank pages or pages from other PDF documents. Plus, delete unwanted pages, or edit the page order.

As this is Wondershare’s basic PDF editing tool, it’s limited in functionality really. I do miss an export functionality which PDFelements 6 Pro for Mac has. However I guess most people will feel this Express versions brings them all the tools they need. What sets PDFelement Express apart from other PDF editors, is its clean interface where all the tools are present on the surface. Editing, reading, and managing PDFs is made easy for you.

PDFelement VERSIONS COMPARED

 

This table shows you the different options available for PDFelement. Its up to you to check which version suits your needs best.

Coupon Code: WOND-YSRT-JJML   ( 40% discount ! )

VERDICT

PDFelement Express for Mac is designed for simplifying the PDF editing procedure. Being a lite version of PDFElements 6  for Mac, it is limited in professional functions. The set of features are sufficient for simple editing operations and neatly arranged on the screen. Its fast, stable and easy to work with. You don’t have to dig deep in the software to get things done. So I suggest you try out the software and experience your personal goals with this great utility.

 

PARAGON HARD DISK MANAGER 1.2 review

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Version 1.2.241 (1.2.241)
Developer Paragon
Website https://www.paragon-software.com/home/hdm-mac/

 

ABOUT PARAGON

The company was established by a group of MIPT students in 1994. A separate mobile division, called the Mobility Division, was formed in 1995. The German office opened in 1998, the Swiss office in 2000. In 2004, the company started working with Fujitsu-Siemens on its handheld PCs Russian localization.[2] Next year, the company expanded the product line of office and gaming applications for Symbian OS and received the “Developer of the Year” award in the Handango Champion Awards 2005.[3]

In 2011, PCMag recognized the company’s flagship solution Paragon Hard Disk Manager as the best hard drive management program. Paragon Software Group also won Global Telecoms Business Innovation Award 2011 for their mobile solution.[4]

All-round solution to protect, maintain and manage your Mac drives.

  • Snapshot-driven backup & powerful recovery features
  • Resizing partitions and redistributing unused space
  • Recovering lost or accidentally deleted partitions
  • Disk copying and secure data wiping
  • NEW APFS container resizing
  • NEW macOS 10.13 High Sierra support  ( No official MOJAVE support yet )

WHY USE PARAGON HARD DISK MANAGER

The macOS built-in Disk Utility is all many users will ever need. Apple’s software handles formatting HFS+, FAT32, and exFAT volumes and partitions. The macOS Disk Utility also supports verification and repair of native OS X disks. However, there still are plenty of reasons for wanting to do more with your drives. A few examples are optimising OS X, partitioning drives, or backing up and restore data faster then Time Machine. Paragon HDM also supports the latest APFS file system but not for backing up (still in process)! Additional features are recovery of accidental deleted partitions and SIP support.

 

INSTALLATION

Installation of Paragon HDM is not difficult, but additional files need to be installed during the proces. System Preferences need to allow the additional files to install. A small mounter utility is installed during installation needed for full high-speed access to virtual drives. PARAGON VMDK MOUNTER is installed in your Mac’s applications folder.

PARAGON VMDK Mounter for Mac OS X. ( Legacy product )

The first solution with full high-speed access to virtual disks under OS X
  • Very easy to use – mount a virtual container by double clicking or using Finder’s “Open With…” context submenu
  • Powerful Command Line Interface utility allows you to create and mount a virtual container
  • High performance – high access speed to virtual disk content and high-speed data exchange between host and guest OS
  • The first and only solution with full read/write access to virtual disks (even larger than 2TB) on OS X

(Caution: SIP should only be disabled by advanced users who know what they’re doing and understand the risks associated with modifying system-level files.

PREFERENCES

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DISKS & PARTITIONS

Like Disk Utility, Hard Disk Manager’s interface displays a list of all mounted volumes. HDM provides more detailed disk maps, color-coded partitions and logical disks and the file system in use: HFS+, FAT16/32, NTFS, exFAT, ExtFS, and free space. This is a definite better way to show relevant disk information. Hard Disk Manager also displays partition information as a list at the bottom of the window.

HDM can perform; format, partition, and work with non-native NTFS or ExFS volumes. You do need Paragon’s replacement drivers installed to access files. HDM works equally well with solid-state storage (SSD), USB flash drives, and Apple’s hybrid Fusion Drives as with traditional platter-based disks.

BACKUP & RESTORE

One of Paragon’s Features is Snapshot technology, which allows users to create an exact sector-level copy of the operating system and all disk data. Paragon states an improved performance in time between Time Machine and other Mac-backup solutions. The Snapshot feature, offers improved performance with system recovery times. Hows that for improvement.

The Backup and Restore function is simple, as the Create New Archive wizard detects all mounted OS X disks automatically, or you can manually select partitions from the disk map. Every backup needs to be initiated by the user as scheduled backups are not part of the Backup feature. Hard Disk Manager saves archives as Paragon Virtual Hard Drive (PVHD) images by default, which also supports incremental imaging. Incremental Imaging minimises time and storage space required for backups of the same volume(s).

VERDICT

Paragon’s Hard Disk Manager is a must for every user who needs to manage their disk in a more professional way than use of the basic macOS Disk Utility. HDM provides faster backup and restore tools than Time Machine ( see image above). The (re)sizing abilities and the recovery option takes it a step further than most applications. Full Mojave support is not available at this moment (APFS backup functionality). So if you’re already running Mojave you might wait for the update, or if APFS is not your external disks format, buy this good utility saving you time and efford.

 

 

PARAGON NTFS for MAC 15 review

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Version 15.4.11
Developer Paragon
Website  https://www.paragon-software.com/home/ntfs-mac/

 

ABOUT PARAGON

The company was established by a group of MIPT students in 1994. A separate mobile division, called the Mobility Division, was formed in 1995. The German office (Germany-based software company that develops hard drive management software, low-level file system drivers and storage technologies) opened in 1998, the Swiss office in 2000.
In 2004, the company started working with Fujitsu-Siemens on its handheld PCs Russian localization.[2] Next year, the company expanded the product line of office and gaming applications for Symbian OS and received the “Developer of the Year” award in the Handango Champion Awards 2005.[3]

In 2011, PCMag recognized the company’s flagship solution Paragon Hard Disk Manager as the best hard drive management program. Paragon Software Group also won Global Telecoms Business Innovation Award 2011 for their mobile solution.[4] The company is headquartered in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, with offices in the USA, China, Japan, Poland, and Russia

 

INSTALLATION of NTFS for MAC

The installation of NTFS for Mac is easy and straightforward, but needs a reboot to finalise installation. It also needs to load an extra file in order to make the menu bar add-on.

WHY USE NTFS for MAC

Can’t write, copy, edit or delete files on Microsoft NTFS-formatted drives from your Mac? It’s because macOS has limited support for Windows volumes — that is, you can only read data, but can’t write or delete anything. Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Paragon Software provides blazing fast, unlimited read/write access to Microsoft NTFS hard drives, SSDs or thumb drives formatted for Windows computers! This version also supports Apple’s latest APFS file system (see image below).
This utility makes your external storage usable on any computer system Windows or Mac. So your data remains interchangeable and is fully adapted for macOS MOJAVE.

 

PREFERENCES

Beside the menu bar add-on, Paragon’s NTFS for Mac also has some preferences to set. Here you may choose to activate the new MOJAVE dark look which looks great. Even if you have never used the Disk Utility you will find it very easy to learn the simple interface.

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PERFORMANCE

Microsoft NTFS is one of the primary file systems of Windows. If you work on a Mac computer and need to read or write files from HDD, SSD or a flash drive formatted under Windows, you need Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Paragon Software. Write, edit, copy, move and delete files on Microsoft NTFS volumes from your Mac! Fast, seamless, easy to use. Mount, unmount, verify, format or set any of your Microsoft NTFS volumes as a startup drive.

Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Paragon Software is the fastest file system driver on the market: 6x times faster than competing solutions ( scans ).

 

ERASE & VERIFY
Volumes can be created, erased and formatted just like one would do using Apple’s Disk Utility application. The difference is that the Paragon allows you to do these activities on NTFS drives. You can manage your volumes easily from one place.
The verification of a volume will take some time depending on the size of the volume. Is you use ‘ verify ‘, on your basic partition your system becomes unusable for a few minutes, till finished.

 

VERDICT
Running a Mac and have NTFS formatted external disks, you definitely need NTFS for Mac. It is well prices ( check) for offers!, and enables read and write access to your NTFs drives no matter what size. The speed at which you can read and write the data on these drives is the best of any competitor if there really is one. Anyone who needs to use Mac and Windows computers, needs this app for easy data transfer.
The interface is best of any application found, and the application itself offers additional drive tools for taking full control. The latest version also supports Mojave and APFS format to complete a perfect application. It is without real competition and deserves a full 5 star reward.

 

 

CLOUDBERRY BACKUP review


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Version 2.5.0.39
Developer Cloudberry Lab
Website https://www.cloudberrylab.com


ABOUT CLOUDBERRY LAB

Established in 2011 by a group of experienced IT professionals, CloudBerry Lab™ provides cloud-based backup and file management services to small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).

CloudBerry’s offerings include powerful, easy-to-use backup management capabilities and military-grade encryption using customer-controlled keys. Customers can choose to store their backup data with more than 20 online storage providers, including Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, HP Cloud, Rackspace, IBM Softlayer and others. CloudBerry also partners with thousands of VARs and MSPs to provide them with turnkey, white-label data protection services. CloudBerry Lab is an Amazon Web Services Advanced Technology Partner.

The software currently works with more than a dozen third-party storage vendors, including Amazon S3 and Glacier, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, OpenStack, Rackspace, HP Cloud, Backblaze B2, and many more. CloudBerry Lab does not offer storage; you have to secure that yourself from a third-party storage provider.

CloudBerry Backup comes in two versions:

  • Freeware: Designed for personal use, it has a 200 GB storage limit and is (as its name states) free.
  • Pro: Unlimited storage and advanced options for encryption and compression for $30. The Pro version also comes with a 15-day trial.

 

INSTALLATION & SETUP

Installation of Cloudberry Backup is easy, just drag the application icon to your applications folder and you’re set. Cloudberry Backup being a backup tool for almost any cloud based storage, only needs the login credentials from your separate bought cloud storage.

These days, an offsite backup is typically uploading data to a site on the internet and is called: cloud backup. Simply put, CloudBerry Backup for Mac serves as a conduit between your Mac and your cloud storage provider. You set CloudBerry Backup to which files you want backed up where and when, and Cloudberry Backup takes it from there. In addition, there’s an option to back up data to a hard drive connected to the Mac. The initial interface presented is shown below.

Some things you need to know about Cloudberry Backup. In other words, what you get and what you don’t get ( Cloud storage itself ).

RELIABLE CLOUD STORAGE THAT YOU CONTROL
With CloudBerry Backup you decide where to store backups: Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud or other.

DIRECT DATA TRANSFERS
CloudBerry Backup doesn’t process your data on 3rd-party servers, all data transfers occur between the source instance and a storage account you control.

RESTORE IS ALWAYS FREE
You don’t need a CloudBerry Backup commercial license to restore your data. You can configure your data retrieval right from the product activation screen.

 

MAIN FEATURES of CLOUDBERRY BACKUP

Well Cloudberry is fully equipped with all possible cloud storage services.

  • Scheduled Backup Build flexible Mac backup schedule for files and folders.
  • Incremental Backup Backup only new and modified files after the initial full backup.
  • Block level backup Backup only modified or new portions of files to add them to existing online data pool.
  • Command Line Interface Use the Command Line Interface to integrate backup with your own routines.
  • Compression Reduce data overhead, decrease storage costs, aid bandwidth and accelerate backup completion with optional compression.
  • Retention Policy Set up retention options to enable automated deletion of outdated data from your storage. Keep only actual versions of your backups.
  • 256-bit AES Encryption Encrypt backups with up to 256-bit strong keys on source side. All data sent to the cloud is encrypted using the SSL protocols to protect while it is in transit.
  • Email Notifications Set up customizable email notification feature to track each run of your Mac cloud backup and restore plans remotely.
  • Local Backup Backup Mac to cloud storage of your choice or set up local backup if you want to send only a subset of your data to the cloud and keep the rest on your local backup storage.
  • Network Locations Backup Back up your network locations including network shares, NAS devices, mapped drives, etc.
  • Symlinks support Maintain correct file structure and backup only what you need.

TO BE EXPECTED SOON

  • Full system backup Centralized backup of all files and settings of your Mac.
  • Support for Apple File System snapshots Seamless backup of files in use.
  • Support SFTP as a storage destination Backup to a network resource via SSH-secured FTP.
  • Support SMB as a storage destination Backup to a network resource via SMB/Samba.
  • Pre- and post actions Configure additional actions prior or after the backup job.
  • Detailed report Discover the detailed picture on the results of the previous backup jobs.

 

HOW TO SETUP a BACKUP

Once you have selected and aquired (a paid account, or not) your cloud storage service provider, you provide the credentials to CloudBerry Backup. These details (such as Access Key, Endpoint, Bucket, Container, etc.) vary by provider, and CloudBerry Backup will ask for the details it needs, based upon the provider you choose ! Good, as this is only for more experienced users and not for novice users. Setting up the details is something that needs knowledge. There is no Dropbox or Google Drive to select from the services list. Checking the list of providers, I feel this application is not really for the average Mac home-user but rather for a business or a professional user who keep their data in a safe place beside the common Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud which is far better integrated in your Mac system.

With the Pro version of CloudBerry Backup, you can choose to compress and/or encrypt your data and take advantage of features that the cloud storage server may offer, such as server-side encryption. The encryption that CloudBerry Backup performs is done on your Mac before your data is uploaded to your cloud storage via the HTTPS protocol.

 

These are the steps to set your BACKUP:

 

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These are the steps to perform a RESTORE

 

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VERDICT

The verdict for Cloudberry Backup for Mac is positive overall. It supports many cloud services, and is loaded with features. The Pro version adds (local) compression and encryption of your data before uploading to the cloud. It all works rather well and the Assistent helps you out when creating a backup or restore plan. The overall interface is not really my cup of tea, but it works well for what is was designed to do, and provides all information. The support for Apple’s new AFS file system is according to the website a coming feature. An absolute must knowing Mojave will be released on 24 September 2018. Cloudberry Backup is most useful for those having multiple cloud services running. Not recommended for novice or casual users, but good for any professional.

 

AURORA HDR 2019 review

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Version 1.0.0 (5674)
Developer Skylum Inc.
Website https://skylum.com/aurorahdr

 

ABOUT SKYLUM

Skylum was founded as Macphun in 2008 by two gaming developers and amateur photographers. Initially the company developed applications for iOS. One of its first applications was Vintage Video Maker, which was later named Vintagio. In 2009, Apple named Vintagio among Best iPhone apps of the year.[4][5] In 2010, Alex Tsepko joined the team. In total, the company released over 60 applications in the first three years. However, it saw the greatest number of downloads in the photography applications. Skylum thus decided to develop the same photography applications for MacOS.[6]

In early 2010, Skylum launched its first MacOS application, FX Photo Studio Pro, which was earlier available for iOS only.[7] Several other applications were also developed for MacOS including Snapheal.[8]

In order to tap the North Americas, the company moved its headquarters to San Diego, United States in 2013.[6] A great number of employees came from the Nik Collection, which was earlier acquired by Google.[9] Later that year, the company launched Intensify, a fully featured photo editing software, that was named among 2013 Best Mac App Store apps. In 2014, Skylum launched Tonality, a black-and-white photo editor software, that won Apple’s Editors’ Choice of the year.[10] The same year, Skylum hired a team in Europe to develop localized versions of its software and start European expansion.[6]

In 2015, Skylum released a new image noise reduction application called Noiseless.[11] Same year Skylum partnered with Trey Ratcliff to develop an HDR program. Through the collaboration Aurora HDR, a High Dynamic Range editing and processing tool, was released in November.[12] A year later, Skylum developed Luminar, an all-in-one photo editing software as an alternative to Adobe’s Lightroom. Both the software became the most known applications by the company. [13]

In 2017, the company released Aurora HDR and Luminar for Windows – software that previously was available for MacOS only.[14] At the same time, it was also announced that Macphun will change its name to Skylum.[15]

 

INSTALLATION & DISCRIPTION

Installation of Aurora HDR 2019 is straightforward and no need for a reboot. The start and actions with Aurora 2019 feel snappier then the 2018 version. Aurora HDR 2019 is the world’s ultimate HDR photo editing software, featuring the new AI Tone Mapping powered by the new Quantum HDR Engine. Its a complete and comprehensive tool kit for amateurs and pro-photographers. Its updated interface and new features complement a new release of Skylum HDR software. Perfect for single shots or multiple-exposure brackets, Aurora HDR 2019 is able to create beautiful HDR pictures from single shots, as well as the for HR photographed 3 pictures with different exposures. In fact Aurora HDR 2019 can turn any photographer into an artist.
Aurora HDR 2019 is a powerful update that has several new, and, frankly, compelling features.

 

WHAT IS ‘HDR’

HDR is short for High Dynamic Range. Pictures are taken in series or one and are processed and combined to one by adjusting the contrast ratios. An HDR image is commonly made by taking three photos of the same scene, each at different shutter speeds. The result is a bright, medium, and dark photo, based on the amount of light that got through the lens. A software process then combines all the photos to bring details to the shadows and highlights both. The result of this magic are stunning pictures with vivid colouring and lighting.

 

AURORA HDR 2019 in PRACTICE

 

 

 

AI TONE MAPPING IS POWERED BY THE NEW QUANTUM HDR ENGINE

Tone mapping converts (compresses) the wide dynamic range image into one that is more narrow and can be displayed on a computer monitor. In the past, tone mapping was done manually —   requiring the user to make these changes. Aurora HDR 2019’s new artificial intelligence changes this by using the new Quantum HDR Engine. This new HDR engine analyzes the dynamic range of the image to produce the best starting point to begin HDR processing.

INCREASE THE QUALITY OF AN IMAGE WITH HDR DETAILS BOOST

This filter allows you to control the details of the image, giving you the choice of making the image clearer and sharper or make it softer. This tool is useful for improving the overall quality of the image as well as to increase the quality of the images that will be used in high resolution, such as for printing. Increasing the sharpness can also compensate for lower quality optics used to make the captured image. Innovative technologies allow the HDR Details Boost adjustment to improve image sharpness without increasing digital noise or creating unnatural ghosting or halos in the image. This is a very powerful tool to improve the quality of images.

THE CLASSIC HDR EFFECT STARTS WITH THE HDR ENHANCE FILTER

Aurora HDR 2019’s HDR Enhance Filter allows adjusting an image’s detail and clarity. Using this tool you can get a classic HDR effect with great detail or get a smoother picture with less detail. This is the main tool to increase micro-contrast of an image and visualize more details.

The tool has three sections: HDR Clarity, HDR Smart Structure, and HDR Microstructure.

  •  HDR CLARITY
    The HDR Clarity slider is a single slider that adjusts a variety of controls including lighting effects and detail. It offers a special ability to configure balanced image brightness without getting completely white or completely black areas. This has the effect of making the image less realistic and more classically the look a lot of people associate with HDR.
    HDR SMART STRUCTURE
  • Increases image detail by revealing the structure and texture of the surfaces in the image. This enhances the image and hidden details appear. This slider adjusts the overall display of details. Moving the slider to the right will accentuate details and make the image more unrealistic.
    HDR MICROSTRUCTURE
  • This section amplifies micro-detail within the image. These are small details that form the surface of any object in the image. They can further enhance details of the image and provide a more vivid artistic HDR effect, however, it can also make the image very noisy.
  • Amount. Increases micro-details and contrast.
  • Softness. Affects the general “softness” and realism of the photo. Moving the slider to the left will cause the image to become very finely detailed and unrealistic.

 

 

CHECK BASIC IMAGE AURORA HDR 2018 vs AURORA HDR 2019

I wondered if there would be any difference in creating a HDR image from one of Trey Ratcliff’s images with Aurora 2018 and the updated 2019 version. To be fair the difference is not huge of course, still I feel the 2019 version does a better job with the sky elements. Check the left top sky and see that 2018 version shows more noise and artefacts then the 2019 update. All settings to ‘reset’ level in transformation of the image. The blue rooftop sections look much more defined on the 2019 version.
So we can state: Aurora HDR 2019 absolutely performs better then Aurora HDR 2018.

AURORA HDR 2018

 

AURORA HDR 2019

 

TONE MAPPING

What is tone mapping?
Skylum AURORA HDR 2018 already had Tone-mapping feature but version 2019 has a complete revolutionary Quantum HDR tone mapping engine. I guess this is one of the most used features within this application. Nice to fiddle around, but what does it really do?
It’s the process of converting the tonal values of an image from a high range to a lower one. For instance, an HDR file merged from multiple images with a dynamic range of 100,000:1 will be converted into an image with tonal values ranging from around 1 to 255.
Why do we want to reduce that tonal range so much? Well the reason is simple. Most standard display devices (and printers) can only reproduce a low range of dynamic values (between 100 or 200:1 or lower). The goal of tone mapping is to reproduce the appearance of images having a higher dynamic range to fit/display properly on standard display devices, thus keeping the image looking realistic.
The algorithms that tone mapping use to scale the dynamic range down attempt to preserve the appearance of the original image captured by breaking the information up into two categories: global and local.

 

VERDICT

Skylum raised the bar again with their Aurora HDR 2019 version, which doesn’t leave much room for improvement yet. There are some other applications available right now, which offer similar techniques and adjustment settings, but I feel Skylum Aurora HDR 2019 is the easiest to master for any user. Speed improved as well as a improved techniques like the new Quantum HDR Engine. The Lens Correction and Transform Tool are the obvious implemented features. HDR Clarity, HDR Smart Structure, and HDR Microstructure complete a perfect application.
I am a big fan of Skylum software, and I tried them all ! I love their clean interface and easy use. The offered presets are limited but when you add the mentioned Free packs or buy the available Presets from Macphun you can’t go wrong anymore.
This software can make any photographer into a true Michelangelo. How’s that for software changing your world !

So, I recommend Aurora HDR 2019 to anyone looking for the best HDR-editing application.

  • Current users of Aurora HDR 2018 may upgrade for $49 ($39 with our affiliate coupon code= MACSOFTREVIEW) NOT for pre-sale !!

 

CLEANMYMAC X review

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Version 4.0.1
Developer MacPaw Inc.
Website. https://macpaw.com/cleanmymac

 

CLEANMYMAC X  version 4.0.1

Reviewing software like CleanMyMac automatically pops the question, ‘ Does a Mac need maintenance’ ? A valid remark considering MAC’s are less affected by system failures to windows systems. This latest update of CleanMyMac is renamed to CleanMyMac X.
However an average Mac user, changing to latest software versions, doing lots of trials and uses his mac daily, will in time accumulate leftovers, tons of caches or unused apps in the OSX-system. This is where a software package like CleanMyMac X, is a good option for optimizing your system and keeps your mac running smoothly.

 

PREFERENCES

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MENU HELPER WIDGET

The updated Menu bar widget is one of my favorite changes to CleanMyMac X. CleanMyMac Menu now shows you lots of useful information about your Mac’s system.
You can free up memory, remove trash, and run a speed test on your network, all straight from the Menu bar widget.

 

CHANGES IN CLEANMYMAC X

A complete redesign of CleanMyMac is one of the things you’ll notice first ! The interface is stunningly good and well designed.

These are the major features and upgrades of CleanMyMac X:

  • Smart Scan: The all-in-one center for analysis and optimization of your Mac. Now it includes Cleanup, Protection, and Speed scanners, all launched with a single click.
  • CleanMyMac Assistant: An intelligent adviser that provides useful explanations, suggests further optimization steps and reminds about regular cleanups.
  • Malware Removal: Your Mac’s guard, checking yoursystem for vulnerabilities and removing malicious files.Includes a dedicated vulnerability database updater.
  • Optimization: A module that lets you manage login items, launch agents, hung and resource-consuming apps to increase system responsiveness.
  • Updater: A tool that delivers the latest available versions for your installed apps. Now you have all updates in one place.
  • Reinvented Menu: The Menu bar widget has a whole new look with more information available, shows the most resource-consuming applications, and provides useful instant features.
  • Better algorithms for scanning for junk –  MacPaw’s team created a better algorithm for scanning for junk.
  • Faster scan – CleanMyMac X has an improved scan time of up to three times faster.
  • Leading-edge design: A new progressive look of the beautiful Mac cleaner.

 

MAINTENANCE

Maintenance is on of the available tools to keep your Mac running smooth. This tool is taking some time to perform all tasks, but the result is very good. It tackles most important areas of maintenance even if you don’t seem to have a problem these tasks
should be run every few months I feel. It all depends on your personal use of your Mac. Are you a developer/tester or reviewer?  Then maintenance is probably an important factor to keep things running smooth.

 

UNINSTALLER

This tool is a definite upgrade over the last version of CleanMyMac. Check the different selections of applications on your Mac, Unused , 32-Bit applications. The 32-Bit applications will not be supported by the coming Mojave macOS, so you might start looking for an alternative or delete them. You will be surprised to see that you run more 32-Bit applications which will stop working on the new macOS.

The uninstall tool itself performs really well and finds the same number of files as App Cleaner or Trash Me. They all differ somewhat in files depending of the size and plists of the application.
You just don’t need a separate ‘uninstaller’ anymore !


UPDATER

The updater is also a nice new feature of CleanMyMc X. Is shows available updates when launching the application, and performs the update if possible. App Store updates are shown but need App Store for updating as all software updating programs do.
It also shows the ‘ Whats New’  description of the available update. Nice feature for those who don’t have an application like MacUpdater.

CLEANUP

 

CleanUp will find any leftovers, log files, Cache files, unused language files etc. on your system. The scanning is fast and accurate. However don’t ever just use the Clean button after scanning ! Always walk through the found results and check or uncheck any item you wish to keep. Clearing out your Cache of Safari results in loosing stored images and other content . Cache was invented to speed up Safari and not load images every time again if they already exist in cache. Always check the items you wish to keep or clean.

It finds broken links and all launch items as well. A broken link is not easily found by a user, CleanMyMac X however finds any. Photo Junk procedure, is like System Junk and iTunes Junk. Photo Junk will find a huge list of duplicates if you’re a fan of Photo Editing like me. I store many images all alike, but just with some editing. CleanMyMac X just tracks the image information and treats it like duplicates. So again, DON’T press Clean if you’re certain you wish the images to trash.

PROTECTION

This section is new in CleanMyMac X and helps keeping your Mac free of Malware and other vulnerabilities. This will NOT replace your separate installed Anti Virus application. I assume we all have stuf like Bitdefender or Sophos or Norton installed to keep us save from harm. But in this case its good to have a second protection layer installed. I can not check the used database for malware so can’t predict how effective it really is as the databases differ and protection threshold can not be set.
Its just a ‘One Click’ operation, which alerts when malicious files are found.

Still I welcome a additional protection from CleanMyMac X.

VERDICT

 

CleanMyMac X is a definite great update over the earlier versions. It looks great and the clean interface makes it an easy to use tool for anyone. It will free up memory for you from the nice menu widget and has tons of great features helping you out all the way. Still as mentioned before, check the scan-results in case of Smart Scan or System Junk. Don’t throw away stuff you wish to keep! Another feature I liked is the Trash Bin cleaner. Ever tried deleting your Backup files ? If straight from your bin, it will take forever. CleanMyMac X Trash Bin cleaner helps out!  I am impressed with this update and added tools and run a smart scan and quickly remove junk and free up hard drive space and memory.
The price of CleanMyMac X is not a bargain, as it sells 1 year subscriptions. A lifetime subscription will cost you € 63 ( special offer ), but will keep your Mac running smooth for years. A full 5 star result from Macsoftreview.