MacDirectory Magazine

Summer-Fall 2011

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 43 of 115

COMMENT ARY IWARDS UPDATE WORDS BY BILL TROOP The past few months have been pretty dull for technology, but we finally have two sensational products to award this summer, Quark 9 and the Olympus XZ-1. The ultimate compact digicam The Olympus XZ-1 has been widely acclaimed as the best compact digicam yet made. This is mainly due to its Zuiko lens — that's Olympus's name for its professional lenses — which performs at a level that hitherto hasn't been seen in pocket-sized digicams. Is the fuss worth it? Yes. Tests show this lens is not just the fastest but also the sharpest lens you can buy in a pocket-sized digicam. Working together with a larger than usual sensor, the Zuiko lets family photographers effortlessly shoot better indoor and night- time pictures — and lets serious photographers achieve depth of field and bokeh effects which weren't possible in a pocket-size until now. The XZ-1 doesn't quite match the high ISO performance of the best SLRs or Olympus's own four-thirds SLD series. But those cameras are twice or three times the size. For pocket size, the pro-quality images of the XZ-1 can't be beat. Icing on the cake? Exceptionally cool styling. Quark 9 We enthusiastically award Quark Xpress 9. Key features include conditional styles, anchors, Shape Maker and publishing to iPad and eBooks. Quark is now setting the industry's standards for features and time- saving productivity. Here at we have long recognized that Quark was back on the hard path to glory. But it wasn't until Quark proved itself with Xpress 9 that the rest of the world started to agree. In June, our distinguished colleagues at awarded Xpress 9 twice, with Best Creative Design Software of the Year (over InDesign 5.5) and the coveted Grand Prix. That Xpress 9 should snatch the Grand Prix over the software and hardware of the past 12 months shows how deeply the company is thinking and how fast it's responding. Xpress 9 is crammed with features that make you keep on saying, 'Why didn't anybody ever think of this before? It will be saving creative designers thousands of hours and thousands of headaches. Meanwhile, back at Cupertino We were thrilled to see Steve Jobs well enough to make another announcement. He truly is the outstanding technologist of our day. We want him to be with us for many years to come. However, we weren't entirely convinced by the content of his latest. As to Lion, we like the revision tracking, but that won't be much use until we're all using apps that take advantage of it, and that's years away. For the rest, we'll wait and see. That leaves the narrative where MobileMe becomes iCloud, and faithful MobileMe customers lose lots of features they like. Apple is used to winning when it subjects its users to disruptive hardware and software changes that nobody else in the industry could get away with. But when it comes to cloud backup, we're not so sure this strategy is going to be successful. We all need cloud storage, because very few of us do off-site backup, and that's undoubtedly the safest kind, maybe the only safe kind. But an effective cloud- based backup system needs to be simpler than iCloud, yet do much more. What we all really want is this: How does iCloud help? Well, it backs up kinds of data, and others it back up. Good luck remembering which. And space is limited. It certainly doesn't do a system backup. We're not saying Apple could possibly have done, yet, everything necessary for perfect cloud services. For one thing, it would need to charge more, yet nobody wants to pay. For another, there is the intractable problem of cloud backup that won't go away: slow upload speeds. We think iCloud is a confusing concept and await clarification. In the meantime, what about DropBox? And watch LaCie with its Wuala service and CloudBox product. 42 MacDirectory M a c w o r l d U K a l l d ta o os se sr e p t r n r g m u a e e o y t e s e t b t t nn o e y c s t t e n o r a h s d i o e w l t i u s t I . o b dm l e i s n r n o p fr I o d s e o er o s I me l a d , b d o e s n ' u t I t o c t o n , m y a n e w . m t e M a c D i r e c t o r y

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