NIK Software Acquired by Google

Came across this surprise announcement this morning amid the flurry of Photokina product news and reports.

From NIK Software:

We are pleased to announce that Google has acquired Nik Software. For nearly 17 years, we’ve been guided by our motto, “photography first”, as we worked to build world class digital image editing tools. We’ve always aspired to share our passion for photography with everyone, and with Google’s support we hope to be able to help many millions more people create awesome pictures.

We’re incredibly grateful for all of your support and hope you’ll join us on the next phase of our journey as part of Google.

All our best!

The Nik Software Team

—-

Not sure what this means for NIK users worldwide. Their tools have become a big part of my workflow over the years and they are quite indispensable. Let’s hope that Google has a good road map for the future of NIK.

Adobe Configurator

Adobe recently made available a nifty free utility ‘Adobe Configurator‘ update for download on Adobe labs.

Adobe Configurator 3.1 interface

Adobe Configurator 3.1 enables users to easily create custom panels (palettes) for use in both Photoshop CS5/Cs6 and InDesign CS5/CS6. Users can drag and drop their favourite tools, menus, scripts, actions etc. into a panel design and then export the custom panels for use in Photoshop or InDesign.

In a matter of minutes, I created a quick panel containing my most used Photoshop tools and have it imported into Photoshop CS5. The utility is fun and a joy to use.

Configurator 3 panel in PSCS5

You can visit Adobe labs for more info on Adobe Configurator and download links.

Aperture 3.2 Update

The latest Aperture 3.2 release is available via Software Update. The details are listed in the Release Notes:

Aperture 3.2 supports compatibility with iCloud and iOS 5, and is recommended for all users of Aperture 3. This update addresses minor stability, performance and compatibility issues, including those listed below.

  • Resolves an issue that could cause the Loading indicator to reappear in the Viewer when cropping a photo.
  • Aperture now automatically reopens into Full Screen mode if the application was in Full Screen mode when last quit.
  • Pinch-to-zoom gesture now automatically activates Zoom mode in the Viewer.
  • Left and right swipe gestures can now be used to navigate between photos in the Viewer.
  • Microsoft Outlook can now be chosen in Preferences as the application used by Aperture for emailing photos.
  • Fixes an issue that could cause Aperture, running on OS X Lion, to quit unexpectedly when using brushes to apply adjustments.
  • The Loupe now correctly displays magnification levels between 50-100%.
  • Fixes an issue that could cause Aperture, running on OS X Lion, to display the incorrect color profile on externally edited images.
  • The Import window now includes an option to delete photos from iPhone and iPad after they have been imported into Aperture.
  • The Lift & Stamp tool now displays the correct cursor icons when being used in Split View and Viewer only modes.

OSX Lion and Rosetta

Chris Breen from Macworld has an article about Apple dropping support for Rosetta in OSX Lion which debuts in July.

Currently, in order to run applications that are PowerPC based (not Intel) on the current OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard, you need Rosetta to act as an interpreter. With the disappearance of Rosetta in the upcoming OS, the apps that are PowerPC-based will in effect be incompatible.

You can check which app is a PowerPC version by going to the System Profiler.

Safe Download Version

From Mac Observer:

If you have installed OSX 10.6 latest Security Update 2011-003, you will get daily safe file updates for Safari to prevent malware (trojan horse) from infecting your system. This is a direct response to the MacDefender malware back in May this year.

Security Preference Pane

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that this works perfectly and you get the latest virus definition every time one is available. Thanks to Adam Christianson from Mac Observer, he had updated Safe Download Version to have the ability to grab the latest definition list directly. This OSX utility also shows you when the definition list was last updated and what version number is installed.

Safe Download Version

Safe Download Version is free and it is available for download on the bottom of TMO page here.

NIK Snapseed for iPad

If you are an iPad owner looking for a good photo app for your mobile device, you might want to take a look at NIK’s newest product Snapseed.

NIK is well known for their U-Point technology and pro photography plugins like Silver Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro and Sharpener Pro. Their plugins are well designed and offer professional controls and results. With Snapseed, NIK has moved the patented U-Point technology to the mobile device.

Snapseed iTunes screen grab

Snapseed offers tap control points for selective image adjustments (U-Point technology). Creative effects can be applied via photo filters like Grunge, Vintage etc. You can create centre focus by blurring areas outside of the desired areas. Black & White is also part of the Snapseed offering. You can create darkroom style looks using the supplied filter options and top it all up with random organic borders.

Snapseed is also built with sharing capabilities. You can share the photos via email or through social networking sites like Facebook and Flickr. You can also print via Airplay (WiFi enabled printing).

This product is available on iTunes App Store for $4.99.

Apple Aperture Update

Aperture 3.1.2

Apple has released an update 3.1.2 for Aperture. It can be downloaded via the Software Update…

This update aims to improve overall stability and performances. Other bug fixes addressed in this release are:

  • Importing iPhoto libraries
  • Reliability and responsiveness when using brushes to apply adjustments
  • Reconnecting referenced master images

The release notes provided by Apple can be found here.