Thursday, October 23, 2014

HWT fonts on Typekit

I really enjoy exploring the Adobe Typekit font library for new fonts. Remember, Typekit Desktop Fonts are a benefit for Creative Cloud subscribers. This is a quick and easy way to find a new face for your next project.

Recently I was searching for a font, and I stumbled across the fonts from the Hamilton Wood Type Foundry are available for desktop use on Typekit. I love the serendipity and discoverability of browsing fonts on Typekit. Here are a few examples of some of these fonts:


HWT sample

Adobe is steadily growing the number of fonts on Typekit that are available for desktop use. As of this writing, there are 286 font families available for desktop syncing. Font Families contain multiple fonts of different weights and styles. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

How to enable background photo uploading with Dropbox on iOS

The latest version of the Dropbox app for iOS devices (as of this post, version 3.4.2) has a cool feature for uploading photos on your phone to your Dropbox account without having to launch the Dropbox app. But this feature isn’t enabled by default, and it isn’t obvious how it works. In this post, I’ll show you how to enable this feature.

But first, I want to mention my “Up and Running with Dropbox" course at If you want to get more out of Dropbox, and learn all that this powerful service can do for you, watch this course!

Now, here’s how to enable background uploading of photos:

1.  Run the Dropbox app on your iPhone or iPad, and tap the “Settings” gear in the lower-right corner

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2. Tap the “Camera Upload” option


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3. Turn on the “Camera Upload” and “Background Uploading” options.


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4. Launch the “Settings” app.

5. You will see some of your apps listed at the bottom of the list of settings. Tap the “Dropbox” app in this list.

6. Enable “Background App Refresh”, and then tap the “Privacy” option.

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7. Turn on “Photos” so that Dropbox can access your Photos, then tap “Location Services”. 


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8. Choose “Always”.

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Because of Apple limitations, the Dropbox app is only allowed to upload for a short time after you quit the Dropbox app. The way that Dropbox gets around this is to use Location Services. whenever your location changes a significant enough amount, Dropbox will sense the location change, and an upload will occur. Try it! It works well for me.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Reflecting on Adobe MAX

I’m flying back from the Adobe MAX conference, and trying to process all that I heard and saw. Here are my conference take-aways:

1. This was billed as the “Creativity Conference”. For many years, MAX was a developer conference. Then in recent years it morphed into a designer/developer conference. This year MAX was almost entirely a designer conference, with far fewer breakout sessions for developers, and very little developer-oriented content during the keynotes.

2. Adobe believes that mobile devices can help designers capture inspiration wherever they find themselves. See Adobe Shape CC, Adobe Color CC, and Adobe Brush CC. If these kinds  of apps can be made easy enough to use quickly and fluidly, without getting in the way, I think this is really smart.

3. Adobe thinks that designers want to sketch ideas on tablets, and that illustrators want to begin, and perhaps even finish, projects on tablets. See Adobe Illustrator DrawAdobe Illustrator Line, and Adobe Photoshop Sketch. While some illustrators are treating the tablet as a new medium, fully embracing it for content creation, and creating amazing work, other designers find it a poor substitute for physical pencil and paper for sketching. In my experience, tablet use in general by designers is not as high as some might think, so that may be a barrier in the short-term.

4. Adobe believes that photographers want to do some degree of Photoshop-style editing on tablets. See Adobe Photoshop Mix, and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

5. Adobe is in love with Microsoft. I overheard an attendee say that, “Adobe and Microsoft are getting married…or at least starting a relationship”. Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella appeared on-stage together at the end of the day 1 keynote session. They briefly mentioned some technologies that Adobe and Microsoft are working together to develop. In fact, each attendee at MAX left the conference with a free Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet and a 1-year subscription to Office 365.

6. Adobe is rethinking creative interfaces, as we know them, both for mobile and desktop use. I’m glad to see Adobe thinking about how we might use creative applications now and into the future. The versions of Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC that were released on 10/6/2014 each contain alternate interfaces for using these programs on touch-enabled Windows devices, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. At the “Adobe Sneaks” event on Tuesday night, Adobe showed several intriguing examples of work they are doing to try to simplify drawing curves in Illustrator, creating complex patterns, and performing difficult Photoshop tasks. 

7. Adobe is continuing to think about how they can leverage cloud services for the creative user. See the new CC libraries feature in Photoshop and Illustrator.

8. From my perspective, there was a great deal of interest in Adobe DPS. I taught 3 jam-packed “Introduction to Adobe DPS" labs of 70 people each, and there were many, many other DPS labs and sessions offered throughout. All appeared to be well attended.

I’d encourage you to spend some time watching the keynote sessions here. Many of the non-lab breakout sessions were also recorded and viewed here. Some really good stuff to view!

Next year’s conference is already scheduled for October 3-7, 2015 in Los Angeles. I’d encourage you to attend.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

A much improved DPS Android viewer

On September 29, Adobe quietly released Adobe DPS v32.1

This update included one documented bug fix, and several new features and improvements. But what caught my eye in the release notes was the promise that "PDF articles in Android apps now render more quickly, between 40 and 60 percent faster in tests."

I rebuilt a previously-released Android app with v32.1, and am amazed. The screen rendering on my Google Nexus 7 tablet is blindingly fast. I would say it is on par with the rendering speed of the same screens in the iOS version of the app running on my iPad Air. If you have an Android tablet, download the app and judge the performance for yourself.

To use this update, you just need to edit your app and create a new .apk file with DPS App Builder, and submit the new .apk as an update to Google Play. Definitely worth doing. Good job DPS team!