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Photoshop For iPad: Fancy Or Functional?

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Picture this: the complete editing software on a more portable device, with many of the desktop version’s tools and image formats intact. This arrival of Photoshop for iPad is now a subscription-based product with multi-platform applications and cloud storage, enabling not just the viewing of your files but also access and permission to edit them. Keep in mind, though, that any Photoshop subscription for iPad will include other applications.

The cheapest up-for-grabs Adobe Photography Plan costs $9.99 / £9.98 / AU$14.29 and this already includes, apart from the software, Photoshop for desktop and Lightroom Classic. Alternatively, you can avail of the Photoshop-only bundle or the All Apps package.

Thing is, can it surpass the desktop-version or is it just another fancy marketing attempt?

Design & Interface

The interface is still the same uncluttered interface. Many of the tools will ring many bells, like the left-hand side’s brushes, Clone Stamp, Crop and Rotate tools, and the opposite side’s Layers panel. The overall app runs in a fairly responsive and smooth manner, even if you open a 1GB PSD file with a dozen high-resolution layers on a 9.7-inch 2019 iPad. The occasional crashes can be expected, but the robust save feature can come to your file’s rescue.

Photos… Built-In

Importing your images into Photoshop takes the simple approach of utilizing your camera roll, your built-in camera, or even your Creative Cloud storage. To get your images out of the software, on the other hand, the ‘Share’ button at the top of the screen will let you create PNG, JPEG, PSD, or TIFF files with the quality and compression to your preferred customization. You can then send these images via Messages or Mail, save them to your camera roll, or load them to Files or Dropbox.

Tools

The layers in Photoshop for iPad are quite impressive; apart from creating new layers and duplicating ones, you are also given the option to create adjustment layers (referred to as ‘clipped adjustments’ in the software) and layer masks, adjust layer opacity and blending modes, merge layers, or flatten images.

A quick side note for the layer masks, though, is that the Quick Selection Tool in Photoshop for iPad can’t top the powerful, automatic selection brushes used in the desktop version. Obviously, the favorite Pen Tool and Refine Edge are out of the app.

Other familiar tools included in the software are the cloning and healing tools, which you can work with using an Apple Pencil for refinement.

Out Of Dodge

Excluded, however, are the Dodge or Burn tool and the filters, whereas the absence of support for Adobe Camera Raw means that if you want to work on new images, you’re going to have to put them through Lightroom before opening them in Photoshop. Stability improvements and other tools are claimed to be on their way.

Text support, meanwhile, is quite problematic: you have the freedom to choose a font, its size, weight, and the paragraph alignment, but you can’t do so much with the missing configurations for kerning, line spacing, tracking, subscript, or superscript.

Final Verdict

You’ll like a couple of things about Photoshop for iPad: its smooth interface and the powerful and familiar tools you can use for layers. In its current form, illustrators and graphic designers who find delight in drafting concepts on a tablet before refining them on a proper computer may find this deal interesting enough to try. 

Since Photoshop for iPad is still at its early stage of limited tools, there are still more updates to look forward to. Meanwhile, you may want to consider the alternatives below.

Affinity Photo

Both its desktop and iPad versions are outstandingly competent and strong products. Affinity Photo offers a selection of advanced tools, HDR merging, rich adjustment layers, and more for £19.99 / $19.99 / $30.99.

Procreate

Worth one month’s subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography, Procreate focuses on drawing and digital artistry with a wide range of brushes to choose from.

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Good Quality For A Good Price: Best Phones Under $500

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You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a high-quality phone. You might be thinking, the better the phone, the higher the price. That isn’t necessarily true. There are plenty of different options out there of budget phones that can do everything an expensive phone can do. Here are some of the best phones under $500.

11 Of The Best Phones Under $500

iPhone 8 (Apple)

Apple released the iPhone 8 in 2017 but is still one of the best iPhones out there. It has features like that of the newer models, but you can buy it for $449 on their site. It has a great camera, is water-resistant, and can charge wirelessly.

Galaxy A50 (Samsung)

At $249 on Amazon, you can get the Samsung Galaxy A50. It’s great for taking pictures with three rear cameras. One of which is a wide-angle lens and another lens is for dramatic background portraits. It also comes with a display of 6.4 inches and an in-screen fingerprint scanner.

Galaxy S8 (Samsung)

Like the iPhone 8, the Galaxy S8 was released quite some time ago but is still one of the best phones on the market. Its curved OLED screen gives it a classy but contemporary look. Some of its great features include expandable storage and wireless charging.

Moto Z4 (Motorola)

One of this phone’s distinct features is its ability to connect to 5G. It’s one of the few that can. The phone itself is $500 flat, but if you want to use the most out of it, you will need to pay extra for the Moto Mod modular accessory.

Moto G7 (Motorola)

This Motorola smartphone does look not only cool with its sleek style but also has dual rear cameras. Its battery life is its best feature as it charges quickly and lasts long.

G7 Play (Motorola)

This is cheaper than the Moto G7 but still has a lot of great features. It’s water repellent and smaller with a 5.7-inch display. With a single 13 MP back camera and a camera flash in its front camera, taking pictures will be awesome with this phone.

Moto G7 Power (Motorola)

The great thing about this phone is its battery. With 5,000-mAh, it can last around 23 hours.

Pixel 3A (Google)

For $399, you can have a phone with a great camera. It can take beautiful pictures in the light. It can also capture great photos in the dark with its Night Sight camera.

Pixel 3A XL (Google)

The Google Pixel 3A XL is a slightly improved Pixel 3A. With all of its amazing features, it also has a bigger 6-inch display (Google Pixel 3A has 5.6 inches). It also has a big battery that has 3,700-mAh.

G8 ThinQ with Alexa (LG)

This phone is not only water-resistant but also has a bright, sharp screen. With a fast processor and dual rear cameras, taking pictures is a dream. Especially since one of the cameras has a wide-angle lens.

Razer Phone 2 (Razer)

This phone is perfect for gaming. It has a bright and sharp 120Hz display and a great quality speaker. To make things better, it has a lot of extra storage. It’s compatible with 2TB microSD cards. It’s also water-resistant and can charge wirelessly.

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HP Elite Dragonfly: Power In A 2-Pound Laptop

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If you’re looking for a stylish and reliable laptop for work or business, the HP Elite Dragonfly is a good candidate. It is lightweight with an attractive design. The keyboard is quiet and comfortable to use. And for its size, it has a generous port offering. Let’s look into the other details of the HP Elite Dragonfly. 

The HP Elite Dragonfly is arguably the lightest laptop there is at just 2.2 lbs. But for something so light, it packs in a lot of power. The HP Elite Dragonfly is a part of the Elite line of the HP enterprise. Consumers who are on the market for a great business laptop can enjoy the many features of the HP Elite Dragonfly but the cost may sting a little at a starting price of $1,549. 

Its color scheme of silver and blue makes the HP Elite Dragonfly a really attractive laptop that you can be proud to bring during client meetings. It has a profile of 0.63 inches which is slim but it still houses 2 USB-C slots with Thunderbolt 3, 1 socket for USB-A, headphone jack, and a full-sized HDMI port. On its left side are the power button and a SIM card slot. If you compare that to the XPS 13 2 in 1 from Dell that only has 2 ports for USB-C, the HP Elite Dragonfly is impressive. 

Even though the HP Elite Dragonfly is light in weight, it’s a well-made laptop. It has a 360-degree hinge so you can transform it into a tablet. Its webcam which is located above the laptop screen has another feature, the integrated physical shutter. You can easily block it so nobody can spy on you. 

As for typing, the HP Elite Dragonfly is comfortable with the keys’ layout being well-spaced. The keyboard of this laptop also quiet and makes very little sound, if any. The touchpad is easy to use and responsive. HP certainly improved when it comes to making a thin and really light laptop without sacrificing the quality of the touchpad and keyboard. 

The display of the HP Elite Dragonfly is adequate but its brightness may only be for use indoors only. Nevertheless, the screen is vivid and sharp enough that you can enjoy watching Netflix or YouTube videos without any problem. 

With a Core i7 chip, the HP Elite Dragonfly can definitely perform. You can do your daily tasks on this laptop without any problem. That means opening messaging apps, making video calls, editing images, and opening multiple Chrome tabs. 

The HP Elite Dragonfly has an Intel UHD 620 graphics processor which isn’t adequate for video editing or gaming. As for the battery life, you can take this laptop to cafes, have a meeting, and work throughout the day. The battery can last somewhere between 13 hours to 16.5 hours.

It’s difficult comparing the HP Elite Dragonfly to similar models because there are only a few business laptops that are convertible, light, and thin. It has an outstanding stylish and modern design and is well-made. While it may not be a gaming computer, it’s good for those who want to have a reliable laptop for working or for running a business. 

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Speed & Security: Getting The Best Value With NordVPN

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Among the best mobile VPNs, NordVPM stands out for a good number of reasons. When it comes to getting the best value for the money, it continues to be the champion. If you compare NordVPN’s capabilities and how affordable it is to other VPNs, it simply overshadows the rest. 

In 62 countries, NordVPN has over 5,000 servers. It has a zero-log policy that is undeniably strict as well as a jurisdiction in Panama. When you think about encryption, NordVPN is a powerhouse. It even has one feature that gives you the capability to VPN into Tor. 

It isn’t surprising that NordVPN was able to get almost 60,000 ratings in the App Store and got a 4.6 out of 5 score. In the Google Play Store, it has over 130,000 reviews and a 4.4 out of 5 score. Those ratings and scores are clear indications that many users are satisfied and find NordVPN to offer the best value. 

With so much security, it’s surprising how fast it could be. NordVPN has a speed bonus which is the SmartPlay feature. With it, NordVPN has no problem with streaming video which is usually the Waterloo for other VPNs. It’s available for Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows Phone. 

You’ll like the fact that the headquarter of NordVPN is in Panama. It’s arguably the most privacy-friendly nation there is. It’s because it doesn’t have a lot of agreements with other countries on surveillance-sharing. 

NordVPN has the standard AES-256-CBC as its encryption. It also supports Perfect Forward Secrecy. It means that it changes the encryption keys frequently so as to avoid compromises in security. Another thing is that it uses the OpenVPN protocol which is among the most secure protocols. NordVPN also has IPSec/IKEv2 which is fast.

One of the many useful features that the company offers is the kill switch feature. With it, network data can be prevented from leaking out of the secure VPN tunnel. It would continue to do so even if the VPN connection fails. 

There is also an additional kill switch that is customizable. You can choose which apps to kill if there happens to be a VPN drop-out. Remember that any apps that you don’t put on the list will be able to send out information over the web. This could be a privacy liability. 

Other features of NordVPN comprise of a site filter that can block out a wider array of malicious sites. There’s also an ad and tracker blocker that you can use. Making use of these features ensure that the speeds are up for the majority of the time. The double VPN feature allows you to jump across numerous servers for extra encryption. 

NordVPN has a clean and user-friendly interface. The same goes for the server search functions and toggle controls. There is also a customer service support available 24/7 via live chat or email. If you’re interested in having the best security while still getting top speed, you can get NordVPN at discounted rates. It’s surely an outstanding service at a reasonable price. 

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