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Snagit v4 for Mac review


Software: Snagit version 4
Developer: TechSmith
Web: TechSmith
Price: $49.95 with free trial software available!
moosePros: excellent resource for making video and screen capture plus so much more…
Cons: none
Rating:  Moose…5/5 Excellent!

by Gary Miller, Alaskan Apple Users Group Member

Conflict of interest disclosure: TechSmith provided a free copy of Snagit v4  for the purposes of the review.

You know when you have your ways of accomplishing a task, you get set in them, and then along comes a newer, better, easier way of doing it, and you smile…. TechSmith’s new version 4 of Snagit, is that golden egg.

Many of us use basic screen capture, you know, cmd-shift 3 or 4, but it’s only a start to making it really buzz like Snagit can and does like screen recording, making animated gif’s, panoramic screen capture that automatically stitches together…  So you see this is a premium product at a fair price.  I liked the ease of collaborating with others, since I could mark it up, put arrows, on either screen capture or video, and turn it around pronto.  I loved being able to scroll down a website that goes below my screen and capture what i wanted, can’t do that before, just be frustrated without Snagit.  Now we can!

Did I mention the tool bar and how easy it is to drag/drop tools you use the most, how easy it is to save to drop box or other cloud services.  The editing tools are easy to understand and grasp, and TechSmith has training videos for all the processes you’ll use, so you won’t forget a step or be inspired by a new way of doing work flow.  And to ease your sending images to Snagit, you can use Fuse, a free companion product for your iPhone or Android phone to import images you’ve taken on your phone.  Great tool I enjoy using.

I worked with their tech support ( you can too), and learned much.  Like recording a video, and trimming it, using it to send along with comments to someone you are working on a project with.   Get it, you’ll really like it and use it!

You can try out Snagit new version 4 for 15 days free too.  or buy it for $49.95.

Existing users of older Snagit will love the NEW features in V 4:

*new Editor
*new capture window
*new stamps and callouts
*video capture with Webcam
*animated GIF
*panoramic image capture

Mac OS X System Requirements
10.10 (Yosemite), or higher


Take Control Books, great resources

Take Control Books really make great resources for all aspects of your tech world, especially Apple products, and they support user groups, thankfully. Here are a couple from their lengthy and always being refreshed list of titles, complete list is here:

If you are new to passwords, and always getting frustrated by having to create, find your old ones, or just fear getting hacked, then you might consider 1Password, and so that you get the most out of using it, Joe Kissell’s Take Control for 1Password –  2nd edition, published March 3, 2016.

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1Password can be easy or involved, and Joe makes it understandable, and since it’s an eBook, I like referring to it on my iPhone or iPad or at home on my Mac, especially when I totally forget. The book is 175 pages, available in PDF, Mobi, & ePub, it covers all versions – for Mac, iOS, Android, Windows…  it covers all the questions, and ponders I hadn’t even thought up.  Joe has written over 50 books, so knows what he talks about.   I won’t go into all the reasons to get 1Password ( you can download a free trial copy), but suffice to know is it takes some time and work to implement it, but then you’ll be able to keep track of your credit cards, etc.  plus all your regular passwords…  The book makes it go much faster!  and we all want to move on to the next big thing…

DropBox is my choice for a most used app on my Mac, and iphone/ipad, and Take Control has a new version  covering the latest version of DropBox, it’s Take Control of Dropbox 2

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Author Joe Kissell makes it easy to really to understand and use the many features of DropBox, and like all Take Control books, you can download a newer version for free anytime.  He’s written 50 books, so I trusted his advice.  I liked the new feature of Dropbox for collaboration, working with others, and how it easily integrates with other apps. Here’s a cheatsheet that the author created you can download til you buy the book, it’s part of it! TCoDropbox-CheatSheet-2.0  151 pages,  available in all formats: Mobi, PDF, ePub.  published Feb 25, 2016.

I love Take Control Books, my favorite resources!

iPad Pro 9.7 review: damn the torpedoes… full speed ahead!

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By Dieter Bohn, The Verge…

“We believe that iPad is the perfect expression of the future of personal computing.”

So said Tim Cook at the introduction of the new iPad Pro 9.7 last week. It’s exactly the kind of phrase you expect from Cook’s Apple: spoken humbly, but revealing a huge ambition. It mixes a thing that’s familiar (the good ol’ iPad) with an idealistic goal. And Apple likes to workshop these phrases until they have a fine, chamfered edge — it’s not “the iPad,” it’s just “iPad.” It’s a little confusing, but it’s definitely compelling, and when you first hear it you really want to buy in.

Everything I just said about that phrase also applies to the new iPad Pro itself. It looks so much like the iPad Air 2 that you’ll mistake it for one when you see it, yet the insides are so much more powerful it’ll blow your hair back. It’s packed with a weapons depot of “bests” for a tablet: the best screen, the best speakers, the best camera, the best processor.

All those bests could convince you that this PC could replace a laptop. Apple’s Phil Schiller certainly thinks so. When he introduced the iPad Pro, he said “There are over 600 million PCs in use today that are over five years old. This is really sad! These people could really benefit from an iPad Pro.”

But even if the people who own those old PCs are interested, there are still a lot of reasons to doubt that this particular iPad is the one that will revolutionize personal computing. Doubters (myself included) are standing at the ready to blast some holes in that vision. This is easily the best iPad ever made, but can it really do all the computer things it takes to actually replace your computer?

To those doubters, the iPad speaks another expression: Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.
The most important thing to know about the new iPad Pro isn’t the specs or the speed — it’s the price. It starts at $599 for the 32GB model. It’s difficult to even compare that price to the just-reduced iPad Air 2, since Apple has set up the storage options for these models differently — but in general you’re looking at a $150 or more price differential. And if you’re really going to use the “Pro” in the iPad Pro version, you’ll probably want to pony up for the 128GB model, which is $749. Oh, and you will also probably want the Smart Keyboard for $149, and maybe the Apple Pencil for $99.

iPad Pro 9.7-inch

Add it all up and you can easily spend $1,000 or more on an iPad Pro kit. That’s not just computer pricing — that’s computer pricing that’s significantly more expensive than many Windows PCs or Chromebooks. If you’re going to lay down that kind of money, you had better really know what you’re going to get out of it.

That’s where the “Pro” part comes in. The difference between the iPad Pro and the iPad Air is roughly equivalent the difference between the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air: they can both essentially do the same things, but the Pro is just way, way faster. Figuring out what makes the Pro a Pro means you have to consider a constellation of features, and they don’t map exactly to what’s available on the bigger, 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apple’s product naming strategy is confusing, but it’s got nothing on the feature matrix.

So: the iPad Pro 9.7 has the same screen size and the same basic body as the iPad Air 2, but the Pro’s screen is much better, with lower reflectivity and a wider color gamut. The Pro 9.7 also has a great new feature called “True Tone” that adjusts the color of the screen, which isn’t available on the larger iPad Pro. The 9.7-inch Pro has the same A9X processor as its bigger brother, but with 2GB of RAM instead of 4GB. It has four speakers and a smart keyboard connector, like the big one. It also has a very good 12-megapixel camera (and the concomitant camera bump), which is better than what either the Air 2 or the larger Pro have.

Oh, and the iPad Mini 2 and iPad Mini 4 still exist, for some reason.

Got all that? Good — you can forget almost all of it. Because if you’re interested in an iPad, your decision comes down to two things. What size screen do you want and — again — how much are you willing to spend to try out Apple’s vision for “the future of personal computing?”
My favorite thing about the new iPad Pro is the screen. Apple says it’s less reflective than the iPad Air 2 — 40 percent less, to be precise. But while I couldn’t really see that, I could see the True Tone color technology. There are hidden sensors on the face of the iPad that detect the color temperature of the room and automatically adjust the color temperature of the screen.

The idea is that it’s supposed to make your screen act more like a physical piece of paper. When you look at a white sheet of paper in yellow light, you’re actually seeing a more yellow color tone, which is easier on your eyes. The iPad Pro’s screen still looks like, well, a screen, but it is actually much nicer to look at. When I flicked True Tone off, suddenly the screen got very blue and looked really unnatural by comparison. It’s the same color I’ve been looking at for years, but suddenly it looks jarring.


Of course, if you’re the kind of graphic designer I imagine Apple wants to cater to with the iPad Pro, you’re going to be turning True Tone off — you need accurate color representation. But for normal use, giving up a little bit of color fidelity for a nicer-looking screen is great.

I have no complaints about the performance of the iPad Pro, either. The battery is more than good enough to last a full day of work — and then some. In my tests it actually exceeded Apple’s claimed life of 10 hours. The A9X processor inside is the same as what you’ll find on the larger iPad Pro, and it flies. I don’t feel like my iPad Air 2 is slow, but the Pro is generally able to render a web page almost twice as quickly. It also has fewer of those little pauses you tend to see when you’re running split screen apps.

The hope is that this iPad should be fast enough and powerful enough to act as a stand-in for the stuff you do on your computer. But I don’t think it quite gets there. Part of it could be the 2GB of RAM, which isn’t quite enough to have a ton of Safari tabs open and be responsive while running another app alongside it. The bigger issue, though, is that iOS isn’t quite ready for my computing tasks.

Safari still feels more like a mobile browser than a desktop browser, for one thing. For another, two apps at once is great but somehow I always feel like I need one more on the screen. That’s to say nothing of the limitations that iOS still places on users and developers: you can’t pick default apps for key things like email or web browsers, you don’t have an easily accessible file system, and too many apps feel like stripped-down versions of their desktop equivalents. And sometimes, really, you just want to plug some USB thing into your computer without having to worry about adapters.
If you think of this iPad Pro as “just” an iPad, you’re going to be impressed. I’ve already enthused about the screen and the speed, but there’s more to it. The four speakers are very loud and very good — there’s not enough bass in them to replace your Bluetooth speaker, but there’s more than enough volume to make you love watching movies in bed.

The Apple Pencil is great too — it works exactly like it does on the bigger iPad Pro. I still wish that it was a little more pragmatically designed: it rolls around, you have to charge it by sticking it into the side of the iPad, and there’s no “eraser” on the top. But it’s incredibly responsive and accurate, works for shading at an angle, and is just all-around fun to use.

And then there’s the camera, a 12-megapixel sensor that’s the same as you’ll find on the iPhone 6s or the new iPhone SE. I confess I haven’t tried it in every single lighting condition, but in general it’s been as fast and as good as it is on those phones — which is to say it is very good. It supports Live Photos (viewable with a long press, not 3D Touch) and I’m long past griping about people using this massive screen to take photos.

It does have a camera bump, which I find aesthetically aggravating but at least it doesn’t make the iPad wobble when you set it on a table. I can’t deny that it is the best camera ever put on a tablet, but nevertheless the only thing I can say about deciding to put this much camera in a tablet is as follows: ¯\_(?)_/¯

I’m also of two minds about the Smart Keyboard, the $149 accessory that attaches directly to the Smart Connector on the bottom of the iPad Pro. On the one hand, I’ve never acclimated as quickly to typing on a small-sized keyboard as I did on this. Apple has done some clever things with the design to make it thin, light, and durable — there are effectively no moving parts inside it, for example, it just uses the custom fabric weave to provide feedback to your fingers. On a desk, it’s as good as typing on a 9.7-inch iPad as you’re going to get.

But while the core typing experience is great, the rest isn’t. I still find the integrated Smart Cover setup kind of fiddly, and it only works at the one, single angle — so lap typing can get a little frustrating. And other Bluetooth keyboards (and, presumably, other Smart Connector keyboards soon to come) have both backlights and specialized function keys for things like music playback and volume. So as much as I like typing on it, I think the best move is to wait and see if a better keyboard from a third-party becomes available. Looking at you, Logitech.

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Back when Steve Jobs introduced the very first iPad, he said that it was a “third category of device … something that’s between a laptop and a smartphone.” And he was right: the iPad is its own thing. It’s good at the things that Apple set out to make it good at: email, web browsing, photos, video. Since then, it’s gotten much better at the kinds of “productivity” that people used to think the iPad wasn’t good for.

Now, Apple wants to say that this third category is the next category, the thing that can replace your laptop. And the new iPad Pro is powerful enough and portable enough to make a compelling case that it could happen, someday. I don’t think it’s there yet — but it’s not because of the hardware. The hardware is stunningly, amazingly good. Instead, I just don’t think that iOS can make the case for replacing Windows or OS X.

To parse words, Tim Cook said this iPad Pro is an “expression” of the future of computing, and the difference between “being” and “expressing” is an important distinction. There’s a world in which all those traditional computer gripes are magicked away by the cloud and software innovation, but we don’t live in that world. We live in this world, with this iPad Pro.

But just because the iPad Pro isn’t a great computer, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a great iPad. In fact, the iPad Pro is a stupefyingly good iPad. But if you aren’t sure that you need all those “Pro” features, the iPad Air 2 is still a great iPad, too. And a lot cheaper.

Apple iPad Pro (9.7 in)

True Tone display
Great camera
Smart Keyboard needs some work
Reach slightly exceeds its computing grasp
More times than not, the Verge score is based on the average of the subscores below. However, since this is a non-weighted average, we reserve the right to tweak the overall score if we feel it doesn’t reflect our overall assessment and price of the product. Read more about how we test and rate products.