When designing for mobile, transferring the work from desktop to the mobile device for previewing it is usually time-consuming.
Skala Preview is a free Mac application with free iOS and Android apps that makes this process a joy.
The application instantly sends lossless and colour-accurate previews to mobile and they can be zoomed, tested for color blindness and viewed in any orientation.
For Photoshop CS5+ users, previews can be delivered on each edit automatically and, for others, they can be sent via the clipboard or by dragging files to its dock icon or window.
Also, Skala Preview supports any number of devices being connected at the same time.
Requirements: Mac OS X
When presenting web or app prototypes to people (clients, collagues, friends..), showing it inside a real-world-like environment helps them to imagine easier.
PlaceIt is an awesome and free service, created by the talented folks at Breezi, that allows us to upload the screenshot of our prototype and get it placed in different environments.
The service already has multiple themes (like a hand holding the device or the device placed on a desk) and it has shots for iPhones, iPads and Macs.
Screenshots can be uploaded with drag ‘n’ drops or mentioning the URL and the output will be rendered instantly.
New themes are added within time and, if you have similar themes, you can send them to the Breezi team and they may add it as well.
It has built-in tools for creating/editing graphics (they can be imported too) and generating animations with
<canvas> output that work in all modern browsers including mobile.
There are ready-to-use filters + effects and you can always add your own code to create more customized stuff.
The application is also pretty powerful in rendering video. It can even -very quickly- convert a web animation into a HTML5 video.
Radi has a very short learning curve as it is like a mixture of well-known image editing and animation tools but with the friendliness of web technologies.
Requirements: Mac OS X
The apps can be created for all major operating systems (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux) and server-side languages like PHP, Python and Ruby are supported as well.
This is actually not a new project, it was previously known as Titanium Desktop, re-branded recently and is going through a major change/improvements (which we thought it is worth re-sharing).
Apps built with TideSDK can make use of the filesystem, have an integrated database, display notifications and much more.
And, the platform has a well-documented API and an active developer community which is great for getting support.
Requirements: No Requirements
Compatibility: All Major Operating Systems
TileMill is an application (with Windows, Mac and Linux versions) for creating totally-customized and beautiful maps.
Normally, working with GIS data is complicated but TileMill simplifies that as much as possible by sharing data between projects, downloading and unzipping shapefiles, autodetecting projections, indexing SQLite databases, etc. to help us focus on the output.
It can read from multiple popular data sources and enables us to use any patterns/textures, fonts and images on maps.
As web designers/developers, the part that eases the usage of TileMill is its design language: CartoCSS, which is very similar to CSS and has support for mixins, variables and functions.
Also, interactions like hover tooltips or clickable pop-ups can be added to the maps.
Requirements: Windows, Mac OS X or Linux
GitHub is one of the most popular hosted version control services around and, besides its premium plans, usage is completely free for open source projects.
Many widely-used projects are hosted there (including Node.js Ruby on Rails, PHP or jQuery) and it definitely helps taking the code under control + improving the code with the contribution of others.
If you are like me; "work better with GUI apps rather than the command-line" and use GitHub, they now have free-to-use desktop apps for popular operating systems.
Lately, they had launched GitHub for Mac and, now, GitHub for Windows is released.
Both applications offer almost all the functionality that can be reached from command line tools and ease the usage for developers like me : ).
Desktop apps definitely have their own advantages over web apps like speed, ability to reach the filesystem, working in the background, notifications, etc.
However, for us (the web developers), it is a challenge to create one as they need to be coded in a non-web programming language (yes, there are exceptions).
The project uses Chromium as the core (so that the latest HTML5 APIs are supported) and Node.js as the backbone.
P.S. It is in the early stages of development, Linux and Windows ports are functional and Mac part is not available yet.
SOFA is an open source statistics, analysis, & reporting application that can collect data from a selected source.
It doesn't force you to work with an offline data and can connect to various live databases including:
- Microsoft SQL Server
- Microsoft Access
by just mentioning your login details. After that, you can customize the reports to be generated by selecting any columns from the tables and by applying filters.
Optionally, it is possible to import data from Excel spreadsheets, ODS spreadsheets, CSV files and Google Docs spreadsheets.
If small things change in your dataset, you don't need to re-import data but they can be edited manually.
There are many ready-to-use reports like row and column percentages, mean, median, standard deviation, min – max and more.
Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Ubuntu and other Linux distributions
Typechart is a website which enables us to browse, preview and compare web typography while getting the CSS.
It has the screenshots of the fonts for PC and Mac to see the differences before using them.
Also, the website can display the typefaces in custom sizes and emphasis.
The application has both Windows + Mac versions and it is possible to set the styles of the outputs easily.
Menus are generated in a HTML list structure, can be vertical or horizontal and have multiple sub-menus.
Also, it can display the previews of the navigations on every step which is a nice feature that speeds up the development.
Requirements: Windows or Mac
Compatibility: All Major Browsers (except IE6)