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