Aviary photo editor comes to Windows Phone

Windows phones displaying Aviary screensThis is a guest post by William Judd

Popular photo-editing tool Aviary is now available for Windows Phone developers to use in their applications. Aviary is currently used for online image editing on a wide number of online applications including Flickr and imgur, as well as iOS apps like Halftone. It’s a big boon for the platform, as the Metro-styled SDK has been released for free and could be useful for a wide range of apps, allowing developers to focus on the essential parts of their application instead of implementing their own image editing features.

Aviary has launched in four current Windows Phone apps: Twitter client Rowi, Foursquare app 4th & Mayor and photo apps Postcard on the Run and Rekap. I couldn’t find the latter two in the UK marketplace and the place to use Aviary in 4th & Mayor (so I’m not sure if it’s been added yet), but it was easily accessible in Rowi just by adding a picture to your tweet. Aviary loads up pretty quickly (at least that’s the case for the Lumia 900) and allows for basic photo editing tasks. There were also filters and effects a la Instagram, but these weren’t populated with any options for some reason.

So it looks like Aviary isn’t making a massive splash at the moment, but it’s certainly great news for Windows Phone developers and hopefully we’ll see photo editing integration care of Aviary arrive soon into more apps that need it. For more information, check out the Windows Phone SDK on Aviary’s site.

MacDrive – access Mac-formatted drives on PC

Imagine the situation with me… you’re a PC user, or more specifically a Windows user. Your friend, however, is a fully paid up member of the cult of Mac and, understandably, has formatted their external hard drive for Mac OS X. One day, though, your friend brings his drive over to your house… there are a few large files you want to share and the easiest way was just to plug straight in to your computer.

The problem is… Windows can’t understand Mac OS formatted discs. They just won’t show up in Windows Explorer.

I had a similar problem to this: I have a Mac with an external drive plugged in. I usually share the external drive over our home network so I can access the files from my Windows 7 laptop, but recently the network’s been a bit flaky. I wanted to plug the external drive straight into my laptop but hit that Windows/Mac drive problem. Fortunately there is a solution.

MacDrive, by Mediafour, enables your Windows computer to understand Mac drives. In fact, it integrates them right into the explorer so, to all intents and purposes, they behave just the same as a Windows drive. The application suggested by Mediafour themselves is that of a Mac user running Windows as a Bootcamp partition, but wanting to access the Mac portion of their hard drive. I have no doubt that’ll work but, as I said, I wanted it to access a Mac-formatted external drive on my PC.

It’s a testament to how well this is working that I actually don’t have too much else to say! I installed the software, rebooted the computer, plugged in the external drive, and away we go. The nice thing is that there’s a free trial so you can see whether MacDrive fulfils your expectations. It’s certainly done so for me – why not download it and give it a try?

Check the MacDrive microsite for more information, and that free trial.