At a press event held in San Francisco this morning, Dropbox announced Carousel, a new dedicated gallery app that combines all of a user’s photos and videos from all connected devices in a single interface. Carousel will be available both as an iOS and Android app, separate from the main Dropbox client but based on the same storage space.

During the event, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston announced that the company has now 700 employees and over 275 million users, who rely on Dropbox to store a variety of personal and work files, documents, and media. With Carousel, Dropbox allows users to look at photos and videos stored in their accounts, which are automatically sorted by time and location: large thumbnail previews group related items together by location, while a timeline scrubber at the bottom allows users to quickly navigate through time to view and select old photos.

According to Dropbox, Carousel is faster than Apple’s built-in Photos app when dealing with hundreds of files even though they are stored in the cloud, and not on a user’s local device. Carousel is built with sharing in mind: the app makes it easy to select multiple photos and send them to another person directly from the app alongside a message; the recipient can then view the full-resolution photos, and optionally save them to Carousel.

Dropbox has long enabled users to automatically upload new photos from their devices through the official Dropbox client, but Carousel marks the company’s debut into the photo and video management space with a dedicated app that’s been specifically created for upload, management, and sharing outside of the Dropbox client.

From the Dropbox blog post:

It combines the photos in your Dropbox with the photos on your phone, and automatically backs up new ones as you take them. Carousel sorts all these memories by event so you can easily travel back in time to any photo from any date. And unlike other mobile galleries, the size of your Carousel isn’t constrained by the space on your phone, which means you can finally have your entire life’s memories in one place.

Carousel will be available for free on the App Store later today. We’ve embedded the official promo video below.
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Nuclear Throne, the upcoming game from Vlambeer (Super Crate Box, Ridiculous Fishing, Luftrausers) currently in development and available through Steam Early Access, will receive native Mac support today. Previously, the game was only playable through Early Access on Windows machines.

Nuclear Throne is now live and should be stable on Mac. It’s also live for Linux, but we can’t promise stability (or even functionality) just yet, but rest assured we’re working closely with YoYo Games to make sure the Linux build will be up to speed. If you own the game on Windows, the Mac and Linux builds should show up on Steam right around now, and the Humble builds will be uploaded later.

Nuclear Throne is an action roguelike title from the award-winning studio that can be played during the development process thanks to Early Access; Vlambeer is regularly hosting live streams on Twitch to offer a glimpse into the game’s creation and showcase the latest additions.

You can more on Vlambeer’s “performative development” of Nuclear Throne at Edge and watch Polygon’s demo and interview with Vlambeer from last month’s GDC. The Mac build of Nuclear Throne will be available today on the game’s Steam page.

This week, Myke and Federico are joined by Shahid Ahmad, senior business development manager at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. They talk about Shahid’s role at PlayStation, indie games and PS Vita, passion for game development and video games, and the importance of human curation.

Shahid Ahmad is widely regarded as the man behind Sony's indie revolution, and we had a fantastic chat on Directional about his career and the work he does to bring great indie games to PlayStation. You can get the episode here.

Brought to you by:

Pete Warden:

I am totally convinced that deep learning approaches to hard AI are going to change our world, especially when they’re running on cheap networked devices scattered everywhere. I’m a believer because I’ve seen how good the results can be on image recognition, but I understand why so many experienced engineers are skeptical. It sounds too good to be true, and we’ve all been let down by AI promises in the past.

That’s why I’ve decided to release DeepBeliefSDK, an iOS version of the deep learning approach that has taken the computer vision world by storm.

A fascinating demo, especially in how the prototype app Pete built starts recognizing his cat in real-time – through the camera – towards the end of the video. Developers can check out DeepBeliefSDK here.

Drafts, Agile Tortoise’s note-taking app for iOS with support for customizable actions and workflows, has been updated to version 3.6 today, adding Google Drive integration, new clipboard actions, and a handy option to automatically back up a user’s action library to Dropbox every few days.

Google Drive joins Drafts’ existing Dropbox and Evernote actions as it’s based on the same concept: the app can now create text files in your Google Drive account, append/prepend text to existing files, or replace text; every tag that is normally supported by Drafts (such as placeholders for timestamps, date, draft line, or clipboard) will work with Google Drive actions that you can create in the Settings. In my tests, I was able to quickly send text from Drafts to Google Drive by adapting some of my old Dropbox actions, which created a new .txt file in Google Drive and inside a specific folder (Drafts has preference to specify a parent folder for Google Drive actions); overall, if you’ve ever wished you could easily send plain text to notes stored in Google Drive, the addition is welcome.

Append and prepend actions have also been added to Drafts’ iOS clipboard integration: just like with built-in third-party services, Drafts can now append or prepend text to the contents of the clipboard — a feature that may not seem immediately useful, but that could open some interesting possibilities when using the clipboard as a workaround for the lack of automation features in iOS apps.

Aside from adding background refresh support for iOS 7 (for notes stored in the app across the iPhone and iPad versions), Drafts 3.6 also adds a setting for auto-backup: if activated, the app will save actions every few days to Dropbox without having to remember to export an action’s library manually.

Drafts continues to be a must-have utility for text automation on iOS, and version 3.6 is available now on the App Store for the iPhone and iPad.

Hider 2

I try not to be too paranoid about the security of files I keep on my Mac, but I do enjoy the peace of mind provided by encrypting some work documents when necessary, hoping that there will be an extra layer of security for those files in case of disaster or device loss. For the past week, I’ve been trying MacPaw’s Hider 2, a new app that wants to unify and streamline the process of hiding and encrypting files in a single, intuitive interface. (more…)

Behind the scenes, Lightroom desktop creates Smart Previews of photos marked for sync and uploads them to the Creative Cloud servers. Smart Previews retain much of the editability and detail of the source images (even raw files) but occupy much less storage space. In Lightroom mobile, the app downloads low-resolution previews for display in its Grid layout, and when an image is opened it pulls down the higher-resolution Smart Preview file (enabling you to zoom in to check details if needed).

Make a change to a photo on the iPad, and that change should appear in Lightroom desktop within seconds, removing the need to export or import images. Edits you make to the photo synchronize back to Creative Cloud and Lightroom desktop when you close the image—in fact, only a small XML file describing the edits is transmitted, which is why updates appear in the desktop and mobile applications quickly.

Adobe’s Lightroom application made its way to iOS overnight with the launch of Lightroom mobile for iPad and Macworld’s Jeff Carlson has a detailed preview of the app. Adobe looks like they have done a really nice job with bringing the app to the iPad thanks to their implementation of a clever sync system (as explained above) and extensive compatibility between this mobile version and the desktop version of Lightroom.

As with most of Adobe’s offerings in recent years, Lightroom mobile is bundled as a part of their Creative Cloud subscription service, so whilst the app is free to download, you will need to sign up for one of their subscription plans to use Lightroom mobile.

In my review of Fantastical for iPad, I didn't mention some of the gestures supported by the app. Gabe Weatherhead has collected all these handy gestures and shortcuts in a single post.

Gabe also created an Editorial workflow to use with Fantastical and TaskPaper, and Pedro Lobo offers a similar solution that works with entire TaskPaper documents.

I've re-recorded every video with new tips, tricks, and workflows. The Evernote iOS apps have changed drastically since the original version was released, so I hope you enjoy the free update.

My friend Bradley Chambers has released version 2.0 of his Evernote eBook (which I first mentioned last year) with updates for the new Evernote apps (the iOS one has changed a lot).

I like Bradley's book because it gives practical examples – for instance, the screencast on scanning receipts into Evernote shows a real receipt being scanned and uploaded with Scanner Pro – and it's only $4.99 on the iBooks Store.