Iconfactory’s app for designers gets a major update and great new tools
Get up close with your Mac
£35 Developer The Iconfactory, xscopeapp.com
OS OS X 10.8 or later, 64-bit processor
Two new tools have made their way into this major update to Iconfactory’s indispensable app for measuring, inspecting and testing on-screen graphics and layouts. ‘Text’ is a powerful way to search, decipher and format text. You can rifle through 100,000 Unicode characters, convert strings, and measure glyphs. Through the preferences, you define the fonts the tool can access, and the end result is extremely useful for programmers and designers alike.
‘Overlay’ is even more impressive. The tool’s frame is attached to a browser window, and you then define breakpoints for responsive web layouts that you can snap to with a single click. Additional tools provide the means to add column grids or an image overlay that can be toggled, to quickly compare a mock-up with a live site. For mobile and web designers, this would be worth the price of admission alone.
All the old favourites remain present and correct, but with a smattering of new features and a subtly updated interface that should chime nicely with OS X Yosemite. For example, the Screens tool now boasts a useful ‘de-retinizer’, which gives designers with Retina Macs a quick indication of how their work will appear on older displays. Elsewhere, bugs have been squashed and niggles addressed, including relatively minor details, such as being able to group the menu extras under a single icon.
For many designers, xScope has long been an indispensable tool, and this latest update remains an essential purchase. Craig Grannell
xScope’s toolset is insanely useful for any Mac-based designer.