xScope 4 released and currently on sale for 50% off
xScope version 4 has been released by The Iconfactory. If you aren't familiar with xScope, it is a tool for designers who need to measure, inspect, or test design elements. Version 4 comes with dozens of new features which I won't bother regurgitating here, but will highlight some of the ones that stuck out to me.
I first learned of xScope several years ago when I was looking for an on-screen ruler to check the dimensions of a web page I was creating. Of course xScope can do that, but it's sort of like saying you can use your iPhone as a tip calculator. It can do many kinds of measurements to check dimensions, rulers, and basically anything else on your screen. There are controls to check sizes on Retina vs non-Retina displays, on-screen guides, and more.
One of the most interesting features of the new version is the text feature, which lets you search, decipher, and convert text into HTML entities, URL encodes values, or other formats. It also has a handy loupe feature which helps you check colors and measure small spaces easily.
If you do app development or work with CSS on web pages or any other of a wide range of design work, you should check out xScope. As part of the version 4 release, it is currently on sale for US$25, which is 50% off the regular price. If you want to try it before you buy, you can download a demo from their website. You can buy it either directly from The IconFactory or from the Mac App Store. (As always, my recommendation is to buy directly from developers whenever possible, which allows them to give you upgrade pricing and also gives you faster updates without having to wait for the Mac App Store approval process, which is often very slow.)
A $50 app stands out in the world of "fart app pricing," so I was interested to see how people would react. This morning I searched Twitter for for xScope and @xscopeapp and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Several people called version 4 an "instabuy".
"For my work, the Text tool in the new version of @xscopeapp is enough to warrant the upgrade cost. Nice effort!" - @alstonebridge
"No brainer this one: Upgraded to @xscopeapp 4.0 and it's not even "release thursday" yet. Use it every single day. Kudos @gedeon and team." - @hiltmon
"Fab-tastic xScope 4.0 is out. Brilliant tool for designers, photographers, and me." - @mattgemmell
There were plenty of others, but perhaps the most helpful comment for people who are considering it is this comment from a few days ago by Kerri Hicks who wrote: ".@chockenberry xScope probably saves me about five minutes a day. At $50/hr, it'd pay for itself in about two weeks. Can't wait for upgrade."
Developer Craig Hockenberry has been at work on xScope full time for the past year and reminded users that "It's been 2.5 years since the last xScope release and included (non-trivial) Photoshop Mirror, Retina and Mavericks updates for FREE." Those who are familiar with The IconFactory know that they have a great track record of developing and maintaining great apps for iOS and Mac. If you aren't sure that xScope is for you, get the demo and try it out. As a non-developer/non-designer, I wasn't sure that it was something I would use, but I bought xScope 3 some time ago and regularly find times when I think "Oh! I can use xScope for that!" For example, sometimes when I'm making Keyboard Maestro macros, I have to use mouse positioning and movements. I could either try to guess and use trial & error (& error & error...) or I could just fire up xScope and get it right the first time.
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