Skala Preview and Skala View are brilliant pieces of software from the brilliant piece of software makers at Bjango. It's not an app combo for everyone, but for Android app designers and developers who have long been seeking a way to preview pixel- and color-perfect versions of their app designs on Android devices, it's a miracle. Now Fair warning: Marc Edwards, who runs Bjango, is also my co-host on the Iterate podcast so some may think I'm predisposed to give his stuff a defacto recommendation. Far from it. It just means I was fortunate to have known about it in advance.
Skala has been available for iOS for a while, but now the fine folks from Shifty Jelly have pitched in to help Bjango bring it to Android.
Here's what it does: Skala Preview is a $4.99 Mac App Store app and Skala View is a free Android app. Get them both. Install them on your Mac and Android device. And from then on you can take user interface designs you're working on in Photoshop (or pixel editing apps) and push them over to your Android device, grab your magnifying glass, and see how they hold up. If you're using Adobe Photoshop CS 5 12.0.4 or up, all this can happen in real time, while you work. Nudge here, it shows up there. If you're using older versions of Photoshop, or if you're a Fireworks, Acorn, or Pixelmator guy, Skala will watch your clipboard and any time you copy to it, Skala Preview will grab it and Skala View will show it on your device. You can zoom crisply, you can preview landscape and portrait, you can test different color-blindness options, and you can push to multiple Android devices at once.
This is all particularly essential on Android where different devices can use different screen technologies, such as AMOLED vs LCD, different sub-pixel groupings, such as RGP vs PenTile, and a wide range of different color temperatures.
Android app design is getting better and better, and apps like Skala View will take things even further. Kudos to Marc and Bjango. They found an itch and scratched it to the delight of designers everywhere.
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