Ember is a new digital scrapbook that was recently launched by RealMac Software. Before Ember, there was Little Snapper, which I used previously to grab screenshots and collect images for blog posts and online guides. After visiting RealMac Software’s website when Ember was announced, I was automatically interested in it. It seems to be better than Little Snapper in almost every way.
What I like
The first thing you notice when you launch Ember is its fantastic icon. The little fireball stands out in your dock in a great way. When the app opens, you notice how gorgeous the application is. This is how you make a great looking Mac application. The color of the sidebar is just right with a beautiful dark grey. Add the white text on it and it stands out beautifully and with great style. When you add images to it, they show beatifully in a grid. The overall look of this app is top notch and it may be the nicest looking app on my Mac.
Ember is also very smart in how it handles images. If you add images from your smartphone or iPad, it recognized this and you can view these images in one of their built-in smart views (Tablet, Smartphone). Web images go in “web” view and screenshots in “Screen”. You can create your own “folders” on the sidebar and drag images there.
You also have the option of making annotations on the images you capture. From callouts, arrows and text, it provides some simple tools to add to your images. The new update also adds smart drawing as an option. Simply draw a circle around something you want to highlight in an image with your mouse and it turns into a circle. Draw an arrow and it transforms into a straight and efficient arrow. A welcome feature that I am really enjoying.
Ember also has an in-app browser that you can use to browse the internet so that you can natively capture images from the app. Ember has the ability to transform each page into tablet and smartphone view which changes the layout of the website. You can also subscribe to certain image website via their built-in RSS atom feature. Anytime there are new images in one of your subscriptions, you’ll get a notification (if turned on).
What I didn’t like
Coming from Little Snapper, I was prepared to purchase this app at a discount for being a current user. However, the app is sold at $49.99. I don’t mind paying money for an app, but the price does seem high for someone who’s updating from Little Snapper. I guess theoretically, it’s a new app (they did build it from the ground up), but they still tote it as the next Little Snapper (which will no longer be updated).
To buy or not to buy
There are other apps that promise to do a similar job available for free. However, none of these offerings have made such a beautiful and intuitive application like Ember. It really is a fine app that fits beautifully in your Mac. The price is a bit steep, but if you appreciate a well developed app, beautiful interface and an intuitive approach to your digital images, I would recommend purchasing Ember. I was a bit taken back by the price, but after having used it since launch, I have zero regrets.