Next week, Cricut will release three new things. A new machine, an updated version of the Design Space and an upgrade to the iPad app that allows you to design on the go (the current app only allows you to cut the Make it Now projects).
A new Cricut Explore machine, the Explore Air will debut on HSN on Wednesday, February 18th at 12:01 a.m. (Eastern Time). You can sign up for reminder emails about the presentation on HSN HERE. Anna Griffin will be launching the machine on HSN. There will be three exclusive Anna Griffin cartridges bundled with the machine. You can see Anna's sneak peek video HERE. Be sure to read the entire post to find out how to enter contests to win some great prizes - someone will win an Explore Air!
If you already own an Explore, you can purchase the wireless adapter and you will be able to use your current machine wirelessly with an iPad or from your computer if it has bluetooth capability (if not, you can purchase an inexpensive adapter for your computer as well). The new machine simply has the wireless capability built in - otherwise it is the same as the Explore I purchased a year ago at the initial launch (except it is a pretty shade of blue).
For those of you who love the Anna Griffin content and already own an Explore machine, the three Anna cartridges that come with the new machine will be available to purchase separately, bundled with a wireless adapter, from HSN.
The MSRP of the new machine is $299.99 and the Explore Air bundle will be "Today's Special" so there could be extra flex-pays or a shipping deal.
You can see some new videos introducing the Cricut Explore Air on the Official Cricut You Tube channel HERE. There are lots of helpful videos teaching you all about using the Explore on the Cricut channel so take some time to watch them if you want to learn more.
The next exciting new release is the new version of the iPad App that allows you to design your own projects. As a Cricut Product Expert, I have been testing this app and I love the convenience of picking up the iPad when I have an idea and then continuing to work on a project from my computer. I can take the iPad to my craftroom and cut wirelessly - so much simpler than carrying my laptop up and down the stairs.
I received a new Explore Air machine from Cricut a couple of days ago and it was extremely simple to set it up. I was able to use the iPad to get started cutting in just a few minutes. I'll be sharing more details about the app in future posts. The app will be available in the iTunes store sometime next week - keep an eye on the official Cricut page to see when the release is announced.
The app is free and you can use it with an iPad 2 or newer (the iPad mini will work too). If you don't have a wireless adapter for your Explore you will need one to make it work with the app - if you buy the new machine the wireless capability is built in and you do not need the adapter.
At this time the app is available only for the iPad, there is not an Android version.
Finally, I have also been testing the new Design Space 2. There are a number of changes that make it easier to use and the design and user interface matches the iPad app more closely so you can switch back and forth very smoothly. You can start a project on the iPad or on your computer and then switch and pick up where you left off - since your projects are stored in the Cloud they are always available, wherever you go and from whatever device you are using.
The Design Space 2 is free and will be available to everyone sometime on February 17th. There are many improvements in functionality and the program is faster and more reliable. I'll be posting some highlights over the next few days to help you get prepared for the changes.
Please note this announcement from Cricut:
Given the magnitude of the upgrades and to ensure the best experience moving forward, we will need to take Design Space, Cricut.com and Cricut Craft Room temporarily offline on Monday, February 16th from 6:00 am MST through 11:59 pm MST.
Monday is the President's Day holiday so if you have the day off and were planning to craft you should plan ahead and do all of your cutting over the weekend. Then you can assemble your projects on Monday. during the outage. Please note that Design Space, Cricut Craft Room and the Cricut site will all be offline on Monday. Your existing projects will be converted during the outage and they will work with Design Space 2.
This is a closeup of the top of the box for the Cricut Explore Air. Ever since I bought my Explore (last year at the HSN launch) I have been pleased and amazed by the accuracy and intricacy of the cuts. They truly are "ultra-precise" and I get a thrill every time I see a perfect tiny circle cut by these machines!
I used the "Glitzy" glitter cardstock from DCWV to see how well this new machine would cut - and it cut the design beautifully. When I lifted the medallion from the mat, nearly all of the tiny shapes stayed on the mat. A machine that cuts cleanly like this can save you so much time if you like to make intricate projects. I remember carefully poking out tiny pieces on cuts I made on other machines. Try to see if you can spot how many pieces did not stay on the mat (leave a comment to tell me how many you think are missing...). The pieces that lifted with the design were clinging by static and they were easily brushed away.
This design is cut at 3 3/4 inches so some of the design elements are very tiny.
The Explore Air cut this design perfectly. I am tempted to try cutting it at an even smaller size - I think the machine could handle it!
I think I'll be using this for a Valentine card - there is still time to make a few more cards before tomorrow...
Please let me know if you have questions that I might be able to answer about the new machine and upgrades to the programs. I am very excited to see these changes and I think there are even more things to look forward to over the next year as Cricut keeps improving and adding features.
I am happy that my original machine and the adapter I purchased for it are not obsolete - but I do like the pretty blue color of the new Explore Air!
Have a great Friday! I hate to mention it, but we are in for yet another big snowstorm (possibly a blizzard) this weekend. It doesn't seem possible to find room for more snow but I guess we will have to find a way.
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