Support SaysBrad
  • (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    Anker

    This thing, you need. Run your smartphone for days.

  • Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen

    I use this cleaner for my iPhone, iPad 3, iPad mini and MacBook Pro. It’s great all-around and won’t mess up the oleophobic coating on iOS device screens.

  • Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Artic Silver

    If you’re having problems with your Adonit Jot capacitive touch stylus or Hex3 Jaja, you can improve its performance and reliability with careful application of thermal paste! For more on this, check out my capacitive touch stylus how-to fix-it guide. Months later (Sep 2013), my styli are still performing great!

  • Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot with Pixelpoint, works with a lot of new drawing apps on iPad.

  • Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen

    The stuff I use to keep my iPad screen nice and clean!

  • Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Studio Neat

    Awesome capacitive touch stylus created by Studio Neat. Great guys, great product. I use mine every day! Bradtastic Approved.

  • Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot Pro is an awesome capacitive touch stylus for iPad & other tablets.

  • Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    FiftyThree

    Even if you consider yourself a casual doodler or note-taker, you’ll love this well designed stylus. Built for Paper by FiftyThree, the iPad app — however, many other apps support Pencil.

  • Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Sportsman Supply Inc.

    Playing Cards for your password creation or poker game!

My Amazon.com Wish List
If you’re looking for an app, need personal or corporate branding, marketing material, an illustration, logo, sketch or design — there’s a Brad for that!

Entries in 53 (4)

Tuesday
Oct072014

“Pressure sensitivity,” I knew the iPad could do it!

Got an iPad? Do you ever draw anything on it?

Ever since the first iPad, I couldn’t figure out why the capacitive surface couldn’t tell the difference between a tiny tap and a hard push. Turns out, it can, and I’m not talking about the soon-to-be-announced new iPads… your current iPad — as long as it has iOS 8.

I first noticed this with Paper by FiftyThree and their Pencil stylus. You can use the edge of the stylus to draw lines with greater thickness. Pretty cool. Then I looked at Zen Brush. Turns out, that app can do the same thing with just your finger. Go try it out.

Makes me really excited for iPad Air 2 or whatever they’re calling it. Now if they would only release the iPad Pro.

Wednesday
Feb192014

Several Exciting Things in Blogging

iPad Paper sketch, MadeWithPaper FiftyThree

Turns out, trying to rebuild a website in Squarespace v6 with almost no spare time and not enough sleep is pretty hard. 

But I’m working on it. I’m just working on so many other things, too. I’m almost done with several reviews for some really cool products, and I’m really looking forward to updating SaysBrad with new visuals and features. 

If you’re thinking about creating or updating a website, I think Squarespace is a great option. And no, they aren’t paying me to say that — though I wish they were!

However, if you just want a simple blog, I’d recommend Posthaven. I’ve been experimenting with their service for about one month and it’s excellent, especially for mobile users (iOS, anyway — I’m not able to test Android). Priced at $5/month, the guys behind Posthaven promise to keep your content online forever after one year of paid service. I believe that they mean it, but only time will tell whether or not this promise holds up. Posthaven isn’t a huge company with massive, private resources. 

If you like trying new things and experimenting with code, maybe try Ghost. 

My experimental site, Bradtastica, is a Ghost blog hosted by the awesome guys at Ghostify. As is, Ghost is somewhat lacking and I think that there are too many bugs and uncertainties for business use, but the platform is new and full of potential. Within one or two years, Ghost will be a top contender and solid choice for blogging. Right now, it’s more… just kinda cool.

One more thing! 

Over the past several months (during my illness, mainly), I’ve tried several new capacitive touch styluses and have received offers to try a few more. I’m looking forward to posting some comprehensive reviews with sketches and photos. I’d wanted to get Says Brad moved to SS6 first, but with everything going on right now (disability, illness, moving, etc…), I’m not sure when that would be. (I’m also having major problems with the building that I’m in. Will probably have to write/share some scathing comments about PBT sometime.) I really want to separate the technology, political and personal content — just really lacking time and energy. So I’m formatting my reviews for this blog! I’m particularly looking forward to sharing my thoughts on Pencil, the stylus for Paper by FiftyThree. Have had a lot of fun with that. 

As usual, if you have questions or comments, you can reach me via my SaysBrad contact form (email), or through Twitter or Facebook. It’s nice to hear from everyone!

I hope you have a great week!

Tuesday
May142013

Brad's Personal Update No. 2

Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I think I’m starting to feel a bit better. But I don’t want to jinx it. I do, however, want to share a few things. I downloaded the update for Paper by FiftyThree and I’m so happy about the new zoom tool. Although I think it still needs some tweaking, it’s a very clever way to achieve a blend of style and functionality that fits the theme and mission of the Paper sketching app. If you have an iPad, you need Paper, even if you don’t consider yourself an artist or creative. It’s just that cool.

I’m writing this blog entry from the official (semi-janky) Squarespace app because for some reason, my favorite, go-to app Blogsy isn’t able to load my categories. I don’t yet know if that’s a Squarespace problem or a fomola (Blogsy devs) issue, but I emailed Lance (fomola Big Boss aka CEO aka awesome friend) to find out. [I’m still very interested in migrating from Squarespace to WordPress, but I don’t have the knowledge or energy yet to start making that happen — I’d want a nice WP theme and don’t know how to go about putting that together.]

Paper by FiftyThree art

Inspired in-part by the Guild Wars 2 Mesmer profession (which reminds me of Accel World’s Kuroyukihime character), this purple abstract butterfly was created on the iPad mini using Paper specific tools (primarily the pencil and watercolor) in order to familiarize myself with the color wheel and zoom. Although it’s still work-in-progress in both forms, one is a screenshot showing off the new zoom/magnifying tool. It took a few minutes to get used to, but in general, I like it; although I might’ve preferred a more traditional zoom functionality, this style does have advantages because you can see exactly where you are drawing relative to the whole page/screen, without zooming in and out, back and forth. It’s also very fast with a decent margin for error, and doesn’t interfere with the undo/redo feature.

I’m excited, because Paper is finally an app I can use start to finish for my style of design. Until now, it’s been a rough ideas and sketching tool; first it was limited by a restricted color palette — they fixed that — and now they’ve added zoom. I’d still like to see a smaller eraser tool (or a variable one with opacity adjustment) and portrait mode, but as is, it’ll work well. I’ve come to prefer the two-finger circular undo/redo and now wish that other apps had it.

Next

I have to take things slow and pace myself, but I’ll see about adding new sketches and designs to dribbble along with more blog entries here such as app and stylus reviews & tips. Until then, take care, enjoy life, and wish me luck. Thank you all!

Thursday
May032012

Paper by FiftyThree actually awesome!

If you sketch, doodle, jot, draw or paint, you will love Paper by FiftyThree.

That's what I think, anyway, especially if you use an oStylus (Bradtastic Approved, of course!) the world's best capacitive touch stylus. Of course, you need an iPad.

Download Paper by FiftyThree (from the App Store)

They've announced on their blog that Paper has been downloaded 1.5 million times, an impressive number, especially for an app that isn't a game (and even for a free app). They also announced the number of pages that have been created, though I don't know how they know that without spying on people's usage… a scary thought. I will have to ask them.

Initially, I didn't like Paper.

I thought it was overpriced form over function, more style than substance. My opinion was formed using the one free tool, and though I'd like to think that the App Store reviews did not influence me, I'm sure that that was a factor as well.

I was comparing Paper to "pro" drawing and painting tools. In doing so, I missed the beauty of Paper — simplicity. I saw its minimalist interface as a negative, something between crude and kitschy. I thought of paper as one thing trying to be something else, and decided to dislike it on that alone. Throughout, I still acknowledged that custom ink engine and crisp feel were special — noteworthy… good.

Discovery.

About a week or so ago, I downloaded The Essentials (the $7.99 USD IAP) after discussing it with several people, reading reviews and emailing FiftyThree. I decided that it made more sense for two reasons:

  1. The Essentials may include other features or tools in the future.
  2. it's a hassle to download each individually at a savings of 3¢.

I first got the full Paper experience first on the iPad 2, and was immediately struck by the difference. The trial versions (called "Try it!" in the Store) do not do justice. Paper instantly transforms (think butterfly) from dull to dangerous. This wonderful sketching app delivers a rich, satisfying experience, perfect for doodlers and serious designers alike.

Some ways to use Paper

Paper can be used to make masterpieces — I've seen some — but that's not its strength. Here are a few ideas.

  • mind-mapping
  • visual notes

Both of these have dedicated apps, but the simplicity and aesthetics makes Paper a good choice for concepts.

  • doodles, scribbles
  • diagrams
  • graphology (handwriting analysis)

  • telephone notepad

good for phone numbers and jotting quick thoughts while on the phone; also great for idle moments and rants (while you're placed on hold)

  • logo ideas
  • conceptual design
  • scenery
  • symbols

artists of all skill levels and types will likely find that Paper's tools are a great balance between speed and control.

Four stars, work in progress.

Paper isn't perfect — it's WIP. FiftyThree is still adding features. If you have suggestions, contact them; I did, and got a very sincere reply. Being critical of an app and offering constructive feedback early on will help to shape the direction of this tool.

Some people just don't like Paper, and that's okay. There are a lot of drawing apps on the iPad, and many great professional tools such as:

  • Procreate
  • ArtRage
  • SketchBook Pro
  • Layers
  • Brushes

And there are inexpensive alternatives with wonderful functionality as well:

  • Sketch Club
  • Infinite SketchPad
  • Noteshelf

There's also fun, social stuff like Clibe.

I created an Infinite Sketch discussing key points of Paper, pros and cons, and additional features that I'd like to see.

Check out a web version of the Infinite SketchPad outline that I made. I would love to hear your ideas as well, so don't hesitate to comment or message me!

Coming soon: more detailed thoughts on Paper, including comments on specific tools and the UI.

(btw, I love being able to set auto-post times for blog entries, allowing me to write when I'm feeling okay, yet stagger the entries. I know this isn't a new or revolutionary feature and that many people use it, but still… it's brilliant!)