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 appstore (13)

Monday
Sep022013

Warlords Classic for iOS, Free!

Warlords Classic - official port from Mac/PC/Amiga (universal, was $4.99)

If you're into old school strategy games, grab this now! It's still free — but probably not for long. It's less than 9MB, so you can download it (and play) on-the-go. I don't think I'll spend much time with this one, so let me know what you think!

(I never played the original!) I think I'd rather play Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, however.

 

Monday
Sep022013

Star Wars Pinball Free & Terraria iOS! Hardcore Gamers, Rejoice!

FREE! Star Wars Pinball by Zen Studios (universal, normally $1.99) — includes one table with two additional tables available as in-app purchases. If you own Zen Pinball, you'll probably want to unlock (purchase) the tables inside it instead, but since Star Wars Pinball is free (for now), why not play around with one of the tables and see if you like the game mechanics?

Light side or dark side?

I love pinball. It's not nearly as visceral and exciting as playing in an arcade in front of a real pinball machine, but playing on the iPad is pretty great — especially with the retina display. Much better than playing on the TV or PC.

Zen Studios has done a great job capturing the frenetic pace and unique physics of pinball in their sims, this app is no different. The Star Wars tables are stylish and well constructed — the sound effects, imagery and storylines feel authentic and will likely satisfy sci-fi fanatics.

 

Also on the App Store, Terraria!

Terraria by 505 Games (universal, $4.99) I've been waiting for this for a long time! (Still waiting for the Playstation Vita version... hopefully it's out soon!)

I haven't checked it out yet, but I have played desktop/console versions of the game (on Xbox 360 & PS3). It's a different take on survival/crafting, and isn't just a 2D version of Minecraft (iOS link). Terraria has a huge following and much has been written about it, so I won't go into detail.

The iPad has become an interesting games platform for hardcore gamers.

It's very exciting. Hopefully, more indie games and Kickstarter type projects will surface now that people are starting to take iOS seriously. Initially thought of as simply a casual games device, iOS now has games like:

*MAKE SURE to check system requirements before downloading these games. Many of them are ~2GB and require iPad 3 or newer.

I could go on for quite awhile, this list barely scratches the surface — this is just skim off the cream — there are dozens more fantastic games for iOS. If you have an iPad, you can't be bored! Look at that list; look at the App Store, check out all the great stuff available right now — know it's just the beginning. Apple will likely announce new iPads soon, and with next-gen devices come better games and new ways to interact with conventional gaming devices. A current example is Xbox SmartGlass — but I'm really looking forward to Ubisoft's Watch Dogs tablet mode multiplayer.

What games are you most excited about? Did I leave your favorite off of the list? Let me know!

 

Oh yeah, just in case...

Cut the Rope HD is free right now, too. Whatever.

 

Currently, I'm enjoying Dragon's Crown for PSVITA. There's been a fair amount of controversy surrounding the game since its North American announcement and early teaser artwork, but don't let that stop you from enjoying a superb side-scrolling action RPG. For an amazing breakdown of Dragon's Crown, check out HokutoAndy's Kinja blog and his site, Art-Eater.

If you want to play, add me at XBLIVE/PSN: rainfault — just include a little note to let me know a bit about you and how you found me. (Thanks!)

 

Saturday
Aug102013

Taking Notes on the iPad & iPhone!

Well — the groosoft sale that I'd mentioned was certainly short lived. Hopefully you picked up both amazing apps! If you didn't, that's a bummer, but let me explain why they might be worth your money.

If you're looking for text-only notes, check out my ThinkBook review.

 

Scrapnote Handwriting Scrapbook (iPad 2 & newer, $4.99)

Scrapnote is an amazing consolidation of productivity tools presented in an elegant package. It isn't the most visually stunning app, but it is powerful and straightforward — perfect for quick and dirty note-taking. Imagine Evernote, Skitch, Penultimate, Noteshelf, Pages and Adobe Reader features all in one app.

You say "scraping," I say "scrapping."

The main feature is its Scrap tool (a process misspelled as "scraping" in their materials). It's basically a clipper; take images, or even a stack of images, videos, text, (no audio, though) and insert them right onto editable pages. These objects can be drawn over and snap-aligned with guides (just like in Apple's Pages).

There are many practical note-taking uses for Scrapnote, but it can also be used as a presentation tool. Each notebook can be set as read-only — the app even comes with an example in the form of a detailed how-to guide. Scrapnote has several different handwriting tools (eraser, highlighter, pencil, pen) each with its own settings and properties, as well as a decent color palette (but no option to choose your own colors). Images can have custom borders (or not) and can be rotated and cropped (clipped, rather, as if set inside a frame) in-app, and text can be presented in various styles and fonts, with optional boxes and drop shadows.

There are some missing features. The major ones:

No zoom. It's a shame, because I could ditch my other handwriting notes apps if it had the ability to zoom into areas for more control. Well, almost, except...

No backup. This is so strange to me, because groosoft's $0.99 Jotter has iCloud sync. No backup makes this app somewhat limited in longevity, so hopefully they'll rectify that. iCloud and Dropbox backup would be preferred. Also...

No PDF export. Single pages can be emailed or sent to images, but the entire notebook cannot be easily presented together in a single file. Each page could be exported and backed up, but those documents would no longer be editable in-app.

Limited colors. The selection isn't bad or that small, it's just not ideal for me. This won't be an issue for everyone, and I'm sure someone out there prefers the simplicity of a set palette.

At the wonderful price of free, I couldn't complain much about these omissions, but for $4.99 — I expect more. If you're on the fence about this app, check out the "trial" version, Scrapnote Lite.

 

Jotter Handwriting Notebook (universal, $0.99)

I have no idea what "real tactile note app" means to groosoft, but I do know that the poor typesetting (look at "app" — "a pp") and misspelling scrapping (in Scrapnote) is indicative of oversight and carelessness... and that is concerning...

But for 99 cents, Jotter is pretty cool.

Especially as it's an iCloud-synced, universal app. Many of my favorite handwritten notes apps are iPad-only, limiting my ability to view and modify these notes on-the-go with my iPhone. The mobile-friendly feature makes it worthy of mention, and perhaps, a download.

Jotter has the same drawing tools and color palette as Scrapnote and has various background options (paper types) including lined/ruled, graphing paper, white, black, etc. — but the pages aren't arranged into notebooks, and images cannot be added into the documents.

However, you can use an image as a background.

For FREE, there's no debate about downloading Jotter. For a buck, it's still probably worth a try. There are other handwriting apps for iPhone, but most have similar issues and cost the same as or more than Jotter. The iCloud sync is a great bonus, and until Evernote makes Penultimate for iPhone (they really should), this is basically the only choice.

But still — no zoom. :-(

 

For iPhone handwritten notes, you could try Draw Pad Pro or Muji Notebook for iPhone — both offer zoom, and Draw Pad Pro is universal and has backup!

Draw Pad Pro is feature-rich and supported, but for some reason, it just doesn't feel right; it also isn't visually attractive, but there's something about the drawing tools and interface that doesn't work for me... so at $2.99, it's difficult for me to recommend (there are occasional discounts on it and it is free from time to time, however).

Muji Notebook is a text and handwriting notes app with a distinct Japanese esthetic and Japanese paper styles. So naturally, I like it (In general, I like Japanese design); but it is limited, and though there are iPad and iPhone versions, the two don't sync with one another. Muji is based on less is more; and with fewer color options, paper styles, and export options, it is a single-purpose tool with more style than substance — aimed at a niche audience. Still, the iPhone version ($3.99) is worth trying because the Muji zoom tool makes writing small, detailed notes a breeze. Developer/publisher Ryohin Keikaku offers trial versions: iPad Lite and iPhone Lite.

 

Final thoughts on note-taking tools for iOS

If I had to score these apps based on my needs, Scrapnote would earn 7/10 and Jotter a 3/5. Both are good, but need improvements to replace my go-to, everyday notes apps. If you've got a back-to-school iPad mini and automatic online backup isn't critical, Scrapnote is probably a worthwhile investment. If groosoft ever adds zoom and backup, Scrapnote would be an 8.5 or 9 out of 10.

If you have a favorite handwriting app for iOS that I haven't mentioned before, please let me know about it!

Also, if you're an app developer or publisher and would like an honest review and feedback, please get in touch. I'm easy to reach online! :-)

 


I've written about the wondrous — yes, magical — iPad, time and time again. I had had concerns that the device was just an overgrown iPod touch, but those fears were quickly dismissed by just using the original iPad for about two minutes. Since that life-changing day, I've dedicated a significant portion of my life and blog to it, and have written before about note-taking on the iPad.

Also, I let the superfloo.us domain expire, but nothing else has changed. Same content, says Brad.

 

Tuesday
Aug062013

Two Fantastic Free iOS Apps!

Some things in life are free! (Saving: $5.98)

My recent posts, and some soon to follow, are quite serious — but saysbrad isn't becoming a pure-politics blog! I'm writing a review of two great note-taking apps gone free! Scrapnote (iPad, was $4.99) and Jotter (universal, was $0.99), both by groosoft. I'm not sure how long these apps will remain free, so instead of waiting for my reviews, you should go download these apps!

 

Monday
Jul292013

Quoting Art & Attacking The Borg

I'm currently putting together my next posts, reviews and follow-ups to recent, controversial ideas, so I thought I'd share a few images created on the iPad mini using two amazing apps: Concepts: Precision Sketching and Over. If you like sketching and creating things on the iPad, I highly recommend both apps. Concepts has recently added Copic Marker colors and new drawing tools, and Over has been updating their app with bug fixes and new features, so I'm excited to see how both progress.

I also recently posted this image, a quote from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.

I thought I'd post it again, because I'd like to add the following. If anyone has any interest in reposting or sharing these images with others, feel free to do so — just please leave the images unmodified and uncropped. Each is making a statement in a particular way, and I put a fair amount of time and effort into each. Thanks! They are also available to be repinned at Pinterest. In addition, with the two apps mentioned above, it isn't difficult to create your own. If you do, I'd love to see it!

Language is communication — essentially expression of thought — and imagery can embolden and empower words and deliver new meaning to new audiences in a beautiful way.

If we ever lose our freedom of speech and expression, it'll be because the suppression of radical, upsetting and controversial thoughts was unopposed and supported by the masses and unchallenged by free-thinkers. Star Trek and Gene Roddenberry's ideology taught me this: resistance is not futile, even when defeat seems inevitable.

 

Friday
Nov162012

Removing Apps From Launchpad

I prefer the Dock on the left to maximize vertical space.

Mac OS X Lion & Mountain Lion make Apple computers more like their iOS devices, but this isn’t always a good thing.


Apple’s Lions are pretty — there’s no denying that. However, in adding simplicity, Apple has limited functionality and control. In an attempt to make Mac OSX more user-friendly, Apple has hidden files and features. The multitouch trackpad and Launchpad make Macs function more like iPhones and iPads — the problem is that desktops and notebooks are more complex than their bite-sized brethren.

Want full control of your Launchpad?


"Too bad" seems to be the Apple response. According to Apple, you can rearrange icons and remove Mac App Store apps only. [To remove App Store apps, either click and hold over the app icon (similar to the iOS process of removing/re-arranging apps) or hold the “alt option” key. Click "X." To add any app to Launchpad, drag & drop the app from Finder onto the Launchpad icon (located on your Dock).]

But what if you want to remove an app without an “X”?


Since Apple won’t help, I will!


First, if you’ve used Mac OS prior to Lion, you’ll notice the absence of the Library folder. Apple decided that people don’t need to be bothered with such things and hid it. If you want to view it again, open Terminal.app, located in /Applications/Utilities. Copy/Paste the following:
chflags nohidden ~/Library

Like magic, Library will now appear in Finder. (Note: Before you go modifying your Launchpad, you may want to backup its current setup. To do that, backup the .db file located in /Library/Application Support/Dock)

If you want to remove ALL items from Launchpad, you can follow this guide at gnuu.org This might be best if you have a lot of clearing to do.

However, if you just want to remove some apps from Launchpad


Open /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app and use the following;
sqlite3 ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dock/*.db "DELETE from apps WHERE title='APPNAME';" && killall Dock

REPLACING APPNAME with the name of the app you want to remove from Launchpad. For example, if I wanted to remove Reminders, I would open Terminal and enter:
sqlite3 ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dock/*.db "DELETE from apps WHERE title='Reminders';" && killall Dock


Note: This won’t delete the app, it just removes it from Launchpad.

Hopefully this helps you!


If it has, please leave a comment and consider liking my Says Brad Facebook page to keep in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

There are a lot of third-party apps out there for Dock, Desktop, Library and Launchpad management, but frankly, I don’t trust them; many aren’t free or are ad-supported, created by people I’ve never heard of. Not saying that they’re all illegitimate, but I can’t be certain. Luckily, a little Terminal magic can solve the bulk of your OSX issues. I’m an iOS guru (lol), not an OSX expert, but feel free to ask if you have questions — if I can help, I will.

Saturday
Apr072012

Productivity App Reviews, Bad Morning iPad, games

I'm having one of those mornings. My body hurts really bad and it's making me oddly emotional. I tried to do a little art/design but my hand is shaking a bit and it's frustrating. So now I'm sharing some iPad/App Store stuff.

I really wish Blogsy worked (natively) with Squarespace. I also wish the Squarespace iOS app didn't suck. I can't edit pages or the layout with the app.

Sometimes progress on things is slow with a disability. I try, but I get tired quickly. I know that many people out there have disabilities both physical and mental much worse than mine, and I hope that they too have a solid support system and good friends. Those fortunate enough should try to get an iPad as a primary computer, it's completely doable. My goal is to help others to make the most of a bad situation, and use tools to the fullest.

So, here's a little Apple iOS App Store update, for Mac and iOS.

New apps & discounts

Paper by FiftyThree

There's an app called Paper by FiftyThree available for iPad. It's free to try... each tool beyond the first costs $1.99 — and it's not worth it. Some might argue that the limited color palette and brush options is cool and minimalist — not so.

  • The custom ink engine is cool. The lines look nice and the tools are natural.

  • Non-artists wont benefit from the coolness. For a casual user, $8 to unlock everything is pricy. Apps Sketch Club and Layers offer many basic and advanced features for $2.

  • Artists will find the app too limiting. No layers, no wrist/palm rejection. Wide eraser. No variable widths; one-size, one-setting brushes, fixed diameter. No zoom.

Clibe

Clibe (App Store link) was free when it was released, and I suggested that people grab it... it's now $4.99 — here's their website. Is it worth it? For $5, I dunno.

Byword

Byword is an awesome word processor for Mac and iOS. It uses Dropbox or iCloud to sync between devices. If you write on at least a semi-regular basis, you will love Byword. It's an attractive, effective text solution, with great functionality and a low price.

iA Writer

Serious writers and web authors may want to look at iA Writer. This app is stellar, minimalistic and focused. This is distraction-free and usable. Focus Mode, formatting, and reading time make this app one of my all-time favorites.

I first found distraction-free writing with WriteRoom by Hog Bay Software. I think it's cool, and Jesse is a really nice guy. I happen to like iA Writer and Byword more now, but the original is still awesome.

GAMES — Some games worth looking at.

  • Assassin's Creed Recollection (FREE) if you haven't downloaded it yet. Get it now. Seriously.

  • The Bard's Tale ($1.99, usually $5.99) The hit Playstation 2/XBOX RPG plays great on iPad 2 and iPhone 4, and the cheeky humor is a nice change of pace. Get this while it's on sale for $2... if you like games like Baldur's Gate, Elder Scrolls, Diablo, and Dungeon Hunter, you'll thank me later.

  • Combat Mission Touch ($4.99) announced on April 1st and so cool, people thought it was a Fool's Day prank. It isn't. Requires iPad 2 or new iPad to run! More info at battlefront.com (CMTOUCH site). If you like strategy games and WWII sims (and you have an iPad 2 or newer...) check it out.

There's also a game called Battle Academy for iPad, released recently. I don't have it, it's $19.99 presently. More information here; apparently, it's a port of a PC game.

Perhaps next post, some art.

I'm still finishing designs for Lance Barton (Fomola) CEO of the company behind Blogsy for iPad. It's been tough recently because of my migraines and nerve pain. Maybe I'll share some other doodles, however. Until then, take care!

Friday
Mar022012

Free apps for $10,000 gift card!

Just in case you aren't aware, to celebrate 25 billion app downloads in its App Store, Apple is giving away a $10,000 iTunes gift card.

Apple is very close to the goal. I don't think that their counter is totally accurate (apple.com). Anyway, because the 25 billionth app downloaded gets a lot of publicity, many publishers and developers are offering their apps for free.

How to find the best apps for you

I use an app called AppShopper. (AppStore link) There's also a website you can check out, AppShopper.com — they list new apps, price changes, and favorites. I use this app, and here's a tip. Don't download an app immediately after being notified of a price change. Wait a few minutes. If you attempt to download the app while it's being "updated," you will be unable to download the app for days. This has happened to be several times, and it required emailing Apple customer support to resolve the issue. Save yourself the trouble.

Currently there are dozens of amazing, highly-rated and popular apps offered for free. IGN posts a daily update on games, but there are also great deals on productivity, photo, social networking and news apps. See for yourself.

And good luck!

If you win the gift card, you can thank me by telling 10,000 people about my site. More art, design, and app reviews incoming. Says me.

Monday
Feb272012

Centaur for Blogsy wip

Hey. I decided to share this, because the final version: might take awhile, won't look like a *realistic* centaur — I know, oxymoron. Well, you'll see when you see it.

## How this all started

I've been having email conversations over the past few weeks with the *Lance Barton,* the lead guy at Fomola, the makers of Blogsy. I'd seen the app several times while perusing the App Store, but didn't give it much thought until I got an email from Typepad about how great the app is. *Long story short,* I went to the Blogsy website, blogsyapp.com, read some reviews and watched some how-to videos. I then emailed Fomola (the developers), introduced myself a bit and asked him if Blogsy was going to get Squarespace support.

Lance sent a very courteous reply; he's very likable, genuinely kind, honest and upfront. His character and values are instantly apparent and it appears that his ethics have created a solid foundation for Fomola and his ideals are represented in the things they do (and the app they've made).

## The app and the centaur

**Blogsy** isn't static; it's constantly being worked on, tweaked, improved upon... and while Blogsy has a clear primary focus, the wishes and feature requests of users have dictated its continued development.

This **isn't** another case of *we've built the best, most complex, feature rich application and don't care if you can figure it out — learn it or gtfo!*

Blogsy is intuitive and adheres to common UI elements instead of inserting new symbols, icons, and buttons (forcing users to relearn the basics). There are even detailed instructional videos online that cover all of Blogsy's features and explain its advanced elements.

I've been playing around with it for awhile, and I like it. A lot. (I'm so excited about Squarespace support — I really hope that it supports page editing new page creation.) I want the app to succeed. **Every iPad blogger should get Blogsy and use it.**

## Oh right, the centaur...

Each major update is given a name, something more akin to what Apple does with its OS X releases than a codename. The previous version was *The Minotaur*... the current version is *The Centaur*, hence, a **centaur**. (Made more sense than drawing a aardvark.)

And like I said, the completed version will look different... although I might keep going with this one as well. I kinda like it. Hope you like it, too. If you have an iPad, get Blogsy (iTunes App Store link) and if you don't have an iPad, you can tell someone about my blog.

Or tell an iPad owner/blogger about the app. That makes sense, too.