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  • (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!

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Entries in capacitive touch (9)

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.

Friday
Feb282014

Zen Stylus for review... maybe?

So the creator of the Zen Stylus (3-in-1 capacitive touch stylus and ballpoint pen) contacted me through this site not too long ago about possibly reviewing the stylus here on the site. So far, I haven’t heard back, but the stylus looks pretty cool! Take a look. 

And if you’re familiar with David (Thanh) Ly and the ZEN, please let him know that I’ve reached out twice! Looking forward to having the time and energy to really get this site going after moving.

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!

Sunday
Oct202013

Favicon Design part 1, Ideas, Concepts + Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus

Adobe Ideas screenshot, freehand sketch

 

Learning how to keep my hand steady again has been a tricky process. Luckily, the iPad has some amazing tools. The sketch above, a favicon design concept for this site, was first loosely drawn in Tayasui Sketches, but I almost immediately switched to Adobe Ideas to take advantage of a new Bluetooth pressure-sensitive stylus.

The Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus is probably the nicest all-around stylus for the iPad. In certain situations, I like the oStylus DOT more due to its small tip and predictable, 100% functionality. The Adonit Jot Touch is supported by many more apps, and their SDK is actually starting to work as intended (it was buggy; more like a tech demo or concept product, not quite usable for my design style).

Adobe Ideas is compatible with a variety of pressure-sensitive styluses; with it, I've only tried the Jot Touch and Intuos (both work really well in general). Ideas offers pressure sensitivity and palm rejection. Pressure sensitivity works great; there aren't a lot of options for it, but simplicity is sort of Ideas' thing. The Intuos' buttons work to bring up a quick tool menu to make changes to settings like tip width, color, tool... it's really nice, but an undo option would've been nice.

The palm rejection sucks; it works by rejecting any stroke on the iPad while there's no pressure on the stylus tip, but as soon as you start actually using it in earnest, it fails. Tons of unintended marks, because in practice: you have to set the tip down first — pressing enough to trigger pressure sensitivity —followed by your palm/wrist, and then lift your hand before lifting the stylus tip off to finish. It's a nuisance; setting a simple folded microfiber cloth underneath your palm is much easier... and it actually works.

But that's not an Ideas problem, it's just the technology. The iPad wasn't, isn't intended to be used with a stylus. For shame, Apple! Release for us a Penabled version, or something like the Samsung Galaxy Note. Artists will buy it; they're excited about dropping $1600-2500 for Wacom Cintiq Companion tablets — we'll buy an iPad: Artist Edition!

Currently, I can only compare the Hex3 Jaja, Adonit Jot Touch (2.1) & Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus. I would love to test the Pogo Connect & others — I'm saddened that Paper by FiftyThree only utilizes the Pogo. I contacted them; they said that they have no plans to support any other Bluetooth styli, but that they're looking at the others to see how well people take to those devices. FiftyThree also mentioned that they weren't planning on portrait mode, but that it's been requested (duh!). Seeing how long they took to add custom colors and magnification (up to 3x zoom), it might be a long while. Like iPad 7 kind of awhile.

Contrast that with the great people behind Concepts: Smarter Sketching, and you'll know why I'm so excited about that app. Concepts as a free app is full functional, and an inexpensive IAP unlocks cool precision options unlike any other app I've used. Using a dot grid and guides, it's easy to create perfect lines and shapes on an adjustable, vector art canvas.

But that's not the amazing part; Concepts started months ago as a broken app with laggy pen strokes to a professional-use design tool with Copic colors... at less than 1/3 of the price of Paper. What started as an app with just a pen tool has become a vector app with a beautiful pencil, marker and airbrush tool — and it's fast and responsive. The pencil and marker are stunning.

The really great part about Concepts, however, is TopHatch, the guys behind the vector design and sketching app. I contacted them via Facebook and got a quick reply that made two things clear: these guys are nice, and they care about user feedback. I felt like my suggestions would help to improve the app — they even invited me to beta test it. I was told that I would be really pleased with the next update, but didn't get too many specifics. Only that portrait mode and Bluetooth stylus support were both happening soon.

 

Part 2 will be about favicon design itself (a sort of beginner's guide, I suppose) as well as my thought process for it, and a more in-depth review of Concepts: Smarter Sketching.

 

Friday
Oct182013

Notes Plus Review - iPad Handwriting Apps

An inkblog Bluetooth pressure sensitive capacitive touch stylus written response to a comment!
 

Yesterday October 17, 2013 was a pretty big day here in America — our lackluster government has resumed spending ten billion dollars per day and the default crisis has been averted postponed until mid-January.

But I also got a comment on my blog entry iPad mini note taking problems. I decided to write a reply in atypical, inkblogging fashion. Here's the comment by Jeremy.

What did you think of the Notes Plus IOS App? I've used quite a few low and high end stylus' with the app and have not been disappointed with the results. www.notesplusapp.com

 

Here's my handwritten 'ink' reply, with text transcript.

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! This is written in Notes Plus on my iPad3 (retina) w/ Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus. I've had the app for quite awhile, but never spent much time with it until recently. I really like the recent app enhancements and the close-up writing mode — its method for adjusting the writing box is probably the best I've used. [Note: referencing the app itself] I wish that it was either raster-based, or had cleaner line creation, more adjustability, more color options (or better colors), and finally, Bluetooth capacitive touch stylus support (for line thickness — pressure sensitivity). Jeremy, you've inspired me to work on a full Notes Plus review. Question: which stylus is your favorite, or what type of styli do you like, the soft tip, disc shaped [tip], Bluetooth, etc? Last, what iPad version are you using, and are you using iOS7? I prefer iOS6. I think that iOS7 slowed down my iPad mini substantially. I hope that you have a great weekend and I look forward to hearing from you!

 

It's difficult to simultaneously compose beautiful sentences and fiddle with legible handwriting, spacing and color, but it was an interesting exercise. I think that my quasi-cursive writing style looks pretty good; quality that I think would be impossible in either Penultimate or Bamboo Paper and probably many of the handwritten notes apps, with the exception of Noteshelf and Remarks.

The image at the top of this post was edited (just for fun) using Repix and Distressed FX — both apps downloaded free. I'm not very familiar with either yet, so I decided to combine the effects of each to gauge the results. Distressed FX is particularly cool; I think I'm going to use it more, likely in combination and conjunction with other apps such as Tangent and Over, for photos and designs.

If you're looking for a great app to use with a capacitive touch stylus and don't mind a vector-based app, check out Notes Plus. It has a great deal of features and a lot of options, but remains usable and straightforward.

 

Friday
Oct112013

iPad mini note taking problems

Ink Blogging test using Penultimate for iPad by Brad Chin

While doing my semi-weekly tour of the App Store (most new apps release on Thursdays) — downloading new apps and checking out app updates — I decided to experiment with a few old apps.

I'm excited about the prospect of new iPads announced by Apple on October 22, in particular, I'd like a faster full-size iPad (hardware stylus support is probably too much to wish for, since Steve Jobs considered styli anathema) and a retina mini. I do a lot of writing and drawing on the iPad, but it's always felt a bit awkward and lacking. Quite simply, the iPad wasn't designed to be an artist's tool. I hope that that changes.

Opening up Penultimate (an original iPad app purchased by Evernote), I discovered support for an upcoming stylus release, the Adonit Jot Script Evernote Edition ($74.99, shipping Oct 25). I've had mixed feelings about Adonit styluses as they don't work properly for long (although with a little modification, you can fix your Jot stylus), but this one looks fundamentally different. No disc tip. But... there aren't a lot of details on it.

In addition, Wacom released a new stylus called the Intuos Creative Stylus ($99) and it looks awesome. I asked them to send me one to review, but no response. (Maybe you can help me convince them? ^_^ I'd be grateful!) I really want the Wacom Cintiq Companion... but it's very expensive. I've been wanting to do more illustration and cartoon drawing, but the Intuos is difficult for me to use, and the iPad... well, it has issues.

The iPad mini has he same resolution as the iPad 2, meaning smaller pixels, but it also seems like they shrunk the capacitive detection mechanism also. It just doesn't track precisely. After using the mini for awhile, going back to the iPad 3 (retina) is somewhat euphoric — it's that much better.

Penultimate, however, always seems to have issues.

The test ink blog writing above was created quickly on the iPad mini without any magnification or zoom (Accessibility Options > Zoom). The app doesn't have pinch zoom or any kind of Paper by FiftyThree or Noteshelf type workaround, so I used to tap zoom until I finally ditched the app. I like the superb Evernote integration, but it's just not worth it. I don't like messy, ugly notes. If you've seen any of my handwriting, you know what I can normally produce digitally. The image above is just plain bad. I can read it so technically, it's usable, but I don't like it.

The iPad mini seems to track strokes off to the side. (See slash separators in 10/10/13 and the 'T' in "Test") Penultimate on iPad retina seems to simply create sloppy, rounded strokes, almost like a vector pen tool with smoothing, only worse.

I've also noticed that Paper by FiftyThree handles handwriting poorly, even with the magnifying tool. Their custom ink engine is nice for sketching (there is some stunning #madewithpaper artwork online, check it out), but just doesn't track the whip-like, short and rapid strokes used in natural handwriting — cursive seems a little better than block print.

What's your favorite handwriting tool for iOS? My favorites are still Noteshelf, Remarks and Muji Notebook. I've been using Noteshelf to track and compile my thoughts on iOS7 (spoiler: I'm not fond of it), plan my new websites and social networking profiles, and to outline my very overdue guide to iPad palm rejection (wrist protection) for artists.

I took a few new photos for that post, so hopefully I can edit it all and get it up soon. Oakland weather has been somewhat depressing and miserable for me this week... hot and sunny. My neighbors have been thrilled about it. Weirdos.

 

Wednesday
Sep042013

Small changes to Says Brad blog

Made a few changes to saysbrad.com — will continue to update it as I can. Almost as soon as I have an OK day, I get sick again somehow.Sigh. This really has been one harsh year. It has taught me a lot, however, and I have had the opportunity to catch up on a lot of reading. Not so much writing and art, unfortunately.

I received a question about styluses in general and my thoughts on Wacom’s newly announced Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus (releases in October, along with Cintiq Companion drawing tablets); although I answered that specific email, I’ll briefly share my thoughts with everyone here. I’m really excited about the new stylus and I have high hopes for it! I hope I can try the new Wacom Intuos capacitive touch stylus soon! I’m still particularly fond of the oStylus DOT and Wacom Bamboo stylus (standard version) because both are 100% reliable in all practical conditions and work great on the iPad mini; something that many styluses, especially those with small tips, struggle with. Check out my iStuff page for links to these styluses and other incredible products!

I hope all of you are doing well, and thanks for visiting my website; it really does mean a lot to me, and I sincerely appreciate the support that I’ve received, especially this year. I will continue to try to update and create compelling content and worthwhile reviews for you to read and share.

Friday
Sep212012

Hand Stylus Review – First Impressions

I didn't write with it for long before I could feel my hand starting to cramp; the Hand stylus has some serious drawbacks that I hadn't read about anywhere, and I'm wondering now: what did the other reviewers do with it?

The HAND Stylus – far from being my favorite.

There was a lot of hype surrounding the Hand capacitive touch stylus; numerous reviews praised its design and functionality, thousands were per-ordered and paid for via Kickstarter, and… it looks fantastic.

 

The Hand stylus comes in super sleek packaging: a stamped aluminum tray inside of an understated white paper box with foil logo. The printed materials sport slick graphics. HAND: Designed in USA. Made in China. Sigh. We can't Affordably manufacture things statewide anymore? Oh wait, maybe we can.

 

The Hand has a magnetic clip. A retractable 4mm tip called the world's smallest. I chose the glossy red. It looks amazing and precise. It isn't.

 

The Hand, the problems

The Hand stylus isn't bad. I love many of its features — I love the styling, the highly-technical, over-engineered bits like the rotating retractable nib. But sadly, these features don't save the stylus because the most important attribute, reliably writing and drawing, is off. With great handwriting and focus, the Hand can produce decent lines… just like other less-stylish (and more comfortable) styluses.

The tip feels too soft, too squishy. In order to reliably convey my intentions from stylus to capacitive touch screen, an uncomfortable amount of pressure must be applied from HAND to screen. The tip deforms just enough to give the capacitive touch screen the 6mm it looks for. HAND calls this the sweet spot. I find it uncomfortable and aggravating.

My hand is mightier than the Hand.

The Hand stylus is about as inaccurate and annoying as the Adonit Jot Pro. It's not terrible; it's better than the WACOM Bamboo and the plethora of $10-or-less options. (For non-pressure sensitive use) I still prefer oStylus DOT — although in addition to being more expensive, the DOT is also more fragile. For an equally durable, inexpensive option, I recommend the COSMONAUT, a stylus David Pogue likened to a Pringles can. He probably thinks he's clever and funny, but he's doing his minions a disservice.

Final thoughts on the HAND Stylus

If you like super-stylish, frustrating, unreliable devices (like AT&T phones), get the HAND. However, I think that the Hand is cramp.

 

I can be clever, too.

Sunday
Apr012012

Two iPad 2 stylus too cool!

Due to my disability and pain, it's taking awhile longer than I thought it might to write reviews for my new iPad styluses (thanks, Andrew from oStylus Due to my disability and pain, it's taking awhile longer than I thought it might to write reviews for my new iPad styluses (thanks, Andrew from oStylus & adonit!), but I thought I should mention them.

The photo shows an Adonit Jot Pro (red) and a one-of-a-kind oStylus made by Andrew Goss' company in Canada.

The oStylus is particularly cool because inherent in its design is the ability to see exactly where the iPad thinks you're pressing! This is great for drawing and handwriting apps.

The Adonit Jot Pro feels more accurate but it's also more solid (and heavier). It feels like a high quality metal pen, like a Cross, maybe (Montblanc doesn't have something with that kind of straight cylindrical body). The Jot Pro has magnets and a rubber grip that the standard Jot lacks. The magnets are brilliant. It secures well to the iPad 2 screen with or without smart cover, and can attach to the side of the iPad (where the smart cover attaches). The Jot Pro can be used to sleep/wake the iPad like the smart cover. I don't have a "the new iPad" cool because inherent in its design is the ability to see exactly where the iPad thinks you're pressing! This is great for drawing and handwriting apps.

The Adonit Jot Pro feels more accurate but it's also more solid (and heavier). It feels like a high quality metal pen, like a Cross, maybe (Montblanc doesn't have something with that kind of straight cylindrical body). The Jot Pro has magnets and a rubber grip that the standard Jot lacks. The magnets are brilliant. It secures well to the iPad 2 screen with or without smart cover, and can attach to the side of the iPad (where the smart cover attaches). The Jot Pro can be used to sleep/wake the iPad like the smart cover. I don't have a "the new iPad" so I can't comment on how it works with it.

The oStylus seems to make a softer contact with the iPad screen. The Jot feels like its poking the screen — I'm not comfortable typing with it.

I'll write up a detailed review of each when I'm feeling up to it. If you have a favorite stylus, let me know about it!