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 computers (2)

Friday
Jun142013

What Makes Apple's Future So Compelling?


Tim Cook + Tony Stark = Apple's new Iron Man Mac Pro.

Just look at the thing. Incredible. Unbelievable, even. I'm used to seeing powerful, professional computer systems as massive, hulking monstrosities — 90 pound liquid-cooled steel and aluminum towers with 900w power supplies. If the new Mac Pro is anywhere near what they claim, it'll change everything.

"Can't innovate any more, my ass!" – Phil Schiller, Apple Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, WWDC 2013 Keynote

Steve Jobs was Apple. It's taken years, but Apple has finally created a new identity for itself without him at the helm. It's exciting! The recent WWDC keynote outlined big changes and new beginnings for Apple: the next OSX called Mavericks, iOS7, a complete rethink and redesign, and the Mac Pro — what looks like something straight out of Iron Man 3.

There seems to be a pervasive, holistic approach to technologies that will fundamentally change how we think about computers. Everything is intertwined, interconnected. The Internet is fast, always-on, available everywhere. Phones talk to tablets, TVs, notebooks and desktops, cars and cash registers. The next-gen video game consoles will have accurate motion-tracking and handheld components (XBOX Smart Glass, PS Vita — and the Wii U, well... never mind that).

Apple seems to understand this philosophical shift. Six years ago, a phone without a keypad seemed unthinkable, ridiculous. This was in part due to technical limitations, but mostly because it went against the identity and concept a phone. Back in high school, I thought the Palm IIIc was the greatest thing, ever, and if you could've shown me the iPad back then, I'd've called it sorcery.

Mobility is so important to us. We want lightweight phones, light computers — but at what cost? There's an understanding that performance or capacity must be sacrificed when shedding weight, but what if that changed? And what is light (weight)?

iOS7 is a dramatically visual overhaul of an already stunning and swift operating system. It's been visually reworked to convey simple, natural and elegant efficiency. The scope of the redesign reflects incredible, infused passion and dedication, from precision typography to carefully curated color palettes. It's a perfect counterpart to devices like the iPhone 5 and iPad mini — fantastically thin glass and aluminum works of art, beautiful, even when powered down.

Apple-thin is in.

With the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Retina, Apple has shown us that a computer doesn't need to be a simple, cheap netbook to exist without a disc drive. They must've realized years ago that with on-demand streaming video from services like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and HBO GO, people would stop watching DVDs on PCs. Sure, I sometimes think, conceptually, it'd be nice to have a Blu-Ray player with my MacBook, but I never miss it. I watch those movies on a big screen TV, and every time I have to lift my MacBook, I smile, due to some form of disbelief and think, "how is it this light?!"

The concept of lightweight design has finally carried over to desktops. That's why the new Mac Pro is brilliant — especially for creatives. Its tiny footprint and sci-fi design is inspiring. It'll run Mavericks, blazing through calculations next to iPads and iPhones running iOS7.

This image of the near-future conveys a balance between man and machine; an idyllic, non-adversarial relationship between an artist and his tools. This harmony is the infrastructure that ignites the creativity of thousands of designers and developers releasing the apps that make iPads, iPhones, and Macs so incredible, and so fun.

 



Yes, I use Windows, too, but aside from great game optimization and the games themselves, I don't prefer it. I'm hoping this will change once Microsoft realizes that Windows 8 looks like the touch screens at Wells Fargo ATMs and gives more power to independent developers and artists. Fat chance. Have you seen the XBOX ONE? It's basically a gigantic, expensive piece of spyware. No wonder the PS4 preorders are outpacing the PRISM box.


Coming soon.


Later, I'll be posting about very serious matters regarding our government and troubling issues we need to take a stand against. My blog will likely take a more serious tone, but I'll try to keep positive and continue to post some fun stuff like tech tips and app reviews.

 

Monday
Aug222011

Tablets... Game, yes. Work? Not so much.

Mo' blogging options, writing on the run

Even though the iPad market alone is worth like $20B (USD) and tablets are finally being taken seriously, even with millions of apps available on the App Store and Android Marketplace — with millions of people buying apps and downloads every second, still no one has released a decent (or better than) blogging app. There are serious gaps in mobile software.

Mobile gaming is different; there, there's at least six of everything. Anyone know exactly how many tower defense games are available for iOS? I've seen hundreds; maybe a few dozen great ones, twice as many good rip-offs of those great ones, and a plethora of crap. How many versions of Angry Birds do we need? Ten different racing games with the same cars, a dozen FPS offerings, hundreds of sudoku apps... seriously?!

Also, this micro-transaction, in-app purchases (IAP) business is frankly ridiculous — especially the pay-to-pwn model in certain games, such as Glu's Gun Bros. and its clones. The best items cost around $200 USD, and there's really no other way of getting those items other than spending cash. I understand the freemium model; make a game, offer it free, and people can pay for it in increments based on how much they enjoy it. Often, these games have no end, much like MMORPGs — the game is updated to add more, so to continue enjoying the game, players need to spend a few more dollars. Time management freemium games (farming games, building games, restaurant sims) usually offer some IAP that speeds up the process by offering instant gratification. "This plant will take 48 hours to grow, but for $2.50, you can have it now!" This is how hard-earned money is being blown spent.

Freemium is one thing, and some are fair enough that you can play without spending any money. But now there are premium games offering IAP "cheats." Example: Angry Birds offers an instant-win item for $0.99 — an Eagle that automatically clears any level. EA's Dead Space has a in-game store offering power node and credit pack IAPs.

The iPad is clearly a fantastic portable game console; dual processors, large multi-touch screen... there are Android devices with NVIDIA Tegra2 chips that have similar power. Beyond the toy factor, there are a lot of cool utilities and productivity apps. Also, mobile blogging has changed; people use the Facebook wall, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr to share media. That is blogging, though people might not realize it.

There's a market for and a demand beyond casual, social network blogging, however. There are some decent writing utilities for the iPad and some blogging services have released apps (WordPress, Squarespace, LiveJournal), but many of these apps are problematic and lackluster. The Squarespace app is the most complete that I've used (for blogging), but still far from perfect. None of the apps take full advantage of the capabilities of the services and formats. For writing/word processing, Apple's Pages comes close. I could've used it for work far more often if the app supported vector graphics.

I was on the fringes of the Tablet PC community that existed prior to multitouch displays, iOS, Android, Vista and Windows 7. People had inkblogs and used slate and convertible Tablet PCs as primary work machines. On the few occasions that I interacted with some of the GottaBeMobile guys and other tablet enthusiasts, I got the distinct impression that for some, the slate wasn't a passing trend, it was the Grail.

The iPad is my primary computing device. The iPhone 4 has filled my portable point-and-shoot camera desire. With the right software, the iPad could replace notebook computers; it's fast, has front and rear-facing cameras, wireless internet, decent memory and capacity, a good screen and keyboard support. Of all things, it's the apps (and lack of) that retard it.

Mail supports HTML, but it's only usable via copy/paste. The email editor is weak. Safari is restricted to nine windows as a form of tabbed browsing; this might have something to do with memory, but the iPad can run Infinity Blade and Safari with nine pages.

There are some great iOS apps; I've shared and reviewed a few, and with time, I hope this rant becomes irrelevant. ThinkBook is phenomenal, and I'm enjoying Writing Kit, Daedalus, Day One, iA Writer, Penultimate, Wunderlist and Idea Store. Evernote and Dropbox also work well, despite iOS limitations. I can do just about everything on the iPad... but where's Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator for iPad? Where's ecto or MarsEdit, Scrivener or Storymill? Where are the programming tools and font designers? Where's Firefox?!

It's great that the tablet market has made it possible for two-man teams to create and sell apps... I just hope some established developers start taking these devices seriously for something other than gaming.