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 free (6)

Monday
Dec232013

Ghost 0.3 Blogging

I received an email today notifying me that Ghost was now offering their hosted service, complete with a risk-free (no CC required) 30-day trial.

So I set one up, natch.

If you want to see it, it's at good.ghost.io. I'm probably just going to post review thoughts there, like notes, since it's very basic. I'm thinking about again publishing thoughts on disability and pain management (and personal ponderings) like I did at my bespoke domain, and something clean — a pure blog — would work well for that. The basic plan would certainly suffice as I can't imagine that I'd get much traffic. I need to read more about stability and potential security risks, first — there isn't a whole lot about Ghost 0.3 online. Do you know anything about it? I'd like to know what you guys think.

I was also considering it for my political site — though my first instinct is to use Squarespace 6, since it has so many built-in features and I already have it. Ghost has some quirks that bug me, but I suppose that minor annoyances are unavoidable.

Maybe the guys at Ghost would sponsor my disability blog? :-) That would be really super!

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.

 

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!)

 

Tuesday
May012012

Free virtual workstation! OnLive Desktop for iPad

I'll get right to it: OnLive Desktop is awesome.

It's free. It's amazing. Made by the mad-scientists behind the uber cloud gaming service, OnLive Desktop for iPad offers users a cloud-based virtual desktop, complete with Microsoft Office, storage and basic apps/tools like Calculator and Paint. The paid version includes web browsing as well. All of the processing happens on their end, they simply take your keystrokes and inputs and give you the visual.

Love the clouds

Current technology trends remind me of a character from the manga/anime Naruto: Shikamaru, the cloud-loving loafer. Years ago, technology enthusiasts obsessed about terabyte hard drives, but now that we have them, we prefer smaller solid state drives. Why? It's all about speed and convenience.

We're impatient. We need it now!

Luckily, ISPs have kept up with our increasing demands (though they demand their pound of flesh and price gouge us to near-death), offering super-fast net connections that offer incredible connectivity and mobility. Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G... powerful 2lbs notebook computers and fantastic do-everything tablets — there are too many reasons to get away from the desk, and now there are plenty of ways to do it.

But desktops have advantages. At least, they used to. Now you can get that power and stability on-the-go! If you have an iPad, try OnLive Desktop. it's better than buying Windows and Microsoft Office, and you really don't have much to lose if it's not for you — you may even know someone who could really use it. I haven't tried it in any other form (other than the iPad app), but if it can run well on iOS, it should be great everywhere.

Need something else?

Later on I'll share thoughts on two more similar apps, Splashtop Remote Desktop, and Air Desktop (an app that allows the iPad to become a second computer screen). I'll also share some sweet accessories!

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.