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

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    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.

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    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!

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

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

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

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Entries in intuos (5)

Wednesday
Oct302013

Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus, Noteshelf and iPad mini

The iPad mini is one of life's pleasant surprises, and in November, Apple will release a 2048x1536 resolution Retina version. Super exciting! I use the mini for just about everything — except writing and serious art/design work. For whatever reason, the smaller screen cannot detect as fine a point as the full-size iPad, rendering some styli — such as the Hand stylus — practically unusable. Hopefully Apple has improved the touch sensor on the iPad mini with Retina display.

Though I've developed an aversion to writing on the mini, when I saw that Noteshelf supported the Wacom intuos Creative Stylus, I decided to give it a go. Results above. Not too bad, I think. It gives me hope for the new iPad mini.

So many pricy things release this year. XBOX ONE, Playstation 4, iPad Air, iPad mini, Mac Pro. That's about $6,000 without a 4K display, but still a technophile's dream. I wonder what will live up to the hype and what won't. I'm normally optimistic regarding Apple products, but I really don't like iOS7 and I'm not completely confident that the new iPads will be issue-free. I am hopeful, however... I want these tablets to be amazing.

The iPad Air is the device I'm currently most enthusiastic about. I started creating digital ink illustrations and it's been therapeutic and fun, and I'm starting to get decent results (I'll post some of it soon). I attribute at least part of that to the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus — it's incredible. I really hope Wacom works with app developers to get pressure sensitivity into more sketching tools, chiefly Paper (by FiftyThree) and Concepts: Smarter Sketching.

Im trying to get over a bit of a cold, but I'll try to post some art later this week. I hope you have a happy and safe Halloween!

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.

 

Sunday
Oct132013

Wacom Bamboo Paper Notebook review iPad mini

Inkblogging on iPad mini with Wacom Bamboo stylus.

 

Tried writing block print and cursive (ink blogging, note-taking) on the iPad mini again, although this time, I used Wacom Bamboo Paper - Notebook iOS app instead of Penultimate (Evernote). The resulting handwriting still looks fairly hideous; that said, it's much nicer than Penultimate. The Wacom app has pinch-zoom magnification, but using it is finicky; often when I try to pinch, I end up drawing a line on the screen instead. Hopefully Wacom can fix this.

As a note taking app, Wacom's Bamboo Paper - Notebook isn't too bad — especially for free.

It doesn't compare to the premium apps such as Noteshelf, but it is functional. On the full-size iPad (retina), it's actually pretty nice. The color palette, while limited, offers some nice options. Wacom obviously took time selecting attractive, complementary colors.

Despite originally being designed as an eponymous companion-app/marketing tool for Wacom's Bamboo capacitive touch stylus, 'Paper Notebook has gone through several major iterations and feature changes — the recent iOS7 update being the most substantial and significant. Wacom added new drawing tools, paper styles and notebook covers, as well as support for their new pressure sensitive (2048 levels) Bluetooth 4 device, the Intuos Creative Stylus for iPad..

The drawing tools and artist notebook set is available as the Creative Pack for $3.99, and everything is is offered at $0.99. In the image above, I used only the two standard free tools and free paper type.

I love the iPad mini; mostly because of its lightweight design and rounded edges (the iPad 3 has narrow edges, making it uncomfortable to hold without a nice case like ones made by Incipio), but I don't like drawing on it. In addition to the lack of retina display and slower processor, narrow margins on the left and right side of the screen makes it difficult to draw on-the-go in landscape mode because my palm ends up making contact the edge of the screen (doesn't happen to me when using the full-size iPad).

I also created some handwriting samples on my iPad 3 (Retina display) for comparison that I'll post later. I used the same two apps with very different results. The process of drawing and writing on my iPad and iPad mini side-by-side has confirmed that the iPad mini (first gen; I hope Apple releases a better, retina version soon) isn't a great visual artist's tool.



Worth mentioning: great tools, great devs.

I've been very impressed with several apps and their respective developers, so I'm going to review and feature more sketching and notes apps in the near future. For now — if you haven't already, go get Concepts Smarter Sketching and Tayasui Sketches. Both apps are prime examples of freemium done right; ad-free, fully-functional and useful without any IAP, and the paid features are inexpensive, major enhancements to the base app. Function and feature-rich! Check them out and let me know what you think! (Tell the developers, too! Both respond quickly)

Note: If you like creating vector art using software like Adobe Illustrator, Inkpad by Taptrix is still free (normally $4.99)! Inkpad is the best vector tool I've seen for the iPad, and it's been updated for iOS7.

Have you tried Inkblogging from an iPad?

If you have, I'd love to see it and share it with people. If we can encourage more people to draw, the world would be a better place... and if more people used iPads for ink blogging and handwriting, we might be able to convince Apple to release a special active digitizer iPad! Just a thought.

 

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.