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 iOS7 (3)

Saturday
Nov232013

The iPhone 5S is superb! Makes me want...

My view of Lake Merritt; Oakland, CA

Several days ago, I received an amazing gift — a new phone. For many reasons, I'd held off upgrading, leaving me with an iPhone 4. After years of use, it wasn't in great shape. Physically unscathed (mostly), but the battery life was seriously reduced and the device was just sluggish. After a lackluster experience with iOS7 on my iPad mini, I decided not to "upgrade" to it, but that didn't stop Apple from pushing the download to my phone and insisting the 4 could run it.

Because my iPad mini crashes constantly and is plagued with sluggish typing and random lag, I was skeptical about iOS7 in general. I'd no doubt that the new A7 was fast enough to handle it — my concern was with stability.

Crashing a game is one thing; crashing an art project and losing work, perhaps an hour of progress — that's entirely different. I'd lost sketches, vector work, notes, writing... it's destroyed the once beautiful iPad mini experience for me and I've been using the iPad 3 for basic things instead, just to get away from iOS7. I like the old notifications with the share widget. I don't mind the brushed metal and linen look.

Because of the iPhone 5S, I no longer hate iOS7 and can see the potential of a new iPad.

 

I read Anandtech's iPad Air review, and I'm super excited now. I can imagine working on the new tablet, switching between apps, browsing the web with more tabs, music playing on the device, Siri offering guidance... a bunch of things that I can't cleanly do on the iPad mini (non-retina). But I can on the iPhone 5S.

I can actually work on the iPhone 5S, multitask, read, write... it's more impressive than when I moved from iPhone 3GS to 4. At first, I thought my phone was defective because colors seemed really yellow and warm, and the pixels were clearly visible to me. For awhile I neurotically compared the iPhone 4 screen to the 5S — and then it dawned on me that the pixels are more obscure on the 4 because the capacitive layer sits above the LCD panel. The 5S' is built with the screen. Instead of glass > glue > capacitive touch > glue > LCD, it's glass > glue > screen. The colors appeared warm because my iPhone 4 was incredibly cool and inaccurate.

So far I have no complaints. The phone does what I want it to do. I can write, read and draw on it, talk on it, video chat, and take really nice photos. The image above was a quick snap from yesterday, unedited. I'm looking forward to finding new ways to be more creative with the 5S.

Perhaps the biggest thing is that I'm now really excited about new iPads. I'm still unable to decide between the models. I love the mini due to its lightweight frame and comfortable shape, but I like the retina display for art and design. Now the mini has the retina display so it should be a simple choice, but the large 9.7" iPad now has a lightweight, nice (mini-style) shape! The Anandtech reviews point out that the mini retina display is less color accurate than its larger counterpart, but the slight loss of color accuracy might be a fair trade for the portability and ease of use. I demo'd both at the Apple Store; unfortunately, the only drawing apps on their new demo models are Penultimate (without zoom) and Paper by FiftyThree, so I wasn't able to test the pressure-sensitivity and palm rejection of the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus.

Every time I think I'm leaning toward one or the other, I think of a reason to switch. I don't want both — I think next year's models will be a huge leap forward, and it's silly to split my time and attention between two tablets with such similar specs and hardware. There was a vast distinction between iPhone 5, iPad 4 and iPad mini — now the three main iOS devices all run A7 SoCs.

If you have suggestions or opinions, I'd really appreciate hearing them. I'm especially interested in reviews by iPad artists regarding touch sensitivity and drawing accuracy, as well as comparisons between iPad Air and Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) and Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid. $929 for 128gb iPad Air — very pricy...

Unfortunately, Android just doesn't have many great sketching and design tools apart from SketchBook Pro. Lack of Procreate and Paper is a negative, but having an active digitizer is also a big deal — impossible on iPad.

 

For now, I'm going to focus on maximizing my iPhone usage moving preparation. I wanted to write about some new art that I've been working on and blogging woes (considering migrating this site; looking at Squarespace 6 and WordPress), but that will have to wait for some other time.

Sunday
Nov032013

Penultimate Review 5.0 & iPad mini

After waiting for years, Penultimate (free, iPad) finally has zoom.

This change is huge: it makes Penultimate usable.

Above is some handwriting done on the iPad mini. I decided to try on my go-to tablet because it doesn't write as well as the full-size iPad, and if I were to incorporate Penultimate into normal, everyday usage, it'd likely be on my mini and not my iPad 3.

Simply, I use the iPad mini more. Penultimate is the kind of cloud-synced notes app that's used to capture quick thoughts and sketches, phone numbers and directions while on the phone. Prior to the version 5.0 update, Penultimate was too clunky and ugly to tolerate. I've always liked the Evernote integration, but it just wasn't important enough to put up with (and fight against) a crummy app.

Magnification has been on my want list since version 1. Now we have ZOOM and drift, a new feature that dynamically pans the zoomed-in frame while writing. It takes some practice; as evident in my first sentence on the image above, I was moving my stylus ahead while writing and added too much space between letters. Hopefully it's still legible for everyone else. -b


  • If you're looking for a good note taking app for iPad, check it out. I can finally recommend it and call it #bradtasticapproved. Can't beat that price!
  • If you're willing to spend some money, there are many great note-taking apps for iOS — I've reviewed several here on my blog.
  • If you're looking for a text-based notes app, check out ThinkBook by bitolithic.

 


I really hope that the new iPad mini with Retina Display is as good as it sounds, because even without one, the mini has been my favorite thing. Its diminutive frame and weight makes it a perfect tech companion for me. It's small enough to bring anywhere, light enough to use all day — yet large enough to really enjoy apps, games, movies, websites, ebooks, and typing out emails and blog entries. However, I think between the two new devices (iPad Air, iPad mini Retina), for an artist, the iPad Air is the more practical choice. I'll have to wait and see how the iPad Air and new mini handle pressure sensitive styluses like the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus, but my guess is that the Air is slightly more accurate and sensitive to small, light pen strokes.

But if the new mini is as precise as my iPad 3 — it'll be a no-brainer.

Favicon design part 2 coming soon. I also want to share my recent illustration work, but I've been a little busy earning entries for the Borderlands 2 $100,000 Loot Hunt. Wish me luck!

 

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.