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 macbook (3)

Tuesday
Mar102015

Thoughts on Apple Watch and MacBook

Thoughts on Apple Watch & the (new) MacBook

Do people still wear watches?

In all seriousness, I know that people do. I used to — but that was years ago. Simply, why wear a watch, that may or may not be accurate in timekeeping, when I have a smartphone with smart time? I’ve grown accustomed to checking my phone for the time when necessary. Yes, the process is slower than glancing at one’s wrist, but I don’t live a life that requires me to (nearly) instantly and frequently know what the time is. My guess is that that’s true for most people.

Of course, the Apple Watch does a lot more, but is it worth it?

But hey, it’s Apple, right?

Well, I might’ve bought into that logic when Steve Jobs was still at the helm, but the Apple isn’t ripe anymore; it’s lost its luster, and there’s some mold growing on it.

iOS 7 & 8 have had serious issues. Crashes, storage problems, battery life issues, WiFi connectivity issues, lag… in pursuit of doing more and looking prettier, Apple has killed the best feature of the iPhone and iPad — responsiveness.

My iPad 1 & 2 never felt slow. Swipe, open or close an app — it all felt instantaneous. iPhone 3GS felt that way, too, even after a new generation replaced them. Everything since has been disappointing; in particular the iPad mini and iPhone 5S. It makes me hesitant to buy a new Apple mobile product because it feels like I’m paying full price to beta test.

Form > Function

Stylish and slower. That’s the new Apple way, apparently. The new MacBook looks fantastic. Super thin, color options, streamlined everything.

Except now it has only one port (plus headphone jack), USB-C. So if you need to charge the notebook and use USB, you’re SOL unless you pay for an adapter. No more MagSafe power. The onboard processor isn’t likely to remain fast for very long. Also, instead of 720p (pseudo-HD), the new MacBook has a 480p FaceTime camera, a disappointing concession likely made to keep the screen ridiculously thin.

In total, the MacBook looks like a design ahead of its time; when the component manufactures catch up, I’m sure the super thin and light notebook will shine, despite its drawbacks. But right now, it’s like a concept car; visually stunning but impractical — perhaps too radical — for the current market.

And I see a similar thing with the Apple Watch — to an extreme.

The Apple Watch is an expensive toy.

I really wanted to like the watch. The concept is interesting and admittedly, I was excited when it was announced. Unfortunately, technical limitations and FDA rules and restrictions keep it from being the device that it should be.

Granted, I haven’t personally seen or used one yet. I admit, when I first heard about and saw the iPad keynote, I thought that that device wasn’t a great idea. So wrong about that. I’d like to be wrong about the watch, too… but that seems far less likely.

Tech reviewers and journalists have tested the device and only a few are really excited for it. Several mention feeling confused and underwhelmed, unsure of what the device offers for its price point. Several mention that the apps seem to load slowly and that the UI and buttons seem unintuitive.

It’s also a bit ironic that Apple convinced us that we need (want) bigger iPhone screens, only to turn around and essentially say: those screens are too big to be truly usable, what you want is a tiny one.

So the question for consumers is: are you willing to spend $349 - $17,000 for a wearable gadget with less than 24 hours battery life that does less than your iPhone and does it slower?

Note: I’m not trying to talk anyone dead-set on buying an Apple Watch out of buying it — it’s your money, do what you like with it. These are just my questions and concerns.

But I’d personally struggle with buying an overpriced first-gen device that doesn’t seem to add much value. If the watch is successful, Apple will inevitably release a Watch 2 that will do more, last longer and operate quicker (actually, I have doubts about the latter). And then a 3 and 4… or perhaps an Apple Watch Air.

And unlike conventional, dumb watches, the Apple Watch isn’t a buy-once, lasts-a-lifetime device. While we may be prepared to drop $200-500+ for a new iPhone every year or two, how many will want (or be able) to add another $350+ to keep the phone+watch combo updated? This in addition to the every 2-5 or so years between computer upgrades and 1-2 years for a new iPad.

Also, if you browse the [Apple Store], you’ll see that the watch bands aren’t cheap, and there’s no way to pick a Watch base model without a band — so if you want to personalize the Watch, it will cost you an extra $50+. Some of the bands are stupid expensive. I get that Apple may be attempting to position itself as a luxury goods brand, but it should be a tech company first.

Apple Watch: Functionality Restricted

Our stupid government has also contributed to handicapping the Watch.

The Apple Watch could have had all kinds of sensors that allow it to essentially offer diagnoses — but it can’t, thanks to the FDA.

It reminds me of [23andMe], a company that offered a DNA test that revealed genetic predispositions for all kinds of health problems (or benefits) for $99 — until the government kneecapped them for not paying up to satiate bureaucrats and cover special interest operating costs. Now their product is far less cool — it gives you info on your heredity.

The FDA would require from Apple boatloads of paperwork and millions of dollars for the watch to do more than give you general wellness information. Their stance is essentially this: we’re too stupid and impulsive to hear the truth about our own condition — an issue also faced by 23andMe during its short-lived battle against the Federal government.

The Apple Watch could’ve likely made preliminary diagnoses for everything from serious neurological issues to a common cold or flu.

That would be an incredible reason to wear it every day.

By simply tracking your normal resting and active heart rate, blood pressure and movements, it could determine when you’re off your game and notify you.

Instead, it’ll tell you how well your run went and when you should stand up at work. Great.

I hope I’m wrong about the Apple Watch and MacBook.

Won’t have to wait long to find out.

Are you going to buy an Apple Watch and/or MacBook, and if so, which model/s?

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.

 

Thursday
Oct252012

iPad mini for artists

Apple finally unveiled its worst kept secret of the year, the iPad mini.

However, Apple also surprised a bunch of people with several product updates: a new iMac, 13" MacBook Pro with Retina display and my favorite, 4th generation iPad with Retina display. (I got a heads-up about the new New iPad from RazorianFly)

The new computers are very exciting on their own, especially because I desperately need one. (My 2007 iMac is entering senescence, is painfully slow and can't run current software due to minimum hardware requirements and specifications.) The 13" MacBook with Retina display isn't impressing me, however, after looking at all of its specs.

Since getting my first iPad, I've never missed my notebook computer. For years now, the iPad has replaced my need for mobile computers. There's an app for basically everything that I'd do on the go or in a hotel room. The sketching and productivity apps are incredible! Plus photo apps, reading, video, news, games. There are only a few things that I can't do from an iPad, things I prefer to do at my desk anyway.

The iPad revolution, again?

The New iPad was new for about six months. The 4th gen iPad has an A6X processor, supposedly twice as fast as the A5X, Lightning port and an improved FaceTime camera. (I wonder what's next and when it'll arrive!)

The mini was thought to be Apple's response to the Android 7" tablet market and industry analysts and experts guessed that the iPad mini would start at around $250. To me, that sounded like nonsense because of the iPod touch price tag and hardware specs. The mini has a bigger screen than the iPod touch, but isn't any faster. I think Apple might've deliberately scaled back the iPad mini components to prevent cross-competition with its own devices. The iPod touch is in essence, an iPad nano.

On the topic of nano…

Apple has gone backward with the new iPod nano. Some might think of the constant design changes as revolutionary, some might think the term renanoed is cute — but I'm not one of those people. The previous generation nano was much more groundbreaking; its size and shape made it a hit with athletes and travelers, and its form and software lead to numerous wristwatch conversion kits for the iPod.

The new iPod nano is basically a gimped iPod touch — it doesn't make sense to me as anything other than a gift for someone else (because if you're going to get it for yourself, save up a little and get an iPhone or iPod touch), but there are so many better things available for $150. My Amazon wish list has a bunch of those things — you know, just saying.

Art and design on the iPads

The iPad is amazingly an all work and all play all-in-one.

The iPad could be significantly improved for artists in two ways: first the impossible — Apple adds a Wacom digitizer to the tablet, second (mkre realistic, definitely feasible) — Apple could support pressure sensitivity on an OS level. There are some amazingly creative solutions for pressure sensitivity built into capacitive touch styluses, but apps haven't yet fully utilized the hardware. Many apps will never support pressure-sensitive styli such as the Adonit Jot Touch or HEX3 Jaja on their own, and stylus manufacturers don't have any standards to work from, inventing their own as needed.

Currently, pressure sensitivity is more of a gimmick in a few apps, unable to recreate the digitizer tablet experience. I love Wacom tablets, but I don't miss pressure sensitivity much on my iPad. The trade-off is size, weight, iOS software and amazing battery life.

Drawing and writing on the iPad with Retina display is truly magical; I thought doodling and sketching on the iPad 2 was fantastic, the Retina display is something else entirely. The wow factor is like seeing Disneyland at night for the first time, with everything lit up and fireworks overhead. Well, I suppose that's a bit of an understatement.

I don't know how the iPad mini will be as an artist's platform. Will it be a good drawing tool? Undoubtedly. Will it have a place with an iPad with Retina display? That's the question. I already know that I want the fourth generation iPad.