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  • (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 ostylus (5)

Sunday
Nov242013

Can't decide between iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina Display?

Written on iPad mini, using Penultimate & oStylus DOT

If you're having trouble choosing between Apple's new iPads, ask yourself this:

What do you use the iPad for, and where?

 

If your primary tasks involve text; plus you watch some TV shows, movies, browse the web and chat with friends, the retina mini is probably the way to go. It's $100 less, has the A7, 326ppi display (highest density Apple offers on anything), and is super light and portable.

 

However, if your primary tasks are some sort of visual content creation, you should strongly consider the Air.

 

Numerous reviews point out the sad reality that Apple chose a cheaper, lower grade display technology with less color accuracy for the new mini. In addition, the clock speed is 100mhz slower and the iPad mini has less thermal headroom. This translates into lowered performance over time when running processor intensive apps; the Air can keep running at higher speeds for longer while generating less heat on critical components.

 

While speed may not be an issue for months, it will invariably matter sometime in the future. The Air will remain viable for longer, making it a better overall investment, even if you are planning on upgrading each year.

 

 

Neither new iPad has Touch ID, a feature I've come to love and one that makes usage much easier and more pleasant. I can let my device lock whenever the screen shuts off without having to swipe and type a password each time I turn it on. It's arguably even more beneficial for an iPad than iPhone due to the size of the screen and the keypad layout; you have to swipe and stretch farther to unlock the iPad, and the power button is farther from the home button.

 

It seems inevitable that next year's iPads will have Touch ID and faster processors, and the mini will likely have a screen on par with competitors' and the larger iPad. If you really want a great retina mini like I do, wait for that one.

 

Meanwhile, if you do a lot of drawing, design, 3D or photo work on the iPad, you'll likely appreciate both the 9.7" screen and the accurate color. Apple has done a pretty good job ensuring that their full-size screens are calibrated straight-away. The Air is significantly lighter than iPad 3/4 — and while 1/4lb heavier than the mini, it's the same thickness.

 

If you can, get to an Apple retailer and demo the tablets.

 

If you're creating art on the iPad and dead-set on the mini — thanks for reading this anyway! :-)

 

You won't likely be disappointed; the new mini is pretty cool. I love the iPad mini; although a big part of that is because the alternative for me was a somewhat sluggish, heavy tablet with a slow charging battery that overheats constantly. If the iPad 3 was lighter, faster and cooler (temperature), I probably wouldn't have looked twice at the mini. Now that I have one, it's tempting to never go back to the full-size... but I think it's the best choice.

 

 

Whatever you do, please, please... do not buy the iPad 2.

 

Wednesday
Sep262012

Hand Stylus Part II

I thought I posted this a few days ago. Oops. Had some problems with my iPad crashing and some health problems, so I hadn't thought about the update. Today, I've been figuring out how to upload photos, attempting to fix my Says Brad gallery (here; haven't been able to fix it, however), and adding stuff to my dribbble page. Thinking about "going pro" at Dribbble but I'm not sure.

Note about Dribbble: dribbble requires images 400x300 or smaller; their website uploader will crop, but it won't scale images. My Paper sketches are natively 2048x1536, and I've been using PhotoForge2 to scale them to 400x300. That was working fine until today; PhotoForge2 just crashes after startup now.

About the Hand Stylus, 77/100

Anyway, above are a few of my new HAND stylus thoughts. It requires less pressure than the Adonit Jot Pro, but is less accurate and more difficult to use than the Adonit Jot Touch.

Above, I can see slight variations in handwriting across each stylus, but the differences are fairly small. The oStylus DOT, due to its thin shaft/handle, is harder to use while block writing. It's phenomenal for artwork and cursive, however.

I tried to use the Hand stylus to create my madewithpaper sketches, but I couldn't achieve decent results. I can't get the Hand to travel reliably and quick enough across the iPad surface to achieve the pencil and watercolor effects I use in my Paper art.

An interesting twist with HAND.

The Hand Stylus guys are based out of Alameda, and one of them read my earlier review and has offered to meet with me to test my stylus to see if it is functioning properly. If it works out, I'll share the results. They want to meet in Alameda. With my disability, mobility and timing is difficult so I'll see how it goes. It's a cool offer nevertheless.

Tuesday
Sep042012

The Best iPad Stylus and Five Touch Apps

These are a few of my favorite styluses for capacitive touch screens (for me, that's the New iPad with Retina Display). From left to right: Wacom Bamboo, Adonit Jot Pro, oStylus DOT, Studio Neat Cosmonaut.

Of these, my two favorites are the oStylus DOT and the Cosmonaut, but for different reasons.

The oStylus DOT is a highly precise, reliable tool for writing and design. It never misses. Although it's base has a vinyl pad, people have mentioned scratch anxiety due to the metal tip. Believe me, gorilla glass is fairly tough. Unless you have glass shards or sand all over your screen, you should be fine. I've been using the oStylus DOT every day for months (on the iPad 2 and my New iPad) and my screen is perfect. [Also: The Adonit Jot Pro has a hard plastic tip that some people have complained can leave a residue on the screen if you swipe too quickly.]

The oStylus DOT is a phenomenal artist's tool.

The design of the oStylus DOT offers great control at any angle. Because the tip can rotate between the wires, you can maintain perfect contact with the screen irregardless of how sharp an angle you hold it. By comparison, the Adonit Jot Pro stops at 45 degrees. As an artist, I want precision and reliability; a stylus should accurately capture every line, stroke and dot, 100% of the time. The oStylus DOT delivers, making it essential to my artwork, designs and handwriting.

The wires won't easily break, but they can bend, so some care is required. I recommend getting a good protective case for it, as the sleeve the oStylus comes in isn't great protection. If I were able to change anything about it, I'd add a magnet and make the shaft wider for an easier grip: I'd like to be able to use the oStylus to sleep/wake the iPad like the Jot Pro, and after about an hour, my hand cramps — a thicker grip would help. Also, the DOT and Jot aren't as good for tapping and typing because they make a hard impact with the screen; it's uncomfortable and makes a clack similar to that of a fingernail.

Despite any minor issues or inconveniences, I love the oStylus DOT. The DOT, $38, is hand assembled by Andrew Goss, a jeweler in Canada, and the quality is phenomenal. If you draw on the iPad, you need a DOT.

The Cosmonaut is the do everything stylus.

The Cosmonaut, unlike many touch screen stylus designs, isn't shaped like a pen. It looks like a large, black crayon. Studio Neat (with Kickstarter) created the Cosmonaut to feel like a dry-erase marker, and it does. Their logic is simple and sound; the screen surface is slick, and because you can't easily rest your hand on the screen (*I have a super simple method to remedy this, check back soon for a full explanation), the iPad is less like paper and more akin to a dry erase whiteboard.

The wide grip is excellent, although I'd prefer it slightly longer because I have large hands. Due to the wide body of the Cosmonaut, it's easy to control large movements and broad strokes — this stylus is great for anyone, and perfectly suited for children and anyone with hand control problems. If I could have my dream stylus, it would be a pressure-sensitive combo with a slightly longer Cosmonaut shaft and the oStylus DOT tip.

The tip itself is hard to understand from photos — it's similar to the nine-bazillion other styli out there, although slightly more rigid. It glides easily enough, although I have to press down harder than I'm used to for it to accurately register. It has a softer impact on the screen than the oStylus DOT and Jot Pro, but is slightly harder than the Bamboo; it's a nice balance that offers good control and feel for drawing, and more comfort for tapping and typing than the hard tipped styli.

The Cosmonaut is a great everyday, anytime stylus; it's durable, accurate enough, comfortable and stylish. It costs $25 USD but doesn't look or feel cheap. It's not quite as accurate as the DOT, but it is more comfortable, and great for tap typing and games. I like using it with card games such as Assassin's Creed Recollection, Ascension and Magic 2013, as well as RTS games like Eufloria, Autumn Dynasty and Anomaly.

Here are a few apps you must try with an accurate stylus.

Some apps are custom designed to work with high-precision capacitive touch styluses.

Here's a list of apps designed to work with the Adonit Jot styluses. They work great with any stylus, and some have pressure sensitivity features for styli such as Jot Touch, Jaja and By Zero Studio Pen. This list includes many of my favorite art apps, such as Autodesk SketchBook Pro, ArtRage and Procreate.

Paper by FiftyThree is a fantastic sketching app for anyone. It makes your notes look good. Here are some of my thoughts on paper.

Remarks is my new favorite note taking app. It's wonderful; it has most of the features I'd ever want, it's stable, and when I got it, it was on sale for $0.99 — but it isn't the most simple note taking app. Write, draw, type, add photos, record audio, it does it all, and can automatically backup to Dropbox. Super.

Noteshelf is a simpler notes app, but equally amazing. It is beautiful on iPad 2, and the clarity is stunning on the Retina display.

Infinite SketchPad is a remarkable vector drawing tool that offers an incredible canvas — zoom in or out, for incredibly large or complex notes. You have to see it to believe it. Best of all, you can export your notes/art or publish it online in its full glory. This app is perfect for mind-mapping, diagrams ideas, thought webs and all kinds of brainstorming. I use Infinite SketchPad almost daily, and the developer is really cool and friendly.

Sketch Rolls is a super simple, utilitarian sketching app that acts as the successor to the now defunct Drafts by 37signals and drawthings apps. It isn't for everyone, however and it costs $4.99 — there are cheaper apps out there that do more, but some people will like the style of this app. Presently, I like it more than Penultimate.

I hope that this list helps you to get more out of your iPad; the iPad is the single greatest thing in my life due mainly to great apps and a great stylus, and I want everyone to experience it.

I'm putting together an entry on palm rejection (wrist protection) on the iPad, and how to use the iPad more like a notepad without pesky software solutions, as well as a review of the new Adonit Jot Touch Bluetooth Pressure Sensitive Stylus for iPad (what a name!). So if you like my blog, please help me out and tell a friend! (Or Facebook friends, or Twitter followers.) Thanks!

Saturday
May262012

Bradtastic Online and oStylus DOT magic

Over a decade of work, about to be online…

Together for the first time. I'm excited. An iPad + iMac Bradtastic/SaysBrad endeavor.

Several days ago, I was looking for a video, World Business Review with Alexander Haig on AIS Insurance (my father's business) — the original WMV, that is. In this search effort, I uncovered not only the file in question, but a collection of designs — hand-drawn, vectored, painted, Photoshopped — the works… my collection of art, illustration and design from over the years.

I've never hosted this in a single location, and I think it's about time. This revelation has me excited; I decided then, to design something unique and original for Says Brad.

The image posted here, drawn with an oStylus DOT.

This design, done entirely on iPad 2 and the new iPad, incorporates lettering and an outline done in SketchBook Pro with a background image created using Wurm.

I love the oStylus DOT.

I drew it with my favorite capacitive touch stylus, the DOT (oStylus DOT images), created in Canada by the genius jeweler, Andrew Goss. [I recently posted a review featured on #madewithpaper as well.] Check it out; give it a try, and you'll love the DOT also!

Some key features of the DOT

  • Unprecedented control – the unique tip is small enough to feel like a regular pen, but large enough that it's always recognized by tablets. Some styli like the Jot offer a smaller nib, but those aren't as consistent. Wacom Bamboo capacitive stylus offers similar reliability, but less accuracy, and it feels like the blunt instrument that it is.

  • Won't scratch your screen – I won't lie, I haven't vigorously tried to scratch my screen — that'd be silly stupid — but under normal use, even with firm pressure, it hasn't happened. The folks over at oStylus have tried to scratch the screen by using the oStylus incorrectly and found no damage. If you keep your screen relatively free of debris, you should be fine.

  • Great for artists – Because of its pencil grip, amazing precision and reliability, this tool is wonderful for drawing and handwriting. If you utilize tablet art apps, you need the DOT. If you're looking for a stylus for rapid brush strokes, you may want to check out the nomad brush (featured on my sidebar).

  • Supports a family-oriented small business with great customer service – Andrew Goss stands behind his products and makes these by hand. You won't get corporate speak and run-arounds dealing with him.

  • Note: Not so great for games and typing – If you're looking for a stylus to replace your finger for things like navigation, typing and games, the Bamboo may be a better fit. It's inherent, soft tip makes a liter contact with the screen, and you won't have to deal with loud tapping. However, if you're only getting one stylus, go with the DOT. For sure.

iPad users, digital artists, cool people:

Follow me online for art updates, links to cool stuff, app advice and reviews and some common sense. My social links are on the sidebar, and I'd really appreciate it if you shared my blog with your friends — specifically, if you know someone with some type of physical limitation, please refer them to me. I'm trying to collect other stories about mobility issues and overcoming these challenges with technology to share with people.

I know that for many people, an iPad seems extraneous, expensive, frivolous, but for me, it's a lifeline. As a supplemental technology, many people don't need one, but it can be a primary computer, I've been using it that way for years now.

Thursday
May032012

Paper by FiftyThree actually awesome!

If you sketch, doodle, jot, draw or paint, you will love Paper by FiftyThree.

That's what I think, anyway, especially if you use an oStylus (Bradtastic Approved, of course!) the world's best capacitive touch stylus. Of course, you need an iPad.

Download Paper by FiftyThree (from the App Store)

They've announced on their blog that Paper has been downloaded 1.5 million times, an impressive number, especially for an app that isn't a game (and even for a free app). They also announced the number of pages that have been created, though I don't know how they know that without spying on people's usage… a scary thought. I will have to ask them.

Initially, I didn't like Paper.

I thought it was overpriced form over function, more style than substance. My opinion was formed using the one free tool, and though I'd like to think that the App Store reviews did not influence me, I'm sure that that was a factor as well.

I was comparing Paper to "pro" drawing and painting tools. In doing so, I missed the beauty of Paper — simplicity. I saw its minimalist interface as a negative, something between crude and kitschy. I thought of paper as one thing trying to be something else, and decided to dislike it on that alone. Throughout, I still acknowledged that custom ink engine and crisp feel were special — noteworthy… good.

Discovery.

About a week or so ago, I downloaded The Essentials (the $7.99 USD IAP) after discussing it with several people, reading reviews and emailing FiftyThree. I decided that it made more sense for two reasons:

  1. The Essentials may include other features or tools in the future.
  2. it's a hassle to download each individually at a savings of 3¢.

I first got the full Paper experience first on the iPad 2, and was immediately struck by the difference. The trial versions (called "Try it!" in the Store) do not do justice. Paper instantly transforms (think butterfly) from dull to dangerous. This wonderful sketching app delivers a rich, satisfying experience, perfect for doodlers and serious designers alike.

Some ways to use Paper

Paper can be used to make masterpieces — I've seen some — but that's not its strength. Here are a few ideas.

  • mind-mapping
  • visual notes

Both of these have dedicated apps, but the simplicity and aesthetics makes Paper a good choice for concepts.

  • doodles, scribbles
  • diagrams
  • graphology (handwriting analysis)

  • telephone notepad

good for phone numbers and jotting quick thoughts while on the phone; also great for idle moments and rants (while you're placed on hold)

  • logo ideas
  • conceptual design
  • scenery
  • symbols

artists of all skill levels and types will likely find that Paper's tools are a great balance between speed and control.

Four stars, work in progress.

Paper isn't perfect — it's WIP. FiftyThree is still adding features. If you have suggestions, contact them; I did, and got a very sincere reply. Being critical of an app and offering constructive feedback early on will help to shape the direction of this tool.

Some people just don't like Paper, and that's okay. There are a lot of drawing apps on the iPad, and many great professional tools such as:

  • Procreate
  • ArtRage
  • SketchBook Pro
  • Layers
  • Brushes

And there are inexpensive alternatives with wonderful functionality as well:

  • Sketch Club
  • Infinite SketchPad
  • Noteshelf

There's also fun, social stuff like Clibe.

I created an Infinite Sketch discussing key points of Paper, pros and cons, and additional features that I'd like to see.

Check out a web version of the Infinite SketchPad outline that I made. I would love to hear your ideas as well, so don't hesitate to comment or message me!

Coming soon: more detailed thoughts on Paper, including comments on specific tools and the UI.

(btw, I love being able to set auto-post times for blog entries, allowing me to write when I'm feeling okay, yet stagger the entries. I know this isn't a new or revolutionary feature and that many people use it, but still… it's brilliant!)