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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

    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 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 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

    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 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 retina (8)


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.



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.


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.



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.


Reading on the new iPad

I really enjoy reading Newsstand magazines, news, articles and books on the plethora of stellar iPad reading apps. Specifically, I like Pulse, Readability & Longform, Zinio, Newsify and Flipboard. I didn't really care for reading at length on the iPad 2 because of the eye-strain, but the pixel density on the new iPad Retina display is phenomenal.

Also, 1080p video and 720p HD streaming: fantastic. If you're on the fence about a new iPad, get off. Get one. Seriously, it's life altering in the best of ways.

Keeping this short because I still feel sick. But here's a cool resource if you like strategy games: Pocket Tactics. It's all about mobile strategy games — great content, interviews, and app reviews.



The new iPad

Reading on the new iPad is wonderful. The Retina display is simply spectacular. If you do a lot of reading, writing or drawing, the new iPad is a worthwhile upgrade. Digital magazines and websites look better than printed pages, and sketching with Paper or SketchBook Pro feels real.

If you decide to get a new iPad, I suggest getting AppleCare+ for iPad. $99 and it includes two accidental damage replacements for $50 each. Get the AppleCare with the new iPad or before you open the packaging; this makes it easier, because it must be purchased within 15 days and if the iPad is opened, it must be inspected by the Genius Bar at the Apple Store.


Migrating from iPad 2 to new iPad

The new iPad — so exciting!

But not without its own issues. (This update applies most to people thinking about upgrading to the new iPad from an earlier model) The new iPad, or iPad 3, is slightly thicker and heavier than the 2, but is otherwise similar in look, shape and feel.

I won't go into the specs too much, but for those unfamiliar with it, here are the highlights.

  • retina display, 2048x1536 resolution (versus 1024x768), 4x pixels!
  • 5MP camera, 1080p video & FaceTime camera
  • dictation (translates spoken English into text in the cloud; requires net connection) — works well!
  • optional 4G LTE (Verizon model can act as a hotspot)
  • still no Siricome on, Apple, give it to us! Please send them an email and let them know you want Siri on the iPad. Maybe if enough people complain… (let us be the squeaky wheel)

Two things to keep in mind

For $99, Apple offers AppleCare+ protection for the new iPad. This coverages extends the warranty to two years and also covers two instances of accidental damage ($49 service fee per instance). For the price, it's a great deal for the higher end models; it's peace of mind, and will cover screen scratches, coating wear and more.

However, if you intend to get AppleCare+, purchase it together with the new iPad. It must be purchased within 15 days otherwise, and if the iPad is opened, you'll need to make a genius bar appointment at a retail store for an "iPad inspection." Trust me, this is a huge hassle.

Last, if you're "restoring" from an iPad backup (migrating/transferring from iPad or iPad 2 to the new iPad), many apps will sync without converting to retina graphics. Example: although I had the newest version of SketchBook Pro installed on my iPad 2 when I made the backup, when I opened it on the iPad 3, no retina graphics. It's like it was running in iPad 2 mode. Many of my favorite apps ran similarly, and needed to be reinstalled to correct the issue.

Unfortunately, many of my favorite apps still lack new iPad versions. With time, developers will update apps and the retina display issue should be resolved. For now, I'm using it as an opportunity to start fresh — my new iPad will run my favorite apps, and the iPad 2 will be a testing ground for new apps I'm not yet sure about.

Don't let me dissuade you from the new iPad, however. It's awesome. Whatever the hassles, I think it's worth it!


Editing Squarespace on iOS

Used Zen Brush to create this little fisheye, top-down, big-eyed, sad-face crying-boy... why? Because I can't really edit my site using the iPad.

Perhaps for many people, this is no big deal. For me, it is. I do just about everything computer-related on my iPad or iPhone, because basically, I have to.

Squarespace has an iPad app, but it isn't great.

For the quick post (like this one), it's fine. You can check site stats from it as well, and it's far better than it was last year (in its early days, the Squarespace iOS apps would crash, lose content, post random stuff, delete images, and constantly notify "new comments" that weren't new). Both iPhone and iPad versions of the Squarespace app still have issues beyond missing features and lack of flexibility (like the comment issue — that still exists) but both are usable. I guess.

I'd really like to add/edit pages from the iPad

The poorly named The new iPad is just days away, and it's most remarkable feature (retina display) will make content creation and art a lot easier. Maybe Squarespace doesn't want to remake its iPad app... (I hope they do, I hate those old, blurry, pre-retina display iPhone apps) they could at least make their web-based UI mobile Safari friendly. It's impossible to consistently add content to and modify Squarespace site pages on iOS. Trying to edit the layout or change the site theme is even worse.

Thus, sad face.

Hey, people are allowed to be emo about Apple stuff. It's not like thing are any better on Android.