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

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    Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
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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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    The stuff I use to keep my iPad screen nice and clean!

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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
    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.

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Entries in sketchbook (6)

Saturday
Jun232012

The best apps for iPad

I created this graphic using Paper by FiftyThree. I just listed some of my favorite apps; if you use the iPad on a regular basis, you probably have many of them already.

Because the iPad is my main computer, I'm always looking for the best apps and doing whatever I can to improve them. These sketches, designs and doodles are a fun and easy way for me to share stuff about my favorite OS. I'm posting these drawings mainly at bradtastic.tumblr.com and my Facebook, but my favorites will likely end up here, too.

These sketches are quick to produce, and Paper makes them look particularly fancy. I'm more comfortable with the app's strengths and weaknesses now, so I've been drawing in Paper. These sketches inspire my other work; I used to use Brushes, Procreate and SketchBook Pro for preliminary sketch work, but now I like using Paper, Penultimate and Noteshelf for projects.

I've decided to turn my tumblr into a powered by iPad blog, focusing on sharing ideas that I capture with Paper and other sketching and note taking apps. I still haven't settled on a new name. Any suggestions? I've settled on this decision because of Apple's new iPad (or iPad 3, as some call it). It is a major upgrade from the iPad 2. I didn't read much on the iPad before, but with the Retina display, the new iPad is as clear as paper. Drawing and sketching feel just as natural, as images appear as crisp as printed pages.

If you use Facebook, please visit my SaysBrad FB page and say hi! If you make iOS apps or accessories, please let me know about it. I can write a review and send feedback!

Thursday
Jun142012

Using Paper by FiftyThree

This sketch demonstrates how I use Paper by 53. I like to create notes and mind-maps by combining the Watercolor tool with Draw, Write, Sketch and Outline.

Paper is a art, design and productivity app for Apple iPad that I've mentioned several times before, here at Says Brad and elsewhere. It's a beautiful, minimalist sketching, drawing and writing tool that looks great on the new iPad with retina display — but inherently, Paper by FiftyThree has strengths and weaknesses similar to a sheet of physical paper.

A blank page can be intimidating.

The app developers at FiftyThree have included some neat features in the app to make it less intimidating. There's a sample journal and walk-through video, but one of their best creative aids is very subtle. Each new journal (or notebook, pages) starts with just 10 pages. Ten: it is enough to feel expansive and real without being intimidating. Sometimes unlimited pages that you can't see seems daunting. You can always add pages or subtract them (by deleting).

Still, if you're going to pay $8 for a sketching app…

You may want to know more about what you're getting and what you can do with it. Reading through the App Store comments, one thing has become clear: Paper is misunderstood by many. At first, I didn't like it. I didn't think it was a real art tool. If you are curious what else can be done, search using the tag #madewithpaper at Twitter and Tumblr — some incredible artists have used Paper in amazing ways. Each tool can be purchased separately for $1.99, but I'd recommend getting the complete collection if you're going to use Paper… else stick with the free Draw tool.

How I like use Paper by FiftyThree

My favorite part of Paper is its custom ink engine. It is expressive and natural, and one of the first that really understands capacitive touch screen use. Without pressure sensitivity, the iPad is (in many ways) at a serious disadvantage compared to Wacom tablets. Many apps intimate, approximate, and imitate pressure by adjusting ink flow based on speed. The results often suck.

The Draw tool in Paper is thin when drawing slowly and gets thicker as you increase speed. Without zoom, this makes tiny, detail work and writing much easier than apps like Penultimate.

The Watercolor tool has a nice look and colors blend together beautifully. I like to create contrast with it, and color code related items.

I use the other tools to create basic shapes and add words, sketches and doodles.

Fast and Messy

When I first used Paper, I tried to keep everything neat and perfect, as I would in Autodesk SketchBook Pro. At that time, I didn't like Paper. I felt it was missing things, things I thought I needed.

At some point, I decided to just scribble — I decided to make a mess. It was fun.

Keeping things loose and not worrying about perfect lines, I put ideas on paper fast than ever. I could brainstorm or experiment, create lists and designs, and the results, while messy, were beautiful. Paper is exact enough to get a point across or capture an idea, and loose enough to stimulate new thoughts because it doesn't fill in all of the blanksintentionally.

Paper by FiftyThree has become an everyday tool for me, and I've never had more fun creating scribbles. It's helped me to breathe life into old ideas, and flesh out new concepts, including things I want to do here at my blog. Sharing pages is simple and quick, and the full journal PDFs look great, too. Paper is another reason to own an iPad!

I hope their next version will offer a way to rearrange Paper's papers.

How do you use Paper? Do you love it, or hate it? If you have thoughts or suggestions on Paper, leave a comment! Also, send them directly to the guys at FiftyThree! They care about feedback.

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!)

Saturday
Mar032012

Spock for Blogsy wip illustration

I said I was going to share more of my illustration and design stuff, so here's another work in progress, (partially) in support the fine folks at Fomola, makers of the iOS app Blogsy, the best blogging tool for iPad. Lance Barton, Fomola's principal, has been really nice, so I've decided to help promote his app. As a bonus, I get to promote and share my art as well! Win win!

So why Spock for Blogsy?

Live long and prosper. The popular Star Trek mantra is part of the Blogsy app icon. So I decided to make a loose, interpretive "Spock" using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro for iPad based on a few Star Trek TOS screen caps I found, outline it, and fill the negative space with BLOGSY and LIVE LONG AND PROSPER.

After some trial and error, I've managed to create a rough draft. When I have more energy, I want to clean up the lines and slightly reshape the design. It's close, however, and when I'm done, I'll share the final version. It'll have some extra personal touches as well.

Hope you like it so far.

Want a custom design or illustration?

Let me know! Maybe I'll come up with something. Maybe not. ;-) Says Brad.

Monday
Feb272012

Centaur for Blogsy wip

Hey. I decided to share this, because the final version: might take awhile, won't look like a *realistic* centaur — I know, oxymoron. Well, you'll see when you see it.

## How this all started

I've been having email conversations over the past few weeks with the *Lance Barton,* the lead guy at Fomola, the makers of Blogsy. I'd seen the app several times while perusing the App Store, but didn't give it much thought until I got an email from Typepad about how great the app is. *Long story short,* I went to the Blogsy website, blogsyapp.com, read some reviews and watched some how-to videos. I then emailed Fomola (the developers), introduced myself a bit and asked him if Blogsy was going to get Squarespace support.

Lance sent a very courteous reply; he's very likable, genuinely kind, honest and upfront. His character and values are instantly apparent and it appears that his ethics have created a solid foundation for Fomola and his ideals are represented in the things they do (and the app they've made).

## The app and the centaur

**Blogsy** isn't static; it's constantly being worked on, tweaked, improved upon... and while Blogsy has a clear primary focus, the wishes and feature requests of users have dictated its continued development.

This **isn't** another case of *we've built the best, most complex, feature rich application and don't care if you can figure it out — learn it or gtfo!*

Blogsy is intuitive and adheres to common UI elements instead of inserting new symbols, icons, and buttons (forcing users to relearn the basics). There are even detailed instructional videos online that cover all of Blogsy's features and explain its advanced elements.

I've been playing around with it for awhile, and I like it. A lot. (I'm so excited about Squarespace support — I really hope that it supports page editing new page creation.) I want the app to succeed. **Every iPad blogger should get Blogsy and use it.**

## Oh right, the centaur...

Each major update is given a name, something more akin to what Apple does with its OS X releases than a codename. The previous version was *The Minotaur*... the current version is *The Centaur*, hence, a **centaur**. (Made more sense than drawing a aardvark.)

And like I said, the completed version will look different... although I might keep going with this one as well. I kinda like it. Hope you like it, too. If you have an iPad, get Blogsy (iTunes App Store link) and if you don't have an iPad, you can tell someone about my blog.

Or tell an iPad owner/blogger about the app. That makes sense, too.

Saturday
Jun182011

Some new art

A little bit about how my mind works. Yes, I suppose I'm slightly odd. I hbe some eccentricities and strange habits.

I remember telling a friend of mine several years ago before she came over about a few of my interests; I needed her to be aware of what I'd been studying a lot of at that time, because my Comcast DVR was filled with crime specials, Dateline on ID, Investigation Discovery forensics shows, and interviews with sexual sadist serial killers (such as Dennis Rader). Had she decided to turn on the TV and peruse the recordings without any warning; well, I'd probably have to chase her to the elevator after she bolted — and I highly doubt that that would've gone well.

I've heard countless times: "don't talk about religion or politics."

I don't buy that nor bother with it. So, according to that advice, I'm only supposed to talk about inconsequential things... unimportant things?

"Yes, let us not discuss matters of a serious nature. What would be the point of your college education, if you were to actually use and benefit from it? Just plain silliness. Let us now discuss the finer points of Jersey Shore."

If you believe that, maybe you shouldn't read my blog. Especially if you get emotional about politics in particular. It won't get easier for you when I accuse your "side" of using mustard gas — and then blaming "us" when the wind changes and it blows back on your own people.

What in life should we take seriously, and how many young people are there meandering, directionless?

I was discussing "happiness" with a friend earlier, because it bothered me how we treat emotions in America. People aren't allowed to be sad anymore. Because there's a pill for that. Or a drug for it.

Get high, get drunk, forget about your worries. Isolation stimulates creativity; but I suppose young people need none of that, as they have YouTube and Hulu.

I'm going to post a new piece of art soon. I've been working on something... revealing. You may like it — I'm still looking at writing about "Locked Up Abroad" again, and the messed up laws, double-standards, hypocrisy and corruption in the Philippines.