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 tablets (4)

Monday
Jan062014

Says Brad 2014!

Happy New Year! I’m excited about 2014.

2013 didn’t start well for me. I was sick throughout. I feel like I didn’t get much of anything done, like it was a lost year. Looking back at 2013, it feels like it went by before I realized it but simultaneously, it didn’t feel quick. Time feels quite different when you’re sick, and I was sick for probably more than half of the year, including the final weeks of December.

This year will bring more significant changes. I’m going to move out of California! That’s an exciting thing for me; a chance for a new beginning, to meet new people, and find new opportunities to learn, grow, and hopefully work. I’m hopeful that November’s mid-term elections will signal a shift in America as well, and I’m making every effort to get my political site up and running as quickly as possible to share some of my libertarian conservative ideas, specifically regarding controversial topics such as gay marriage and abortion. Far too often, people steer conversation away from these serious matters toward the mundane and inconsequential, all in effort to keep peace and to not offend. I think this is usually done with good intentions, I just don’t think it’s a feasible long-term solution, and has aided in alienating people and polarizing the country in ways I’ve never seen before in my life.

But enough of the serious and personal, onto Says Brad!

For about a month, I’ve been writing exclusively in Markdown, and I’m thrilled with this change. Two critical components that’ve made this pain-free and pleasurable: Daedalus Touch (universal iOS) + *Ulysses III* (Mac), and Byword** (universal iOS, Mac).

Ulysses III is so good that while I’m working on a full review, I’ve spent enough time with it to know — it’s indispensable for anyone interested in a fluid, natural, comprehensive and beautiful writing/note-taking environment. (That it syncs automatically with Daedalus Touch via iCloud is a huge bonus.)

I’ve never used a more beautiful writing app… or had as much fun. Ulysses III inspires me to write more, and helps keep me organized and efficient with everything neatly in one place, sans messy file folders and miscellaneous doc names.

Byword is a fantastic markdown/rich text editor that I’ve written about before, but I really only use it on my iPad and iPhone right now because it includes a markdown preview and live, in-line styling — and Daedalus doesn’t. It’s also possible to post to blogs from within Byword, but it’s an IAP priced at $4.99. I’d use it if it were included. (Having communicated with Daedalus/Ulysses debs, The Soulmen, I’m confident that Daedalus Touch will include these things in the future. If you have an iOS device, there’s no reason not to try Daedalus, as it’s now freemium.)

Switching to markdown has helped me to focus on content and forget about formatting. The text is clean and readable, links can be added in as reference-style footnotes, and words can be emphasized and emboldened without ever using brackets or clicking a toggle.

Blogging, 2014

Over a decade ago, I was happily posting to Livejournal without a care or concern for the underlying technology or the longevity of the platform. As a teenager, I just didn’t think about those things. This changed when a Livejournal admin censored me. I hadn’t been posting as frequently and had just undergone surgery to fix my shoulder (bad idea), and didn’t realize that they’d contacted me by email, instructing me to self-censor and remove someone’s full name. As I hadn’t replied, my site was shut down.

It wasn’t just that my content was pulled from public view. I was locked out.

My account had been suspended for violating one of their rules. I was cut off from my own writing, years of work, completely unavailable. I was lucky; able to save my site, discovering what had happened before my account was permanently closed, but the process alerted me to the fact that my content was not my own.

I decided that I was done with LJ. I didn’t like the fact that someone could put extra restrictions on my content and that those rules could change at any time, that I could lose my writing. Since then, I’ve been very concerned about terms of service and content restrictions and ownership. I used WordPress for several years and then stumbled upon Squarespace, and although I’m presently (mostly) happy with the service, I’m always looking at alternatives.

I think that both WordPress and Squarespace do a remarkable job at managing a full-featured website, but lately, I’ve been intrigued by the “just blogging” platforms like Ghost. I’ve been testing different services: Roon, Posthaven, Silvrback… I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on these services and hope that I can help someone pick his/her best fit blogging platform.

More in 2014

In the coming months, I’ll be adding reader-requested reviews of styluses, including a more-detailed review of Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus and thoughts on Pencil by FiftyThree. Also, some app devs have graciously provided copies of their apps for me to try and write about, so I’ll have that upcoming as well. I’m excited about another year of cool technology and discussing these things with you! (The latest Apple rumor is about an iPad Pro iOS/OSX hybrid device — I really hope that it’s Penabled, wouldn’t that be something?!)

In the interim, if you want to chat, send me a message at Twitter or Facebook! I hope you have a great year!

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.

Saturday
Dec172011

iPad for Christmas


It's a strange time of the year. People act weird, in the bay area, even the weather is weird. Me, I started juicing today. Stephanie and my mom convinced me to watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and it got me thinking — I could try this juice thing.

The first glass I could hardly get down and keep down. It was partially the taste, and had something to do with the texture, smell, and the way it felt like it was rolling through my system. I suppose it was mainly the smell and knowing what was in it. I suppose that the color had something to do with it, too.

Anyway, that's all beside the point. I was thinking about things that I'm thankful for — some years ago, I made a Thanksgiving shout out style blog entry that I'd thought about recreating/updating... oh well — and my iPad is pretty high on the list of the things. I could go on for hours about the people and events, but that's likely beyond superfluous.

This device gives me the power of a notebook computer with enhanced functionality. With it, and apps like Splashtop, I have a device that lets me do basically everything except finalized design work. I can create and conceptualize, doodle and sketch, write, browse the web, play games, talk to people, watch videos, movies and TV, and perhaps most importantly, I can forget about my pain and disability for a few minutes here and there.

The device is so powerful and the App Store has so many great apps. Just recently, Rockstar released the 10 year anniversary iOS edition of Grand Theft Auto III! A few weeks earlier, I got The Bard's Tale, an epic action RPG from some years ago released on PC and PS2. They both look great on the iPad 2. I like to play games on 360 and Playstation 3, but I'm not always physically feeling up to it. (Sad, I know.)

I don't have the 4S, but I'd probably like Siri just as much.

Anyway, there's a lot going on in the world right now, European debt crises, Occupy, upcoming primaries and presidential election... it's a complicated place. The iPad greatly simplifies things for me, putting together several devices and what would be hundreds of pounds of magazines, books, and other resources into one simple, fairly lightweight device. iOS may not be for you, maybe you like Android, or you don't like tablets at all. I'd really like a WACOM tablet or Cintiq screen, but I don't know if I need those things urgently. If I had a MacBook Air, I would probably love that thing a lot, too. iCloud is pretty cool.

Happiness may be hard to come by, in short supply, but find it wherever and however you can. The games I play and the other media I consume makes me a better designer and artist. The articles I read make me a better thinker, and hopefully someday, a better citizen.

Hopefully I can write before Christmas and 2012, but if you don't hear from me or see me, know that if you were ever at all important to me, I've thought about you a lot, and for now, I think I'm doing sort of okay. I could really use some help, too, but I'll manage for a little while. Don't just ignore people around you in pain; someday, it could be you or someone you care about, and you might want someone to care about you.

[Oh! I can help with your app needs, at least. I know a lot about iOS and its goodness. Check out Infinite Sketchpad and AppShopper.]

Monday
Aug292011

Don't need a desktop

I'm writing this on my iPhone using the Squarespace app. I haven't used my desktop for over one week; the last time I did use it, I burned a CD. My desktop has become a server.

It stores movies, music and images... AirPlay and home sharing allows me to view my media on my TV (with the Apple TV) and iOS devices. I'm sure that there's an Android equivalent.

What I like is the simplicity. This stuff is easy to use. There's a new notebook computer by Razer and Intel called Blade. It's a custom gaming machine with ten customizable keys and a multitouch screen instead of a trackpad (used to display game information or other data). It'll likely be expensive.

The thing is, most computing can be done on a tablet. I've loved tablets for a long time. I enjoyed inkblogging with Wacom Penabled technology — these devices are incredible for art and design. These new multitouch devices are different; better in some ways, worse in others. These new slates represent a technological revolution — mobility, usability, and augmented reality at its core.

Also, these handhelds are great for gaming. Not just quick pickup-n-play, casual games... great developers, large and small, are releasing amazingly deep games, some with console-quality graphics (comparable to XBOX 360 launch titles, superior to Nintendo DS my iPad is missing many features, lacks some software that is essential, and even more that I'd just like to have.

But here I am, blogging, nowhere near my desk. And when traveling, I know I can leave my laptop computer behind and miss nothing.