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 usability (3)

Tuesday
Dec162014

iCloud Drive Sucks: Apple is Screwing Up

Presently, iCloud Drive is unreliable crap.

If it’s working for you, I’m happy for you and hope that it continues to work well. For me and probably tens of thousands of other people, files appear, disappear, appear but won’t open, take days or weeks to sync…

It’s a mess.

I’ve been working on more substantial, long-form content for this site and other things, but since iOS 8 and Yosemite, I haven’t been able to reliably work on documents on my various devices.

I prefer to work in Ulysses III/Daedalus Touch, iA Writer Pro and Day One, and all three worked great before the switch to iCloud Drive. Now I’m having issues with all three.

  • Ulysses/Daedalus — None of my documents from Ulysses III show up in Daedalus on iPhone/iPad. Waiting for a sync to spontaneously occur yields nothing. Tried the reset troubleshooting instructions; nothing.

  • iA Writer Pro — Numerous documents aren’t listed on iOS. They are viewable when using the iCloud Drive folder feature, but are gray and won’t open. New documents take over 20 hours to sync — some have failed to sync entirely.

  • Day One — After waiting weeks and trying the troubleshooting methods repeatedly, the majority of the entries have synced across the various devices. However, 14 entries from my iPhone 5S wouldn’t upload for another few weeks, and finally synced today. During this time, entries would appear synced and then disappear a day later.

To be fair, a lot of the first-party iCloud Drive features are working okay. Photos enter the stream much quicker, and that’s nice.

Additionally, iOS 8 is problematic in general.

Shame on you, Apple. I’m really glad that I never moved beyond iOS 6 on my old iPad 2, because iOS7 ran and iOS8 runs so poorly on the iPad mini (first gen). My iPad 3 has issues with iOS8 as well; random lag and crashes. For the most part, the iPhone 5S handles iOS 8, but there are still random crashes and occasional device restarts.

In an attempt to beautify the OS, you’ve made it slower and glitchier. Turning off the fancy visual effects makes for a minor stability improvement, but overall, iOS devices haven’t seemed faster than iOS 6. When I first received the iPad 2, I was impressed by the lack of slowdown and minimal (if any) wait times. Now, idling has become the standard. In many ways, it feels like devices have taken a step back. I really miss Steve Jobs.

It’s as if these new iOS iterations are designed this way to force people to upgrade to the newest devices every year — and yet most of their phone deals with the major carriers are based on two-year contracts and upgrade cycles.

While it’s a nice idea to have synchronicity across devices with iOS 8, I’d prefer speed and reliability. Ideally both is best, but right now, that’s not reality. Also, Apple removed the Camera Roll in favor of a new organization system; while some may prefer it, it’s not optional. This seemingly small change has serious consequences for many apps and is far less usable for me.

Apple, please don’t be like Microsoft. Put your customers first and you’ll continue to stay on top.

If you try to put short term gains in profit and market penetration ahead of the user experience, put the desires of shareholders ahead of the needs of the consumer, your supporters will begin looking elsewhere. As I’m sure many already have.

Sunday
Aug122012

Awesome iPad Stylus

There are 46.1 million capacitive touch styluses (styli maybe) on the market. Approximately. Most are the same with a different name. Many of them suck.

The Cosmonaut by Studio Neat is a wonderful iPad stylus for just about anyone. Don't let the odd looks dissuade you. Check out Studio Neat's product video.

Below is something that I wrote using the Cosmonaut stylus and Noteshelf on my iPad.

 

Saturday
Feb132010

App Review and Efficiency: Breakthrough?

Yesterday afternoon, I had a positive meeting; one filled with revitalizing ideas and confirmations, and I’ve decided to post some things here instead of keeping it private.

iPhone screenshot: Momento [Software — iTunes Apps]

I’ve been testing and reviewing iPhone apps since the App Store’s launch with the intent of sharing my findings. I even thought about adding a new category here — then and again, today. However, for now, I’d like to keep it simple and concise — after all, this post was composed on my iPhone 3GS using the Squarespace application (finishing touches applied at my desktop — as the screenshot shows… I was running toward low-battery). 

My first pick, and a bit about the post.

I downloaded Momento just-barely over one-week ago, and it’s already one of my most-used — and frequented apps. It’s a referral tool, a tracker, and a calendar… or rather, a journal — in condensed form.

I’m rather pleased with this app as my first-pick — Bradtastic Superfluous isn’t going to turn into a “review blog,” much-less one restricted-to, or focused-on, iPhone apps. It’s far-too restricting, limiting my outlet and output, but beyond that and significantly — there are tons of review sites out there. Some of them are even okay!

If you’re looking for iPhone apps on a regular basis…

I recommend following the Twitter trends and iPhone blogs. Better yet, follow the recommendations of people that you trust, or blogs about your industry or interests. Check back here — I will write about what works for me.

Back to Momento.

Momento is a great tool for busy people. Writers, thinkers, researchers, readers… just about anyone can benefit from this app. Additionally, the more time one spends away from the computer — primarily desktops — the more useful this app becomes. As a writer choosing to devote time and energy to pen-and-paper over keyboard and screen, much of my output isn’t searchable — at least not in the functional, tech-way — databased, tagged, indexed and hyperlinked.

Momento brilliantly indexes and displays what I’ve decided to call my “dynamic quickies;” despite what the perverse might think. (I don’t actually use that term… I just made it up) Basically, I can display my Twitter feed; my personal posts, separate from everyone else’s crap and clutter. Twitter users should have a separate app for their favorites anyway — why double-up and duplicate — there’s no reason to have two apps for one category. Beyond the feeds, Momento has a simplistic, clean interface designed for adding short entries. For those so-inclined, photos can be added as well. (I use Evernote for that, but I’ll get into that separately… Evernote certainly deserves its own review. Many exist out there already; if you aren’t using Evernote during your daily ritual, you should look into it.)

Momento’s “something special,” usable… about tagging.

If Momento just displayed external feeds (from Facebook, Last.fm, Twitter, etc) and allowed for additional entries, it wouldn’t be that special. I’m sure I’d still like it; it’s attractive, well-designed with clever artwork and graphics, but it’d lack a key element: usability. The added special ingredient: tags. And not just Plain Jane, one-dimensional, single-facet tagging; Momento offers sub-categories: tagging people, places, events, and whatever else you can think of as “extras.”

This app could’ve just been something cute and somewhat-clever; a place to dump thoughts and record daily on-goings, but tags makes the information usable. I can refer back to my entries… mostly, because I can find them. Not everything that I write is going to be relevant all of the time — some of it won’t ever be critically valuable — but I don’t want to be presented with every thought I’ve ever had when I’m trying to find just one. It doesn’t even matter how much time I have to search — it’s not pleasant. If I happen to be pressed… I’ll develop a headache. Apps should not add stress.

Bottom Line: 9 of 10.

If you don’t use your computer regularly — for whatever reasons — you should seriously consider this app. If you don’t have an iPhone… as Gordon Ramsay might say, “you’re mad.” However, seriously think about what your daily processes are before committing to a new system of any kind. Don’t use this app (or any) just because I use it — or because someone special uses it. Don’t waste your time; as a 21st-century human, time is valuable and finite — you probably won’t have forever.

Youth is fleeting and important; with so much to get done in twenty-four hour days and 168 hour weeks, maximizing your peek-efficiency and minimizing lulls is crucial. Simplifying your tools eliminates waste and makes for a life with fewer moving-parts — fewer points of failure. Consider each addition critically; positive or negative, every extra thing that you do is a complication.

While success certainly requires some intricacy, finesse is often more about what isn’t done, isn’t needed.

Coherence is order.

I hope this helped — more to come. If you do start using this app, please comment… let me know what you think.