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 writing (26)

Tuesday
Jan052016

Thoughts on 2015 and Beyond

Another year flew by.

I keep thinking about what to say about 2015, but can’t think of anything honestly positive and pithy. Was it a great year? It was definitely a roller coaster year, individually and collectively.

Personally, I started doing a lot of different little things; online poker (No Limit Texas Hold’em cash games and some tournaments), Hearthstone, more consulting… of course there’s still design work. I’ve settled into Reno, NV and have developed a sort of a routine here. I’ve been thinking about streaming and talking about games a bit more, I’ve been a bit more involved in magic. I’ve been working on a lot of new projects.

Collectively, 2015 was a mixed year. Donald Trump took over US politics like a WWE Superstar and started bitchslapping everyone. I’m not a supporter, but politics has never been more entertaining. SpaceX did what was seemingly impossible. Islamic terrorists killed a bunch of people and the media took notice. Sort of. (Boko Haram is still operating under the radar, enslaving, raping and killing people in Africa.)

The world feels more intolerant than ever. I get that the world tends to always get better while people always think that things are getting worse, but I’ve never felt more disconnected from people with opposing views. It’s as if, worldwide, the culture has shifted toward outrage and extremism and discussion has become anathema.

I don’t see a lot of two-way communication between opposing ideologies. Unless it’s mudslinging and character attacks. Everything is a soundbite or a YouTube clip. Facebook is just an echo chamber, with unfriending and unfollowing occurring over “micro aggressions” and statements perceived as “intolerant.” We’re teaching younger people about “trigger warnings” and we’re communicating with emojis more frequently than words. I don’t like the censorship — especially self-censorship.

I get that people don’t want to feel offended when interacting online, but it seems like people are being offended too frequently… and frankly, that’s offensive!

As a society, we’re asking people to apologize for every flippant or off-color (wait, is that a microagression or racist?) remark. I wish people would stop it. Stop asking, and stop apologizing. Deal with it.

Also, I don’t believe that people are as offended as they say they are — I think people just want something to be angry about. It makes me want to say more “offensive” things more often, and I know I’m not the only one. Thus, the divide increases…

Really, I’m not sure what to write about here anymore. I haven’t been particularly interested in technology. Though I wrote about it quite a bit, this was never really a politics blog. There have been a few new apps that I think are pretty cool, so I could share those, but I haven’t found myself inspired to write about tech. It doesn’t seem fun. I’m not sure what Says Brad is anymore.

However, I am interested in relaunching bradtastic.com because although tech products haven’t really excited me, some things on the web have. There are a lot of little things that I find that I think others would like to see, too. So I’m working on that.

I want the site to look modern, so I’ve been sorting through a bunch of video clips that I can use for a background and have been collecting interesting links to share, I’ve been writing little articles about things that I like (and why). And, I think I can distill everything down to five or six categories.

Frankly, I’m tired of just posting everything at facebook. I’d rather have my own dedicated spot. And without a website that I feel really compelled to update, I forget about things like Pinterest. Once I have a site that looks and feels good, I’ll probably want to chime in about tech again, too.

All that said, I think 2016 is going to be a great year.

I’ll finally be able to share some of the projects that I’ve been working on for months, and new stuff keeps springing to life. We’re amidst a new political cycle and everyone is going to crank up the speakers and stoke the flames.

To end on a tech note, if you have a Mac, get Ulysses if you don’t already have it. It’s an indispensable app, and likely the best writing app ever made.

Tuesday
May052015

Status Update

Hey everyone.

Thanks for checking out my little blog here. I know it’s been extremely neglected; honestly, I’m just not into technology like I was.

Part of that is changes in my personal life, but a big portion of that is that I feel like new technologies just aren’t revolutionary anymore. Some software is pretty good, but the hardware just doesn’t feel life altering anymore.

The iPhone and iPad were both life-altering for me, but new iterations and the new unstable iOS just haven’t impressed me. I don’t see anything out today that would make a significant change in my life. Some of the stuff on the horizon looks very promising to me… unfortunately, nothing from Apple is on that list. It really feels like the magic died with Steve.

Prior to the first iPhone, I switched from a Palm Treo to a candy bar Sanyo phone without a camera or games because it was super light and had a substantial talk time. I was still using landlines as well. The iPhone changed so much for me.

The original iPad seemed like a uselessly large iPod Touch — damn was I wrong about that. The iPad affected how I interact with the internet and create art. It changed how I dealt with emails and allowed me to connect with people even when I was extremely sick (months).

The first capacitive styluses (styli?) revolutionized art creation for me, and the pressure sensitive ones doubled my tablet drawing abilities. The new ones are exciting, but they just don’t seem leaps and bounds better. Each has tried to be an improvement, but reports of accuracy issues plague each. I know what my Intuos Creative Stylus (one) and Pencil can do, how they’ll perform, and I know that they’ll perform accurately. Assuming my iPad works. (More on that in a bit.) I don’t know that about the new stuff, and it just doesn’t seem worth the gamble. (I live in Reno, NV — there are other ways to do that.)

The MacBook Pro Retina put power and a fantastic screen onto my lap. Light, fast and sleek, it was a nearly perfect notebook for me — something that was a true desktop replacement.

The new stuff doesn’t strike a spark with me. Faster? Yes. Better in-general? Of course. Dynamically different? Hardly.

The Apple Watch? Maybe after a few generations. It’s nothing that I need or even really want. For a few days I thought that it would be fantastic, but I don’t see what it’d do for me that my iPhone 5S doesn’t already cover. It’d just weigh down my wrist.

Perhaps if iOS performed better for me, I’d have more faith in the Watch software. Each iOS iteration seems to make older Apple devices perform worse. My phone locks up, lags and crashes almost every day. My iPad? Nearly nonfunctional. Perhaps that’s how they’re going to convince me to buy a new one come Fall. The old one will just freeze up on the lock screen and won’t allow me to draw; so I’ll be forced to upgrade. That’s pretty shitty.

The only Apple technology that I’m somewhat interested in at the moment is a (possible) new Apple TV. Why? Because mine (current ten) crashes a lot while watching Netflix and Hulu. Again, a shitty reason to upgrade: because you have to — the current one stops working.

Not done with blogging.

So I’ve been writing about other things, controversial things. Political and social things. Everyone will admit that America and the rest of the world has serious problems, but people vehemently disagree on how to solve them. Heck, people don’t even agree on what the problems are.

I expect that when I start posting this stuff in earnest, it will have to be at a different site, it will draw out trolls and disgusting comments, death threats and the like. My intention is to stimulate honest dialogue and debate on issues, and I hope to get some of (or mostly) that, but people have a tendency to say awful and evil things on the internet.

It’s really just an exaggerated form of what’s happening in the “mainstream media” (TV, major news sites); more insults and rhetoric than reasoned debate and solutions. I expect (and appreciate) that from regular people (if there is such a kind) pundits, not politicians. Opinion pieces should be challenged by other opinions, and solutions should be challenged by alternative solutions — but that’s not really what’s happening.

I intend to try and offer both. I don’t see much point in saying, “well, that policy won’t work,” if it isn’t followed by “here’s what will.”

It takes a lot of time and research to formulate a cohesive and coherent commentary; creative viable alternatives to current proposals is tremendously more challenging.

It will take time and practice; I don’t expect my early works to be gems. I’ll probably make new enemies, but I think it’s worth it — and maybe I’ll make a few new friends.

And I’ll still write about technologies when something comes up.

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.

Tuesday
Dec162014

Blogging Update and Ideas

If you’re still taking the time to check out my blog or are new here, thanks for stopping by. I know that content has been sparse since my move to Reno, Nevada — I’m still adjusting to life here and haven’t even fully set up my living space here. I’m attempting to create more long-form content and interesting reviews for this blog, but I’m also looking at transitioning my art and writing.

All said, it’s been more challenging to do this than anticipated. Perhaps that’s due in part to life here being substantially better than it was in Oakland, California.

But because I’ve caught a cold or something major (seems to happen every year around this time) from Stephanie — whom caught it from a two year old she babysits — I have more idle time at home than usual and will endeavor to use this to catch up on design, illustration and writing.

I’m also looking at migrating to Squarespace 7, since the UI is finally usable. SS6 was a mess; many will likely disagree with that assessment, but I couldn’t get anyone I know to switch to it.

Because Squarespace 6 was such an unintuitive design and Squarespace 5 support became, at best, an afterthought, I began looking at alternatives last year. I tried Silvrback (which looks great now, and the price is fantastic), Posthaven, Medium, Roon (recently acquired by Ghost) and Ghost(acquired Roon.io; Roon shutting down this month)… and a few others that aren’t really worth mentioning.

I’m adding a new post about Apple shortly. Additionally, I’ve been writing about Video Poker, and that entry should appear within the next few days. I’ll update the Instagram, Facebook and Twitter when it’s live.

Sunday
Dec152013

23andMe, SaysBrad 2013, and screw the FDA

 

Dealing with medical problems and disability, I missed out on a lot of things this year. It's easy to just get upset about that — and everything else going on in the world — it's extremely easy to forget how amazing life is and how much technology has changed everything, for almost everyone.

Sometimes, it seems like the Internet is just full of complaints. And cats. Much of it is superfluous, and I've spent some time on this blog trying to point that out to people. But some complaints are valid, and the Internet has given a voice to many who would otherwise remain silent.

I mention this, because the FDA has blocked 23andMe, a DNA analysis company, from releasing medical information related to DNA as part of their $99 mail-order test kit.

Personally, this genetic information could be very valuable; it could tell me if I'm a carrier for the condition that killed my two brothers, why my nervous system responds the way it does and how best to treat my chronic pain, muscle spasms and disability.

I found out about 23andMe because of their Black Friday sale and ordered a kit, only to find out the day the kits arrived, that 23andMe would only be able to supply ancestry related information.

Basically, the FDA is stopping me from seeking affordable advice about my own DNA.

And I'm upset about that.

I've tried to distract myself with technology and blogging, and even managed to figure out how to stop the spam problem that I was having for quite awhile here at Says Brad. I was contacted by a few blog readers, which is super, as well as an app developer (so I'll be reviewing a new note taking app soon).

I found out that the new iPad Air might have some problems detecting and interacting with pressure-sensitive styluses, and read a bit more about the new iPad mini. I'm now reconsidering it as the superior (personal) choice for all-around use, despite the color accuracy/range issue.

I was going to write about testing blogging platforms such as Roon and Postagon, questions and thoughts that I have about pure blogging options Posthaven and Ghost, as well as testing — and my likely move to — Squarespace 6, but it's been hard to focus on with all of the issues I'm having and becoming aware of concerning the Federal government. I want to make Says Brad purely about design and technology (mostly apps and mobile products), but I haven't had the motivation to do anything about it yet.

Perhaps getting this rant out of the way will help. I know that lack of interest and general depression is a byproduct of chronic pain and the medicines used to treat it, and that awareness is usually accompanied by a resolve to push past it and try to do something — anything...

I really put a lot of hope and faith in my DNA results that now, at least anytime soon, won't be able to get... unless I can find some reliable, affordable expert to help me interpret the raw genetic data that I can still get from 23andMe.

Maybe if enough people out pressure on their Congressman (and women), something can be done about the ridiculously backward, prohibitive, abusive and dictatorial federal government and FDA. I don't think that that will happen, however, unless things get much, much worse. Congress is part of the problem — it's systemic, and it's affecting people. Small businesses, individuals, people with medical problems. I don't want government handouts and help. I want them to get the fuck out of the way.

Well.

Hopefully now I can get back to graphic design and the fun stuff. That is, after I stretch and take a few hour's nap. Word of warning: if your health is good and your body works (at least somewhat) as it should, take care of it and don't take it for granted. Chronic pain and disability is a neverending nightmare.


Before Christmas. Happy holidays. Oh, and don't be offended if you don't like or celebrate Christmas, but someone says Merry Christmas or whatever. Just say thanks. Don't be miserable.

Friday
Oct182013

Notes Plus Review - iPad Handwriting Apps

An inkblog Bluetooth pressure sensitive capacitive touch stylus written response to a comment!
 

Yesterday October 17, 2013 was a pretty big day here in America — our lackluster government has resumed spending ten billion dollars per day and the default crisis has been averted postponed until mid-January.

But I also got a comment on my blog entry iPad mini note taking problems. I decided to write a reply in atypical, inkblogging fashion. Here's the comment by Jeremy.

What did you think of the Notes Plus IOS App? I've used quite a few low and high end stylus' with the app and have not been disappointed with the results. www.notesplusapp.com

 

Here's my handwritten 'ink' reply, with text transcript.

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! This is written in Notes Plus on my iPad3 (retina) w/ Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus. I've had the app for quite awhile, but never spent much time with it until recently. I really like the recent app enhancements and the close-up writing mode — its method for adjusting the writing box is probably the best I've used. [Note: referencing the app itself] I wish that it was either raster-based, or had cleaner line creation, more adjustability, more color options (or better colors), and finally, Bluetooth capacitive touch stylus support (for line thickness — pressure sensitivity). Jeremy, you've inspired me to work on a full Notes Plus review. Question: which stylus is your favorite, or what type of styli do you like, the soft tip, disc shaped [tip], Bluetooth, etc? Last, what iPad version are you using, and are you using iOS7? I prefer iOS6. I think that iOS7 slowed down my iPad mini substantially. I hope that you have a great weekend and I look forward to hearing from you!

 

It's difficult to simultaneously compose beautiful sentences and fiddle with legible handwriting, spacing and color, but it was an interesting exercise. I think that my quasi-cursive writing style looks pretty good; quality that I think would be impossible in either Penultimate or Bamboo Paper and probably many of the handwritten notes apps, with the exception of Noteshelf and Remarks.

The image at the top of this post was edited (just for fun) using Repix and Distressed FX — both apps downloaded free. I'm not very familiar with either yet, so I decided to combine the effects of each to gauge the results. Distressed FX is particularly cool; I think I'm going to use it more, likely in combination and conjunction with other apps such as Tangent and Over, for photos and designs.

If you're looking for a great app to use with a capacitive touch stylus and don't mind a vector-based app, check out Notes Plus. It has a great deal of features and a lot of options, but remains usable and straightforward.

 

Friday
Aug302013

Content & Thank You!

New content coming soon, I promise. I've been really sick — fever and infection for six days now, so I haven't been able to do much of anything except drink water, sleep, and a few less pleasant things... the fewer details, the better, yeah?

Talking to some friends about the blog has inspired me to streamline the content and focus on he fun stuff that I like to write about — and what's popular. That means: more app reviews, product reviews, tech insights, tips, suggestions, maybe some games, that sort of thing. My other writing will go elsewhere. Also, I'm going to try to reorganize the categories and tags to be more efficient and usable — I'm also going to make a few adjustments to the layout, so if you see something broken, please let me know!

Thanks for your support; I think I'm starting to feel a little better (2013 has been one rough year!), so this weekend I hope to update. Also, if you haven't already, you can follow me at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr — all @bradtastic — I post links and photos there throughout the day.

A BIG thank you to the people using my Amazon links to buy stuff — getting a few bucks per week helps me stay motivated to write, and the Amazon credit allows me to get a few new things to review each year! If you have an app or product you'd like me to review, please get in touch!

(Estylo guys! I hope you read this, I've been trying to reach you to talk about the Estylo stylus — I hope all is well!)

My birthday is less than three weeks away — I hope I'm healthy enough to have dinner with my family!

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!

Friday
Jul272012

Says Brad, enhanced?

Says Brad drawing

Hi. I'm going to make Says Brad better! I think.

To take advantage of the free Squarespace 6 site offer, I'm switching my legacy Pro hosting plan to the new basic. I don't think I'll lose anything, content or feature-wise. Confirming that later tonight.

Im also shutting down (mt) hosting and TypePad service. I'm going to backup the content, of course. If you like/link to an entry at bradchin.com, I can repost that content for you. Both services cost too much and I'm no longer benefitting from either. Though I'd like mad WordPress skills, I have other priorities and web skills to focus on.

I'm going to add more images. I've been better at that recently! I just haven't been on my desktop that much. I want to replace it since it's too old to run Adobe CS6 — but I'm not sure as to what with. Maybe MacBook Pro with Retina Display after more apps become Retina friendly, chief among them, Adobe Illustrator & InDesign and Autodesk SketchBook Pro.

I'm going to consolidate my personal entries here or utilize my other Squarespace for that. I want to write more about dealing with disability (the good, bad, ugly, terrible, funny) — stuff not tech-related, but I don't know if it'll fit here. Perhaps I'll setup a new page on this site.

I want to showcase more of my finalized designs and my creative process because I'm part of the iOS artist community and have heavily integrated the iPhone and iPad into my processes, removing analog, traditional paper altogether. One small step toward green!

For now, enjoy the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, UK!