I recently came across this thoughtful article over at Fast Company. It's well worth reading and echoes many of my own thoughts on where Apple might lead the iPad's creative community. There's still much that can be done by both Apple and iPad developers to expand the capability of the worlds leading tablet computer.
It's true that some of that initial fizz of excitement has evaporated over the last 12 months (and that's been reflected in the amount of content on this site), but I'm hopeful that Apple can shake things up again this year. The iPad has so much more to give and it would be a real shame to not be around for the journey.
Apple has kicked off 2015 with a gallery of productions created using its devices. It's a fine gallery featuring some our favourite artists and apps. The gallery covers video production, painting and illustration, photography and video editing, but we're more than a little sad that there's no mention of music production. Photography gets featured 7 times but music production not at all. Given Apple's commitment to music consumption with its iTunes music store, you'd think that it would be more keen to promote music creation.
You simply cannot produce this kind of thing on a Mac or PC, not without extra hardware at least. Despite what some still profess, the iPad really is one of the finest content creation devices ever made, and we believe it's only just getting started. 2015 should be an epic year for iPad owners.
Source: Laughing Squid
I'll keep this short, Duet Display is the first iPad app that provides proper Mac second screen capability for the iPad when connected via cable. The caveats are few, but certainly worth mentioning. It only works with the Mac, running 10.9 or greater, and the iPad that serves as the second display via the Duet Display client app has to be running iOS 6 or greater. The iOS app currently costs $14.99 and the display server software for the Mac is free.
What Duet Display does that the others don't
Duet Display, when set to its highest quality setting, turns your iPad into a Retina class display running at a tidy 60 frames per second. The host Mac has to give over some of its available resources to accomplish this, but on a modern Mac the overall impact in performance will be small. I did some tests using my 2012 i7 based MacBook Pro. While displaying a static image, only 5% of the Mac's overall processing power was given over to the Duet Display server app. With the entire screen in motion, playing a video or scrolling through a website, this figure jumped up to around 35%.
One small annoyance
The developer claims that on a modern Mac there is zero lag. This isn't exactly correct. It's certainly true that the app does achieve a consistent 60 frames per second with no tearing or distracting image artefacts, However there is a tiny lag between mouse movements and screen updates. It's so small that you may not even notice it, but it's worth mentioning, if for no other reason than to temper your expectations a little.
Duet Display is an essential app for anyone who finds they are often switching between applications on their Mac. As an example, it allows me to have Adobe InDesign open on my Mac display whilst slinging Photoshop out to the Duet Display app. It means a whole lot less app switching, hence saving me time throughout the week. I'm sure that I'll find more uses for Duet Display over the coming months, it takes a while to get used to having a second display, but just $14.99 it's worth giving it a try.
Positive Grid sent us this video of guitarist Vali Caceres surprising his audience by turning up to a gig with just his guitar, his iPad and the JamUp app. We think it sounds pretty great, so do his audience by their reactions. What do you think?
Laurent has done a superb job of capturing the likeness of both Sigourney Weaver's character Ripley and the claustrophobic interior of the ship Nostromo. The original painting is a massive 4000 x 3000 pixels. That's 12MP! You really need to see the detail for yourself — pay particular attention to a post-it note on the far left monitor.
I used a photo ref of Sigourney of course, but I improvised the environment as a kind of love letter to the Nostromo spaceship set design, which is in my opinion still one of the most realistic sci-fi environments ever created on film. - Laurent Canniccioni
"Trying to thumb my way through this piece with an iPad Mini. Turns out I can. Not smooth nor 100% accurate, but it's ok. Thumb arpeggios are tricky but it's like texting with music".
Great iPad musicianship from Francis, just as we have come to expect.