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Tune-in Tuesday: New Guitar Music Made on an iPad

We are delighted to say that our Soundcloud group for iPad using musicians is still very active. There are some really fun, creative and sometimes quite bonkers tracks being shared by Soundclouders, if you haven't visited the group before please check it out.

Here are a few original tracks that have caught our attention in recent weeks and this time we've gone for a Rock theme:

Cannibal Rat Ghost Ship by Nathan Jon Tillett

We love this song "sitting somewhere between Iron Maiden and Spinal Tap, this one has the OTT tongue-in-cheek dial turned up to 11!".  Recorded partly on GarageBand for iPad using the Apogee Jam and iRig Mic (both highly recommended by the way) it is brilliant fun and an enthusiastic performance makes this one of our favourites.

Back To You by LoungeBots

As massive Back to the Future fans we were more than happy to see this (also tongue-in-cheek) tribute, just for the cover art alone. Made completely on an iPad too:

"Produced, recorded and mixed on iPads using NanoStudio, Auria, GarageBand, BeatMaker2, JamUp Pro and a variety of additional iOS synth apps."

Too Many Friends by Gaffbass02

Another original track recorded completely on an iPad using GarageBand and we think it sounds great as a demo. Here's what Gareth says about the recording of the song:

"I record this in my basement in an afternoon on an iPad 3 using an apogee jam to connect an sm58, and a cheap behringer condenser.  All drums, keys, strings etc are from the iPad, and there's no external EQ etc, just straight into the GarageBand app."

Bonus Track: Budda 30 demo by Derek Buddemeyer

Some great lead playing and a very tight arrangement in this short demo from Derek that perfectly shows off the authentic sounds you can get from apps like AmpKit on the iPad.

Over to You

We hope you liked listening to our selection of tracks but if wailing guitars isn't your thing don't worry, next time we will be focussing our attention on more electro driven tracks.

In the meantime you could always explore our Soundcloud group for hundreds of tracks from all genres, we are sure you will find something there you like.

If you would like to share your iPad created sounds please feel free to join our group and add your tracks or click on the 'Send us your sounds' link in the sidebar.  Thank you.

Video: Joby Otero's Customised Case For Creating Art on iPad

We love it when people get creative on their iPads, but we also like to see people get creative with their iPad accessories. So here's an idea for a weekend project.

Digital Artist, and ex-Creative Director at Activision(!), Joby Otero has posted this video of his modded, DIY solution to his Anker iPad case.

He says it now perfectly supports his use of the iPad for art working and even coding. It's a pretty easy and inexpensive mod of the case if you don't want/can't afford to buy a new one and a keyboard is important to you. Enjoy!

Forget Flappy Bird, try Threes! for a more cerebral experience

It's a tricky game for sure, but you can master Threes!. As the video above from Polygon shows, you need to stick to these three (oh, the pun!) basic rules...

1. Keep the highest tile in a corner

2. Stick to the foundational wall

3. Only swipe in 3 directions

App Store Link: Threes!

Pantone Universe standing book case review

A naked iPad is a beautiful iPad, by it's also quite vulnerable. This is especially true of the iPad Air and iPad mini. Those chamfered edges are natural targets for dents and dings!

Pantone is responsible for the creation and administration of a series of colour reference books widely used in the design and print industries. To a graphic designer, a Pantone book of swatches is a thing of joy. Has Pantone successfully brought that joy over to these cases?

As a iPad cases go, the Pantone case is pretty unremarkable. It's solid and offers the iPad a fair amount of protection, though, like many cases of this style, the edges of the iPad are exposed somewhat. It may not be a deal breaker, but if you're likely to be putting your iPad into a crowded bag, with keys, pens and other small metal objects, be warned, those chamfered edges will still likely get dinged. In a bag with only larger objects, the iPad will be protected just fine in the Pantone case. Used in its upright stand configuration the Pantone case works well, keeping the iPad positioned for watching videos, etc.

Of course, the real attraction of this case is the official Pantone design and colours. You can select from pink, red, blue or black colour themes. In each example the colour is complemented by a pure white band across the cover, plus white stitching. The design is smart, beautiful even, in minimalist way.

The case currently retails at 35€ from Case Scenario. For those looking for something a little bit different and aren't too concerned by the lack of complete iPad protection, the Pantone standing book case comes recommend.

Purchase Link: Pantone iPad case from Case Scenario

Shepherd by Jaime Sanjuan

You really should take a look at the work of Jaime Sanjuan. His iPad paintings are exquisite!

The Mac at 30: Thirty years of creative computing

I’ve been using a Mac for 23 years. Even then it was so obviously the best personal computer available. What a thrill it was in 2010 to see all the things that made the Mac so wonderful delivered in a perfect slab of glass and metal. The Mac is in many ways at the heart of the iPad experience.

We'd love to hear your Mac stories.

Stunning iPad art by Dave Kuhn

The iPad Creative Flickr group is home to some incredible iPad paintings. Dave Kuhn's paintings are captivating, drawing you in and making you wonder what might be around the corner, just beyond the frame. Perhaps we'll find out one day...

Stunning work Dave, and thanks for sharing these paintings with the group!

Using Waterlogue: Time to dig up those Star Wars action figures?

John Balestrieri of Tinrocket highlights a novel use for Waterlogue...

Waterlogue is great when you want a speedy way to remove the “photograph” from a photograph. With just a couple taps, you can change the fundamental nature of an image, opening up a bunch of different imaginative directions. It’s fun, fast, and often improves the creative possibilities of a quickly snapped photo... First, I posed plastic toys against colored paper backgrounds and then captured the scenes with an iPhone 5s. I didn’t use any elaborate lighting, lenses, or staging, and each initial image only took a few minutes to shoot.

What a superb idea! Perhaps it's time to dig up those Stars Wars action figures?

The Flote m2 floor stand review

For many people the iPad has become a part of everyday life. We use it for communicating with our friends and family, for consuming news and entertainment media, for organising our lives, for creating works of art and even playing games. As Apple works hard at reduce the size and weight of the iPad, it becomes more accessible, more intimate.

It’s so embedded in our lives that we often multitask when using it. Therein lies the problem. Like us, you’ve most likely tried to prop up your iPad in all kinds of precarious positions. Propping it up against a couple of cushions for some bedtime reading is pretty easy, but neck fatigue soon sets in. Propping it up on the corner of the bath to watch a movie is a little more challenging, and certainly has bigger risks than muscle fatigue!

This is where an iPad floor stand helps. By allowing hands-free iPad usage, the iPad can become even more accessible in a host of situations. But what makes the Flote m2 worth its $299 price tag? Why pick the Flote over other cheaper floor stands?

Key features

The Flote is an impressive piece of design and a remarkable example of quality engineering. It consists of three key components, a heavy base, a foldable telescopic arm and a spring loaded clip, all constructed from high quality lacquered metal, no cheap plastics here!

The clip is perhaps the most innovative aspect of the design. As you can see from our photos, the clip is held in position at the end of the telescopic arm by a powerful magnetic ball joint. This joint allows for close to 360° of movement. It is spring loaded and be opened to 20 centimetres, or thereabouts. Not wide enough to grasp the iPad Air by it's short edges, but plenty wide enough to grasp it by it's long edges.

The base is very heavy. The weight is necessary though, for without it the stand would topple with the telescopic arm at full reach.

This combination of parts makes the Flote the most useful iPad floor stand we have ever used. It means the iPad can be positioned a metre above ground height while extending a metre across a desk, sofa, bed or bath(!). It means that in its full vertical position it can hold the iPad almost 2 metres high. In any of these positions the magnetically attached ball jointed clip can itself be positioned at practically any angle. It’s quite remarkable.

What we liked

It’s beautiful, certainly the most beautiful iPad floor stand we’ve seen, and as we have already mentioned, it’s something that even Jony Ive would be proud of. The silver lacquered finish complements Apple products perfectly. The solidity is reassuring, and the build quality almost faultless.

We’ve been using the Flote for a couple of months and have found it to be more useful than any other floor stand we’ve used previously. Being able to ‘hover’ the iPad at almost any practical height and at all angles makes the iPad even more usable in certain situations. It’s not just iPads, almost any current tablet, e-reader or large smartphone (phablet) will fit the clip. For example, we were just about able to use it with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, albeit in a rugged case.

A few concerns

We have just a couple of concerns, things that you should be aware of before considering the Flote. The weight of the base, a necessary feature of such a flexible stand, means that it’s only luggable. By luggable we mean that carrying it from room to room is possible, but not recommended. I carried it for just over a mile in order to take the photos you see here, let’s just say it was a good workout!

The clip features rubber pads to protect the iPad from scratches. They work as intended when the iPad is in position, but the edges of the clip could potentially scratch the iPad when putting it into the clip. For this reason, we would not recommend using the Flote with a naked iPad. The clip is big enough to take almost any sized tablet in any sized case, and we recommend that you take advantage of this.

Wrap-up

For some people the Flote will make life with the iPad more enjoyable. Watching movies, FaceTiming family, reading, even painting are all enhanced by the Flote, but for the disabled or the elderly, the Flote could well be indispensable. It’s not cheap, but then neither is the iPad, and like the iPad you are paying for the quality of the industrial design and it's extra utility over lesser products.

It’s impossible to cover every question in a review, so if you have anything specific you’d like to know about the Flote, please ask us in the comments section below.

Purchase link: The Flote m2 floor stand

At the intersection of liberal arts and technology

Probably the most powerful Apple advert in a long while. Here Apple is once again promoting the iPad as a platform for creativity... as if we had forgotten!