Get Smart with your Art

You can now get a customised iPad smart cover printed with your own artwork or photo(s) to show the world how much you love creating art on your iPad, or maybe even just how much you love your kids, pets, bike, car, etc.

Photobox here in the UK are one such company producing these smart covers with all the usual features you find in Apple's Smart Cover such as magnetic snap-on hinges, sleep when closed and the Toblerone style stand action.

At £34.99 for a custom vinyl smart cover it is actually a penny cheaper than the Apple's Smart Cover, although, without seeing one in the flesh we can't say if the quality is anywhere near as good. Photobox has always been fairly impressive in the past though in our experience.

Do you fancy getting your own customised smart cover? Let us know if you do, and what you decide to put on it.

'I Melt With You' by TelevatorMuzak

Francis (TelevatorMuzak on YouTube) is something of a GarageBand master. His covers are among the most lovingly crafted iPad songs we have ever encountered. If you're new to GarageBand, or even if you think you know all it has to offer, we strongly advise you to listen to all of Francis' work on YouTube. Below is a selection of some of our favourites.

'Feels Like Heaven' by TelevatorMuzak

Amazing Joe Satriani cover played in the new GarageBand for iPad

Francis once again demonstrates how to get the best out of GarageBand for iPad

More GarageBand perfection from TelevatorMuzak

'Just Like Heaven' by TelevatorMuzak

Beautiful Ambient Music Created on the iPad by Michael Wadlow

This beautiful, haunting, reflective and emotional track entitled Vortumnus...Refracted Memories was created by one of our Soundcloud group members Michaelw (Michael Wadlow from Wales).  

Michael wrote this recently as a cathartic expression of his emotions at a really difficult time.

Do yourself a favour, grab a drink and a pair of headphones, close your eyes and take a listen.

The Design Museum Collection

Great design isn't constrained by common opinion. Often, truly great design breaks tradition and common consensus. The Design Museum Collection app is full of stunning examples of thinking beyond traditional thought, of pushing back the boundaries. It's not perfect, but it's free and will prove to be inspirational for anyone with an eye for great design - that means all of you!

App Store Link: The Design Museum Collection

Farmer's Garden by Susan Murtaugh

We are huge fans of Susan's iPad artwork, and this latest peice is as fantasic as ever!

Video: Quick Look at Repix with the Sensu Brush

Quick Look at Repix with the Sensu Brush from Artist Hardware on Vimeo.

Here's a video we thought you would enjoy from Artist Hardware, makers of our favourite 'combo stylus' Sensu Brush (check out our review).  

They are testing the Sensu Brush with the free painting app Repix and its new Live Brush feature.  

Check it out and let us know what you think if you have got a Sensu Brush.

Video: Silent Film Fun made on iOS

It Looks Like Rain from MacPhun on Vimeo

This short film was shot and edited entirely on iOS app Vintagio (formerly Silent Film Director) by MacPhun.  We think it is a lot of fun and hope it brightens up your Friday morning.

The movie itself has a great little story and it is a fantastic reminder of the computing power we now carry in our pockets.  Some great editing really makes this movie snap too, we hope you enjoy it.

App Store Link: Vintagio

What Is App Smashing?

Intro to App-Smashing from misterkling on Vimeo.

That's what we asked ourselves when we saw a link to this video. But it looks like we are a bit late to the party as plenty has been written about App Smashing already. Definitely check out that link to learn more.

In the video above Kris Kling (@misterkling on Twitter), Apple Distinguished Educator and Director of Technology at Marburn Academy, explains precisely what App Smashing is and how it is done.

The video nicely illustrates how content can be creatively produced on the iPad using several apps together. We even picked up a few tips ourselves, especially the awesome and free Tellagami app which we are now playing around with.

How about you? What App Smashing do you do to create your iPad content?

Urban Robot by Nikolai Lockertsen

"Took some time, but had alot of fun" - Nikolai

Just stunning! Niko always tells a story, and does anyone else paint light quite like Nikolai?

iPad paintings of Andrey Malikh

We've been fans of Andrey's iPad paintings for quite a while now, but some of his recent work is just superb! There's plenty more on Andrey's Flickr account.

An introduction to GarageBand's Smart Strings

Few iPad apps demonstrate the remarkable possibilties offered by the blending of touch screen and computer quite as much as GarageBand. The Smart Strings section in GarageBand for iOS is probably where this is made most obvious. Smart Strings does take a little getting used to. This excellent free Smart Strings tutorial video may help.

We used Smart Strings to create the sound track in the video shown above. Just a little bit of practice pays big dividends! Why not give it a go and be sure to let us know if you create something special.

Innovative styles of digital painting

It may not be to everyone's taste, but we think this polygon style art is quite special. Many more examples of Paul Vera-Broadbent's iPad and iPhone art can be found on his site and Flickr page.

TypeDrawing is Free - today only

New TypeDrawing App from Hansol Huh on Vimeo.

We love TypeDrawing, it is amazing what can be done with the app in the right hands.

If you're quick, you can grab the app for Free today only.  If you're too late, we think it is still worth a download anyway, especially now it has a recording feature too!

11 Year Old iPad Artists

We found this video on YouTube and thought you might like it.  Posted by a teacher at The International School in Kuala Lumpur, it features the work of some Year 7 students created on their iPads and it is quite impressive, especially when you consider these kids are only 11 years old.

Just how flat will iOS 7 look?

Like many iPad and iPhone users we've been wondering what Jonathan Ive's involvement with the design of iOS 7 will mean. Ben Thompson makes some interesting points in his blog post entitled, 'Jony Ive is Not a Graphic Designer'. It's certainly worth reading.

Having spent considerable time with Microsoft's Windows Phone, I sincerely hope that iOS 7 does not have its super-minimalist look, visual fatigue sets in quickly for those who expect more than dull sans-serif fonts and flat coloured boxes.

'Feels Like Heaven' by TelevatorMuzak

Yep, he's done it again!

More from Francis

Essential Anatomy, if ever there was a 6 star rated app, this is it

This app is for everyone. Sure, it's particularly useful for those who are employed to care for and repair the human body, but as the owner of a human body, surely it would be handy to know how it's put together?

Spend just a hour with Essential Anatomy and I guarantee that you'll start to see yourself differently. You'll begin to consider the mechanics of your skeletal system before lifting heavy weights. When you get a twitch in your calf muscle you'll know exactly which muscle and associated nerve is responsible.

The 3D rendering is smooth, only ever getting slightly choppy when every layer is being rendered. The UI is perfect, with multi-touch gestures being used to full effect.

It's a tad more expensive than your regular iPad app, but then, it so much more useful. This app is a keeper.

App Store Link: Essential Anatomy

GarageBand updated to include support for Audiobus!

In an almost unprecedented move, Apple has updated GarageBand to add support for the extremely popular Audiobus app. Audiobus enables inter-app workflow by offering live app-to-app audio streaming. Within 3 months, Audiobus has welcomed aboard over 100 iOS apps. With GarageBand support we imagine that just about every iOS developer will be looking to add Audiobus compatibility to their music creation apps.

We've tested GarageBand with a handful of popluar Audiobus compatible apps and everything worked as expected. Audiobus is an essential purchase. We could be witnessing the birth of a new standard here. Exciting times!

App Store Link: Audiobus

Star Wars Pinball has arrived!

It's here and it's epic! Pinball games work so well on the iPad and Star Wars Pinball is the best so far. All three Star Wars themed tables are currently only available as in app purchases from the free Zen Pinball app.

App Store Link: Zen Pinball

Real Racing 3 goes global

After a limited release earlier in the month, Real Racing 3 has finally gone global. Does the notorious freemium model spoil this console quality racer? We think it might. We don't think it's right to feel pressured to make continual payments, surely it's much better to just set the game at the correct price in the first place and be done with it? Imagine having to pay for every mouthful of a meal in advance... yes, it's that annoying!

Real Racing is such a well loved series, EA could have charged upwards of $15 for the latest iteration without too much complaint from RR fans. As it stands, we can not wholeheartedly recommend Real Racing 3. However, a casual gamer with plenty of patience may not be too bothered by this particular brand of freemium payment model.

App Store Link: Real Racing 3