Artist Robert Miller has been in contact to let us know about his latest iPad painting. We're impressed, not just by Robert's painting skills, but also by the way in which he documents the experience with video. Though it must take Robert many hours to bring the whole package together, the extra effort is certainly appreciated.
Every now and then we like to pass the time by doing a search on Etsy for iPad accessories. Try this yourself and you'll find a plethora of handmade creative solutions both for sitting your iPad on your desk and for cosseting it when you're more mobile.
So if you are looking for a special and unique gift for the iPad addict in your life (yes, you can include yourself, we do), then here are a few of the many handcrafted accessories that caught our attention recently.
1 - Jabba the Hut Oak iPad Dock
This was our favourite to be honest, a one of a kind Star Wars figurine welded to a piece of solid wood to enhance any geek's desk. We love it, so be quick and grab it now!
2 - iPad Acoustic Dock in Maple
We liked this dock because as well as being clean and simple, it acts as a naturally amplified speaker for your iPad's audio - no plug-in, power sapping, accessories needed. There's also a smaller version available for your iPhone. Very nice.
3 - Retro TV iPad Dock
We happen to know that we are not the only Etsy browsing iPad lovers to spot this one recently, but we didn't want you to miss this one. It doesn't look terribly sturdy if we're honest, but the wooden retro design wins our hearts and this is often the duty our iPad performs when it is sat on our desks while we work.
4 - Leather Messenger Bag
We could have picked any of the Copper River bags and cases to recommend. They all feature the thickest leather and chunkiest stitching we have ever seen, backed up by a 100 year warranty. These things are built to last and be loved by generations.
We chose this one as it is specifically for iPad sized devices., but would be more than happy with any of the range, if anyone is reading this and fancies buying us something nice. Please...
5 - Vindicated Vinyl iPad Case - Sgt. Pepper's
With cases made out of recovered vinyl records and album covers, brindakaydesign makes some of the most unique cases we have seen. It will cost you, but if you want something really special for the music lover in your life or just someone who loves the nostalgia, you can't do much better than one of these cases (she does bags, trays and belt buckles too).
A fleece lined internal leather pocket holds your iPad when mobile and there is also a stand arrangement built in (see the page for more photos):
6 - iPad Messenger Satchel - Made by Grandad
We chose this one because it is actually something we would seriously consider ordering (as with the next pick). We have been on an endless search for a camera bag that doesn't look like a camera bag, and something that can keep our iPad safe too when out and about or on holiday as carry-on bag.
This bag from UK based Etsy seller MadeByGrandad may be just the solution we have been looking for. With its inside padded and zippered iPad pocket, a number of iPhone and other accessory pockets, and central space big enough for a small DSLR in a padded wrap, this seems to fit the bill perfectly. If only it came in black, oh wait...
7 - iPad 2 Padded Case
These 100% wool made iPad cases from France look top notch quality, with three layers of protection, offering good internal padding too. We liked the range of colours available, the material used and attention to detail plus the external zippered pocket for cables, iPhone, etc.
8 - Wolf iPad Felt Sleeve
This sleeve caught our eye because we thought it was weird, as well as fairly unique. There is an owl design too which also has scary eyes, plus a not so scary penguin or elephant for the more playful gift.
Designed to fit an iPad with a Smart Cover attached, these 100% wool felt sleeves also include a strap if required so you can use it as a messenger bag.
What have you found?
There are so many different bags, cases and docks available on Etsy, hand made by people all around the world, that it was quite difficult for us to select just these few to show you and we wish we had time and space to show all of them.
But what about you? Have you got any creative accessory finds for your iPad, or do you fancy one of ours? Let us know in the comments.
This is not a virtual instrument, this is not a drum machine or a sequencer: this is RGBSOUND!
So reads the description of new music app RGBSOUND (released today) for iPad and iPhone. The description goes on to say:
By tapping the colors you play sounds and you launch infinite electronic loops, by shaking the device you change your music pattern.
It is a lot of fun to play with, we think that's what the Developers were after. You can see it in action in the video below:
Whilst playing with this app today we have been both delighted and annoyed/frustrated in equal measure with the sounds we've generated. This may be our own ineptitude, but as you'll see from the video, the app possesses what we would call a slightly cryptic user interface.
The overall sound is very 'House', with a healthy measure of Acid and Electronica thrown in and it is easy to very quickly create a cacophony of annoyance.
But as you spend more time with RGBSOUND and start to learn the interface, you begin to realise how much more you can do with it. After a while you can start achieving some unique sounding mixes (if you're careful) and the interface holds a few surprises too.
Try for instance pressing the little squares found in the centre of the four screen edges! And don't forget about the clever use of the touch interface to adjust the speed, pitch and volume of the samples.
The UI also seems to be designed for projecting onto a wall in a club or at a party with the flashing sequence of blocks indicating the loop patterns being used but also providing some mesmerising visuals.
A welcome break
We are not sure that RGBSOUND will replace any of your main music creation apps in the long run, there are no custom sound imports or recording/export facilities for starters.
But, as experimental as RGBSOUND seems, it offers an interesting approach to user interaction and provides another creative tool for the iPad musician looking to break away from the usual suspects for a while.
We think it is worth checking out even if just to try something new for a while.
RGBSOUND is available now in the App Store for a very reasonable 59p ($0.99).
As always, if you try it yourself be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.
Regular readers will have noticed that we've been following the developments at OnLive since the start. The idea is simple enough, run the original game code on a large PC server farm, compress the display and sound information in realtime and push it down the internet to client software running on far less powerful machines. The only data going back up the pipe is the control instructions.
It's cloud computing taken to its natural limit, the entire output of one computing device streamed in realtime (in both directions) over the internet to another computing device.
OnLive has provided a very limited iPad app for quite some time, but it seems that the real deal is coming soon enough. We can't wait to try it! We've tested the Mac version for quite a while and even though we are separated from the OnLive game servers by the entire Atlantic ocean it's clear to us that this concept has massive potential.
Source: Touch Arcade
Over the last few weeks we have been playing with OscilloScoop, a sound maker app with an interesting game-like interface twist, here's the detail and a video to help you see why you should buy it.
OscilloScoop was designed by Lukas Girling and developed by interactive artist and programmer Scott Snibbe (Gravilux, Bubble Harp and the upcoming Bjork album apps) along with game designer Graham McDermott.
Although we don't imagine professional DJs will be using the app necessarily, as non-professionals we found the app a lot of fun to play with and we have lost many hours exploring and experimenting with the apps myriad adjustments.
Carving into the rotating cylinders feels really creative and organic, very much like shaping clay on a potter's wheel.
Just like pot throwing, you can completely reshape your creation and start again if you get carried away or make a complete mess.
OscilloScoop also has the advantage of being able to save your carefully moulded sound for instant recall later, meaning you could create songs or performance sets if you wish.
There is no Audio Copy & Paste, but we were able to use the iPhone version (it's a Universal app so this is included in the price) to record into GarageBand on the iPad via the iRig or AmpKit Link so that multi-layered soundscapes can be created.
We would have been happier to see more beats included in the purchase price (complete sets of 20 new beats can be had via in-app purchase) but a lot of clever design has gone into making this app deceptively simple to access and the Landscape mode is even better for fine control of your sound.
If synthesizer sounds mixed with great beats are your thing, we would definitely recommend you try out OscilloScoop. It is currently available for $1.99 (£1.19) on the app store as a Universal app.
The app has been out for just over a month now so if you have tried it already let us know what you think about OscilloScoop in the comments.
If you haven't seen it yet, here is the video demo from the Developers that made us buy it (be sure to note the Landscape mode later in the video, it will help you shape your sounds more accurately):
Just in case you missed anything this week, here's a link to each of our posts from the last few days:
'Just Like Heaven' by TelevatorMuzak - A fantastic cover of The Cure's "Just Like Heaven", completely played and recorded on GarageBand for iPad. We like it a lot!
iOS5 iPad Feature Preview from 9 to 5 Mac - A ten minute video walkthrough of some of iOS 5's key features from 9to5Mac.
Future/Canvas - iPad Art Showcase (plus video find) - We wish we could attend this exhibition in San Francisco that focusses on iPad Creativity, if you can get there you'll find a load of fun and interactive exhibits, and if you can't you can watch the video to see what's going on at Future/Canvas.
Apple Post 'Introducing iOS 5' Video - Apple's own iOS 5 video walkthrough, be sure to watch it in HD.
Alesis iO Dock Demoed and Reviewed by UniqueSquared (Video) - We want, watch the video and you will too!
Adele's 'Rumour Has It' by Ellen Hinton - Another classy cover from the very talented Ellen using the iPad and GarageBand as her 'studio', be sure to check the video out.
Many of you have got in touch to let us know how much you enjoy the videos that we often feature. We certainly find it inspiring to see how others use the iPad to creative content both weird and wonderful. When you see for yourself what is possible using an iPad and just a handful of cheap apps, it gets your creative juices flowing.
Though and Ellen and Andre have used a number of additional hardware and software components to create this superb cover of 'Rumour Has It' by Adele, there is no denying that it shows the iPad can be an important part of a quality music creation project.
With each hardware and software update the iPad makes more of an impact on the music creation landscape. As an example, the latest version of GarageBand includes an option to copy and paste audio tracks from other apps, hence opening up the possibility of producing complex tunes using just the iPad itself. Interesting times...
Find out lots more about Ellen and Andre's music here.
Suffice to say we are desperate to get our grubby little mitts on this one. If only!
The Alesis iO Dock has been promised for what seems like a very long time. Finally seeing it in action we have to say it looks really awesome and could solve a lot of the headaches around connecting devices to our iPads. It is nice to see it being used with GarageBand too.
Here's Apple's own iOS 5 overview to whet your appetite for the official release this Autumn. It is the usual high polish, and often parodied, affair with mostly Scott Forstall (naturally) talking up the new iOS developments.
We must admit to being quite excited about some of the new features, but we think one of the biggest developments for wider iPad adoption will be the independent activitation of the device. No computer needed. That's the future folks!
What about you? Is there anything you're particularly looking forward to following the iOS 5 and iCloud announcements?
iPads displaying beautiful refractive Prisms; Artists creating images live on their iPads; members of the public interacting with music creation apps and fractal models projected onto the walls with creativity oozing out of every corner - this is Future/Canvas an exhibition currently taking place in San Francisco.
It opened a few days ago, on 6th June, to coincide with this year's WWDC and is a showcase of all things creative to do with the iPad.
The exhibition features the work of several iPad artists from our Flickr group (an awesome pool of talent you should really check out) such as David Newman, Julia Kay, and the super talented Benjamin Rabe, as well as other artists.
The video below of the current Future/Canvas exhibit was posted by Leo Laporte's TWiT network and gives a nice sampling of the event for those of us that can't be there. We wish there was a bit more video of the artists at work but we're sure you will enjoy it anyway.