In a break with recent tradition, Apple will be providing a live video stream of the "a little more to show you" event this evening. Everything kicks off at 10:00 AM PDT. Though we are eager to see Apple's take on the smaller tablet, we're more excited about the possibility of updated software and services.
Head back here tomorrow to read our take on Apple's new releases.
Highlights seem to be the new colour filters and the Heal and Elastify tools. We must admit, we've not used ArtStudio a great deal in recent months, but we like the look of some of these refinements and new features. Perhaps it's time to give ArtStudio another look.
App Store Link: ArtStudio
The new Smart Strings section in GarageBand for iOS is a real gem, but its true power is easily missed. Learn how to use it effectively with this 7 minute tutorial video from Lynda.com. For the full 2.5 hour GarageBand course, head on over to Lynda.com.
Further Reading: See all our GarageBand related posts
Flipping Angry Birds on its head, Bad Piggies is an all new game from the pigs point of view. We've only played it briefly, but we think Rovio has another enormous hit on its hands. We can see ourselves spending countless hours creating vehicles to fly, drive and crash our little green friends to their destinations. Best of all, Bad Piggies encourages creativity and experimentation, we're all for that!
App Store Link: Bad Piggies HD (iPad only)
Further Reading: See all our gaming posts
Ralph McQuarrie was one of the most talented artists of our modern era. His work on the original Star Wars trilogy also made him one of the most famous. Ask people what they remember most about any of the original movies and something from the imagination of Ralph McQuarrie will likely come to mind. Darth Vader's helmet and mask, the beautiful Cloud City, or the chicken-like strut of the Scout Walker, all come from the mind of McQuarrie.
As big fans of his work, we were only too pleased to review the Stormtrooper iPad cover from Zeon. It's a simple soft silicon cover that provides bump protection for the iPad as well as bringing one of McQuarrie's most memorable designs to the iPad.
It's a solid cover that will appeal to Star Wars fans. Like many of these rubber covers, the bottom edge, by the home button, is a little on the feeble side, but it's generally a quality cover that will likely last the lifetime of your iPad. The official branding of the case and packaging makes it a superb gift option. It's designed for the iPad 2 and 3 only.
The Stormtrooper iPad cover is available from Mobile Fun at £19.95.
It's worth noting that Mobile Fun carries a large selection of iPad cases, covers and sleeves.
Further Reading: See all our accessories posts
We make no excuses for featuring David's work again. This new portrait is just stunning! Painted using Brushes 2 in about 4.5 hours, completely freehand.
Further Reading: All posts featuring the work of David Chong
Andrey Malykh (known as Barindoma on Flickr) is a rare talent. Working mostly with Procreate, Andrey has created one of the most impressive catalogues of iPad paintings we've seen. From the bright beauty of 'The Embankment' and 'Spring in Porvoo' to the skilful simplicity of 'Konstantin Sleeps', Andrey's work is inspiring. Be sure to catch all of Andrey's new paintings by following his Flickr stream.
Further Reading: All posts relating to iPad painting
We have been absolutely mesmerised by the adventures of the Mars Curiosity rover. The images it captures will likely inspire artists for years to come.
"With this unique relationship that people have with their iPhone, we take changing it really seriously". So begins the iPhone 5 introduction video from Apple. With the iPhone 5, Apple is introducing the biggest change to the iPhone hardware design since its inception. The move to an 16:9 ratio display is a big deal indeed and one that we hope doesn't make its way to the iPad next year.
Sure, the narrow 16:9 ratio is pretty good for consuming video and photo content and is most certainly well suited to flicking through long lists of social media updates, but when it comes to creating content, we believe that the standard 4:3 ratio of the iPad is a much better fit.
A recent survey showed that people are actually more excited about the iPad than the iPhone. Why might that be? Let's explore...
1. A shared experience
As a type this, a father and his teenage daughter sat opposite me on the train are playing a simple multiplayer game on an iPad, previously they were collaborating on a fun drawing. Where the iPhone is very much a personal computing and communication device, the iPad is often about a group experience and shared computing.
2. Ten digits, trump five
Having enough screen real estate to support eight fingers and two thumbs makes the iPad that much more capable as a creative device. The iPhone version of GarageBand, for example, may have all the capabilities of the iPad version, but the overall experience is somewhat diminished. This is true of many creative apps.
3. Cutting edge mobile computing power
Most, but not all, of Apple latest and greatest computing hardware makes it to the iPad first, then many months later, arrives on the iPhone. The A5 and A5X, with their industry leading graphics coprocessors, debuted on the iPad. It's seems likely that this trend will continue into 2013 and beyond.
4. Total cost of ownership
The 16GB iPad third generation iPad cost 25% less than a 16GB iPhone 4S without a contract. For some, an iPad and a cheaper phone, perhaps one with a significantly better camera than the iPhone 4S (Basically, that means the Nokia 808), would prove to be a better mobile computing solution.
5. Consuming media
Watching a feature length movie on the iPad, even with two people viewing, is perfectly possible, not so on the iPhone.
The iTunes Festival starts tonight and runs throughout the whole of September. The iPad app is free, as is every live performance. Artists performing this year include Muse, Alicia Keys, Elbow, Labrinth and One Direction, so there really is something for everyone this year.
What is particularly impressive is that all these performances can be streamed live directly to your iPad, iPhone, Apple TV (yes, Apple have made an app for that) or computer. We watched many of the live performances during last years iTunes Festival, the quality of the live video stream was particularly impressive.
If you don't have an Apple TV and want to watch the festival on your TV, don't forget you can connect your iPad to your HDMI equipped TV with Apple's AV connector or one of many third party connectors that do essentially the same thing but for less money.
App Store Link: iTunes Festival
David Chong may refer to himself as an amateur artist, but his iPad work suggests otherwise. His latest creation,a stunning portrait of Scarlett Johansson, is without doubt one of the best portraits we've seen this year. Actually, scratch that, it's one the best touch screen paintings we have come across since starting iPad Creative back in 2010
We are so thankful that artists like David share their videos on YouTube, it makes learning to paint with the iPad so much easier.
Further Reading: iPad painting
Further Reading: See all our posts relating to the new iPad
Tim Vyner, artist and senior lecturer in illustration at Bath School of Art and Design, was recently contracted by The Times newspaper to capture the atmosphere at the 2012 Olympic Games through a series of illustrations painted using just his iPad. Tim's work was featured in the print and iPad editions of the The Times as well as on his own blog.
Tim's captured a whole host of evocative scenes from the Olympics, be sure to head over to his personal blog to see the full selection.
Many thanks to Ellison (MadeByGrandad) for the heads up.
Further Reading: Woman shoots Usain Blot with a pink iPad
Sure, this is a little off topic, but seriously, how amazing is this gyro-enabled view of Mars? Remember to tap the expand icon in the top left for the full effect.
One of our favourite episodes of the classic US comedy 'The Big Bang Theory', is the one where Robot Sheldon meets Steve Wozniak, there's something just so deliciously geeky about it. Double, the self-balancing remote controlled iPad frame from Double Robotics, will bring that hilarious 'Big Bang' encounter one step closer to reality at the end of the year.
Of all the use cases highlighted in the video above, it's the remote tour idea that really gets us thinking, and can you imagine how useful this could be to those who are bed bound through illness or disability?
Further Reading: See our Standzfree review
Using a technique called Reverse Electrovibration, REVEL (from Disney Research) uses a weak electrical current to simulate the sensation of tactile texture on any surface that has a common electrical earth with the human body.
On a touch screen device such as a phone or tablet, this technology could be used to greatly enhance onscreen virtual controls, such as a qwerty keyboard, or could even lead to hitherto unimagined types of applications.
Virtual musical instruments, for example, with haptic feedback could be very interesting indeed. Or how about a camera app with virtual textures that help the user to identify blown out highlights or crushed dark tones in a photograph or video?
Benjamin Rabe is one of the most talented (and most admired) touch screen artists on the scene. His understanding of colour and form is second to none. Some artists seem to struggle somewhat in their efforts to move from physical painting and sketching to touch screen based art. Not so with Benjamin Rabe!
Be sure to follow his work on Flickr.
Further Reading: All posts relating to Benjamin Rabe