Entries in Free (11)
When we started experimenting with the free app Falling Stars from Trident (yes, the super-minty chewing gum people!) we found that we could create some interesting and organic soundtracks that had the potential to be quite meditative (and occasionally manically unnerving).
In Falling Stars you draw on the iPad's screen with a sort of elastic vine material of differing types that represent different elements of a song, such as various percussion and melody parts.
After drawing these on the screen, the falling stars start to drop onto them, slowly at first, but you can repeatedly tap on each of the five stars at the top of the screen to increase the rate with which the stars fall.
The random nature of the interactions between the vines as things heat up is what makes this simple app so fascinating to play and experiment with.
Kids and Sharing
Kids love the Falling Stars app too and it can help them to find and play with sound creation in a way they may not have encountered before.
You can share your creations with other users of the app via Facebook, Twitter or email. They need the app installed on their iPhone or iPad, but when they click the link it will open up in Falling Stars and start playing your track.
Here's an example of what the resulting share looks like, but it will only work if you have the app installed on your device, or install it from that page.
You have to bear in mind that this is a free app, but it would be really useful if there were a way of recording the tracks you make, support for ACP (Audio Copy & Paste), sharing with SoundCloud and background audio compatibility.
As it is though, Falling Stars is still a fun and often fascinating app to play with and for the price, more than worth it.
You can see the app in action in the video below from Trident:
App Store Link: Falling Stars
You may remember we mentioned a few weeks ago Suzan's participation in the 30/30 project and exhibition at the Peninsula Art School, where she undertook to create 30 iPad paintings in 30 days, with the final one being painted live in front of an audience at the exhibition.
If you want to find out how that last painting went (a great story of thinking on your feet and skilled teaching), as well as browse the rest of the collection and read about the story behind each painting, in an iPad friendly PDF, you can download it for free from Suzan's Posterous blog (see if you can spot the deliberate mistake ^_^).
We strongly encourage you to download the PDF, Suzan's artwork is often breathtaking and always inspirational, especially for those of us who are stuck at the stickmen stage.
Our congratulations to Susan for completing the mammoth task of 30 iPad paintings in 30 days and thank you for sharing your artwork with us and the story of your 30/30 project. Thanks also go to Paul Kercal (@Kercal on Twitter) for letting us know about Susan's PDF.
His Cyber Girl iPad painting (video below) was one of the earlier art pieces we covered that used the Brushes recording mode to show how the painting was created.
This is what Starr says about using the iPad as a creative tool:
"The iPad, Magical, Yes! After work its hard to get motivated to do anything creative. The iPad helps this by being so lightweight, and instantly turns on with tons of creative apps for Painting, Drawing, Sculpting, and Music!"
You can download a copy of the free PDF for yourself and view it in iBooks (other PDF readers are available) from the website.
There is some (mostly 3D modelled) nudity so maybe not one for the kids.
We liked the video stabilisation app SteadyLens a lot when it was released, if you haven't heard of it check out our review and the video demo we made below (comparing it to iMovie 11's stabilisation feature).
Updated Features & Pricing
SteadyLens developers midnox have just released a new, updated, version of the app and changed its name to Luma.
The name change reflects the new features which go beyond just (very good) video stabilisation. The big feature is the price - Luma is now free (dropping the $2.99 / £1.99 in-app upgrade), but we also like the live filters and manual controls.
The price drop alone means we recommend you grab the app now and try it out, but here are the rest of the new features that make it one of our highly recommended iPad (and iPhone/iPod Touch) video apps:
- Real time filters
- Pinch to zoom
- Portrait recording
- Stabilized viewfinder
- Lock exposure, focus and white balance
iPhone and iPod touch features:
- Medium quality recording mode
- Full 720p recording
Got Retronyms Tabletop app on your iPad and want to know more about using custom samples in the Gridlok module? So do we!
Helping us out is Retronyms themselves who have published the video below, showing how to use the free samples they are giving away to celebrate 1000 Likes on Facebook. Click that link to download your free samples and follow along:
Beautiful and epic photography combined with great stories and audio commentary from the Photographers makes the free Red Bull Illume app a must have for us.
Red Bull Illume (Flash heavy site) is "the world’s premier action and adventure sports photography competition" according to the website. The images are truly stunning, especially for fans of adventure/extreme sports.
Here is what they say about the contest and the app:
22,764 photos were submitted to the renowned contest by 4,773 photographers from 112 countries. Fifty-three expert photo editors from around the world assessed the 250 semi-finalist photos and determined its Top Fifty, which currently tour the world in unique outdoor exhibits.
This iPad App gives us 250 reasons to celebrate the world of action and adventure sports, the photographers and the athletes who inspire them.
Viewing amazing photos is great, but reading about the story behind them and hearing the photographers themselves talking about how they took the photos and the challenges involved is such a bonus. Many of the Top 50 entries include a brief audio commentary from the Photographer.
Each competition entry comes with a technical section too for those of us who want to know camera, shutter speed, lens, etc. used in the shot.
Any of the photos can be saved as wallpaper on your iPad, but the image is saved to your Photos app with a caption showing the photographer plus some logos which makes it a little less useable in our opinion.
If you really like the photo and want to let others know about it, the usual social sharing routes are available (and MySpace - does anyone still use that?).
We have to recommend this app for the truly awesome photography showcased in this competition, the shots look fantastic on the iPad screen too.
The app is free, so go and grab it from the App Store.
We admit to being generally geeky here at iPad Creative, but we are especially Space geeks, we love anything to do with the majestic and ethereal world outside of this planet's tiny corner of the Universe, even more so when we can explore it from our iPads.
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is a scientific and astronomical research organisation located in the Chilean desert across three different sites. They co-ordinate research between different International organisations and have a suite of ground based telescopes that facilitate this work.
This free iPad app features the images from ESO's Top 100 webpage. With the app you can browse these stunning images, save them as wallpaper for your iPad, find out more detail on the content of the images and even run a slideshow with accompanying music.
As well as it's obvious educational value, we think the app is an entertaining way to view these images on your iPad and the slideshow (including ambient music) works very nicely when your iPad is idle and in 'desktop' mode.
The free download is available on the App Store right now.
If you want more free content and to explore the Universe even further, the ESO have recently updated their Portal to the Universe (PTTU) app to work with the iPad.
This is a magazine style way of browsing much of the content available at the PTTU website, collated from numerous sources, not just one site as some similar apps do.
Sources included in the videos, news, podcasts and story updates are ESO, NASA, and the European Space Agency, and it is updated daily.
The PTTU app is another great educational resource and a free download in the App Store.
Living on the doorstep of one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites (The Jurassic Coast), the iPad Creative team feel very priviliged and we are interested in anything that promotes this world-wide wonder, especially if it also involves our favourite gadget(s).
New and existing features
The 1.2 update brings with it some useful features including an updated navigation system but more importantly a quick and easy search function to your iPad (and iPhone).The search function enables you to quickly jump to any of the 890 UNESCO World Heritage sites and see some of the photos of that area from among the 20,000 contributed by Fotopedia members.
Other features of the app include access to information about the sites you are viewing, integration with TripAdvisor (potentially making the app a journey planning tool) and a browseable world map that looks like the Places module of iPhoto/Aperture.
Never ending story
More photos are being added all the time to Fotopedia's site and so the library of photos that you can browse will continue to expand beyond the 20,000 photos there already. Many of the photos are gorgeous to look at and all of this for FREE.
We have said it before, but we think the iPad is one of the best devices for browsing through and viewing photographs at their best and this app demonstrates that wonderfully.
"The biggest Coffee Table Book ever!"
Equally of note is the name behind this 'endless photo book' app and Fotopedia, former CTO at Apple and Steve Jobs' friend Jean-Marie Hullot. If you have 30 minutes to spare, we highly recommend viewing Robert Scoble's interview with Hullot in the video below.
We found it really interesting and Hullot talks about the iPad being the inspiration behind the Fotopedia Heritage app experience and describes some of the key features and future developments for the app. There is even a mention about working with Steve Jobs thrown in the mix:
Here in the UK it is a grim and miserable August day with rain threatening any moment, the kids are on their Summer Holidays and may end up stuck indoors all day bored and whinging, any parent's nightmare. Help may be at hand if you are quick though.
Designed especially for little fingers and the big iPad screen creative drawing and painting app Kids Paint Plus is free for a very limited time as part of the AppEvent (a one month long showcase of apps from Dutch and Belgian developers, with one app a day being made free).
This app will help your little ones learn about colours and shapes whilst allowing them to experiment with virtually mess free finger painting which, as any parent who has had to clear up after a finger painting session knows, is a major advantage. The app lets children pick a shape from around the screen and then touch on the main drawing area to add it. Young artists can also select colours and draw or paint into existing pictures.
When they have finished, their creations can be saved into the standard Photo Library and transferred to your computer or shared online as you can with any other image in your Library. Maybe they can build in some Flickr or Twitter sharing in a future version?
We are not sure how long this will be free, it was this morning when we checked, so if you have little ones to entertain (it works on the iPhone too) go and grab it now.
If you fancy grabbing a free copy of a great little physics based game with some special iPad only features, then make a note in your diary to visit the app store this Sunday 22nd August to download your copy of Rafter HD from Punflay. The game usually retails for just £1.19 ($1.99) anyway, but every penny helps right?
Punflay are offering both the iPhone and iPad version for free to mark the company's one year anniversary and to get more people playing Rafter. As you can see in the video, the gameplay is like some of the other physics games, with some really challenging puzzles and multiple solutions in the later levels.
Much of your success depends on your drawing skills to as the shape of the object directly affects your success, so creative types may have an advantage!
There are some unique features in Rafter (some only available in the iPad version) such as:
- You decide the shape and size of the object being dropped by drawing it first
- Now extended to 101 levels (from an initial 21)
- Variable Gravity, Fan and Bounce (Buoyancy) controls to help solve puzzles (iPad)
- Redrawn graphics for HD version
- Moving and multiple targets
Coming up in a future version are new themes but most interestingly a level editor which should add a great deal of value to the game, especially for those who have completed the built-in levels and want to challenge themselves further.
We let you know back in mid-March that Wonder Warp Software were planning to release an iPad specific version of their brilliant piano tutor software Etude. Well yesterday the Etude app was updated to a Universal app that will support both the iPhone/iPod Touch and your iPad, with device specific user interface and features.
The iPad version looks really nice and they have maximised the use of the screen space to show much more of the score at the same time.
Even better, if you already own the Etude iPhone version, your iPad version is free! Otherwise, the app will only cost you $4.99 (£2.99), which is a very good price when you consider that you can download all of the sheet music and songs to play for free, with premium, artist licensed songs coming soon.
There's more - Free Mac software
If you are on a Mac and want something to help create chord progressions or use as a teaching aid, you can get a free copy of Wonder Warp's SimpleChord desktop app. This software lets you look up piano chords and create chord progressions of your own, and supports an external midi keyboard too.
It also includes a midi export option for the chord progressions that you create in SimpleChord, and these midi files can then be used in Garageband very simply as a new track, ready for you to add the rest of your masterpiece, or just use it to practice with.
SimpleChord would normally cost you $12.95, so it is worth a tweet to spread the word. Details are here.