Entries in iPad 2 (44)

This Week on iPad Creative - 28th March to 2nd April 2011

This week's posts, all in on place, in case you missed anything:

iPad 2 HD video capture, is it good enough? - We ask the question, give our opinion and provide some of our own video samples for you to examine and judge for yourself.

The Cosmonaut: Could this be the Perfect iPad Stylus? - We take a look at this Kickstarter project for a new Stylus, plus some good comments have been added.

When the Smart Cover is Not Enough Marware Has You Covered - A quick look at an alternative to Apple's Smart Cover that includes protection for the back of your iPad 2, but we are a bit skeptical about colour choice!

Great Video of Smart Instruments in GarageBand for iPad - As the title suggests, a nice demo video, epecially worth watching if you are curious about Smart Instruments in GarageBand.

Already have a Smart Cover? Marware Microshell Covers Your Back - If you have a Smart Cover and you want to carry on using it, you might like these to cover the back of your iPad 2.

Real Racing 2 HD not looking so special on your new iPad 2? This might help - How to get RR2 HD running on your iPad 2 like it should. It is well worth it!

Can the iPad revolution continue throughout 2011? - One year on, we stick our necks out with some predictions for the iPad in the next 12 months.

A superb 40 minute GarageBand tutorial video - A useful and thorough look at GarageBand from butterscotch.com.

Getting Creative with iPad 2's Camera - An impressive way of using the limited still camera in iPad 2 for some creative results.

Fixiestudio For iPad Lets You Create Your Dream Hipster Bike - If you are into bikes then you will probably love playing with this free app and dreaming up your ideal hipster cycle.

Friday Fun: iPad 2 Hologram Setting Video - A bit of fun but actually something we would love to see for real, plus a very interesting look at how the video was made using 3D tracking.

Aurora soundtrack courtesy of the KORG iMS-20 app - A great timelapse video with an iPad created soundtrack.

Friday Fun: iPad 2 Hologram Setting Video

We were both shocked and excited to see this hidden mode on the iPad 2, it's just like a real Minority Report or Iron Man interface, we especially liked the Angry Birds demo, check it out!

This is the future tech we want really, so which version of the iPad do you think will have this technology then?

It is a very creative video demonstration of some mad 3D trackings skills. We love this stuff and the video below shows just how this was done.

Getting Creative with iPad 2's Camera

By all accounts, the iPad 2 camera is fairly useless for anything but the lowest quality and generally unusable stills, we have to be honest. But what if you chuck a healthy dose of creativity into the mix?

John Biehler (officially an E-Business analyst, but also has his fingers in other pies) has done just that with his new iPad 2 and the Photo Booth app's Kaleidoscope effect. He posted some of the results to his blog and uploaded a few of the photos to Flickr.

Image courtesy of John Biehler via Flickr (click image to see original)

John said:

"I think the results turned out pretty cool, if not a little Inception-esque. Being on top of Vancouver probably helped too... A little low resolution but interesting art nonetheless."

We were quite captivated by these images and would agree, they are quite artistic and definitely have an Inception quality about them.

Whilst your average point & shoot doesn't have anything to worry about from the iPad 2's stills ability, John's post goes to show what fun can still be had with any camera and a bit of creativity.

Image courtesy of John Biehler via Flickr (click image to see original)

You can read the full blog post on John's site and be sure to check out the rest of John's photos on Flickr.

Image courtesy of John Biehler via Flickr (click image to see original)

Already have a Smart Cover? Marware Microshell Covers Your Back

Earlier we posted about Marware's alternative to the Apple Smart Cover which also protected the back of the iPad. But what if you already have a Smart Cover and want to keep it but are worried about scratching the back of your iPad 2?

Marware is one of the accessory manufacturers beginning to release (for pre-order) covers just for the back of your iPad 2.

The Microshell iPad 2 Case is basically the back part of the Microshell Folio cover we mentioned earlier today with camera, buttons and port cutouts as you would expect. But notably this is designed to be used in conjunction with Apple's Smart Cover. It has a specially designed cut-out for the magnetic hinge of the Smart Cover as you can see on the left side of the picture below. 

A Mismatch?

The big problem we can see is that the colours do not match the Smart Covers. The Black is probably acceptable and perhaps the Silver but the Red and Pink definitely do not look like they are going to match and there isn't even a White Smart Cover available, maybe this one is meant to complement your White iPad 2?

What about the other colours that the Smart Cover comes in? Maybe Marware meant the colours to 'complement' a different coloured Smart Cover so that you can make a statement, we're not convinced though.

If you have an Apple Smart Cover already, what do you think? Does this kind of back protection appeal to you? And what about the colours? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

When the Smart Cover is Not Enough Marware Has You Covered

We like Apple's Smart Cover a lot, but for many the fact that it leaves the back of your iPad 2 completely exposed is not so great. For those that want the Smart Cover functionality but more protection Marware is soon to release their Microshell Folio for iPad 2.

This Microshell case includes magnets in the front cover so that it puts your iPad 2 to sleep and wakes it again as does the Smart Cover. It also emulates the foldable design of the Smart Cover so that you can prop up your iPad in horizontal or vertical format.

But it also includes a rubberised polycarbonate shell to protect the back of your iPad in an attempt to keep it free from scratches and knocks, thus preserving its resell value (let's be honest, that's probably what you are concerned about too).

The back cover obviously has a cut out for the camera and allows access to the top and side buttons plus the dock so it can be charged/synced without removing the cover.  

From what we can tell, it looks like you have to use both parts together, so this only good for people who want to permanently cover their iPad 2 completely whilst using this case but you can always pop the iPad out when you need to. The disadvantage to this is that you can't then stand your iPad 2 up to watch video or type on a flat surface, but for hand holding the iPad this would be fine, until the kids get hold of it.

It is currently advertised in Black only, but one of the UK suppliers also has it in Silver or Pink for pre-order on their site, so we think new colours will be released soon.

What do you think? Would this sway you from getting one of Apple's Smart Covers? Or are you regretting your Smart Cover purchase? Let us know in the comments.

iPad 2 HD video capture, is it good enough?

Today we took time out to gather some iPad 2 video samples. We felt it was important to see what the iPad 2 is capable of given plenty of bright sunlight and a steady hand. We used our 10 top tips for shooting iPad 2 video to get the very best from the iPad's tiny camera module.

Just as we had imagined, taking steady footage is considerably easier with the iPad 2 than when using an iPhone or iPod touch. The extra bulk practically eliminates small camera shake, and with some careful foot placement even a basic pan is possible without too much wobble.

We are generally pleased with this daylight footage, it's sharp, colourful and shows only a small amount of compression noise. Could it be better? Most certainly. Very dark areas tend to be crushed into solid black, and the massive depth of field, though handy given the iPad 2's lack of auto-focus, creates quite a flat looking image. We are mostly concerned by an area of soft focus in the lower right hand corner. Is this common to all iPad 2 units? Perhaps a kind reader could examine their own iPad 2 footage and let us know in a comment below.

Note to Apple: The iPad 2 camera app needs a serious rethink! We have plenty of suggestions which we will mention in due course, but the placement of the shutter button is a problem and needs addressing immediately. Where it is, sat right in the middle of the screen, is utterly ridiculous given the size and weight of the iPad.

Is the iPad 2 HD video capture good enough? That depends on what you plan to use the footage for. With careful use, giving consideration to the limitations of such a small camera/lens unit, the iPad 2 will capture footage that is equal in quality to a basic dedicated MP4 video camera and better then many smartphones. Footage looks particularly pleasing when viewed on the iPad's own IPS display and we imagine that this is how most footage will be presented.

Note: We edited the footage above using iMovie on the Mac, we then edited the same footage into a similar cut using iMovie for iPad to see how the experience differed. We'll publish our thoughts is a further post, but for now here is the iPad edited version.

This Week on iPad Creative - 20 to 26 March 2011

In the week that iPad 2 was launched Internationally, including here in the UK, this is what we were talking about

GarageBand: Flying A summery tune made in GarageBand for iPad and video shot on an iPod Touch.

Augmented reality, a natural fit for the iPad? An AR demonstration from Total Immersion using the new iPad 2.

We Want: Shenmue for iPad We put forward the case for bringing the Dreamcast classic and much loved series Shenmue to the iPad and provide 4 good reasons why the iPad is the perfect platform.

iPhoto for iPad, why we are sure that it's on its way and why it will be glorious The title says it all really, we've got some predictions for you.

Procreate - A Quick Look at a New and Unique iPad Painting App We take a look at the brand new iPad painting app which is already beginning to gain traction amongst the 'Fingerpainter' community. You should definitely check this out if you are thinking of buying Procreate.

Miniot Offers a Real Wood Smart-ish Cover Like we did for the original iPad, we will be keeping a close eye on the stand out cases and covers for iPad 2 and letting you know about the cool or unique ones we find, like this wooden version of the Smart Cover from Miniot.

Probably the cutest iPad painting so far! Using the aforementioned new app Procreate, one of our favourite iPad artists known as Olechka (Olga Shvartsur) has produced a very cute and very impressive image that we had to share. 

Miniot Offers a Real Wood Smart-ish Cover

Forget your Spacesuit plastic and Leather, for a more vegetarian option why not cover your iPad 2 screen with wood? This magnetic backed wooden cover from Miniot in Holland looks gorgeous and works similar to Apple's Smart Cover as you will see in the video. But in addition you can get it custom engraved to add even more uniqueness to your iPad 2.

We think it is a great alternative and something a little special, what do you think?

Win an iPad 2 in London on Launch Day just for Dressing Up

We have just received an email from Orange UK announcing their iPad pricing and Friday's launch details (£199 for iPad 2 plus £25 per month over a 24 month contract).

But there was also information about the quite special competition Orange will be running at their London Great Marlborough Street branch. If you are in the queue dressed up as your favourite app you could win one of ten 64GB 3G + WiFi iPad 2s!

Orange customers and those signed up for notifications have received the email but we can't find confirmation of the details anywhere else, so here is a quote from the message:

To be in with a chance of winning you need to queue outside the shop dressed as your favourite iPad app between 4pm and 4.30pm. So switch your dress down Friday for a dress up Friday and make like an Angry Bird or Fruit Ninja down to the shop – the 10 judged to be wearing the best costumes will win an iPad 2.

We think this is a fun way to run a competition and not a bad investment of embarrassment for a top-of-the-range iPad 2.

But what we really want to know is what app would you go dressed as? And if anyone in the UK is planning on going down to try and win one please let us know.

Ellen Once Again, spreading the GarageBand love

We must admit, when we first saw what GarageBand for the iPad could do, we just knew that Ellen Hinton (Ellen Once Again) would be one of the first to put it to good use. While Ellen isn't quite finished on her first full iPad 2 and GarageBand productions, she's been kind enough to share her thoughts on both. And as an extra little bonus she's recorded a small video as a way to 'spread the love' and thank some of those that have featured her singing and recording talent in the last few months.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Ellen, we can't wait to listen to your new material in the near future.

Now over to Ellen for her thoughts on GarageBand:

"Just purchased the iPad 2 this weekend and its pretty awesome. In our opinion, the defining moment for all tablet based devices was the introduction of the iPad2 and for music aficionados, the presentation of Garageband.

For musicians, this shows Apple’s commitment to the mobile music platform by transforming the perception of making music on the iPad from something that may be dismissive to something that is head-turning.

There are some great mobile music apps out there that have paved the way, but the introduction of Garageband announced to the world that mobile music is here to stay, and likely a force to be reckoned with.  Life can only get better from here… well at least to 2012.  :-D

It’s quite possible to get demo/semi-professional quality from the iPad with the right setup. Of course, it will not be able to compete with the professional studios and their high-end power tools, but you can most certainly get some great ideas & concepts out of the door in the comfort of your couch, favorite coffeehouse, or car at lunch break :-).  Yeah, it can only get better from here.  Maybe in the near future, we’ll see something on the level of integrating FaceTime with some of the apps, allowing band mates to practice miles apart."

We couldn't have put it better ourselves, and we love the idea of implementing FaceTime for band practice. Make it so Mr. Jobs!

For those that might have missed them at the beginning of the year, here are Ellen's earlier iPad recordings.

Ellen Hinton's wonderful mashup, kicking off 2011 in style!

Friday Fun: Ellen Hinton Does it Again