Entries in James (371)
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.
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
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
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
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
I use a transparant plastic clipboard daily. Every time I pick it up I wonder how long it will be until the iPad looks and feels this way. While my musings stay firmly in my head, designer Ricardo Afonso has been busy putting his similar ideas into 'reality'.
Behold! The transparant iPad concept. We love it and think it's almost a given that tablet computers will look very similar to this concept design in the near future.
As far as we know there isn't a third party app that offers 48 or 60 frames per second (HFR) video capture on the iPad. SloMo used to offer 60fps capture on iPhone hardware at 720p, but that feature never quite made its way to the iPad.
We are hoping that the recent interest in high framerate video capture, thanks to the HFR cinematic release of The Hobbit, might create a swell of public interest in HFR video capture. HFR certainly would not be ideal for every scenario, but it would be very handy to at least have the option, right there in the default camera app, to switch to HFR mode. Of course iMovie would have to support HFR too... come to think of it, HFR would be perfect for some stunning iMovie slow motion video effects too!
Things are moving so swiftly on the iPad creative scene. Just over a year after Savage provided an HD canvas in Procreate, version 1.7 embraces the next step in high-end display sizes, 4K.
It's hard to believe that a thin tablet computer costing as little as $329 has the power to support touch painting at 60fps on a 10MP canvas, or 16MP for the iPad 3/4, but such is the speed at which the iPad is pushing into new territory. The latest version of Procreate features a wealth of other new feature - go hit the update button now.
As an aside, we are thrilled to see the stunning artwork of Nikolai Lockertsen featured within the app and on the Procreate web site!
App Store Link: Procreate
We are huge fans of Sega's final games console. Given that it was released in November 1998, the Dreamcast provided a surprisingly solid hardware platform for so many of the classic video games of that era. As we've mentioned before, the iPad is in many ways the spiritual successor to the Dreamcast, so it's deeply satisfying to see two epic Dreamcast titles make their way to the iPad recently.
Crazy Taxi is frantic free roaming time challenge driving game that oozes character. Jet Set Radio, with its cell-shaded graphics and quirky design/music is a totally unqiue experience that should not be missed.
Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio and Shenmue together constitute the Dreamcast's 'big 3'. We are hoping that every Dreamcast conversion gets us that little bit closer to playing Shenmue on the iPad. We can't wait!
Further Reading: We Want: Shenmue for iPad
ZAGG, the iPad and iPhone accessories maker who we have mentioned many times, is about to begin it's Black Friday promotional competition. At the time of writing, details of the competition are a little thin on the ground, but I'm sure everything will became apparent soon enough, but with an iPad 4 being given away every hour, things could get exciting very quickly. You can avoid missing out on a chance to win one of 24 iPads that are up for grabs by using ZAGG's reminder service.
If you've already been tempted by one of ZAGG's excellent iPad covers or cases, you might want to make your purchase this Friday as ZAGG is giving away a free pair of Plugz Earbuds with every purchase over $19.99 during Black Friday.
Further Reading: See all our iPad accessory articles.
The rumours were true, the iPad mini exists, and will arrive in stores and in the hands of those who preordered on 2nd November. Perhaps the real surprise, though, is the availability of the next generation regular sized iPad on the very same day.
Pushing the iPad platform up
The new iPad, which we will be referring to as the iPad 4 from herein, is essentially the iPad we expected to see in March 2013. It's an impressive push upwards, doubling both the CPU and GPU power of the iPad 3 in just 8 months. With the iPad 4, Apple has created a tablet computer that is fully capable of running just about any collection of code that Apple or third party developers can realistically conceive of. We can't overstate how impressive the iPad 4 is on paper. It's a tablet computer with the general computing power of an iMac from just a few years ago and graphics power equal to the Playstation 3 and XBOX 360. Combine this power with a 3 mega pixel display and a 10 hour battery life and it's not at all hard to see why the iPad 4 is such an important piece of computing hardware.
Pushing the iPad plaform down
We believe that the smaller display of the iPad mini will restrict it's productivity for the kind of activities that we feature on iPad Creative. Having said that, we are completely confident that tablet computers are the future of general purpose computing, so expanding the range is the right thing to do at this time.
The iPad mini is the new entry level iPad. If Tim Cook felt that the best way of protecting the more profitable end of the range was to reduce the size of the display, then so be it. We think that many iPad mini owners will eventually upgrade to the full 9.7" experience, or perhaps even own both.
In our next article we'll take a look at where Apple can push the iPad next. If the iPad 4 is the iPad we expected Apple to launch in 2013, where does that leave the possibility of a refresh in Spring 2013?
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