Entries in Mac (6)

Duet Display, the app that transforms your iPad into a second screen for your Mac

I'll keep this short, Duet Display is the first iPad app that provides proper Mac second screen capability for the iPad when connected via cable. The caveats are few, but certainly worth mentioning. It only works with the Mac, running 10.9 or greater, and the iPad that serves as the second display via the Duet Display client app has to be running iOS 6 or greater. The iOS app currently costs $14.99 and the display server software for the Mac is free.

What Duet Display does that the others don't

Duet Display, when set to its highest quality setting, turns your iPad into a Retina class display running at a tidy 60 frames per second. The host Mac has to give over some of its available resources to accomplish this, but on a modern Mac the overall impact in performance will be small. I did some tests using my 2012 i7 based MacBook Pro. While displaying a static image, only 5% of the Mac's overall processing power was given over to the Duet Display server app. With the entire screen in motion, playing a video or scrolling through a website, this figure jumped up to around 35%.

One small annoyance

The developer claims that on a modern Mac there is zero lag. This isn't exactly correct. It's certainly true that the app does achieve a consistent 60 frames per second with no tearing or distracting image artefacts, However there is a tiny lag between mouse movements and screen updates. It's so small that you may not even notice it, but it's worth mentioning, if for no other reason than to temper your expectations a little.

Concluding thoughts

Duet Display is an essential app for anyone who finds they are often switching between applications on their Mac. As an example, it allows me to have Adobe InDesign open on my Mac display whilst slinging Photoshop out to the Duet Display app. It means a whole lot less app switching, hence saving me time throughout the week. I'm sure that I'll find more uses for Duet Display over the coming months, it takes a while to get used to having a second display, but just $14.99 it's worth giving it a try.


The Mac at 30: Thirty years of creative computing

I’ve been using a Mac for 23 years. Even then it was so obviously the best personal computer available. What a thrill it was in 2010 to see all the things that made the Mac so wonderful delivered in a perfect slab of glass and metal. The Mac is in many ways at the heart of the iPad experience.

We'd love to hear your Mac stories.

Free PDF of iPad and other Digital Art from Starr Allen Shaw

Starr Shaw Book Cover

Although not entirely iPad focussed, we enjoyed browsing through this free PDF portfolio from Digital Artist Starr Allen Shaw.

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.

Sheet Music on Steroids now on your iPad - Etude for iPad released

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.

Etude can be downloaded from the app store now, or you can see more information about the app and a video demo here.

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.

The iPad, Mac killer

The Mac platform isn't going to be around forever, in fact, it may not even by around 5 years from now. No, the Mac will not be marginalised by Microsoft and its Windows homogeny, nor will it be thrown against the rocks by Google as it pushes Chrome and/or Android into every digital nook and cranny. The fate of the Mac rests in the hands of iPhone OS, more specifically the iPad.

There was a time when people assumed that the Apple II would always be around, many assumed that the Mac was a toy not a proper computer, an expensive gadget for Apple nuts and early adopters. It wasn't long however until it become clear that the Macintosh (as it was then called) was to become the very core of Apple.

The unveiling of the iPhone in January 2007 made the 23 year old Mac look old, in 2010 the iPad makes it look positively last century.

Going back to the Mac after prolonged time with the iPad is comforting, but it does leave you asking questions such as, "Why doesn't my £1000 Mac play back HD video as efficiently as my £429 iPad?", "Why don't Mac applications restart in exactly the same state like most iPad apps do?", "Where are push notifications?", the questions keep on coming...

If you doubt that Apple believe that the Mac has had its day, then I suggest you download a few Mac apps from the App Store... Of course, there are no Mac applications in the App Store. I would also refer you to the sneak peak headline on the Apple website shortly before the launch of the iPhone in 2007 which read, "The first 30 years were just the beginning". The transition will take a while — perhaps 5 years is a little too optimistic — but it will happen eventually and it will become quite clear to everyone that the transition is taking place once Mac sales start to drop off at the end of 2011.

It seems almost certain that monthly iPad sales will surpass monthly Mac sales from this point on. It will be interesting to see how Apple handles this. It is in Apple's best interests to make the transition as smooth and as profitable as possible, if buyers get even the slightest whiff of the notion that Apple is actively planning to put the Mac out to pasture then sales will dry up too quickly. There is another path that Apple could take...

Welcome to the iPad Pro

An iPad with a much larger screen and a significantly increased resolution — let's guess at 2048 x 1536 for the sake of existing iPad app doubling — with a industrial design that is specifically designed to reside on a desk, could command a higher price tag, enabling Apple to benefit from Mac sized profits. Battery life wouldn't be so much of an issue, so the iPad Pro could be packed with much more horsepower than the standard iPad. The App Store could include a section specifically for iPad Pro apps which would combine the ease of iPhone OS apps with the power and depth of today's Mac applications.

We appreciate that what we have outlined above is not the commonly held view, we would be interested in reading your thoughts on the future of the Mac and iPad, please be sure to leave a comment below.

You're not paid to churn paper, you're paid to use your brain

Just over 3 years ago we tuned into the first Apple iPhone commercial, famously remembered for the phrase "Hello"! During the 2010 Oscars the first iPad advert was played to an audience of celebrities and those watching from home. The first iPad commercial is markedly different to the first iPhone ad. In the iPhone advert, recycled clips from movie scenes are presented in brief rushes followed by the release date and a glimpse of the iPhone.

More recently Apple have added a certain clarity to iPhone adverts, less audacious perhaps, but certainly more mainstream and accessible. For the first iPad advert Apple is following its more recent trend of showing what the device can do. The advert is sharp, it shows a variety of apps on offer at the same time as giving a feeling of size. It gives out a relaxing vibe, showing the user with his feet up.

Looking back you can see a welcomed change in the way Apple is presenting its new innovative products. Clearly this new style is working. However, here at iPad Creative we still hanker after something a tad more epic, such as this original Macintosh advert... and no, it's not the advert you think it is. Enjoy!