Friday, April 13, 2012

ProCreate and Paper, art apps

Thanks to Yvonne for pointing me to a very interesting iPad painting app, ProCreate.
Here, for instance, is a tutorial explaining how its brushes work, they have some inventions in that field, which apparently has not really changed in 20 years otherwise.

I research drawing- and painting-apps occasionally, because over many years I have still not really found any app which is both user-friendly and gives me exciting possibilities as an artist.

I found one which is exciting at first look, "Paper". I made this flower with it:

I am quite happy with the drawing. But caveat emptor: Paper is a "free app", but in order to use color and such, you have to buy extra packages. I never feel really right about that kind of deal. Also, and worse, the app is really, really limited: 1) you can't zoom into the picture! (unforgivable), 2) you're limited to a small number of colors (10 or so). Admittedly they are well chosen, but still, it just won't wash for a serious artist. 3) you can't change the basic size of the brush or pen strokes! (Also just... unbelievable.)

The good points though is the nice wash effects you can get, and the brush which changes thickness according to speed. I'd like an app like Paper, but without the stupid limitations.
Admittedly I think it's more of a "note" app than an art app. Okay, let's see an art app then.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I joined their Kickstarter project (with those it usually takes 3-4 months to get the product), so it took a while, but I got my DiFeltro products today, iPad bag, iPhone pouch, and belt. I got them all in charcoal, it seemed the most manly one, the others are just a leeettle iffy, gender-signal-wise.     :-)

So far they seem just lovely, really nice quality, and very classy and understated design, and different from anything else I've seen. The felt makes it different, it's strong and weather-protected felt of course.

I couldn't find a big photo on their site, so I photographed my own items:


I included my iPad in a case to show the sizes.
Notice the end of the belt is leather.

Wireless audio

Man, I wish I'd realized looong ago that I could do this. (Not sure why I didn't, sometimes I'm just slow I guess.) I just got an Apple Airport Express, installed it as an extension of my existing wireless network, and plugged in my great speakers* on my bed stand to it. Now I get excellent sound while playing music or video on my iPad, without any wire hanging like a telephone wire through my room. (It works via Apple "Airplay", which can also play iPad video on a TV connected to an Apple TV.)

I'd earlier bought a fancy Danish speaker with wireless sound. But it required a special adapter in the iPad, it often conflicted with my wireless network, and though much costlier it only sounded almost as good as my existing speakers:

* Harman Kardon Soundsticks. I have them both on my work desk and my bed stand. They sound like something costing at least five times as much, and they look great. (I have Soundsticks II, I'm not sure what's changed in gen 3.)

Sunday, April 8, 2012


[Thanks to David C]
I've only ordered it, not tried it yet, but the SoundJaw is cheap and compact, so if it also helps with the sound, it should be a good thing.

I got mine today. It is true that there's a slight compression of the sound, but more importantly it does what it says on the tin, it redirects the sound to where you want it, and gives a net gain. Simple and useful.

It works with iPad 2 and 3. I should note that my impression is that the speaker on the 3 has a bit more oomph, but still there can easily be situations where you want more sound, or you want it more directed to yourself and less to to the people at the next table.

Reviews on YouTube says that it does work, though some say that the sound is more compressed in quality, less full and round.

I wonder why tablets and phone never have speakers actually pointing forwards. Is it just from the Jobsian fetish that the glass must cover the whole front?