iPad Art: Cottage

Cottage iPad Painting

‘Cottage’ is the title of today’s featured iPad painting.

It’s the work of Rafeal Co, aka Raffy or Cheeky Raffy, created using the Procreate app.

I always love how so much seems to be going on in Raffy’s paintings, although this one is  little less hectic than many others of his. The colors are what have me fascinated with this one. They’re powerful and create a bit of a feeling of foreboding as well.

You can check out more of Raffy’s excellent work at his Rafael Co Flickr stream.

If you’d like to explore lots more beautiful iPad paintings from a number of great iPad artists, take a look at our own iPad Art section here at iPad Insight.

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Penultimate 6.0.1 for iPad

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Penultimate 6 has had a pretty rough start. I like the cleaner look of the app, which matches iOS 8 a lot more. It’s also a good step to represent each notebook as a giant scrolling list of pages, which makes more sense in a digital format.

Unfortunately, the praise ends there.

Penultimate is marketed as this tech-laced love letter to the art and form of handwriting, but there are other apps that do a much better job of simulating the feeling of putting pen to paper. The writing experience in Penultimate just isn’t smooth on my Air 2, and the Jot Script can often miss strokes as I try to write in Drift Mode.

I really want to love Penultimate, but have always been disappointed with, even back before Evernote bought it. It’s a great concept and could do wonderfully with Evernote’s handwriting recognition, but their inking engine just seems nowhere near as good as some other apps. Paper and Noteshelf, for example, do a much better job of quickly drawing smooth lines.

It’s good that Evernote is acknowledging what a bungle the initial 6.0 update was and I’m glad to see them responding so quickly, but until the engine itself is overhauled, I just don’t see any use for Penultimate on my iPad. I’ll be sticking solely with Paper until something better comes along.

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iPad App of the Week: Healthy Recipes by SparkRecipes

Healthy Recipes by SparkRecipes for iPad

Who doesn’t like great iPad apps? At iPad Insight we definitely do. With that in mind, we offer up a quick review of an excellent iPad app, or a few great iPad apps, here each week.

Our weekly picks for Best iPad App of the Week are published here every Saturday. Check out all out picks below and you’ll soon have a collection of stellar apps for your favorite tablet.

This week’s pick is Healthy Recipes by SparkRecipes for iPad, which I’m going to shorten to Healthy Recipes in the rest of this post to try to keep my wrists healthy. The app’s name lets you know what’s on offer – a great collection of healthy recipes – over 500,000 in fact – from SparkRecipes.com, which is touted as the world’s largest healthy recipes site.

I’m just about the perfect target audience for this app, because I’m continually trying to eat healthier but my cooking skills are pretty much non-existent. There are a huge number of cooking and cookbook apps for the iPad and I’ve looked at and installed quite a few of them. Healthy Recipes has been the one that gave me a good comfort level quickly and didn’t scare me off.

[click to continue reading…]

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Things for iPad & iPhone, Great Task Management App: Free for a Week

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Need a great task manager app for your iPad? Well, one of the very best, Things, is available for free right now as Apple’s Free App of the Week. Both Things for iPad and Things for iPhone are free until November 28.

Things is one of the very best iPad (and iPhone and Mac) task management apps around. It sports a gorgeous design and it’s easy to use and full of powerful features. Although it’s well worth the price, it’s also a relatively expensive app on iOS and the Mac – so this a nice opportunity to grab up this top-notch app for zero dollars.

Even the Things Mac app is part of the discount fun this week – on offer at 30% off its standard price.

Here’s more detail on the promotion, straight from the good people who make Things:

    • Apple are promoting both our iOS apps as “Free App of the Week” (normally US$19.99 iPad + $9.99 iPhone).
    • The promotion is global, and will last from November 20-28.
    • Apple have intentionally chosen Things as a great app for Thanksgiving.
    • We have never given Things away for free before, so this is a rare opportunity.
    • To compliment the free iOS apps, we have also dropped the Mac app by 30% during the same time (normally US$49.99, now $34.99).
    • All three apps were recently redesigned for iOS 8 & Yosemite—and they received a bunch of great new features, including an “Add to Things” Extension, Handoff between all devices, Background Refresh on iOS, a new iOS app icon, support for iPhone 6 & 6 Plus, and a Today Widget on OS X.
    • These free iOS apps are fully functional—there are no in-app purchases.
    • Our Things Cloud sync service is also free.

And here’s an App Store link for Things for iPad.

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PhotInfo for iPad Provides Metadata Within Photos App

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I’ve honestly forgotten where I heard about this app. I found a note in my Drafts app with just one word, “PhotInfo”, and decided to look it up on Google.

Boy, am I glad I did!

PhotInfo is an iOS 8 extension that helps bring metadata to the Photos app, which is really quite handy for figuring out the resolution of pictures I’ve stored or received on my iPad. Doing this on a Mac or PC is pretty simple, since most desktop photo viewing applications will list the resolution and file size in some sort of dialog window. Apple’s own Photos app, however, can be pretty sparse on those kinds of details. Before PhotInfo, my best way of quickly finding out the file size of a given picture was to insert that photo into an e-mail to myself, and tapping on “Actual Size” in the sizing options. It worked, but it was silly that I even had to do that.

Once enabled, PhotInfo’s extension makes things so much simpler. All I have to do is select a photo in the Photos app, tap on the Share button, and tap on PhotInfo. The resulting dialog box is detailed in the screenshot above, and this added capability was totally worth the $0.99 purchase.

There’s actually an entire interface within PhotInfo that shows EXIF and TIFF metadata, but the extension is really all I need. If you frequently need to check the file sizes and resolutions of images on your iOS device, you’ll definitely want to pick up a copy of PhotInfo.

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The Sad State of Third Party Keyboards On iOS 8

One of the absolute most exciting things about iOS 8 was its announced support for third-party keyboards in almost all areas of the OS. There are some limitations. Every time you reach a password field, the default Apple keyboard pops up just to make sure users enjoy maximum privacy. Voice dictation through Siri, which got […]

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iPad Art: The Flowers

November isn’t the most flowery time of the year, at least not where I live anyway. So what better time for a lovely bit of flowery iPad art – like today’s featured iPad painting ‘The Flowers’. It’s the work of Deborah McMillion, aka Hotel Midnight. Here’s her intro to the painting: And so begins another […]

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Mobile Cloth: Keeping Your iPad Screen Clean

A gorgeous, big display has always been one of the signature features of the iPad, and it still is today. That display can become an ugly mass of fingerprints and germs with our normal use of the tablet though – just as can happen on any touchscreen device. That’s where Mobile Cloth becomes an iPad […]

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