iPad Art: Voice of Night

iPad Painting Voice of Night

Today’s featured iPad painting is yet another instant favorite from Deborah McMillion, aka Hotel Midnight. This one is titled ‘Voice of Night’ and is accompanied by these words:

Why look to the dark as a sinister thing. Why look at sinister as anything more than just left. A day without sunshine is just the night!

There’s so much to like an be taken in by in this painting – the sunset, the tornado off to the right, the striking woman, and the gorgeous colors. I especially like the blue of the bike frame.

You can see more of Deborah McMillion’s excellent artwork at her Hotel Midnight Flickr stream.

And you can find more great iPad paintings from many great iPad artists in our own iPad Art section.

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iPad App of the Week: Star Walk 2 – Guide to the Sky Day and Night

Star Walk 2 for iPad

Great apps make great platforms, and iOS and iPad are a great proof of that. One of the most captivating things about the iPad is the incredible range of great apps we are able to use and enjoy on Apple’s tablet. Each Saturday we share a favorite outstanding app as iPad App of the Week.

This week’s pick is Star Walk 2 – Guide to the Sky Day and Night. This is the next generation of the excellent and Apple award winning Star Walk app from Vito Technology. I’ve been a fan of the original for years, so it’s great to see this brand new version released.

Here’s a little bit of the App Store description for Star Walk 2:

Star Walk 2 is an exquisite stargazing tool that combines astronomical data with premium technology to deliver an effortless journey through thousands of stars, comets, and constellations. All you have to do is point your iPhone or iPad at the sky.
Universal app that works on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
NEW IN STAR WALK 2
All-new stunning design
- New simpler and cleaner interface in vibrant colors for retina displays
- Atmospheric visual and sound effects, stirring soundtrack
- Exclusive handcrafted artwork for constellations, inspired by minimalist low-poly art
Incredible 3D models of celestial bodies
- Planetary nebulae*
- Constellations*
- Dwarf planets, comets, and asteroids*
- Man-made satellites*
*Available through In-App Purchase. Constellations are available for free for limited time.

[click to continue reading…]

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That Darn iOS 8 QuickType Keyboard Has Completely Spoiled Me

QuickType for ipad

[I forgot to keep a QuickType screenshot, so I used this QuickType image from Macworld UK]

I tried the iOS 8 beta earlier this summer — right around beta 3 — and loved the experience. Texting from the iPad was great, the new full-screen Safari was great, but the absolute best feature to me was the new QuickType keyboard. I loved being able to blast through words with two or three taps, and glancing just above the keys to see what auto-correct was going to recommend. These modifications to the software keyboard made such a huge difference to how I approached text entry on the iPad. QuickType made typing feel more efficient, and it made auto-correct feel like it was there to actually help, instead of acting like a passive-aggressive jerk (“I know you didn’t mean to type duck, Thomas, but I don’t care”).

I’ve since downgraded to iOS 7 because there are some crucial apps (cough *Evernote* cough) that just don’t work on iOS 8 yet. However, the damage has already been done. I’ve noticed that I type a lot less on the iPad, unless I have a Bluetooth keyboard paired. The experience just isn’t the same. I’ll game, surf, and read on my iPad, but I leave most of the messaging and emailing to my iPhone or Mac. My taste of the beta has totally spoiled me.

This just makes me even more excited for the pending release of iOS 8. The new QuickType keyboard, alongside the slew of other third-party keyboards, are going to be game changers for productivity and messaging on my tablet. I’ve always wanted to be able to carry around just my iPad and Smart Cover, and I truly believe the new software keyboards we’ll see this Fall will allow me to do just that.

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Notable New iPad Apps – Ancient Battle: Hannibal

Ancient Battle Hannibal for iPad

Another great-looking strategic war game title has hit the iPad App Store this week. It’s called Ancient Battle: Hannibal, and of course it’s centered around Hannibal’s legendary battles against Rome in the Punic Wars.

The game is from Hunted Cow Studios, who have already brought a number of excellent strategic war games to the iPad, including the superb Civil War: 1863.

Here’s a slice of the App Store introduction for Ancient Battle: Hannibal:

Ancient Battle: Hannibal is the newest edition to the Ancient Battles series. Experience the magnificence of the Punic Wars, as you follow Hannibal on his crucial campaign against Rome. Based upon, and a major upgrade to, the game system developed for Ancient Battle: Rome, a game that was the No.1 strategy game on the App Store in 8 different countries. Ancient Battle: Hannibal introduces many new game features including multi-level hills to elevate your strategic opportunities when commanding vast armies.
Fight the battles of the Second Punic War between Carthage and Rome. Each campaign is themed around battles between Hannibal’s armies and their cunning opponents in the four geographical regions of Italy, Spain, Sicily and Africa. Hannibal’s inspired tactics and leadership made him one of Rome’s most dangerous enemies and possibly the greatest general of all time. Can you match his achievements on the battlefield?

One of my favorite old board games was a Punic Wars title, so I can’t wait to try out this game on the iPad.

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FlowBoard EDU for iPad: A presentation app that gets out of the way

IMG_1102

Presentation software. You either love it, or live with it. There isn’t too much in between. For years PowerPoint was the market leader, but the goliath of the PC presentation world hasn’t really kept up with presenting in the mobile world. It has left a niche in the market for other developers to leap in to banish WordArt, Clip Art and crazed animations to the same place that Clippy the paperclip now resides. There are lots of decent iPad presentation apps available. Keynote is probably the best known, but others like Haiku Deck, SlideShare and now FlowBoard EDU are adding some well thought out features to presenting on the iPad.  [click to continue reading…]

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Quick Look: Belkin Travel Power Pack 9000 for iPad

This beast of a battery is the Belkin Travel Power Pack 9000. It’s a 9000 mAh battery, translates to about three or four charges for my iPhone 5S, or 60–70% of my iPad Air’s battery in real life charging situations. The Power Pack isn’t one of those tiny batteries that you use in an emergency […]

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iPad Art: The Zombie Banker

‘The Zombie Banker’ is the title of today’s featured iPad artwork. This image is the creation of José António Fundo. Here’s the artist’s own overview of the piece: Part of the Zombie Economists collection, “The Zombie Banker” is a caricature of Ricardo Salgado, former CEO of Banco Espírito Santo, fallen in disgrace after leaving the […]

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