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apps Digital Lifestyles Gadgets iOS SDK iPad Reviews Workflow

(Review) ASKetch for the iPad

OK, I’m still playing with my iPad and loving it, and I found another software App that is a lot of fun. ASKetch by Andrew Kern is supposed to work with finger motions and strokes alone, and not be used with a stylus or pen tool.

I’ll tell you what it is supposed to do (and it does it very well). Let’s look at ASKetch as Mr. Kern meant it to be.

First, I’ll quote:

ASKetch is a simple black & white procedural sketching program for drawing with your fingers. It is designed from the ground up to take advantage of the multi-touch interface of the iPad and the iPhone, allowing you to forget about the tools and concentrate on your art. It stays out of your way so you can simply draw. It is perfect for both beginners and advanced artists; from figure drawing to cartoons to abstract masterpieces; easy to pick up and hard to put down.

Absolutely true.

Get on your iPad and run to the App store and read all about it, bearing in mind that it is NOT optimized for a stylus,, but sometimes I use one anyway when I want a very thin line and less shading. You have to use a stylus that is optimized for the iPad. Wacom makes one, and so does several other companies.  They’re priced from $13 to $30 on Amazon. The Wacom one is the most expensive of the choices at $30; but so far all that I have tried have worked properly.

But your finger does it as well. The controls are brought up by a two finger tap on the blank page of the app. The first line below is the normal “drawing page” which has five squares visible, and the drawing line (extreme left) active. The second line below is when the eraser is active.

Beginning with the pen tools facing to the left you will get a hard line; if you stroke across the pen tool to the left you will switch from a hard line to a soft, furry tone and the pen will face to the right as it appears in the second line of tools.. The rest of both lines of tools are pretty self-explanatory. There are some more subtitles so read all the instructions and see the demo video. But below is the short form.

Now, let’s draw a little bit. I’m using it for gesture drawing which is a kind of rapid sketching where the artist is supposed to capture the “feel” and proportions of a model or figure and do it in less than 15 seconds. Here’s some examples. Some of these are drawn with just a finger tip, and some are done with a stylus even though Mr. Kern wants you to work just with finger tips‚Äîand yes, you do get better tonality when you use only your finger.

Sketching with Fingers vs. Stylus

I said I wasn’t going to tell you, but here I am doing it. The drawing on the left was done strictly with the fingertip, and the drawing on the right was done with a Wacom Bamboo Stylus..

Here’s another drawing done with fingertips…

…particularly rolling the finger in the hair areas.

Now here’s one more drawing…

…remember each drawing is saved automatically into the total set of drawings each time you go to the saved area (the two mountains square) and select a new blank page. This drawing was done with my fingertip in less than 15 seconds. Its intent is to capture the essence and proportions of the figure.

Remember, the square that looks like two mountains hides the strip of saved images and gives you access to a new blank page each time you go to it. Once you have images saved into the sketchbook, all you have to do is hold a finger down on an image for a few seconds and this window will appear.

Saving the image selected into the photo album allows it to be reselected and emailed where-ever you want to send it.

Here’s three more sketches that Mr. Kern supplied me that I think are really worth showing that give you a look at what the App can do in the way of toning.

 

Read all the instructions to get all the strengths of the App under control because I have only touched on the surface of its possibilities; but I’m having so much fun I had to share the joy, and hope you’ll take a look at the app. Check ASKetch out on the App store for the iPad.

 

ASKetch by Andrew Kern

This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad

$1.99

Website & Support: http://akernsoft.com/ASKetch/index.php

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apps Gadgets iPad Workflow

(Review) Genius Scan: A Scanner App for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

OK, I admit from the start that I am in love with my iPad2; but it is the availability of Apps for it that make it such a part of my current life.  I just encountered a new App that I think is going to be extremely useful in the future.  It’s an App called Genius Scan from Grizzly Labs that is intended for use on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

In short, it uses the back facing camera of the iPad (or iPhone or iPod Touch) to take an image that can be corrected and then mailed—that’s in the free version. In the paid (Genius Scan+ version @ $2.99) you can add mailing to Dropbox, Google Docs, and Evernote. Well, you can switch to the front camera too if you want to send a picture of yourself, but it is the use of the rear camera that seems to me to make it so useful.

Take a picture with the camera button which appears once the App is selected, and the resulting picture can then be squared up and enhanced as color or black and white, and saved to a camera roll spot inside the iPad or mailed as a Pdf. Or .jpg.

Since I am always interested in the educational uses that my students might use, I am fascinated by the possibility of the student taking a picture of the whiteboards that are used in classrooms and saving the pictures or sending them as Pdf’s or .jpgs by mail so that they could be studied later.

Some fifty years ago I had a math class in which the professor wrote equations with his right hand and erased behind himself with his left hand.  The frustration that I felt as I tried to follow and master the equations could have been avoided if I could have taken pictures as he wrote.  I can see the usage for this App in student hands today. And more…recipes can be copied; menus, receipts, and sharing class notes—all of these are possible and easily done.

There’s much more that can or could be said, but my own recommendation is for you to check out Genius Scan (and Genius Scan+) at Apple’s App store and see if a version of the App won’t be of use to you. Grizzly Labs has grabbed my attention with this App.

 

Get it:

Genius Scan (free version) at the AppStore

 Genius Scan+ differs from Genius Scan with no ads and upload to Dropbox, Evernote and Google Docs. 

Genius Scan Website 

Categories
Digital Lifestyles iPad Workflow

iPad2 Review: OK, I MUST BE A FANBOY

On March 11, the first day iPad 2’s were available for order, at 5 A.M. I got up to go to the bathroom (something common when you are 73 years old), and on a whim sat down at the computer and ordered an iPad. White, 64GB wifi only, with a spare power supply, a Camera Connection package, VGA and Digital AV Adapters, and a red leather cover. I had intended to make this order eventually, and the computer seemed to call to me as I returned from the bathroom. It was a good thing too, as within 24 hours the waiting time had switched from 3-5 days to 2-4 weeks.

My wife wanted white for the color and a red leather cover, and since she is to be the primary user, what she wants—she gets.

The accessories arrived two days before the iPad itself, but on the 25th of March the iPad duly arrived via FedEX, and within forty-five minutes I had loaded Keynote, Pages, the Kindle reader, Good Reader for PDF reading, and put Facebook and Google News Apps in the list of instantly available icons, and had the mail configured as well as going to the Kindle bookstore and choosing Lonely Planet’s travel guide for Iceland and adding two books that were already on my Kindle shelf on my MacBook Pro. How’s that for knowing right off what I wanted to do? All that in forty-five minutes.

Since my wife is traveling to Iceland this summer, our goal was to have an easier to use communication device so we can email one another back and forth easily without her having to carry her laptop. So I set up a unique Gmail account for use on the trip only and we won’t have to sort through spam and extraneous mail from others to get to the specific day to day communication.

My wife is a teacher, also, and her goal is to use Keynote and Pages which she uses regularly from her laptop in the classroom, and get her Art History and Art Appreciation slide lectures on an iPad and not have to carry her MacBook Pro to class with her along with the stack of books she usually has along for show and tell in the lectures and discussions. Anything to lighten the load is the goal.

Any reader who can suggest the easiest way to get large PDF files onto the iPad without trying to mail them please give me a hint. I’ve discovered that her lectures are too large to mail since they are loaded with images in the keynote presentations and exceede the 25 MB file size for my mail service. So what do you think are the easiest ways to move large PDF files? Googling how to on that gives some answers but they all seem relatively complex; can anyone suggest a simple method?

I’m still hunting and pecking on the keyboard with high speed single finger typing. I just can’t seem to get my fingers on the correct keys on the virtual keyboard. It looks like I will add a Mac Bluetooth keyboard as some reviewers have suggested. It can sit quietly on the desk until needed at home, and for travel the hunt and peck may be the answer unless my wife’s hands can do a better job with the virtual keyboard than mine do.

The red leather cover is a deep red and the leather is luxurious and feels very good to the hand. The magnets snap into place perfectly every time that the cover is removed and replaced.

My only previous experience with an iPad was about 10 minutes looking at pictures on a friend’s first generation iPad, and I was a bit hesitant as to how fast I would pick up the gestures and operations of the touch controls. I should not have worried. In 15 minutes with the manual in the bookmarks and I had it. The remaining thirty minutes and I had ordered and installed three apps, Kindle books, and configured security and mail. Leave this iPad alone for 15 minutes and it locks itself up for protection and requires a four digit unlock code. My wife, who is a quick learner, did it even quicker, I believe if I’d left her alone she could have done all I did setting up in less time than it took me.

I wont’t go over all the uses and potential uses of the iPad, I’ll simply say I’m hooked and I guess I qualify as a Fanboy and I’ll admit it. The iPad just works.