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Blindscape Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Lee Hamlet on June 3rd, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: LIGHTS OUT
It may only last 15 minutes, but Blindscape is a unique and moving audio experience.
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Pogo Connect Bluetooth 4.0 Stylus for iPad Review

Posted by Lisa Caplan on February 22nd, 2013

The iPad’s form has been seducing digital artists and those who love to doodle since its launch. It’s also the ideal size for taking hand-written notes. There are dozens of apps that create rich drawing or writing environments, but until recently input devices have been limited. Fingers just won’t do when precision is needed so artists and copious note takers usually rely on capacitive styluses which simulate the feeling of a pen, but are limited by the touchscreen interface. They aren’t sensitive to pressure, they offer no control over line thickness, and holding one comfortably tends to leave palm marks on the virtual page. Ten One Design offers one solution with their Bluetooth 4.0 Pogo Connect stylus. It doesn’t get everything right, but it’s a solid start in a promising direction.

At 5.1" (130mm) with a price tag of $80, the Pogo Connect sports a stylish silver barrel with a rubber tip at one end and decorative cap at the other. There is a single button on the side and a LED light. It uses one AAA battery and because it’s Bluetooth 4.0 that battery will last a long time. A little wider than a regular stylus, the pen lacks heft, but it fits comfortably in the hand and has good balance. The tip is the same thick dark rubber that one finds on traditional styluses and is magnetic for easy replacement. Ten One promises new tip designs in the future.

Pogo Connect doesn’t pair with the iPad in the usual way a Bluetooth device would. To assist in getting everything set up correctly, users can download the free Pogo Connect app to link the stylus and then each of the 19 compatible apps - up from the original 13 - goes its own way. Some apps like Procreate just find the pen, while others like Noteshelf require users to poke around in the settings. It's easy.

Because the stylus uses Bluetooth 4.0 it is only compatible with 3rd and 4th gen iPads and the iPad mini. Ten One offers iPad 2 owners a less-than-elegant work-around: there is a Pogo Bridge app that connects to the iPhone 4S or 5 and then sends the signal to the iPad 2, but at present only one app - Procreate - has incorporated the feature.

One of the more glaring flaws when I first tested the Connect back in December was that it didn’t prevent palm marks, but recent updates have improved that functionality. How well it works seems to depend more upon the app than the stylus.

And what about pressure sensitivity? That’s the key selling point, but it’s very hit or miss. Some apps respond to pressure by varying line thickness, others opacity, and none respond to a light touch despite claims that the proprietary Crescendo Sensor technology requires “0 grams of activation force.” That said, the Connect outperforms captive models. It's not transformative, but with the right app and practice, sketching feels more holistic.

There are a couple of neat features worth mentioning: the Pogo Connect app has a pen locator, the button on the stylus works as an undo command, and the LED light indicates the active ink color. Still, while somewhat more intuitive than capitative models, the Pogo Connect needs a lot of tweaking before it warrants the hefty price tag, much less turns the iPad into a device that can compete with a dedicated graphics tablet.

A full list of compatible apps can be found here on the Ten One Design site.

Too Far Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad only
By Jennifer Allen on February 6th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: IMAGINATIVE
Weaving an interesting tapestry of text, art and music, Too Far is an interesting way of making a novel come to life.
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Emanata Comics Review

By Jennifer Allen on October 24th, 2012
Discover new and emerging comic book artists through this iPad-optimized app. Comic book fans will particularly love it.
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Foolproof Art Studio Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on October 23rd, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: OIL-BASED CREATIVITY
Turn photographs into attractive oil paintings with this easy to use photography app.
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PhotoViva Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on October 16th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: LUSCIOUS
An attractive yet not quite perfect creativity app for adding a touch of paint to your photographs.
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New App: Emanata Brings Indie Comics To The iPad

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on October 11th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Emanata is a new comics app focused just on independent comic creators. They can publish their graphic stories for free, then get a portion of the sales proceeds. For the first month, artists take all of the revenue from sales (after Apple's 30% cut). After that, the artists will split revenues 50/50 with Emanata. The artists also retain all of the rights to their work, which lets them publish elsewhere.

With Emanata, users can browse all types of free comics as well as purchase premium stories within the app to directly support the artists they like. The app’s new built-in news feed makes it even easier to follow specific creators and keep up with their latest work. The reader can also use in-app social tools to share memorable works with friends via email, social networks, and on the Web.

“Tablet devices are the natural platform to showcase great art and storytelling. We want to provide a dedicated place where the independent artists can find new audiences, and for the connoisseur of comic books to discover something unexpected and edgy,” said George Chen, CEO of Emanata.

Link: LA Mobile Arts Festival Brings iPhone Photo Art To The Fore

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on August 17th, 2012

If you're in the Los Angeles area this weekend, be sure to check out the LA Mobile Arts Festival in Santa Monica. Be sure to say hi to the rolling blue bus for us.

The first years of the growing mobile arts movement come to a culmination with the inaugural LA Mobile Arts Festival (LA-MAF), an eight-day event that will showcase the best in iPhoneography and other forms of mobile digital art. Hosted in Santa Monica, Calif., LA-MAF is the first-of-its-kind for the mobile arts and the largest mobile art event to date, featuring over 225 artists from over 30 countries and 25 U.S. states, exhibiting well over 600 images, sculptures, films and installations.

Where: Santa Monica Art Studios
3026 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 397-7449
When: August 18-25, 2012
Gallery hours: August 18: 7-10pm, August 19-25: 12-6pm

Schedule Here

The L.A. Mobile Arts Festival Turns its Lens on iPhoneongraphy

Posted by Lisa Caplan on August 13th, 2012

Steve Jobs was often quoted as saying “the best camera is the one you have with you.” Certainly with the last product launched under his eye, the iPhone 4S, that’s true. The advanced optics continue to hold up in test after test against even the most photo-centric smartphones out there. Coupled with the seemingly endless supply of quality camera replacement and photo editing apps iPhone photography has officially crossed the line, in the right hands, from casual snapping to art.There’s even a term used to denote the particular looks achieved with all models of iPhone: iPhoneography. Now comes an art show that turns its lens on the best of the best.

The LA Mobile Arts Festival, which takes place between August 18-25 in Santa Monica, California is hosting a week-long display of what they describe as: "art originated through the lens of an iPhone and celebrating what become [sic] known as iPhoneongraphy. Much more than citizen photography, iPhoneography is true and real art." If you live in Southern California or will be there later this month be sure to check it out

Easily Make Pixel Art Animations with Disney's Pixel'd App

Posted by Carter Dotson on July 30th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Disney has released a tool to help make pixel art and animation easy. Pixel’d lets users make artwork that shows its pixelation and is proud of it! Users have a default 150x150 canvas to work with, though this can be shrunk to 4x4 or enlarged up to 1024x768. Users can freehand draw, generate lines or shapes, and use color fill to help make their creations. Artists looking for more advanced editing can use 3 modifiable layers to help them in their process.

Canvas backgrounds can be added and interacted with, featuring artwork from various Disney properties. A selection comes with the app for free, and others are available through in-app purchases. It’s possible to create more than just single-frame artwork, as animations up to 20 frames long can be created. Single frame artwork can be exported as PNG or GIF with animations exportable as either animated GIFs or MP4 video files. These can then be exported to the Camera Roll or shared to social networks directly from the app. Finally, it’s possible to team up with a friend using the Buddy Draw feature to collaborate on artwork via wifi.

SketchBook Ink Review

By Lisa Caplan on May 25th, 2012
SketchBook Ink has a welcoming interface but lacks key features
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OH! Cube Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jason Wadsworth on May 23rd, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CUTENESS CUBED
Taking the picross/nonogram puzzle genre into three dimensions in an adorable way.
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Mech Guardian Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on April 30th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GORGEOUS GARBAGE
Protect the Earth's oceans from self-aware refuse. As a self-aware garbage can. Hard to resist, right?
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Latte Art on the iPhone with Latteland

Posted by Kevin Stout on April 25th, 2012

Recently released from Holly Brown, a Hong Kong-based coffee and gelato company, HB Latteland lets users take a stab at latte art on their iPhones.

I have to admit that before I saw this app, I had no idea that latte art existed. I took a look at the app and wondered who was creatively strange enough to think of an app where players make art out of coffee. A few YouTube videos later and I’m entranced by how cool some people (latte artists?) can make a latte look.

HB Latteland starts a player in “Latte Art School” where the choose a mentor from the Holly Brown team of baristas to lead them through school. When users “graduate” from the art school, they’re faced with challengers from around the world in the Challenge stage. Featured in the challenge modes are World Latte Art Champion Scottie Callaghan and Taiwan Champion Van Lin. In addition, there’s an etching mode where players can basically draw and etch on a cup of latte.

Holly Brown is a Hong Kong-based coffee and gelato company with coffee from Italian master roaster Domenic Spadaccini and made-to-order gelato for customers.

Soundbrush Makes Music from Drawings

Posted by Kevin Stout on April 19th, 2012
iPad App - Designed for iPad only

In a strange mash-up between painting and music, developer LeafNotes has released Soundbrush. Soundbrush works by drawing lines or shapes. Those lines and shapes turn into corresponding sounds. Each paint color stands for a different instrument (for example, blue is a piano).

The artist-musicians using this app get to hear the notes as they’re drawn. Users can even go back and delete previously drawn notes by double tapping; so more refined and thought-out pieces are definitely possible with Soundbrush.

Soundbrush uses both major and minor and major and minor pentatonic scales as well as the blues scale. A musical grid can be displayed to help pay more attention to exactly which notes are being drawn on the canvas.

Users with no experience with either drawing or music can take a stab at the app and still have plenty of fun. While there are no templates for new users to play with, there is the video below posted by LeafNotes showing the creation of a song/painting and how it sounds.