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Monday, 15 December 2014

Pixelmator for iPad Tutorial 2 - Getting to grips with brushes and layers

Pixelmator for iPad 2 Layers Brushes Erasers

Splashing around digital paint on the iPad

It is time to get creative with your iPad and punish some pixels with Pixelmator. Super app for editing photos and it also has some drawing and painting tools so you can create digital art. In the first Pixelmator for iPad tutorial we looked at using templates and the selection tools. I this one I take a look at using the brushes and the layers. Part of the brushes section is the eraser tool. You have to be able to take colour out of your drawing as well as put it in there. The brushes have rudimentary controls of size and opacity. I would like to see more customisation in future versions and the ability to create my own brushes or presets. Depending on the eraser you choose you get more or less control over how it works on you canvas. Some of the erasers won't give you a soft edge even if you set it as soft as it will go. Try a few out to see which work for you.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Four days with my iOS devices travelling in Ireland

It seems a little bit weird this morning to be in front of my iMac at my desk in the office. On my Irish trip I managed really well without having my Mac in front of me and for the most part I didn’t need to have the full OS X experience. I have got quite used to having just the single window to look into to do my computing. It is really pretty easy to use the four finger swipe to move to the next application or the previous application I was working with. If I think that the application is more than a swipe away, or I am not sure exactly how far away it is in the stack, then I use the home button to see all of my open applications. I can then swipe between the thumbnails and icons for each of the apps to get where I want to go to. I have found that I can work quite quickly indeed using just my iPad Air 2 and my iPhone 6. These two devices together as a brilliant combination especially for Blogging on the Move with iOS.

Swapping and pinching on the iPad

Today I learned a new gesture that I can use on my iPad Air 2. This is a gesture that is specific to Safari for iOS. It is a three finger pinch which takes you to a screen where you can see all of your open tabs on your browser. Not only does it show your tabs that you have available on your iPad it will also show you a list of URLs you have open on other iOS devices that you are logged into with your Apple ID. So this would be quite handy if you were using your iPhone 6 to look at a webpage and decided that you wanted to see it in a larger format on your iPad Air 2. You do your three finger pinch to get to that screen, tap on the web page that you want to look at that is showing up your other device and hey presto you have it available in front of you. It is always good to find something new and marvellous that you can do with your iOS device. I spent some time drawing on my iPad using Sketchbook app from Autodesk.
Puffin Web Browser Download

Alternatives to using Safari browser on iOS

There is of course the Chrome Browser which is quite popular and I have used it a few times on my iOS devices. These days I tend to use the Safari browser 99% of the time. There are occasions when it is necessary to look for some other browser to get done what you need to do in a webpage. I had the Puffin browser recommended to me and while I was away on my trip I did have the occasion to use it. I have the free version and it did what I needed it to do. There was a webpage that must have been running some code in the background as part of its functionality. It was a webpage for creating emails on Mailchimp and was probably using something like JavaScript to make that happen. Or it could have been something to do with Flash. The Puffin browser app will actually let you view pages where flash is being used. Puffin does this through some server side technology and it does seem to work.

Paste not working in iOS sometimes

Whatever technology this webpage was using was stopping me from pasting from my clipboard into a section of the webpage. Every time I tapped on the area where I wanted to paste I saw a quick flash of the button for pasting and then it disappeared. When I did this within the Puffin browser it sort of did the same sort of thing, but it also gave me a separate bar of options below the field where I wanted to paste. So after a little bit of frustration in trying to get the job done in the first place, I was able to use my iPad to create those emails. I would much prefer to be using my Mac and my favourite blogging editor MarsEdit, but I did get the job done using the iPad.