Review: Best iPad Apps by Peter Meyers

the following is a Guest Post by EBSQ Artist (and iPad fanatic) Robin Cruz McGee

Best iPad Apps from O'Reilly MediaI read once that mining diamonds becomes profitable when the yield reaches one or two carats a ton. Imagine yourself as a diamond prospector breaking rocks by hand to find those two carats of precious gems among all that ore. Can’t? Neither can I. April of 2010 Apple unleashed a revolution when it introduced the iPad.  It also unleashed a monumental problem. The iPhone had already established the paradigm different from the desktop computer of managing tasks by having them handled by small, narrowly focused applications, suited to the small footprint of the iPhone screen. Apple carried over the idea to the iPad, having proved the viability of the approach.
The weak link is the app store.
As an early adopter of the iPad, I spent hours looking through the apps to find ones that would make my time more productive. I found a few gems and many that were useless, much like mining diamonds by hand. I have seen the style of the app store change a few times since then as Apple tries to manage the flood, over 65,000 at last count. Featured, staff picks, genius, all good attempts and probably the best ways they have as far as a store goes but sorting through 65,000 apps? As good as those recommendations are, it still boils down to a lot of trial and error and many hours sifting through all the raw material to get to the good stuff. Not that it wasn’t fun but many of us have better things to do. Customer reviews don’t always tell the whole story and genius matches are often inscrutable. How do you get Pandora from Mathboard? Fortunately, “Best IPad Apps” by Peter Meyers and published by O’Reilly Media, comes to the rescue. 225 pages of sparkly beauty divided into easily understood and succinct categories laid out in a deliciously polished fashion, this guide is the true killer app of apps. Please give me back all the hours I spent tracking down half of these! Starting with an index of 2 1/2 pages (talk about distilled!) the guide follows up with color coded chapters making it easy to beeline for for the category you need. Each best app has a quick review, maybe some handy tips and a screen or two to give you a taste of the wonder you will find. there are even honorable mentions with possible contenders for the title. Need an app for outlining? Got you covered, Outliner. General image editing? Photogene the one. One man band? Music Studio sounds about right. Best game for killing pigs with birds? Ok, that one doesn’t need a guide but you get the picture. The only thing I can think to say is OMG!Actually, there is something else to say. If your getting an iPad or already have one, if your going to have anything to do with an iPad, you need this guide. Your time is valuable. Someone did the work for you. Take advantage of it.

You can check out more about this title, including various buying options, at O’Reilly Media.


Book Review- True to Life

this is a guest post by EBSQ artist Robin Cruz McGee

True to Life: 25 Years of Conversations with David Hockney
True to Life: 25 Years of Conversations with David Hockney

“True To Life”, by Lawrence Weschler, Director of the New York Institute of the Humanities at NYU is an inspiring and interesting book about David Hockney, renowned contemporary artist. Is this a book about his work? Yes and no. It does talk about his paintings and art but in a more profound way then we are accustom to encounter books about artists. We often go to shows or see the work of other artists in various venues but are rarely privy to the machinations that lead up to the finished pieces. After all, none of us want to see the sausage  being made, do we? Here, the answer is definitely yes! All the juicy bits are exposed, the deliberations laid bare and the fascinating and complex interplay of an artist in deep contemplation of what art and being an artist means offers us an exquisite and unique view of the genius that Hockney is. You will be delighted with the intensity of Hockney’s inquisitive mind and the path he follows as he unravels the common threads of Cubism, photography and the secrets of Renaissance masters.

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