A couple of months ago I brought an iPad Air and I love it, it’s now my goto device over my laptop for web surfing, social networking, catching up with emails and even drawing. I’ve also been able to do small amounts of work on it - WordPress updates and small website changes for example.
I believe the change from a laptop (desktop) environment to a tablet has been made a lot easier due to my reliance of cloud based storage. I’ve been using Google’s Drive for my clients work files, Dropbox for my own projects and Box for archives of old files for a while now and so have access to them from their respected apps (as well as the fantastic Jolidrive). But this environment for storing files still has limitations once you’re on a tablet, you can’t just grab any file from any cloud service from an app you’re using. Some apps will work with Dropbox for example, but not Google Drive.
One problem I didn’t expect was the lack of Drive support in the Gmail and Chrome iPad apps, not being able to save an email attachment from Gmail to Drive is a pretty big limitation in the app (yes I know you can do it on the browser version, but the browser version isn’t as nice to use on a tablet). So I created an IFTTT recipe;
Now, any emails with an attachment get the attachment saved to a specific folder in my Drive, I can then simply move the attachments to a desired location from the Drive app. This recipe will work with Dropbox, Box or any other storage service IFTTT has channels for.
Saving email attachments is now nice and easy (with two different methods) but saving and downloading files from Chrome to Google Drive is impossible. So I use Cloud Browser.
It’s a free iPad only app that connects to lots of different cloud storage services including Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3 and any FTP account. It also comes with a simple web browser that allows you to download files to the app, you can then move the downloaded files up to the cloud storage service of your choice. It’s an extra step (internet -> app -> cloud storage) but it’s pretty quick for small files that you need to grab and possibly use later.
My usual workflow for creating a new drawing starts and ends with Photoshop, a pixel size at 300dpi that defines my ideal print size and my favourite colour space (Adobe RGB).
With the iPad and Procreate and my latest print I was restricted to a pixel size slightly smaller than my ideal (about 10% smaller, Procreate can do 4096 x 4096 pixels, which is a lot bigger than some other apps). I also had zero colour management options — images created on the iPad don’t have the option to have a colour profile embedded and what’s more you can’t calibrate the screen like you can with a desktop monitor or laptop.
After my drawing was complete I exported a layered Photoshop PSD into Dropbox so I could open it up on my laptop. The colours were slightly more saturated and stronger than I expected, but it’s an image with one colour, so I’m going to judge things fully when I have an image with a few more colours in.
Straight away Photoshop asked me if I wanted to convert the image to the current colour space — I said yes — next up was to print. Using a colour profile from our printer to match the paper I soft proofed the image and ran off a small A4 proof which closely matched to what I was expected from what I saw on screen.
So, here’s a step by step guide to getting the best print you can from your iPad drawing app.
- Create your artwork on your iPad using the largest pixel canvas size possible, this will usually affect the number of layers you can use, so it can be a balancing act.
- Export your image using a uncompressed format; PSD or Tiff ideally, PDF, Jpeg or PNG are other file formats but they can be compressed and can affect quality.
- Open the image in Photoshop and apply a colour space, most should accept RGB images - so you shouldn’t need to convert to CMYK.
- Soft-proof the image using a colour profile supplied by your printer (or print company), if your screen is calibrated this will give you a good indication of how your image will print. Adjust the image if needed — brightness, contrast, colour balance and saturation.
- Save your image in an uncompressed format (and flattened / without layers if you’re sending it to a company to print).
Hope this helps!
Happy Rambles is was a service that I started using last year after reading an article on how to ‘be happy’. Happy Rambles would send an email everyday for you to reply to with the things your grateful for and the moments that made you smile each day. It’s been great and it’s something I enjoy doing each day.
Last week the emails I sent back to Happy Rambles started to bounce back, then a few days later the daily emails stopped arriving in my inbox. Then the site went down and it’s not been back up since. Luckily I had been also sending the emails to my Evernote as well as Happy Rambles, so unlike a lot of people, I haven’t lost any of my rambles. This is the part gave me an idea on how to continue with my rambles.
An IFTTT + Evernote Replacement
My replacement Happy Ramble uses an IFTTT recipe to send me a daily email that I can reply to and send to an Evernote notebook.
Using the Date & Time channel I set a time everyday to get the email.
Using the email channel as the action, I get an email with a subject using the CheckTime ingredient to add the date in and custom body text that’s similar to what Happy Ramble previously included. I’ve also added @Happy Days on the end of the email subject so the email to Evernote is automatically filed in my Happy Days notebook.
You do get IFTTT copy in the email, but I always removed all the text in the email before typing my replies back so that’s no problem.
Evernote also supports images in notes, as did Happy Rambles, so none of the previous functionality has been lost. The only change is that I have to change the email address when sending my reply — to my personal Evernote email address.
An alternative replacement is 100 Happy Days, it’s a very similar concept but places the focus of a photograph from your day rather than a list of things your grateful for our happy about. It’s not something I’ve tried, but along with emailing your photos you can tag them on your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter feed, giving you lots of ways to easily send your happy photos to the service. It also has a very cute website!
Try 100 Happy Days here; 100happydays.com
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