Everyone knows that Apple creates products that are great for creating. But part of what makes that statement true is the deep selection of third-party gadgets that make the most of artistic impulse. We’ve painted this next section, Gifts for the Imagination, with examples that’ll help nourish the next Pissarro, Satriani or Cartier-Bresson.
Every iPad and iPhone should come with this breakthrough photo-editing app that Apple just named iPad app of the year (it received a noteworthy mention on the iPhone side too). Digital editing software powerhouse Nik Software, long the software filter go-to outfit for professional photogs, took all their image-editing know-how and crammed it into this stunning app — and at the same time, created a revolutionary interface that’s extremely simple and gratifying to use.
Adonit Jot Stylus ($20)
Adonit’s Jot stylus took top honors in our roundup a few months back. Unlike most other styli, the Jot’s clear tip is perfect for precise drawing. It’s also beautifully crafted, machined from a solid block of metal and comes in three pretty anodized colors. Or if you’re feeling generous, pop for the Jot Pro with its more comfortable grip and magnet.
The iPad version of Garage Band is fantastic; it’s so good, in fact, that an Aussie Kickstarter project has created rubberized conductive drumsticks and picks for the app’s ultra-realistic drum and guitar renditions (of course, it’ll work with other virtual drum and guitar apps too).
iPhone 8x Telephoto Lens ($35)
With its macro, wide and fisheye lenses, the Olloclip lens set for the iPhone we reviewed a few days ago is a great kit — but there’s no telephoto. Add the big boy above and you’ve fixed that — it’s powerful 8x zoom should be great for ball games or wildlife. There’s probably a good deal of hand shake to deal with though, so the kit thoughtfully comes with a mini tripod.
Until our Macs get touchscreens, the best way to create and edit design-oriented projects is still with a pad and stylus. The Bamboo Capture, middle rung of Wacom’s just-refreshed Bamboo series, comes with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and the option to go wireless with the addition of a $40 add-on. Bonus: also comes with Adobe Photoshop Elements and Autodesk Sketchbook Express.
Apogee Jam ($99)
While the Pix & Stix kit is a great way to play music on your iPad, Apogee’s Jam lets musicians plug a guitar directly into the iPad (or iPhone) and use Garage Band’s awesome recording tools to create music with. And it’s completely plug-and-play — no roadie required.