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Christmas Gift Guide

Underwear Party

Cargo-Bot

Standards of Living

iPad Paintings and Drawings

Samuel J. Coffy: Action Panda Cop

Chiptunes for the modern age

Android Arcade Cabinet

iPad Magician

iBand

Virtualidades

Tablets may lack the processing power of a desktop or the visual tools of a monitor, but to these creative people, that's no obstacle. They made cool stuff on tablets. And they did it well.

In 2011, an indie punk duo called The Ultramods released a full-length album titled Underwear Party that was recorded entirely on the iPad GarageBand app. Using the app’s multitrack recording feature, musicians Max Sparber and Coco Mault took advantage of many instruments, like virtual drums and guitar, to compose and record studio-quality tracks.

Caption by / Photo by The Ultramods

Cargo-Bot -- a puzzle game that tasks the player with instructing a robot to move crates to the correct position -- holds the distinction of being the first game entirely programmed via iPad. By using Codea, an app that lets users code and develop games and other applications for the iPad, developer Rui Viana was able to finish Cargo-Bot in four months, and his game has since exceeded a million downloads.

Caption by / Photo by Cargo-Bot

Who says you need a $20,000 camera to shoot a feature film? That’s the thinking behind Aaron Mento’s movie, Standards of Living, which was shot entirely on an iPad 2. Standards of Living is a horror comedy that tells the story of a struggling comedian who participates in a teleportation experiment that has unexpected results.

Caption by / Photo by Aaron Mento

Painting and drawing on tablets isn’t exactly a novel activity, few people can actually call themselves iPad artists. Andy Maitland is one such artist, and his work, iPad Paintings and Drawings, is a 90-page compilation of digital sketches and paintings showcasing the landscapes around his hometown of Surrey, England. In addition to creating his paintings on the iPad, Maitland also used Book Creator, an e-book publishing app, to publish his work on iBooks.

Caption by / Photo by Andy Maitland

Tablets changed the way people read digital comic books, but they also opened the door for aspiring comic book artists to create content. Professional designer Jonathan Woodard, known online as “mastajwood,” created Samuel J. Coffy: Action Panda Cop, using only the iPad. He has since moved onto the more powerful Surface Pro 3 to create animations for shows such as Axe Cop and Major Lazer.

Caption by / Photo by Jonathan Woodard

Chiptunes have made a comeback since their introduction in the '80s on 8-bit console and computer games. Many musicians have taken to tablets to re-create the catchy, repetitive music. One such musician is Taiwan-based Wiwi Kuan, who used PixiTracker, an app that lets users visually construct instrumental melodies in an intuitive, retro-styled interface. The final track, found on his YouTube channel, is quite impressive.

Caption by / Photo by Wiwi Kuan

Gaming on tablets is nothing new, but how many people can say they transformed their tablet into a fully functional mini-arcade cabinet? DIY enthusiast Steve Smith did just that, and the result is nothing short of amazing. By running MAME -- an open-source software that emulates vintage arcade games -- on his Galaxy Note 10.1, Smith built a mini-arcade cabinet that behaves and functions just like its life-size counterpart.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Smith

Simon Pierro is probably the most tech-forward magician out there. By incorporating the iPad into all his illusions, the 37-year-old German magician has come to be known as the iPad Magician. Pierro’s routines typically consist of picking up digital objects from the iPad’s screen, bringing them into the real world, and then putting them back in, much to the amazement of his audience.

Caption by / Photo by Simon Pierro

Recording music on the iPad is cool, but what about using actual iPads as live instruments? Musicians collaborating with New York studio HollenderX2 Photography took to the challenge and created a cover of the '80s hit Eye of the Tiger using iPad apps as their only instruments. The result, as can be seen from their music video on YouTube, is pretty impressive.

Caption by / Photo by Jordan Hollender

Augmented reality, a feature that lets devices like smartphones and tablets project digital images on physical objects, is one of the most futuristic things you can do on your personal device. Taking advantage of this cutting-edge technology, digital artist and professor Josue Abraham created a museum exhibit called Virtualidades that may only be enjoyed through the lens of a tablet or a smartphone.

Caption by / Photo by Josue Abraham
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