December 2015 – Astropad and iPad Pro

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For years Wacom’s Cintiq has been the go-to graphics tablet for digital artists. Finally, with the release of Apple’s iPad Pro, there is a real competitor for the Cintiq but the debate is on as to whether the iPad Pro can really match up in terms of capability.

The Apple Pencil has more than exceeded expectations when it comes to pressure sensitivity, varied tilt angles and natural line weights. But for professional artists, the iPad Pro operating system and applications have limited capability.

With the iPad Pro and Pencil, Astropad takes digital sketching to the next level, allowing artists to use their iPad to draw on any Mac application, and unlike other graphics tablets, it is fully wireless. Yes, that includes Photoshop.

Matt Ronge, the co-founder of Astropad, say “iPad Pro is an amazing drawing platform but iOS is far too limited for the professional artist. We wanted a way where we could get the best of both worlds, the power and flexibility of the Mac coupled with the touch interface of the iPad.”

Astropad isn’t a new app, previously allowing artists to draw on their Mac using previous iPad models. But their latest update integrates clean high resolution support for the larger iPad Pro’s screen size and fluid, natural sketching for the Apple Pencil.

The app works by mirroring the screen and allowing full control onto your iPad. Existing technologies, such as Airplay also allowed such functionality however the image quality was poor and the high latency caused frustrating lag. “Neither of which are acceptable for a professional artist,” says Ronge. “So we spent over a year creating our custom tech called Liquid that is both low latency and is very high quality. This is what sets us apart from others that have tried to build something like Astropad.”

Astropad is $30.99 (AUD) and available on the iPhone, iPad and Mac App store.