The problem isn't that nice drawing software like this doesn't exist, it's that styli on iPad still suck. The capacitive screen (even on "new" iPad) only has about a 6mm capacitive resolution, so you're stuck fudging the fck along with a sausage for a stylus. Ars had a good review on the current state of styli, and they said much the same. I've personally owned about four iPad styli and none come close to what I am capable of with an old Graphire.
We need pressure sensitivity, finer resolution, and proper calibration for this to work well. Everyone wants to replace drawing stuff with iPad (including myself) but until iPad supports Wacom-esque pressure sensitivity, feel and resolution on iPad everything you do there will likely be too rough compared to what you could get with a Bamboo on Painter/Illustrator or what could be drawn directly on paper, scanned in and retraced with said Wacom. Even the Galaxy Note / Lenovo Tablet / etc. are better for this.
Why? For the same reason that Macs still come defaulted to "one button" mode – to restrain software developers. You see, application developers for Mac can count on a significant percent of their user base being completely without an alternate click, so they are forced to expose functionality as buttons instead of stuffing it all in the context menu.
If Apple bundled a stylus with the iPad tomorrow, thousands of developers would add support for it for "gee whiz" reasons. If the user has to purchase one separately, it won't be used gratuitously. Instead, only the professional apps (which actually benefit from a stylus) would use them.
So let me clarify – all apple hardware comes by default with the secondary click disabled.
As I said, the real reason Apple needs one button is to prevent interface designers from getting lazy. Apple (and their third-party developers) know that most people never change the defaults.
However, they don't really want to ship single-button hardware. Here's what most people don't realize: Apple knows it's a less expressive device. Back when they shipped real one button mice, their advanced users were forced to BYOHID. The hardware that Apple shipped was wasted. That sucks.
To resolve this dilemma Apple devised the Mighty Mouse (later the Magic Mouse). Since the "right-click" was in software they could keep the one-button default but have the hardware magically transform into a multi-button mouse for advanced users. Surely many will BYOHID anyway (this happens with PCs too), but two buttons satisfy many more users.
It's a neat solution to a technical and social problem.
They seem to use totally different approach - an external motion detector, proximity sensors which gives this tool much better precision. It's this kind of technology as used in kindle touch. Although it's still early for them, idea behind this is quite interesting.
Sad that they don't even have what can be called a website anymore.
They also have an insanely high threshold for parts quality, but without the volume to keep manufacturers making the same parts, they keep running out. The new Cintiq has one of the nicest displays you'll ever see, but it will likely always be in short supply.
the component cost of the touchscreen in the Asus is around $40. I have the larger model here. the component cost for the wacom touch interface and controller (which you can't even really buy) would be in the hundreds of dollars (for a 7").
if you have used a real wacom you will know what I am talking about, the feeling and accuracy is simply awesome. I can't wait until the technology makes it into consumer tablets
they are doing a lot more integrations now, though most are pen:
It looks like a somewhat different design than all the other styluses, and so might work better, but I haven’t seen any direct reviews except their marketing material, which is hardly impartial.
Even with the Adonit, though, iPad is still no match for a Wacom. It's not even close.
Go on YouTube and just search for Adonit Jot Pro reviews. There are lots of impartial people and accurate action.
Calibration issues, broken, etc. I was really looking forward to a precise stylus (pressure sensitivity is number 2 priority to me), and I'm still waiting…
However, as an artist, there is sometimes something to be gained from embracing the confines of a particular medium and learning to work within them. And there are serious artists working with the ipad, e.g. David Hockney:
I spent several years drawing with silverpoint and while it was an excruciating experience, the results were often gorgeous; especially as the drawing "ages" and the silver tarnishes. Talk about your non-intuitive interface.
Basically it is drawing with a piece of silver wire. The mark is very faint, especially on paper. To get enough silver to deposit, you often use paper covered with a ground of some kind, like gesso or very find sand or grit in a sizing of some kind.
Over time the silver tarnishes and darkens, but it has a luster about it that would be very difficult to photograph or scan. If you don't want the silver to tarnish, you can coat the work with a modern sealer, but no one really knows how that will age over the years.
One of the ways of drawing with silver point is to "glaze" over the work by tracing and retracing over the forms, to build up a fusion of the marking material. This can result in a very cloudy, diffuse rendering that still has a definite graphic look to it.
Very time consuming and it's hard to judge when to stop since the image is so faint.
One artist I knew used to spray the silver with chemicals to "develop" the image to a certain point, and then neutralize it when it had reached the darkness level he wanted, and then he sealed it.
You can also draw with gold wire, the markings are a faint yellow brownish color, but they have a definite luster to them. The gold doesn't tarnish like the silver, so you don't have the change over time. Depends on the effect you want I guess.
There was an artist in recent years who did these very large semi-photo real silver and gold point drawings. Several feet across. A reproduction simply cannot do them justice. They are very faint, and the light changes as you walk around them.
I've actually thought about doing a digital installation piece using Processing that has drawings and photos that exhibit apparent change according to the light and the viewer's orientation to the work. And of course with digital, you could have the actual image itself change, and not just the viewing apparition.
This would probably be considered a "Not Safe For Work" image, so be aware.
The photo really doesn't do justice to what these look like. The image as perceived in the room is almost latent, no where near this explicit. Very faint, but definitely there.
A very difficult medium to work with.
Every artistic medium has constraints, and every artist is used to this fact whether he is a painter or a sculpter. The iPad's input device (capacitive screen) is one such constraint here. What I think is great about this app is how great it can be at capturing a good number of important expressive pieces that are possible in the medium and presenting them as easy to understand tools. In using the app for about 30 mins I felt pretty great about what I was able to create in comparison to other apps on the same medium (iPad apps).
The reason all those stylus balls are so big is to always be close enough to a at least one sensor element.
I told this to a rather well known analytic design guy, before he went to Frisco to lecture at Apple before the release of iPad 2: the input resolution needs to be a lot better.
16 months on, no improvement. I can only hope tablet designers have boxed themselves in: there's not much more to improve on this thing. I've got the new ipad, the first gen ipad, and the touchpad. They're all stone cold awesome. But their drawing inputs still fail miserably compared to a sharp pencil. Hell, most erasers are more precise than a tablet.
“What hardware improvements would I want in a tablet? The iPad can already do 3D games, resolution limited more by your retina than the screen, wireless networking, sensors for touch, position, orientation, acceleration, sound, front and rear facing cameras...”
I think you just provided a great answer to that question.
The ability to write, or draw, with a high degree of precision is something I think a lot of people are going to want.
If it's possible to have a tablet with high enough display resolution that you can't see individual pixels, why can't we also have a touchscreen with high enough touch resolution?
What do you mean? I can definitely draw smaller features than 6 mm.
* First impression: Nice tutorial, nice animations when picking a notebook. Great idea to do your app planning sketches as its own notebook.
* First impression while writing: Nice inky strokes, I like the colors.
* Second impression: Hmmm...this seems a bit laggy compared to Noteshelf or Penultimate. <flip over to those programs> Yup, definitely laggier (I have an iPad 2). Probably only a few milliseconds lag, but noticeable.
* Third impression: I like the rewind interface instead of an undo button. Very cool.
* Fourth impression: No zoom or magnifying glass? bummer.
* Final decision: Nice, impressive, innovative UI but unfortunately especially the lagginess will cause this to not replace Noteshelf as my default go-to notebook. The lack of zoom is also a bummer, since with a magnifying glass you could add so much more detail, it makes up for the iPad's lack of pinpoint accuracy.
3.5/5 (edit: just realized i'm not on the app store so I can give decimal ratings :P)
P.S. Also, a "hand guard" area to ignore touches as in Noteshelf would REALLY be nice to be able to draw without having to make sure you never touch the screen with your hand while drawing.
When the dialog is finally brought up, it doesn't respect my finger motions. I'll drag my one finger a full 360 around my other finger but the pie chart moves less than 5 degrees in total, jerkily. Or, it flaps forward and backward rapidly as I smoothly move my finger in one direction. Maybe there's a heuristic that's trying to pick a "pivot" finger and a "rotating" finger, and it's picking wrong each time. I dunno.
Willing to give them the benefit of the doubt because the rest of the app is so well done, but, this brokenness of such a key feature makes a bad initial impression.
Even doing it correctly, I still feel it's a little too slow, and still relatively easy to flub it into closing the book. I applaud the idea, though.
Paper has a pleasing feel but the minimalism won't suit everyone.
I was quite underwhelmed by paper after being exposed to the others, and I have notability as well.
Things it needs:
* Pinch zoom in and out. Gotta have this. It works great when you are drawing at the scale of the whole page, but detail work suffers as the sampling of the device isn't good enough. (Nor are my fingers! This is why artists and illustrators often draw and paint as large as possible.) When they add zooming, and they say on their website they are, they need to be sure and adjust the tool's scaling to match the view.
* The limited color palette is fine, but I need to be able to pick the colors.
* More tools are a given, especially since the program itself is free and they are making their money by selling extra tools. I've already plunked down my eight bucks for all that's available.
The minimalist interface is fantastic. When you are drawing, and I'm speaking as a person who draws observationally, you want the tool to be as spacial and object oriented as possible. This doesn't mean you have to mimic "real world" drawing tools, but it does mean that the interface needs to not emphasize numerics and linguistics. The organization needs to be very simple; from a drawing point of view, if I have to drill down through a series of hierarchies I might has well type in menu selections from a command line. My attention needs to be on my subject and my drawing, not on a UI.
You also need a retina display. You stare much closer at the screen when writing and notice the pixelation much more closely.
Doing this also gives the developers the option to introduce paid updates in the future, which is potentially good or bad.
There is also no reason the developer can't link to the paid version direct from the app - no heed for hunting.
I don't mind them charging in-app for features in principle. but I found that the free version wasn't enough for me to draw anything serious so it didn't really let me try out the app.
I think it would have been better to go with a fully featured free version with say, just one notebook with limited pages. That way users could use the app fully, and upgrade if they used it enough to need more capacity.
Wow...UX in systems with hidden file-system is so awesome.
In general, your argument about a subset of products is reasonable. In a drawing app when you have to buy individual brushes it's scummy.
I feel it's actually more respectful of the user's time to let them figure out whether the app will work for them for free, rather than forcing them to commit to a purchase of something that may not in the end be suitable for their needs.
(insert discussion about being able to return apps for a refund here)
I really want to see a MacOSX version of this, there are not really any good minimalistic drawing programs on the Mac app store yet..
I do like the moleskin feel to it and the graphics. Good work!
Clever alternative input methods to take an end run around screen resolution would be amazing if they're accurate enough.
I'd love to see someone give paper this 1 paper-cut.
But I kinda consider the ability to choose my own colors to be a critical feature in my drawing programs! BALEETED
"I am going to get a stylus for my iPad."
The more options they give you the more time spent use them instead of drawing?
At the same time though, I do wonder if the sketchbook UI is really the main point. Going through images 1 at a time or with a grid of thumbnails in Art Rage or Sketchbook is much more cumbersome than this one pinch to fold, flip to next page, tap, draw.
It doesn't ask you to load or save, it just acts like paper which is quicker.
I wonder of those other apps added that type of feature if the limited options would still be a positive or a negative.
Makes me wonder if its time to actually pick up a stylus...
Works great, and has more features; pen /brush editing, layers, export to .psd...