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Air Stylus turns your iPad into a graphics tablet

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Avatron, the developer of Air Display, has today released a new iPad app. Air Stylus extends your computer screen to the iPad display and, in combination with a pressure-sensitive pen, turns the latter into a graphics tablet that works with a range of imaging applications including Adobe Photoshop and Apple's Aperture. 

Currently Air Stylus is only compatible with the iPad 3 and newer models, as well as Macs running OS X 10.7 or later. However, Android and Windows versions of the app are also under development.  Supported pressure-sensitive pens include the Adonit Jot Touch 4, Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus, and Pogo Connect from Ten One Design.

At $19.99 in the Apple App Store Air Stylus is not a cheap app but might still be a very sensible purchase for those who have been toying with the idea of investing in a full-blown graphics tablet. Just make sure there's enough room in the budget for a pressure-sensitive pen as well.

Via: MacRumors 


Comments

Total comments: 58
srados
By srados (1 week ago)

"By Bob Tullis (1 week ago)

How do oil painters ever cope?"

Oil painter does use a mahl stick that allow them to lean on it.Mahl stick – (Pronounced: mar-hl) a wooden stick used to lean on when painting fine details. It has a long handle with a pad at one end, you rest this end on a dry area of the canvas to help steady your painting arm when painting a detailed, controlled part. You can simply make your own by tightly wrapping a cotton wool in a ball around the end of a length of wooden dowl. Cover the cotton wool with a piece of fabric or chamois and you will be Old Master a go-go!

0 upvotes
srados
By srados (1 week ago)

"The product fits the needs of those who want to stray and play. I doubt if it was ever intended to compete with Wacom Toying is the term used in the article"
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Problem is hovering in mid air to avoid contact with a palm.THAT does not fits any needs of any wanna be artist.It is not about competing with Wacom, it is about actual practical use for anyone.If pen is ergonomically impractical, than it is useless.

0 upvotes
benjicon
By benjicon (4 weeks ago)

This is another impractical drawing solution, created by people that have never spent any time drawing. The key reason these don't work is because you cant rest your hand on the screen while using the stylus. If you were to draw on paper with a pencil you naturally rest your hand on the page and sketch away, but in the video you can clearly see she has to hover her hand above the screen awkwardly using her pinky to stabilize on the top edge of the screen. The only devices that I know of that have addressed this issue are Wacom with the Cintiq and Microsoft with the Surface Pro. Palm recognition is essential.. Don't wast your money on any thing else.

1 upvote
esmu urdis
By esmu urdis (4 weeks ago)

Sure it isn't a magic wand but It doesn't say that it replaces a pencil and paper, I have no great problems with it and Photoshop. Maybe you should go beyond watching and be part of the using brigade..........

0 upvotes
srados
By srados (3 weeks ago)

As professional artist that works in animation, I have used Wacom products for the past 14 years and nothing compares to them. As "benjicon" said: "The key reason these don't work is because you cant rest your hand on the screen while using the stylus."

1 upvote
esmu urdis
By esmu urdis (3 weeks ago)

The product fits the needs of those who want to stray and play. I doubt if it was ever intended to compete with Wacom Toying is the term used in the article

0 upvotes
Bob Tullis
By Bob Tullis (3 weeks ago)

How do oil painters ever cope?

0 upvotes
esmu urdis
By esmu urdis (3 weeks ago)

easy they use paint and get creative on the turps ..........

0 upvotes
kff
By kff (1 month ago)

It doesn't work with W7 and iOS (iPad Air) : mischmacht version of drivers ... but both version on tablet and PC have a latest versions !!!

0 upvotes
esmu urdis
By esmu urdis (1 month ago)

What doesn't work?

0 upvotes
kff
By kff (4 weeks ago)

iPad wrote: Mismatch: PC need latest version sw, but PC has a latest version (it wrote PC app settings) ...

0 upvotes
esmu urdis
By esmu urdis (4 weeks ago)

no dramas here

0 upvotes
jp_eagle
By jp_eagle (1 month ago)

where do they put their palm? they really draw in air.
need bigger screen like a4 size screen.
any sluggish would be biggest drawback. both software/hardware should be improved.
samsung note would be better choice at this moment.

1 upvote
MarcMedios
By MarcMedios (1 month ago)

We need the android version

0 upvotes
speculatrix
By speculatrix (1 month ago)

maybe Samsung could make such a thing. They could call it the Galaxy Notepad. oh wait.
:-D

2 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

the guys who make this version are working on an Android version as well, at least according to one of the videos on their website.

1 upvote
DStudio
By DStudio (1 month ago)

You mean *you* need an android version.

Which would you develop for first - the one with a few finite hardware and software variations that has a huge installed base, or the highly fragmented one with nearly infinite permutations?

In any case (as Lars already pointed out) you'll get your wish.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
jp_eagle
By jp_eagle (1 month ago)

samsung galaxy note pro 12.1 is ready and useful.

1 upvote
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (1 month ago)

This is not the first time something like this gets implemented.

But all the solutions have the same problem: latencies.

Wacoms are somewhat faster, but also have noticeable lag between the time the stroke/point is made and it is actually drawn.

1 upvote
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (1 month ago)

come on, wacoms are absolutely realtime

maybe its a software lag, but even 10 years ago my wacom was super precise and had no noticable lag

3 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (1 month ago)

I think it is software lag. Still: it is a lag.

The demos I have seen were using Wacom + Photoshop and I think (haven't touched the thing in years) it was the typical Photoshop lag when rendering a curve on a high DPI image.

Actually, now that makes me realize why some tablet users still cling to the mspaint.exe: it is so primitive, it has virtually zero lag.

0 upvotes
benjicon
By benjicon (4 weeks ago)

I've been using a Wacom for 10 years and even the early versions of the Intuos were instant.

I think the latest version of the Mocrosoft Surface Pro with Wacom drivers is on par with the Wacom gear also.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (3 weeks ago)

come on so now you dont even use one ?^^

0 upvotes
dash2k8
By dash2k8 (1 month ago)

For that price we could just buy a Wacom, albeit a small one. With the Wacom you won't have to worry about scratching your screen while getting much better pressure feedback. I bought the Jot Touch two years ago and it's just not the same.

0 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (1 month ago)

I gave up on the iPad as a pen input device. It tried about 4 different styli, including the Jot Touch (2nd or 3rd gen) before giving up. I've got a Sony Flip now, and it's worlds better, though still not like paper, but better than a Bamboo tablet. I've never had a dedicated Wacom Cintiq, so I can't compare to that level.

The worst thing about the iPad is the palm rejection. I'm sure "real" artists can hover over the screen like those in the videos, but I can't - ore at least I can't for very long. And even with the best software, iPad palm rejection is so unpredictable as to be frustrating on the best of days and unworkable most of the time. On the Flip, my palm almost never causes an issue, and the ability to pan and pinch zoom while using the stylus with never an error is much, much closer to a paper.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
speculatrix
By speculatrix (1 month ago)

have you tried a Samsung Note?

0 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (1 month ago)

I haven't. I'm trying to get away from a vast array of digital devices - phone, reader, tablet, laptop. By getting a Win8 convertable with a digitizer, I have about 95% of what I use a tablet for combined with a machine I can do real work on (AutoCAD, for example). The only downside is I have a *big* latptop (15.4") so it's a bit heavy for wandering around.

0 upvotes
LaFonte
By LaFonte (1 month ago)

A very expensive way of having a half good, laggy, pressure sensitive tablet. While it looks great in theory , we all been there, it isn't that great to draw with a thick stylus on the display surface. Half of the time you don't see the line you draw.

0 upvotes
nerd2
By nerd2 (1 month ago)

Why just don't get the real tablet with proper digitizer in the fist place?

2 upvotes
esmu urdis
By esmu urdis (1 month ago)

If one owns a ipad and pen it's not a bad play

3 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

Don't think anyone would buy an iPad specifically to use it as a graphics tablet. But if you've got one already this is an inexpensive way to turn it into one. On the other hand, if you buy a Wacom, you can't play Angry Birds on it or read your eBook...

2 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (1 month ago)

"Don't think anyone would buy an iPad specifically to use it as a graphics tablet. But if you've got one already this is an inexpensive way to turn it into one."

Well, the iPad (or, for that matter, any tablets with a simple capacitive screen) still remains a very bad choice for anything "artistic" (or requiring precise input). It's incomparably worse than anything active digitizer-based, let it be Wacom (Samsung, most tablets etc.) or N-Trig (Surface).

Unfortunately, the iPad is just plain useless for serious work requiring an active digitizer and no hardware accessory (unless it's a transparent - currently, non-existing - digitizer surface that needs to be applied on top of the screen) can fix this.

0 upvotes
esmu urdis
By esmu urdis (1 month ago)

artistic does not require precise input.......... serious work wow does that mean work created with a frown?

0 upvotes
tokugawa
By tokugawa (1 month ago)

@Lars Rehm, if you buy either a Wacom-based Product such as the Galaxy Note 8.0, or Wacom's own tablet computers (Cintiq Companion, which is a full blown notebook in tablet form factor, or Cintiq Companion Hybrid, which is a Cintiq 13HD combined with an Android tablet), you can actually play Angry Birds and read eBooks on it :)

1 upvote
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

good point :)

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (1 month ago)

The quest to justify buying those expensive toys continues...

1 upvote
esmu urdis
By esmu urdis (1 month ago)

Maybe so, but no different to cars, alcohol, dinner for two, a extra pair of shoes etc.............

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (1 month ago)

"The quest to justify buying those expensive toys continues..."

You do NOT want to buy this. Get a decent Wacom / N-Trig-based tablet (Surface 3, for example) if you do need an active digitizer. These add-on pens are orders of magnitude worse than anything digitizer-based.

Heck, my 11-year-old, super-slow, but Wacom-based HP TC1100 is orders of magnitude better usable for pen-based input than anything on a late 2013 iPad Air with any kind of third-party pen... the underlying technology is THAT important.

1 upvote
natatack2
By natatack2 (1 month ago)

Anyone seen the price for the pen?

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (1 month ago)

If the iPad had a digitizer, then we'd be talking!

4 upvotes
esmu urdis
By esmu urdis (1 month ago)

There is a fair amount of lag and that hinders precise colour work,. I am sure future software upgrades will refine the clunky feel. Still a I managed a bit of visual gymnastics fun

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (1 month ago)

"I am sure future software upgrades will refine the clunky feel. "

It won't. There's simply no hardware support for precise input.

0 upvotes
VividExposures
By VividExposures (1 month ago)

I played around with the new Surface Pro 3 today, and I was very impressed with the experience. I tried to imagine using the "pen" in Photoshop and Lightroom. I am assuming these devices all just give up the pressure sensitivity levels of a dedicated Wacom tablet.

4 upvotes
MichaelRose
By MichaelRose (1 month ago)

The Surface Pro 3's Pen features 256 levels of pressure sensitivity, that's because it has a Wacom Tablet/Display or those 'Wacom' features are built-in to its Display.
For comparison: the Wacom Tablet (Intuos 4 Medium) I use with my Desktop PC has 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity.
I couldn't find any mention of pressure sensitivity level on Avaton's Web site when they discussed different pens to use with it? (http://www.avatron.com/our-favorite-pens)
I think this is another last gasp, money-maker that will get some more mileage out of the iPads, but it's like lipstick on a pig.
People haven't fully grasped the fact, that almost any Graphics application will be quite at home on a Surface Pro 3: 12" high-res Display that's fully compatible with a Mouse, Stylus, and Touch.

7 upvotes
VividExposures
By VividExposures (1 month ago)

I saw that and came back to correct my comment. Surely the one I was using had the default settings. I have tried a few Wacom tablets and the Surface didn't seem very sensitive to pressure. If the specs you mentioned are correct, it is an incredible value for a digital artist on the go. I will be using it for shooting tethered via USB. I had tried to use a Nexus 7 with a CamRanger, but when using liveview it only zooms to 100% and you can't pan the image. That is a deal-breaker for me and I am doing a return. Thanks for the specs :)

0 upvotes
Brian Miller
By Brian Miller (1 month ago)

The default SP3 pen pressure curve in not sensitive enough at the low end, but the curve will be editable soon. I like it a lot more than the Wacom tech in the SP1/2: no latency, no corners problem. The display is fantastic.

1 upvote
AndreSJ
By AndreSJ (1 month ago)

As much as i like the Samsung note its not a graphics Tablet and as much as i hate the IPad its...... not a graphics tablet.

nice tool for having a tinker though

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
DenisBBergeron
By DenisBBergeron (1 month ago)

As a user of Wacom Graphics Tablets (and others) and also a users of the original Samsung Note 10.1 and the new Pro 12.2

I will tell you that is better than only a Wacom Graphicss Tablet when you use it like a input device with Gimp On Linux or with some Samsung graphics tools.

0 upvotes
DenisBBergeron
By DenisBBergeron (1 month ago)

Oh look mama something that transform a ipad in a samsung note !

5 upvotes
Michael Ma
By Michael Ma (1 month ago)

These stylus solutions on an iPad will always have a noticeable delay. Get a tablet with wacom digitizer instead, such as the Note tablet, or wait for Apple to officially support it.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

I know that the Notes come with a Stylus but they work as a graphics tablet out of the box? Did not know that...

1 upvote
jackpro
By jackpro (1 month ago)

Galaxy Notes have been doing this a long time using Autodesk sketchbook pro export PSD TGA etc

3 upvotes
DenisBBergeron
By DenisBBergeron (1 month ago)

Lars the fact that you describe yourself has a Tech Writer covering Mobile but you obviously doesn't know what you're talking about is exactly what dpreview is coming to, a bunch of IFan.

2 upvotes
Liomar Marques Jlio
By Liomar Marques Jlio (1 month ago)

Actually, to make use of Samsung note as a graphics tablet you need another software. The solution using Autodesk sketchbook isn't the same as the one described here: You sketch on the tablet, and then export. It is way diferente than to sketch on the tablet, and showing on the pc.
Lars knows what he is talking about, but what can be true to people who see bias toward Apple in everthing, and love Samsung beyond reason?

2 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

@Dennis thanks for being so open and honest about your opinions but as Liomar has just confirmed you can't get the same function from a Note out of the box. Also, despite "describing myself as a tech writer" I would never claim to know everything about every app that is is out there in the App Stores, there are just too many of them. And just for your comfort: I own many more Android devices than Apple ones, so you're not quite right in calling me an iFan.

2 upvotes
DenisBBergeron
By DenisBBergeron (1 month ago)

Lars, believe what you want, I own Note 10.1 and 12.2 and do it. period. Like Jackpro said also.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

just to confirm: you can use it as a graphics tablet out of the box, i.e. without any additional apps? The screen content of your PC/Mac is visible at the same time on the tablet and you control Photoshop or whatever graphics program you are using on your Computer with the tablet? If yes, what function-built-in app do I need to run to do this? Note: I am not arguing, I just would like to know. I've used the Note 10.1. for a while and the Samsung people did not even mention this to me.

2 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

I should also add that the makers of the app in the article are in the process of developing an Android version for the Note which allows you the use the Note Stylus. That would be kind of pointless though if this capability is already built in.

2 upvotes
Total comments: 58
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