Saturday 14 April 2012

'Paper' App by 53

I've been looking for an app that would allow realistic drawing on the iPad. Tried Sketchbook pro, Bamboo Paper (by Wacom) as many as I could find, but none of them have really cut it for me. Although I like the idea of being able to sketch into the iPad, I'm a big believer in why recreate something electronically when you can do it better with an actual pencil and paper, and none of the apps so far have convinced me otherwise........however 'Paper' by 53 has nearly converted me.
Firstly I'd recommend watching the video, (below), this shows what the app is, and does so very neatly. Many of the guys behind the app worked for Microsoft on the short lived Courier software. However where Microsoft runs on the amounts of options and complexities it fits into software, Paper's success for me is its pure the video and you'll see what I mean...

'Paper' allows you to create as many different sketchbooks as you wish and populate them with a range of sketches, notes, doodles and designs. What's so wonderful to begin with is how simple and intuitive it is. There is a range of tools, which although the main app is free you have have to buy, and these include; dip pen, pencil, two pens, and a watercolour brush. Each work so well, the dip pen in particular, that it makes you want to keep picking it up. You can customise your sketchbooks with covers of your choice and name them, add/delete pages as you see fit..but that's about as far as it goes and lets face it do you need more? 
That's what I think the key to this is - its simplicity! Yes I'd like more colours (and I hope they add a few in the next update) and true it would be nice to be able to change your books to Portrait for longer drawings, but overall this is all we need to be able to sketch and sketch quickly. As long as you have an intuitive reactionary app like this, that actually does what you ask of it why do we need hundreds of options? You don't, and the guys at 53 have realised this (perhaps through working for Microsoft!) and have given us an app which is a joy to use. Its made me want to draw on the iPad, something I never thought I would achieve.
'Stongman' drawn on 'Paper' April 2012 (MDixon)
53 have endorsed the Wacom Bambo Stylus for this app. I have the Bamboo Stylus and yes it is good. However the nib is a little spongy (and from what I have heard rips easily when used often) it works well and the lines follow pretty much as you draw them, but we are crying out for a really good stylus pen, that feels like an actual pen both to hold and use - one that allows you to lean your hand on the iPad whilst drawing without making a mark...and it looks like it is coming in the new Blue Tiger stylus from Ten One Design. Lets hope so because that would make this app even better.
Some quick sketches done on Paper after it was dowloaded
Overall 53 have created with 'Paper' a really nice, simple and intuitive app which makes sketching on the iPad effortless and enjoyable. I'm really looking forward to seeing what they come up with next and if they make any additions to 'Paper' without making it option heavy - at least give us some more colours!
For more about 'Paper' or to download it click here

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