May 19, 2014 — by: Karl Johnson
Categories: iOS Applications, Review

53From cash registers to recreational games, the iPad is used in a variety of ways. For example, take drawing. Drawing on the iPad is more natural than drawing on the computer with a mouse or tablet because the user sees the line they are drawing right under the pen. The iPad has several styluses to choose from making it a great drawing device.

However, finding a good drawing application in the App Store can be somewhat challenging. First, there is no specific “Graphics & Design” category on the iOS App Store like there is on the Mac App Store. This is an important category that Apple needs to add to the iOS App Store. Second, once you locate a drawing app there are a multitude to choose among. That said, despite these drawbacks, we’ve done the work for you and can recommend two clear drawing application winners.

Paper by FiftyThree is a minimalist drawing application that will remind users of Apple in its design philosophy. Paper has a basic set of tools that are well organized and work great together. Strokes are very fluid and look natural. One can also purchase their stylus called the “Pencil” designed specifically for this app. Unlike other styluses, FiftyThree designed a stylus that acts like a pencil. There are no buttons, just a pen on one side and an eraser on the other. When the stylus is active, fingers can also be used to smudge the ink on the paper. For sketching, concept art, and rough designs, Paper is the best tool for the job.

Procreate is our other choice. Procreate is on the other end of the drawing spectrum. While Paper only has a few tools, Procreate has a myriad of tools with a massive amount of options. The paint brush option panels looks like Photoshop with custom brushes, shapes, grain, and dynamics. Users can also create their own brushes. Procreate has most of the features one would find in Photoshop to create highly detailed works of art. With all these options and features, one would think the interface would be very complicated. This is where Procreate really shines. The application starts out with a basic looking interface. As the user gets more comfortable with the application, they can drill down into the options for each tool and quickly close those pallets for a simple interface again. The developers have done a great job with the interface.

This iOS and iPad have grown up in the last several years. Initially the iPad was mostly a content consumption device (read websites, listen to music, watch videos), However, the iPad and its apps now provide a platform of creating robust content as well. Drawing is just another example of this evolution. And when it comes to drawing while there are many options to choose from Paper and Procreate stand out far and above the rest.

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