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Fiftythree unveils Paper sketching app for iPad

updated 01:00 am EDT, Thu March 29, 2012

Emulates different pens for finger or stylus

A new drawing app exclusively for the iPad debuted at midnight Thursday called Paper, intended for iPad owners who want to create and share sketches, hand-drawn diagrams, illustrations, notes or drawings. Thought not explicitly required, users of styluses will have more natural control, as the app enables the stylus to function as a pencil, pen, marker and coloring tool. The emulated tool's sensitivity works in conjunction with user movement to create different strokes without adjusting settings.

Indeed the app -- developed mainly by a team formerly associated with Microsoft's ambitious-but-ultimately-cancelled two-page tablet Courier -- lacks traditional menus or settings almost entirely. A small palette of pens is presented with a swipe up, and once chosen offers the tools options in visual form (and hidden with a swipe down). On opening, a collection of the user's notebooks appears in a Cover Flow-like array.

The idea, the designers say, is to get back to the most basic and natural working method -- picking up a pen (or in this case one's finger or stylus) and working on a blank piece of paper. The app is already configured to exploit the new iPad's Retina Display resolution, and utilizes tools from the thin line of a pencil to the broad strokes of a watercolor brush.

Creations can be sent to Tumblr, shared on social services Facebook and Twitter, and e-mailed. Errant strokes can be undone (up to 20 previous moves) through a two-finger counter-clockwise motion called "rewind." The app makes heavy use of OpenGL graphics to closely mimic the interaction of the pen to a piece of paper in a most realistic fashion.

The app itself is free and includes the pen tool. The additional four options are in-app purchases for $2 each, allowing room for future types of pens or brushes. Skeuomorphic Moleskin-style notebooks can be "pinched" to close or open. The app works with all iPads running iOS 4.3 or higher.

















by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Pretty neat

    wish they'd offer a "catch-all" discounted price that includes all the tools, but I do like that they have the option of skipping tools you know you won't use.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Probably the best

    Probably the best iPad drawing app I've found, and I have Brushes, Photoshop Touch and Sketchbook Pro. Specifically the Caligraphy brush allows a really fluid drawing experience. It reminds me of drawing in AI, sadly it doesn't allow altering afterward like AI.

    There's still a few things missing, Layers could be huge, an expander pallet, pinch to zoom, and a few more tools. I realize they're trying to keep things simple, But there's a few things they could probably do to make colouring things within the lines easier ... like allowing zoom.

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