Wacom is taking on Paper, 53’s highly popular iPad app, by taking its own drawing-based software where Paper dare not tread. Wacom is expanding the scope of its Bamboo Paper app beyond iOS, making it available on Windows 8 and Android, both of the Google kind and the Amazon flavor. What’s more, to celebrate the milestone, Wacom is offering many of its tools, features, and brushes for free for a limited time only.
When Apple ushered in the post-Tablet PC era of the iPad, the stylus almost went the way of the Dodo. Wacom, whose core technology business revolves around digitizers would have hardly found even a niche in this new tablet world, except for one fact. No matter how the late Steve Jobs would have wished it so, people still had a use for a pen-like instrument, whether it be the fat stub of an off-shelf capacitive stylus, the plastic disc tip of an Adonit Jot, or the more pressure sensitive tip of an S Pen. Capitalizing on that, Wacom has pursued several paths, from manufacturing stylus for iOS devices to even making their own stylus-enabled Android tablet. And now to complete that ecosystem, they’re making their stylus-empowered app available for all.
Bamboo Paper has been around for quite a while now, initially on the iPad but even making an appearance on Android, now known as the Bamboo Paper Memo. The goal of the app is quite simple, to turn tablets into digital notebooks, not just for writing but even for creating art masterpieces. Getting there, however, is a bit complicated. Luckily, Wacom has had the creative industry experience and the technology to make that happen. The result is an app that has pretty much all the features you’d expect from this line of software. Pencils to sketch with, a collection of brushes for painting. notebooks of different styles and visual textures, all enclosed in an app that is a beauty to behold and a joy to use.
What is new in this version of Bamboo Paper, however, is the fact that now cross-platform software. This is thanks to a certain technology that Wacom is developing called WILL, the Wacom Ink Layer Language. WILL is a common computer language, a development kit, and a brush engine all rolled into one. In a nutshell, it allows developers to integrate the natural ink input for which Wacom is most famous for, regardless of the operating system. Bamboo Paper is testament to this feature, allowing Wacom to deliver the same experience whether on an iPad, a Windows 8 laptop, an Android tablet, or a Kindle Fire tablet. It definitely takes the pain out of trying to negotiate with each and every OS’ input methods just to bring out the right brush stroke.
Wacom Bamboo Paper is available for free on the aforementioned platforms but, as you might have guessed, has in-app purchases. Those come in the form of notebook styles as well as tools, like brushes, highlighters, and more. Basically the same business setup that Paper has on iPad as well. For now, however, the premium package of notebooks and tools are available for free. Better hurry and grab them though, as Wacom says it is a limited time offer but hasn’t exactly mentioned until when.