Astropad is a new app that could change the graphic design industry. It allows you to use your iPad as a sketching board that transfers directly to your Mac. Just load your favorite program, like Photoshop, and use your own stylus to create sketches shown wirelessly on your Mac in real time. Now, instead of having to by an a new expensive design tablet, like a Wacom pad, you can use your own iPad to create new designs or make painstaking edits to the family portraits.
The most obvious benefit is the ability to look at what you’re actually drawing through Astropad’s screen sharing. Anyone who has ever used a screenless graphics tablet, like Wacom, to create digital art realizes that there is a steep learning curve. The Astropad app shares your screen lag-free at up to 60 frames per second, creating a, “what you see is you get,” approach to design. Everything built into the iPad
Every graphic designer has a favorite stylus. Now you can bring any stylus by Wacom, Hex3, or Adonit to your iPad. In theory, the Astropad should be easier to use than a standards graphic tablet, because it has Apple’s HD retina display. The true test comes down to stylus sensitivity. The iPad is designed for fingertips, but the best sketching is done with a precision stylus. There may be a limit to the iPad’s sensitivity, keeping the Astropad app from the graphics tablet playing field.
At $49.99 ($19.99 for students) it’s a bit pricier than a standard drawing app, but it’s a cheap alternative to a Wacom pad, which can run hundreds of dollars. It’s also a great way to make use of the devices that you already have. By cleverly marketing to the newest wave of graphic design students, they may yet find a niche market of growing designers looking for their new favorite apps.