In the earliest days of the iPad Pro, some developers have found ways to take advantage of the Apple Pencil and turn the tablet into something like a Wacom Cintiq for Macs and even some for Windows. With Apple’s introduction of its own Sidecar utility, the likes of Duet Display and Astropad were almost threatened to become redundant but the latter has now made itself even more relevant by target another audience, ones that own an iPad but use a Windows PC instead of a Mac.
Expensive as they may be, Wacom Cintiqs, which are the de facto standard for “display pen tablets”, are still more expensive, especially when you consider they’re simply just displays that still need to be attached to a computer. On the other hand, some artists still swear by applications they use on Macs and PCs that aren’t or will never available on iPadOS. The likes of Astropad bridged that gap but, until recently, only for Macs.
The company has now announced the public beta of its support for Windows machines, codenamed Project Blue. It works pretty much the same way as on macOS, practically mirroring your Windows screen on the iPad, including touch gesture support. Of course, the real killer feature here is being able to use the Apple Pencil as a pressure-sensitive stylus for Windows software that were built for such styluses.
The current feature set of this Astropad Project Blue beta is almost complete as far as the essentials are concerned. There are still some coming that cater to more advanced users, including customizable and per-app shortcuts as well as custom pressure curves and smoothing. Those will still be coming in the next few months, Astropad promises.
Aside from signing up to join the free beta, there is very little in the way of requirements other than an up-to-date Windows PC and, of course, an iPad with Apple Pencil support. Users can connect the two via USB or Wi-Fi but, in the near future, support for the company’s Luna Display dongle promises to make that easier and more efficient.a