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Old Mar 29, 2012, 03:31 PM   #1
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'Paper' Aims to Be The Ultimate iPad Sketchbook






There are a number of iPad sketching applications on the App Store, with Penultimate clocking as one of the top 15 most purchased iPad apps ever.

Now there's a new competitor that looks to take the iPad sketching world by storm. Paper is the first app by upstart development firm FiftyThree. A number of the employees spent time at Microsoft, developing Courier -- a dual-screen digital notebook that was axed by Microsoft.

The Verge's Ellis Hamburger spoke to the team about the app.
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When you first open the app, you first see a panoramic view of all of your notebooks floating in mid-air. Each notebook looks like a premium Moleskine journal, fit with a stunning cover and pages that look soft to the touch. When you tap a notebook, you're launched into a CoverFlow-esque page browser where you can thumb through sketches in your notebook. Tap a new page and your entire screen turns an almost white shade of vanilla, unadorned by faux binder rings or ripped edges you see in other apps.

Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal your artist's palette, and swipe down again to hide it. Paper comes with an eraser and just one tool to draw with, a fountain pen that's unlike any fountain pen I've used. The faster you move your finger, the thicker the line gets. For $1.99 each, you can purchase four other tools, denoted not by their conventional names but instead by utility: there's Write (ballpoint), Sketch (pencil), Outline (marker), and Color (watercolor paintbrush). Each of the five tools has its own unpredictable personality worth mastering, which makes these instruments so much more interesting than conventional digital pens and pencils you can find in other apps. The FiftyThree team chose these five tools because they encompass the five most common scenarios they encounter when mapping out ideas and art on a daily basis.
Check out The Verge's lengthly article for much more about the app and the team behind it.

For those who want to jump in and try it out, Paper for iPad is a free download on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Article Link: 'Paper' Aims to Be The Ultimate iPad Sketchbook
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 03:38 PM   #2
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Now if only the iPad screen refresh rate was high enough so you didn't have to draw achingly slow. And it registered levels of pressure with stylus support. Or the touchscreen delay for presses was faster.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 03:40 PM   #3
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What a cool video!
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 03:40 PM   #4
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Talking

Video looks really cool, lets see if we can shoot the same video with the app
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 03:45 PM   #5
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Cool, I'd also like to know what stylus he is using in the video.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 03:53 PM   #6
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Wow. Brace yourselves, folks. Stories like this are all we're gonna get for awhile. It's gonna be a lonnnnng wait till summer or dare I say even later for a new iPhone announcement.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 03:56 PM   #7
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More impressed with the video.

Well made. Great stuff

And the app itself looks impressive.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 03:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Icaras View Post
Cool, I'd also like to know what stylus he is using in the video.
Looked like the wacom bamboo stylus for ipad..

http://www.amazon.com/Bamboo-Stylus-.../dp/B004VM0SE6
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 03:59 PM   #9
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It would be nice if Draw Something was this smooth.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 04:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Benjy91 View Post
Now if only the iPad screen refresh rate was high enough so you didn't have to draw achingly slow. And it registered levels of pressure with stylus support. Or the touchscreen delay for presses was faster.
Really? I would posit that you either (1) have a severely broken iPad, or (2) are confusing your Samsung Note with an iPad. I'd put money on the latter, in fact.

(Obviously, this is in reply only to the screen refresh rate and touchscreen delay ... levels of pressure in a stylus outside of the "how much does the nub squish" approximation is not something iPad has ever had)

Last edited by jettredmont; Mar 29, 2012 at 04:05 PM. Reason: Clarifying
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 04:03 PM   #11
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Video looks really cool, lets see if we can shoot the same video with the app
It is a sketchbook app, why would you be able to make a video with it?
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 04:06 PM   #12
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This app has potential, but it's freemium right now. It comes with one pen nib and a tiny color palette. In-app purchases will add up quickly.

The free app download is basically a demo version.

That said, it's probably worth downloading at least once, that way Apple has a record of your free purchase. If they ever change their business model and make it a paid app with more functionality, then it'll be in your purchase history.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 04:19 PM   #13
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Just tried this app and it really, really is wonderful. Registers your touch like a charm and makes you look like a professional calligrapher. I'm sure with a stylus it's even better. I understand charging for different pens, my only qualm at this point it the limited color palette but I imagine it will expand int he future.

Again, this is a really, really well done app and I suggest anyone with any interest in drawing/handwriting to download it.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 04:24 PM   #14
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Just tried it on the new iPad. It is marred by three major flaws.

1. Two finger gesture (e.g., rewind, go back to home) doesn't work well, requiring far more effort to activate and use the features.

2. Very laggy drawing tool (at least included fountain pen), about 0.1 to 0.2 second by my estimate.

3. In-app purchase prices of 4 additional drawing tools (pencil, marker, pen, and watercolor) are quite expensive at $1.99 a pop (or pay 3 cents more for all 4 at $7.99). I suppose the developers need to make money somehow but that is rather exorbitant for a set of laggy drawing tools.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 04:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cvaldes View Post
This app has potential, but it's freemium right now. It comes with one pen nib and a tiny color palette. In-app purchases will add up quickly.
I guess for casual users that might be a problem. But come on, what's it going to cost you to load up everything, like $15? You're basically getting a cheaper but much higher resolution Wacom Cintique and Corel Painter (the 12" Cintiq model is 1280x800 and $1,000, Painter is like $400). Yes, I know this is more limited in what it can do, but it can replace a lot of what people typically do with those tools.

Peoples' sense of value is all out of whack IMO, that's an amazing deal for something that looks like it can be a real, serious sketching/drawing tool. FIFTEEN DOLLARS!! That really does not seem like a great hardship for someone who can already afford a $500-$800 iPad and $10-$30 stylus. A few years ago, you couldn't even get a piece of shareware utility software that makes animated .gifs for $15, now you get a mini art studio, sheesh.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 04:34 PM   #16
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I ended up springing for all of the packs for this. I quite like it and hope to see it evolve. I particularly liked that the IAP's had the preview were you could test out what the brush did.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 04:36 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by thai4life View Post
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Wow. Brace yourselves, folks. Stories like this are all we're gonna get for awhile. It's gonna be a lonnnnng wait till summer or dare I say even later for a new iPhone announcement.
what do you want? a new iPhone every day?
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 04:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dekard View Post
Looked like the wacom bamboo stylus for ipad..

http://www.amazon.com/Bamboo-Stylus-.../dp/B004VM0SE6
Great, thanks!
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 05:00 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by HiRez View Post
Peoples' sense of value is all out of whack IMO, that's an amazing deal for something that looks like it can be a real, serious sketching/drawing tool. FIFTEEN DOLLARS!! That really does not seem like a great hardship for someone who can already afford a $500-$800 iPad and $10-$30 stylus. A few years ago, you couldn't even get a piece of shareware utility software that makes animated .gifs for $15, now you get a mini art studio, sheesh.
I note that Autodesk SketchBook Pro for iPad typically retails at $4.99 and occasionally drops down to $0.99 or $1.99. No additional in-app purchases are necessary and the app performs well.

Comparable apps such as procreate and Artist's Touch for iPad are also typically priced at $4.99. Inspire Pro is typically $7.99 although it often drops down to $0.99 or $1.99.

Adobe Ideas is typically $9.99 although it occasionally drops down to $5.99 (it debuted as a free app).

This app category has a lot of competition these days. 'Paper' would really need to be vastly superior to command $15 of in-app purchases.

Last edited by cvaldes; Mar 29, 2012 at 05:09 PM.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 05:01 PM   #20
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http://i.tuaw.com/2012/03/05/ten-one-design-outs-ipad-3-pressure-sensitive-bluetooth-stylus/

Consider your myth busted.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 05:21 PM   #21
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They are missing a tool: typewriter/keyboard. I want to be able to type, create searchable text, outlines, formulas, etc. This is a must have for a notebook - drawing, typing, math. If they do that then I buy.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 06:09 PM   #22
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This app is more intended to be a sketching tool, not a full-blown word processor/page layout app. You could drop the image generated from this app into another document.

Autodesk's SketchBook Pro for iPad does have a text tool, but it won't create the other things (searchable text, outlines, formulas, etc.).
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 06:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joejoejoe
Just tried this app and it really, really is wonderful. Registers your touch like a charm and makes you look like a professional calligrapher. I'm sure with a stylus it's even better. I understand charging for different pens, my only qualm at this point it the limited color palette but I imagine it will expand int he future.

Again, this is a really, really well done app and I suggest anyone with any interest in drawing/handwriting to download it.
Yea, there's no red.. Wtf? No red??
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 06:19 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by cvaldes View Post
This app has potential, but it's freemium right now. It comes with one pen nib and a tiny color palette. In-app purchases will add up quickly.

The free app download is basically a demo version.

That said, it's probably worth downloading at least once, that way Apple has a record of your free purchase. If they ever change their business model and make it a paid app with more functionality, then it'll be in your purchase history.
If this would ever happen they would probably put paid version of this app as a separate app from the current one, leaving this one as a fee demo or buy what you actually need, well the way it is now.

Talking about the app, it's nice, very nice actually, but having all the tools and features is a bit too expensive I would say... It's 8$ if I'm right.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 06:37 PM   #25
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Not a very functional application if you are being recommended to spend $29.95+ for Wacom's Bamboo pen and 4 out of 5 input options cost an additional $1.99 each.

Just bundle them all and partner with Wacom to strike a better deal.

Otherwise, for a fully functioning app you're looking at $40+ for this application.

Pass.
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