Apps that turn iPad into graphics tablet?

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by Zaphyrus, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. Zaphyrus macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013
    I've tried out Splashtop and Air Display which seem to be the two most popular apps people are using to emulate sort of a Wacom 'Cintiq' tablet. I'm curious to know if there are any other apps out there that are responsive like Splashtop, yet allow you to run without a router or internet connection by making a new connection on your mac like in Air Display?

    Any apps that work specifically well with an Adonit Jot Touch or emulate that hovering cursor such as a Wacom tablet? (maybe dragging finger or stylus across screen moves cursor and the buttons on the stylus can control right+left click)

    But yeah, just looking for better or faster alternatives that don't require WiFi.

  2. yousifabdullah macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    I don't believe there is an app that does what you want, for a few reasons:

    1. A connection between the iPad and computer would almost always have to be via WiFi (either ad-hoc like Air Display or using your router / internet), as it's the fastest option currently available on the iPad to establish such a connection.

    2. Due to the nature of WiFi and the processing that happens on the iPad to retrieve an image from the computer while handling input on the touch screen, you will face enough latency that drawing becomes cumbersome at best and downright unusable at worst. (The touch screen on the iPad itself experiences lag on input, so drawing on the iPad on its own in an app like Paper or Adobe Ideas will also inevitably feel a bit cumbersome if you make fast or long strokes.)

    3. No VNC / remote connection / screen sharing app I know of uses the necessary APIs to support a Bluetooth stylus like the Adonit, it's simply out of scope of the intended demographic for these apps I'm afraid, which are mainly used to administer local or remote computers. This means that pressure sensitivity or even realtime performance is simply not a priority.

    Now I'm sure you know all of this already, so I'm asking you if there is an alternative workflow you could try. I personally use Adobe Ideas and sync my drawings back to my computer using Creative Cloud. There are many ways to do it like this. And if you're interested in an app with support for your Adonit, I've used Photoshop Touch on my iPad and it works nicely. For drawing there are fewer tools than in Ideas, so it may not be the ideal app.

    At the end of the day, an iPad is an iPad and a drawing tablet is a drawing tablet. If you want to use the iPad as a drawing tablet, know its limitations. If you expect more, it may be worthwhile to consider buying an actual drawing tablet. If syncing data between your iPad and computer is no problem, look into apps that can do this for you seamlessly (e.g. Ideas on iPad and Illustrator on PC/Mac).

    Hope this helps.
    ~ A fellow drawer
  3. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    How would a faster connection be established without WiFi?
  4. Zaphyrus thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013
    I should have rephrased that. What I originally meant was without 'internet' or a router. Air Display allows you to make a connection on your make that isn't necessarily connected to the internet. Then in turn, you can have your iPad connect to that same network and it will run perfectly without the need of any internet or a wifi router.

    Air Display allows this but is significantly slower than Splashtop but Splashtop doesn't support this method. I'm really looking for a way to get the best of both worlds.

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