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Astropad App Updated With Support for iPad Pro, Apple Pencil

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Astropad, the app designed to turn the iPad or iPhone into a graphics tablet for the Mac, was today updated with support for Apple's 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil accessory.

For those unfamiliar with Astropad, it works alongside an accompanying Mac app to mirror the Mac's display to the iPad, allowing the iPad's touch screen and controls to be used for editing photos and creating art in Mac apps like Lightroom and Photoshop.


With today's update, Astropad has been optimized for the large screen of the iPad Pro, and it's gained features specifically implemented for the Apple Pencil. There's advanced stroke tuning to remote stray points for better stroke quality, tilt support for more accurate brush simulation, and a custom pressure curve designed with the Apple Pencil in mind.

For all users, latency has been reduced, especially for Macs with dual graphics cards, and image quality has been improved.


Astropad Graphics Tablet can be downloaded from the App Store for $19.99. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Astropad App Updated With Support for iPad Pro, Apple Pencil
 
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joueboy

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2008
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I just made a comment awhile ago about Apple should have made the Pencil as an accessory to Macs. Some comments ask me how and kinda stupid idea. Well I didn't know this app exist and it looks awesome. This would give an idea to Apple to create a native experience. But I also hope this app become successful and Apple will open app to avoid limitation to kind of ideas.
 
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gugy

macrumors 68040
Jan 31, 2005
3,427
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La Jolla, CA
I just made a comment awhile ago about Apple should have made the Pencil as an accessory to Macs. Some comments ask me how and kinda stupid idea. Well I didn't know this app exist and it looks awesome. This would give an idea to Apple to create a native experience. But I also hope this app become successful and Apple will open app to avoid limitation to kind of ideas.

I hope Apple can develop this further. I am really interested as designer to use the iPad Pro as sort of Cintiq tablet and do painting and masking in Photoshop on the iPad and then finish the same file on the Mac. If there is this sort of interaction this would be a win win for Adobe-Apple-consumers.
 
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mixel

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2006
1,700
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Leeds, UK
I really need to try this setup before I'd consider selling my cintiq.. Previously Astropad hasn't exactly ran ideally on the iPad3.. Compared to the cintiq it's always been a bit cludgy and had a bit of weird latency and graphical artefacting. :/

Shame they don't have setups like this running in Apple stores for you to mess about with.
 
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covalt

macrumors newbie
Sep 24, 2010
14
5
Los Angeles, CA
I really need to try this setup before I'd consider selling my cintiq.. Previously Astropad hasn't exactly ran ideally on the iPad3.. Compared to the cintiq it's always been a bit cludgy and had a bit of weird latency and graphical artefacting. :/

Shame they don't have setups like this running in Apple stores for you to mess about with.

I wouldn't sell your Cintiq quite yet.
When I saw this today I bought the app immediately to try with my iPad Pro and my Mac Pro. It works, but it's no Cintiq.

The advantage is if you're traveling with your laptop and iPad and want to have something close to a Cintiq, then yeah, it works. But it's not the same thing. The sensitivity isn't as good as the Cintiq's, and the extreme-low-res artifact is pretty annoying. It refreshes to a sharper display once it can, but it's a little annoying while drawing.

Wonder if they'll be able to develop a wired Thunderbolt connection so they don't have to rely on wifi. That might help with the delayed screen rendering.
 
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dysamoria

macrumors 6502a
Dec 8, 2011
965
528
If only Apple would send Pencil stock to B&H so they could ship me one. Then I could try out this app.

I saw the compression artifacts. It'll probably bug me but I'm willing to try it. I hope they go for a wired solution too.
 
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mixel

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2006
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Leeds, UK
I wouldn't sell your Cintiq quite yet.
When I saw this today I bought the app immediately to try with my iPad Pro and my Mac Pro. It works, but it's no Cintiq.

The advantage is if you're traveling with your laptop and iPad and want to have something close to a Cintiq, then yeah, it works. But it's not the same thing. The sensitivity isn't as good as the Cintiq's, and the extreme-low-res artifact is pretty annoying. It refreshes to a sharper display once it can, but it's a little annoying while drawing.

Wonder if they'll be able to develop a wired Thunderbolt connection so they don't have to rely on wifi. That might help with the delayed screen rendering.
Doesn't the picture go over lightning cables as well as wifi?

Thank you, that's just what I needed to hear anyway. It's been really tempting to gamble but I don't know... The low res artefacting and the "feel" on my current iPad are what put me off but I haven't used an apple pencil yet, so have no point of reference. I'd miss my pen buttons for sure, too.
 
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campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
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Doesn't the picture go over lightning cables as well as wifi?

Thank you, that's just what I needed to hear anyway. It's been really tempting to gamble but I don't know... The low res artefacting and the "feel" on my current iPad are what put me off but I haven't used an apple pencil yet, so have no point of reference. I'd miss my pen buttons for sure, too.
The apps do work over the Lightning/USB cable, mixel missed that. Over the cable, there's no artifacts in my short experience with my hardware (late-2013 rMBP, Dell P2715Q, iPP/Pencil) and the updated apps with PS 2015 CC. I'm not a Cintiq user, but I am a Intuos Pro user.

There's a bit of a "delay" on the iPP, but there's a real-time virtualized drawn path that is real-time; the actual "work" drawn on my display was real-time. I tried out a few 300 DPI documents and was impressed by the response by the HW/SW combo.

One more potential "hole" in the pixelation experience - I have my 2.4/5GHz wifi networks segregated; "slow" responses could be due to the two HW devices connecting to the admittedly-congested 2.4GHz network. I'm planning to try out a wireless connection over my 5GHz network and see what happens, and compare it to a wired connection.

OTOH, I spent about $3k on my Mac, $500 on my display, and about $1100 on my iPP and Pencil - I'm not going to let a $20 app get in the way of drawing bliss. Given that the devs are working their butts off updating their apps and not abandon it, I'm in and I didn't wait for a sale. I did get a 25% off iTS card, so I'll admit that I did cheat a bit there...
 
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mixel

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2006
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OTOH, I spent about $3k on my Mac, $500 on my display, and about $1100 on my iPP and Pencil - I'm not going to let a $20 app get in the way of drawing bliss. Given that the devs are working their butts off updating their apps and not abandon it, I'm in and I didn't wait for a sale. I did get a 25% off iTS card, so I'll admit that I did cheat a bit there...
Yeah.. I could trade in my cintiq and my iPad and replace them with iPP+astropad and have much better Procreate mobility. But a less straightforward photoshop experience, with some possible shortfalls.

I'm not unhappy with the cintiq though, it's great, I'm just a sucker for new shiny stuff. XD I'm tempted by procreate+pencil+better palm rejection more than using it to replace my wacoms, but I can't justify iPP like expense unless I can reallllly make good use of it.
 
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acidsoul

macrumors member
Sep 12, 2011
56
52
I know it's outdated, but I was considering to get an iPad air 2 until I tried the iPad pro and the apple pencil at an apple store.

The pro is too large for my needs, but I decided to hold until the next iPad is apple pencil compatible.

Just hoping apple won't cripple the iPad just to differentiate the pro.
 
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Nuvi

macrumors 65816
Feb 7, 2008
1,028
462
This is definitely a Killer App for artists, illustrators, and designers.

Unfortunately, it's the artifacts and latency that is doing the killing and the one that is dieing is the app itself. The concept is great but unfortunately in reality it's far from being ideal solution due to technical limitations.
 
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Kissaragi

macrumors 68020
Nov 16, 2006
2,340
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This could have been a good official feature of the ipad pro if apple could make it work better than these third party apps. I suppose they are banking on native 'professional' apps instead.
 
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fredr500

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2007
223
18
I'm still undecided between this and AirDisplay 2. I like that AD2 adds another screen, using the iPP as a second (or 3rd or 4th) monitor makes sense, adding the touch/pencil control is nice. AstroPad is a mirror of the current display, with ability to zoom it. So I guess I there is a need for both. It was pretty surprising when I loaded the AD2 driver and it rebooted my system. It choose the iPP to run my full screen VMWare fusion display so after boot I had Windows7 apparently running on the iPP with full touch enabled display. My coworkers kept asking how I was running Windows on an iPad.

Anyway, when i have both display drivers (AD2 and AP both have separate programs that need to be loaded) loaded on my Macbook Pro the system gets a little unreliable. I really need to choose one and stick with it. Maybe the updated AstroPad will do it for me.
 
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Endymion42

macrumors newbie
Jun 22, 2012
14
5
Here
If you want 2 displays use Duet with a cable.

As for Astropad, It rocks. Been using it for a couple of weeks with my iPad pro, pencil and MacBook Pro Retina using a cable connection and it works extremely well.
 
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fredr500

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2007
223
18
I just ran the new Astro Pad. It messed up my system again. Maybe I'm doing too much, maybe I have too many display drivers.

I have a 4K Dell 28", an HD display and the retina display. Running VMWare Fusion full screen in one space on the 4K, and a couple more spaces on the displays.

After starting AstroPad (which worked fine), my Windows started running extremely slow. Then the other screens started slowing down as well. Stopping AP, disconnecting the iPP, all did nothing. I needed a full reboot to get functionality back.

I have Duet, I'll give it a shot.
 
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fredr500

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2007
223
18
Duet was worse for me. It was great after the reboot and I started it up, but it changed all of my display settings (resolution and arrangement) and when I unplugged it blanked the retina screen and put the 4K screen into an unstable mode. Only option was to uninstall duet and reboot the mac.

I'll keep searching but this is getting expensive.
 
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campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,413
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Yeah.. I could trade in my cintiq and my iPad and replace them with iPP+astropad and have much better Procreate mobility. But a less straightforward photoshop experience, with some possible shortfalls.

I'm not unhappy with the cintiq though, it's great, I'm just a sucker for new shiny stuff. XD I'm tempted by procreate+pencil+better palm rejection more than using it to replace my wacoms, but I can't justify iPP like expense unless I can reallllly make good use of it.
And Wacom has no worries with me either. In fact, I was spying a new 27QHD non-Touch Cintiq right before heading here - they're US$300 off for both models right now!

I was toying with using the iPP as a really nice trackpad to go with the Cintiq. Kidding. It'll be a few weeks before I can bless the iPP/Pencil/Astropad combo as a real tool, but I'm pretty impressed so far with the results. I'm relocating to Vancouver for a while, so pack and move first, play and explore after that. So, only about 10 days to snag a Cintiq before having to pay the Loonie Tax on new toys... Cheers!
 
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campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,413
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This could have been a good official feature of the ipad pro if apple could make it work better than these third party apps. I suppose they are banking on native 'professional' apps instead.
Agreed, the features of Astropad (and Duet) could have been baked in to iOS but for the devs left Apple Engineering and started their own companies and started coding...
 
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ShootingStarPho

macrumors newbie
Dec 19, 2011
18
3
I wouldn't sell your Cintiq quite yet.
...iPad Pro and my Mac Pro. It works, but it's no Cintiq.

The advantage is if you're traveling with your laptop and iPad and want to have something close to a Cintiq, then yeah, it works. But it's not the same thing. The sensitivity isn't as good as the Cintiq's, and the extreme-low-res artifact is pretty annoying. It refreshes to a sharper display once it can, but it's a little annoying while drawing.

Wonder if they'll be able to develop a wired Thunderbolt connection so they don't have to rely on wifi. That might help with the delayed screen rendering.

The primary (and ideal option) is to have your iPad connected to your Mac via lightning cable.

My iPad Air 2 and Adonit Jot Touch with PixelPoint worked quite well with PhotoShop.

You say the resolution and refresh rates are not great, but that's expected from wifi only, especially if it is not a top tier internet data rate.

Have you tried a direct connection? It is far superior. I use the 2 metre long connector, personally. Impressively responsive app with immense potential, especially with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.
 
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kevphil

macrumors newbie
Dec 24, 2015
1
0
The most exciting thing about all this is that the technology for a "Retina"-class Cintiq is apparently here.

I currently have the last 21" Cintiq model, and love it. But it boggles the mind to be able to draw at near-print resolution on a 27" screen.

I can just see that new Cintiq: A steal at only $5K! LOL Oh, well, can't have everything!
 
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