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FiftyThree Makes All Drawing Tools in 'Paper' iPad App Free of Charge

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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FiftyThree today announced an update to its popular drawing and illustration app Paper that will give users of the app free access to every tool and feature previously locked behind an in-app purchase.

The app is free to download, but users who wanted a more in-depth editing and drawing suite had to pay up to $3.99 for the entire "essential tools" package (originally priced at $7.99) to get access to the best of the bunch. The new 2.3.1 update now brings all of these options to every Paper user, allowing them to draw, sketch, outline, write, and color at no additional charge.

ALL TOOLS NOW FREE

Freedom to draw, sketch, outline, write and color is here! All the original tools, including the Mixer, are now completely free. It's our way of saying "thank you" to our inspiring community of creators. Enjoy the full expressive power of Paper, and share what you create on Mix!
FiftyThree sells a popular companion stylus called Pencil, which Apple recently began stocking in its retail locations. The Pencil, available in Graphite, Walnut, and now Gold, can also be purchased directly from FiftyThree's official website in prices ranging from $49.95 to $59.95.

Paper can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Article Link: FiftyThree Makes All Drawing Tools in 'Paper' iPad App Free of Charge
 

colmaclean

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,659
207
Berlin
Typical, I finally folded and bought the pack at the end of last year (after getting a Pencil in the Amazon Black Friday sale).

It was the (RED) version, though, so at least some of my hard-earned went to a worthy cause...
 
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mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,686
1,666
I have a feeling Paper will be a really nice launch app for iPad Pro.

But if their chunky stylus thing is now subsidising the app development it looks like they're taking a gamble on Apple not providing their own stylus anytime soon.
 
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tobefirst

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
4,136
1,272
St. Louis, MO
Typical, I finally folded and bought the pack at the end of last year (after getting a Pencil in the Amazon Black Friday sale).

It was the (RED) version, though, so at least some of my hard-earned went to a worthy cause...

Had things changed? I bought a Pencil at the beginning of last year which unlocked all the tools free of charge. I had to unlock them every 30 days, but that was done by the Pencil. I stopped using the stylus and eventually sold it, so I'm not sure if things had changed, but it seems like you shouldn't have had to purchase the tools if you bought the stylus.

Of course, that's now all irrelevant.
 
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TJ61

macrumors 6502a
Nov 16, 2011
811
3
And why, exactly, do I need to give them my e-mail address to use this app?
 
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iSee

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
3,526
253
So now a refund for those of us who paid?

If you've had the tools for more than a few weeks then you've got nothing to complain about. Even then, geeze, a few bucks to a great app... there are much worse ways to "waste" a few dollars.

(I bought all the tools, as they were released, and might have spent, IDK, maybe $10 over a few years? And I got to use them that entire time, rather than waiting until now, like the cheapskates.)

I also bought their Pencil, but that thing sucks badly -- The active mode works terribly so it's a big waste of money.
 
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Charliebird

macrumors 6502a
Mar 10, 2010
838
90
Interesting move. I wonder what there business model is now? Hard to image they're turning into an accessory company.
 
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Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,337
818
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
Apple is currently promoting Procreate heavily, it is no doubt that Paper is feeling the heat from this because you can pretty much get that app to behave like it, but with an overall better interface and with no gimmicky gestures that end up with you losing your work all the time. Not having the notebook feature is the con to using that app though, but it's easy enough to make small portfolios of the work in a folder on Photos otherwise.

They opened their Mix service last year. It's OK, but it's designed so that anyone can take your work, and add to it. I'm sure they're going to put a focus on that, and that the Pencil will be the main way they make money now.

There was a rumor that it was coming to the iPhone.
 
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NeuralControl

macrumors 6502a
Dec 3, 2009
919
33
This is a nice and unexpected change. I do wonder what pushed them to provide all the additional features for free. Maybe something else is in the pipeline.
 
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iZac

macrumors 68020
Apr 28, 2003
2,127
1,391
Shanghai
It feels good that my monetary contribution (at the original prices for the pens and the mixer, so what - 10 dollars?) helped in some small way to get paper53 into the position it is now.

It's also great that these tools are now available for everyone to enjoy.

It would be nice to have some feature or something to acknowledge or reward that people like me ponied up the dough. But who knows, perhaps if they introduce any new software features (for example high res canvas') then we'd get them free.
 
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Eniregnat

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2003
1,841
0
In your head.
I think the full price plus in-app is worth it to those that the app is aimed at.

The app is well worth the full price for the target audience, those that want a faux paper journal experience. The tools work beautifully and at first I loved the app.


That said, the development of the app seemed slow aimed at refining the existing tools and now seems focused on building a sharing and remixing community. Their plan seems to be working but I always hoped for a text tool and the ability to insert an image. While the app developers goal seems to be aimed at providing a beautiful minimalist experience, the lack of expanding the tool set soured me. It seemed like expanding the user audience by adding features that some people were asking for would make sense, It kept me from investing in Pencil. I also find a dedicated external peripheral an odd choice to develop. I'm really hate one trick ponies, unless that trick is really nice and my friends liked the Pencil stylus, but not enough to keep using it.

I love the idea of being able to have Japanese accordion folded Moleskine books made from my work, and it looks to be the only outlet to get them made. That said the lack of either an import image (I'd glue a picture into a journal) or a text tool pushed me towards other options.

It good to hear that they are attempting to expand their user base by offering a price drop.
 
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Mick-Mac

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2011
260
575
So this is kind of silly - I just got the app (for free) and I'm trying to get all the in-app purchases but for the life of me I can't figure out how to do it. I have in-app purchases enabled so that's not the problem. Am I dumb or what... :-/
 
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szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
1,975
1,758
I hope they have thought through their decision b/c most users would probably happily buy their tools.
 
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Eniregnat

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2003
1,841
0
In your head.
You are not dumb.

So this is kind of silly - I just got the app (for free) and I'm trying to get all the in-app purchases but for the life of me I can't figure out how to do it. I have in-app purchases enabled so that's not the problem. Am I dumb or what... :-/

You are not dumb. Most apps have an icon to access preferences or tools, Paper does not have this or a visible IAP button.

Go to the tools (swipe up) tap one you do not have access to. A window opens and shows you each tool. Swipe through until you see the "essentials kit" and "colors". That should be all of the options.

Or watch the short animation on this support page.
http://support.fiftythree.com/customer/portal/articles/839695-purchase-additional-tools
 
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Mick-Mac

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2011
260
575
I have access to all the tools i.e. they all do something. All I did was purchase the app for free yesterday. If the tools all work, does that mean it just came with all the free in-app purchases already bundled in? I've tried swiping up on all the tools and nothing happens.
 
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alm99

macrumors 6502
Oct 30, 2008
313
6
I have access to all the tools i.e. they all do something. All I did was purchase the app for free yesterday. If the tools all work, does that mean it just came with all the free in-app purchases already bundled in? I've tried swiping up on all the tools and nothing happens.

If you just downloaded the app yesterday and all the tools are there, then you have them all; eraser, fountain pen, pencil, marker, pen, etc. If you had downloaded the app before yesterday and never purchased any of the tools prior to them going free their would be a an outline of the tool, but the tool would not have been there until purchased.

For me, I downloaded the app a few months ago and never purchased any tools, the only tool I had was the fountain pen that came with the app. Yesterday, all tools became free and I was able to fill all tools in with an in app purchase of $0.00.
 
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