iPad Pro iPad Pro 12.9" as a Digital Sketch Pad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by UOThief, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. UOThief, Jun 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017

    UOThief macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #1
    Hello,

    I haven't posted here in 2 years, but I just upgraded to the new iPad Pro (2017) from an iPad Air 2... and it's kind of incredible. I agree with many people and say this device isn't for everyone. In fact, I would go even further and say this isn't for most people and unless you fall into a very specific category, I think you would be better off with a 10.5" Pro, an older model tablet, or maybe stick with your large cell phone and use no tablet at all. For this very reason, I skipped on the original iPad Pro 12.9" in 2015. I just didn't have a use for it. That being said...


    I. If you're not using an Apple Pencil, you might be doing it wrong.

    I'm an amateur artist in my free time and have recently decided to take on a Kickstarter project I've been thinking about for a long time. I don't want to pay for an artist and am going to do the art myself. And to do this, I need the right tools and software. iPad Pro has them both and screen size is canvas size. (I currently have no plans on using my iPad for video or music editing.)

    For me, the iPad Pro is not a laptop replacement, no matter how hard Apple tries to sell it as one. If you want a laptop, then get a laptop. If you want a table, then get a 10.5" iPad Pro or if you don't care about iOS, then get a Microsoft Surface Pro 4. To me, it's all about the pencil and the ability to draw & write digitally while being able to multi-task in split screen, minimize a Twitch stream in the corner, and/or listen to a podcast/audiobook all on the same device. I didn't buy a smart cover keyboard and I don't plan on getting one in the future.

    (For other people, they just need a device that lets them do some web browsing, watch videos, and occasionally do some light word processing, reply to emails, or go on forums. And that's fine.)

    II. My Essential Apps

    Let's talk about apps:
    1. Procreate
    2. Notability
    3. Whiteboard
    4. Polycalendar
    These 4 apps turn my tablet into the digital sketch pad/canvas/notebook/scratch paper/daily organizer I've always wanted. Everyone knows about Procreate and Notability, but I spent the last few days reading reviews and searching Google and the App Store for very specific functionality that I couldn't seem to find anywhere. I eventually found Whiteboard and Polycalendar that suited my needs.
    • Whiteboard - Sometimes I just need scratch paper. Sometimes I need to get something down in writing and need the ability to brainstorm it on the spot. With as few bells and whistles as you can imaging, Whiteboard is the program that lets me scribble and clear, scribble and clear, and then scribble and clear that my brain is looking for when I have an idea.
    • Polycalendar - The App Store isn't lacking for calendar programs. But it was shocking to me how hard it was to find a calendar program that lets you enter hand-written notes. Most calendar programs are not only incredibly busy with things I don't need, but almost all only allow for typed entries. I suppose this makes sense since most people don't have or want an Apple Pencil. After a lot of searching, there were only 5 programs I found that allowed written notes and while Polycalendar wasn't a perfect fit, it was still the closest to what I was looking for. (Templates for every month, the ability to zoom in on individual days, the ability to stay zoomed out and scribble across an entire week, and a few options for pencil color & size.)

    Final Thoughts

    I might just be high on the "new toy" smell, but right now, iPad Pro is a big deal for me and my productivity. Up until I got my hands on it, I thought it might be too big to take around to completely replace the more practically sized iPad Air 2. But took one day of me playing around with it for me to cancel my cellular service on my Air and switch it over to the Pro.

    I splurged a little got the wifi + cellular, 512gb model and I have no regrets. I'm in the middle of transferring my entire Amazon Video and Audible libraries (I might even re-visit my Comixology account). Currently 150gb downloaded, more to come, and plenty of room to spare.


    edit: Also, my biggest mistake was purchasing the official Apple leather sleeve for $149. Big mistake. It just didn't feel great having the iPad out with zero protection. I ended up buying another cover from Amazon for $15 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018258O5M/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and it's pretty great. I really need to sell the sleeve on eBay or something...
     
  2. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    #2
    Do you mind listing the 5 calendar apps that use the pencil? Because that is 5 more than I have found! Lol

    I'm looking forward to drawing and working on mine, if only I knew when it was arriving!
     
  3. UOThief thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #3
    I actually got all 5 from the same source: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7766148?start=0&tstart=0

    (Before I found that link, I found none.)

    There are 6 listed, but one is a free version of MemoCal and the other is the paid version for $3.99. Don't bother with the paid version. It kept on crashing on me.
     
  4. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    #4
    Thanks for the list!

    I'm going to check them out further, i'm not sure they do enough for me.

    Gosh, I sound like I actually know what I want! LOL I guess it is more, the layout aspect, so maybe making my own is the way to go. More videos and reading to do I think.
     
  5. UOThief, Jun 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017

    UOThief thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #5
    Other apps I was looking at were in the Readdle Productivity Pack ($13.99):
    • Scanner Pro
    • PDF Expert 6
    • Printer Pro
    But it sounds like all those functions are going to be included for free once iOS 11 goes live.

    Anyone else recommend other apps that specifically take advantage of the Pencil?
     
  6. LibbyLA macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    #6
    UOThief, thank you for your very informative post.
     
  7. Steve686 macrumors 68020

    Steve686

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Location:
    US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
    #7
    You did well skipping the first iPad Pro. It was a great concept, but as for drawing the Apple Pencil latency was really frustrating. I'm sure Procreate has worked on and addressed the tilt and pressure curves since the original Pro because I feel like that app has a LOT more sensitivity and control in these areas.
     
  8. UOThief, Jun 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017

    UOThief thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #8
    Just a quick update on apps (and I know I'm probably discovering things for the first time that many people already know about), but 2 more that I'm thinking about getting:
    • Comic Draw
    • Linea
    Comic Draw is absolutely perfect for what I want to do in my project. If anyone has ever played the Kingdom Rush games, they use a comic style as cut scenes in between levels. I want to use that same type of style to delivery bits of story in an instruction manual. And Linea a stripped down app for sketching.

    These are not free apps. Comic Draw costs $20 after a 14-day trial period and Linea is $10 up front. Comic Draw just got my $20 a few minutes ago. I still need to watch a few more videos before I decide if I want to pay for Linea.

    Again, I am still a little high on the new toy smell, but the iPad Pro is almost everything I could ask for right now, given what I want to use it for. I still have no intention on getting a Smart Cover w/Keyboard. But I do have a bluetooth Magic Keyboard 2 that will work if I ever need to do some typing for all the word bubble text in the comic panels.
     

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