Today we take a look at an amazing new app for the iPad called Astropad Graphics Tablet, which coupled with a stylus like the Adonit Jot Touch, essentially turns your iPad into a powerful, professional graphics tablet.
Astropad is still a relatively new app as of August 2015, but the small team of ex-Apple employees behind it are working fast and furiously to make it a true, professional grade graphics tablet. It’s pretty much already there, although we do need the ability to save and change shortcuts on an app by app basis to really make this a true alternative to something like the Wacom Cintiq graphics tablet.
Please don’t take that as a negative statement though. I’m told that application profiles to save our shortcuts are in the works, and as you’ll see in my video, even with the functionality already implemented, you can’t go wrong for just $19.99 for a limited time, and even when the price goes back to $29.99, it will be worth every penny.
If you already own an iPad, you can pick up Astropad right away, and give it a try with your fingers, but to really get the most out of Astropad, you need a stylus.
I originally rushed in and bought a Wacom Creative Stylus 2, which is a great stylus, but I found it to be very inaccurate when used with Astropad. I spoke with the team and found that the Adonit Jot Touch stylus is the way to go.
The Adonit Jot Touch stylus is what really takes the Astropad Graphics Tablet app to the professional level. You can work with the tiniest brushes and tools, and you paint exactly where the tip of the stylus touches your iPad screen.
I have been blown away by my experience with Astropad so far, and I know it’s only going to get better. Take a look at my video to see what you can do for just $19.99 for Astropad (for a limited time) and $99.99 for the Adonit Jot Touch stylus.
Astropad Graphics Tablet in the iTunes App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id934510730
Adonit Jot Touch stylus: https://mbp.ac/jottouch
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Thanks for your review of Astropad Martin. Have you used any app that will run on Windows…… I have an iPad, but LR and PS run on a windows PC
You’re welcome Grant.
Unfortunately, I’m not even aware of a similar product for Windows, so I can’t really help you on that. 🙁
Hola Martin…! Long time, no type… -;o). I tried twice to watch this video but both times I have gotten an error message that says basically d’oh! something went wrong with playing this video.
I’m in Namibia right now, and our lodge blocks vimeo because it’s too data intense, so I can’t check for myself. What actual message to you get, and where? For the embedded video on this site, or over on Vimeo?
Good post Martin, I used Astropad on my iPad Air 2 but it was way too bugging back then -when they first released it- I’m more comfortable with DuetDisplay which is awesome and better fits my needs as an illustrator/designer. Also noticed that there were some issues with the iPad Air 2 and the jot touch, so I grabbed the version with a disk a the end of the nib. Really hope to see the stylus made by Apple. Do you think that Wacom’s future is in danger?
You need to try Astropad again, now that they’ve done a few updates. I saw zero bugs.
I am using the iPad Air 2, and the Jot Touch with Pixelpoint 2015 version is amazing. I own a non-bluetooth Jot stylus with the disk on the end, and didn’t like it at all. The new Jot Touch with Pixelpoint works incredibly well though, and is the best match for Astropad, so I wonder if you have the old version.
I don’t think Wacom’s future is in danger. There will continue to be a market for their tablets, and the Cintiq will continue to sell, but I doubt that Cintiq sales are a large proportion of there revenue anyway.
It looks like you’ll be getting your Apple stylus Lionel. I’ll be getting one too of course. 🙂
Hi Martin, nice review. I am finding that with my iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and Adobe Lightroom CC I can’t get astropad to be touch sensitive or be able to pinch and zoom like I can on photoshop. Has that been your experience as well? Have they just not developed those features for Lightroom?
I don’t think there is a native pinch and zoom feature for Lightroom. I generally just tap once to zoom to 100%, then if I need to get closer, I select Move and Zoom in Astropad on the iPad, then you can pinch and zoom in, but it’s just zooming in on the 100% image, rather than zooming in Lightroom. Of course, you could select 2:1 instead of 1:1 in Lightroom for the zoom ratio, if you’d like to zoom in more than 100% natively.
By touch sensitive, are you referring to pen pressure? If so, Lightroom doesn’t support it, as far as I know. It works fine in Photoshop with the setup I used for this video, although I’m not sure if there is a problem with the Apple Pencil. If you do mean pen pressure, as long as it works in Photoshop, I think it’s working as expected. If not, you might want to email the support team at Astropad.
Thanks for your feedback Martin. You correctly guessed that I was talking about pressure sensitivity in Lightroom. So to confirm Lightroom does not support pressure sensitivity regardless of what tool you use it with. For example would Lightroom also not support pressure sensitivity with a Wacom tablet? The pressure sensitivity works fine with Photoshop for me but I only use it for about 10% of my images so was hoping it would work with Lightroom too.