I’m going to be unleashing an in-depth review of Astropad which remains one of the best iPad drawing tablet app in 2017.
This is a review article, not an hands-on review experience but still a review article based on real life customers feedback of users who has used this product Astro pad and if it’s one of the best iPad drawing tablet app in 2017.
Well it’s been ages I wrote something remotely related with apple and I’m sure my readers can guess that I don’t write a lot about apple products, news or anything related to them – that’s about to change with this article and let me add this little disclaimer: I am not sponsored by Astropad in any area but I would be open to the idea.
Table of Content
This is a an in-depth review so it’s gonna have a wide coverage area and having a table of content makes it easier for you to follow along and see at a glance everything I’m gonna talk about in this post.
- What is Astropad and it’s features
- iPad drawing tablet app. What is that?
- Why use Astropad
- Does Astropad work?
- Real life customers/users comments, complaints and feedback
- Astropad Standard
- Astropad Studio
- Difference between Standard vs Studio
- Final Verdict: Why is Astropad one of the best iPad drawing tablet app in 2017
#1. What is AstroPad
Astropad is an iOS app that turns your iPad into a drawing tablet. This app gives you the ability to freely draw, sketch, paint on your iPad which shows up on your mac computer or laptop. It works only with Mac OS which means it works on any Mac book, macbook pro, iMac or mac pro made from 2003 – present model. Astro HQ has two products Astropad Standard and Studio.
You draw on your iPad, it shows up on your mac in real time like a mirror through a USB or WiFi connection.
According to their website, Astropad was built by former Apple Engineers – Founders Matt Ronge and Giovanni Donelli.
We were inspired by the original Macintosh and early creative apps like MacPaint that opened up new possibilities. Our logo is a play on the Dogcow and a testament to the idea of the computer as a “Bicycle for your mind”.
In the post-PC era apps have become less powerful gadgets and professional creative tools have been under-developed. Starting with Astropad, we are on a journey to change that and re-define the drawing tablet.
We met at Apple in 2007 where Matt worked on QuickTime and Giovanni on Mac OS X. As ex-Apple engineers we are using our experience to build professional creative tools that work across your Mac, iPad and iPhone. We have ambitious plans for Astropad but we need your help.
Features of Astropad
Some of astro pad functions listed below;
- Provides a natural drawing experience
- Works with any Mac app
- Delivers unprecedented image quality, no compression artifacts
- Blazing fast, keeps up with your drawing
- Bursts to 60 FPS even over Wi-Fi
- Works wirelessly or over USB
- Supports all iOS styluses
- Pressure sensitive
- Customizable shortcuts
- True Retina resolution
- Accurate palm rejection
- Pinch to zoom and pan in your Mac apps
#2. iPad drawing tablet app? What’s that?
An iPad drawing tablet app is an application that transforms your normal iPad or iPad pro to a professional graphics tablet – What does that means in reality? No need to buy an extra wacom tablet when you already have a Macbook and iPad. You don’t need that extra wacom tablet load in your backpacks when your normal iPad can perform similar functions as a wacom. There are so many iPad drawing tablet apps like Astropad, duet, Artrage, SketchBook by Autodesk. Read more from DigitalTrends.
#3. Why use Astropad?
There are different reasons behind using Astro pad, some remain simple as we use astro pad for Illustration, sketching, painting, animation and for photos.
Also another important reason is the wide software compatibility range. Astro pad works with the softwares listed below;
- Photoshop CS6 & CC
- Illustrator CS6 & CC
- Lightroom CS6 & CC
- Clip Studio Paint / Manga Studio 5
- Capture One
- Affinity Designer
- Affinity Photo
- Sketchbook Pro
- Corel Painter 2016
- Painter Essential 5
- After Effects CS6 & CC
- Animate CC
- Toon Boom Storyboard Pro
- Toon Boom Harmony
- Cinema 4D
It also supports the following styluses;
- Apple Pencil
- Pencil by FiftyThree
- Adobe Ink
- Pogo Connect
#4. Does Astropad work?
I think at this point you need to know if astropad really works and how well does it work, will it solve all my graphic design tablet problems? The best way to answer your question – Does it work is to show you video(s) of astro pad in use.
#5. Astropad Customer Reviews
This wouldn’t be an in-depth review we don’t go through customer reviews and customer ratings. Since this an iOS only app we would be using Apple’s app store for our customer reviews.
Amazing drawing tool by Nurnberger
Astropad used in conjunction with an iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil in adobe photoshop is a game changer for me. The main quibble I had was the lag in fully rendering high resolution images while navigating and editing images on the tablet, especially when using it wirelessly. Using it plugged in through USB is a lot faster, and makes lag almost unnoticeable. All in all, I’m a big fan of this app, and would not hesitate to recommend it, especially if you already have a tablet and stylus to use with it. For reference, I have used a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet, and I find this setup using Astropad to be far superior.
So impressed with this app! by Tiffster2012
I traded in my 22hd Wacom Cintiq for the iPad because I wanted to be more mobile. This app has made the transition easy and fun. I love that I can now work outside, on the couch, at a coffee shop and more. I was skeptical but Astropad really has everything I need to keep up my regular design workflow. My only wish is that I could utilize both screens instead of a simple mirroring function. However, I am so impressed with the magic gestures, shortcut keys, speed, and ease of using this application. Thanks for making this amazing tool! It has been a game changer!
Goodbye Wacom, hello Astropad! by Daecrist
I can’t say enough good things about this software. I’ve been a Wacom user for about a decade now. I’ve used Graphire and Intuos Pro tablets. I’ve tried the Cintiq 13HD, Cintiq Companion, and own a Cintiq 22HD.
I want to give some of that background so you know how serious I am when I say Astropad with an iPad Pro is such a better experience than any of those.
If you’re a Mac user sitting on the fence then you should seriously get the iPad Pro, Pencil, and Astropad. My Cintiq has been gathering dust since I started using this. With a cabled connection on a MacBook Mid-2015 there is zero lag and it’s a joy to work with.
It’s truly portable. I can stick this in my laptop bag with the MacBook and go anywhere. You can’t do that with a Cintiq 13HD. That cable is finicky and prone to breaking if you look at it wrong. Taking it on the go? Please. I can use it anywhere in the house instead of being stuck in one spot with the 22HD. I can rotate on screen or I can easily rotate my iPad, and touch gestures come standard on this without paying a $200 premium like with Wacom.
Also? It just works. It doesn’t have any of the bugs or idiosyncrasies or short battery life that led me to ultimately return a Cintiq Companion after trying it out.
I’ve been using pen digitizers for over a decade. Even with the Cintiq it always felt like “almost, but not quite there yet,” but it was the closest you were going to come to realistic drawing. Now with this I don’t see myself ever going back to Wacom.
One caveat. I’m running this on a MacBook Pro Mid-2015 i7 with lots of memory and the Radeon M370X. I don’t get any lag on this reasonably higher end machine. I’ve heard of people saying they have problems on older MacBooks, but there’s a free trial so you can see how it works for you if you’re on an older system.
Lag even with USB but… wow. by thejesterbot
I’m not a fan of the high cost, and the app lags in photoshop even over USB but the ability to draw directly on my screen Cintiq-style is so freaking nice. Thumbs way up and let’s hope they use this money to improve the response times.
Bug-free is not a “feature” by tastyteacup
Typically, when a company has a $30 app, it takes its customers’ problem reports and releases updates that fix those problems. (This app, for instance, has a problem with pixelation.) If that company wants to release new, premium features, it introduces a paid subscription as an add-on to the original, properly maintained app. The typical company does this both as a basic good business practice, and to maintain the goodwill of its user base.
What Astropad has done is taken the problem reports from the users of this $30 app and released a separate, subscription-based app with the lack of problems listed as one of the new features.
Finding out this app is not being properly maintained after shelling out $30 for it only a few weeks before they made this swap has left me with a very bad impression of this company and its ethics. I will not be paying them any more money until it merges the apps, and I suggest no one else does either.
#6. Astropad Standard
This is one of Astro HQ’s product, it’s the cheapest option with a fee of $29.99 for a lifetime and it work with all iPads. The standard version gets you the following;
- $29.99 One Time
- Works with any Mac app
- Wi-Fi or USB
- Velocity Control
- Pinch to pan and zoom
- 1 shortcut set
- Works with all iPads
- Use any stylus
#7. Astropad Studio
Another product by Astro HQ and this only works on iPad pro. If you don’t have an iPad pro, use the standard version. The studio version is the best tool because it has more features than the standard version and it was made specifically for creative professionals handling demanding creative works and projects. Want to know more about Astro pad studio? Read this article on TechCrunch.
The studio version gets you the following features;
- $79.99/year or $11.99/month
- Works with any Mac app
- Wi-Fi or USB
- Velocity Control
- Pinch to pan and zoom
- Unlimited shortcut sets
- Built for iPad Pro
- Apple Pencil Only
- Keyboard support
- Magic Gestures
- Pressure Smoothing
- Custom Pressure Curves
- Eraser Tool
- Hover Simulation
- 3-Button Mouse Simulation
- Undo/Redo Gestures
- Preview line customization
- Unlimited Upgrades
- Priority Support
#8. Difference between Standard vs Studio
- Price: Standard is $29.99 lifetime license – Studio is $79.99 one time fee but comes with 7 days free trial.
- iPad Compatibility: Standard works for iPad – Studio works on iPad pro.
- Purpose: Standard is more for casual artists and everyone while Studio was built for creative professional with heavy graphic works and projects.
- Features: Studio has tons of realistic features to solve real problems. Standard has common features.
#9. Final Verdict
Why is Astropad one of the best iPad drawing tablet app in 2017? From the customer reviews from App store, features and advantages of using Astropad its clear that astropad is one of the best iPad drawing tablet app.