Astropad is a very cool app from former Apple engineers designed to let you draw into Mac apps by connecting your iPad or iPhone to the computer via USB or Wi-Fi. You can then draw into most Mac apps directly on your iOS device’s screen, using your finger as a replacement for a professional graphics tablet. In fact, it’s too good that people are replacing their Wacom tablets with Astropad and an iPad.
I’ve been using Astropad quite extensively and it works like magic, really.
There’s very little discernible lag, courtesy of the proprietary Liquid engine providing nearly three times more fluid responsiveness than Apple’s AirPlay. That’s why I’m happy to report that in its most recent version 2.0 update, Astropad is now even faster and more fluid than before and a lot less taxing on the battery.
“Our newest version of Astropad is more responsive than ever, allowing you complete creative freedom in your favorite Mac apps,” developers state.
The high-performance Liquid engine now runs three times faster with “massively reduced pixelation,” meaning you’ll enjoy virtually no lag and crisper images when drawing into Mac apps on your iPad with your finger.
A new velocity control helps the app analyze network conditions dozens of times per second in order to balance performance for image quality and latency. You should experience longer work sessions and extended battery life because the app uses three times less CPU and four times less RAM.
The latest version supports panning and zooming gestures across more programs—including Affinity Designer, Art Rage, Clip Studio, Lightroom, Mischief and Sketchbook Pro—and there’s a new handy option to auto-hide the cursor while drawing in settings.
The software requires an iPad with iOS 8.0 or later connected to a Mac via USB or Wi-Fi and running OS X Mavericks or later and the free of charge desktop helper app.
Astropad Mini, which turns the iPhone and Apple Watch into a graphics tablet for the Mac, is available at no charge on the App Store.
Both apps have gained the above performance enhancements.
You can read my review of Astropad Mini right here.