Paper (App Store), by FiftyThree, holds the number one “free” spot in the App store at the time of this article’s writing. I put free in quotations because although the app does come with 1 style of drawing, any others will cost you $1.99 per style. Paper takes the much known idea of drawing on the iPad, and simplifies the User Interface while delivering high performance artistic styles. In our Paper for iPad review, we’ll take a look at all the features in this amazing new drawing app.
Paper is a high quality drawing app which can be used as almost anything. Range of use spans from a note taking utility to an expressive paint app. The app will come with the generic draw pen which can be written in with different colors. The app also contains the ability to draw using the following pens: Sketch, Outline, Write, and Color. Each pen performs differently and is generally to be used for different purposes. To do lists, Idea sketches, storyboarding, artistic drawings, color pallets, productivity (math equations), or just doodling are all examples of uses for this app. Lets go into the specifics of how the app is used.
Similar to apps like iMovie, the main screen will present you with your books containing your drawings. You can customize these books both in title and cover, as well as add, remove, or share them. To open a book you can simply click on it, or do a two finger expand on top of the book. Your not in the pages yet. This will take you to an intermediary step where you can add, remove, or share individual pages. One final click on your desired page will maximize allowing you to begin your drawing. The furthest left book is a preloaded set of examples and instructions.
On a Page
The page is white, with the pens, colors, and eraser hidden on the bottom. To get to them, swipe up from below. As mentioned above the Draw Pen is the only one included in the free app. The rest are grayed out until you buy them for $1.99 each. Swiping from left to right or right to left will bring you to the last or next page. You can also pinch inward to get to the middle page selection screen or further to the book selection screen. Simply select your pen and color to begin drawing.
The Draw Pen will create larger strokes the faster you swipe. Although I have not used the others, if you click on them, a screen will pull up where you can test them out on top of an existing example set of images. The pens work awesomely. Sketch gives results very similar to that of a pencil. Outline lets you highlight or color sections of a drawing. The Write Pen is perfect for lists, captions, messages, etc. The color pen works akin to watercolor, blotching areas and adding depth as you roll over areas multiple times or with speed. On the last page, you will find you can buy the whole set for $7.99. Should you lose or need to restore your iPad, all of your purchased pens will be able to be restored through your iTunes Username and Password.
This is certainly not the first of it’s kind, and I have used quite a few drawing apps. Many others provide much more functionality in terms of layers, pens, toolboxes, etc. However, none of them do drawing better than Paper. This app has a clear focus and makers, FiftyThree have mastered the art, (literally), of drawing on the iPad. While a stylus might be a good idea, you can draw with a somewhat fine degree with even just your fingers. If you want to draw on the iPad for any reasons listed in this review, Paper is your app.
Paper is a free app and is available from the App Store.