My Experiences with the iPad Pro
Adam Procter, I enjoyed your article. I kept finding myself wanting to comment on various points you made in your piece. Rather than sending you several responses, I’m going to collect my thoughts into a single response.
Some Apps to Consider
Procreate really is the best app out there for drawing. However, there are several others that are worthy of consideration depending on your specific needs.
Medibang Paint is an app made by a Japanese company. They have some non-standardized ways of doing certain things (like re-ordering layers) and, for some reason, the app won’t allow you to rotate the screen by twisting your fingers. Aside from those draw backs, Medibang is one of my favorite drawing apps.
The app offers many features that the current version of Procreate does not have. Specifically, the ability to set document size based off of dpi and line stabilization. It can also handle larger resolution images than Procreate. The interface does almost as good a job as Procreate at creating an environment that allows you to put all of your focus on the canvas.
Best of all, Medibang is free.
Concepts App is a great drawing app that allows you to export your images as vector files. I’m mildly peeved with them at the moment because they changed the pressure sensitivity settings for the pen tool, but I’m sure there are other users who are delighted with those very changes.
The user interface is not as minimalist as Procreate, but it does an admirable job of staying out of the way while giving you easy access to the tools you might need when you need them.
Graphic, by Autodesk, is another vector program. The iPad Pro version supports pressure sensitivity for the Pencil by evaluating the amount of pressure you used while making the line and then applying a stroke style to simulate what you were trying to do. At times it does this amazingly well and at others it can be quite frustrating. Still, this is a very full-featured vector app which comes amazingly close to offering the same level of power as Illustrator.
You may want to take a look at 123D Sculpt+ by Autodesk. I’m not big into 3D modeling, but it seems to offer a similar experience to ZBrush. Take that with a grain of salt though because as I said, I’m not a sculptor. I’m not qualified to judge the features of the two applications.
iPad Pro Keyboard Cover
I’m not a keyboard snob, but it is one of my goals to become one. Currently, I have a Bluetooth mechanical keyboard from Matias and a Razer mechanical keyboard (wired) for my desktop.
I purchased the keyboard cover for my 12.9 inch iPad Pro fully expecting to hate it. I figured that I’d only use it to comment on Facebook posts or those times when I needed to type something quickly. However, that hasn’t been the case. The keyboard isn’t as delightful to type on as my others, but it is surprisingly good.
The missing holder for the Apple Pencil is a crime. That’s a horrible missed opportunity and such an obvious need. Someone really, really dropped the ball there.
All in all, I’m a fan of the device and am optimistic for the future. I believe that we’ll see more and more app makers take advantage of the additional computing power and memory options available to the Pro line. Maybe one day, Apple will even decide to implement support for a holder for the Pencil. We can hope.