iPad For Artists http://ipadforartists.com Reviews, tutorials, advice, and a book! Wed, 18 Jun 2014 17:50:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.10 What other iPad art books and resources do you recommend? http://ipadforartists.com/what-other-ipad-art-books-and-resources-do-you-recommend/ Wed, 18 Jun 2014 17:50:20 +0000 http://ipadforartists.com/?p=162 ...continue reading ]]> I haven't seen a whole lot of iPad art books on the market, so I don't have any to recommend yet. If you know of any, let me know!

Illustrator friend Will Terry, who has work featured in the iPad For Artists book, has a video tutorial series called Painting on the iPad. He also posts a lot of advice and process videos on his YouTube channel.

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Is the iPad Mini good for making art? http://ipadforartists.com/is-the-ipad-mini-good-for-making-art/ Mon, 09 Jun 2014 17:27:14 +0000 http://ipadforartists.com/?p=149 ...continue reading ]]> I do not have personal experience using an iPad Mini, but I can offer a few thoughts:

First, the iPad already has a shortage of screen real estate. There's not a lot of room for menus, tools, let alone your art. I can only imagine that it is even more cramped on an iPad Mini.

Second, iPad styluses tend to have wide tips and are not as accurate as normal pens. Drawing with one on a small screen is only going to amplify how "fat" the stylus feels. You may be in for a frustrating experience.

Also note that the physical size may change how the sensors and sensitivity works between the iPad and the iPad Mini. Because of this, you may run into stylus problems, such as the tip being less sensitive or less accurate. Some of the fancier styluses that require electrical signals or feedback may not work at all.

Other than that, I don't think there is much technical downside between the iPad models. All the apps should work the same. Most styluses should work just fine. I know there are artists out there that are using iPad Minis for making art with no trouble. I think the decision will ultimately come down to your own personal preference, and what stylus you like to use and if it functions properly with the Mini. Check the stylus manufacturer's documentation about the iPad Mini, and if you can, try to test out a Mini in person before committing to a purchase.

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TruGlide Apex Review http://ipadforartists.com/truglide-apex-review/ Tue, 11 Mar 2014 17:38:34 +0000 http://ipadforartists.com/?p=137 ...continue reading ]]>

The TruGlide Apex stylus is the second iPad stylus I have tried that features a fine point tip. The other was the Jot Script by Adonit. Unlike most fat-tipped tablet styluses you'll find on the market, the TruGlide stylus has a tiny 2.3 mm tip that makes it feel more like a regular pen.

The technology that makes this possible is a powered electrical signal that detects the pen tip on the iPad screen. That means the pen needs a battery, and you have to turn it on for it to work. For the most part, the TruGlide worked well, but there were a few bugs. Read on for the full review!

First, let's be clear.

I want to point out first that the TruGlide Apex is not a pressure sensitive stylus. It requires battery power in order to work, but otherwise it works just like any other "dumb" stylus.

The Details

Manufacturer: Lynktec

Website: http://www.lynktec.com/TruGlide-Apex-Fine-Point-Electronic-Stylus-s/1860.htm

Version: First generation, "Kickstarter" edition

Release date: January 2014, wide release expected March 2014

Notable features: fine-point tip

Current price: $59.95

In the box:

TruGlide Apex stylus

AAAA battery (in the pen)

Kickstarter-exclusive carrying case

The tip

The tip on the Apex is made of rubber and is 2.3mm. For comparison, the tip on the Jot Script is 1.9 mm and made of metal. The smallest tips on other styluses are around 5 mm. It's about the same size as and feels like a dull pencil.

I enjoy the tip on the Apex better than the Jot Script because it is made of rubber. Even though I've had no specific problems with scratching with the Script tip, the rubber feels more safe on the Apex. It also gives the tip a more natural feel on the slick iPad glass.

Based on the website, it looks like the tip is replaceable, which is nice because I'm sure the rubber tip is less durable than a metal one.

The body

The Apex has a metal body and seems sturdy. It feels heavy and is slightly thicker than a typical pen. There is a blue light near the tip that indicates that the pen is on and functional.

There are no buttons on the pen. The back side twists off for battery replacement. One problem I had was that once I put the battery in, I didn't know how to turn it off. When I went to take the battery out to save power, I realized that if I just twist the body, it loosened the battery connection and the pen turned off without me having to remove it completely. I am not sure if this was intentional or not because the pen came with no instructions. Anyway, I wish that was more clear. This solution is also a bit buggy, because when I went to use my pen after light use, the battery was already dead. I am not sure if this was due to not turning it off correctly or just a weak battery.

Connection

Once the pen is on, it works immediately. There is no special connection process to go through and doesn't require Bluetooth. It just works like a normal stylus.

Writing and drawing

The Apex is pretty accurate, but not 100% perfect. As is typical with any drawing tablet, there is a slight parallax between the tip and the screen. However, it is not too significant and you should adjust to it easily if you are used to digital drawing. It is not quite up to par with the accuracy you will find on a professional Wacom tablet, but it is a big improvement over typical fat iPad styluses.

The functionality is not perfect. It does not read all drawing/writing movement 100% correctly, resulting in jagged lines or skips. It is very subtle and does not hinder your ability to draw. It is a minor annoyance at worst. Unfortunately, this means it's nearly impossible to draw smooth lines and large curves with the pen. It's better for rough sketching and painting.

App compatibility

The Apex requires no special software integration, so it is compatible with any app. It works just like any other regular stylus, once you turn it on.

Power

The Apex uses one AAAA battery. Like I mentioned earlier, my battery died pretty quickly, but I think that was due to either me not turning off the pen correctly or having a weak battery in the first place.

Compared to other styluses

For those of you who have been waiting for an iPad stylus with a fine point tip, this is a good option. It is fairly accurate and is certainly better than the fat tipped styluses. Besides minor accuracy issues, I enjoyed drawing with it.

Compared to the Jot Script

I like the rubber tip on the Apex more than the metal tip on the Script, but the Script worked better overall in terms of functionality. The Jot Script also has other extras like palm rejection and software support that the Apex currently lacks (but to be fair, the palm rejection doesn't work well on the Script anyway, so that equals them out a bit). I would give the edge to the Script, but the Apex is a solid, slightly cheaper alternative.

Overall grade: B

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Jot Script Review http://ipadforartists.com/jot-script-review/ Tue, 10 Dec 2013 17:11:26 +0000 http://ipadforartists.com/?p=121 ...continue reading ]]>

The Jot Script is the first major iPad stylus to feature a fine point tip. No squishy rubber. No awkward plastic disks. No kidding.

I honestly didn't think it was possible with current iPad technology to create a stylus with a true pen-like drawing tip. The Jot Script has proven me wrong. The stylus comes from Adonit, known for their Jot Pro and Jot Touch styluses. Those models feature a ballpoint pen-like tip with a plastic disk attached to the end, which made them pretty accurate compared to their competition. The Jot Script takes the innovation even further, ridding of the disk altogether. It uses an electronic signal instead of plastic to communicate the "finger" touch on the iPad screen. But is it too good to be true? Does it perform as advertised?

Misconceptions, misunderstandings, and clarifications

Before I delve into the larger review, I want to clarify a few confusing things about the Jot Script. First, the Script is NOT a pressure sensitive stylus. Yes, the pen is powered, has bluetooth connectivity, and features a hefty price tag, but it does not have this one significant feature.

So why the battery? It powers the technology that allows the stylus to have such a fine tip. Instead of a fat piece of rubber or plastic disk, the Script uses what Adonit calls "Pixelpoint technology" which is some kind of electronic signal (I'm not smart enough to understand the specifics, but that's the gist). If you were to turn the pen off, it would not work at all on your iPad.

The bluetooth connection allows for "extra" features such as palm rejection and better precision. This kind of capability requires the app to use Adonit's SDK in their software.

However, to clarify another common misconception about the Jot Script, let me emphasize that you can use the Jot Script in ANY app. (It doesn't help that this first edition Jot Script is called the "Evernote" edition, but that is just a branding strategy, not an indication of single app compatibility.) Once it's powered on, it works and functions just like your finger would on the touch screen. The SDK is only required for the extra features. When a website says that this-or-that app is "compatible" with the Jot Script, they are referring to the bluetooth capabilities only. It should still work as a normal stylus in that app, compatible or not.

The Details

Manufacturer: Adonit

Website: http://adonit.net/jot/script/

Version: First generation, the "Evernote" edition

Release date: November 2013

Notable features: fine-point tip, palm rejection

Current price: $74.99

In the box:

Jot Script stylus

AAA battery (in the pen)

The tip

The tip on the Jot Script is a 1.9 mm beauty made of metal. For comparison, the smallest tips on other styluses are around 5 mm. It's kinda the same size as a felt tip marker pen. I also noticed it's about the same size as the blunt, unsharpened lead from my drafter's lead holder I like to draw with.

I was afraid at first that the metal tip would be scary to use on the iPad glass. That has not been my experience at all. The slightly rounded tip glides smoothly. It hasn't left any scratches. The Script is noisier than other styluses because it clicks when it hits the screen. But otherwise I've felt completely safe and comfortable using it.

The body

Like the other Jot styluses, the Script is fashioned out of metal. It feels lighter than the other Jots though. The walls seem thinner and the body is hollow to house the battery. It lacks the heft of other Jots, but it still feels sturdy and well-made.

There is one button on the pen, to power it on and off. I've actually had a hard time finding the button from time to time because it blends with the plastic and lays flat against the body. However, I do enjoy that the button is not directly in the grip area where I can't hit it accidentally like I do with other pens.

The back end screws off so you can replace the battery.

The pen is well-balanced and weighted. Despite the battery, the pen is still only slightly thicker than the Jot Touch. It's about the same width around as my Cintiq pen or a Sharpie marker.

Bluetooth and palm rejection

I gave it a go in Penultimate, and unfortunately I didn't find the palm rejection much improved over other styluses that offer the same thing (palm rejection is pretty much junk across the board). I tried writing in the app and kept accidentally turning the page. I couldn't get it to work well at all. As far as accuracy though in Penultimate, it was pretty spot on.

Writing and drawing

I was pleasantly surprised by how accurate the Jot Script is across the board. It didn't matter if the app was "compatible" with the bluetooth connection or not. It is not spot on all the time, but the difference is minimal. If you are used to working with the parallax of a Cintiq tablet, it is not that much worse than that. Much of the time, the tip was pretty close to accurate. If it was off, it was only by a few millimeters and only at certain angles. While sketching and coloring, I didn't notice the space between tip and stroke hardly at all. It was mostly a problem with details and precise linework.

Writing is more natural with the Jot Script compared to other styluses. It just FEELS like a pen. The problems I did have, however, was that the pen continued to read even when the tip was lifted up slightly, which meant more stray marks than I would have wanted. Writing in Penultimate is still pretty laggy too, so I can't imagine myself taking extensive notes with this thing like I can with pen and paper. Still, an improvement over all other styluses on the market.

The stylus was pretty nice to draw with as well. My biggest problem was that sometimes the stylus wouldn't read 100% from beginning to end of my stroke, so the line is cut short. That is annoying when you are trying to draw a line from one point to another.

App compatibility

As of this review, the Jot Script is only compatible with Penultimate. Like I mentioned earlier, this only refers to the extra features - you can still use the Script in any other app just like any "dumb" stylus. Since this stylus has no pressure sensitivity, and palm rejection is junk anyway, there really isn't a huge difference thus far between apps that are compatible or not.

Hardware compatibility

Adonit says the Jot Script works on any iOS screen. I have successfully tried it out on my iPad Air, my sister's iPad 2, and an iPhone 5.

I have no idea exactly what the range of this stylus is in terms of other touch screens. Adonit does not specifically say if you can use it outside of iOS, but I tried it briefly on a Kindle Fire and it worked just fine, so it seems adaptable to different finger-friendly tablets as well. The extra bluetooth compatibilities in the SDK seem to be concentrated to iOS only though.

One concern I have is that in order for the Pixelpoint technology to work, it has to be tailored to the device's screen for best results (I think). This means the pen may work better on one touch screen over another. It might not work on some screens at all. Theoretically, this is true even between iPad models. My Script works fine on my iPad Air, but there's no guarantee that it will work on future iPad models depending on how Apple changes their technology.

HOWEVER, let me emphasize that this is speculation on my part. I don't know the technology well enough to know the specifics of how it works or how adaptable it is. I've had no actual problems with the stylus thus far. It was just a thought I had, and I thought it worth noting.

Power

The Jot Script requires one AAA battery. I like that - easily and quickly replaceable. I couldn't find any specific time estimates for battery life, but one battery should last you a fairly long while. The small signal and Bluetooth 4 tech means it's pretty efficient.

Other battery-powered styluses have indicators in the app that tell you how much power is left. I haven't seen that with the Jot Script or Penultimate. A minor complaint, but I hope they add this feature at some point.

Compared to other styluses

For those of you who have been waiting for an iPad stylus with a fine point tip, the Jot Script does not disappoint. For a first-generation product with such an innovative technology, I was surprised by how well it performed right out of the gate. It is a lot less awkward to work with than all other styluses on the market. It naturally feels like a pen.

Compared to pressure-sensitive pens

It is really quite a shame that there's no pressure sensitivity in the Jot Script, but in my opinion this is a minor issue. I've always maintained that pressure sensitivity is not required to make art on the iPad. I switch between smart and dumb styluses all the time. The difference is more "that's nice" than mind-blowing. Still, it is hard to justify spending the cash on a what is ultimately the same functionality of a dumb stylus. The Jot Touch seems more fair for the money, and it is still a pretty good pen experience.

If you want to use your stylus for taking notes, I'd say it was a no-brainer; the Jot Script is the way to go. However, this blog isn't called "iPad for Writers" so I am giving the edge to the Jot Touch if you are an artist trying to decide where to put your $80. However, if you've tried several iPad styluses and you just don't like how they feel, give the Jot Script a try. It might be exactly what you're looking for.

If and when the Jot Script adopts pressure sensitive capabilities, this thing is going to be hard to beat.

Compared to regular drawing tablets

The Jot Script is the closest thing to an Cintiq pen experience I've had yet on the iPad. I would not say it is 100%. Besides the fact that it has no pressure sensitivity, there is some minor connectivity and accuracy issues that could still improve. I would put it at a good 85-90% as good though.


Overall grade: B+


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Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus Review http://ipadforartists.com/wacom-intuos-creative-stylus-review/ Thu, 21 Nov 2013 22:57:13 +0000 http://ipadforartists.com/?p=23 ...continue reading ]]> Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus Review ipadforartists.com

The Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus is a pressure-sensitive iPad stylus from arguably THE foremost maker of digital styluses and drawing tablets. They had previously released the Bamboo iPad Stylus to good reviews, but the CS is the first iPad tool from Wacom to feature pro features, design, and connectivity. It was not the first pressure-sensitive stylus to be released to the market, but with the company's reputation for great art pens, this stylus was highly anticipated.

I personally don't think the CS produced anything groundbreaking or new compared to the few other pressure-sensitive styluses that have been produced so far, but it is solid and performs well. It stands its ground against its competition and is one of the best styluses you'll find in the market so far.

Note that the Intuos Creative Stylus is not the same thing as an Intuos pen or drawing tablet that Wacom also sells. (And on the same token, the Bamboo iPad Stylus is not the same thing as a Bamboo pad pen.) They are separate products. Why Wacom insists on using the same names for these things is beyond my understanding, and I get confused questions about it a lot. So to make things clear, no, you can't take the pen that comes with an Intuos tablet and use it on an iPad. Ok? Good. On with the review…

The Details

    Manufacturer: Wacom

    Website: http://intuoscreativestylus.wacom.com

    Version: First generation

    Release date: October 2013

    Notable features: pressure-sensitivity, palm rejection

    Current price: $99.95

In the box:

    Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus

    carrying case

    two spare rubber nibs

    one AAAA battery

The tip

The tip on the Wacom Intuos CS is round flexible rubber. It is 6 mm wide in diameter and very squishy to the touch. Some rubber-tipped styluses you find on the market have very firm, solid nibs, but that is not the case here. When you press down with the pen, the tip flattens against the screen. It is like a little hollow rubber balloon.

I really like this quality in the tip. I expect some people won't like it because the squishiness might make the pen feel more inaccurate, more like a blob then a pen. But when it presses down on the screen I feel like it is connecting better to what I'm drawing.

Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus Review ipadforartists.com

The rubber drags across the screen slightly, which is good. Plastic tips tend to slip and slide across the glass, so this feels more natural.

One major downside to the airy tip is that it is susceptible to tearing. I have had experience with this, not with the CS but with it's standard counterpart, the Bamboo iPad Stylus. They have (I think) the exact same tip. The tearing doesn't really affect the function of the pen, but it is annoying and it might damage your screen if it wears down too much, so you'll want to replace it.

The plus side is the CS comes with two extra nibs. When my Bamboo broke, I had to order more tips, which were always out of stock so it took forever.

The body

The CS is made to look more like the pro pens that come with their digital tablets like the Intuos or Cintiq. It is all black hard plastic with a rubber grip that flares around the tip. The CS is about 5 1/4 inches long, making it longer than the Bamboo and shorter than a Cintiq pen. There are two buttons; what they do and how you program them depends on the app you are using.

The overall construction quality is very good. It is pretty much like their tablet pens, but slightly heavier because it houses a battery.

Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus Review ipadforartists.com

Accessories

The CS comes with a nifty carrying case. This is unique to other styluses I've bought. None of the other dozen or so styluses I have ever came with a case. It's a good quality case too, and holds not only your pen but has slots for 5 extra nibs and a battery too.

The pen comes with two extra nibs, which is super nice. Like I mentioned above, you might need them if you use the stylus a lot.

Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus Review ipadforartists.com

Pressure sensitivity, bluetooth, and palm rejection

Wacom claims 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity in the CS. This functions very well for the most part. I could transition from light to dark or thick to thin strokes very easily while drawing. It seemed to transition very smoothly and evenly. The biggest trouble I had was that I had to press a little hard in order for the pen to register.

The pen connects over Bluetooth 4.0. This means the pen is only compatible with the iPad 3 or newer, and the iPad Minis. You connect the pen within the specific app, not in the iPad settings. Connection was very fast and simple most of the time. Usually, you tap a button in the app, then click one of the pen buttons to turn it on.

Palm rejection functionality is pretty much junk, but that is not Wacom's fault. The technology itself is shoddy across all styluses I've tried, which makes me think we won't see great palm rejection until the next great hardware or software innovation comes along. At best, the pen might disconnect a few times while you are drawing, causing stray marks or accidentally zooming in or out. At worst, it causes your app to slow down and/or crash. You also have to turn off multi-tasking gestures on your iPad for best results, which is annoying because I love multi-tasking gestures. Anyway, I keep palm rejection turned off.

Writing and drawing

I found writing with the CS a little too awkward. The tip is big, and the stylus feels big. It's more comfortable for me to write with the Bamboo because even though they have similar tips, the pen is smaller and weighted better in my hand. The rubber tip drags, which is good for drawing, but for writing quickly it is, well, a drag.

For drawing, the pressure-sensitivity made it slightly difficult to get super light lines because I had to press harder for the pen to register. It got easier with practice. I also got better results when I held the pen more upright than at an angle. Otherwise, the drawing experience is very good. It is much like the Bamboo, and comparable or better than competing pressure-sensitive styluses.

App compatibility

This is a list of what I think are the most notable art apps currently available. Crossed out items are not compatible with the advanced features of this stylus, such as pressure-sensitivity. This is not an exhaustive list of the device’s compatible apps (check out the manufacturer’s website for detailed specs), but it should give you a good idea of its range.

    Adobe Ideas
    Artrage
    ArtStudio
    Bamboo Paper
    Brushes
    Inkist
    Inkpad
    Paper by Fiftythree
    Procreate
    Sketch Club
    Sketchbook Pro
    Sketchbook Ink
    Zen Brush

Power

The pen is powered by a AAAA battery. I had honestly never even heard of AAAA batteries before the CS was announced, but yes they exist and yes they look just like AAA batteries but smaller.

At first, I was annoyed by this because I was wondering how I was going to replace the battery. I have never seen AAAAs in stores. You can go to an electronics store or order them online though. The battery is replaced by unscrewing the cap on the back end of the pen.

Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus Review ipadforartists.com

Also - I'm beginning to think the battery will last forever. After several weeks of light to moderate use, it still reads above 90% power. I guess a trip to the electronics store or waiting a few days for a replacement to arrive in the mail won't be so inconvenient after all if I only have to do it once or twice a year. Wacom claims you can get 150 hours out of one battery.

Compared to the Wacom Bamboo iPad Stylus

The Bamboo stylus is one of my favorite iPad styluses. It is very comfortable, sensitive, and accurate. When the CS was announced, I was very excited about it. Even though I already owned a pressure-sensitive stylus in the Jot Touch, I was eager to see what Wacom could come up with. If the CS was just "a pressure-sensitive version of the Bamboo" it could be a real treat.

For the most part, it did that. You turn off the bluetooth functionality on the CS, and it feels virtually identical to the Bamboo. But in small ways I think it fell slightly short. On a ballpoint plastic tip like the Jot's, adding pressure-sensitivity is a natural addition that fits right into the functionality of the pen. The trouble with rubber nibs however, especially the squishy variety that comes on the Wacom styluses, is that when you add pressure-sensitivity the feel of the tip becomes a lot different. The tips on the Bamboo and CS may be identical, but I had to press harder on the CS to register light lines. I also couldn't hold the pen at extreme angles. The feel and sensitivity I like so much in the Bamboo, while not completely gone in the CS, is marred slightly.

Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus Review ipadforartists.com

Another nitpick I had was the body shape. The Bamboo is very slick and balanced and tiny. The tapered shape on the CS made the grip wider. Even though the tips are identical on the Bamboo and CS, I felt like I was using more of a marker than a pen. Some people might like that, but I like the Bamboo better. It's just a preference thing and not a big deal ultimately.

Compared to other pressure-sensitive pens

The CS is one of the better styluses on the market. I would have to give the edge to the Jot Touch though as far as pressure-sensitivity so far. The Jot is easier for me to get light lines and reads more sensitively. However, the CS is still a quick favorite of mine. I like it better than the Pogo Connect, which has a similar rubber tip and technology.

Compared to regular drawing tablets

Despite the Wacom name, don't expect the CS to turn your iPad into a Cintiq. This rubber tipped stylus is still very much an iPad stylus. It is still only slightly more accurate than a fingertip, and not quite a normal writing pen. However, it improves on the experience, and the pressure-sensitive technology is a big well-done leap in the right direction.


Overall grade: B+


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Jot Touch 4 Review http://ipadforartists.com/jot-touch-4-review/ Thu, 21 Nov 2013 22:56:43 +0000 http://ipadforartists.com/?p=21 ...continue reading ]]> Jot Touch 4 Revew ipadforartists.com

Adonit's Jot styluses are consistently among my favorite pens for the iPad. The great design, solid construction, and innovative pen tips make them a pleasure to use.

The Jot Touch 4 is their current high-end model with all the latest tricks (pressure sensitivity, palm rejection, Bluetooth 4). It is my current favorite on the market and here's why.

The Details

    Manufacturer: Adonit

    Website: http://adonit.net/jot/touch/

    Version: Second generation

    Release date: May 2013

    Notable features: pressure-sensitivity, palm rejection

    Current price: $89.99

In the box:

    Jot Touch 4 stylus

    USB charger

    cap

Jot Touch 4 Review ipadforartists.com

The tip

Adonit's styluses are immediately noticeable for their unique tips. They look like a ballpoint pen with a plastic disk attached to it. The disk helps the iPad register the finger-like touch, but the point makes the styluses feel more pen like than most other competing styluses with the fat rubber nibs.

But does it work? Yes! Very well in fact. I've been using the Jot styluses since they were first released, and while I had trouble with earlier models not registering or skipping lines, Adonit has improved the technology greatly. I have virtually no problems with the latest Jot Touch. The tip is super sensitive, and the added spring in the tip makes it feel soft on the screen. Previous models felt like I was attacking the screen over and over with a metal rod. The Jot Touch 4 is smooth to the touch.

The plastic disk is also smaller in diameter than the first-gen Jot Touch. It is about 6 mm wide. If you're wondering if the disk is a distraction while writing or drawing, I don't find it a big problem. I barely remember it's there now after using it for a while.

I've never had trouble with the disk popping off myself, but it is possible. In those cases, you should be able to snap it back on. Or if you lose it, you can also get a replacement disk from Adonit. It doesn't come with any spares out of the box.

Jot Touch 4 Review ipadforartists.com

The body

The body is all metal with rubber around the grip. There are two programmable buttons. This thing is sturdy. The metal body also gives it a good weight. This thing does not feel cheap. The construction is very well done.

Accessories

The pen comes with a tiny USB charger. The stylus connects very strongly via a magnet.

There is also a cap that screws over either end of the pen. You can protect your tip while the pen is being stored. The cap is pretty slick and fits smoothly. Just remember to screw it on the back on of your pen while in use so you don't lose it. It tends to roll away easily and it's pretty small.

Pressure sensitivity, bluetooth, and palm rejection

There are 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, which is a huge improvement over the first Jot Touch model which had 256. It uses Bluetooth 4 technology, which connects fast and easily within whatever app you're using. This means however that you must have an iPad 3 or newer or an iPad Mini in order to use the bluetooth capabilities.

The pressure sensitivity works like a breeze. I have little trouble going from really light to really dark, and the transitions between are smooth.

Palm rejection is sketchy, but this is true for all palm rejection capabilities across all styluses and apps I've tried so far. It tends to make apps run slowly or crash. You can get it to run ok sometimes, but you still get occasional disconnections, which causes stray marks and accidental zooming. It is pretty annoying. Rest your hand on a book instead and keep palm rejection capabilities turned off.

Writing and drawing

Writing is more natural on the Jot styluses than with any rubber tipped ones. It feels like writing with a ballpoint pen. You still have to write carefully and really round out your letters to get the best results though. The pen doesn't read as well for very subtle marks and smaller sizes. The precision and speed still falls just short of normal writing.

And while I like the plastic tip very much most of the time, the downside is that it is very slick on the iPad glass. Although this might help you write faster, it feels funny compared to writing on paper. You might be able to lessen this with a film screen cover, but I have not tried this. (Be careful though - I've heard some screen covers make the surface TOO sticky to use with a Jot stylus.)

I notice the slickness most while I am drawing. It makes me appreciate the design on my Cintiq tablet more, because it uses a glass more suitable for drawing and feels more like paper. The iPad is pretty glossy.

Otherwise, drawing with the Jot Touch is superb. The pressure sensitivity reads well and is very smooth. The pen is pretty accurate, probably one of the best you'll find in any stylus.

Jot Touch 4 Review ipadforartists.com

App compatibility

This is a list of what I think are the most notable art apps currently available. Crossed out items are not compatible with the advanced features of this stylus. This is not an exhaustive list of the device’s compatible apps (check out the manufacturer’s website for detailed specs), but it should give you a good idea of its range.

    Adobe Ideas
    Artrage
    ArtStudio
    Bamboo Paper
    Brushes
    Inkist
    Inkpad
    Paper by Fiftythree
    Procreate
    Sketch Club
    Sketchbook Pro
    Sketchbook Ink
    Zen Brush

Power

The Jot Touch 4 uses a rechargeable internal battery. You charge it over USB with the included charger. This is slightly inconvenient because if the battery goes dead, you have to wait a few hours for it to recharge before you can use it again. Other styluses that use AAA or AAAA batteries need only to pop in a new one.

Adonit claims 1 month of normal use with one charge. I've found that to be pretty accurate.

Compared to the other Jot styluses

Without the pressure-sensitivity and bluetooth, the Jot Touch is pretty much identical in quality and experience to all their other styluses. It operates just like a Jot when it's turned off, which means it's still usable even when the battery is dead.

If you can afford it, get the Touch because the pressure sensitivity is a great feature. However, if you want to get the cheaper Jot Pro, you still won't go wrong.

Compared to other pressure-sensitive pens

I think the Jot Touch has an edge over the competition so far. The pressure-sensitivity works great. The rubber-tipped varieties have a hard time replicating the sensitivity of the Jot's ballpoint tip, in my opinion.

Jot Touch 4 Review ipadforartists.com

I'll admit though that sometimes I grow weary of the feel of the slippery Jot. If you want to buy the rubber-tipped Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus instead, I think it is a toss-up in terms of quality and performance. Though I give the edge to the Jot, they are both great styluses. I personally switch between the two often.

Compared to regular drawing tablets

The Jot Touch is probably one of the closest experiences you'll get on the iPad that's comparable to drawing on a drawing tablet like a Cintiq. However, it still falls short. It's still a hair less accurate, and without good palm rejection is still awkward in comparison. You CAN get comparable results; it just takes a little extra work and concentration to get there, and so is not quite the same.


Overall grade: A


Photo gallery

[See image gallery at ipadforartists.com]

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Jot Pro Review http://ipadforartists.com/jot-pro-review/ Thu, 21 Nov 2013 22:55:57 +0000 http://ipadforartists.com/?p=19 ...continue reading ]]> Jot Pro Review ipadforartists.com

Adonit launched their Jot styluses on Kickstarter in 2011, and I have one of the first-generation Jot Pros from backing the project. The company has since gone on to improve the design and create other models, such as the pressure sensitive Jot Touch.

The Jot Pro, though it lacks the bluetooth capabilities of its higher end counterpart, is still a wonderful stylus in its own right. If you're looking for a stylus alternative that doesn't cost you $80+, you might want to give this one a go. The ballpoint pen-like tip with the plastic disk is truly unique among the major stylus competitors and offers better accuracy and experience than the typical rubber nibs out there.

Please note that this review, including the photos, mostly refers to the first generation version of the Jot Pro since that is what I have on hand. Adonit has since released a better model with small but significant upgrades which I will be sure to note in the review.

The Details

    Manufacturer: Adonit

    Website: http://adonit.net/jot/pro/

    Version: First generation

    Release date: August 2011

    Current price: $29.99

In the box:

    Jot Touch stylus

    cap

The tip

Adonit's styluses are immediately noticeable for their unique tips. They look like a ballpoint pen with a plastic disk attached to it. The disk helps the iPad register the finger-like touch, but the point makes the styluses feel more pen like than most other competing styluses with the fat rubber nibs.

But does it work? The Jot Pro went through a few growing pains when it was first released. This first generation model that I own has a little bit of trouble registering on the iPad screen. You have to hold it at just the right angle or press down a little harder for it to read. I often get skipping lines when I'm drawing, or have trouble navigating menus and apps.

The good news is, these flaws have been fixed for the most part in the current models. The Jot Pro now has what Adonit calls a "dampening tip", which means it includes a spring. It not only makes the stylus feel even more like a ballpoint pen, but I think it helps the sensitivity a lot. I have virtually no trouble with my Jot Touch, which has this kind of tip. It also reduces the noise of your pen hitting your iPad screen, which is awesome because the click click click of my first gen Jot Pro is irritating.

Jot Pro Review ipadforartists.com

As a sidenote, I do not think Adonit's lower end Jot Mini has a dampening tip. If you're considering getting the cheaper Mini over the Pro, I think the dampening tip is worth paying that little extra.

Another improvement is the disk size. The plastic disk on my first gen Jot is about 8 mm. The current models are more like 6 mm. It's a small difference, but it feels significant. The larger disk feels gargantuan now when I go back to using my Jot Pro after using my new Jots.

If you're wondering if the disk is a distraction while writing or drawing, I don't find it a big problem. I barely remember it's there now after using it for a while.

I've never had trouble with the disk popping off myself, but it is possible. In those cases, you should be able to snap it back on. Or if you lose it, you can also get a replacement disk from Adonit. It doesn't come with any spares out of the box.

The body

The body is all metal with rubber around the grip. This thing is sturdy. The metal body also gives it a good weight. This thing does not feel cheap. The construction is very well done.

The Jot Pro is also magnetic. This was designed to hold your stylus onto the iPad's magnets for easy transporting. It's good for quick storage and convenient for not misplacing your stylus if you're walking away for a second, but don't expect it to hold onto your iPad while it is jostling in a bookbag or something.

The Jot Pro is the only Jot, including the higher end models, that is magnetic. I do kinda miss this feature in my Jot Touch. The Jot is completely smooth and cylindrical, so it rolls away super easily. The magnet not only helps me keep the Jot Pro with my iPad, but it keeps it stationary on my metal desk.

Accessories

There is a cap that screws over either end of the pen. You can protect your tip while the pen is being stored. The cap is pretty slick and fits smoothly. Just remember to screw it on the back on of your pen while in use so you don't lose it. It tends to roll away easily and it's pretty small.

Jot Pro Review ipadforartists.com

Writing and drawing

Writing is more natural on the Jot styluses than with any rubber tipped ones. It feels like writing with a ballpoint pen. You still have to write carefully and really round out your letters to get the best results though. The pen doesn't read as well for very subtle marks and smaller sizes. The precision and speed still falls just short of normal writing.

And while I like the plastic tip very much most of the time, the downside is that it is very slick on the iPad glass. Although this might help you write faster, it feels funny compared to writing on paper. You might be able to lessen this with a film screen cover, but I have not tried this. (Be careful though - I've heard some screen covers make the surface TOO sticky to use with a Jot stylus.)

I notice the slickness most while I am drawing. It makes me appreciate the design on my Cintiq tablet more, because it uses a glass more suitable for drawing and feels more like paper. The iPad is pretty glossy.

Otherwise, drawing with the Jot is superb. Like I mentioned above, the first gen Jot Pro had a little bit of trouble skipping lines, but if you're getting a current model this should be fixed. The pen is pretty accurate, probably one of the best you'll find in any stylus.

Compared to the other Jot styluses

If you're fine going without pressure sensitivity, the Jot Pro is a strong alternative. I think an artist can get along just fine without a pressure sensitive pen on the iPad. It is a fun feature, but not completely necessary, and not everyone will find it worth the extra money. If you're just looking for a quality pen that will help you with accuracy and drawing, it's a strong stylus. And like I mentioned before, I think the dampening tip and magnetic cling are worthwhile features over the cheaper models.

Jot Pro Review ipadforartists.com

Compared to other pens

The Jots are consistently some of my favorite styluses I've used so far. They are a hair more accurate, and they feel more like a normal pen than the rubber tipped competition.

I'll admit though that sometimes I grow weary of the slippery Jot. I will occasionally switch to another stylus for a better feel while painting. My favorite non-pressure-sensitive stylus is the Wacom Bamboo iPad Stylus, which is softer and quieter. I usually recommend that artists buy either the Bamboo or the Jot based on their personal preference of tips. Or be like me and buy both.

Compared to regular drawing tablets

The Jot is the most pen-like experience you'll get with an iPad stylus. However, it still falls short. While it's one of the most accurate, it's still inferior to writing on paper, or drawing on a Cintiq tablet.


Overall grade: A-


Photo gallery

[See image gallery at ipadforartists.com]

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Wacom Bamboo iPad Stylus Review http://ipadforartists.com/wacom-bamboo-ipad-stylus-review/ Thu, 21 Nov 2013 22:54:53 +0000 http://ipadforartists.com/?p=17 ...continue reading ]]> Wacom Bamboo iPad Stylus Review ipadforartists.com

The Wacom Bamboo iPad Stylus is one of the top styluses I always recommend. It is well designed, feels great, and is not super expensive.

Super pros might prefer to get a fancy pressure-sensitive stylus, but if you're looking for something simple and good, this is the stylus to get. I even like it better than Wacom's high-end counterpart, the Intuos Creative Stylus (you can read why in that review).

Note that this review, including the pictures, largely refer to the first generation Bamboo stylus. Wacom has since released a variety of different options, including mini versions and models that double as a regular writing pen. If you're looking to buy, I believe the older pen I own is most comparable to the current Bamboo Stylus Alpha and Bamboo Stylus Solo.

I should also point out that the Bamboo iPad Stylus is NOT the same thing as the Bamboo Pad that Wacom also sells. In other words, you cannot use the pen that comes with a Bamboo Pad drawing tablet and use it on your iPad. They are separate products. And to further add to the confusion, Wacom sells other mobile tablet styluses under the Bamboo moniker, such as the "Feel" stylus and Galaxy Note stylus, that do not work on the iPad either. I get a lot of confused questions about this, and I have no idea why Wacom chose to use the same name for these products, but oh well.

The Details

    Manufacturer: Wacom

    Website: http://www.wacom.com/

    Version: First generation

    Release date: April 2011

    Current price: $14.95-$19.95

In the box:

    Wacom Bamboo iPad Stylus

The tip

The tip on the Wacom Intuos CS is round flexible rubber. It is 6 mm wide in diameter and very squishy to the touch. Some rubber-tipped styluses you find on the market have very firm, solid nibs, but that is not the case here. When you press down with the pen, the tip flattens against the screen. It is like a little hollow rubber balloon.

Wacom Bamboo iPad Stylus Review ipadforartists.com

I really like this quality in the tip. I expect some people won't like it because the squishiness might make the pen feel more inaccurate, more like a blob then a pen. But when it presses down on the screen I feel like it is connecting better to what I'm drawing.

The rubber drags across the screen slightly, which is good. Plastic tips tend to slip and slide across the glass, so this feels more natural.

One major downside to the airy tip is that it is susceptible to tearing. I've had to replace my nib once so far in the couple years I've owned it. The tearing doesn't really affect the function of the pen, but it is annoying and it might damage your screen if it wears down too much, so you'll want to replace it.

The Bamboo doesn't come with extra nibs. When my Bamboo broke, I had to order them, and they were always out of stock so it took forever.

The body

The Bamboo is about 4 3/4 inches long and has a metal body. There is a clip, which you can actually remove by unscrewing the top. The tip end is also removable. Taking off the cover exposes the nib more and allows you to replace it.

Wacom Bamboo iPad Stylus Review ipadforartists.com

The overall construction quality is very good. It is very sturdy. The body is weighted just right, and the more I try out other iPad styluses, the more I realize how important a quality that is. It just feels excellent.

Accessories

None to speak of, but the Bamboo comes in a lot more varieties now than when I first bought it. You can get double-tipped models with ballpoint pens, mini versions that attach to your phone, that sort of thing. Though I've never tried any of them personally, I'd imagine the quality of the tip and the drawing experience is similar all around, so get what you prefer.

Writing and drawing

Writing might be awkward, because that rubber tip is still a big fat rubber nib. However, the Bamboo is a great improvement over using your finger, and better than most other styluses. Even though the tip looks similar to a lot of the other rubber styluses on the market, you really have to use them to realize there can be a wide range of difference. The Bamboo nib is one of the smallest, while also being really sensitive. The weight and design of the pen also makes a big difference. It's not hard to find a cheaper pen than the Bamboo, but it is well worth the extra money in my opinion.

Depending on preference and speed in which you write, you might not like how the rubber drags on the iPad glass. I like it for drawing, but for writing I think it makes the process slower.

The drawing experience is very good. The tip is super sensitive, so you don't have to make a huge effort to draw lines like some other styluses I've tried. The tip feels soft and comfortable, but not overly fat, blobby, or awkward. It lacks fancier features, but I'm of the belief that pressure sensitivity is a luxury feature at this point in the stylus game. It is nice, but not necessary to make good art on the iPad. Plus you don't have to worry about app compatibility, battery power, connection issues, or high prices. If you're on the lookout for a simple affordable stylus that works really well, this is the one I recommend.

Compared to the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus

I actually like the Bamboo better than the more expensive, pressure sensitive Intuos counterpart. I like the size, shape, and weight better. The tip is more sensitive; the extra sensors on the Creative Stylus forced me to push harder in order for the iPad to register my lines.

Wacom Bamboo iPad Stylus Review ipadforartists.com

Compared to other pens

The Bamboo is more accurate and comfortable than other styluses I've tried with similar rubber or foam nibs. I wouldn't say it is the most accurate stylus on the market - I would give the edge to the Jot with it's pointed, plastic disk tip - but the Bamboo is a strong second. I use the Bamboo interchangeably with my Jot all the time. To decide between one or the other is more a matter of personal preference, depending on the tip you prefer.

Compared to regular drawing tablets

The Bamboo improves the drawing experience on the iPad greatly, but don't expect it to be comparable to something like the Cintiq. Drawing with a rubber nib takes some getting used to, no matter how well done it is. That being said, I enjoy the Bamboo a lot.


Overall grade: A


Photo gallery

[See image gallery at ipadforartists.com]

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Welcome to iPad For Artists! http://ipadforartists.com/welcome-to-ipad-for-artists/ Thu, 21 Nov 2013 22:00:11 +0000 http://ipadforartists.com/?p=1 ...continue reading ]]> I love drawing on my iPad. I love trying out different apps. I have a massive collection of styluses.

So… I decided to put up this website to collect all my thoughts, advice, and reviews. I'm going to work on reviewing all the different styluses and apps I've tried, plus some demos and tutorials.

And to introduce myself, I am Dani Jones. I work as an illustrator making things like children's books and comics. I've posted a bunch of iPad stuff previously on my main blog.

And oh yeah… I also wrote this book, which is the seed that started this entire website.

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