iPad Pro - OMG amaze

Having had my older iPad for over 5 yearsI took the leap and got an iPad Pro 12.9" with the Apple Pencil to help curb my addiction to the copious stacks of black notebooks littering my office.

The hope is to go digital for note taking but it has really opened the door to creative expression that I haven’t experienced since university.

There are a number of incredible leaps forward and it’s mainly due to the Pencil.

  1. Portability
    The thing is like a sheet of glass the size of a magazine. I can stick it in a tiny shoulder bag and tote it around, stopping at my leisure to get all artsy, do some concept layouts or file some expenses whilst sitting in a park avoiding seagulls. No longer am I chained to a computer and Wacom tablet

  2. That Pencil
    The key is the Pencil. It takes a machine that devolved into a glorified bathroom entertainment slate into a creation device that a is a steroidaly enhanced pen and paper; ink and pad; drawing board and rule. The thing is… it acts just like a freaking pencil!

  3. Extendability
    I’m now so used to using multiple monitors that I feel really weird when doing stuff on my laptop solely. The giant iPad now makes my laptop a dual screen hyperbeast. Awesome. With apps like Duet or Astropad, not only do you get another display but also the features of a Wacom Cintiq with pressures sensitivity in photoshop and all the other apps that support that kind of thing.

  4. Apps
    Now, whenever the iPad pro and the pencil come into conversation in creative circles the one app that gets all the attention is Procreate. It’s photoshop… on an iPad but the killer feature is the incredible responsiveness of the pencil that really takes advantage of that 120mhz screen refresh. You can scribble away like a madman and the thing keeps up.
    If you want the sensation of real painting then the slower Artrage is much more realistic. The watercolour tool specifically is something to behold and it’s nice to have hardware that can keep up (kinda) with the brush. My stupidly fast PC has the same lag so I’m not blaming the iPad
    For layouts I found Morpholio Trace Pro. It’s a pretty astounding app that takes a PDF and lays tracing paper over the top, also allowing you to scale the page so you can use scale symbols or rulers. It’s quite magic.
    Notability was the notes app that I settled on, and it seems pretty cool. I really like the marker pen thing but you have to be quite careful not to be too messy. I still have to work out which notes go where though.

The missing piece in my workflow is SketchUp though. I know there is a pretty good viewer, which is nice for grabbing screenshots and sketching over but a fully fledged mobile version of Sketchup would be truly incredible.

Anyone found apps that help with our line of work?


I started looking at the iPad Pro and Pencil after seeing stuff one of my students was sketching on one. I’ve been a Wacom user myself since about 1993, and I liked the feel of the Apple Pencil when I tried it. I’ve tried the SU Free app on an iPad Pro in the Apple store (kept crashing) and my own iPad. It’s so close to being possible, and yet it doesn’t really work. They need to work out the interface with tablet usage, but if they do, that would be a great leap.

I’ve also been looking at Affinity Photo and Designer, and the companion iPad app. It says it supports the Apple Pencil.

I’ve looked at Duet before and wondered how well it actually worked.

Been doing the same on my Samsung Galaxy Note 12.2 with Wacom Stylus since 2014

Indeed, I would go for SketchUp on iPad pro.

Give an iPad a try. If you’re not astounded I’d be surprised. The refinement and responsiveness is where Apple have nailed it.
I’m totally platform agnostic.

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Yep iPad Pro and pencil are excellent, I bought the pencil on a whim when it first came out, now I’m rarely without it.
Generally for Evernote and penultimate, sketching in Concepts etc
Also The magnetic cap thingy on the end is a very addictive fiddly thing.

I am also platform agnostic

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Oh yes, I use duet, works flawlessly.
Dual screen setup for working in a cafe :+1:


PS, if you are using the Samsung Notes, try to get there HM5100 stylus -

its really comfortable and it is also a bluetooth speaker and mic so you

can answer phone calls like James Bond…

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