Pressure sensivity on Apple iPad 3 or Samsung Galaxy Note-like tablet?
So, the Galaxy Note debuted some time ago in the artistic scene with some awesome news. It has Wacom technology integrated in the screen: WOW! That’s super incredible, no question about it. What if Samsung develops a bigger tablet with this technology? Right now there aren’t many decent Apps in the Android Market Place fro drawing, no app at all if we’re talking about vectorial drawing. Very poor, still it would have Wacom technology… sure, hardware’s nothing without software but, hey, maybe developers would jump in the market if such a device’d be released, right? Maybe. What about the iPad?
Well, the problem of the iPad is that Steve Jobs rejected the very existence and need of a stylus, it’s a philosophy, you know Apple. Will we ever see an official intelligent stylus for iPad? Release by Apple? I don’t think so. Hope, though, is the last to die and we cannot forget that Steve is sadly gone. So, maybe, those from Apple could also feel a little bit of freedom and create some cool devices that would have never seen the light of life, should Steve be still alive. Like a touchscreen MacBook, iMac, an iPad with a stylus. And many more things.
So, what does SlashGear say about the hybrid screen of the Galaxy Note?
Rather than relying on a resistive touchscreen, or an inaccurate capacitive stylus, the Galaxy Note uses a Wacom active digitizer system. Wacom is best known for its artists’ tablets, but the company also has a history of supplying Tablet PC manufacturers with digitizers for their pen-enabled Windows slates. Microsoft’s platform may not be so hot with a pen, but that’s not Wacom’s fault: the company offers a digital inking experience that’s silky-smooth, free flowing and accurate, not to mention pressure-sensitive.
I tried this device myself. It’s awesome, but it has a pair of problems:
- It’s too small to draw something cool on it, at least something at a decent resolution, and it’s not so pretty to draw on a very small media…
- Android has no decent drawing apps aside from SketchBook Pro (which is a great tool indeed but, c’mon, no vectorial drawing program at all?!)
- You cannot see the precise point where the tip of the pen will land on the device, before drawing, like on a computer screen with a Wacom tablet!
Ok, there are some problems but there’s a lot of improvement space here. Also, the Galaxy Note’s screen has palm rejection technology in it, so you can draw with your had on the tablet, without it going crazy at all. Should they create a bigger tablet with Wacom technology, I’m sure I’d think about buying one.
Now for the iPad 3, will it have this kind of technology? A lot of rumors are saying it will, which means it will not at a 99% probability. You know how rumors worked until now, don’t you? So, if the iPad 3 will wave Wacom tech in it, it’s a sure buy for me. I’m a professional artist and I need this kind of device badly. Not a cintiq (no portability at all) nor a ModBook (short battery life, complete OS and I don’t need it, it’s heavy, it costs like a ticket for hell!). What if Apple will not implement Wacom tech on the iPad 3? We all know Steve hated pens, he created the iOS system and its devices to remove pens from existence. Will the iPad 3 be just an iPad 2s? Most likely it will. So, will we have to pass on the dark side of the force buying a Samsung or whatever branding device? We still have some choices.
This is a new device, an intelligent pen: there aren’t many out there, as for now there’s none in the market. They are all being developed. And a lot of industries are creating these kind of hardware: they don’t believe the iPad 3 will have a Wacom tech either, otherwise, shy would they create intelligent pens? So, what’s it about? This is an incredible pen, connecting via bluetooth to the iPad, with 1024 pressure levels like a Wacom pen! It will work with every app out there as a normal capacitive stylus but will support pressure levels only on some apps supporting the SDK of the creators of the pen. Let’s see some advantages / disadvantages:
- Pressure sensivity. How many levels? They don’t say it in the website
- Palm Rejection
- Connects via bluetooth
- Precision: the tip is as thin as a real pen but it has a rubber circle attached to it, since the device it will work on has a capacitive screen. That’s obvious but I may argue that I need to try this pen out before saying it’s really precise.
- Shortcuts, it has buttons that will open certain software functionality, allowing the artist to immediately change colors, tools, etc. Nice!
- It has a nice recharging dock, it has a battery, of course.
- Supported apps: right now only 3 apps are supported, they are Procreate, Clibe and Note Taker HD. Very few but you can ask the developers to support more apps and they suggest you send a mail to the developers of your fav apps too, so that they can get interested in the Jot Touch. Remember, though: even apps that do not support the Jot pressure sensivity tech will work normally! The Jot Touch is still a very precise capacitive stilys, even with apps not supporting the pressure feature! That’s a great bonus.
There we go with yet another great and promising project, the iPen! It’s a kickstarter and it has already more than enough fundings. They say about it:
The Cregle iPen transforms the iPad into a content creation device, not just a content consumption device. iPen is the first active digitizer stylus that allows you to write with precision directly on the iPad. Unlike the passive digitizer used in the typical iPad stylus, iPen writes like a real pen with accurate positioning and palm rejection features that passive products simply cannot achieve.
With the Cregle iPen’s active digitizer, the attached receiver picks up the iPen’s signal and its precise position as it hovers above the screen (whereas a passive stylus can be located only when the user touches the screen). This crucial advantage allows iPen to actively transmit 60 samples per second to pinpoint the pen’s exact location.
What does it mean for you?
- It’s not a capacitive pen, it will work ONLY with supported apps, for all the rest of the iPad apps it will not exist at all. The screen cannot tell you are using a pen if the app doesn’t support it.
- No pressure sensivity at all
- Palm rejection
- Maximum precision: with a tip that’s so thin there’s no way to be mistaken when drawing! Also, you’ll see the cursor before landing the pen on the screen, like on a computer with a real Wacom tablet! That’s a huge precision bonus!
- A lot of supported apps and they will, of course, increase in number. All of my favs are on the list.
- So, what should we artists do?
- Buy a decent Android tablet with Wacom tech the moment it’s released?
- Wait for the iPad 3 and pray for Apple to include Wacom tech in it?
Stay with our iPad 1, 2 or even buy a 3 with no Wacom tech and then buy one of those pens we’ve been talking about?
There are some problems we’ve already discussed about the Android world: no apps. The iPad 3 will most certainly be a 2s with no revolutionary improvement at all, so we’ll have to consider those pens IMHO. But there’s a problem: the iPen is unbeatable for precision but it has no pressure sensivity (maybe on iPen 2 they say) and it works only with supported apps. The Jot Touch has pressure levels but we don’t know how many, it doesn’t support a lot of apps right now but it’ll work like a normal capacitive stylus with every app and we cannot say it’s very precise compared to the iPen. So, what? A mix of the two pens would be great but we’ll have to choose. I say we’ll all wait for the iPad 3 and then we’ll see what the market offers. I think I’ll go for the Jot Touch if nothing new appears.