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A Bit Sketchy

Submitted by santabar on Wed, 04/08/2015 - 19:22

A Bit Sketchy
by Gary Woods

The iPad fairly screams to drawn on. I’ve played with a few drawing apps like Penultimate and found them to be great fun but what I really wanted to do was draw on my iPad and see it appear on my iMac. Then, along came Astropad from Astro-HQ.

Astropad works via Wi-Fi or USB connections allowing very smooth operation at 60 fps, which is double the rate of Apple’s own Airplay technology. The application delivers excellent image quality without any compression artifacts and it displays colors that are true to the source.

Built by former Apple Engineers Matt Ronge and Giovanni Donelli, Astropad uses a technology they call Liquid which projects what you see on the iPad directly onto your iMac running OSX 10.9 or later.

For high quality artwork Astropad supports most styluses like Adonit’s $30 Jot Pro, Wacom’s Bamboo line and FiftyThree’s $50 Pencil. What’s interesting is that iPads do not natively have pressure sensitivity the way professional graphics displays do but some of the supported styluses even incorporate that pressure sensitivity into the implementation.

Astropad works with any Mac app and I found it very cool with Photoshop CS. The software needs no drivers to make the connection between the iPad and Mac apps and it features customizable shortcuts and pinch to zoom and pan in Mac Apps. Also a feature I found very cool was “palm rejection.” What this is does is when I had my big paws all over the iPad it only responded to what I did with the stylus.

Astropad is free on the App Store for your iPad and then you can go to and download it for your Mac and give it a spin for 7 days for free. If you decide to purchase the software it’s only $49.99.  This could be time to let that inner artist out.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and he is a Broker/Associate at Sotheby’s International Realty.