Ever since the first iPad was released in 2010, the discussion regarding what the best portable digital sketching tool or tool combination is has only grown more complicated over the years. Between those who have found success with using the later Microsoft Surface to early adopters of the Wacom Cintiq Companion, the debate ultimately always comes down to what works best for “you” and how much power you need out of your tablet.

But for those who have no interest in springing for a $1,000+ digital sketching tool anytime soon, the available tablet offerings have been promising, but limited – at best. Various tablet sketching apps ranging from Paper by FiftyThree to Autodesk’s Sketchbook franchise have satisfied some users, but many are left wanting more power and more flexibility than iOS can typically offer.

Aiming to create a Wacom-like experience for users who prefer to use their iPads, Astropad has just released a new iOS app that cleverly mirrors a user’s computer display to their iPad for a combination mirrored display + real-time input experience. When paired with a supported stylus, the app essentially gives a user as close to a Cintiq experience as possible for today’s iPads.

“We met at Apple in 2007 where Matt worked on QuickTime and Giovanni on Mac OS X. As ex-Apple engineers we are using our experience to build professional creative tools that work across your Mac, iPad and iPhone.”


While this might not have taken off a few years ago, the wide availability of touch-sensitive stylus’ makes it a viable option for those who aren’t ready to fork over for a Pro tablet quite yet. Not to mention, what they have running under the hood is pretty dang slick.

Needless to say, a Wacom Bamboo, Intuos or Cintiq surface paired with a Wacom pen will still offer better results, but for $49.95 ($19.95 for students), it’s not a half-bad solution for those who are constantly on the road and don’t want to carry the extra hardware and cables.

Try it for free and find out more over at Astropad.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.