App I’m Loving: Paper

I first got turned on to paper yesterday when John McArdle posted about it on the Teehan & Lax blog – I downloaded it right away, sprung for the brush pack shortly after and have been using it almost constantly (well, at least @ every opportunity) for the past two days. In short, “Paper” is a sketching app – you can create notebooks, add pages to them and then sketch away to your heart’s content. It comes with one brush free (and it’s a darn good brush) but no doubt you’ll want to pick-up the add on brushes ($1.99 ea or $7.99 for the whole set).

Example of Brushes & Colours available in Paper

Like John, I’m a long time Sketchbook Pro fan and had been using it for sometime. While it was great on my desktop I never quite got in the groove with it when I started trying their Sketchbook Express on the iPad. With Paper though, I immediately connected with it and just loved the quality of the default brush. Drawing features are kept to a bare minimum (brush selection, fixed palette, draw & erase & undo – aka ‘rewind’.) & changing/adding pages is simple and straight forward.

Nice Touches

A couple of things I really like:

  1. Multiple ‘Sketchbooks’
    Paper lets you create multiple “Books” in the app, so I can section off my personal stuff form my work stuff really easily – or if I’m working on a specific project I can give it its own book etc.
  2. Rewind
    Their interpretation of “undo” is great. Rather than simply undoing and removing the entire last action you made you can simple ‘rewind’ by placing two fingers on the screen & then moving them counter clock-wise. And it backs up your actions, just as rewind implies. Go too far? Just rotate your fingers clockwise. I found it a little finicky at first but after a bit of use it’s become pretty natural.

One Feature Request/Wish

While I appreciate the minimalism there’s one feature I’d love to see added and that’s very, very basic layers. I don’t eed full blown layers like Photoshop or Sketchbook but even just having two layers would be great. I’ve encountered a few times where it’d be great to be able to sketch something out on one layer, then ink & colour over it on a second and finally remove or hide the sketch layer when finished. I know it breaks the paper metaphor, but still…

Highly recommend it – Paper is available in the Apple App Store for iPads.

  • Richard Hayward

    New colour mixer feature is pretty cool too!  totally agree they need basic layer functionality