The tablet – revelation or disappointment for iPhone artists?

Benjamin Rabe

On wednesday, apple might (or might not) reveal the long anticipated iPad. The most thorough ideas and speculations are coming again from John Gruber, and I also enjoy those funny interaction ideas emerging these days as well as giant iphone fantasies.
iNetbook rerendered
But here’s the obviously most important question: what’s in it for the fingerpainters?

As engadget says:

“the inclusion of splatter paint and the use of the word “creation” could suggest that if we do see the long-rumored Tablet at this event, the focus could be slanted towards art, music, and movie-making.”

Time to spill out some ideas: so, here’s what I want:

Resolution independence

I think that’s a premise.


If apple really aims at the creative bunch, pressure sensitivity is a must. Problem is you don’t have the input device to register pressure, so it’s gotta be the surface. And texture sensitivity, that would be cool. Imagine you don’t mimic a mouse cursor with your finger anymore, but instead the actual touch area would be registered. No more photoshop-like stamp-painting. Even better, not only fingers, but also other material, cloth, maybe even real brushes. Again, no idea if that’s possible, but I would certainly like it.

Higher touch-screen scan-rate

Even on the small iPhone screen it became obvious that fast strokes became ragged often. But on a 10” area, the movement of the lower arm becomes even more important, so the touch screen should be able to catch those long swipes. As far as I know this is a software issue in the end.

No one-way syncing

Of course I’m thinking about the iPhone as my sketchpad and the tablet as the device to flesh out the painting. Still i wanna be able to push things back to my sketchpad, keep working on pieces on the bus, without losing any quality. Probably a tough one due to different hardware power.

Open interchangable formats

Ok, here’s a looking at the developers. More and more fingerpainters keep switching apps to apply certain effects, brushes, etc. The gateway for doing this is the photo library, so every time i change apps to work on a piece, there’s some loss due to jpg compression. While I like this process a lot (reminds me a bit of apple’s OpenDoc idea), using the photo library seems quite a workaround to me. Hence in the end the tablet should support a real file system, too. And why an open format? Because it builds markets, not just companies.

Those are just some ideas, what do you dream of? Please share your ideas in the comments.

The apple event will take place on Jan 27th.

13 Responses to “The tablet – revelation or disappointment for iPhone artists?”

  • suzi54241 Says:

    I lust for pressure sensitivity and a more robust filing system, saving everything to one photo roll is tiresome. That being said. Let’s get it out there and in our hands. Let the new creative begin.

    Great article BTW. This website is the go to place for fingerpainters. I love the new directory and show tabs. ^Up^

  • Thierry Says:

    Oh yes, pressure sensitivity would be a must, just wonder how they would achieve this. I’m curious also to see if Adobe, Corel and other painting soft publishers will release custom versions of their soft for the device, it would be interesting. Great idea for the standard format, I hope they thought about it.

    In another creative field, it will also be a great device for musicians and composers: digital guitars, violins, pianos and whole orchestral instruments can be fully developed on such a slate with much higher quality and usability than on the iPod/Phone, which already has some nice music apps!
    Anyway, incredible creative times are ahead of us. Great article Benjamin 🙂

  • Matthew Says:

    It has a lot of expectations to live up to… Will it do to publishing what the ipod itunes did to online music.
    Where others have failed… will it be fun to curl up with in bed or on a sofa?

    I really can’t wait to find out.

    Great article Benj.

  • Helene Goldberg Says:

    You’ve really thought it through. Pressure sensitivity and a more natural way to vary texture and brushes would be wonderful. Higher res for saving a must. I have read that there are some new patents for touch screen control. I don’t understand the implications for us, but it is very hopeful.

  • Valerie Beeby Says:

    Fascinating article. Yes, pressure sensitivity is a must. Also the ability to move between apps without losing detail.

    Though I hope this iPad will have a bigger screen, I do hope too that it won’t be too big and heavy, but will be seductively light, thin and very very portable. Don’t want to lose the huge advantage of the iphone/ipod – that you can pick it up like a sketchpad and hold it at any angle.

  • Mia Robinson Says:

    right…pressure sensitivity is at the very top of my list too…and I wouldn’t mind it being both responsive to touch and a stylus…even tho, I’m more prone to touch…

    and it most certainly has to create higher resolution files, just naturally…with little to no modification beyond print-size.

    funtionality is key too…i need it to be mobile…as mobile as iphone, really. which means it needs to be lightweight. If I could fold it up and put in my pocket, that would be good too…but I understand that’s maybe pushing things a bit too far…but hey, we can dream too, can’t we?

    I, too, like Thierry’s take on publishing…hmmm…

    Can’t wait to see it! We’ll have to see how many things on this growing list gets checked after the presentation. EXCITINGGGGG!!!!!!!!

  • Jane Horton Says:

    Great ideas… and yes yes yes… portability is tops, touch sensitivity, higher resolution, open apps to make swapping app to app seamless and greater touch sensitivity all round… but in the UK at least …. price!

  • Tina Says:

    I think the way Vellum (the app) handles pressure, eg. varying thickness according to speed, is an excellent interim solution even when the screen doesn’t register pressure.

  • Tweets that mention The tablet – revelation or disappointment for iPhone artists? | iPhone fingerpainting -- Says:

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  • Mia Robinson Says:

    could it be? a first glimpse at the tablet…hmmm….

  • Mia Robinson Says:

    for those who need it–live reveal is at 10:00am PST and can be watched here.

    you can even send yourself a reminder.

  • iPad Reveal Roundup, A Fingerpainting Perspective | iPhone fingerpainting Says:

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