Can I use my iPad Pro as a drawing tablet on my PC?
June 26, 2017 12:47 PM   Subscribe

Is there a way to connect my iPad Pro 10.5 (2017) to my PC and use it to draw inside the desktop version of Photoshop or Illustrator? I know there are Photoshop and Illustrator apps for the iPad, but I'd like to use the full versions of those programs. I'm also curious if the iPad can be used in this manner.

I've heard of AstroPad and Duet but I think those apps just let you throw what's happening on the iPad's screen onto a computer screen? They don't actually let you use the iPad as a tablet (similar to a Wacom tablet)? I might be wrong :(

Thanks for the info!
posted by galaxypeachtea to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I use Duet regularily. I don't draw but I do know they make a slightly different product confusingly called Duet Pro which is apparently designed to, essentially, wacom-ify the input aspect of Duet Display.

I might start there.
posted by mce at 12:59 PM on June 26, 2017

I have tried this before (earlier model android tablet and macbook pro, but same idea) and sadly the answer is pretty much 'no'. I did manage to find some work that people had done to try to get it to work...but they didn't have much success as the real problem is latency, or the time between input and output. To have the pen input display on the ipad screen (while a technological marvel) isn't that big a deal, but by the time you route that input through the usb controller/bluetooth adapter > usb cable/air > PC usb/bluetooth input > PC graphics processor > screen you've lost over a second of time and your hand is waaay ahead of your drawing. You might give duet pro a try, but my guess is, if it isn't hard-wired into the tablet in the first place, you're going to be disappointed.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:06 PM on June 26, 2017

I haven't used it extensively, but Astropad allows you to do this.

I tried this out for a little while, It's not bad, actually, it's pretty good, but a native iPad app (like procreate or Illustrator draw) is better for latency. You can do a lot of things with these apps, and the transfer the document to your computer for final edits.

This was before the Apple Pencil existed though, so YMMV.
posted by kpmcguire at 2:11 PM on June 26, 2017

Best answer: I use AstroPad, an Apple Pencil, and a first gen iPad Pro to do this. There may be some small latencies every once in a while, but I am pretty happy with this setup. Much easier than my very small Wacom tablet.
posted by chaostician at 4:48 PM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've used earlier versions of AirDisplay, which adds the iPad as an extra screen to your mac/pc and passes touches through as mouse actions. Latency was acceptable but not great. It's less "discrete tablet" and more "cintiq", but laggier.
posted by russm at 7:41 PM on June 26, 2017

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