New Wa­com ri­val or bar­gain base­ment gim­mick?

Mac Format - - RATED | IOS GAMES -

£18.99 De­vel­oper Astropad,

Works with iPad Ver­sion 1.1

Is Wa­com look­ing over its shoul­der ask­ing who the new kid right on its heels is? Or is the race over be­fore it has be­gun? Astropad of­fers the abil­ity to use your iPad as a graph­ics tablet, so we wanted to know if it’s as good as it sounds.

Be­fore start­ing, you must en­sure you have up-to-date op­er­at­ing sys­tems on both de­vices. The next im­por­tant thing to do is en­sure your sty­lus is cal­i­brated with the soft­ware. You do this via a rather nifty box that prompts you to touch your sty­lus against the iPad. As you do so, you are told the sync is suc­cess­ful.

There is a fair bit of tweak­ing re­quired by spec­i­fy­ing which area of your Mac screen your iPad would use, and we also had to move around a few tool­bars to en­sure they fit­ted into the workspace.

Af­ter play­ing with Astropad for a while, we were struck by one re­cur­ring is­sue: a wor­ry­ing lack of ac­cu­racy. On a num­ber of oc­ca­sions we tried to lo­cate the brush se­lec­tion pal­ette and were met with a red cross telling us Astropad couldn’t do what we were ask­ing of it. An­other is­sue was the la­tency on the iPad – of­ten newly-se­lected ar­eas ap­peared pix­e­lated and dif­fi­cult to see clearly – a rather im­por­tant fac­tor when you con­sider what the soft­ware’s pur­pose is.

That said, it does have many en­dear­ing fea­tures, most im­por­tantly the porta­bil­ity fac­tor. It’s very easy to for­get you are us­ing your iPad as a graph­ics tablet and, be­ing gad­get lovers, we were re­ally taken with that. James Robin­son

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