Paper by FiftyThree Surface Pressure feature

Last fall, the folks behind the iPad drawing app Paper introduced a standalone iPad stylus that integrates with the app appropriately called Pencil. FiftyThree’s Pencil is designed to not only look like a good old-fashioned pencil, but the stylus even talks to the Paper software to decipher which end of the stylus is for drawing and which end is for erasing… like a digital pencil.

Today FiftyThree showed off in a blog post a new feature coming to current and future Pencil and Paper users that the company calls Surface Pressure. In short, FiftyThree’s Pencil stylus is getting even more like a real artist’s pencil: the Paper app will soon be able to distinguish various sides and widths of the Pencil tip as well as recognize the amount of pressure applied. Video and details below…

This allows for more realistic manipulation of the software through techniques like shading and width changes for line drawing without having to manage on-screen toggles.

The Pencil’s eraser will enjoy this same improvement allowing you to use it to more accurately and intuitively remove material from the drawing on Paper.

As far as availability goes, FiftyThree says Paper users will receive the software update alongside the release of iOS 8 later this fall. In the mean time, Paper users in the United States and Canada can order FiftyThree’s Pencil stylus on their site as well as on Amazon (prices range from $59 to $74 depending on the material). International customers can sign up here to be notified of broader availability.

FiftyThree notes in their release that their Paper stylus already has a number of core features like flip to erase, palm rejection, and blending capabilities.

Paper by FiftyThree for iPad is available as a free download with additional content to be unlocked via in-app purchase on the App Store.

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8 Responses to “Paper by 53 shows off surface pressure feature coming to its Pencil stylus and iPad Paper app”

  1. Wold be interesting to know why, if it does, require iOS8.


  2. This seems closer to what I have always wanted in a stylus; simple and intuitive. Yet, I am still waiting for Adobe to release Mighty and Napoleon. Their setup looks even more complete.


    • The Pencil isn’t flawless. I have one and I constantly run into the issue of it detecting my use of the pencil as a finger touch and smudges on what I’m doing instead. Sometimes the eraser doesn’t detect either. Having said all that, it is the best stylus I’ve tried. I hope some of the detection bugs can be fixed in the future :)


  3. Close, but no cigar. iPad still needs the ability to use “regular,” accurate, pressure sensitive styluses (or something better). No matter how inventive and creative companies like Paper get, these styluses are always going to be rough approximations of same, made with inferior technology.

    The accuracy is never going to be there as long as they are all software based and need to do palm rejection and the stylus is being forced to imitate fingers. Finger painting is good for cavemen and children, but that’s about it. I should be able to draw a line on the iPad just like on a piece of paper. To wit, I should be able to draw a line so fine that I have to zoom in to see the detail, not the other way around.

    There is a reason that there was a big surge in iPad art when it came out, that most of that art was of the fingerprinting variety, and that we now hardly ever see anyone do art on the iPad.


  4. Reblogged this on Taste of Apple and commented:
    Pretty cool update.


  5. Good but its no Surface Pro 3 pen. Not even the same league