13 Reasons why I don't use an iPad Pro & Apple Pencil for graphic design

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13 Reasons why I don't use an iPad Pro & Apple Pencil for graphic design

I hear some graphic designers have began utilizing an iPad for inventive work. However why? I suppose it could be okay for drawing because it’s skinny and lightweight and you should buy a stylus for it, however there are such a lot of different pen-computing choices accessible, and there are such a lot of different facets of graphic design that software program accessible for the iPad severely fails at.

1. Photoshop on iPad isn’t actual Photoshop

A few years in the past, there was a number of hype about Adobe bringing the true Adobe Photoshop to the iPad. When it was launched each article about it had the “Adobe brings actual Photoshop to iPad” headline, after which within the first paragraph defined that it was not the true Photoshop and solely had a restricted subset of options in comparison with the Photoshop model that one would usually use on macOS and Home windows. There are such a lot of options lacking! It doesn’t even have the identical menus. Neglect about something superior like channel operations or customized plug-ins.

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2. No InDesign or first rate Typography design for that matter

It’s not simple to get your font assortment into an iPad. I’ve fonts from the ’80s that also work on macOS and Home windows, however getting them into an iPad will not be a simple factor to do. We switched from QuarkExpress to InDesign across the flip of the century and InDesign has been important within the Graphic Design enterprise for absolutely anything print-related. I create knowledge merge templates that work together with database tables for creating automated print layouts on a regular basis. I exploit world common expression print programming kinds to create formatting guidelines for typography throughout paperwork. None of that’s remotely attainable in any iPad graphics apps that I’ve seen to this point.

3. Lack of my most well-liked apps

Apart from the large ones like Adobe CC, not one of the different high-end design packages that I usually use or would ever need to use can be found on an iPad. Affinity Designer could be one exception, however nonetheless… What about 3D animation/design packages like Maya, Lightwave, Blender, Dimensions, and so forth.? May I design 3D exhibit mockups, environmental design sculptures, product packaging, or signage on an iPad? Unlikely, and positively not simply.

Typically in internet design or digital environmental design shows or kiosks or social media posts, I’ll need to create some animations to assist show the data. Adobe AfterEffects and all of these 3D packages are nice for this too. So once more… not likely attainable on an iPad Professional.

4. Photograph enhancing & culling

As a graphic designer, I do a number of images too. I could have to arrange nonetheless life photographs of meals merchandise in a capturing tent, or any sort of package deal merchandise, or I could {photograph} occasions, or constructing interiors/exteriors for signage mockups, or folks interacting with one another, or folks headshots, or emergency response set-ups for the American Pink Cross through the aftermath of 9/11. Web sites and printed merchandise depend on images. Typically I could be on location and have to do some photograph enhancing proper there through the shoot.

Perhaps my consumer needs to submit articles throughout a convention proper after a session ends, or perhaps we need to do some culling immediately. Adobe Lightroom on the iPad is definitely fairly good, besides it nonetheless has limitations. Essentially the most annoying one is that you must “import” the whole library earlier than you can begin doing something. With the Wacom MobileStudio Professional that I often carry on distant shoots, I can open Adobe Bridge, level it to the SD card slot, and begin culling & enhancing immediately. And it’s the identical interface as on my desktop workstations!


I’ve been utilizing Bridge since earlier than it was introduced by Adobe, in order that’s one motive I prefer it over common Lightroom. The opposite motive is that it’s sooner for me since I don’t must import recordsdata right into a database. The second most annoying factor with Lightroom on iOS is which you could solely work with one photograph at a time whereas, on macOS or Home windows, I can apply adjustments to very large alternatives of RAW recordsdata on the similar time. On Linux, I’ve been having fun with Darktable and RawTherapee as effectively, and once more these don’t have iPad equivalents.

Refer: Top 12 BEST Photoshop Alternatives For 2021 [Free And Paid Tools]

In the case of tethering for images, iOS is sort of weak as effectively. The Nikon Digital camera Management app that I’d use on iOS is sort of terrible. On my Home windows tablets, nevertheless, I’ve a reasonably superior qDSLRDashboard program which works fairly superbly. qDslrDashboard is open supply as effectively and there are variations for macOS, Home windows, Linux, Raspberry Pi, and Android… There was an iOS model, but it surely was eliminated by Apple.

5. Goofy overseas UI designs relative to what I’m used to

Illustrator Draw on iPad is nothing like Illustrator on Home windows & macOS and neither is the opposite Illustrator app referred to as Illustrator for iPad. Why do we want two once more? I’ve been utilizing Illustrator for many years, and the iPad variations are nothing like what I’m used to. It’s utterly totally different and a lot of the options I depend on are utterly absent.

Why ought to I spend money on studying iPad apps when their capabilities don’t come near desktop apps?

Illustrator Draw additionally will depend on non-discoverable gestures, that are identified to require extra cognitive power to memorize versus a more-obvious consumer interface design which requires much less cognitive power. That being stated, Illustrator’s interface on macOS and Home windows has remained very constant since Illustrator 7.0 in 1997. I can swap between macOS and Home windows all day and the Illustrator consumer interface has been the identical between the 2 platforms for twenty-four years. Illustrator Draw and Illustrator on iPad nevertheless, are utterly totally different. What’s extra… Illustrator on Home windows has a “Contact” workspace that allows a pleasant contact & pen-friendly consumer interface. Do you assume that UI could be the identical because the contact UI in Illustrator on iPad? Properly, it isn’t. By no means.

That is true for Photoshop for iPad in addition to Premiere Rush and each different Adobe app on iPad. I discovered the Photoshop for iPad use interface to be terribly designed within the “simple to be taught” sense. Though I’ve been utilizing actual photoshoots for 26 years, the iPad model’s interface is unrecognizable. I couldn’t even inform learn how to paste a picture. What the heck is that large white circle button speculated to be? Why ought to I spend money on studying these mystery-meat consumer interfaces that break consistency when the app capabilities don’t even come near their desktop equivalents anyway?

6. Utilizing an iPad Professional as a companion system doesn’t make sense

Being a bit slower at doing every part I have to do is healthier than being sooner at doing nothing.

I hear that some folks justify utilizing an iPad for graphic design as a companion to a full desktop Mac or PC. It may be used as a pen show for a desktop laptop with some additional software program, however I have already got a lot better pen shows on my desktops. It will also be used to do some issues domestically whereas syncing your recordsdata to the desktop laptop for more-complicated duties. That’s all effectively and good, however I can do this with a Macbook or a Home windows pill/laptop computer too… AND, if I exploit a Home windows pill as my companion system, I can have precisely the identical full-featured graphic design packages put in.

That additionally means I don’t must waste cognitive power studying a overseas interface for the “lite” variations of graphics packages which might be accessible on the iPad. Nor do I’ve to waste cognitive power memorizing which capabilities are attainable on the iPad vs. which capabilities are attainable on my desktop computer systems as a result of my “companion” system would have precisely the identical capabilities (only a bit slower maybe). Personally, I feel being a bit slower at doing every part I have to do is rather a lot higher than being sooner at not doing the issues I have to do. That’s until it’s unbearably slower in fact.

Right here’s a Samsung Galaxy E-book from just a few years in the past that has an identical type issue to an iPad, but it surely features a Wacom digitizer/stylus and it runs all of my full-featured graphics packages.

7. I need to be taught new packages to increase my abilities

Whereas to me it doesn’t make a lot sense to take a position cognitive power in studying an iPad app that solely has a subset of options of what you are able to do with extra highly effective desktop software program… it does make sense to spend money on studying new packages that do present further options and capabilities that increase my ability set. I’ve but to see an iPad app that does something higher than what I can already do. Nevertheless, I do ceaselessly see new Home windows, macOS, and Linux packages that I definitely wish to be taught and perhaps add to my toolbox. Issues like Sketch, Lunacy, Affinity Writer, Zbrush, Sculptron, Unity, Darktable, Davinci Resolve, Renderman, Foundry Katana, Houdini, and so forth. would possibly at present be over my head, but when I need to continue to grow, a number of these packages could be good to be taught. None of them can be found on an iPad. Should you use solely an iPad for graphic design, your capability to increase your skillset will in all probability be very restricted.

8. Scraping plastic throughout shiny glass will not be my favourite drawing expertise

Read more: which app is best for photo editing | Photoshop Services

I’m certain folks can get used to it, however after utilizing Wacom Cintiq shows and tablets for many years, the Apple Pencil and the iPad’s glass show simply don’t really feel like a cushty drawing expertise. I actually don’t just like the display screen glare both, however that may be remedied considerably with some antiglare display screen protectors. Display protectors may modify the texture of the pencil on glass expertise, however I actually don’t get pleasure from making an attempt to put in display screen protectors both.

Shiny screens are so dangerous for doing graphic design work as a result of you’ll be able to’t see the stuff you’re working with.

9. Skinny bezels are dangerous for drawing.

I suppose this one will depend on the way you maintain the stylus/pencil whereas drawing. I wish to relaxation the aspect of my hand on the drawing floor for extra stability and accuracy. Should you use the stylus like an Asian calligraphy brush or oil painter, then perhaps you don’t relaxation your hand in opposition to the floor. Anyway, skinny bezels sort of suck for pen interplay as a result of then the aspect of your hand that’s resting on the drawing floor for stability goes to fall off the sting. That is particularly annoying when accessing consumer interface parts on the perimeters of the display screen, and so they’re all on the perimeters of the display screen. Skilled grade drawing tablets and shows have large bezels that give your arms a number of room to stabilize your drawing fingers whereas with the ability to attain each a part of the energetic space. This is similar motive that your desk in class is wider than the sheet of paper you could be writing on.

10. The Apple Pencil’s double-tap gesture isn’t pretty much as good as actual buttons

It’s cool that Apple added a double-tap gesture that may be programmed to modify instruments on the Apple Pencil, however Wacom’s programmable {hardware} buttons and eraser finish tip are so a lot better. Firstly, Wacom’s pen buttons might be programmed for modifier keys that may be held down whereas utilizing the pen. You’ve additionally received extra programmable buttons. The Wacom Professional Pen 2 has 2 programmable buttons and a programmable eraser tip along with the drawing tip. The Wacom Professional Pen 3D adverts a third programmable button which helps rather a lot for extra modifier keys which might be definitely going to be helpful in lots of 3D packages. Plus the buttons are simple to seek out and differentiate by contact, and they are often invoked with a easy squeeze. A double-tap on the Apple Pencil requires much more finger motion which reduces the steadiness of the pencil in your fingers. It requires extra bodily motion, which is much less environment friendly.

11. Charging the Apple Pencil

I’ve used battery-powered pens loads of occasions previously and it’s vastly annoying when selecting up the stylus and it doesn’t work as a result of the battery is lifeless. Some pens have an especially lengthy battery life that lasts for months or years, however the Apple Pencil solely lasts 12 hours earlier than needing a recharge. It does recharge fairly quick and the brand new one can cost whereas it’s magnetically hooked up, however nonetheless… I’m method happier with the battery-free Wacom Professional Pens and Intuos and ArtZ pens that I’ve been utilizing for many years.

12. The Apple Pencil doesn’t have display screen hover indicators

Over the many years, I’ve grown used to seeing a software indicator on the display screen beneath my pen tip when utilizing a pen show. That is extraordinarily helpful! Whereas wanting on the content material I’m working with, I can immediately inform what software I’m utilizing. I don’t have to go searching for different “chosen software” interface indicators. It’s proper there on the finish of my stylus! Moreover, when I’ve a brush chosen, I can see an overview of the comb’s form that signifies which brush I’m utilizing in addition to the scale of the comb. I swipe a contact ring within the bezel or hit a keyboard shortcut to vary the scale of the comb whereas I’m taking a look at it hovering over the content material I’m working with. In some packages like Corel Painter, the hover indicator even reveals me a illustration of the angle that I’m holding the comb at. Apple’s Pencil doesn’t work that method.

In Corel Painter, I can see an indicator of my brush measurement, form, and angle earlier than even touching the display screen with my stylus.

13. Keyboard shortcuts

Graphics packages on iPad are inclined to have very weak keyboard shortcut help. Photoshop for iPad solely has a small listing of them. Not one of the iPad apps have discoverable keyboard shortcuts and I haven’t seen one app with customizable keyboard shortcuts. On macOS and Home windows, we are able to simply see what the keyboard shortcuts are as a result of they’re listed within the menus or the tooltips. Plus, we are able to program keyboard shortcuts for issues we do fairly often.

Why are keyboard shortcuts good? Properly, they pace issues up rather a lot. With an iPad Professional, you’re in all probability holding the iPad in a single hand and utilizing the pen within the different hand. That’s a waste of the opposite hand that’s not interacting with the software program. Okay, perhaps you’ll get a stand or one thing so you’ll be able to poke the display screen with one hand and use the Apple Pencil with one other… that’s higher, but it surely’s nonetheless not very environment friendly since it is advisable to transfer your eyes across the display screen in an effort to have a look at what every hand goes to poke at. With keyboard shortcuts or {hardware} specific keys or a programmed distant for my non-dominant hand, I can construct tactile motor reminiscence for my most well-liked capabilities and activate them by contact WITHOUT wanting. I can maintain my eyes on the content material and my dominant hand on the pen, whereas controlling the pen’s habits utilizing my non-dominant hand and tactile controls immediately with out transferring my eyes or dropping the spot I’m engaged on with my dominant hand. It’s rather more environment friendly.


Perhaps when you solely ever need to do sketches and drawings and work digitally on a reasonably small iPad display screen, then an iPad could be okay. Should you ever need to develop to do every other facets of graphic design like UI design, 3D design, environmental design, internet design, print design, signage, animation, and so forth. It looks like the iPad goes to be a really limiting issue.

Does Apple even actually care about inventive skilled fields anymore anyway? Certain, within the ’80s, Macintosh computer systems have been nice for graphic design since that they had good help for postscript printing and fonts and an ideal graphical consumer interface for the time, however right now there are simply as many if no more skilled inventive instruments on Home windows and Linux with simply as many if no more skilled inventive {hardware} choices. I nonetheless assume Adobe, Wacom, Autodesk, ought to make a Inventive Professional Working System in order that inventive professionals and the software program/{hardware} builders that help us gained’t must be a slave to Apple’s calls for.

Have I simply not bothered to make use of an iPad & Apple Pencil lengthy sufficient to see the benefits? Tell us within the feedback beneath.

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