It's an old truism that tablets are much better for consuming media than creating it. But if touch-sensitive slates are to be the future of computing, and right now most would agree that's the case, then humans are going to have to figure out how to make wonderful things on them sooner or later. Getting the jump on that front is a new development company called FiftyThree Inc., who launched a handsome sketching app this week cleverly named "Paper."
FiftyThree Inc. is the home of multiple former Microsoft engineers who worked on the famously scrapped Courier tablet, which itself was a bit like a dual screen sketchbook. Their Paper app aims to make analogue activities like drawing, painting and scribbling notes feel both natural and enhanced using the iPad's technology.
Paper has five modes: Draw, Sketch, Outline, Write and Color. The Draw feature is free, while the other modes can be unlocked in an in-app store for $1.99 each (full set = $7.99). Anything made in Paper can be easily exported or shared to your social networks and Tumblr.
With an elegant interface and a simple but powerful array of tools, Paper looks to us like the most compelling case yet for making art on the iPad. It even works as an argument for getting a stylus, although the app is finger-compatible as well.
Paper is available now for free in the App Store.