Can you make art on an iPad?

Over the last twenty years a vast armada of digital tools for artists has developed. This includes digital cameras, musical instruments, creative software and thousands of apps. Scads of software programs for manipulating images, films and music.

The latest and greatest device in this evolution is the new iPad which supports the Apple Pencil. The idea of an all-purpose digital “slate” that could perform almost any task from film editing to teaching French has been around since 1972 when Alan Kay proposed the Dynabook. It’s taken hi-tech industry forty years to deliver a slick, powerful version of this idea to the public, and the iPad is Kay’s dream machine made real. The next step will be a similar slate filled with so much A.I. that it’s scary — or great, depending on how you look at it.

Today, the must-have innovation the iPad offers is the Apple Pencil. While Japanese manufacturer Wacom has been delivering excellent digital stylus-pads for thirty years, the Apple Pencil is the typical Apple step-up in functionality, elegance, and clean design. If you are a professional designer, you can buy a Wacom 22-inch HD display for $1600. Or, if you can work with a smaller 9.7-inch screen, an Apple Pencil is about $100.

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Walt MortoniPad, Apple