Paper by FiftyThree Studios (drawing by Sam Spratt)
Mostly, I think iPads are toys not tools. They’re fun and magical and all that Apple-jargon, but at least for drawing/painting—they’re pretty useless since the screen doesn’t pick up how hard you press (which equates to finger-painting). Throw in the fact that most of the “good” pieces of software masquerade as professional creation tools with hundreds of settings and sliders, limited resolution, and slow performance—and it’s a cumbersome experience at best.
“Paper” by 53 studios, is simple as hell, yet it is the first drawing app on the iPad I enjoy. Those 9 colors and 6 tools you see? That’s all you get. Hell, even “Draw Something” has a more complicated interface. However, to make up for the lack of a pressure-sensitive stylus, the app picks up the momentum of your strokes and adjusts line widths, opacity, and for the watercolor brush—how much the paint bleeds—based on how fast you move your finger or “dumb-stylus” across the screen (and the performance is great). This was my first attempt at a sketch, about 30 minutes or so and getting used to the brush behaviors—but for the first time since the initial iPad was released, there is a drawing app I like. It embraces the fact that it is a sketchbook rather than a professional tool, it’s deadly simple, and incredibly intuitive to boot.