is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
Like many apps that debuted on the iPad (no matter how compelling), the remarkable Astropad has apparently felt compelled to release an iPhone version—it’s available now. This new release allows your phone to act as a WACOM-style graphics tablet, just as its predecessor did with the iPad. Once connected to your desktop computer via wifi or USB cable (supporting both methods is itself a canny move), your iOS device serves as a high quality, low compression input peripheral that can drive any of your preferred graphics programs. You can even use a stylus of your own choosing to achieve beautiful, natural, pen-based gestures.
Notwithstanding this further confirmation that the iPad market is in the doldrums, I was disappointed to see that Apple apparently passed on showcasing Astropad as an innovative example of software unique to its tablet. It’s not hard to imagine the powerful television commercial that could have been: picture a sprightly artist painting a vivid landscape with an Astropad-powered iPad and a laptop running Photoshop, Pixelmator, or any other graphics program. That said, if you become enamored of using Astropad as a graphics tablet on your phone, it’s hard to imagine you wouldn’t like it more given the relatively copious screen size of an iPad, so maybe this will function as a gateway drug of sorts.+