FiftyThree's Pencil plus Astropad equals an iPad Photoshop tablet

The popular Pencil stylus gains support in Astropad, an iPad app that mirrors graphics programs over Wi-Fi from a Mac computer to your slate.

In February, an iPad app called Astropad launched, turning Apple's tablet into a graphics drawing pad for Mac OS X applications. Now, the software has a new update that adds another supported stylus to the mix: FiftyThree's Pencil.

On its blog, Astropad says it worked with team at FiftyThree on special features with the Pencil.

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You can flip the $59.95 Pencil stylus -- which does indeed look like a big pencil -- and use the eraser to remove mistakes, for example. The Astropad app can also determine how much of the Pencil's tip is touching the iPad screen, and in turn, translates that into surface pressure for thinner or thicker lines.

Pencil isn't the only stylus that Astropad works with; it's simply the newest one. Digital pens such as those from Adonit, Wacom, Adobe Ink and Hex3 are also compatible with the app. The Adonit stylii gain improved palm rejection support in this new version of Astropad.

Keep in mind that the $24.99 Astropad app, an iPad and a stylus alone won't do much. Astropad mirrors graphics apps such as Photoshop over Wi-Fi at 60 frames per second from a Mac OS X computer, so you'll need one of those as well. Once you have the complete setup, however, your iPad becomes an advanced drawing tablet with your Pencil or other stylus.

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