The purpose of Carbo has always been to bridge handwriting and the digital ecosystem. When we released it in May 2015, as version 1.0, the best way to implement that motto was to use the camera. This was because writing directly on iPad/iPhone display was not accurate enough, whatever styluses you’d use. Then in November last year came Apple Pencil with the iPad Pro, and the situation changed.

Apple Pencil is at least an order of magnitude more accurate than what was there before, and it brings along other features such as pressure and angle sensitivity. It’s probably not on par yet with actual pen & paper drawing in terms of expressivity and precision, we’d like an eraser at the back and a bit more friction, but it is closer and close enough to make it a viable alternative. This is why we added drawing capabilities in Carbo 1.2.

We had to be quick though, as we were excited about the pencil. And it has been a bit of a challenge to come up with a drawing method. It was a bit ‘sketchy’. Some people loved our calligraphic approach, while some other wanted a thinner drawing head, and less variable thickness. It also suffered from artifacts in some situations.

Carbo 1.3 brings a much refined drawing algorithm to address those artifacts when using Apple Pencil, and also proposes the choice whether to use calligraphic style or fixed thickness instead. Indeed, both make sense depending on your intent at a given moment. Also, both styles have been made thinner to enjoy the accuracy of the pencil.

New drawing tools: calligraphic or fixed-thickness pens.

The fixed thickness tools are great to write text, or precision sketches are they react predictively. The calligraphic tool is more appropriate when you want to display more expressivity to your drawing or sketches, like you would do when signing with a fountain pen. It will react more to pressure, speed, and tilt angle.

You can see a video demonstration of these tools just below.

New drawing features of Carbo 1.3

Other improvements in Carbo 1.3 are also available. The eraser tool now does not vary with drawing speed, this is to make it more predictable. But the eraser head will grow when the pencil is lowered, to enable quicker processing. Carbo 1.3 also removed most margins in the interface to make room for contents, and the full screen more now gets rid of all widgets, to remove distractions when drawing.

Carbo drawing method is a work in progress, we really want to get the most out of this amazing Apple Pencil technology. We do appreciate feedback (email or twitter), so feel free to share with us your drawing experience with Carbo on the iPad Pro.