FiftyThree’s Paper-friendly Pencil stylus comes to Europe

FiftyThree, the U.S. startup that produces the designer-friendly drawing app Paper, has now brought out the accompanying Pencil stylus in Europe, 8 months after it was released in North America. Pencil connects with the user’s iPad(s aapl) via Bluetooth to enable features like palm rejection, finger blending and switching to the erase function without needing to change tools in the app. Variable surface pressure will be added with the upcoming release of iOS 8. In the U.K., the graphite version of Pencil is priced at £49.99 ($85.64) and the walnut version at £64.99 ($111.34).

Butt Art iPad app teaches children how to draw

A New York start-up is launching a children’s drawing iPad app called Butt Art today that teaches children how to make pictures starting with a butt. The company’s got some interesting ideas for making drawing more interactive and engaging not only for kids but their parents.

Create Simple Diagrams With Shapes for Mac

Shapes, a simple diagramming app for Snow Leopard, may be just what the average business user ordered. With a simple interface and a limited, but well-chosen assortment of tools, it avoids the overkill of more powerful apps and does it all on the cheap.

Autodesk Brings Sketchbook Product Line to the iPhone

sketchbook_mobileIs the iPhone quietly becoming a serious mobile illustration platform? That’s the question I asked myself after seeing news this morning that yet another drawing and painting program has been released for the device. Autodesk’s Sketchbook Mobile is available now in the App Store.

Those of you who’ve done professional illustration work on a Mac will probably recognize the heritage of this latest addition to the field. Autodesk is the company that acquired Alias, the makers of Sketchbook Pro. Sketchbook Pro has long been one of the very best digital painting programs available for the Mac platform. Read More about Autodesk Brings Sketchbook Product Line to the iPhone

Project Draw Does Visio-Like Diagrams Online

Recently, I went to check on an open-source drawing program called Draw, which used to be from Cumulate Labs, and was a pretty good tool for creating diagrams; effectively an online equivalent of Microsoft Visio (s msft). When I went to the site, I found that it’s been transitioned to a project from Autodesk Labs (s adsk) and is now called Project Draw. It’s still a great online diagramming tool, and you can use it for free, and watch an introductory video, here. While it’s not quite as full-featured as Visio, it’s more than enough for my drawing needs and has a slick interface.

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9 Year-Old App Developer More Than Just a Feel-Good Story

doodlekids

Here’s a story that gives new meaning to the term Apple (s aapl) fanboy. A 9-year-old youngster from Singapore, prompted by his younger sisters’ love of drawing, created an application for the iPhone called Doodle Kids. Budding artists create pictures by dragging a finger across the screen and then shake the phone to return to a blank canvas.

According to news reports, fourth-grade protege Lim Ding Wen has been using computers since he was two and already knows six programming languages. Doodle Kids might be his first app in the App Store, but it won’t be his last. Wen is already working on a sci-fi action game for the iPhone called Invader Wars.

Of course, the story of a 9-year-old whiz kid is great to hear, but it also illustrates a larger point about the development process of iPhone apps. It’s clear that we’ve gotten to a point where technology is becoming less mystical and more approachable.

A mere decade ago, computers themselves were still viewed as elusive gadgets and programming was left to people with only the highest levels of geekery in their bloodstream. Now we have kids programming smartphones before they’re old enough to drive a car.
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OpenOffice.org 3.0 Beta Rocks Aqua On Intel

VMware was not the only pre-release surprise this past week as OpenOffice.org launched a beta of their new 3.0 office productivity suite complete with native OS X GUI support (no need to run X11 anymore!) along with a sizable list of other enhancements and bug fixes. TAB put the suite through a series of tests to help readers determine if this 168MB download is worthy of a spot in their Applications folders.
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