Paper by FiftyThree Review – A Great, if Somewhat Expensive, Creative Experience

Paper by FiftyThree-2

Paper by FiftyThree Review

Ever since I purchased my very first iPad 1 on launch day I’ve been searching for an app that will let me use the iPad as if I was hold a piece of paper in my hand, (And yes, I appreciate the irony of spending $500+ for a piece of paper!), and I’m yet to do it. Penultimate comes close, and I do love the app but it still didn’t feel natural.

Paper by FiftyThree aims to change all that with an app which is more than just for taking notes and is more about getting your creativity down on, well…..paper!

The app is built for the retina display of the new iPad, however, I’ve used the app on both the new iPad and the iPad 2 and other than it being a little more pixelated on the iPad 2 the experience is still one that will probably keep you coming back for more.

As a free download the app seems like an absolutely bargain to begin with but for free you only have access to a skill pen style and 9 colors. For many this will suffice, the experience is an organic one as you brush your finger across the screen and the pen draws pin-perfect pressure sensitive lines to create thin and thick lines as required.

Writing in Paper for iPad is an absolute joy, not only does it feel great but it looks amazing too and even though I’m not very artistic I felt that Paper brought out creativity in me that I never knew that I had purely because it’s such a great experience and possibly because there is an endless supply of paper!

The paper is stored in notebooks that you can create and name as you require and you can navigate through the notebooks and the pages with a swipe, while opening and closing them can be done with a pinch or by opening two fingers.

The minimalistic style also extends to the undo option which is performed by rotating two fingers anti-clockwise on the screen and while this works great some people may prefer the option of a virtual button to complete some of these actions.

In fact the only virtual in use are those to select the pen of choice and the color and it’s both these two items that left me wanting.

As mentioned previously the fact that the app is free initially seems like an absolute steal, however, if you wish to add additional writing options such as markers, pencils or a watercolor brush then you must purchase them for $1.99 each. This may seem a little expensive but if you find yourself using this app daily it’s certainly worth it.

Then there is the choice of color, a paltry 9 to choose from, why a complete color palette couldn’t have been included to allow you to choose any color you wish I don’t know. Perhaps a future update will see this included.

Those two points made, Paper is still a must download for all iPad owners, the free option will be more than adequate for many users but the chances are that after a few minutes, hours or days the temptation to purchase one, if not all, of the additional writing options will prove too much for many.

For a truly unique writing and artistic experience Paper by FiftyThree is a must.

[rating: 4/5]

What we like

  • A perfect writing experience
  • Intuitive gesture based navigation
  • Great results

What to know

  • Limited color range
  • Additional pens via in-app purchase


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