The last missing iPad feature: pressure sensitivity

Every time a new iPad (or any Apple device) is released, people ask, “What can Apple do better?” This often happens within 30 seconds of the new product announcement. With the iPad people are usually expecting a thinner and lighter device, a better camera, a faster processor, and possibly better speakers. Nothing too spectacular or unusual.

However, there is one feature that would take the iPad to the next level: Pressure sensitivity.

That’s right, I said pressure sensitivity. This feature that would sell more iPads than ever before. Why? Many artists, like myself, would love a pressure-sensitive iPad. Imagine being able to use your finger or a stylus while painting just like you would a pencil or paint brush. The mark charges based on how hard, or how soft, you press down. I would preorder an iPad with pressure sensitivity even if I had just bought the last model (I usually skip a revision or two).

Sure, there are a number of styluses that try to bring pressure sensitivity to the iPad, but I have yet to try one that really works. There are also many fantastic art programs like Paper that are great without pressure sensitivity. However, imagine how much better a painting could be if you could have true pressure sensitivity. I’ve seen some incredible artwork created with the iPad, and I can only imagine how pressure sensitivity would improve the results.

Art created by Brian Taylor using the Paper app for iPad

Artists would not be the only users to benefit from adding pressure sensitivity. I’m sure there could be incredible elements of pressure sensitivity added to games. Perhaps the speed of a car is based on how hard your press the gas pedal, or the strength of a laser beam is determined by how hard you press. The possibilities are endless for games and other apps. What about a children’s app that teaches writing and the written result is based on the pressure the child pushes down? A music or sound app could have tempo controlled by pressure. I could go on and on.

There is a reason Wacom sells so many tablets. Artists love them and the best part is pressure sensitivity when drawing – it is the closest thing to drawing or painting on paper that you can get while working on the computer.

Many people think 3D would be a great feature in a future iPad. Forget 3D, it is overrated in my opinion. Bring on the pressure sensitivity!



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