REVIEW: Paper by FiftyThree app for iPad

Create sketches, notes or doodles and share them across the web with this designer-centric iPad app Paper by FiftyThree.

Our Verdict

An excellent, simple-to-use sketchpad app for iPad that is well worth trying out.


  • Simple
  • Intuitive
  • Pressure-sensitive stylus support
  • Tumblr integration


  • The good stuff costs extra

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Some of you will already be acquainted with Paper, the sketchbook productivity iPad app for designers, but as some of you will not have, and because it has had a recent update, we thought we'd take it for a test-run. It was recently named iPad App of the Year by none other than Apple, and while you'd think they would have a good idea what makes a good app, we just thought we'd check and make sure.

The interface is stripped back to the bare bones - so much so that you think that it can't possibly be a serious addition to a designer's toolkit. But this simplicity is its USP - you can switch it on and start using it straight off.

Into the mixer

Designed exclusively for landscape mode, Paper was, in its version 1.0 form, limited to pared-back sketch concepts. However, the recent update adds a new 'Mixer' colour-blending IAP allowing you to create custom palettes, plus it adds support for a pressure-sensitive stylus, and these two small things ensure that the app is now far more suited to pro designers.

Tumblr integration is the icing on the cake of this superb app, and despite all of the cool tools costing extra (making this effectively a $7.99 app rather than a free one), we'd recommend Paper as a very useful addition to your iPad.

Key info

  • Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
  • Works with: iPad (iOS 5.0 or later)
  • Version: 1.2.5
  • App size: 48.7MB
  • Developer: FiftyThree, Inc.
  • Age rating: 4+

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The Verdict

out of 10

Paper by FiftyThree

An excellent, simple-to-use sketchpad app for iPad that is well worth trying out.

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