TECH

Astropad Slate is a new app that turns your iPad into a giant Mac trackpad

You can now use your iPad as a graphics tablet for your Mac | Image credit: Astropad

Astropad has launched a new app called “Slate” that effectively uses the iPad as a giant trackpad for the Mac.

Astropad says the idea for the Slate came about when Apple announced the Apple Pencil's pointing feature. The company decided to try to emulate traditional screenless graphics tablets such as Wacom's Intuos and One lines.

For those who want to use their iPad like a giant trackpad, the Slate allows you to use relative positioning. This means your cursor moves freely across your Mac's display. There's also gesture support, allowing you to pinch, zoom, and scroll just like you would on a trackpad.

However, you can enable absolute positioning if you want something more like a graphics tablet. This means your iPad scales to display your Mac's entire screen, so wherever you touch the iPad, your cursor will move across the screen.

It also supports Apple's new Apple Pencil Hover feature, which allows users to move the Apple Pencil across the iPad's surface and then press to click. For iPad and Apple Pencil that don't support Hover, it can simulate it. Users can lightly drag the Apple Pencil onto the iPad and then press and click.

The enabled handwriting feature allows users to write in Slate's handwriting field and display the text on their Mac.

The app costs $19.99. It requires an iPad with iPadOS 15.0 or later and a Mac with macOS 11.0 or later.

Slate is currently only available for Mac. For more information, visit the Astropad Slate page.

For those interested in making the Slate work as a graphics tablet, we suggest trying Astropad's Rock Paper Pencil. It gives iPad a realistic pen-on-paper feel by combining a magnetic screen protector and a special Apple Pencil Tip.

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