Need for pen displays compatible with iOS and Android devices

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by siddhartth, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. siddhartth

    siddhartth Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I am not an artist but a scholar and a writer. I am old school in the way that i need a handwriting instrument to do what I do. I purchased a Cintiq Pro 16 and thanks to it's really satisfying pen feel and inking, I spent a lot of hours doing productive work on it. I enjoyed the 16" real estate that it offered. But since it's not a portable instrument and needs a desk set up, I couldn't use it for working on the go. To work in other locations, i knew I needed a real tablet, the best Pen-abled tablets are those Which are made by Apple and Samsung. Apple iPads being more powerful. None of the available Windows tablets are as portable, powerful and have better screen to body ratio than the iPadPro. So, i bought myself an iPadPro 11.

    The iPadPro is great for portability, and the Apps available in the App store allow me to do my work completely on it. But, when i am in home at my desk I prefer that i could bring my iOS experience to the 16 inch touch screen of my Wacom Cintiq pro 16. I am sure most users with a Samsung Note 8 or 9 also feel that way. But sadly Wacom Pen displays for now only have drivers for the Desktop operating systems like Windows, macs and linux. Why should anybody need to buy a Windows laptop or a Macbook, just to use his Cintiq display.

    Now excellent, art and academic softwares are available on Android and iOS as Apps. The Mobile Processors are now powerful enough to complete with desktop class processors for most use cases. And also, now that invariably of everybody and his grandma owns a capable Android or iOS device, but not necessarily a computer, doesn't it make sense for Wacom to make their pen displays compatible with Android and iOS as well.

    I think XP-Pen has realised it and that's why it was released an Android compatible pen tablet that can be used with your phone. It doesn't have a display but it's certainly a step in the right direction.


    And Now that iPadOS is different than iOS, and a capable replacement of Windows10 and MacOS, iPads have emerged as Stand alone primary personal computers for most. The pro range even comes with a USB-C port which is perfect for Cintiq pro range.

    Imagine extending your 6" Samsung Note or 8" iPadmini experience to a 16 inch, 24 inch or even a 32 inch Wacom display. Not having to wait for your work to sync between your Tablets/Phablets and PC/Macs via cloud; but directly continuing what you were doing on a larger canvas with just a USBc cable. From a pocket Notepad to big Drawing Board with in seconds.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  2. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    About connecting a display tablet to mobile operating system, It's not a matter of tablet maker willing to make monitor for mobile system, but the mobile system maker is willing to allow third party hardware to be connected to their device or not.There are the following problem:

    -Unlike desktop which should have all the standard ports for graphic monitor connection, not every mobile phone have HDMI/ display port, and even then you have to buy a dongle to check if it could works. Also only USBC 3.1 Gen 2 is capable of driving both a monitor and pen digitizer. Phone manufacturers don't advertise what kind of USB-C they used (2.0, 3.0, 3.1 gen 1, 3.1 gen 2, thunderbolt 3, HDMI alt mode supported or not) and you have to look it up buried deep somewhere in their website. Also Apple keep tight control of what can be connected to their device, and only their USB-C Ipad Pro model support external hardware

    -. With windows, you can just install driver and it works on the whole operating system level. On a mobile operating system, you can't install any driver and have to work with what the system allow you, and even then, the tablet maker have to work with App maker to allow it work with those specific App. With IOS it's a dead end as Apple won't allow any third party pen system via USB on their device, even if you can connect (which is unlikely), it might only work as a dumb mouse. It's easier with Android, from Android 6.0 google had included a general pen driver that can work with older Wacom (not newer model with Pro Pen 2), Huion, and XP-Pen. I have done an experiment (with a miracast dongle for display because my phone doesn't have USB 3.1 gen 2 support) and it somewhat works, but with oriental messed up because the default driver in Android is just a general driver. Another user report their success with the Dex system (which output a desktop and solve the oriental problem) on their Cintiq 27 QHD

    So long story short:
    -With IOS it's impossible because Apple doesn't allow it
    -With Android it's possible if device have a compatible port and desktop mode output support (like Dex or android Q)
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
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  3. siddhartth

    siddhartth Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I think the USBc on iPad Pro are 3.0 or above. Apple just needs to Release a piece of code or kit, in it’s developer conference, that will enable the tablet makers to make drivers for iOS. Only problem is there’s not enough people like me who want to hook up theirs iPads to a Cintiq. Most people already have Macs or Windows laptops for that. I am one of the few rare cases who actually for most part can do their work on iPads.

    But if iPadS are to ever become the main Computers, Apple will need to open it’s operating system for external pen displays.
     
  4. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    @siddharth
    I feel it's difficult to happen, even if Apple is advertising iPadOS as a future laptop, it would still be the kind of most controlled and walled laptop that is built to get as much profit percentage from third-party hardware maker as possible.

    To allow hardware to be plugged in and work with iOS device, the driver have to be applied by Apple themselves from a system update, not by a third party. For example, Apple already have a default mouse, keyboard, display port, touch and pen driver available on their system. Then third-party manufacturer have to design their hardware around these drivers, not another way around:

    -They can make generic universal stuff like keyboards, mouse, display port dongle or something like the luna dongle without paying Apple anything.

    -they can make niche item like stylus based on Apple Pencil tech (in which you have to buy a license from Apple, with some crippled features so it wouldn't eat into Pencil sale)

    -they can also make stylus with their own tech (like the Adonit Pixel Pen) but it still have to ride on Apple's own touch driver.

    The issue of graphics pen tablet is:
    -the pen digitizer part of it is a separated, proprietary part that is not universal or generic enough for Apple to consider putting driver in their system unlike keyboards and mouse.(more importantly, everyone can make keyboards and mouse, but one pen driver only benefit the single company who make it, which is not worth the effort for Apple to open their market)

    -most importantly, Apple already developed their own Pen tech, including other pen tech in their systems could potentially eat into their sale. For example, people might just plug their existing Intuos into the iPad for draw with instead of going out of their way to buy a Pencil.

    --> it's highly unlikely that Apple would include a niche driver that doesn't profit them with anything, only benefit another company, and might even harm their own product sale.
     
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  5. siddhartth

    siddhartth Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I think the "sidecar" function is a way of Apple admitting that iPadOS is not ready to be the actual work platform for most of the people. So, instead of allowing good third party pressure sensitive styluses for iPads, they have made the iPadPro themselves a macOS pen display accessory. And Cintiqs won't have much edge over iPads for long, iPads may not have an etched glass paper feel 4k displays but Cintiqs don't have 120 hz displays and portability either.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
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  6. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I’m not quite interested in sidecar though. Mac is expensive, especially it only work with newer Mac, and more people use Windows PC so Wacom won’t die just yet. My eyes is also not sharp enough to see the difference between 60Hz and 120Hz ;). Also Apple doesn’t seem to be planning to make panel bigger than 12”, and some artist require bigger space (the main problem is that touch panel get more expensive the bigger it get, especially an Apple-quality high density Penabled touch panel at 20” would be much more expensive than a Wacom EMR panel, people complain about Wacom 24 inch touch model likely because they used low density touch panel just for basic gestures to save cost.)

    There is hope with Android though. There were many success example using pen monitor with Samsung Dex, and there is already Linux on Dex Beta, which you can run full Linux natively from your phone. Many Linux App developers is building their App to work on Linux on ARM, people had succeeded running Gimp, Blender, Krita and some Office Suite with Linux on Dex natively from SamSung phone.(most of that is thank to Raspberry pi getting more popular that many developers is building app for Linux on ARM). Android open source is a great thing.
     
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  7. siddhartth

    siddhartth Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The difference between 120Hz and 60 hz is very visible to me, 120 hz gives you a feel that Ink is really Flowing through the nib, no lag. But as far as touch is concerned i feel ok with Wacom's touch digitisers. They are good enough for me.

    And yes i agree, as good and convenient sidecar is, it is still a 2 device solution. It will never be as intuitive as a good Windows 10 tablet. Taking handwritten notes on iOS is ok, but i dont see myself writing and researching on Android/iOS etc. I think Windows 10 is a much comfortable environment for me.
    But here's the thing about the good Windows 10/Linux tablets - They are mythical entities, they don't exist in real, i5 is not as fast as A12xbionic, most of them have NTrig or Wacom AES, where as Apple pencil is directly comparable to Wacom EMR. None of them have bezels as thin as iPadPro nor do they have 120hz displays. And you can't work on them with out a keyboard and trackpad. Windows 10 is bloated and Windows core OS is not ready yet. With iPadOS and iPadPro, Apple is truly leading the tablet segment, there's no competition there. Just compare Surface go and iPad air, there's no doubt who is the winner there. And currently there's nothing in Windows 10 and even in Android platforms to complete with iPadmini.

    And if NTrig could bring down it's initial activation force to less than 1 gram we wouldn't be talking about Sidecar or Cintiqs at all. If Samsung Tab 6 was running Windows 10 on 8cx and available in my country, i would have never laid my hands on an iPad ever. I think it's not the greatness of iPads but the failure of Intel, Microsoft and it's OEMs to come up with quality pen oriented products, that is forcing people to migrate to Apple ecosystem.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
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