How to turn your iPad into a graphics tablet

Get the most out of your iPad by turning it into a graphics tablet for drawing. Perfect for those who already have an iPad and Apple Pencil, using your iPad as a drawing tablet can be a cost efficient way to bypass a pricey Wacom Cintiq.

There are two leading options when it comes to making your iPad into a professional graphics tablet for your Mac or PC — Duet Display and Astropad.

Connect iPad to PC (or Mac) Using Duet Display

Proudly touted as ‘developed by a team of ex-Apple engineers’, Duet Display turns your iPad or iPhone into an advanced extra display for your Mac or PC.

Download the free Duet app on your desktop and purchase the app on your iPad. Then simply plug your iPad into your desktop using your charging cable. Make sure your app is open on the iPad and your desktop will automatically detect your device, and transform it into a touchscreen display tablet. 

With Duet, you can turn your iPad and Apple Pencil into a graphics tablet optimized specifically for designers, illustrators and artists. Open up a world of touch gestures, including two-finger scrolling, pan and zoom on your desktop.

Duet boasts precise control in Photoshop, Corel Painter, Lightroom, ToonBoom, Illustrator, and many more programs.

Connect iPad to Mac Using Astropad

Much like Duet, Astropad offers users the ability to use your iPad to draw directly into Photoshop and any other Mac creative tools, including Illustrator, Manga Studio, Mischief, and more.

However, Astropad works exclusively with Mac computers. A small feature available for Astropad and not Duet is the freedom to connect wirelessly.

Astropad has a few different options within itself. Including Astropad Studio, which turns your iPad into the ultimate drawing tablet. Astropad Standard, a one time purchase, with free updates to improve performance. And Luna Display, the only hardware solution out there for connecting your iPad as a secondary display.

Harlen Malkowich
Jan 20, 2021
By Harlen Malkowich

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