FiftyThree today launched version 1.2.1 of its popular drawing app Paper, the culmination of more than a year of studying color and how best to manipulate it, according to the company. Most importantly, Paper now includes a circular color mixer that lets you tap to pick a color (using RGB sliders, if you'd like), then swipe in a circle clockwise to mix colors and counter-clockwise to unmix. A long press lets you save the color you've made to one of the many black color slots the app now provides. Color is a $1.99 in-app purchase, like many of the app's add-on brushes. If you don't choose to buy it, you still have access to the palette of colors that shipped with the free app.
Paper's new color mixer and picker works like a dream, allowing you to create just about any color you can imagine, with a little practice. Mixing yellow and blue makes green, as if you were mixing paints in real life. The only issue is that now, users are free to blend together ugly colors. Up to this point, Paper only included colors that look great together, hand-picked by its creators — and this was one of the fun parts of using Paper: it was tough to make something that really looked bad. But don't worry. If you can't seem to find any colors that match, FiftyThree offers a handful of color palettes you can swipe through, including the original colors the app launched with.
Along with its new color picker, Paper 1.2.1 also includes new pressure sensitivity, thanks to a partnership with TenOne Design and its new sleek new Pogo Connect Bluetooth stylus, which requires no calibration to use. The Pogo Connect works just like a normal rubber-tipped stylus, except information about how hard you're pressing is sent to the app via Bluetooth. It works a lot better than other Bluetooth styli, like the Cregle iPen, which rely on Bluetooth for sensitivity and other technologies to determine where you're trying to write onscreen.
With its newest version of Paper, FiftyThree has once again demonstrated its prowess in creating new, easier ways to create digital art. The company's innovative Rewind feature (a gesture-based undo) has already been imitated by Wacom in its new Bamboo for Android, and we wouldn't be surprised to see its color picker get copied as well. "It's a completely new way to explore color and the biggest leap in color controls in the past 40 years," the company proclaimed in an email, as if it has not only created a useful new way to manipulate color, but a new paradigm for being creative.