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One year in, Paper for iPad gains pinch-to-zoom, integrated gallery of popular creations

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paper app zoom
paper app zoom

FiftyThree today updated its app Paper for iPad to include pinch-to-zoom, one of the most requested features from users, and "Made With Paper," a wholly new section of the app dedicated to user creations. As it did with the "Rewind" undo feature and an ingenious color picker, FiftyThree sought to re-evaluate "zoom" to make it something more than simple pinch-to-zoom. Whereas most apps zoom in on an entire page, Paper's zoom instead focuses on a circle of content inside the larger piece of work you're creating. The intended effect is that you can focus on details while bearing in mind the scale of your work and the overarching color palette you're using. "We know what zoom looks like on a desktop," says FiftyThree CEO Georg Petschnigg, "But for tablets, we had to reframe the question: What's the right zoom for a mobile creation app like Paper?"

The app has been available for more than a year without zoom, which disappointed some users, but FiftyThree hopes its custom implementation was worth the time. "For us it meant understanding the creative process, where a best practice is working from large shapes to smaller details," Petschnigg says. "You go in and add the eyelashes or write something funny on your character's t-shirt, and you're out. In the vast majority of cases, zoom is task specific, and tasks are region specific... You don't want to lose context."

The in-app Made With Paper gallery is inspired by the company's popular Tumblr blog of the same name, which features curated content from the community as well as weekly drawing prompts for users. The gallery is embodied by a stack of papers next to all of your notebooks inside the app. "One of the biggest joys for us over the last year was seeing what people are making with Paper," says Petschnigg, "so we decided to move our Made With Paper stream into the app for all to enjoy."