FiftyThree today announced a small but important update to its popular Paper for iPad drawing app. Several months after the launch of iOS 7, the company is finally offering its own take on Apple's minimalist operating system. But instead of copying Apple's visual aesthetic by ditching its skeuomorphic journals or adding a vibrant new color scheme, FiftyThree has evolved its own style by drawing inspiration from iOS 7's functionalist aesthetic.
The notebook is not dead, even if Apple has all but tossed out its yellow legal pads
New fonts, buttons, and toggles are more legible than in the old Paper, and menus load faster when you tap on them. "[The new design] combines the emotional power of metaphor and the functional clarity of clean design," FiftyThree says. For Paper 1.6, FiftyThree also took the opportunity to add a few highly-requested features. Now when you spread your fingers outwards to zoom in on the page, tools zoom in too. In other words, the line weight of your pencil adjusts based on your zoom level, so you can more easily add details to your work. The company also added the ability to alter the size of dots by keeping your finger or stylus pressed on the screen. This marks the first time FiftyThree has toyed with imitating pressure sensitivity digitally. Up to now, the company has used the speed of your stroke to determine line weight.
Paper 1.6 isn't an enormous update, but is a clear sign that FiftyThree has no intention of abandoning its unique aesthetic when new trends come along. The notebook is not dead, the company seems to say, even if Apple has all but tossed out its yellow legal pads and leather-bound calendars.