Clip Studio Paint, the industry-standard software for manga artists, is now available on the iPhone. Unlike the iPad version, which is just an identical clone of the desktop app ported over for the tablet, the iPhone app is optimized for smaller screens. It features cloud integration so that work on the iPhone will also sync with files on the desktop and iPad versions. There’s no word yet on when an Android version will arrive.
Celsys, the makers of Clip Studio Paint, is clear to point out that “unlike the app versions of many popular desktop software kits, Clip Studio Paint for the iPhone offers all of the features and functionality of the desktop original in a mobile package, without the usual mobile compromises.” That may be a jab at competitors like Photoshop, which was recently released on the iPad to disappointing reception. But it’s to be seen whether jamming every feature on the desktop on a smartphone is ultimately good for artists, as an early review on the App Store calls it “clip studio on an unusable sized screen,” and users have reported that brush features could be more streamlined.
Unfortunately, Apple Pencil won’t work on iPhones, but the video below shows an artist doing some pretty impressive work using a disc stylus.
Pricing for the app is a little unusual: there’s a monthly fee of $0.99 for the Pro version and a $2.49 monthly fee for the EX version, which comes with a few more features. If you choose not to pay for a monthly plan, you can use the app for free for one hour every day. Clip Studio Pro on the desktop is a one-time price of $50 (with the software regularly going on sale for half that price), and the iPad app is $4.49 / month. But the one-hour limit might make sense if you’re already paying for the iPad version, and you just need to quickly touch up some artwork on your iPhone. “Clip Studio for the iPhone also features cloud integration, so artists can add to home projects while on the go and see those changes reflected on their desktop when they get home,” Celsys CEO Kei Narushima said.
Nonetheless, it’s nice to have the option to draw on your phone. The popular iPad app Procreate offers a mobile version of its software called Procreate Pocket that costs $4.99, but users have reported that it lacks some features found on the full version. Photoshop for the iPad isn’t yet available on mobile, but if Clip Studio Paint on the iPhone is a success, maybe it’s a sign that it’s something artists want after all.