September 14, 2012

Updated 'Paper' iOS App Makes Storyboarding on the iPad Even Easier

An Apple Design Award winning iPad app that I reviewed back in March, Paper, has received a major update that makes the drawing program even easier to use. The latest update has put the emphasis on organization, and it's clear that the team at FiftyThree are dedicated to making the app as simple, functional, and powerful as possible. There aren't any major overhauls in this release, but for an app that already did a lot of things right, I don't think it really needed any. Check out the video below for more info on the release.

These are the new features for Paper:

  • Move. Grab any page or journal with a simple press and hold and use multi-touch gestures to open, close, and swipe for the fastest way to get around.
  • Duplicate. Press and hold the "+" button to make copies of your favorite pages and journals. Duplicate sketches, create templates for layouts, wireframes, or storyboards, or create multiple variations of an idea.
  • Easy Add. Never hit the end of a journal. Just swipe from the edge to add another page.
  • Faster ink. Every tool, now up to 3x faster. Drawing is more responsive and precise than ever before.
  • Better rewind. More intuitive feel to the rewind control. The faster you go the more you rewind.
  • Edge-to-edge drawing. Draw up to the edge and beyond. The full screen is your canvas.
  • Custom Sharing. Tap on a menu item to customize your share settings. Set your own Tumblr captions and tags.

While it is not a storyboarding app per se, it definitely makes it possible to create very professional looking results -- even for those of us who aren't gifted when it comes to drawing. Since I borrowed an iPad to try out the old version (I don't currently own one), I haven't gotten a chance to try out the new version. I'm not sure that I've had more fun with a non-game app, but the ease-of-use cannot be understated. There is a reason that Paper won a design award, and that is because it truly utilizes the touch interface in a way that not only makes sense, but actually makes it faster to work.

At some point in the future I could definitely see myself using this app for storyboarding purposes. The social media integration also makes it really easy for a group of people to share drawings over something like a Tumblr account. The app could also be beneficial for a director/DP relationship, because even the worst artists can come up with passable results with Paper. I would like to see true storyboard features with the app, but for now, it could definitely do the job for many projects as is.

What do you guys think of Paper? If you have an iPad, I recommend trying out the free app, and if you like it, you can buy more drawing tools from the in-app store.

Link: Paper by FiftyThree - iTunes

Your Comment


Procreate is far more flexible than Paper, and very fast. Dropbox integration for collaboration too.

September 14, 2012 at 7:49PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


I don't think it is for storyboards alone. It is a more general purpose tool lacking features that Paper has.

September 14, 2012 at 8:07PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Neither of these apps do the same thing as the other, but I've found Paper to have a very pretty but too-limited interface. For storyboarding only, there are many other apps that might be more suitable, but as a drawing/painting app, Procreate is fantastic.

Here's an article on using Penultimate as a storyboarding tool:
And here's a dedicated storyboarding app:

September 15, 2012 at 6:08AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Wow, this looks really cool. A nice, clean storyboard if you have some basic drawing skills.

September 14, 2012 at 8:06PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


I like paper and use it often for sketching shot ideas which I suppose could be storyboarding.

I think storyboarding is more of a visualization tool to communicate complex shots or for animators to tell the story using only keyframes. It's time prohibitive and unnecessary to map out every shot. I'm glad they updated, I only wish they'd update the color selection.

I gotta get one of those pens!

September 14, 2012 at 8:31PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


I've used pages for 3 or 4 storyboards and it's great! I fell the limitations of the app are used in a way that define the overall look of your drawings. And from my experience, clients really liked what they saw in the storyboard. For me "Pages" and "DM1 - the drum machine" are the best 2 apps I have in the iPad!

September 14, 2012 at 8:36PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

Zacarias Martins

Wops.. Wanted to say "Paper" not "Pages".. Sorry Apple :D

September 14, 2012 at 8:38PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

Zacarias Martins

Can I just say, Rockaway Taco is amazing.

Also, I got paper the day it launched and this usability is much needed! Can we have more brushes now? And maybe some layering? ;)

September 14, 2012 at 9:06PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


You should use the correct name for the app, since "Paper" is actully another sketching app. This one is called "Paper by FiftyThree". It's great, I like it a lot.

September 15, 2012 at 3:15AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

Simon Falkentorp

The creators themselves refer to it as Paper for the most part - the only reason it's not Paper officially in the app store is because of the app you mention.

September 15, 2012 at 4:44AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

Joe Marine
Camera Department

I love Paper! Now even more! What kinda crazy stylus was he using in the video?? I want one. Maybe it WON'T scratch the ipad like the others... Thanks for sharing about this update!

September 15, 2012 at 10:03AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


It's the Studio Neat Cosmonaut I believe.

September 16, 2012 at 2:46PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Been using paper for a while. Can't. Recommend it enough,

September 20, 2012 at 6:37PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM