Frequently Asked Questions
Air Stylus

General

What is Air Stylus?

Air Stylus turns an iPad or Galaxy Note into a wireless drawing surface for graphics software on a Mac.

With Air Stylus and a pressure sensitive pen, users can draw or paint directly on the tablet’s screen into Photoshop®, Pixelmator®, or almost any computer-based creative software that supports pressure sensitivity.

Air Stylus is designed for artists and photographers, enabling them to focus on their art in a way that was previously only possible with additional hardware costing hundreds or thousands of dollars.

What tablet devices work with Air Stylus?

Air Stylus for iPad requires an iPad 3 or higher. The pressure sensitive pens we support all use Bluetooth 4.  iPad 2 and earlier use a previous Bluetooth standard.

Air Stylus for Galaxy Note is supported on any Samsung Galaxy Note with S-Pen.

Does Air Stylus work with my favorite app?

(if you see that we’re missing an app that should be here, please send us email and tell us!) 

Compatible with Air Stylus now:

  • Acorn
  • Aperture
  • Art Rage
  • Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Express
  • Flame Painter
  • Intensify Pro
  • Manga Studio 5
  • Mischief
  • Motion
  • Pixelmator (there seems to be a rendering issue in 10.10 with Pixelmator at this time. We are investigating)

Adobe:

  • Illustrator CC 2014
  • Illustrator CC
  • Illustrator CS 6
  • Lightroom 5
  • Photoshop CC 2014
  • Photoshop CC
  • Photoshop Elements 12
  • Photoshop CS 6
  • Photoshop CS 5.x (this is as far back as we will go with Photoshop)

We’re still working on these:

  • Artboard

Autodesk:

  • Maya
  • Mudbox
  • Sketchbook Express
  • Corel Painter X3
  • Studio Artist 4

Toon Boom:

  • Animate
  • Pencil Check
  • Toon Boom Studio
  • Harmony

What pens does Air Stylus support?

Air Stylus currently supports the Adonit Jot Touch 4Adonit Jot Touch with Pixel Point, and Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus. (1) Note: Air Stylus does not currently support the Intuos Creative Stylus 2

Yeah, but which pen should I get?

Good question! We have a whole page discussing what we like about each pen.

What are the system requirements for my main computer?

MAC OS X: Air Stylus is compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 or later.

Windows OS: Not supported at this time.

Why do I need to install Air Display Host in order to use Air Stylus?

Air Display Host is the computer side component for Air Stylus. Rather than confuse things by releasing an “Air Stylus Host”, we just added the Air Stylus features into the Air Display Host app.

I need help connecting my Air Stylus device to my Mac.

Air Stylus uses the same Mac software to connect to the iPad. Please see the Air Display Connection Troubleshooting section here.

(scroll to the bottom of the page)

Air Stylus Tips & Tricks

Using Air Stylus with Photoshop

There are a few tricks to getting Air Stylus to work correctly with Photoshop CS 5.x, 6.x, and CC.

Thing 1 – Check your Preferences: 

In the Photoshop “Performance” preferences, set the Advanced “Use Graphics Processor” settings to Basic.

  1. First click to open the Photoshop menu, hover over Preferences and choose PerformancePS-prefs-performance
  2. Toward the bottom right, look for the “Use Graphics Processor” checkbox. If it isn’t checked, your computer might not have a dedicated graphics processor so you’re done. Air Stylus works fine in this scenario.
  3. Press the “Advanced Settings” button and choose either Basic or Normal (text descriptions of each setting pop up to offer the benefits and tradeoffs of each as you hover over them)PS-prefs-performance-advanced

Thing 2 – Applying Pressure:

Photoshop has four brush options for how it handles pressure – opacity, flow, “airbrush style, and brush size. Brush size must be enabled to see effects of using a pressure sensitive stylus, but the other ones are worth experimenting with to find your ideal setting.

PS-menu-pressure-enable

Thing 3 – Getting a “Preview” screen like in our Air Stylus video:

This is a somewhat hidden but very cool Photoshop feature called Navigator that’s somehow been in there since about 2001.

  1. In Photoshop, click on the “Window” menu and then select Navigator to open its thumbnail preview tabPS-window-navigator
  2. Drag the Navigator palette free of the main Photoshop window and resize it by clicking and dragging out the lower right corner of its windowPS-window-navigator-resize