I bought this early and was excited about the future of Astropad and the future was SUBSCRIPTION! I hate this money grab trend! Astropad started in a time when the native illustration apps on iPad were in their infancy and pretty bad. The native drawing apps have gotten much better and now Adobe will be releasing Photoshop, etc. The end may be near for Astropad. Apple could just kill Astropad in one update by building this all in. I hope that day comes sooner than later. I will be dancing on Astropad’s subscription grave. In the meantime spend your subscription money buying a Cintiq, you will actually be owning something with your payments and it’s a better drawing experience. I love not being tied to my desk and I love the iPad Pro. But the Cintiq has been my most satisfying drawing experience so far.
I must say that as much as I like Astropad, this is indeed what happened to me. No subscription for me, and as soon as I see the word subscription for an app I want to try on my iPad, I go looking for another app without the need to subscribe.
I changed my iPad pro for a new one this year, but I will still keep my older Mac until it dies on me, even if I cannot update it anymore to new versions of OSX. So my iPad is getting better all the time and my Mac is still working well for when I need a Mac.
I understand it’s a matter of money needed to stay alive for a company, but I also need to pay my bills…
I don’t like the subscription model either, Adobe was the first to start with that BS, and now everything wants a subscription…, every time I hear the word “subscription” I want to throw up. It is a setback also blocking older macOS’s and iOS’s that contributes to the buy and throw away trend that is in some way contributing to e-waste pollution. Being forced to buy new hardware , because software developers make it unusable on older hardware.
as a user of a Cintiq and Astropad, i couldn’t agree more.
it’s only a matter of time before Astropad goes away because of Apple fully integrating IOS with OSX (as rumored) - thus killing any need for Astropad.
what Astropad needs is to come out for Windows and lower their subscription model (or at least have the option to pay flat rate for the Studio version).
I am a professional tattoo artist, illustrator, and photographer. I use my iPad in all these roles and chose an iPad because when taking it to the tattoo shop, I don’t need to take my laptop too. If I had a Cintiq, I would have to take both it and my laptop. When I’m working from home, I use astropad and work through my laptop on my iPad. In my own personal opinion and experience, the iPad is still just a better device with better software and customer service. Wacom, over the years has benefited from the fact that they are basically the only player in the game. But that’s changing and they are not keeping up.
As for the whole subscription thing, I find it highly annoying that people seem to feel entitled to something for free. I pay $360/ year for Adobe CC, $25/ year for Clip Studio for my iPad, and $65/ year for astropad. The Adobe suite by itself, to buy new updated versions every year would cost thousands of dollars. The other two are the best at what they do, for now. I’m more than happy to pay a subscription so that I don’t have to wait until next years version of something to get updates. I’m more than happy to pay what a product is worth, especially if it enables me to do my job better or easier. People who think the subscription model is a “money grab” should think about whether or not they should be paid for what they do for a living. Astropad, Adobe, and other software companies are not running a charity. They charge fair prices, often more than fair, for what they deliver. No, none of them are perfect and expecting perfection is unasonable. But thinking you’re entitled to the fruits of someone else’s labor for free is obnoxious.
I’m really sorry to hear that we’ve disappointed you. Adding subscription to Astropad was not a decision we took lightly, but it allows us to develop Astropad to its full potential. It’s because of the switch to subscription that we’ve been able to continually provide massive performance updates for Astropad. Without the subscription pricing it would have been very difficult for us to invest in team that can keep moving Astropad forward.
Professional creative tools are a much smaller market than most mobile apps, so the typical ways of charging (freeium, ads, etc) don’t work. A decade ago you could charge a large up front price for tools (Adobe’s Creative Suite used to be close to $1000!) but those days are gone as everyone expects lower prices. So how can a company sustain development on a technically complex product that serves a smaller market? The answer is subscription. I would argue that subscription makes these tools more accessible for more users. It’s more affordable to pay $80/year than have to shell out $1000 up front to get access to a tool.
So while subscription pricing isn’t a decision everyone agrees with, it will allow us to sustain Astropad over the long term.
PS: If you’re interested in learning about the business model behind subscription and why it’s a good choice for professional creative apps I recommend reading this article: https://stratechery.com/2013/adobes-subscription-model-why-platform-owners-should-care/
I’m a professional artist as well. The problem with subscription models is you are locked in. In the good ol’ days, literally, I’ve been doing this before Photoshop and Illustrator and have been with both from the beginning. You had the option to upgrade or not, if the features were worth upgrading or not. Now you have no option, keep paying forever when you may not need anything new they’ve added. And the moment you stop, whether you’ve paid in hundreds/thousands, it’s gone. The yearly price for Astropad compared to Adobe’s software subscription is expensive. What updates are we getting for that, liquid is now 5 times faster, hardly justifies the price.
Macart, it sounds to me like you’ve been “locked in” to Photoshop for quite a long time anyway. Let’s do some math. The full adobe creative suite was, if I remember correctly, about $2500. The full CC subscription cost is $600 per year. So that’s over four years worth of CS AND you get updates as soon as they come out, not a year later. I bought PS every other version usually and paid FAR more than I do for the subscription. As for Astropad being more expensive, you’re trippin. It’s $80/year. Adobe CC IS $600/year for the full suite. $120/year for Ps and LR. I use it almost every single day. Considering how much easier it makes my life, and eases my work flow, it pays for itself.
You brought up the Adobe & Astropad subscription comparison and let’s agree it’s a really stupid argument. Because one is far more important to designers (Adobe) than the other. The only reason Astropad is here, is because quality versions of Photoshop and Illustrator were not available on the iPad from launch. Better software competition from companies like Affinity Designer integrating their desktop and iPad software versions have forced Adobe to the table. I think Astropads future is short. I only use Astropad basic for one piece of software that hasn’t been ported to iPad. And I don’t use it for any Adobe apps, I use competing software that has gotten much better on the iPad. In my opinion Astropad’s subscription price does not warrant the evolution of the product.
Well said Ben, subscription models are worth it if only for the updates, besides the Astropad developers have obviously worked long and hard at producing something that addressed a gap in the market so why should they work for nothing. I’ll bet that those complaining expect to be paid for their work.
Just a quick point…I use Astropad Standard in lieu of Astropad Studio because my work computer is an iMac, and my freelance/personal project computer is a custom-built Windows PC. Assuming that a Windows version is ever made, I would happily pay the price for Astropad Studio.
As far as return on investment goes (assuming I have reason to pick up a Studio subscription), if I add up every annual work/freelance-based digital expense (membership in AIGA, web hosting, Adobe CC, Astropad Studio, etc.) vs. my average annual income at this moment, the total amount per year that I would be spending out of my take home pay is less than 2.75%. I can live with that.
Also, unlike the new Cintiq models, you don’t have to buy your hotkeys separately.
At the moment, I pay for the Clip Studio Paint subscription for iPad Pro, as it’s the one way I can use it outside of the office. If Studio became available for Windows, I’d ditch the CSP subscription in favor of Studio, most likely. It would only be about $8 more a year, so not a really big deal.
Is Duet available on Windows?
It’s half price right now, you can use your iPad as a second monitor (Astropad charges you an extra $80 for this with Luna) and their subscription is a little bit cheaper. You also don’t have to worry about a WiFi connection it connects with the iPad cable.
Duet is available on Windows, BUT it doesn’t work nearly as well (there are other options as well, but are similarly flawed). Additionally, Duet requires tethering. With Astropad on my wifi network, I can work on stuff at my desk, in the garage, on the couch w/ my wife, etc. (I used to have a Mac as a work laptop, and fondly remember the ease of use anywhere in the house). For me, WiFi connectivity is definitely a bonus.
I tried EasyCanvas a while back…might try it again, but I’m not expecting much, either.