Astropad Slate iPad App Lets You Control Your Mac With Apple Pencil

Astropad today announced a new iPad app called Astropad Slate, which can be used to control the Mac with an Apple Pencil. Astropad Slate is available as a public beta, and because it's still in testing, it is free for everyone.

astropad slate ipad
There are several Mac functions that can be performed with the ‌Apple Pencil‌. It works as a cursor for controlling the desktop mouse, with a tap on the screen serving as a click. Handwriting done on the ‌iPad‌ will be translated into typed text on the Mac. Astropad Slate supports the ‌Apple Pencil‌ hover gestures on newer iPads, and there is a simulated hover option on older iPads, plus you can use two-finger touch gestures for actions like scrolling and zoom.

You can also use the ‌iPad‌ as a pen tablet with Mac apps that support drawing, sketching, and other creative work. The Astropad Slate app basically turns the ‌iPad‌ into a no-screen drawing tablet so you can focus on your work on the Mac. A Mac and an ‌iPad‌ can be connected using Wi-Fi, Peer-to-Peer networking, or an appropriate USB cable. Requirements include iPadOS 15 or later and macOS 11 or later.

The Astropad Slate app can be accessed by signing up for the beta on the Astropad website.

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Top Rated Comments

beatrixwillius Avatar
8 months ago

Hmmm… I can type faster than I write… I also have a mouse and trackpad to control the cursor. I guess it’s great for photo editing when you’re connected to a large display.
I have arthritis since 25 years and can't use a mouse at all. I've been using Wacom tablets. So the idea of using an iPad is not bad. Lag and precision would be key for the app.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rembert Avatar
8 months ago
Nice, but no thanks as this will likely require a subscription, just like their flagship project. I only buy software which can be used “indefinitely” where it will be my choice to decide to upgrade to a newer version. They’ll have to convince me to upgrade - a subscription based solution lacks that incentive: why would they, the money is being received, why bother too much (I’m looking at you, Adobe). For instance I’ll skip the latest DxO upgrade as it doesn’t bring me anything I require. The previous version is more than capable (for me).
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lovehateapple Avatar
8 months ago

Pretty cool. I wanted a device/functionality like this for a while.
Same here, definitely going to give it a try.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
klasma Avatar
8 months ago
They'll probably make it a subscription like Studio.

There's also Duet ('') in that general product category.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
baryon Avatar
8 months ago
It would be so cool if MacBook trackpads could work with the Apple pencil. It could replace a Wacom in many cases.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aevan Avatar
8 months ago

It seems like a simple Wacom tablet is still the best option here; isn't using beta software, it's cheaper, and for illustration you're better off working on the iPad itself
Sure, but this is like a Wacom tablet that turns into an actual screen tablet. If you want both, this might be the cheaper option then buying both the iPad and the tablet.

I have the latest Intuos Pros in L and M sizes and an iPad Pro, but I can imagine using this in a pinch when I'm in the office with just my iPad and my office computer.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)