Apple Rejects AstroPad Update That Turned an iPad’s Camera into a Software Button

Astro HQ, the makers of popular iPad drawing app AstroPad Studio, yesterday announced that their plans for a "Camera Button" feature for the app have been scuppered by Apple.

The developers' clever hack that turns an iPad's front-facing camera into a functional software button was supposed to be coming in the next AstroPad Studio update, but Apple has rejected it on the grounds that the idea flouts App Store review guidelines.

The announcement came in a Medium.com post by Astro HQ titled "RIP Camera Button", which revealed that Apple had turned down the innovative iPad interaction because it broke the company's rules for iOS software.
We planned to introduce the Camera Button in an update to Astropad Studio going out today. However, we are disappointed to report that the Camera Button was rejected by Appleā€™s App Store review under Section 2.5.9:

Apps that alter or disable the functions of standard switches, such as the Volume Up/Down and Ring/Silent switches, or other native user interface elements or behaviors will be rejected.

Apple is known for its strict adherence to App Store rules, so the rejection shouldn't really come as much of a surprise. But the news will also likely disappoint backers of AstroPad's forthcoming Luna display adapter, which turns an iPad into a wireless extended Mac desktop. The developers had hoped to include the Camera Button feature in the Luna software, but they've been forced to drop it from that, too.

Despite the setback, Astro HQ said their "urge to innovate" lives on, and that they remained "committed to pushing the boundaries of software and hardware engineering so that we can create the best productivity tools possible".


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Astropad Studio Launches on iPad With ‘Pro-Level Drawing Tools’ for $65/Year

Second-screen iPad app Astropad has today launched a new premium version of its drawing suite called "Astropad Studio" that's been built exclusively for the iPad Pro (via TechCrunch). The new service offers users a number of advantages over the basic app -- including 40 MB/s max speed for lower latency, deep Apple Pencil integration, and more -- for a subscription plan of $7.99/month or $64.99/year.

Similar to the original app, Astropad Studio works with any Mac app via Wi-Fi or through USB and mirrors drawing tools from the iPad's screen onto a connected Mac. The company says that this connection lets users gain control of "pro-level drawing tools" on a Mac, and is aimed at creative professionals who work both in an office and from home.

astropad-studio-1
One of the biggest additions to the Studio suite of features is support for what Astropad calls "Liquid Extreme," which includes color-corrected output and retina resolution. Essentially, "what you see on your iPad is the same as on your Mac," according to the company.

Here's the complete list of exclusive features for Astropad Studio:

  • Liquid Extreme

  • 40 MB/s Max Speed

  • Unlimited shortcut sets

  • Built for iPad Pro

  • Apple Pencil Only

  • Keyboard support

  • Magic Gestures

  • Pressure Smoothing

  • Eraser Tool

  • Hover Simulation

  • 3-Button Mouse Simulation

  • Undo/Redo Gestures

  • Preview line customization

  • Unlimited Upgrades

  • Priority Support

The list features "Magic Gestures," which Astropad says is a way for users to set up easily accessible controls using a finger and Apple Pencil combination. For example, users can set up an erasing function to activate by setting one finger on the iPad's screen to instantly turn the Pencil into an eraser. Two fingers can be a right click, and so on.


The standard version of Astropad sells for $29.99 on the iOS App Store [Direct Link]. For the new app, users can try out Astropad Studio [Direct Link] with a 7 day free trial before deciding to subscribe to the service's monthly or yearly models. More information regarding Astropad Studio can be found here.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tag: Astropad
Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution)

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