Feature of the Week

Drawing Enhancements

| Feature of the Week

Last year’s iPad upgrades got a mixed reception, largely due to the similarity between the iPad mini 2 and the then-new iPad mini 3. It turns out that there was a little more to the story though. The iPad Air 2, a decent upgrade as presented, actually includes one technical change that’s only now being put to use: Apple has doubled the amount of data the screen can collect from your touches.

Every iOS device refreshes its screen sixty times per second. In fact, a lot of system processes are tied to that number, so it was natural to put touch handling in that queue as well. The problem is, when you draw with your finger on a screen that’s collecting sixty points per second, your movements don’t always turn out the way they should. Sixty seems like a lot, but when you’re moving quickly some details get lost.

With the iPad Air 2, Apple doubled the sample rate to 120 points per second. It’s just that no one knew about it, because developers didn’t have access to this additional information until iOS 9’s release last week. All of the pieces had to fall into place, but now they’re here: with an iPad Air 2, running iOS 9 and forScore 9.1, your drawings will be more accurate and feel more natural.

Even if you don’t have the latest iPad, though, you can still benefit from another improvement made in iOS 9 called Predictive Touches. As the name implies, Apple’s new OS gives developers a best guess about where your finger or stylus is headed. That helps us draw the results sooner, making your drawing experience feel more responsive. And, best of all, the predicted touches are only temporary—they’re replaced by actual touches as soon as possible so your drawing accuracy doesn’t suffer.

They’re not big, banner-worthy features and they don’t really have a catchphrase, but iOS 9’s drawing improvements add up for users like our customers who rely on quick, natural annotation.