Paper CEO talks iOS7, styluses and dedicated versions of the app

Paper, the popular iPad drawing app, is to stay an iPad exclusive for the foreseeable future according to Georg Petschnigg, CEO of the company behind the app. 

Talking to Pocket-lint candidly at the preview of the Fashion Rules exhibition at Kensington Palace, Petschnigg said the focus was very much on iPad and nothing else at the moment. 

Asked why - considering other devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note range and the Microsoft Surface RT tablet offer better pen input - Petschnigg said it was better to develop for a device with more than 100 million users than one that either doesn't have traction with the public yet in such a mainstream way, or that can be confusing to use. 

"The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has two app stores, that can be confusing to users," Petschnigg told Pocket-lint. 

Petschnigg's comments regarding the SGN2 highlight a problem that has forced many developers to be confused over Samsung's dedicated App Store, which tries to complete with Google's own Play Store. Even Samsung seems confused at times with the new Samsung Only Jay-Z app still appearing in the Play Store over the Samsung App Store. 

But Petschnigg doesn't believe Apple will be playing second fiddle to Samsung and Microsoft for much longer:

"A better pen for the iPad is inevitable," the co-founder says, before adding that he had no insider knowledge on what Apple's plans are.

One of the reasons for Petschnigg's confidence is Apple's announcement that it will be supporting Bluetooth 4 LE devices in iOS 7, due out later this year. 

While Apple has said nothing about stylus input, it has mentioned that the new offering will give better support for gamepad accessories, and Petschnigg is hoping that stylus-makers will try to piggy back off the back of that. 



Back to the now, and Petschnigg says his team has plenty of plans for Paper without the need for Apple to improve things its end. 

FiftyThree is looking to add more tools to the app, including the possibility of support for drafting tools and simplifying the app to sit better with iOS 7, if that's even possible. 

"There's a saying, every time Apple creates a new gesture, an app developer dies," explains Petschnigg, and in the case of Paper, that's going to involve working out how to allow people still to swipe from the bottom of the screen to reveal the palette rather than Apple's new system-wide notification panel. 

And then there are dedicated versions of the app as seen at the Fashion Rules exhibit

The exhibit, which is on for the next two years, sees iPads deployed that allow people to colour in templates of the Royal dresses on show, drawn especially for the exhibit.

As we talk it's clear that special projects like this are an interesting distraction for FiftyThree, but not something that's likely to change the way the company works. We are not, it seems, going to see a dedicated version of the one supplied to Kensington Palace in the App Store for all to download. It's a shame, as having seen the templates, drawn by fashion illustrator David Poole. we are desperate to get our hands on them. 

"We are constantly learning about how people use the app and what people want," says Petschnigg, suggesting for now Paper is what it is, but with it being such a creative and beautiful app to use, we are happy to forgive FiftyThree until it pushes out the next update.