This past week Tangent Devices released the Tangent Wave Lite for use with the iPad. This mimics the Shadows, Gamma and Highlight control wheels that you would find on a control surface like the Tangent Wave.
You can see how the controls really mimic the look of a standard color control panel. They even have the reset buttons in the right place and you can control the Ring and Trackball sensitivity. My iPad is sitting up on a Rocketfish stand that holds the iPad up off the desk so I can still operate my tablet alongside of it.
How does it work? Surprisingly well! I started working the colors with two hands very similarly to how I actually operate the Wave Panel itself. The trackballs really operate very true to life where you can "spin" them and they keep spinning based on how hard you spun them.
The rings work exactly as you would expect from a real control surface. The neat thing is if you've never worked with a control surface, you can finally experience how nice it is to be able to work with both hands at the same time. You can operate two different controls simultaneously which makes your work that much faster.
The only downside to this app has nothing to do with the app at all. It's just that the iPad does not provide any tactile information on what you're operating. With a real control panel, once you get used to it, you almost never look at the control surface because you can feel for the controls with your hands. With the iPad you have to keep looking at the screen to grab the right controls first and then you can start working.
I kept hitting the ring when I wanted the trackball and vice versa. Again, no fault of Tangent, but just the way the iPad works.
Scott Simmons over at EditBlog heard an idea to use the app in conjunction with a mouse / tablet basically using it as "big sliders" to operate the wheels faster and easier than with a mouse or a pen. Neat idea.
I think this app is really good for anyone who is considering a control surface and what does it bring to the table? You can download this app for free and get a sense of how it is to operate with a control surface. I really didn't understand how much a control surface would help me until I started using one. They really do make your color work much more efficient.
If you have an iPad and use Apple Color, definitely download the app and give it a spin. VERY well done app and I hope Tangent has more plans to upgrade this app with even more control.