Drawing on your iPad can be more fun when you have an opportunity to see your creation come to life on a larger screen. I also find that more sizeable drawing surfaces help me to catch small mistakes and help me improve my overall drawing. Considering the value, what about connecting your iPad to a PC? Can you connect your iPad to your computer to draw?
To draw, you can connect an iPad to a Mac or Windows computer over a wireless network or USB cable. Mac users must have a USB port and an operating system X 10.9 or later. Windows users must have a USB port with at least Windows 7 or later. Lastly, the drawing app must be compatible with Mac or Windows.
Once you have the correct cables, operating system, and available USB ports, you’re only halfway there. If you don’t already have one, you’ll need an app that supports the operating system to which your iPad will connect. We’ll review some of the best apps to satisfy your artist soul and a how-to guide for connecting your iPad to your computer.
Can You Connect Your iPad To Your Computer To Draw?
There are several benefits to creating electronic drawings on a large display. For one, correct (or incorrect) proportions are easier to spot when you are at least an arm’s length from the drawing surface. Therefore, it makes sense for iPad artists to connect their iPad to their computers to draw.
Fortunately, it’s pretty straightforward to link your iPad to your computer; you can connect it directly via a USB cable or over a wifi network.
However, your computer must meet specific hardware and software prerequisites for the linking process to work.
- Mac – Mac users need an available USB port and Operating System X 10.9 or later.
- Windows – Windows users need an available USB port and Windows 7 or later.
How Do You Connect Your iPad To Your Computer?
After confirming you have an available USB port and the correct operating system (OS), connect your iPad to an available USB port via your iPad’s charging cable.
If your iPad charging cable does not fit the port on your computer, here’s what you do:
- Did your iPad come with a USB-C charge cable? – If your computer has a USB port, use a USB-C to USB Adapter and a USB-A cable.
- Did your iPad come with a USB-C to Lightning cable? – If your PC has a USB port, use a Lightning to USB Cable.
- Did your iPad come with a Lightning to USB cable? – If your PC has a USB-C port, connect the USB end of the cable to a USB-C to USB Adapter, or use a USB-C to Lightning Cable.
- Did your iPad come with a Thunderbolt 4 / USB-4 charging cable? – If your computer has a USB port, use a USB-C to USB Adapter and a USB-A cable.
It is also possible to use Thunderbolt or USB cables with Thunderbolt devices like iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation) and iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation).
What Are Some Of The Best iPad-To-PC Drawing Apps?
An artist is only as good as their tools, and a drawing app counts as a tool! So, here are some of the best to consider.
Astropad Studio is an excellent app for turning your iPad into a professional drawing tablet that interfaces with a PC. It focuses on delivering an advanced toolset to help artists deal with the most demanding creativity. It can connect an iPad to a computer wirelessly or via a USB cable, although direct connectivity is always a little quicker regarding technology and reducing input lag.
It has many bells and whistles to provide a comfortable and highly customizable workspace. As a result, artists work more efficiently, and they have the freedom to delve into their studio and be creative at any time, whether at home or on the go.
Impressively, companies like Disney, Pixar, and Nintendo use Astropad Studio.
Astropad Studio includes numerous features for the serious artist, including:
- Crystal clear picture quality & very low input lag
- Keyboard support
- Customizable pressure curves
- Sidebar shortcuts match your current Mac app for convenience
- Customization for gesture shortcuts
- Unlimited upgrades
- Magic Gestures: Create personal gesture shortcuts with touch-Pencil combinations
- Mac and PC compatibility
- Wifi and USB connectivity
Astropad Studio comes with a free 30-day trial if you want to test all the features before investing. The paid version has a subscription model with monthly or annual alternatives.
Your subscription will earn you regular updates with features and improvements, priority creative pro support, and enable you to sync your customizable settings across all your devices.
EasyCanvas is an easy-to-use, one-size-fits-all program that will allow almost any iPad to mirror or expand the desktop of most PCs. The app is available to download for both PC and iPad.
EasyCanvas is plug-and-play, making it pretty user-friendly. Users may experience slight input lag, but not enough to cause lasting issues. It is also possible to connect wirelessly via a Windows PC and also supports pressure sensitivity on the Apple Pencil.
If you use Photoshop, manufacturers advise accessing the settings and changing the pen input from WinTab to tablet PC to get pressure sensitivity working and to ensure you’re using a brush that supports pressure sensitivity.
EasyCanvas is not free, but artists can choose between a monthly or annual subscription; the annual subscription works out cheaper than the monthly.
The iPad version of Adobe Illustrator is popular as a standard for vector drawings. Its intuitive design gives the impression of using a pen and paper, with a system optimized for the iPad and Apple Pencil.
The iPad version includes over 18,000 fonts and 20 color palettes. Saved data will automatically appear on the cloud, removing the need to rely entirely on a single device. If you currently use Illustrator, this functionality will come in useful.
Adobe Illustrator has a 30-day free trial, at which point you need to pay a monthly fee. The less expensive option will grant you access to over 17,000 fonts, live tutorials, and access to Adobe Illustrator.
The more expensive monthly option will subscribe you to an Adobe Design Mobile plan that, in addition to Adobe Illustrator, also gives you access to other Adobe mobile apps like Photoshop, Fresco, and Creative Cloud Express.
Furthermore, subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud will allow you to use your files in conjunction with Fresco, Photoshop, and the PC version of Adobe Illustrator.
An iPad can connect to a computer for drawing purposes by connecting it over wifi or via a USB cable. Your Mac must have at least an OS X 10.9 or later, or your Windows PC be Windows 7 or later. Afterward, get an intuitive drawing app, and you’ll be ready to go!
Where To Next?
This blog is a blog dedicated to using modern computing devices to run and manage a business. If you’re interested in using an iPad for your business, either as an entrepreneur, a small business owner or for your employees to use I recommend reading the following articles: