I’ll Buy An iPad When …

no, really… I’m actually interested in buying an iPad… but under very specific circumstances. Here’s the app that I want, that would make me shell out $500 for an iPad: a remote whiteboard app that transmits my drawing on the iPad over to my computer so that I can have a virtual whiteboard shared with my coworkers across the internet. It’s entirely a collaboration problem that I’m trying to solve. I want to grab my coworkers and walk over to a whiteboard… except we’re all thousands of miles from each other so that doesn’t really work.

Give me an iPad app that turns the iPad into a whiteboard and sends the drawing over to a whiteboard app on my PC (Windows 7, by the way… though I also run OSX on occasion).

I don’t want to use a shared whiteboard via a website… I’ve already got a Wacom art tablet… these are not good enough solutions because there is a disconnect between what I see on the screen and where my hand is drawing. I need to look at what I am drawing as I am drawing it and the iPad seems like it should be the perfect solution to this. It’s either that or a really expensive touch screen monitor, which I don’t have room for on my desk.

I don’t think a remote desktop client solves the problem, either. When I remote desktop into my box, it locks me out of the physical box so that the remote client is in control. I need a whiteboard app that keeps me up and running and just does whiteboard stuff from the ipad to the pc.

Does this app exist? If not, who wants to write it for me? :)

About Derick Bailey

Derick Bailey is an entrepreneur, problem solver (and creator? :P ), software developer, screecaster, writer, blogger, speaker and technology leader in central Texas (north of Austin). He runs SignalLeaf.com - the amazingly awesome podcast audio hosting service that everyone should be using, and WatchMeCode.net where he throws down the JavaScript gauntlets to get you up to speed. He has been a professional software developer since the late 90's, and has been writing code since the late 80's. Find me on twitter: @derickbailey, @mutedsolutions, @backbonejsclass Find me on the web: SignalLeaf, WatchMeCode, Kendo UI blog, MarionetteJS, My Github profile, On Google+.
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  • Sam Vermillion

    RealVNC is a nice client/server solution to “share” a desktop with someone without locking out of a session.


  • Derick,

    I don’t see why a shared website, like Google Drawings, wouldn’t work for you. After all, what you draw would be on the screen – there’d be no disconnect like with the Wacom tablet.

    And if you want to see what you are drawing, as you are drawing it, you need one of these bad boys from Wacom: http://www.wacom.com/cintiq/cintiq-21ux.php. ;)

  • Sam – I haven’t used VNC in years… i’ll have to try that out again. does vnc support multiple monitors? I’m running three monitors and don’t want any of them to be disabled while connected…

    cory – you got $1999 i can have? :)

    i’ve never been happy with any of the online whiteboard apps that i’ve tried. i want something that is more secure and private – don’t want to broadcast my whiteboards out to the world for anyone to come join in…

    i haven’t tried google drawing. we have a corporate google apps account, so i could keep a drawing within our company and shared it with whoever. it’s annoying to have to go through the extra ‘share’ steps, but i’ll give it a shot and see. i’ve had good luck with other google apps so maybe it will be enough

  • It may not ease your money woes (unless your company will buy it) but, I’ve used (http://smarttech.com/) smart boards in conjunction with LiveMeeting or GoToMeeting before.

    You can also make one yourself (http://procrastineering.blogspot.com/2007/12/source-forge-wiimote-whiteboard.html)

  • lee – those smart boards look awesome and expensive. i’ve done the wiimote whiteboard before. i still have all the parts i need to set up another one, too… i think… might need to buy another wiimote if i can’t find the one i had.

  • Rob

    I recommend paper!

    Need others to see it? Copy machine!

  • Steve

    Carbon Paper = Two birds, one stone!

  • yeah, then you can just hold it close to your web cam to share!!

    Or you could try Air Sketch: http://appshopper.com/productivity/air-sketch

  • Larry Silverman

    Are you wanting collaborators to be able to edit your diagrams as you work? If that’s not a priority, you could jailbreak the iPad and run veency, a vnc server, on it. Connect from your mac or pc and share that vnc client window with collaborators. The pro of this method is that you get your pick of iPad native drawing apps, which will perform much better than trying to control any drawing app on your Mac or pc.

  • Tito Villalobos

    Wow… two days later: 37 signal releases Draft

    Not sure if this covers exactly what you were talking about, but it looks pretty close.

  • LtDan

    You need to look at Doceri then. I think it might do the trick. Expensive on the OS end, but a free iPad app to interface.