How to use Android as a graphics tablet for your computer

How to use Android as a graphics tablet for your computer

Among other interesting options to use an Android phone or tablet, the use of a mobile device as a graphic tablet to draw on a computer can be highlighted, this will be discussed in this material. See also: Unusual ways to use Android.

Most interesting of all, this feature looks for Samsung Galaxy Note phones and other devices with support for a pressure sensitive pen. But, if you want, you can take advantage of these features on other Android devices - the only thing is, the drawing accuracy on a normal touch screen won't be very good.

Galaxy Note 9, Note 8 and other devices with S Pen as graphics tablet

The most interesting in the context of this topic are the Galaxy Note smartphones and Samsung tablets that support the pressure-sensitive S-Pen and are equipped with a Wacom digitizer. We can take advantage of all these advantages and turn a mobile device into an almost complete graphic tablet:

  1. Download the VirtualTablet Lite (S-Pen) application on your phone or tablet, available for free on the Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sunnysidesoft.VirtualTablet.lite ( there is also a paid version without ads).
  2. Download and install the VirtualTablet Server program on your computer, available at http://www.sunnysidesoft.com/virtualtablet/download/
  3. Start VirtualTablet Server on the computer after installation. If you plan to connect via Bluetooth, when prompted by the program, allow searching; in my example I connect via Wi-Fi (computer and smartphone must be connected to the same network). Wait until the Program Status field indicates Done. Please note that it should not be blocked by a firewall. 
  4. After starting the server, start the VirtualTablet application on your phone or tablet, and then select the connection type: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB (for the last point, you will need to enable USB debugging on Android). 
  5. When using a Wi-Fi connection, if both devices are connected to the same network, you will see a list of servers in the app (or you can manually enter the IP address). Select the server you want and click the "Connect" button in the application.

Ready, the virtual graphics tablet of your mobile device is up and running and can be used in graphics programs.

For example, paint in Photoshop using all the additional functions of the brushes, and if your computer is running Windows 10, the Windows Ink Workspace functions will be available (the icon usually appears automatically in the notification area), you can also conveniently use the Free Microsoft Fresh Paint app (available on Windows 10 Store).

If necessary, you can change the pressure and travel sensitivity of the pen in the VirtualTablet Server software on your computer. Also note the following point: if you have more than one monitor on your computer, the graphics tablet will only work for monitor number 1 in Windows.

An Android graphics tablet without a stylus

If your Android device doesn't support pen input, you can still use it to draw on your computer, but with your finger. Unfortunately, in this case, the precision will be insufficient and the pen may "jump", which is due to the way capacitive touchscreens work.

This can be done using the VirtualTablet application already described above, but you will have to go to the application settings on the phone and configure "Finger tap / Stylus" in the "Input Mode" item.

I recommend this app for your use, but there are other similar utilities on the Play Store:

  • Graphic tablet - Supports the same capabilities as VirtualTablet (finger and pen input, pressure) and also requires the installation of a driver on the computer. Connection only via Wi-Fi. But I could not find the driver and there is no information about it on the official page.
  • WiFi drawing tablet - No stylus and no pressure mount, a kind of mouse emulator that your phone or tablet uses. The link to the server application for the computer can be found in the description of the application in the Play Store.
  • tablet stylus - Paid, not tested, but the video on the official page is very similar to the previous version, except that the USB connection is supported. There is a link to the server application at the end of the application description in the Play Store.