Zev Eisenberg

Padiddle

Draw pictures by spinning your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.

Are breakfast trays and magazines in danger whenever you walk into the room? Do pillows and notebooks flee before you? Are people likely to get dizzy if they talk to you for too long? If so, you need to get Padiddle! It’s the only iOS app that combines drawing and juggling in one exciting package.

Warning: if you are not 100% confident in your abilities to padiddle, please use this app ​over a bed or other soft surface. You may find it difficult to padiddle an iPhone (I can’t do it!). I have gotten interesting results by spinning my iPhone in an office chair, or tossing it (gently!) into the air with a spin.

Padiddle FAQ

Huh? Padiddle? I thought that was a travel game where you spot cars with missing headlights.

That definition was news to me. Among jugglers and object manipulators, padiddling is the controlled spinning of a flat object on a finger. Wikipedia has a brief entry on padiddling.

I don’t know how to padiddle. Can I still use this app?

Padiddle uses the spin of your device to draw a picture, and any way that you can figure out to (safely!) impart angular velocity should work. I’ve found that an office chair or lazy Susan works well.

How can I learn how to padiddle?

I recommend starting with a firm pillow or, better yet, a plastic lunch tray. Just give it a try. If you don’t get it after a bit of practice, look on YouTube for tips.

How does Padiddle work?

Padiddle uses the gyroscope in your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to keep track of which direction it is facing while it spins. You can pick from a library of twelve hand-crafted color schemes. Combine them to create something new!

How did you get the idea to draw pictures with a spinning iPad?

Here’s the tweet that started it all:

My reply, and Luke’s fateful response:


Luke Wilson was a fantastically creative juggler whom I had met briefly when I saw him perform as part of The Shoebox Tour in Buckfield, Maine. We corresponded on twitter a bit, and he helped to beta test early versions of Padiddle. Many of his ideas made it into the final app. Sadly, Luke died of cancer in October of 2012. I wish he could have seen the finished version of Padiddle, but we can all remember him when we create cool and unexpected things.

If I drop my iPad, will you pay for a new one?

Nope. Be careful when spinning expensive Apple glass things!

If I drop my iPad, will Apple pay for a new one?

Double nope. I’m serious about being careful! Practice with a pillow or a cafeteria tray first, or spin your iOS device over a bed or soft carpet.

Padiddle Support

Questions or comments about Padiddle? I’d love to hear from you! I’m @ZevEisenberg on Twitter and @Zev on app.net. You can also send me an email.