Microsoft’s new Surface Dial debuted alongside the Surface Studio last month. While it’s available as a separate accessory for $99, less than 20 apps support it out of the box. Some of those apps just offer basic zoom and volume controls, but there are a couple that stand out. Sketchable includes various radial menus for drawing controls, and now Drawboard looks like the best case yet for the Dial.
Drawboard, a PDF markup app, is adding support for Microsoft’s Surface Dial in an upcoming app update. It’s designed as an app to manage drawings and documents, with support for touch and ink to leave annotations for colleagues or friends. A number of architects and engineers use Drawboard, and the company is making use of the Dial to bring a virtual protractor and ruler to the app. As the Dial reports its angle, architects will be able to set angles for drawing annotations or even set the grid overlays with the Dial.
Drawboard details the new features in a promotional video for Microsoft’s Surface channel on YouTube, and they certainly look impressive. Microsoft is allowing developers to extend the use of the Dial in their applications, and it’s apps like Drawboard and Sketchable that show the potential of the Surface Dial. Just like StaffPad with the Surface Pen, Microsoft will need many more apps to lead the way in showing why this new hardware could be useful for creatives, engineers, architects, and other professionals.