The short answer to your question, can drawing tablets connect to iPad, is no.
If you are interested in more information about drawing tablets connectivity and what to do instead, then scroll down below.
Why You Can’t Connect Your Drawing Tablet
Connecting a drawing tablet e.g. a Wacom with anything requires:
- the right software, and
- some connection capacity such as USB or BlueTooth.
There might be both USB and BlueTooth support on both your drawing tablet and iPad, but there is no software supporting the devices working together (unless it is one of the specific models made for mobile devices).
Basically, there is no software support for your drawing tablet on an iPad.
It is possible to pull off some sort of workaround, e.g. using a computer or laptop and screen mirroring between that computer and your iPad, but I highly doubt you will find that very useful. Such a solution will also suffer from a higher input lag.
Drawing Tablets Made For Your iPad
Wacom has made a few drawing tablets that work with iPads and Android tablets. However, it is probably not how you think.
These drawing tablets are quite unique since you can draw on paper using a special pen, and the device will then capture your drawing digitally. Meaning you have your drawing on real paper and in a digital format synced directly with the app on your iPad or Android tablet.
If you like, you can then continue working on your drawing on your normal tablet. But what you cannot do is work in real-team between the Wacom and your normal tablet.
These models from Wacom are:
- Intuos Pro Paper Edition in sizes medium and large
- Bamboo Spark
Your iPad Is Basically A Drawing Tablet
In case you didn’t know, by using the Apple Pencil, or some other stylus that is supported by the iPad, your iPad basically becomes a drawing tablet.
And if you ask me it is a pretty good one!
A lot of digital art professionals like to use the iPad, and it is also how I started drawing.
Furthermore, your iPad can connect to your mac or windows computer and work as a drawing tablet, meaning what you draw on your iPad can be reflected directly in your favorite program such as Sketchbook, Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, or my favorite free option GIMP.
In most cases, this will make connecting your drawing tablet to your iPad redundant. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to connect a drawing tablet to a drawing tablet, does it?
With that in mind, you should probably not expect any drawing tablet company to enable iPad support for their products in the future. Their dev resources are better spent elsewhere.
Getting A Drawing Stylus
Unfortunately, not many of the styluses that come with any of the popular drawing tablet brands will work with your iPad.
One major reason is that for the stylus to be supported by the iPad, it will need an internal battery. Most drawing tablets power their stylus wirelessly through a system underneath the display.
The Bottom Line
You cannot connect your drawing tablet to your iPad or any other tablet unless it is one of the special models from Wacom mentioned above.
That is most likely not a bad thing since connecting the two won’t be of much utility for you.
Instead, you should get a drawing stylus for your iPad and it will become your drawing tablet 🙂