UPDATE October 10: Go get it now! http://manga.smithmicro.com/updates.html (If, like me, you've visited the updates page every day for the last month, you may need to hit refresh on your browser to see the link for the update).
UPDATE October 3: Smith Micro was obviously unable to make the end of September date mentioned below. I've just received word that the update should be available to users by the end of next week.
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For the past week, I've been playing with the latest update to Manga Studio (5.0.3), which introduces all the Surface Pro and Windows 8 tablet friendly features I've covered extensively in previous write-ups about its Japanese cousin Clip Studio Paint.
Smith Micro Product Manager Fahim Niaz has confirmed that the product is on track for release before the end of the month.
If you use Manga Studio on a tablet, the update is an absolute must-have, as it significantly declutters the interface and adds plenty of touch-friendly targets and menus.
To take advantage of the new touch operations settings, make sure to turn them on in the Preference/Interface panel.
I haven't compared every single menu item, but this update appears to bring Manga Studio precisely in line with Clip Studio Paint 1.2.7 from developer Celsys.
Besides the support for Windows 8 touch operations that I know tablet users will love, the release includes several other changes.
Key Updates and Enhancements in version 5.0.3:
- 3D camera update
- Raster to vector conversion
- Sony VAIO DUO 13 pen pressure sensitivity has been fixed
- Use scanners to read images
- Continuous scanning capability
- Rotate contents on the canvas
- Supports Windows 8 touch operations
- Includes folio for writing and printing
- 3D light source
- Evenly split frames
- Join frames
- Symmetry ruler
- Parallel curve ruler
- Multiple curve ruler
- Edit control points of a curve ruler
- Central axis added to concentric ruler
- Display tone area
I'll post an update the moment the release becomes available.