How to use Magma on your smartphone

Aug 15th, 2023

·

5min read

While it’s not best way to use it, we’ve been surprised by just how many people use Magma on their smartphones to draw online with their friends. It wasn’t designed with such small screens in mind, however there are some things you can do to improve the mobile experience.

Full screen mode

This will hide your browser interface so that all you see is the Magma interface. It’s not a huge change but every bit of extra space counts when you’re on a phone screen.

Go to your View menu (magnifying glass icon) and select Full screen.

Tip: Using Chrome on Android gives you the option to download Magma. While not exactly a mobile app, it puts a shortcut on your system that essentially takes you to a full screen mode of Magma without any of the extra browser stuff.

Hiding UI elements

Toolbars, color wheel, settings panels, menu bars: these can really limit how much space you have to actively draw on. Thankfully, you can easily tuck away some of Magma’s UI elements when you don’t need them.

Tapping the filmstrip icon in the bottom left will hide the sequence panel that appears at he bottom of the screen, while the chevron icon tucks away the settings panel on the left.

You can also hide Magma’s UI entirely. The only thing that will be visible is your canvas and you’ll still be able to draw. The default keyboard shortcut for this is TAB but if you don’t have a keyboard connected, you can set a touch gesture to this action through your Application settings.

First open your Edit menu from the canvas, and select Application settings. Go to the Touch tab, choose which gesture to assign, and set it to Toggle UI. In the example below, this action is assigned to four-finger tap.

Use a drawing tablet

Drawing with only a finger on a screen is challenging for anyone. If you’re using an Android phone though, many screenless drawing tablets today are Android compatible.

Some tablets will use the full drawing area in vertical orientation, while others cut off a portion of the tablet’s active area so that it’s more in line with the phone’s screen size ratio. Consult your user manual for the specific details on how to use your tablet with a phone.

Did you know: there are even a few pen display tablets that are compatible with some Android phones? For example, the Wacom One will work with some phones that can output video but only if they have USB 3.1 with DisplayPort 1.2.

Use a wireless keyboard

Magma offers a lot of keyboard shortcuts to speed up how you work. Even if you are drawing on a phone, you can still take advantage of these with a wireless keyboard attached.

Simple things like changing between tools and adjusting your brush settings can be done without needing to toggle your UI back on. Being able to use Alt for your eyedropper is a bit more effective than a long press of the finger.

Get a phone stand

If you’re going to be using a drawing tablet and a keyboard with your phone, another valuable addition could be stand to prop it up at a better angle.

One thing to keep in mind though is that if you still want to use touch gestures and tap around on the screen, then the stand needs to be sturdy enough to handle that.

With all these different tactics combined, you’ll have yourself a pretty neat mobile setup that will make drawing online a breeze no matter where you are. Happy painting!

While it’s not best way to use it, we’ve been surprised by just how many people use Magma on their smartphones to draw online with their friends. It wasn’t designed with such small screens in mind, however there are some things you can do to improve the mobile experience.

Full screen mode

This will hide your browser interface so that all you see is the Magma interface. It’s not a huge change but every bit of extra space counts when you’re on a phone screen.

Go to your View menu (magnifying glass icon) and select Full screen.

Tip: Using Chrome on Android gives you the option to download Magma. While not exactly a mobile app, it puts a shortcut on your system that essentially takes you to a full screen mode of Magma without any of the extra browser stuff.

Hiding UI elements

Toolbars, color wheel, settings panels, menu bars: these can really limit how much space you have to actively draw on. Thankfully, you can easily tuck away some of Magma’s UI elements when you don’t need them.

Tapping the filmstrip icon in the bottom left will hide the sequence panel that appears at he bottom of the screen, while the chevron icon tucks away the settings panel on the left.

You can also hide Magma’s UI entirely. The only thing that will be visible is your canvas and you’ll still be able to draw. The default keyboard shortcut for this is TAB but if you don’t have a keyboard connected, you can set a touch gesture to this action through your Application settings.

First open your Edit menu from the canvas, and select Application settings. Go to the Touch tab, choose which gesture to assign, and set it to Toggle UI. In the example below, this action is assigned to four-finger tap.

Use a drawing tablet

Drawing with only a finger on a screen is challenging for anyone. If you’re using an Android phone though, many screenless drawing tablets today are Android compatible.

Some tablets will use the full drawing area in vertical orientation, while others cut off a portion of the tablet’s active area so that it’s more in line with the phone’s screen size ratio. Consult your user manual for the specific details on how to use your tablet with a phone.

Did you know: there are even a few pen display tablets that are compatible with some Android phones? For example, the Wacom One will work with some phones that can output video but only if they have USB 3.1 with DisplayPort 1.2.

Use a wireless keyboard

Magma offers a lot of keyboard shortcuts to speed up how you work. Even if you are drawing on a phone, you can still take advantage of these with a wireless keyboard attached.

Simple things like changing between tools and adjusting your brush settings can be done without needing to toggle your UI back on. Being able to use Alt for your eyedropper is a bit more effective than a long press of the finger.

Get a phone stand

If you’re going to be using a drawing tablet and a keyboard with your phone, another valuable addition could be stand to prop it up at a better angle.

One thing to keep in mind though is that if you still want to use touch gestures and tap around on the screen, then the stand needs to be sturdy enough to handle that.

With all these different tactics combined, you’ll have yourself a pretty neat mobile setup that will make drawing online a breeze no matter where you are. Happy painting!

While it’s not best way to use it, we’ve been surprised by just how many people use Magma on their smartphones to draw online with their friends. It wasn’t designed with such small screens in mind, however there are some things you can do to improve the mobile experience.

Full screen mode

This will hide your browser interface so that all you see is the Magma interface. It’s not a huge change but every bit of extra space counts when you’re on a phone screen.

Go to your View menu (magnifying glass icon) and select Full screen.

Tip: Using Chrome on Android gives you the option to download Magma. While not exactly a mobile app, it puts a shortcut on your system that essentially takes you to a full screen mode of Magma without any of the extra browser stuff.

Hiding UI elements

Toolbars, color wheel, settings panels, menu bars: these can really limit how much space you have to actively draw on. Thankfully, you can easily tuck away some of Magma’s UI elements when you don’t need them.

Tapping the filmstrip icon in the bottom left will hide the sequence panel that appears at he bottom of the screen, while the chevron icon tucks away the settings panel on the left.

You can also hide Magma’s UI entirely. The only thing that will be visible is your canvas and you’ll still be able to draw. The default keyboard shortcut for this is TAB but if you don’t have a keyboard connected, you can set a touch gesture to this action through your Application settings.

First open your Edit menu from the canvas, and select Application settings. Go to the Touch tab, choose which gesture to assign, and set it to Toggle UI. In the example below, this action is assigned to four-finger tap.

Use a drawing tablet

Drawing with only a finger on a screen is challenging for anyone. If you’re using an Android phone though, many screenless drawing tablets today are Android compatible.

Some tablets will use the full drawing area in vertical orientation, while others cut off a portion of the tablet’s active area so that it’s more in line with the phone’s screen size ratio. Consult your user manual for the specific details on how to use your tablet with a phone.

Did you know: there are even a few pen display tablets that are compatible with some Android phones? For example, the Wacom One will work with some phones that can output video but only if they have USB 3.1 with DisplayPort 1.2.

Use a wireless keyboard

Magma offers a lot of keyboard shortcuts to speed up how you work. Even if you are drawing on a phone, you can still take advantage of these with a wireless keyboard attached.

Simple things like changing between tools and adjusting your brush settings can be done without needing to toggle your UI back on. Being able to use Alt for your eyedropper is a bit more effective than a long press of the finger.

Get a phone stand

If you’re going to be using a drawing tablet and a keyboard with your phone, another valuable addition could be stand to prop it up at a better angle.

One thing to keep in mind though is that if you still want to use touch gestures and tap around on the screen, then the stand needs to be sturdy enough to handle that.

With all these different tactics combined, you’ll have yourself a pretty neat mobile setup that will make drawing online a breeze no matter where you are. Happy painting!

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Ryan Allan

Ryan Allan

Ryan Allan

Artist and content writer | Reviews digital art tech | Paints under the name Eyekoo | Dreams of torii gates with his morning coffee

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Try Magma with others for free

Join the one and only art collaboration platform for all kinds of digital artists, art communities, game developers, concept artists, and other creative teams.

Try Magma with others for free

Join the one and only art collaboration platform for all kinds of digital artists, art communities, game developers, concept artists, and other creative teams.