15 June 2010

Drawing Pad

As a hugely famous blog author I get tons of solicitations for links, reviews and the like.  Most of them I ignore, sometimes because they are off topic, sometimes because I just don't have the time/energy to closely consider the proposal, sometimes because I am actively opposed to the proposal (I get a lot of press releases from conservative think tanks and also from chiropractors and other practitioners of woo).  Once in a while I get a freebie -- a bit of software or a book for review.

Most of the time I don't get around to actually reviewing it, either because I didn't read/use the product, or because I did and didn't like it. I suppose you could argue that in those cases there's more value in the review than otherwise, but it feels like sort of a jerk maneuver to publicly trash their product.  (Exceptions could be made if the product were really bad, I suppose.)

So all this is a lead-up to a review of an app sent to me by the developer of the Drawing Pad app.  It was another freebie, and this one I thought was worth writing about.

Drawing pad is one of a number of sketch apps for iPad/iPhone, but it distinguishes itself by attention to design and function.  The interface is simple, with a drawer on the right (which you can hide) with a variety of drawing tools: brushes, pencils, marker, eraser, stamps, and stickers. You can choose a paper background, a photo from your iPhoto library, or a blank background.  It's visually very appealing and absolutely intuitive.

I'm not much of an artist (to put it mildly), but I can see the fun in playing with this app:
Where it really shines is when the kids get hold of the iPad. They can play with this for hours.  (They especially love the sticker options!)  And it doesn't take long for them to figure out the tools and options, even the little ones who can't yet read.

Another thoughtful detail is the export page. You can email an image, save it to an album, save it to iPhoto, or directly export it to Twitter or Facebook.

If there were any criticisms, I would say it is that the pencil and crayon tools give you basically the same effect in a different line size.  The brush tool and the marker tool are indistinguishable as well.  I'd like the "paint" to look a little more wet or liquidy.  It'd be nice if there were a smudge/smear option or a text option.  Also, if there was a way to resize the stickers, that would also be nice (maybe there is but I missed it).

It's a great bit of fun and I can also see using this to annotate images for posting on the blog (if I ever figure out a decent blog editor for iPad).  The cost is $1.99 which strikes me as a fair price point for a well-designed casual-use app.


  1. What? You're saying you didn't sketch that finely detailed aircraft?

    I just won't believe it...hugely famous, and modest.


  2. If you like Drawing Pad then you'll love OmniSketch!

    App Store Link: http://itunes.apple.com/app/omnisketch/id370938461

    * 18 amazing brushes draw shapes and patterns automatically
    * Intuitive user interface
    * Eraser
    * Mirrored Drawing – Vertical, Horizontal and Kaleidoscope mode
    * Line width adjustment
    * Opacity adjustment
    * Brush custom adjustments
    * Full color support with an intuitive color picker
    * Selectable background color
    * Gallery allows you to view, add, edit, delete and export your artwork
    * Built in slide show feature lets you show off your creations
    * Online gallery lets you share your pictures with friends, family and the world
    * Full undo/redo is supported


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