Review: Blackboard by Y Lau
This review originally appeared within iLounge’s iOS Gems series within the compilation article, iPhone Gems: Every Drawing Application, Reviewed. Additional details may be found in the original article.
Blackboard ($1) is a very simple drawing application that provides users with a virtual chalkboard on which to draw, instead of mimicking a sketch pad like many of its competitors. Because the application uses only a single screen and dedicates roughly 20% of the available real estate to controls, it offers the smallest drawing surface of any currently available iPhone drawing application. It offers buttons for selecting the chalk color or eraser, saving the drawing for a replay, replaying the strokes taken to create the last saved drawing, and clear all. The latter three buttons are placed on the blackboard frame.
Users can draw with white, yellow, red, or blue chalk, all of which go on softly — to get a fully opaque line, users need to go back over the same area multiple times, which we see as neither detrimental nor beneficial. The user is not given the option to change the size of the line being drawn, and cannot edit the texture of the line, either. Blackboard’s replay feature works as expected, retracing the steps it took to create the most recently saved drawing. The application does not offer the ability to save a drawing to the iPhone or iPod touch’s Photos app, instead expecting that users will take screenshots. At $1, it’s not expensive, but compared to its competition, Blackboard simply doesn’t offer enough utility to be worth the price. The ability to draw and save full-screen images would be a good start towards improving Blackboard, which currently falls short of our general or limited recommendation levels. iLounge Rating: C-.