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.
Sketches ($6) is a well-designed drawing application, with a fairly robust feature set and highly usable interface. Upon launch, users are bought to a screen with a navigation bar at the top and drawings represented by thumbnails that have been pinned to the corkboard background. As with several other apps, a number of preloaded sketches serve as a user’s guide, explaining the function of each button in the app’s interface. Buttons in the navigation bar allow the user to delete sketches and create new ones.
On the drawing screen, a navigation bar at the top provides a back button and a zoom control button, while buttons along the bottom allow the user to tap to undo/hold to erase all, pick a color from 24 swatches and control the brush size, pick a shape from a myriad of options sorted into one of six categories, set the background using the iPhone’s camera, the photo library, a solid color, an image from the web, a map (using the user’s location), or one of paper-like patterns, and either export the sketch to the photo library or post it to Twitter. Users draw using one finger, and use two-finger pinch and grab gestures to make shapes; these are displayed in real time as the user moves his/her fingers, giving clear indications of what is being drawn. Shaking the device clears the sketches but not the background; a menu in the device’s Settings app allows the user to turn this on and off. Other options reset the device’s first-run tutorial and present the version information for the app.
While it lacks the interesting and potentially useful wireless sharing feature of the same-priced NetSketch, Sketches makes up for it with a broad range of drawing options, reasonable features, including a built-in gallery, and a smart interface. While it is one of the two most expensive drawing apps for the iPhone and iPod touch, Sketches is largely worth it; a slightly lower price and adjustable brush textures would make it even better. Users seeking the wireless collaboration feature of NetSketch will obviously need to look at it instead, but if you’re simply looking for a good iPhone or iPod touch drawing application, Sketches is currently the best option available. iLounge Rating: A-.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPhones, iPod touches