Developer: TopHatch
Price: Free
Version: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

I prefer to sketch with pad and paper when possible, but sometimes these drawing tools aren’t readily available when an idea pops into my head. When I saw the idea behind Concepts, I fell in love with all the possibilities that this app offers iOS users.

Concepts is designed for artistic sketching, and it has all the tools necessary for drafting simple, yet elegant ideas and drawings. While I would have liked a quick introduction tutorial to familiarize myself with all that this app does, it didn’t take long to figure out how to use all its features.

When Concepts is first opened, users can select a previously saved sketch or start a new one by tapping on the plus button. The interface is designed to be minimalistic so there isn’t a lot of clutter to distract from the white canvas. A toolbar on the left side of the screen features all the tools, but it’s possible to hide it with a left swipe.

Once users are ready to create, they can utilize all the tools readily available. There’s multiple pens with adjustable sizes, an adapting large eraser, an undo and redo button, a color palette and a quick export button for sharing creations through Twitter or email or saving them directly to the Camera Roll.

The multi-gesture support is what makes this app stand out the most. All mistakes can be cleared by double-tapping the eraser tool to reset the drawing, and it’s possible to zoom in and out effortlessly to make smooth strokes. Perhaps the best gesture feature is Precision Mode. It’s offered for an extra $1.99 in-app fee, but users can give it a quick test run. Precision Mode is a drawing aide that allows users to create a perfect curve or line, which is a near impossible feat for most.

The interface is responsive and easy-to-use, and Concepts is on the right path to becoming a premium sketching app. There are a few features I’d like to see added in the future like a way to import graphics to trace them, a shape feature and more brush styles.

Overall, Concepts is the perfect companion to keep around when inspiration strikes. It’s great for professions of all types from architecture and fashion from engineering and teaching. It even offers AirPlay support for the AppleTV, which is a nice bonus. It’s completely free to download with no obligation to purchase the Precision Mode. If you’re looking for a new way to sketch that won’t hurt your wallet, Concepts is definitely worth exploring.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Productivity, Reviews

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