Developer: KIWIPIXEL
Price: $3.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★½
Overall Rating: ★★★★½

There is no shortage of art apps on Apple’s App Store, but the number of truly good ones is a short list indeed. Add Inspire Pro to the top of any and all of those lists, as it easily bests some of its top competitors.

I’m not an artist. Heck, I don’t even play one on TV. So I was concerned that I would not be able to give Inspire Pro the full rundown it deserves. Fortunately, I’m a teacher, and one of my good friends and colleagues is an AP art teacher. It seemed a good idea to hand my iPad over to her and see what she thought of Inspire Pro. Her reaction was more than off the charts – I almost didn’t get my iPad back. I can’t imagine a more glowing endorsement.

What struck my friend was the natural use of paint that the app engendered and the comprehensive set of tools provided for refinement of art pieces. It is amazing, I must admit, to have a creation tool of this calibre available for only $3.99. It is not the one and only art program you will ever need, to be sure, but it is a very effective and intuitive natural painting program.

Inspire Pro provides many of the conventional tools most have come to expect from a desktop art program. Starting a new work is as easy as flipping to a new page, and color selection via a color wheel is simple and straightforward. If there are custom colors you intend to use frequently, Inspire Pro provides slots for favorites so they can be quickly pulled up as needed.

The painting tools provided are a nice cross-section of brushes and there’s even a palette knife. Of course, all of these can be widened or narrowed as necessary, and the amount of paint loaded each time the brush is lifted can also be adjusted (and, in a nice touch, many of these advanced features can be turned off if unnecessary for a current project). Also wisely included are multiple undos and an erase function.

If there is any complaint I could level against Inspire Pro, it would be that I could not initially figure out how to access all of the tools. It took a bit of playing with the app to realize that you have to double tap on a canvas to edit it. This may seem second nature to some (and perhaps it should have to me) but it was a little frustrating at first. The app also assumes that you are painting with a brush and not, as you actually are, with your fingers. Thus, if you try to paint with more than one finger you wind up moving your painting around instead, as it cannot process multiple brush strokes at one time. This is a shame, and I’d like to see true multitouch painting incorporated into an update at some point.

These are minor, minor quibbles, however. Inspire Pro is a spectacular painting app for the iPad, and its price makes it even more enticing. Even those with more ability to appreciate art than create it, like me, will see the enduring value of an app like Inspire.



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

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