If you use SketchBook on your Android device, today is a big day with a big upgrade: SketchBook 4.0 for Android. If you don’t already have it downloading automatically, you can get it from the Google Play Store.
We’ve been diligently updating our apps across all platforms over the past year, moving our way closer to full feature parity. We see a lot of SketchBook subscribers who use our app across many different devices, but we also see plenty of others who use only Android to create their art. We’re the drawing app of choice for Android, and this new release is going to definitely solidify that. The new SketchBook 4.0 for Android has a ton of new things in it. In fact, it has all the features iOS 4.0 users have been enjoying since it was released in Spring.
A New Drawing Engine
You won’t see any big changes in the way the app works, but we overhauled the entire drawing engine in our app so that it will work the same across every platform. That is what has allowed us to improve feature parity. It will also help us release updates in a more synchronized manner going forward. Look for a giant 100 Megapixel Canvas, practically unlimited layer support, and a massive undo/redo stack. Over the last few years, Android devices have gotten a lot more powerful and can handle much larger files with tons of data in them. This new app is a lot speedier and can handle that ton of data. And, of course, it looks different.
Rapid UI: The “Two-Hand” Mode
You’ll definitely notice the new “clean-canvas” UI we call Rapid UI. We know it can be tough when app makers mess with your menus and toolbars, but we haven’t taken much away except a few unnecessary UI elements. We believe in keeping the interface elements out of your way, and the Rapid UI will stay hidden until you need it. Simply drop your non-dominant thumb on the screen to bring up the UI when you want it (tablets only). Try out the new center-bottom marking menu and get acquainted with those shortcuts. Even better: Run your stylus through one of the menus that sit on top of your canvas and watch it wink out of existence until you’ve passed through the menu entirely.
Brushes for Days
Now you have brush textures in addition to shapes. We loaded up 60 brand-new default brushes, which of course you can customize down to the tiniest detail. This is a huge increase in the number of brush options for Android, so be sure to play around with all those brushes and find a few new favorites.
Smart Assistive Technologies
In addition to the incredibly handy Scan Sketch we added previously to let you scan in line art while knocking out the background and 16-sector Radial Symmetry to help you quickly draw things that need geometric perfection, you’ll see a few more new assistive technologies in the app. You’ll notice a new Ruler and Ellipse Guide that you should definitely try out. You can draw ellipses in perspective by adjusting the position, size, rotation, and aspect ratio of the guides. It actually helps you draw better. You’ll never re-draw an ellipse thirty times again.
Other details of this kind of Predictive Stroke technology that are new to the app may change your life even more. It can help you draw circles but also shapes like rectangles and triangles. Don’t like all this help with your drawing? You can control it. Just dial down Predictive Stroke if you don’t need it, or dial it up if you are drawing a product sketch and want to work quickly and efficiently.
Plenty of Other Improvements
We always want to implement user requests, so if you asked for more color options or a more visible quick-flip-canvas option you will be happy to see it happened. Plus, we’ve made a better way to create time-lapse screen recording so you can show everyone how amazing that late-night drawing sesh turned out.