The App Store is a powerful storehouse of some of the best content creation apps for the iPad. Creativity is no more limited to the confines of ones “desktop” and neither does it require heavy equipment to get the job done. iPad’s large screen and the ease of performing complex functions on multitouch screen has resulted in some amazing innovation in mobile software.
iDraw for iPad is yet another example of a power-packed app that enables you to draw vector shapes or any kind of illustration on your tablet. A quick look at the set of features the developer, Indeeo, Inc., mentions in description and the history of updates speaks about their commitment towards adding new features and how the app has evolved to become the best vector drawing app for iPad.
If you’ve ever used any drawing or iWork app for the iPad you’ll feel completely at home with iDraw’s user interface. The canvas area can easily be customised to fit the nature of project you’re working on. The app comes with blank, gradient, image, grid, graph paper, blueprint, looseleaf, notepad and lined paper based templates for the canvas as options to choose from.
All the commonly used brush, transforming and shape tools are stacked on the left. On the top left you have icons to open inspector windows to set different properties of the selected object for example, changing the color, adding gradient, set the position numerically, modify or arrange object relative to other objects and much more. The app supports layers so if you’re working on a project that requires you to use layers iDraw has you covered.
The app features dedicated buttons for redo and undo which is very helpful as you don’t have to dig further into menus to find the often used buttons. Additionally, the developers have also added a dedicated drop down menu for common functions such as copy, paste, paste in place, delete, select all and select none. This may sound like a small feature but it saves a lot of time by not having to press and hold to select or paste all the time.
Path selection tool has different modes to select more than one points and also includes convert mode that converts a straight line into a curve. Once you’ve created a vector shape the next step is to fill color and this is where iDraw offers powerful gradient tools that enables to pick as many colors you want and set the transparency level for each. So, if you’re working with shadows or just need that perfect skyline the tools included in iDraw will help you achieve it.
It doesn’t stop just at vector drawing. Even if you wanted to use iDraw to create flowcharts or more measurement driven projects such as a floor plan or mockup for a website or iPhone app iDraw works very well for any kind of illustrative project. For such projects the app has a dedicated line style called “length” that automatically inserts the measurement of the area where the line is drawn. It is small details like these that make this app the best out there.
The developers have even included a shape library with shapes commonly used in floor plans, iPhone mockups, iPhone sketch, numbers and symbols. You can even add your own shape easily for using them again in another project. The app also features the ability to import custom fonts.
Masking a shape or text with image is also supported and you can also align text to a curved line. The brush strokes can be fine tuned in the brush editor to fit the perfect roundness, angle or diameter you’re looking for.
While creating different shapes I found the modify menu very helpful as it automatically allows you to combine two or more shapes in union, make them intersect, exclude or even divide or subtract them. This saves time as you can get the desired result by using these options rather than using multiples shapes and then having them to move front, backwards etc.
Another area when the app shines is the recently added inner shadow, inner glow and outer glow. The combination of these options with custom fill, stroke and drop shadow effects allow you to create the perfect vector shape for your project.
In order to help you get started with a project iDraw can import image, font files, vector PDF or even SVG files. You can import your files to iDraw by connecting through iTunes file sharing or use Dropbox.
Once your project is complete you can share it in PDF, SVG, PNG or JPEG format and choose to include or exclude background. The project can be exported to iTunes, sent via Email (option to export as iDraw file is also supported), send to another app, copy as image, save to photos, save to dropbox, print and even share on facebook or twitter.
The overall performance of the app is very impressive and the advanced set of features make iDraw the best vector drawing and illustration app for the iPad in the App Store. If you professionally create vectors then you will really enjoy working on the iPad using iDraw. However, if you’ve never tried drawing or creating vectors then the ease of use of iDraw will compel you to get creative and make something you thought you couldn’t.
What we like
- Advanced tool set
- Customisable canvas
- Good performance
- Export and Import features
What to know
- Not many video tutorials available