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Review: new Procreate Pocket app

per Rodrigo Takehara

O Procreate (from Savage Interactive) one of the most popular drawing and painting apps for iPads.


Procreate app icon

No wonder, since the app has a simple and dynamic interface while having professional and powerful tools. Nowadays this is practically mandatory, since the competition is strong. On one side we have Windows Surface, which loves or hates runs Adobe Photoshop CC and has highly accurate pens; on the other, we have powerful apps like Paper by FiftyThree and SketchBook (from Autodesk).

The iPhone, on the other hand (with its small screens of 3.5 and 4 inches), has never been much used as painting apps, boiling down to a few options besides Brushes and SketchBook Mobile. But with the arrival of the iPhones 6/6 Plus and its screens exaggeratedly? large, the range of possibilities has also grown.

Thinking about it, the SI people decided to create their second painting app: the Procreate Pocket.


Procreate Pocket app icon

Just like its bigger brother, the app has powerful tools like various brushes and erasers, layers, precise color adjustments, blur and opacity, color picker and distortion, in addition to a beautiful, simple and practical interface, completely rethought for the screens smaller (and average) iPhones.

Pros and cons

The almost complete app. The brushes are as good as the ones for the iPad version, which support textures, have a quick response, allowing the import of new brushes, either via AirDrop, iCloud, Dropbox, downloading in Safari or receiving by email. However, you cannot edit and customize the brushes. You can do this on the iPad and import it to the iPhone, but you can't do it natively on the iPhone and for that, of course, you need to have or buy Procreate for iPads.

The brush size and opacity adjustments can be easily accessed from the sides of the interface, but because it is so easy I accidentally tightened these adjustments instead of drawing. Perhaps, on an iPhone 6 Plus, the discomfort is not so great.

The app supports only two drawing resolutions: the device's native (so it varies from device to device) or 4K. There are great resolutions and you can work around the problem by exporting everything to the Camera Roll and cutting to any other format there. But this is nowhere near the ideal world.

The app is also not compatible with styli smart devices like Intuos (from Wacom) and Jot Touch (from Adonit), which have shortcut buttons, pressure sensitivity and Bluetooth connectivity.

The layer options, such as blending, selection, transformation and distortion modes, are impeccable, worthy of any professional image editor like Photoshop! You can add, duplicate, change opacity, lock transparency, use the camera or Camera Roll to create a new layer (great for references), replace colors and various blending options (like multiply, screen, overlay, etc., great for working with lines, colors and shading separately).

As with the iPad, Procreate Pocket records the entire design process and creates a timelapse in video that can be exported at any time to the Camera Roll, from where you can take it to iMovie and put your texts and music at will.

See a demo of the app:

Completed

I found Procreate Pocket great for starting drafts and sketching ideas on buses, cafes and other places and then exporting to iPad or Mac (the app exports to Photoshop with layers, opacity and options intact) and finish with more precision. And if you like to scribble, edit and retouch, it's worth every penny!

It is worth mentioning that the developers are very active, constantly improving, fixing bugs and adding features, and that many of the cons here may, in time, disappear. They already mentioned the intention to support more styli in the future (as well as a future version for Macs and curious to mention that they have no interest in developing for Android), and things like editing brushes and custom resolutions are my personal bets which I believe will arrive soon.