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Here are the ones I”˜ve discovered. I examined them based on ease of use, included features, and the smoothness of their brushes and other tools.
Draw For iPad [iTunes link]
Draw is simple and aptly named, and is among the best free doodling software I have tested. The one single and unique feature that Draw has are undo and redo buttons as part of its menu bar. I examined both free and paid sketch iPad apps and most of them don’t have these simple editing buttons. In some other apps, if you make a mistake, you have to clear the entire slate and start again.
The other features of Draw include simple little game templates for Tic-tac-toe, an ABC word game, and dots.
The simple drawing feature includes nine different color pencils. The line brushes are smooth and the collection of pencils remain in the menu bar for easy accessibility.
You can save drawings to your Saved Images folder in the iPad”˜s Photo app. You can also email or share sketches through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. One other unique feature is the ability to tweet your sketches to your Twitter account.
You can’t change the stroke size of the pencils and there is no vector art included, but for a simple free sketch pad, Draw serves its purpose pretty well.
Draw it! FREE [iTunes link]
If you’re wanting an app that is about as simple and straight forward as Draw, then Draw It might fit your needs. It doesn’t have the advanced features that Draw has, but you can change the size and colors of the brush strokes.
You can also change the background color or add a photo from your Photos collection.
The export options for Draw it include emailing and saving sketches to your Saved Images folder. There is no undo button. It says to shake your device in order to erase, but that didn’t work for me. Plus, shaking the iPad is not like shaking the iPhone or iPod touch. Comparatively, it’s like lifting weights. So the “shake to undo” option is not a good one for the iPad.
That’s pretty much it for Draw It. It’s not a robust app, but it”˜s simple and direct to use.
Adobe Ideas 1.0 [iTunes link]
When Adobe produces an app for the iPad and it’s free, there’s little reason not to download it.
Adobe Ideas also contains the similar tools described above, but the strokes of its varied colored brushes ends up much smoother than the other two apps. When you’re drawing and writing with the brush, the lines appear jagged but after you lift your finger the lines and strokes smooth out.
Adobe Ideas also contains a move tool, but instead of moving around individual paintings, it moves the entire canvass, creating more room.
Its other menu features include the ability to layer drawings, similar to how you use layers in Photoshop, and to import a photo as a background layer onto the canvas.
It includes an eraser tool but no delete or clear all tool. And like the other apps you can save projects within the app or email them. There’s no option to post projects to your Twitter or Facebook account.
This is the initial version of this app, and no doubt Adobe will be adding more features in the near future. For now, it’s a useful free drawing tool for the paper-plus size screen of the iPad.
That’s it for free sketch pad apps for the iPad. There are several other paid apps ranging from .99 cents to $7.99. For free, the above apps are adequate for most general users’ needs. They’re great for quick simple handwritten notes, doodling, and letting your children sketch and paint on your iPad. As with many iPad apps in the App Store, apps are being updated to deal with bugs and other issues, but overall I found these free apps pretty stable. None of them of crashed on me.
Let us know in the comments which app you prefer.