A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sketchbook Pro is a professional-level digital sketching tool for serious digital artists. Parents may want to start tweens and teens with Sketchbook Express, the free version of the app, to get a feel for some of the features, then upgrade to the pro version for more layers, brushes, and canvas sizes. The free version will suffice for many, but for teens who are serious about art, it's worth the upgrade. Tweens will need instruction to fully utilize the app. It's possible that some younger kids will enjoy the app, but there are many choices that are more targeted at their age and skill level. Teens can share their creations over email or social media. For kids using phones instead of tablets, there's a version of the app called Sketchbook Mobile.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
SKETCHBOOK PRO is a fully featured app with an arsenal of tools for creating digital art. Kids can choose brushes and colors, draw using mirror image, move and rotate and arrange objects, and work with layers. They can choose the resolution size to save creations. Teens can store works-in-progress and complete them later as well export their works (including PSD export) or share them over email or social media. There are some differences in features across platforms; for example, the iOS version of the app has a smudge tool while the Android version does not at the time of the review.
Is it any good?
Sketchbook Pro is a serious digital art tool not to be mistaken for the many simple drawing apps available. It is an excellent, professional-caliber tool designed by Autodesk, developers with a history of well-regarded apps for designers, engineers, and architects. The app offers tools available in the desktop version with the ease of a sketchbook on the tablet.
Teens familiar with the desktop version of Sketchbook Pro will pick up the tablet version with no problems, but others will require some instruction and exploration to get comfortable. The controls are exhaustive and intuitive, and maneuvering with both fingers and a stylus offers some ease in creation. The app does offer an option for pen only, which lets artists use the stylus without hand pressure registering on the screen, so teens can draw with precision. The options for tools, pens, and stamps are outstanding. Teens can pin their most-used tools to their canvas and reset them easily in the settings, making pinning tools for specific projects easy. It would be nice to see a few improvements (such as a select tool, and for the Android version, a smudge tool), but all in all, it's an excellent tool. Sketchbook Pro includes more tools than Procreate, another professional-level creation app, though not as many options for canvas-size and resolution.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows app
- Subjects: Arts: drawing, painting
- Skills: Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
Creativity: imagination, making new creations
- Price: Free trial; full version $4.99
- Pricing structure: Free to try
- Release date: March 11, 2013
- Category: Productivity
- Topics: Arts and Dance
- Size: 12.00 MB
- Publisher: Autodesk Inc.
- Version: 2.6
- Minimum software requirements: Android 2.0 and up; iOS 5.0 or later
- Last updated: November 17, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.