Digital drawing that’s as easy as 1, 2, 3
Free Developer Pixite, assemblyapp.co Works with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad Version 1.0
Vector drawing is a powerful technique, but learning the tools is a right pain in the Bézier. Not with this app: you just arrange shapes like fuzzy felt. Unlike fuzzy felt, shapes in Assembly snap and align. You can flip and rotate them, and move them ‘forward’ or ‘backward’ to manage overlaps. Neat pictures emerge in minutes.
In the Styles tab, you set the colour and stroke for each shape and an optional soft shadow. Plenty of essential shapes are provided, including polygons, arcs and a moose. If you’re the kind of person who prefers Star Wars Lego to the proper kind, you can buy more shapes in themed packs (79p each, or £8.49 for the set).
The app is very thoughtfully designed to make everything simple, so building up pictures is gratifyingly easy. There are some limitations, though. Resizing objects is always proportional; you can’t stretch a square into a rectangle or a circle into an ellipse. You can group shapes, but you can’t cut out one from another, which is a big miss.
The dotted stroke options are a hidden gem, advanced enough to create some nice geometric patterns. It’s lovely that colours come in preset palettes, but we kept losing track of those we’d already used; you can’t copy them from existing shapes.
You can export your artwork as a high-resolution JPG or PNG image or, if you don’t mind sacrificing shadows, a scalable SVG. Editable projects can be emailed, which is good for backup as well as sharing. Adam Banks
Easy to get started
Snapping keeps it all neat
Get as complex as you like
Limited shape manipulation
Assembly is a bit fiddly for small children, but creatively rewarding for the rest of us, even on iPhone.
It’s fun and easy to build up your own drawings from the preset shapes.