POWERFUL, PORTABLE, PAINT STUDIO.
$7.99 | procreate.art
PROCREATE POCKET HAS long been considered one of the best painting and sketching apps for the iPhone, but it’s been a couple of years since its last update, so version 2.0 has been long awaited. It’s a major upgrade, too, with a new graphics engine that uses Apple’s Metal software to improve performance. The app ran very smoothly on an iPhone 7, handling a variety of complex brush styles and effects without any hint of delay, so you can experiment to your heart’s content when inspiration hits you. Version 2.0 doesn’t work with Apple Pencil — that option’s only available on the more expensive iPad version of Procreate — but it does support 3D Touch on recent iPhones, which provides a degree of pressure sensitivity when you’re painting with a finger or stylus. And as with previous versions, you still have the freedom to modify brush styles, changing settings such as the shape, size and opacity of the brush strokes, and to use layers to separate different elements within your artwork.
These complex settings might be daunting for novice artists, but the program does provide some help for people who just want to draw a few quick sketches. Simply tap on the tabs at the side of the screen and you can quickly adjust the size and opacity of the brush. There are also some simple filter effects, such as Gaussian Blur, Sharpen and Noise, which can be applied with a quick swipe of your finger.
The app’s time-lapse features have been improved as well, with the option of creating a 30-second video to show off your artwork on social media, while professional users gain the ability to export videos in full 4K resolution.
But this is where Version 2.0 reveals a few rough edges. The app’s interface still seems to be a work in progress, and we had trouble locating some features because the illustrations in the manual differed from the actual app. The manual also ignores some features altogether (including the time-lapse option), so the developers could do more to introduce newbies to the app’s key features. It’s worth persevering, though, since Procreate Pocket provides a powerful and versatile array of painting features for those on iOS.