Autodesk made their name and their fortune on AutoCAD, arguably the most well-known CAD software on the planet. They added to their product portfolio over the years, through clever R&D and through judicious acquisitions. I never thought of them as players in the app market.
This week I was looking for a quick and easy sketching app. I found one called Jot!, which works very well. (I think the exclamation point on the name is stupid, but everybody else likes it...) I'm increasingly pleased with it - the more I use it, the more I like it. It's simple and it's well executed. It's uncluttered. It's fast. It has some limitations, but for the purposes of brainstorming and doing quick sketches, it's fine.
|A Jot! screenshot. Yes, it really is that simple.|
Jot! comes in three flavors:
- Jot! for iPhone, $2.99
- Jot! for iPad, $4.99
- Jot!Free for iPad
- SketchBook Mobile, $0.99 for iPhone/iPod Touch
- SketchBook MobileX, free for iPhone/iPod Touch ("X" for "Express")
- SketchBook Pro, $7.99 for iPad
- SketchBook Express, free for iPad
The "Express" versions of SketchBook go far beyond Jot!'s simple capabilities. I like both Jot! and SketchBook. They were written for different purposes: Jot! for simple sketching tasks, and SketchBook for serious artistic creation. There is considerable overlap between the two.
The SketchBook user interface takes some getting used to - about ten minutes the first time you use it, and about two minutes every time after that. That's not much. Serious artists may be frustrated by the limitations of the software, which are naturally dictated by the limitations of the hardware. Eh again. Go find a real Mac with a full-size screen.
|A SketchBook screenshot. The real thing looks a lot better than this.|
Jot! is from a two-person company called Tabula Rasa Labs. I know it's not even fair putting them in an article alongside Autodesk. That's like putting a jet ski in a photo next to a cabin cruiser - or an aircraft carrier. Honestly, I sat down to write an entry extolling the virtues of SketchBook Pro, and Jot! just kept working its way into the article. So even though the title of this entry is "One great app," I'm not averse to endorsing two great apps which, on the surface, do pretty much the same thing but which, after a closer look, are vastly different in scale and horsepower. I say get 'em both.
p.s. Remember, I'm not a shill. My opinions are not for sale. I only write what I feel like writing. See my "blogging for dollars" entry if you're not sure you believe me.