Sketch n Draw Pad HD 2.0 Review

This interesting drawing app for Android isn't so much ad-supported as ad-dominated.

Sketch n Draw Pad HD is a free drawing app for Android devices. With a variety of brushes, effects, and other drawing tools, it's a neat, little tool for drawing and painting, editing photos, and other basic image editing chores. It's free, but it's supported by Airpush ads. In the end, the ads are just too persistent and annoying to keep this app. That's a shame because Sketch n Draw Pad HD has potential. We tried it in a Samsung Galaxy S3 running Android 4.1.1.

Sketch n Draw Pad HD doesn't let you in on the adware it installs until you're forced to accept or decline the installation. It is with great trepidation that we allowed Airpush ads, but for our money (OK, it's freeware) the banner ads are far less annoying than the way the app opens an ad page and your browser every time it opens, not to mention adding yet another shortcut to yet another free app. But we finally arrived at Sketch n Draw's blank page. We tapped the Settings to open the app's tools menu, which offered the basics: Brushes, Color, Undo, Clear, Save, and Share. We tapped Brushes and received a menu with lots of choices, including Simple, Sketchy, Eraser, Squares, Grid, Fur, and even Longfur. We opened the Simple brush and began to draw with our fingers. The effect is natural, even fun. But the brushes aren't pressure-sensitive, so you can't make lighter or darker (or thinner or wider) lines by varying your touch; nor does there seem to be a manual method for changing brush width. We'd like to see a narrow palette-style toolbar with expanded brush options added to this interesting but incomplete tool.

Let's be clear: We like Sketch n Draw Pad HD, but it needs both more and less: more features and control, but fewer ads. Better yet would be a premium version with more tools and no ads. As it stands, Sketch n Draw's free app is more trouble than it's worth.

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