Normally photography apps like to keep away from encroaching on the features of art apps, and visa versa – it’s sort of an unspoken rule between the two similar areas. You won’t find the ability to edit photos or add filters on a drawing app, for instance. Similarly, there’s no way of adding adjustable brushes and colour wheels to a photo.
Draw! for Windows Phone 7 has broken the gentleman’s agreement in that it actually ends up being a better photo editing app than one dedicated to drawing. Or in other words, Draw! is exactly the opposite of what its name suggests.
Despite being a Windows Phone 7 app, there is a feeling that the interface hasn’t been designed with the format entirely in mind – the lower-portion of the screen dedicated to a scrollable toolbar that hides masses of options in not-so easy reach.
These options range from the traditional paint-brush settings, to the vitally important undo and redo buttons that can step back a good ten times before expiring.
Painting on screen is as simple as tap-and-dragging. It’s obvious from the out-set this portion of the app is aimed towards the younger generations rather than aspiring mobile artists, thanks to the range of ‘wacky’ preset brushes – including handprints and default rainbow colour – and lack of any ‘layers’ or equivalent.
However, while this side is perfectly well executed for kids and adults who are younger at heart, it’s the strangely fully-functional photo manipulation side that will most likely end up giving Draw! value in the long-run.
Alongside the easy import options to take photos either directly from the camera or from the saved images library, Draw! also comes with a wide range of adjustable filters – from swirls to punch and blur – that, oddly, have more editing options associated with them than the brushes themselves.
Resizing a punch, for instance, is performed by holding down both fingers on screen and tracing out the size. Impressively, these edits are also performed almost instantaneously, making a mockery of the more processor-intensive photo editing apps in the process.
Draw! is a strange app then – one that performs its advertised task in a decent fashion, yet also offers up a range of options other art and photo apps rarely match.
It’s not going to create an artist out of you, but it will provide a versatile toolset for improving pictures at a good price.