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If you're a creative soul armed with an iPhone, don't miss this! Stephanie Chu reviews two apps that might change the way you create imagery on-the-go.

Layers

What is it?
- An advanced drawing app for the iPhone and iPod touch with a clearly talented developer
- Set of 10 brushes that can change size, opacity and color
- A generous 30 levels of undo (and redo) history even if you leave the application
- Unique feature: Contains the ability to work with up to 5 layers. Files are compatible with Adobe Photoshop upon export to your computer.
- There is a free, supplemental Layers Replay Viewer that allows you to export and sync PSD or JPG drawings to your Mac up to a resolution of 4096x4096 pixels, or create Quicktime movies of your artwork from start to finish.
- If you don't want the extra software or don't like syncing, you can email your file.

Who is it for?
- Serious artists who embrace technology and desire to be creative on-the-go.

Who is it not for?
- Artists who naturally prefer traditional mediums, like pencils and ink on substrate.
- Casual doodlers who won't use the app often enough to warrant the cost.

If you're looking for something to play-tic-tac toe, try the free Whiteboard Lite: Collaborative Drawing app.

AppJudgment:
Download

Don't Download
Layers

Version 1.2 | Developed by J Benjamin Gotow | $5

PROS:
- Easy learning curve in understanding the UI
- The only app we found available with Layers PSD support
- Advanced brush size, color and style definitions
- Opacity settings for brushes and erasers
- Generous undo/redo history
- Easy export by email or sync
- Import images from photo library as a layer

CONS:
- No opacity settings for entire layers
- No vector drawing
- No blending modes or smudging
- Can't change canvas size
- Awkward to draw on an iPhone, even with zoom
- Not a replacement for Photoshop
- Only syncs with OS X, not Windows

It's hard to not be impressed with the possibilities of Layers and the all development that went on behind the scenes to create this type of workspace for mobile devices. Artists who embrace technology will love this without a doubt. But for the casual user, drawing with a finger on an iPhone will not be practical enough to warrant using this in the long run, despite the unique Layers feature. I'm all for having the ability to sketch on the go, but unfortunately I vote to not download Layers.

iPhone: Creative Apps

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

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