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Sketchbook 4.0 for Android review

Any Android owners who feel a sense of competition with their iPad-wielding counterparts may be slightly irked that SketchBook 4.0 is only appearing on their platform months after it launched on iOS. But set any irritation aside, and you’ll discover a compelling update with features artists looking for Android apps will appreciate.

Chief among these is a revamped user interface that stays out of your way as you work. It vanishes if your brushstrokes veers near one of its tool panels, and many interface elements are reduced in scale. This makes some controls, like the drawers for adjusting Brush size and Opacity, a little fiddly to access, however. Tap near the centre-bottom of the screen, meanwhile, and a menu with shortcuts appears.

Complicated pricing

When you first install SketchBook, it’s the Free edition, with limited functionality but no time limit on how long you can use it. To unlock the full toolset, you have two options: you can either spend £4.09 on the Pro Tools in-app purchase, which gives you the tools only within the Android app; or get an annual SketchBook subscription (£4.09 a month or £24.99 a year). The subscription must be renewed each year, unlike the in-app purchase, but you get access to the full tools on the versions of SketchBook for Windows, Mac and iOS as well as Android. 

Shibuya Race was created by artist Ryohei Yamashita using SketchBook

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