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Jun 14 2015 - 08:00 PM
Think Kit

FiftyThree, Inc.’s well-liked Paper, the free iOS app for exportable drawing, mind-mapping, and note-taking recently released version 2.5.1 (already now 2.5.3) with a fundamental addition: Think Kit. This iPad sketchpad marketed to creative businesspeople now offers features beyond Paper’s several virtual free-form drawing or painting styluses.

The three-tool Think Kit allows users to diagram shapes, fill custom spaces with color, and cut image pieces to move them or to duplicate. What FiftyThree calls its Intention Engine provides the technology that Think Kit’s Diagram feature uses to recognize user-drawn "shapes" and turn them into standardized shapes (circles, triangles, rectangles, etc.) for more expedient, recognizable, sharper graphs or models. The Fill tool, a variation on a theme as old as Microsoft Paint, not only turns outlined and enclosed spaces bright but allows users to draw pre-filled, customized color spaces with a single continuous stroke. A Cut feature rounds out the Think Kit in making all design work moveable, duplicable, or discardable within user-generated selections of cuttable space.


Think Kit’s three major functions amplify the basic draw-and-sketch capabilities existent in earlier Paper versions. The simplicity and quickness of these new features are impressive for the quality of the functions they enable on screen, which may make them especially useful to the "fail fast, fail cheap" business audience to which FiftyThree appears to cater most directly.


One minor downfall of Think Kit’s Cut tool is a symptom of its living in two-dimensional space, and its inability to separate distinct images by layers. Where in Adobe Photoshop, for example, a user can select and move one shape without taking distinct shapes or colors that exist behind or in front of it, Paper’s Think Kit cutting tool is much more basic; cuts take all that occurs within a user’s selection. Users need to be conscious of creating shapes apart and moving them together, rather than creating them together before trying unsuccessfully to move them apart.

Our Takeaway:

Drawing and sketching apps for the iPad are in no short supply. Paper can count itself among them as a clean, tight, simple alternative to some more complex and precise tools. Think Kit’s improvements on Paper are just as simple and useful. Cut and Fill features are eminently functional and the Diagram feature is a real treat, producing quick shapes that are oddly nice to look at. One will have trouble imagining Paper without them.

Image: via Think Kit

|By: Jacob Albert|714 Reads