About a year ago, Super Simple Draw started partnering with Trees for The Future to plant trees while drawings are made in the app. Since then, more than 40 thousand trees have been planted, thanks to the love and engagement from all the users of Super Simple Draw.

Snapshot of Super Simple Draw page on trees.org, April 21, 2021

Thursday 4/22 is the Earth Day, at the special moment we want to send our heartfelt appreciations to:

  • Trees for the Future, who provided this amazing program and actually got the tree planted.
  • Everyone who download Super Simple Draw to create beautiful things and delight to the world.
  • Other app developers who…

I’m proud to announce that the iOS version of Super Simple Draw is partially using SwiftUI in production. While some might dismiss this as a not-so-good idea citing SwiftUI being too new and potentially too risky for prime time. But with some adventurous mindset, trying this out is kinda fun.

While the benefits of SwiftUI are obvious and well documented, like more readable view layout code, declarative UI being less error-prone on state changes, etc. I’d share some lessons I learned on areas that are not so straightforward.

The part that I converted to SwiftUI is the app menu. And…

I wrote a drawing app named Super Simple Draw. By including “Super Simple” in its name I actually mean it. The main idea is to make it simple to draw, and the code behind it is also very basic.

For example, to allow undo, I just stored every stroke in an array, and undo means redrawing from the first stroke to the (N-1)th stroke. This is an easy implementation, and allows unlimited undo, but at times it could be slow, especially when there are too many strokes in one drawing.

So I started an optimization effort. What if the image…

Earlier this year Apple released a new operating system for the iPad called the iPadOS. One of the cool new features on iPadOS is the ability to open multiple windows from the same app. This is a cool new addition to Super Simple Draw.

For example, Super Simple Draw can be used as a lightweight todo list or daily planner. It can also be useful as a whiteboard or scratch paper for quickly sketching some ideas. Now with multiple windows, you can do one thing in one window and do the other in a new window. …

I found this app called Sketch a Day and now I got addicted to it.

It provides a prompt every day for everyone to draw. For example today it’s “drink”, so you draw a cup of coffee or something; yesterday it was “tourist”, so you draw one of the selfie-takers or some touristy places like Eiffel tower. You get the idea.

What is nice about it is the community. After you draw (either digitally, or snap of photo of a physical drawing), you post the picture to this app. Then people give likes and supportive comments to each other. Users…

Initially I built Super Simple Draw when I was amazed by how good the Apple Pencil is, its precision, response speed, etc. So naturally it was designed for the iPad. Then over time, I found my own use case to shift more and more towards everyday random/quick note jotting, rather than serious drawing. E.g. using it as a day planner as documented in this blog post, or as a grocery shopping checklist, or as a scratchpad to figure out an algorithm, or just very casual note taking in a meeting.

It then became clear that this app should be also…

At work, I found that productivity can be improved by having a planner: start one in the morning, stick to it throughout the day, and review it before I go home. It minimizes distractions, helps me to choose an optimized sequence, and whenever I cross off a task that’s done, it gives an extra boost in mental energy to move forward.

I’ve tried doing that in note-taking apps (many of them supports to-do lists, e.g. Dropbox Paper, Google Keep, Apple Notes), and lighter weight task management tools (e.g. Trello, coda.io). …

Although iPad is the best device if you are aiming for the highest quality digital artwork, it doesn’t mean you can’t draw with iPhone.

Here are some cases for iPhone drawing

  • You always have it with you. It’s like iPhone camera vs DSLR/professional camera. Sure the latter is better, but sometimes beautiful scenes/ideas don’t last. You might just want to use whatever tool you have right now.
  • You don’t need a desk. It’s easier to use one hand to hold the phone and draw with the other. Harder with the heavier tablet.
  • You won’t shoot for perfection. Less pressure and…

1 thing I learned during the vacation was that Super Simple Draw can be really useful when playing board/card games with friends and family.

Just a few examples:

Scrabble — Super Simple Draw is the perfect tool for noting down scores for each player.

Clue — With the ability to draw freely, you can design your elimination table however you want, and beat your opponents with efficiency enhanced by creativity.

Avalon — Similar to Clue, except that nothing is certain. I usually note down which group of people voted what for each round and assign some probability based on that.

Each one of the major iPad drawing apps try to mimic the real drawing tools like pencil, pen, marker, oil paint, pastel, watercolor, acrylic, airbrush, etc. Some of those apps, like Art Set, did some really amazing job on the simulation.

On the other hand, Super Simple Draw didn’t aim to simulate the real drawing media. Because it is meant to be super simple, and the real drawing tools are sophisticated. It would be hard for someone without formal training to feel comfortable with the real oil paint. …

Bao Lei

Maker Super Simple Draw, learn more at: draw.theiosapp.com

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