Their respective suites are standards of the industry and the enterprise, so for many Mac users, they are must have apps. That requirement doesn’t stop me from looking around for viable, more affordable, and capable replacements. Here’s one that’s like a mini-Illustrator.
Graphic Is As iDraw Did
The latest version of the popular iDraw app for Mac and iPhone is now owned by design tools giant AutoDesk and is called Graphic. One of the benefits of a giant sugar daddy publishing company is the ability to upgrade all iDraw users to the latest version, slap a new name on it, and call it a day.
Graphic is a somewhat lightweight vector drawing and illustration app which I lovingly refer to as Illustrator Lite. Most of the basic vector drawing tools you think you need are there, and Graphic is a good entry-level toolset that rivals Illustrator at the low end of the user scale.
The basics are there. Shape tools, brushes, pencils, Bezier Pen, compound paths, eraser, scissor, and layers.
Plus, there are more tools for text and styles, and enough accuracy, rulers, smart guides, and units to be a drafting tool, and all the modern elements from CMYK colors to scripting, plus OS X basics; Retina, Handoff, Autosave, GPU acceleration, Quick Look, and much more.
As much as any other feature, I appreciate
iDraw’s Graphic’s single-window toolset. I just don’t like tool palettes floating all over the place. Like Illustrator, Graphics toolset is so broad and flexible that it can be used for drawings and illustrations, but also technical designs, schematics, and floor plans.
Just between you and me, I don’t think Adobe has figured out exactly how to do business on iPhone or iPad. Despite publishing a number of flagship named apps on iOS, and cutting the price tag down as far as zero, most of the Adobe apps are somewhat crippled versions of the real thing that runs on Windows and Mac.
Graphic’s iPad app looks, feels, and works much like the Mac version and files are compatible between devices. While the iOS version has a price tag, it’s nominal compared to the power that comes in the app. I hesitate to call Graphic an entry-level graphic design and illustration app because it probably has most of the tools that even many professionals use, but it’s remarkably affordable.
That means Graphic is available on Mac, iPad, and, yes, iPhone. Make sure to use the iPhone 6s Plus. It will be interesting to see how AutoDesk moves Graphic into the coming iPad Pro ecosphere with Apple Pencil and all the touch capability built in to the new Pro screen.
If you can’t afford Illustrator, or find it’s just too complex and cumbersome to use, Graphic comes highly recommended; it gets updated frequently, and has a remarkable reputation.