Is Photoshop Sketch Free?

Yes. Photoshop Sketch is an entirely free app that is compatible both with Apple and Android devices. Although all the functionalities become immediately available right after installation, there is an optional in-app purchase of 20GB storage space on the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Adobe Photoshop Sketch is literally one of the most popular drawing apps in the market today. While it has some strong competition coming from Procreate and Autodesk SketchBook, the fact that most artists are already used to Photoshop’ traditional layout and workflow gives Adobe an edge over its competitors.

Is Photoshop Sketch a Good Drawing App?

To be honest, I’ve used Photoshop for nearly two decades and I’m naturally drawn to its familiar features. I love how the tools work similarly to the desktop edition and how this characteristic alone virtually eliminates the learning-curve.

That said, as an artist and as someone who writes about art-related subjects on a daily basis, I have forced myself to give different apps a try so that I can fairly talk about them here.

To my surprise, I found out that although Photoshop Sketch is indeed a great app and delivers exactly what you would expect from something developed by the almighty Adobe, it’s not as good as other apps in certain aspects.

Which Photoshop Sketch Characteristics Are Better Than Other Apps?

  1. Reliability
  2. Familiarity
  3. Consistency

The biggest advantage Photoshop Sketch has is, without a doubt, reliability. While other very popular apps can be faster and more intuitive, Adobe has mastered the quality-control side of app development.

It took the company much longer than expected to release this app and for a while I thought they simply wouldn’t bother creating something specifically for mobile devices. In reality, Adobe was busy making sure that Photoshop Sketch would be a bug-free app that would hit the ground running and become an actually useful application for professional artists.

Together with a reliable core that seems to never crash, Adobe has maintained the look and feel of the good old Adobe Photoshop we’re all used to.

The consistency goes beyond the looks of the interface, but it’s also reflected on the tools’ behavior, such as the paint brush, the pencil, the eraser and so on.

Where Does Photoshop Sketch Fail?

  1. Innovation
  2. Workflow

Although Photoshop Sketch is not necessarily an innovative app, there are good reasons for this. Since Adobe was late for the mobile app race, the company decided to adopt a more conservative approach.

They thought it would be better to please the millions of users that are already in love with the original Photoshop instead of trying to create something entirely new in order to compete against modern alternatives such as Procreate.

Illustration made in Procreate
Illustration made in Procreate

You see, Procreate did not have to follow any pre-established rules, there were no expectations behind its development process. The company was free to create everything from scratch, with the sole goal of making the best possible drawing app in the world. And they have arguably reached their goal.

Nowadays, most illustration videos you see on Instagram are made with the iPad + Procreate combo. Younger artists dream about getting an iPad not only because of its amazing specs, but for the fact that Procreate only works on Apple devices.

The biggest disadvantage Photoshop Sketch has in relation to Procreate has to do with workflow. While Adobe’s app has an outstanding workflow that everybody is used to, Procreate created something entirely different, a super intuitive interface that was developed with a mobile-first mentality.

Drawing with Procreate on an iPad is simply more fun than drawing with Photoshop Sketch.

That said, Adobe is the strongest player in the drawing software industry and I’m sure they will work tirelessly to get to the top when it comes to mobile apps as well.

Conclusion

Photoshop Sketch is definitely one of the best drawing apps out there and is unquestionably a tool I would recommend for professionals and hobbyists who enjoy drawing directly on tablet.

For those who have an iPad, I would strongly recommend giving Procreate a shot, although it’s not a free app, it’s worth every penny it costs.

Thank you for reading and, please, leave a comment!

Bruno Santos

Hi! My name is Bruno. I'm a web developer/designer based in Toronto, Canada. I've been working with drawing tablets for over 20 years and I'm among the Top 10 Most Viewed Writers on Quora in the Graphics Tablets category. Do you have any questions? Just leave a comment =)

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