Concepts Android Beta First Look

So it took only 2 days, a fair few less than I had originally anticipated, for TopHatch to send the beta review invites out to those who initially signed up for the beta test.

I have used the feature laden version of iOS, the 1.0 and current patched version on Windows, and now this beta test.Safe to say, TopHatch know what their core app experience is, and they are keen on delivering that in as smooth and seamless way possible to Android users.

I should note that I am testing this on an older Galaxy Tab S3, and not on a more modern device. This personally gives me an interesting insight into how a device with an older Snapdragon 820 Quacore CPU at 1.6gh, a 2048×1536 Display (which stil holds up great against modern tablets and iPads I should comment), 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage with a 64GB Micro SD card – the app is installed to internal storage).

When you load the app, you are greeted with their default loading screen, in this case in the beta, it shows you your Drawings for that board. You can create a new board by pressing the plus button in the top right (at the time of this initial hands-on for the 0.4.9 version, there is no way to remove these board – so I have 3 boards Im currently not using taking up space), and you have pinch to zoom in or out to get a larger or smaller view of the board and what is on it. Once you are loaded within the drawing of your choice or you have made the new page you want to illustrate on, the familiar circular pen selector tool and a minimal UI is presented.

The Pen tool is as you would expect and loads a preset number of brushes and colours in the free version, and argulable the most pleasing function in the entire app, the colour swatch picker.This is the best looking animation and modal I have seen on an app, and is well translated across the app ecosystem on to android. Loading the swatch is smooth and selecting colours or just spinning the wheel to change colours is also aesthetically enjoyable.

Layers are also controlled here as well with the standard option to select individually what layers to edit on or edit the entire layer set directly.  You can also adjust the zoom and filters here too.

The app similarly has paid packages modes for more options for its Windows and iOS Counterparts. This adds more layer options, export options, feature enhancements and more brushes.
The packages from previous purchases aren’t transferable so if you are coming from another platform and using ChromeOS/Android to substitute an iPad, unfortunately you will need to pay again.

Overall, the app’s performance is consistent and decent on older hardware. So you don’t need to fork out huge dollars for the latest and greatest. I am no means an artist, but for what I do use apps like Concepts for, it suits my needs and does so very well.
This app is slowly giving me massive hope to a continuing future of better apps on Android and ensuring a smooth tablet experience on ChromeOS as it also grows into a more commercially available platform on better hardware, available in more countries and carries over these decent Android apps over onto the platform as well.

Once 1.0 comes out, there will be a full review posted.

Sam Toohey Written by:

Sam is a self taught Developer, focusing on Web Technologies and E-Commerce. He is also an avid writer, blogger and gamer. You can commonly see Sam toying around with web technologies or working on his Podcast, Markup.

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