Concepts, the popular Sketching and Drafting App on iOS, comes to Windows

Windows users Rejoice! One of the best vector graphics and illustration tools on iOS is now available on the Windows Store!
This app has been a mainstay on my iPad since it came out, and I have been a pro customer for over a year or so.
Concepts can be flexible in what your use-case if you want to make mindmaps or project maps, flowcharts or business diagrams? Concepts can do it.
if you want to draw art or illustrations? Concepts can do it (like the main image above – that’s from the default opening screen on Windows). Concepts is so Flexible for a graphic artist or a business use that the app has seen so many consistent updates and improvements over the years that it’s still retaining a high score on the App Store. The developers have added excellent Apple Pencil support and the iOS app can output to a variety of formats for maximum compatibility with Desktop apps. 

In a move that I personally wouldn’t have expected, Concepts is now available on Windows 10 through the Microsoft Store. Over some of the years, we have seen developers either choose to stay with the Apple Ecosystem and make their App available on the Mac App Store or choose to keep it mobile and port it to Android. 

There are plenty of scenarios where the porting this to Windows 10, shouldn’t happen. There is already a myriad of bad apps on the Windows Store and developers aren’t exactly jumping to develop on Microsoft’s App Store.
But, I believe there is always a means for change, and I like to think that with Concepts Developer TopHatch could pave the way for other high-quality developers to bring their apps to the windows store.

The App Features similar functions to the iPad app, with a gorgeous swatch UI for colour changing and brush alternations, and then the other primary and secondary settings like adding text, the settings and export menus are buried in a hamburger menu at the top left of the screen.
The iOS app does have a small sidebar that can be displayed to quickly adjust settings and brush types, add different input styles and add the blocks or stickers from their own in-app purchase store.

The App has full support for the Surface Pen and Surface Dial, as well as offering Palm Rejection and smooth tracking for the stylus. 
It seems that this app was built for Surface Devices first, and then other Windows Slates second.
The main competitive advantage that this app has over other Windows Store illustration apps like Sketchable and Autodesk Sketchbook is the pace and quality of the app updates. I subscribe to the Concept App email updates and this is where I first found out about the update, and every time they do an update (monumental or iterative) the quality to the updates are consistent. I have used desktop competitors like Affinity Designer and Adobe Illustrator on the Desktop and they’re both well-established however with no App Store variants that are decent, they stand to remove themselves from something like the education market that may not want to use full-blown Windows 10.

The Concepts App has full Surface Pen support

On the topic of Windows 10S, this app (and others) also stands to improve the paultry landscape of the Apps for Windows 10S users. The newly announced Surface Go and Surface Laptop still come out of the box with Windows 10S installed (you can update to Windows 10S for free),  but for the Education market who is actively purchasing iPad Pros and Chromebooks and want flexibility to run traditional Windows programs or may want to in the future, or students who may not be able to afford $1500 AUD for a MacBook or pricer Surface product, leave little decent options for a 2 in 1 to draw and work on for a Portable Laptop solution.
The Surface Go combined with something like Concepts can be a tempting solution, especially if you later look to a professional upgrade and then grab something like a Surface Pro or a Surface Book. 

Apps like iTunes on the Microsoft Store, Linux distros, Trello, Slack and 1Password are a few examples of decent Windows Store apps that are solid ports of their desktop counterparts, and hopefully, more developers can follow suit of TopHat and port their apps to the Windows Store. I would love to see something like Affinity Designer or even Sketch on the Windows Store. 

You can download Concepts 1.0 for Windows here from their website or from the Microsoft Store

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.

2 Comments

  1. August 9, 2018
    Reply

    Halleluia! I just downloaded this for my Surface Pro 2017. The Windows version of Concepts has a limited feature set right now, but I immediately purchased the Basic Pack for $10, and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of greater feature parity with the iOS verison, especially the ability to export in more formats other than png and jpg.

    I love Concepts on the iPad, but I don’t have the iPad Pro with pencil, so I have never fully utilized the drawing potention of the iOS version. (The Surface Pro is my main art-making device.) I think what these developers have created is truly magnificent. I hope they have enough success with the Windows store to make continued development worth it!

    • Sam Toohey
      August 12, 2018
      Reply

      I’m Glad there is someone out there who also appreciates this app! Im a Pro subscriber on the iPad but im also waiting with baited breathe for the windows version to catch up 🙂

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