Linea Sketch’s mini-me includes most of its iPad sibling’s goodness

Price: $3/£3
Version: 1.0.1
Size: 23.7 MB
Developer: The Iconfactory
Platform: iPhone

Get Linea Go

There’s a kind of effortlessness about Linea’s iPad incarnation. It feels like a sketching app for the rest of us. All the tools can be displayed on-screen at once, and there are enough to unlock creativity, but not so many as to overwhelm. Linea Go for iPhone isn’t quite in the same ballpark – but it’s close, retaining a pleasing mix of power, elegance, and simplicity.

The main change on iPhone is simply down to the size of the screen. On iPad, you’re either scribbling in full-screen mode, or you can see all available tools at once – the color palette; the layers panel; and a brush selection. On iPhone, that would cover up too much of the canvas, and so you instead have a collapsible context-sensitive menu. This means getting at tools sometimes requires several taps, which can slow you down; but there’s no obvious alternate solution on a device of this size.

Fortunately, when you do start using the menus, they’re smartly conceived. Color selection squeezes into a relatively small space by having you choose a color and then – optionally – a shade. Multiple sets are included in the app, and you can save a custom palette too. The layers tool is also pretty great. You can define a background and a grid overlay, and work with five additional layers. Each of these has its own opacity setting, and you can import imagery to one if you fancy doing some tracing. Lurking in the corner and easy to miss is a scissors icon, used to make a freeform selection to transform.

As for the actual drawing bit, Linea Go is responsive, and has some nice ideas. For example, you can hold the screen after drawing a line, to snap it straight, rather than you having to drag your finger along an actual ruler and hope for the best. Pressure sensitivity is supported, although that’s not always a good thing – it can be quite tiring prodding the screen with the force required to get dark lines with the virtual pencils. (The pens are much friendlier.) Still, hopefully a setting will fix that snafu in an update.

With plenty of sharing and export options (including a presentation mode), Linea Go goes some way to scratching your sketching itch on an iPhone. It’s a great option whether you’re a jobbing artist looking for a sleek visual notepad for jotting down ideas, or a relative newcomer who wants something to get straight into, but with enough power to support you as your talent grows.

Linea Go – an app for sketching, wherever you are
  • Nicely designed toolset
  • Excellent layers system
  • Easy to get into
  • Pressure sensitivity is sub-optimal
  • Can be a touch fiddly
4.0Overall Score
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