Opening Doors for Infinite Creativity
Sketching on Concepts' infinite canvas. Artwork by Lasse Pekkala.
Concepts has had a huge year filled with giant milestones and we want to share them with you in thanks for all of your conversation, on-target feedback and support. Thank you enormously for cheering us on. Thank you for sharing your stories and giving us motivation to build an app that can open doors for your best ideas.
You might have noticed we are on three platforms now - iOS, Windows 10, and Android & Chrome OS. While there’s some balance work that goes into this, so far we’re handling both the massive feature request load and development expectations quite gracefully. We are, in fact, making flying leaps as we go (see below).
Development is fast and furious across our small team and to reward the progress, we were highlighted as App of the Day by Apple, featured for the Windows Surface launch, awarded Best Creative App of 2019 by the Samsung Galaxy Store, and given a Google Play Best of 2019 award in the Fun category. These are high honors and we can’t thank you enough for your confidence.
That said, we know we have a ways to go to bring our Windows and Android versions up to speed while continuing solid development on Concepts for iOS. What did we accomplish this year on each platform and what is coming?
Concepts for iOS
The Slice Tool in Concepts for iOS.
iOS is our deep homebase. We've enriched Concepts with new features, updated tech so we stay cutting edge with Apple, and uncounted tweaks to app code and servers to keep your creative experience polished and undisturbed. This year, Concepts on iOS grew with:
Presentation Mode. We built this straight into the app for big screen sharing of ideas, notes and conversations. Concepts' infinite canvas is a winner for whiteboarding, team talks and class lectures via your iPad. Communication is what sketching is all about.
Slice. Long asked-for on the feature list, this tool trims, cuts and destroys vector path data. It acts nearly like a traditional eraser but also has the capacity to slice vectors into separate editable pieces, even at a zero point width.
Metal Graphics. Our six month long project to incorporate Apple’s new graphics API doubled our app's efficiency and performance, kept us on par with Apple’s pacing, and paved the way for upcoming snappy features (oh yes).
Dark Mode. With iOS 13 and iPadOS came the ability to work in the dark. Possibly even with your eyes closed. The Gallery updates automatically when you switch your device setting to Dark Mode, while the canvas adapts to your workspace settings.
New Brushes and Objects. Royalty-free and useful for all project types, our designers put a lot of effort into making sure these are professional quality before sharing them in app. Check out David Clynk's latest People in Elevation objects and perspective tutorial.
Upcoming on iOS
While there are a number of features on the priority list, number one is iCloud Sync. This will be available in a couple months. It's a big project and doing it right is more important than doing it fast. Look forward to auto-syncing your work in the Cloud and enjoying easy access to your drawings via other devices.
Concepts for Windows, Android & Chrome OS
Concepts files on the Google Pixelbook and Windows Surface are compatible.
Our Windows and Android versions of Concepts grew from vector sketching embryo into a working creative tool for multiple project types. We made tons of progress building out the engine for each platform, and adding features you can’t do without. Slow as it may sometimes seem, the progress we accomplished here in one year took us five with iOS. Your support is making this happen.
Image imports. Import images for references and tracing.
Gallery. Organize drawings and manage your projects.
Live stroke smoothing. Not only does this polish the shakiest stroke, you have to try the instant straight lines with 100% smoothing. Create fast freehand diagrams, graphs and layouts.
Color Picker. Choose colors from imported images and swatches, and remember colors from your drawing. Here's how to use it.
Grids. Combine various grid underlays with 100% smoothing for quick layouts, object and architectural sketches.
SVG export. Create vector files for web graphics or for use in other editors like Illustrator. (Note that other apps don’t support textured brushes or masks, so stick with the Wire and Fixed Width pens and the Slice tool for SVG work.)
Slice. Our vector eraser lets you trim, incise and edit the path data of your sketch.
Nudge. The Nudge tool transforms your line work into string - poke, pull and drag your sketch around the canvas.
Upcoming on Windows, Android & Chrome OS
We are actively working on giving you powerful artboards for your projects. Concepts’ artboards are customizable at any time in your creative process and let you export exactly what you need. They also pave the way for PDF export, measurement, scale and other precision features. We know these are important to your professional workflows and you can look forward to them coming soon.
Tap the search field and type in your question.
To help you master Concepts more easily, our content team worked to consolidate all of Concepts’ educational materials into one place. If you head to concepts.app/support and choose your platform (iOS, Windows or Android), you’ll find a lovely Search field where you can type any question and find every answer we have. This includes our wide collection of photo tutorials, excerpts from the manual, and stories from our skilled community of visual thinkers. The library is continually expanding and is integrated with the app so you always have answers when you need them.
You know we are always here to chat, too.
2020 and Beyond
Multi-platform collaboration in the future.
When you set out to create a roadmap for your app, there’s a lot of listening you do to your people, your current product and your vision. You have to decide what matters most, have a realistic idea of what it takes to do that exceptionally well, and know how to apply your resources to get it done in the least amount of time. And you need great people who can communicate, develop, test and polish your tool.
Not only do we have a strong team across the globe working diligently together, we have an incredible community of visual thinkers, designers and sketchers who give us motivation, feedback and support every day to help us shape Concepts. We want to thank you for all of the chats and insights you’ve shared with us about your experiences with the app. You’ve helped us sort out myriad details as well as directed us on the bigger path, and it’s a pleasure working with fiery creators with a passion for great tools.
As we continue to develop exciting features for Concepts for iOS, Windows and Android, we are ultimately looking at creating a single Concepts platform that works across devices no matter what your operating system.
Creativity ought to happen outside the box, and it’s tough being limited by technology even as it becomes more advantageous each year. Connecting with each other through our ideas, sketching and vision is what matters most, and we hope to help make that happen on a truly flexible, endless canvas.
Yours for every idea,
The Concepts Team
Theatre Design Modeling on the iPad Pro - with Peter McKintosh