One of the benefits of following Apple and using Apple products is the opportunity to try out new apps, and my Mac, iPhone, and iPad are packed with utilities that are worth a look, decent but different, and might have a place in your life.
Here’s one that’s free. To try. It’s a vector graphics design tool called Osketch. No, it won’t replace Illustrator at that price point, but if MacPaint had started life as a vector-based app, it might look and work much like Osketch.
What you get is a somewhat familiar vector graphics toolset that works the way most vector tools work. Select a tool, create a layer, adjust the tool with more granular values from the right sidebar.
All the basics are there. Shapes, texts, layers, groups, editable boolean shapes, path connections, and on and on ad nauseam. Shapes can be grouped and ungrouped, combined and edited, and Osketch handles five renderer types from stroke to shadow, from fill to blur, and even inner-shadow.
Add as many layers as you need. Create your own shape and name it for future use. Even text can be laid out on a Bezier path. There’s plenty to like here but if you like it too much and want all the features, that requires an in-app purchase upgrade to the Pro version.
So, think of Osketch as a beginners’ vector graphics design tool, a Lite and free version of the Pro app which has more features and options.
While Osketch is nicely done it also brings up notice of a growing trend among more and more Chinese app developers with apps in the Mac App Store. That, in and of itself, isn’t much of an issue because Apple curates the App Store, and some of my favorite Mac apps come from developers not located in the United States.
But if you’re studying Chinese you’ll appreciate the roots in the Osketch developer’s website and realize that app development– like hacking– is a culturally diverse activity.