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Clarisketch review

Now you’re talking… and drawing

Combining elements of art apps and social messaging, Clarisketch offers a unique form of communication. The concept is that you talk as you draw on the screen, or an optional photo, then share the resulting ‘sketch’. Communicating ideas with both voice and visuals makes it easier to explain things than with just a phone call or email. For example, you could draw a route on a map, annotate a photo or diagram, or just create a picture with an audio message for a loved one.

It’s very easy to pick up and use. Just take a new photo with the camera, import one from the gallery or start a blank sketch. Then tap the Record button, start talking and select a pen or paint roller from the top to start drawing. While the tools are basic, they’re sufficient for the purposes of drawing diagrams and annotations. You can alter line width and opacity and choose from a limited colour palette. For finer detail and writing, you can zoom in closer, while the undo and magic eraser tools are handy for removing unwanted pen strokes.

One thing to note is that the app only records when you’re either talking or drawing; so when you play back the sketch, any pauses are omitted. Tapping the bottom-left icon in the pop-up controls panel will get the app to auto-adjust the audio recording level for ambient noise, but you may still have to speak up.

When you hit the share button, you get to name your sketch and choose a privacy option – public or unlisted (ie private) – since it’ll be uploaded to Clarisketch’s servers (quickly as it’s just a small data file, not a video) and shared via a weblink. The great advantage of this is that the recipient doesn’t need to have the app to view it.