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Since their inception, tablets have been seen as a computing form factor conducive to a particular kind of artistic expression: drawing and painting. Of course, accurate sketching can be a little difficult with clumsy fingers, and conductive stylus pens have proven a middling solution, at best. Fortunately, with the advent dual-digitizers capable of supporting pressure-sensitive styli - like those found in Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 - tablets have become a much more practical art tool. Hardware is nothing without the software to take advantage of it, though. Enter ArtFlow, a new drawing app for Android that comes with, in addition to a number of effects, support for advanced styli baked in.

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Though it isn't the first app to support styli pressure, ArtFlow's straightforward-yet-powerful interface is compelling enough to warrant a look. The UI is excellent, unobtrusive and identifiably Android. And ArtFlow is packed to the brim with tools: the app includes more than 50 different types of brushes; infinite undo, depending on the amount of system memory; several layers of the aforementioned stylus pressure support; contrast, brightness, hue, and saturation adjustment; and custom color palette creation. Finished photos can be exported as PSD, PNG, or JPEG images, and sent to any app that supports Android's sharing hook.

ArtFlow is compatible only with tablet devices right now, and requires an in-app purchase to unlock all features. That being said, I still think the app is pretty darn cool. Whether you're a dilettante or modern-day Picasso, you can't go wrong with ArtFlow's intuitive, feature-rich approach to picture creation.

Kyle Wiggers
Kyle Wiggers is an avid writer, web designer, podcaster, and video producer with an acute interest in all things technology. When not reviewing or commentating on gadgets, apps, and videos, he enjoys reading New Yorker feature articles, tinkering with computers, and playing the occasional game of Rock Me Archimedes.

  • Edward Smith

    Nice, will test when I get home. The only issue I have with AutoDesk is that it doesn't have lasso +transform options.

  • vgergo

    Why app descriptions never say the cost of in app purchase?

    • faceless128

      the good ones do. the ones that want to sucker you in and take your money don't. the great ones just have an unlock key app linked.

      • vgergo

        I agree! IAP is not necessarily bad, unlock key apps are another hassle. Why not make two versions? (Okay, I know why not) My other problem with IAP is that I like to buy apps when they are on sale. I buy a lot of apps, but I'm willing to wait months until a sale. I like http://www.app-sales.com, but I am yet to find an in-app-purchase-sale finder... App developers should think more of the price-sensitive amongst us.

        • TornZero

          One of the problems here is that an app can't go from free to paid on Google Play, which limits discounting in itself, especially if it's already 99 cents. It may very well be the same for in-app purchases. Hopefully Google changes this policy to some degree, then AppGratis and the like can see a bigger following on Android.

  • surly

    Can we get a good vector drawing app? Autodesk's vector app doesn't count. You cant edit the paths.

    • designdolphin

      Check out Scribmaster. It's really starting to get there.

  • Sebastian Wierzba

    First do the APP for apk android device .2 APP is great but more effect give .

  • Bronwen

    ArtFlow is terriffic - the in-app upgrade is not expensive, less than Sketchbook Pro. Don't begrudge a few bucks for something that will continue to develope. This is not a rip-off, far from it.
    The UI is stunning, a superb piece of design. It rapidly became my go-to app, ahead of all other Android drawing/painting apps. It is just such a pleasure to use. It could do with some ArtRage-ish painting finesse, but I feel sure that will happen.