It seems like the time of updates is upon us! Yesterday, we updated AppsGoneFree on the iPad and iPhone, and boy was it a great update! Today, my Mac App Store informed me that there was an update for Skitch.
Now, previously, I have not hesitated in getting Skitch updates. In fact, it’s one of our favourite apps here at Macstarter. Macstarter is not a review site, but we do talk about great Apps that help us to get things done. We are not affiliated with any organisation, so our tips and trick, and our sporadic reviews are done with only one thing in mind – you, the readers. Therefore, it’s with some sadness that we are doing our first negative review on Macstarter.
You see, Skitch is something I’ve used almost everyday since I discovered it. Every image processed for this website goes through Skitch. Pictures I email to family, diagrams I have to notate, or almost any kind of “quick fix” I have to do is done with Skitch. The reason for this is easy to understand – Skitch is very easy to use, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun as well. Resizing or cropping a picture make perfect sense. Labelling and annotating are easy and fun.
So what’s wrong with the new version of Skitch? Firstly, the quirky fun interface is gone. When dealing with user interfaces, you can make the choice to stick with convention (which isn’t a bad thing) or to redesign yours from the ground up. Software like Comic Life did this to great effect. Skitch’s previous interface was understandable in a matter of seconds. Once you saw how to resize and crop and image, it took milliseconds to adjust your images. With Skitch 2, you have to click a menu item to do the same jobs.
As you can see, the left hand menu has a button at the bottom. Clicking this now takes you to the resize and crop screen. In itself this wouldn’t be so bad, but compared the old way of doing things, this is just plain…. ordinary.
Another mysterious interface choice is the colour palette. Clicking on the colour palette not only reveals colours, but also the thickness of your shapes and pen tools. This should surely be something you put in the pen palette, or in its own separate button.
There are a few things that are good. The new pixelate tool is great for blurring sensitive information. It’s very quick and easy to use. Also, shapes and arrows are editable after you draw them. You simply select them, and blue markers appear, which can be moved around.
Everything you do in Skitch 2 is synced directly with Evernote. This makes dealing with your pictures great, and problem free.
You can still grab the bottom tab of Skitch and save a copy of your picture simply by dragging it to your desktop. But in a huge leap backwards, you are now forced to drag out png images. In the previous version of Skitch, you could choose the format for your picture and then drag it out. It was fantastically easy and quick. Now, you have to go to the File menu and Export your picture into a different format.
The fact that Skitch no longer lives in your Menubar, but in your Dock like a “normal” program is kind of symbolic for me. The new Skitch just doesn’t have the magic of the older version. I can’t help but think that the Evernote integration took centre stage and all the other refinements were secondary.
For now, I’ve restored the older version back into my applications folder. I want the fun and craziness of the old version, so I’ll risk the lack of new features and stick to what I love…..