The first version of Skitch brought along with it a different approach to image editing. It came with great tools that allowed you to take screenshots of any size and quickly annotate them, yet it could also handle any image you threw at it. Skitch has always been straightforward and effortless — an image tool for human beings. After its acquisition by Evernote, the company entered into a battle to contain the uproar caused by the drastic overhaul to ensure Skitch would fit into its service and yet still remain a simple image editor.
Skitch 3.0 is a fresh take on the controversial app, built from scratch with a brand-new interface based on iOS 7 guidelines, as well as boasting a gorgeous new icon. Did the Evernote team recover the early praise of Skitch with this update or will it just be another stain on the history of a once beloved application? Let’s find out.
Skitch has always been a standalone application forced to integrate within the Evernote environment, which struggled to adapt to its newest member. The consolidation of Skitch as part of Evernote’s model has cost the loyalty of many users, but it was steadily recovering from the hard hits and gathering a new crowd.
New features came along and Skitch became a notable platform for quick image capturing and editing. It earned the versatility to serve people and businesses, following the expectations of an Evernote product. Considering the effort to turn Skitch into part of the major subscription service, the 3.0 update goes beyond a new brand and seems to be a complete reset from the Skitch we once knew.
The New Features
The new application is blazingly fast and reshaped to suit demands “on the go”. It opens up to the camera mode with the outline of an arrow pointing wherever you tap. After you snap a picture, you move to edit mode; the arrow gains color and you’re prompted to include text. If this used to be your workflow with Skitch, the new update will be a delightful experience for you.
Your latest pictures are arranged at the bottom of your screen while on camera mode, you can expand the panel and select an image from your files. Skitch arranges all your recent pictures in a grid without access to specific folders or organization methods, neither your catalogued images in Evernote. Yes, you read that right, Skitch 3.0 doesn’t open images stored in Evernote, only local pictures.
Apart from the aforementioned let down, we must give credit where it is due, and the Edit mode is definitely where Skitch offers the best experience. You edit your image in full screen mode, with options to undo and redo actions at the navigation bar. On each of the bottom corners you’ll find the tools to draw and tweak your image.
When it comes to the implementation of its editing features, Skitch shows off a remarkable precision compared to other apps of its niche, allowing you, for example, to blur only a tiny string of text. Shapes can be selected and edited freely after you place them on screen, adjusting position, direction, size, border width and color.
Sharing the outcome also introduces new features, foremost is the ability to include a caption to your image, located at the bottom of the picture. Besides the social media sharing options, Skitch also exploits AirDrop, allowing you to easily send files to other nearby devices, and Send to Meeting, which checks your upcoming calendar events for invitees and gives the option to email them directly.
A Standalone Application
The sharpness of the new Skitch has unfortunately abandoned many of the features users learned to enjoy from the latest releases, such as the ability to quickly pin an address in the map and draw directions, or to visit a web page and capture a screen shot. Even the integration that justifies most of Evernote’s appreciation among users was severed and Skitch 3.0 doesn’t let you pick a notebook when you share an image with Evernote — it goes straight into the default one.
The alternative to draw on a blank canvas is there if you dig through the image library, but PDF markup is another feature that has disappeared; it’s been moved to Evernote’s own application. These decisions dissociated Skitch as a productivity asset, hence diverting its users to Evernote’s main application. Some commenters claim Skitch turned into a “fancy camera app”. Revolving around instant capture, there’s little use for Skitch to edit documents, unless you’re willing to resort to some workarounds.
Coup de Grâce
Disregarding Skitch as a supplement for Evernote and the history behind it, the 3.0 version stands out as a formidable application to take pictures and draw annotations. But when you take into consideration the general expectations, it happens to be another fiasco. The omission of acclaimed features, such as the multiple ways Skitch could assist the capture of images from different sources, is a deal breaker to anyone who trusted Skitch over the years.
The coup de grâce is the scant integration, convenient to Evernote’s products, such as the shortage of access to images within notebooks and the lack of control over export options. It seems that Skitch was disowned by Evernote and now must trace its own way.
A screenshot with a few pointers and captions can save you many words. Blurring sensitive information from a bug report, reviewing some bad grammar habits of a friend or even teaching your parents to fix a computer problem. These are situations where Skitch still comes in handy, however, the platform we once relied upon for now falls hopelessly short.