Sketch 2.3

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4 of 5 stars
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Sketch, which I now use for the majority of my design work, has a new version out today. It still lacks the feature that I want most — symbols/smart objects — but there are lots of promising improvements nevertheless.

Two of the biggest are integration with Sketch Mirror, a new iOS companion app that lets you preview your Sketch documents in real time, and background blur, which as the name suggests renders a Gaussian blur-like effect on anything directly beneath a shape set with this property.

In this example, the right half of the coffee cup image is obscured by a yellow rectangle set to 7% opacity, with a 10 pixel background blur. The blurring effect updates immediately when images below are moved on the canvas. Just in time for iOS 7, people.

Sketch 2.3 Background Blur

(Image courtesy of Unsplash.)

More on the update here. By the way, while writing this post I just noticed that Bohemian Coding, the publishers of Sketch, cite an interview I did with .Net Magazine praising Sketch right on the app’s marketing page. Just to be clear, I am in no way associated with Bohemian Coding.

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3 Comments

  1. It seems that Sketch is what Adobe Fireworks should have been — with focus on UI design, easy to use, powerful, with a fast-paced development cycle. Actually, Fireworks is an amazing app, but it was largely neglected by Adobe and finally abandoned… :-(

    It’s a pity that Sketch works on Mac OS X only. There will never be a Windows version — otherwise, I would have said that Sketch is the new, better Fireworks!

    Sketch now has many of the features which Fireworks always had. Its UI design and illustration abilities are now on par with Fireworks, too — see this Sketch illustration by Isabel Aracama — amazing work! (Of course, Fireworks can be an amazing tool, too — see another illustration, but made with Fireworks, by the same author!)

    Future of Sketch seems brilliant!

  2. Sketch is now my go-to UI and design tool. I still use FW for batch image processing, and Photoshop for image editing (I’d like to use Pixelmator but that dark UI is insufferable on a reflective iMac screen). I’m with you, Khoi, on the need for smart objects.

    The best thing I can say about Sketch is that, once I adjusted my working methods to match the Sketch philosophy, it was so much fun to use that I didn’t care when earlier versions crashed. I just reopened and carried on.

  3. I’ve been using Illustrator for UI design for a number of years now and i’m keen to check out Sketch.