Make Your Images Communicate With Skitch

It’s not particularly new news, but in case you haven’t been following along, Evernote has been very busy building a fleet of useful, cross-platform applications to help you stay organized and “remember everything.” In addition to the handful of tools sporting the actual name Evernote, the company added formerly-independent applications Penultimate and Skitch to their lineup. Along with this recruitment came some app updates to include standard things like Evernote integration, but Skitch, in particular, received a pretty handsome makeover.

If you’ve never even heard of Skitch, it is an application whose main functionality is designed to help you take and annotate screenshots. Today, we’re going to look at how Skitch has changed since we last reviewed it, and whether or not the tool is still worthy of helping you use your images to communicate. Hit the jump to read on.

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Uniformity

One of the biggest things for me, in terms of interfaces, that makes an application feel useful and professional is congruity. When Evernote acquired Skitch, which was at the time a Mac app and an iPad app, the Mac version got a heavy redesign that made it feel more current and modern. With the iPad app redesign, we see that same modernity and sleekness applied to iOS. Not only do both apps now feel more a part of the Evernote family, but Skitch for iPad looks and feels more like it’s Mac counterpart, which means that using it is easy and familiar (which is a good thing).

All images in your Skitch notebook will appear here.

All images in your Skitch notebook will appear here.

When you first launch Skitch, you’ll be prompted to sign in with your Evernote account. If you don’t have one, get on it (it’s easy and incredibly useful).

Working With Images

Automatically, Skitch will either create (if you don’t already have one) or sync with (if you do) the “Skitch” notebook in your Evernote account. In the previous image, you’ll see a number of screenshots I’ve taken on various devices that are saved in my Skitch notebook. From here I can select any of my screenshots to edit, but we’ll get into that later. For now, let’s assume you’re completely new to the whole Evernote/Skitch thing, and you’re actually starting with an empty folder. Simply tap the + to create a new image.

Begin by selecting an image source.

Begin by selecting an image source.

Skitch works closely with the built-in screenshot functionality on the desktop, but taking, and subsequently working with, screenshots on iOS is not quite as fluid. Fortunately, Skitch provides a number of options to streamline the process.

You can, of course, use an image from your camera roll by tapping the Choose A Photo option. This represents what will likely be the most common use of Skitch. You can import images directly from your your device’s library, or you can set Skitch to automatically import any screenshots you take (which is done by simultaneously depressing the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons on your device).

Before annotation.

Before annotation.

This is a screenshot that I took a while back for a review I was working on. First, lets run through the interface.

The first and most important thing I want to call attention to is the drawer on the right side of the screen. This is essentially your toolbox, where you can select different tools with which to make edits to your image. The drawer can be hidden and shown any time by tapping or dragging the dotted line at the edge. You can place arrows on your image, add text, shapes, pen markings (all with varying colors), pixelated redaction and even crop your image.

After annotation.

After annotation.

The title bar at the top of the screen also provides a few handy functions. First, you can discard changes at any time by tapping the Discard button on the left side of the bar. On the right side you can save your changes or share your image via public link or email, or send it directly to the camera roll so you can use it in other ways. Finally, in the middle of the menu bar you’ll see the filename of the image, the date of the last edit and the info button, which will show you when the file was updated/created, as well as provide you with the opportunity to manually move it to another notebook in your Evernote account.

Of course, sometimes you’ll want to work with things other than screenshots taken from iOS apps, and Skitch has some preset options to improve this type of workflow on iOS, where it may not always be intuitive. Skitch includes a built-in map and a built-in browser so that you can mark a route or location or work with clipped webpages. You also can begin with a blank slate, though the tools provided may be somewhat limited for unleashing your creativity on a white canvas.

Capture a map and point out a location.

Capture a map and point out a location.

The built-in web browser.

The built-in web browser.

Beyond Images

Skitch now has extensive options available for both the application itself as well as for your Evernote account.

Account Settings

Account Settings

You can see the basics, like your account type, monthly usage and monthly allowance. You can also set the default notebook into which Skitch images will be synced, and whether or not your device will sync over your data network (if available) or over Wi-Fi only. Finally, you can sign in with your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts, which makes sharing your images (if you so choose) a piece of cake.

The Verdict

It’s clear that the Skitch redesign was, for the most part, intended to bring it into the Evernote family and instill a congruent feel to the app. In this regard, I feel as though it succeeds. The app is available on both iPad and iPhone, and functions nearly identically on both. This, combined with the seamless integration with the Evernote family of apps, puts Skitch among my most-used apps.

As with every member of the Evernote family, Skitch is available for the low, low price of free, so give it a try and let us know what you think!


Summary

Skitch equips you with the tools to spice up they way you use your images to communicate.

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