FiftyThree released the new iPhone version of their popular sketching app for iPad earlier this week and updated the Paper version simultaneously.
The changes were received with quite a bit of excitement. In its original form, Paper was a popular sketching app but the new layout and functions include easy list-making, annotations and sketching, as well as different views and “spaces” which act as notebooks.
When I initially downloaded and opened the app, it opened up a tips menu and ran through all of the basic functions with directions and simple, automatically playing videos. At this point I was really excited, thinking it would be a beautiful place to gather inspiration for creative projects or to collaborate and share lists. As I started to play around within the app, I began to find the seemingly intuitive swiping motions and menus a bit infuriating –they’re very sensitive and it’s not always straightforward how the menus are organized and designed. Before logging off for the night, I finally got a new space set up for a writing project and I wanted to start brainstorming and added a few notes. The next day, I wanted to give the app a fair shot and poked around a bit on my phone before thinking it would be interesting to compare the iPhone and iPad experience. I reinstalled it on my iPad and logged into my account. Where was the space I had created the night before or any of the recommended people I had followed for creative inspiration?
Turns out “accounts are required to keep all of your ideas safe and backed up. A future version of Paper will allow you to sync your ideas across all your devices,” so I won’t be able to sync my work between my devices until they release that update. Although Paper is aesthetically pleasing and has a lot of great functions for sketching, annotating and making lists, I don’t expect to be using this app going forward. I would have been willing to spend time getting used to their swiping gestures or menu organization but not having the capability to sync my information between devices is a huge oversight considering the other functions the app offers.