A Design App Called Sketch 3 Is At The Top Of The Mac App Store, And Here’s Why

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In the world of mobile design, Sketch is a household name on the Mac. Apple gave it a design award in 2012, and it has been featured numerous times in the Mac App Store The highly anticipated 3.0 update to Sketch was released yesterday by Bohemian Coding as a separate purchase, and it’s currently the top paid app in the Mac App Store.

Why all the hype? Sketch 3 is being hailed as a better design tool on the Mac than Photoshop. And at $50, it’s a lot cheaper too.

“Photoshop is a powerful photo editor twisted to do UI,” says Jeremy Olson, the lead designer at Tapity. “Sketch is a powerful design tool designed entirely to do UI.”

Unlike Photoshop, Sketch is focused solely on creating a streamlined place to work on UI/UX design. And with its sister Sketch Mirror app for iOS, you can see live previews of your apps as you design them.

On Medium, Google product designer Jean Marc Denis raves about all of the new features that have been added. “The user interface has revamped: new icons, the search bar is now visible at all time, you can filter layers or slices, the alignment tool moved in the inspector, one click flip transformation. There is no more mini toolbar under the big toolbar. Things moved a little. It feels fresh.”

Over at Beautiful Pixels, app developer Mikhail Madnani praises Sketch 3 for additions like symbols and blur styling. But not everything in the update is great. “My main complaint with Sketch 3 after nearly a day of use is the interface,” he says. “Sure the interface elements have been given a slight overhaul but the overall look is more or less the same.”

Sketch 3 costs $49.99 in the Mac App Store, and if you purchased Sketch 2 after March 1st you can email Bohemian Coding to get it for free. There’s a free trial available on Bohemian Coding’s website and discounts available for volume and educational licenses.

Here’s the full list of changes in Sketch 3:

- Symbols, for reusing elements in your design
- Text Styles and Layer Styles, redesigned and unified for a better experience
- Redesigned inspector, giving you quicker access to everything
- Automatic Slices, export layers directly, without needing to set up manual slices
- Export multiple resolutions from a single slice, at any scale
- Improved PDF, EPS and SVG importing and exporting
- Speed, bug fixes and polish all around
- Presentation Mode, go full screen and hide all controls, perfect for showing off designs
- Improved bitmap editing with Magic Wand, Crop, Invert and Vectorize tools

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About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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