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.

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

“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

  • Michael Honez
  • http://pousta.com/ Francisco Ávila

    I cannot trust in this company. I’ve bought all their old “very impressive” and award winning apps and nothing stopped them from remove it suddently from their servers/app store and stop giving support.

    • Kip Vaughan

      Huh? It hasn’t been removed from the app store it’s there right now.

      • Brian Hinton

        I think he means the old Sketch for iOS, Drawit, and their old font app. I admit it’s disappointing that they completely abandoned those products. Especially Drawit which had huge potential.

      • Kip Vaughan

        They were having problems with the old font app due to the way new versions of Mac OS were sand boxing the apps. I would bet those old features will get moved over to the new app in time. Also haven’t the drawit features been moved over to sketch? I never used that app but I thought the idea was to merge the features of sketch and drawit.

      • Brian Hinton

        I know. Though I question completely discontinuing the product, and support for it. Some sort of offer/upgrade could have been made.

        And Sketch is completely different from Drawit. Drawit existed alongside the earlier (and extremely buggy) version of Sketch. Drawit focused more on bitmap style editing with filter effects that could be stacked, and vector shapes that were more like masks, and shape layers in Photoshop.

  • RyanTV

    Where is the imbeded video?

  • Lucas Stinis

    Very useful product, terrible, predatory product strategy. Version 2 was extremely buggy… and after only getting 2 months worth of use I have now been “forced” to purchase a new application even though it’s clearly nothing more than an update. An email to customer support stating my more than reasonable claim for a free update yielded a, yeah, good story bro, you can purchase the “new” shiny version from the AppStore reply. Nice way of building loyalty Bohemian Coding, very nice.

    • http://pousta.com/ Francisco Ávila

      That’s their “modus operandi”

    • Kip Vaughan

      Developers need to eat too.

    • Brian Hinton

      Well version 3 was available at a discount, and they have to draw the line somewhere. Most give a month leeway for free updates if you just purchased.

    • http://gravesidestudios.ca Mark Phillips

      I had the exact same experience dealing with Bohemian Coding myself. I purchased Sketch 2 on Feb 8th 2014 and after a few months of use was also shocked and disappointed to see the “free” upgrade eligibility was cut off to users that purchased Sketch 2 before March 2014. With only being a few weeks out of the eligibility window, I expected after contacting them, they would honour the upgrade. Instead I was given the same “good story bro, you can purchase the new shiny version from the AppStore” reply. Great product, absolutely predatory product strategy.

  • Randall

    Tried the free trial, was impressed. So I bought it and started using it today, on a client project. It’s crashed 5 times. Kinda wish I could get a refund… I’ve tried all kinds of stuff, just running sketch 3, restarting, starting a new design from scratch, etc etc. The crashes all seem totally random. Also, the UI of the app itself seems to disappear totally, and I have restart the whole app to get it back. I’m going to have to move back into photoshop, and re-do most of the work I’ve gotten done in between crashes in Sketch. Ugh. Check out the attached image for what happens to the UI, sometimes it gets all mashed up into a scrolling window. Totally weird and unacceptable for a paid app.

    • Lucas Stinis

      I agree.. but most of us start using it and encounter it’s buggy nature a few weeks in, and to be honest, by then it’s too late to go back to other programs. Just wish these guys took a step back and tried to optimize their code more instead of focussing on optimizing functionally.

    • eagerbob

      If you experience problems with apps that you bought from the app stores you *can* get a refund if it doesn’t work properly.
      here is how: (C/P from the Apple support site:

      Find the email receipt for your purchase.

      Click Report a Problem under the app that is having the issue.

      When prompted, enter the Apple ID and password you used to purchase the item, then click Report a Problem.

      Click Report a Problem next to the item you are having an issue with.

      From the Choose Problem dropdown menu, choose the appropriate issue.

      Follow the onscreen instructions and—if prompted—type a description of the problem into the text field.

      Click Submit to have your issue reviewed.

      I used this for apps that I bought and I got a refund (and the app was removed from my iPad but that’s okay if you don’t want t keep it)

      Hope this helps

  • Cresencio Cantu

    The cost has been increased to 79.99

  • Matt Huwiler

    I wish someone had told me to wait a couple weeks before buying version 2. And don’t expect folks at sketch to be reasonable with regard to forcing recent customers to pay full price in order to upgrade to the next version… Your complaints will be ignored and/or eventually robotically replied via a copy + paste of their unreasonable upgrade policy.

    Decent albeit slightly buggy software. Bad upgrade policy. Bad customer service. 2/5 stars from me.

  • schnokerd

    Bohemiancoding doubled the price of Sketch, provides no upgrade pricing , and they pulled all docs and help for Sketch2 upon releasing Sketch3. They give us lip service and say they still support Sketch 2. That is not true. Where are the Sketch 2 docs, where is the Sketch 2 support page. Try to find them. They are gone. It’s all about greed. If the internet community supports these practices they will only increase.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and 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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