Mobile Art Studio App Leverages Windows on Snapdragon
September 28, 2023
Artists all over the world and in every industry seek to enhance and improve their work with the aid of digital tools. The developers of those tools must therefore create simple but powerful apps to meet end users’ needs – such applications have to be fast, accurate, and accessible if artists are going to be successful with them.
Sketchable Plus is a painting and drawing app created by Silicon Benders to put digital art tools into the hands of artists, architects, and designers, wherever they want or need to work. Silicon Benders, led by brothers Miles and Ryan Harris, is well-known for designing creative software for Microsoft Windows and was one of the first companies to deploy a native 64-bit Windows on Snapdragon app to the Windows App Store.
The Microsoft Surface team saw the potential in bringing Sketchable Plus to the Windows tablet, where artists could more easily use the app’s powerful tools anywhere they choose to work. The Harris brothers knew that Windows on Snapdragon represented a fundamental step forward for visual arts and design on the go. As a portable studio, it has all the power and readiness of a workstation thanks to features like instant-on and all-day battery life.
Sketchable Plus was originally built using the Windows App SDK and the WinUI 3 component, which made platform integration easier during porting. These tools allowed the app to take advantage of the most important features of Windows on Snapdragon for artists, namely GPU-accelerated image processing and DirectX to power the painting and drawing engine.
Since the end-user experience was critical to the success of the app, the Silicon Benders team wanted to make sure that Sketchable Plus had a touch-first, pen-first UI, which was enabled by the platform’s low-latency 120-frame/s drawing and animation framerates. That speed in rendering and display makes for a natural, realistic, and smooth artistic experience.
The company used a Windows Dev Kit 2023 powered by the Snapdragon® 8cx Gen 3 Compute Platform as its development platform, and Miles encourages other developers with lofty goals to check it out. He lauded the development environment and how well it worked thanks to the latest Snapdragon mobile compute SoC, native Visual Studio IDE, and local debugging to speed up the development process.
Harris said that visual artists and designers looking to use Sketchable Plus need lightweight and powerful digital art software solutions that are intuitive to use with pen or touchscreen. They need all-day battery life, so the app has to be efficient with its power use, and he said that his users love the native support from Microsoft Surface.
He went on to say that developers want software designed for the Windows ecosystem and Windows hardware. The fact that Silicon Benders can offer their software on the Surface via the app store and leverage the native Windows on Snapdragon has been a huge differentiator for them and a competitive advantage.
Moving forward, Silicon Benders will be experimenting with the AI capabilities of Windows on Snapdragon and potentially integrating them into Sketchable Plus.
It’s Your Turn
If you’re ready to port your application to Windows on Snapdragon, there has never been a better time. The Windows App Store is growing rapidly as developers discover the possibilities of Windows on Snapdragon and its growing ecosystem of new mobile compute devices.
The collaboration between Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Microsoft means Windows Dev Kit 2023 brings the processing power of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Compute Platform and many features to developers, including:
- Qualcomm® Kryo™ CPU that lets developers dynamically balance power and performance for long battery life and peak operation.
- Qualcomm® Adreno™ GPU to drive graphics with DirectX and OpenGL.
- Qualcomm® Hexagon™ DSP for dedicated hardware-accelerated AI.
- 5G and WiFi6 connectivity.
For more information on how to get started, visit the Windows on Snapdragon Developer Portal.
Snapdragon and Qualcomm branded products are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.