Ever wanted to take notes on top of power point, I mean hand written notes? Ever wanted to draw on your Mac to help someone with a tutorial? I have too! Luckily for the both of us, there is such a thing as DeskScribble. This App does exactly like you would imagine after hearing it’s name, it allows you to scribble all over your desktop. Not only your desktop though; DeskScribble also allows you to have a black-board or a white-board to draw on. This utility I can imagine would be a solid option for students and teachers who have Macs, but can’t afford a smart board set up. Originally, I had some major complaints about DeskScribble, but as if they were reading my mind, a recent update solved nearly every issue I had. Alright, Boss, let’s get another Short List rolling.
First up, let’s talk about interface, or rather the lack of one. Minimalism is the new way getting things done. Sure, it’s a notion that’s been around forever and a day, but with more people owning BlackBerry’s and iPhones than ever, almost everyone wants content to take front stage these days, and the people over at DeskScribble seem to understand this very well. When you first launch DeskScribble, you’ll notice how very little there is to it. It’s just a little tab at the top left of your screen that has some basic, but useful options: Pointer, Marker, Eraser, Color, and a slide that helps you choose the thickness of your marker pen. Just inside of that partial ring, are two other buttons that come in handy. One is a tidy little brush that wipes your whole “palette” clean, the other is the all too familiar export button. You know the one, made famous by iPhone Apps everywhere, the arrow that juts out of a little box? Yeah – You know what I’m talking about.
Pretty much all of the controls are self explanatory. The pointer lets you use your mouse like normal, something new that was added (thanks guys!), and the Marker Pen well Scribbles, and so on and so on. The color tab is nicely done as well, it will provide a drop down draw full of color choices, or you can select the last option and use the default Mac color palette chooser. There is a little nub that juts out from the rest of the interface that needs a little explanation, though if you just bought the App and pressed the buttons, you’d know right away what you did. There is a back and forward button for you, incase you screw up something like I usually do, but there are two tiny buttons that might not be so obvious. The hide button, which looks like an asterisk ‘*’, and a play button that will put you into presenter mode. This last button hides everything but what’s open. Usually for me that’s DeskScribble and Keynote (p.s. I hate powerpoint). While in presenter mode, the dock goes bye-bye, and so does the menu bar; it’s just like looking at a smart board, which I’m sure was their intension. The pointer will, of course let you leave presenter mode in a flash, another good feature.
Now, let’s talk about what’s under the hood, the things you don’t see in the tiny interface. You can pick your own keyboard short cuts for things. A command for the marker, the pointer, the eraser, etc. All of this makes using DeskScribble a lot easier, because you can leave your cursor where you want it and with just a few quick keystroke, you can erase the image and move on to your next embarrassing biology slide. The export option is a lovely under the hood touch. You can export things to a file, to FaceBook, and to flickr, as well as a ‘cloud app’. This appears to be a drop-box clone. Having those built-in options make drawing the classic mustache on your bio professor’s face, and then sharing it with all of your FaceBook friends a snap. You might not need these options, but I’ve seen flickr used to give detailed tutorials for geektool before.
If having a good way to use your mouse and track pads to draw with weren’t enough, the guys over at green & slimy added support for Wacom tablets as well. So, your pen-abled stylus can detect the pen and eraser sides, and you can draw like a pro. Pretty neat, huh?
So, here it is, the final verdict, the moment I’m sure you’ve all waited for in a terrible tizzy, no? (p.s. is there an official font for sarcasm?) Anyway, I give this app an 8 out of 10. If they could ever figure out how to add a sliding draw option to hide the UI while you’re doing other tasks, that would be worth another point, and go make it perfect, I’d need it to do some pretty amazing things like layers and custom brushes, but who am I kidding, the guys at green & slimy didn’t set out to replace Pixelmator or Photoshop, they just want you to be able to do things in the class room, or at home, with ease. Stay tuned though, next week I’m going to be doing an interview with a real-life professor about her impressions of DeskScribble, and if you guys leave comments below about your thoughts of what the official font for sarcasm should be world-web-wide, you might get a chance for a free copy of DeskScribble for yourself. Contest ends Monday, May 9th. So, get on it.