One of the great things about the Nexus 7 is the extra screen real estate that its 7 inch display provides for certain apps and uses that are just plain more useful with the extra space than an Android phone. Among such uses are drawing apps such as 'Markers' by developer Chris Foote. Now there are a number of different drawing programs available for Android that range from the most basic to the professional and while 'Markers' is intended for a different audience than say Autodesk's 'Sketchbook Pro' which we'll go over in a separate article, 'Markers' offers some really cool features that make it stand out from the bulk of 'free' drawing apps out there. What's more it's been recently optimized by the developer for the Nexus 7.'
♥ Pressure sensitivity that works with most Android devices: As more of your finger or capacitive stylus touches the glass, Markers will draw a thicker line. NOTE: It may take a minute or two of continuous drawing for Markers to adjust to your device’s touch panel, so be patient! (If your device has an active stylus, like the Galaxy Note or HTC Flyer, the true stylus pressure will be used instead.)
♥ Multitouch: two fingers make two lines, three make three, and so on, up to the limits of your device (typically 5 simultaneous touches for phones and 10 for tablets).
♥ Kid-friendly interface: Every pen size and color is on-screen; multitouch drawing means accidental touches (such as kid hands on the edges of the display) won't prevent any little fingers from painting.
♥ Plays well with others: share your drawings to other apps, and share images into Markers to draw on top of them.
♥ Optimized for the new Nexus 7 tablet.
Now as you can see in the picture above you're presented with a fairly open canvas with simple and straightforward tools and a palette of colors to make your drawing with. But 'Markers' has a trick up its sleeve in that it emulates 'pressure sensitivity' on your Nexus 7 capacitive screen without the need for any special hardware.
Now typically in order to get 'pressure sensitivity' which allows you to vary the width of the line or stroke that you are making by pressing harder on the screen, you'd have to have a special 'active digitizer' which is a panel that lies on top of your display and reads the pressure of how hard you are pressing. Such devices such as the Galaxy Note, HTC Flyer and Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet have these special digitizers built-in...but you pay a pretty heft price premium to get this hardware.
'Markers' instead emulates this 'pressure sensitvity' by interpreting how much of the stylus or finger you are using is actually touching the screen. The effect, while perhaps not as accurate as a true hardware digitizer is still rather impressive...and can make 'Markers' a pretty effective drawing tool as you can see from some of the creations I've pasted below.
Now there's some other cool 'stuff' packed into 'Markers' such as multitouch drawing. In a nutshell, on the Nexus 7 you can have up to 10 fingers or styluses painting at once on the screen. This is terrific for kids to do 'finger painting' on..but without the cleanup and mess! Another thing I like about 'Marker's really has to do with the developer. He's got a dedicated 'Markers' Blog Page On Google+
where you can see other user's artwork and in fact he even shows you how to emulate more advanced features such as Layering
which he plans on introducing into later versions of the program but which didn't make it into version 1.0. As you can see from the images here and on his site, the 'Marker's program is deceptively useful and can be a great, fun tool for everyone from your kids to the aspiring artist. It's free in the Google Play store so why not download it, fill that urge to create and show us your work of art in the forums when you're ready.