I must start this blog post by expressing my gratitude to Kathy Schrock (@kathyschrock) After posting my My top 10 apps for a Primary School iPad she kindly informed me of an oversight I had made. As of January, Evernote would no longer be offering support for Skitch. While this doesn’t mean that the app will be ‘switched off’, it means that new iPads being setup can’t install the app and it won’t be updated. This means that it will likely just be a matter of time before it stops working completely after an iOS update. So, it begs the question, “What is the best replacement for Skitch on a school iPad?”
In order to find a suitable replacement, we should first look at why so many teachers chose Skitch as their app of choice.
- Simple, lightweight design
- Produced visually appealing results
- Saved to camera roll
- Shared with other apps
- No sign-up required
- Annotation, Shapes, Arrow tools
- Pixelation Tool
- No Ads
This is a fairly comprehensive list of criteria, I am baffled with Evernote’s decision to axe this app. They recommend using the full version of Evernote as an alternative. While Evernote is good, it is far too big an app for our students’ primary purpose. To label and annotate photos from their camera roll.
Here are a few alternatives found after searching online, twitter and the app store. For the purposes of this blog post, I’ve only considered FREE apps.
Looks and feels just like Skitch
No ability to draw geometric shapes
Lots of text options including multiple fonts, shades and opacity
Overcomplicated, no pen/arrow tool
Very stripped back design
No arrows, inability to resize image, inability to change text colour
Super simple, nice design, easy sharing
Only works for screenshots, In-App purchases for more colours
From looking at these apps (and a number of others that were poor to say the least) it is clear that the best replacement at the moment for Skitch on an educators iPad is Annotate by Drifft, Inc. There are a few interesting other tools worth mentioning that I also discovered. Blrt, allows annotation over photos along with voice recording. This could potentially put it more in the same bracket as Explain Everything and could be a good free alternative. I chose not to include it here as it requires a sign-up.
Let me know in the comments if you unearth any other gems. I sadly really like looking through new apps and thinking of ways that they can be used in a class to improve the outcomes for the students or streamline the process.