Sketchshare has had some fantastic feedback from Beta – many thanks to those of you who are helping out! we’re working through all your comments and hope that you’ll appreciate the results. We’ve had quite a bit of interest in the development of the tool, so this is some background on how it all came about –
Both Stu and I have young families and I guess made the decision to work remotely very early on so that we didn’t miss out through spending unnecessary hours away from the kids (did I really say that???). So, the idea for Sketchshare has been developed from our own need for a real-time collaborative tool. Working remotely as an indie developer, there is constant emailing of large files between team members – even holding images up to a webcam on occasion. I use a number of great tools for remote working – dropbox git skype, but the lack of a collaboration tool means constant travelling to meetings which is often inconvenient and time consuming.
The frustration has been brewing away for a few years now and the shape of the tool was there, but it was after hearing Fraser Speirs speaking at IOS dev in September 2011, Stu and I got together and refined the idea. A great deal of brainstorming lead to a large number of features which we then pared back to the brief for Sketchshare.
What we wanted was a communication rather than a creation tool, something that enhanced our development work flow by improving the way that we got ideas out there so that other people could understand us, and we them.
Sketchshare is a real-time collaborative communication tool that allows up to 4 users on Apple devices to talk and draw in order to enhance understanding – for example, hand annotating or editing of documents remotely during live discussion, images, or maps or doodling to explain ideas and concepts (although many other uses have been suggested). It is designed primarily as a workflow app and the result of the conversation is just saved as a single image that the users can then use as a basis for reference in whatever they are doing. The kids love doodling and talking to each other with the app too and it is really exciting how quickly everyone picks it up.