Review: You Doodle for iOS – Inspire the Artist Inside!

Review: You Doodle for iOS – Inspire the Artist Inside!

Ever since the days of MS Paint, you know, the old Windows 95 guilty pleasure, we as a simple and easily humored people have loved drawing doodles on things, of things, around things. This childish and rudimentary eagerness is now transformed to both iPhone and iPad with You Doodle. The devs at Digital Ruby have reignited the desire to bedazzle everything, but require IAP to really drive the fun.

The Experience

You Doodle Drawing

To begin, choose a frame, of which there is a wide variety, a collage, or blank canvas and import an image from one of several locations: camera roll; camera; the internal sketch book; Dropbox; Flickr; Google; and paste a previously copied image. The image above is my avatar imported from the camera roll. Once selected, crop the image if necessary and then place it within the frame.

Once placed, feel free to riddle the image with a barrage of different tools. The basics include drawing on your new creation. Multiple sizes, scales, and colors accompany the drawing tool to keep things interesting. If you mess up, simply undo or erase the drawing. The app is very careful to give layering control when necessary. These layers are not perfected, but it is easy to add something to the foreground and delete or modify it later. Do not get any grande Photoshop ideas in your head when you hear the term “layers.”

You Doodle toolbox

In addition to drawing, text of all shapes, types, and colors may be added to tell your story or just goof off. Continuing into the toolbox, you find a shape editor, image filter control, stamps, and layer options. All of these features appear to operate as expected with scaling and pinch-to-zoom functionality. Adding to your drawing is simplistic and easy even for children that can read their way through the toolbox labels.

The ability to manipulate the different items on the screen is helpful, with a long list of options such as: flood fill; smudge; blur; crop; edit; cut; copy; paste; pain; scissors; flip; rotate; merge; tint; erase; and draw.

Where I start to get annoyed is with the IAP. I understand the reason to provide a “lite” version of the app is to give users a chance to try your app. But! That does not mean make everything appear to be usable in the trial version, only to get an annoying pop up after trying to place the frame, stamp, filter, shape, etc. The popup only appears after editing the image. Then, when dismissing the buy-the-full-version-pop-up, another pop up immediately follows, begging you to reconsider. The icing on the ager cake is applied when using the tutorial video section, which only shows up in a 2″ square window in the middle of an empty useless field.

You Doodle IAP

Conclusion [rating: 3.5/5]

Overall, this is entertaining for children only. I cannot foresee anyone over the age of 10 really getting a rise from this application. With all of the import features, however, it may take a little bit of adult supervision to get things up and rolling. Moreover, with the ability to share to Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Dropbox, Email, SMS, Camera Roll, or the internal sketch book, there is certainly some intervention required.

The company boasts it as the “only iOS image editor you will ever need,” which I take to be a little tongue-in-tounge-in-cheek. There are certainly a lot options to manipulate the images, but it is limited overall by the layout and rudimentary controls. This is a case of doing too much with too little.

A free universal app, it is worth a try if you are going to even consider it. But the $1.99 Pro version is hardly worth the cash.


  • Lots and lots of tools
  • Layer control for drawing, pasting, and erasing
  • Manipulate the background image with filters
  • Import/export from/to lots of locations


  • On the free version, be prepared for constant upgrade harassment
  • Poor UI design
  • Reminds me of Windows 95