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iPhone App Review: Meritum Paint Pro

iPhone App Review: Meritum Paint Pro

July 19th, 2010 by

Painting apps on the iPhone and iPad are practically falling out of trees these days, and it’s no wonder. With their multi-touch screens, vibrant displays, and control options not available on other platforms (using the accelerometer), they are great platforms for drawing on the go.

Strangest picture I've ever drawn.

Occupying the hybrid space between drawing apps and visualization apps is Meritum Paint Pro, a strange and trippy playground for you to create beautiful pictures unlike any others available in the other drawing apps in iTunes.


Meritum Paint Pro (there is also a free version that lacks a few critical features) offers a laundry list of features that don’t really tell the whole story behind what it is capable of, but I’ll list them anyway.

  • Multiple painting modes (normal, sci-fi, neon)
  • Color picker
  • Background picker (change colors or use a picture from the library)
  • Full set of stroke control options (force, color cycle speed, width, and tilt control)
  • Sandbox mode
  • Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr integration
  • Five levels of undo

This is where you be strokin'.

So you can see how that looks pretty much like every drawing app out there.

Where Meritum sets itself apart is in the style of drawings that it produces. It’s hard to describe; they are sort of a cross between LSD mind-trips, H.R. Geiger concept art, and alien landscapes. You can of course also use the built-in tools to draw something from the real world and give it a strange, dreamy edge.


The app itself is very well-designed from the start, showing a quick splash screen reminding you how to draw, access the options menu, and what shaking does (adjustable to either clear screen or save the photo to the library).

Once you tap past that screen you simply do the standard drawing with your finger, and it’s a double-tap to access the options. This is a great way to keep interface elements from cluttering up your work of art.

The menu consists of one screen of Options and another screen for choosing color and background. The color picker allows you to choose up to five colors, which the app will cycle through as you draw (if you want to draw with only one color, select just one; if you want have the app pull random colors, simply delete your color choices). The color picker itself is well-designed too; each circle is split in two, one half being the color you’re choosing and the other half being the color that was previously in that slot (in case you change your mind?).

It even works perfectly well on the iPad, though the visuals are a bit fuzzy due to the double-sized zoom.

The app also has a robust help section, taking you through each option and screen in detail.


The excellent color picker itself.

While the menu of options is robust, it’s not particularly intuitive. There are two pages (“Options” and “Color Picker”), and each of those pages has two tabs (“Stroke”, “Other”, “Background”). You tap the top right button to switch between screens, but it’s shaped like an arrow. To me this initially implied that I tap the top right arrow to go the “Color Picker” screen, then tap back left to go back to the “Options” screen. The problem is that the top left arrow is ALWAYS “Paint”, which takes you back to your painting. The top right arrow simply changes its label tell you which menu screen it takes you to, leading you constantly “to the right” to switch between both screens of options.

I don’t see any reason why the two pages of menu can’t be combined into one with multiple tabs, or there can’t simply be three buttons on the top row of the menu screen (“Paint”, “Options”, “Color Picker”) with no directional arrows at all.


Other than that little option screen interface strangeness, Meritum Paint Pro is a fun painting app for iPhone drawing fans. It definitely produces unique results that can’t be found in any other drawing program available.

  • raja

    good one

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