January 23, 2014

Canvas & DrawQuest bite the dust

Maybe it’s good that I never talked Adobe into building a “Photoshop Tennis” app—one centered on enabling iterative, back-and-forth image compositing & remixing among friends & strangers. That’s the vision with which I started the app that became Photoshop Touch, and I was enthusiastic about Mixel (“social collaging for everyone”).

This week the creators of Canvas pulled the plug on it, just like the Mixel creators before them. If people want to mash up images together, no one’s yet found the magic recipe. (I’ve grown similarly skeptical about collaborative drawing and filmmaking. I want to be proven heinously, laughably wrong… but we’ll see.)

Meanwhile the Canvas creators also announced the demise of DrawQuest, a social, gameified drawing tool. DrawQuest actually got more active use than I would have guessed: “Launched a year ago to inspire people to take on daily bouts of creativity through drawing challenges, it reached 1.4 million downloads, 550,000 registered users, 400,000 monthly users, 25,000 daily users, and 8 million drawings.” Pretty impressive for an iPad-only creation app!

It’s hard to make a living here, though. As TechCrunch points out, the creators “found that selling paint brushes in a drawing app is a lot harder than selling extra lives in Candy Crush.” That sucks.

Appin’ ain’t easy, and I salute these guys for taking some swings & at least discerning a pocket of interest. As always I’m eager to hear your thoughts on these developments.

Posted by John Nack at 7:50 AM on January 23, 2014
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