Tremor aims to literally shake up your artistic abilities

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George Tinari
September 18th, 2014
In this article: app, apps, art, creativity, drawing, ios, review, tremor
Tremor aims to literally shake up your artistic abilities

Tremor screenshot

Rebelling against the idea that perfectly straight lines are admirable in art, Tremor is an app for either artists or casual drawing enthusiasts that forces you to use jittery lines as your only tool. All the lines - there's five different possibilities - have a very slight squiggle to them and there's no way around it, but it enables creativity and certainly a unique final result. It's US$2.99 for both iPhone and iPad and requires at least iOS 7.0.

I'm a bad artist. In fact, I'm not an artist at all. In elementary school I always did poorly in my art class and perhaps that's what left the bad taste in my mouth. However, there's something intriguing about Tremor. I like apps and generally speaking, concepts, that are the end result of somebody or some company thinking outside of the box.

In its description on the App Store, Tremor says Charles M. Schulz, the cartoonist responsible for Peanuts with a hand tremor condition, is the inspiration behind this app.

Tremor screenshot

There's a certain playfulness about Tremor. The developers designed the app beautifully, with delightful "shaking" animations when you tap to open a blank canvas or continue a previously started drawing. The UI reminds me a bit of Paper by FiftyThree. Drawing tools are rather sparse though. Along the top is everything the app provides you: selectors to choose one of five squiggly line styles, five different pen thicknesses, five different eraser thicknesses and a palette of 30 colors.

Judging by the limited selection of tools, this app doesn't seem geared toward professionals. It's more for casual drawers looking for some fun squiggling around their iPhone or iPad. Still, some more options and tools would be appreciated like to change the background color or add layers.

When you're done creating your masterpiece, Tremor lets you save it as an image to your Photos, email it, or share it to other apps and services. (There's also an "Other Apps" option which brings up the exact same Share Sheet.) Back in drawing mode, one final menu item lets you completely clear the canvas and start from scratch if you're so deeply distraught with your progress.

Tremor screenshot

I have no doubt in my mind that the developers spent up plenty of time and patience crafting Tremor because for an app only on version 1.0, it has a tremendous amount of fit and finish. Unfortunately, my biggest problem with it is that it simply feels like jittery line-drawing isn't worthy of its own app, especially at $2.99. Rather, squiggly lines should be built-in to an existing drawing app that does much more all in one. Add this to the lack of tools and colors, Tremor doesn't feel worth the money.

I almost feel a little disappointed in myself for feeling somewhat let down by Tremor. The execution of the concept is fantastic, so the developers really don't have anything to be ashamed of. It comes down to the concept itself: jittery lines are indeed fun to draw with, but they'd work best as just a feature instead of an entire app.

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