Doodle Keyboard - Draw on Friends Selfies

Quickly edit photos like SnapChat from your keyboard 👻🎨🐙

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Jon Kent
Jon KentHunter@jonkykong · iOS Developer and Designer
Yo! After sharing my game LightGlide with you, I’m back to share another side-project. About the app: I find it tedious to edit photos on my phone. There’s a lot of great photo editing apps but they have so many features that somehow make it complicated to do simple things. I also wanted an easy way to “comment” on photos from my friends through drawing that didn’t require me to 1) save the photo to my phone 2) open it in another app then 3) share it from that app or return back to the app I was in to send it. So I thought about it… What’s an app with great yet simple drawing experience? SnapChat. How can I make editing photos easier? Custom keyboards. Introducing: Doodle Keyboard! Use the keyboard to copy a friend's selfie (or any photo) to the pasteboard, draw on it in FULL SCREEN, add text or emojis, then paste it right back without ever leaving the app you're in or saving photos to your phone. You can also pick a photo from your phone or start with a blank canvas. Doodle on friends’ selfies! Create memes! Doodle on screenshots from your phone! Create works of art! Please use it for good, not evil — I’m looking at you, “eggplant” artists. If you're weary about installing another keyboard on your phone because of the pain of linearly switching through them, don't worry; I thought of that. There's a setting in the keyboard to skip it unless there's an image in the pasteboard. There are other drawing keyboards out there but as far as I can tell mine is the first to use the pasteboard as an entry point, the first to expand to full screen, and the first to skip over its own keyboard unless you seem to have the intent to draw. Back story: I’m a freelance mobile developer and designer and in my spare time I like to experiment with projects to keep my skills sharp. Truth be told I had planned to share this months ago, however the app concept was in uncharted waters and was rejected multiple times. After lots of back and forth culminating in a call with an App Store engineer, I got it approved! I must be persuasive. I learned a TON about developing custom keyboards from this. If there’s enough interest I can write up a post about the 15 or so nuances I ran into and how I overcame them. Still reading? There’s several hidden features in the app. Here’s a few tips and tricks: 1. When picking a color, slide your finger left to fade to gray, up to white, or down to black. 2. When drawing, touch and drag left on the pen to fade the current color to clear. 3. When composing text, swipe left or right to change the font. 4. In addition to positioning text, you can also rotate and pinch to zoom on large text. 5. When drawing, force-touch to increase the brush size. The larger brush size stays locked until you lift your finger so you don’t have to hold the pressure. This also works on phones that don’t support force-touch! 6. How you hold your phone changes the orientation of final image when you’re done doodling. Hold your phone in portrait for a portrait doodle or landscape for a landscape doodle. This works in the app and in the keyboard! 7. In the app, force-touch (or long-press if your device doesn’t support force-touch) to delete a doodle from the gallery. 8. In the app, shake your phone to change the thumbnail size of doodles in the gallery.