Why There’s No Sketch for the iPad

Sketch is a well-done, very popular Mac tool for designers. It’s gained particular traction among UI designers.

Here’s one of Sketch’s developers, replying to a thread on Designer News from users hoping to see a version of Sketch for the iPad Pro:

We don’t have plans for an iPad pro version at the moment. Yes, it has a beautiful screen, but there’s more to consider, such as how to adapt the UI for touch without compromising the experience.

But the biggest problem is the platform. Apps on iOS sell for unsustainably low prices due to the lack of trials. We cannot port Sketch to the iPad if we have no reasonable expectation of earning back on our investment.

This, I think, is the single biggest problem holding back the iPad. Apple sees the App Store as a success because there are so many apps, and so many downloads. But the Mac has an established ecosystem that allows for sustainable pricing — including upgrade pricing — for professional tools. (Sketch for Mac costs $100.)

There are exceptions: pro software that sells for sustainable prices in the App Store. But they are exceptions, not the norms. The iPad is five years old and there just isn’t as much “pro” software for it as there should be. And I think it’s hurting the platform. In theory, developers like Bohemian Coding (the makers of Sketch) should be all over the iPad Pro. In reality, they’re staying away simply because they don’t think they’ll make enough money to justify the costs of development.

Monday, 14 September 2015