Sketching with Snapstouch

The news this week is full of stories about the successful adoption of the Chromebooks in education.

Chromebooks are about to take over and Apple and Microsoft should be worried

Of course, we saw stories like this with the introduction of the iPad.  It was successful at first but the pricing has forced school districts to look around and see if there are alternatives.  Alternatives with keyboards…

It makes for some interesting thinking.  Do you buy the higher priced devices that can do everything and last for a long time?  Or, do you buy the lesser priced device that can do many things but will have a shorter life.  I can clearly see both sides.  One of the fun and time consuming things of buying a new computer is setting it up just the way that you want it.  One of the appealing things about doing this more frequently is being able to upgrade to a device with more power and features sooner.

Is there not some combination of both that would be the best possible solution?  A friend of my reflected on the increasing ability (and price) of computers and how, at times, there’s far more than needed.  His comment – “It’s like giving phasers to cavemen”.

Based on the story above, there were some interesting conversations – it’s exciting to think that school districts are able to purchase more equipment.  And yet, as it was noted, for the power user, there will be things that can’t be done.  In this case, it was photo editing.  Long time Photoshop or Gimp users will know that you’ll lose that ability on a Chromebook.  Yet, the price is so appealing for other things.

The answer, as it can be to so many things these days, is to look online to see if there isn’t some web based application that can at least partially ease the burden.  If I was managing a class set or district set of Chromebooks, I’d be looking for web based solutions that support the functionality of the device.  One of the tools that I would most certainly bookmark would be Snapstouch.

I decided to put it to the test yesterday.  I think I could dig into my Photoshop skillset and do the above transformations.  Could Snapstouch do it for me?

As it would happen, there was a tug boat headed north on the Detroit River yesterday and I took a picture.

I put Snapstouch through its paces.  It works quite easily.  Just locate the picture that you want, upload it, wait a few minutes while the magic happens and then walk away with your image.

Sketch

Painting

Drawing

Outlining

Black and White

Not bad, if I do say so myself. 

Of course, you don’t have the whole suite of tools that you would with Photoshop or Gimp.  But, if the goal is to apply some effects quickly, this fits the bill.

If you’re a Chromebook user or support users using Chromebook, I’d bookmark and pass this utility along.

In the meantime, if you really are a power user, it’s still comforting to know that you can still buy that higher powered computer to get the full, familiar functionality that you’ve come to love and enjoy.

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