Update: Atek has informed us that the broken line effect resulting from my use of the paint bucket tool can be avoided by disabling Smooth Edges under Preferences.
For quite some time now, Apple’s OS X operating system has lacked a significant feature that is built into its nearest competitor. No, I’m not talking about a proper file management system; what I’m vaguely referring to is Microsoft Paint.
Apple’s exclusion of an integrated paint system probably stems from the perception that Mac is a design platform made for designers. That, however, isn’t really the case anymore. Anyone with a thousand bucks to spare can own and use a Mac, and many do. That’s why, yesterday, Atek, Inc. released Patina on the OS X App Store. It’s a drawing tool for non-professionals, similar to that of Microsoft Paint, while pandering to the average Mac user’s sense of design.
“Although more stylish in appearance than Paint, Patina shares the simple feel of Microsoft’s popular app,” writes company president Dan Rothman. “Basic operations, such as drawing and manipulating shapes, setting and changing colors, moving and resizing objects, and doing annotations, are all very straightforward.”
After spending a few minutes with Patina, I can confirm it is very much a Microsoft Paint alternative, in the best and worst ways. As seen in my impressively artistic drawing above, the paint bucket tool still fails to properly fill the lines of my drawing, and though there’s an eyedrop tool included, you can’t actually open two images in the same window to borrow hues from other pictures. It’s a basic paint tool. Sure, it’s prettier than Microsoft Paint, but even its flaws draw heavy influence from the long-standing Windows utility.
“Many people who have switched over to Mac love Apple hardware and software but miss Microsoft Paint for doing simple drawings,” added Rothman. “We evaluated drawing apps for Mac that were currently available and found they were either unrefined open source programs or complex vector applications for designers and artists. There were no OS X apps that could match the user-friendliness of Paint. We aimed to fill that void with Patina.”
For its first week of launch, Patina is free of charge on the App Store with a price hike to $3.00 set to occur on December 10.