A customer posted a glowing, informative review on our new Candy Apple application (graphic design and vector illustration for Mac):

Draws rings around drawing apps costing far more (5 stars out of 5)

by Igoncat (Candy Apple 1.2 on OS X 10.8.5)

I took a chance on Candy Apple and I’m really glad I did.

I couldn’t find any reviews for it anywhere online. But after weighing the options, I decided it might be worth a shot…

I’m used to professional vector drawing programs like Freehand, which, sadly, Adobe bought out & jerked off the market. I’ve been looking at new drawing apps ever since. Candy Apple is one of the newer Mac imaging apps that take advantage of the OS X Quartz Core Image technology.

The developer has kept Candy Apple’s code to a minimum, reducing risks of incompatibility & instability. Instead of lots of tools, Candy Apple’s functions are minimized, giving the interface a spare, spartan look.

But don’t let that fool you; this app does a lot of stuff & does it well.

It not only does the basic vector functions like shapes, strokes, paths, fills, gradients, textures, transparencies & shadows; converting text to paths, shapes & bitmaps; filling shapes with bitmap images, performing Boolean operations, etc., but in addition, it can also apply a long list of basic Quartz effects & blending modes to bitmap images. However, Candy Apple is not a bitmap editor & there are no bitmap selection or feathering tools. Still, this is a valuable feature that can be used on its own. And while there’s also no brush tool, paths can easily be expanded, converted to outlines & shaped at will (which most vector brushes require anyway). It can open & edit SVG images, but not save to SVG yet. I haven’t tried exporting to editable PDFs yet so I can’t evaluate that.

Candy Apple also has a few other features many vector apps lack, including auto-trace, shape-distortion, randomness & rough strokes.

As with any new software, there are also a few problems, though they seem fairly minor. For instance, it doesn’t remember the positions of the floating windows, palettes, inspectors, colors, etc., so you have to re-position them when you open the program. But that’s just a nuisance & I’m sure it will be quickly fixed. It has control-click menu options for many functions, but it could use a lot more shortcuts. No doubt efficiency will be improved in upgrades with other improvements.

There are a few other minor gripes, but all in all, it seems to be a stable, VERY useful program with a long list of features that generally work as advertised. Plus, the user manual seems quite comprehensive.

The App Store screenshots don’t do the program justice. From what I’ve seen, Candy Apple could easily create dazzling photo-realistic images of hot cars & motorcycles like the slick graphics used to market other vector draw apps like iDraw & Sketch.

Despite a few rough edges, Candy Apple can hold its own with more polished vector drawing apps & does a number of things others don’t do at all. It not only draws rings around iDraw, for example, it’s much easier to use.

Based on my experience I would definitely recommend Candy Apple to anyone looking for a very good basic vector drawing app at a fair price. You could spend a lot more & not get comparable features.