Google is pushing their boundaries to venture and bring every single application on the web and make them always available for their users. In the recent past, Google Draw seems to get more attention as a very lightweight version of Photoshop. Google Draw was initially a part of Google Slides to make drawing and chart for PPTs. Now, a separate product by itself.
“I prefer Google Draw for quick and simple prototyping of product design and mock-ups. Spending less time on the tool and concentrating on the design.”
Why Google Draw?
- Absolutely no installation: Just like the other applications, like Google Slides and Google Docs, you just have to create a file on the drive and everything is set up. The app engine running on their server will do the internal processing for you instead of your hardware.
- Absolutely free: Unlike Adobe product’s aim to make the revenue from the flagship products like Photoshop and Illustrator, Google aims to bring more and more people online by allowing them to use products for free. Even though the latest Adobe CC ecosystem is capable of offering the best of user experience, Google does it better by integrating it with the drive which itself is a free product.
- Multiple device access: Photoshop needs to be installed on all the devices if needed to be accessed which is a little tedious if working on multiple devices like at work, home and friends devices. So Google Draw plays a better role by making it available on the browser and accesses it across devices with a single tap.
- Collaboration: Best feature of Google Draw is to invite co-designers/developers to edit things live and changes are reflected immediately. There is chat window to discuss while editing too.
- Intelligent guides: The elements in google draw are super cool to align. The use of intelligence to snap the element to neighboring elements which includes the spacing pattern too. A very good and neatly implemented feature.
- Quick Prototype: Google Draw is perceived to be a simple and naive tool like paint, but personally it is a very powerful tool. Lately, have been using Google Draw more and it has a better user experience. It doesn’t need one to know the product in and out. Anybody can learn it in a matter of hours. Every tool is self-explanatory and needs just a few hours of play-around to master it.
- Very Powerful: Google Draw has the potential to do anything that Photoshop can do expect 3D heavy elements. If you are looking for 2D vector based design or Logo maker or diagrams and representation, this is your tool. Google is trying to push more 3D elements in the future to it while a few plugins already offer 3D stuff.
Few of my renders :
- Lack of 3D support: 3D support is way better and consistent in Adobe Photoshop. After all, in Google draw, 2D elements can be made to look like 3D but they are not actually 3D.
- Very small Designing Layout: A very very poor layout choice by Google Draw. Even on a 1960 X 1080 resolution screen, the layout available to design is just 75% vertically :(. The browser tab itself occupies the first few pixels of the screen, later by branding and it gets worse when it comes to its tools. Designers need a larger layout to design as most of them get ‘pixel-paranoid’ when aligning the elements precisely. If the tool and branding are moved to left it could make more space for the layout to sketch experience better.
- No Pencil Tool: There are alternative tools for Pencil in google draw. But it limits the potential to draw custom elements and create unconventional contents. Pencil tool is so irreplaceable and I that Draw needs such a tool.
- Bad Rendering: While designing, the design looks crisp and as intended. But lacks crisp and clear render at high and low resolutions. Even while having the layout to be 4K, the image rendered will be 4K res but the pixel density is pretty cheap. It gets worse when the design contains an element with high-resolution images which ends up rendering with way low DPI.
Final thoughts :
If you are a designer who concentrates on design vector based elements like logos, design mockups, prototyping, this is your alternative. It is a part of Google ecosystem and offers a very good simple and easy to use interface. But if you looking for more like heavy 3D GPU based elments and renders, not the best choice. I swtich devices frequently and feel the need for one place to edit, so picked google draw and i havent been dissappointed as of now. Haven’t felt the real need to switch back to Adobe Photoshop in 6 months.
*Google Draw essentially doesn’t use RAM but Chrome does to run it.