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Pencil Sketch Pad app review: transform all of your favorite photos to crystal clear sketches



Pencil Sketch Pad by Yanyu Xie is a photo editing app with the exclusive purpose of transforming your favorite photos into sketches. There are other apps with this type of functionality, but what makes this one stand out is the clarity of the pictures you can produce with it. In most other apps, with the ability to give your photos a sketch appearance, the final product leaves something to be desired, but not with Pencil Sketch Pad. With this app you can create photos that look like they were created by an actual artist. This is a free app and it’s compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

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Pencil Sketch Pad - My Cartoon Effects Filter Booth & Portrait Photo Editor


Create the Perfect Sketch Photos

The App Store is full of photo editing apps, so for an app to be competitive in such a crowded market it has to have a good set of tools, a friendly user interface, and it must create a great end product – Pencil Sketch Pad scores high in all these areas. Other apps in this category are often confusing and difficult to use, this app couldn’t be much simpler to use. While it’s nice to have a range of different tools in a photo editing app, it’s much more important that the tools offered in the app work well. And it's clear, that must have been the most important aspect for the developers of this app.

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While there’s no doubt this is a good app, it does have a few issues that reduce its overall appeal. Probably the most obvious setback is that the app is full of ads – there are banner ads at the top of every page, and after you finish every editing job you’ll have to contend with a full paged ad before you can move on to the next one. Unfortunately, there aren’t any instructions either, which makes it a little more challenging to figure out. The other issue is that the app is not completely free – there are in-app purchases. This app will require 40.6 MB of available space on your iOS device. 

The Essentials

When you run the app, you will be prompted to select a photo from your existing album or to take a new photo to edit. The picture you select will dominate the interface with a simple menu bar at the bottom of the app. This menu bar has different types of sketch choices that are available, as well as a framing tool and a crop tool above this menu. The sketch tools consist of twenty different filters that include standard black and white sketches, colored sketches, pixilated sketches, cartoon styles and several others. There’s tons of choice and with the framing and cropping tools you can create quite a nice effect.

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If you want to select a new photo to edit at any time, there’s a camera icon in the top left corner for this purpose. In the top right corner you’ll find settings menu that allows you to share and rate the app, as well as a sharing tool for you to save or send your new creation via social media. It gives you quite a few options.

Pencil Sketch Pad - My Cartoon Effects Filter Booth & Portrait Photo Editor


Pros and Cons


  • Photo sketches produce are crystal clear
  • Includes a user friendly interface
  • Twenty different sketch filters are available
  • Includes several different sharing options


  • Contains in-app purchases
  • Includes pop up ads and banner ads
  • No instructions

Final Words

If you enjoy finding fun new ways to edit your photos then Pencil Sketch Pad is definitely an app you’ll want to give a try. This app focuses exclusively on turning your photos into sketches and it does it quite well. You will have to contend with some ads, but the end result is worth it. 


Pencil Sketch Pad - My Cartoon Effects Filter Booth & Portrait Photo Editor

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Cherry is a hard-working writer and an aspiring web designer who can't go a day without using her favorite apps. She's always on the lookout for new apps and enjoys discovering ones that others have overlooked.