Colouring books for Android tend to vary wildly in quality and ambition, from basic tap-to-fill affairs to more artistically demanding stuff. ColorBook plonks itself right in the middle of the market with the ace in the hole of being able to colour in pictures taken on your smartphone. It’s good fun the kids if a little ill-refined.
ColorBook is the first app from developers Tortasoft but it caught our eye for one key feature, the ability to use snaps taken on your smartphone and use them as a canvass for your artistic flair. This is huge fun and we lost a fair proportion of our afternoon re-imagining holiday photos in a cartoon fashion. If you don’t have many pics stored on your smartphone, you can also import any images you’ve been tagged in on Facebook which is a nice touch.
Any colouring app is naturally going to live or die by its drawing system and ColorBook can be a bit patchy at times. The ‘original’ photo colouring system is fine, since it works by you rubbing your finger over the touchscreen with the colours filled in for you. For an app aimed squarely at kids, this lack of complexity is more of a help than a hinderance.
If you want to do the colouring yourself, you can do so in some detail by adjusting the size of your brush and choosing from a huge palette of available shades. This can make for quite a pernickety smartphone experience, although ColorBook is fantastic on an Android tablet. More disappointing is the lack of a quick colour selection tool which means you’re forced to go through the entire spectrum every time you want to change from red to green.
Our major criticism of ColorBook however, is the lack of included images you can colour in yourself. While its photo feature really is outstanding, it would be nice to be able to pencil in a zebra (or any kind of animal) without having to Google search for it or go on an African safari.
On the whole, ColorBook is a great colouring app and one we expect to improve as it gets updated by its developer. For a first effort on the Android Market, it’s hard to imagine a much better offering.
The Bottom Line
A great colouring app for kids and adults alike.
Version reviewed 1.45
Requires Android 2.2 or higher