Windows Insiders Developer Spotlight: Sketchable

Graphic of a ninja cat waving a Microsoft Windows flag while riding at top a T-Rex.

Meet Ryan and Miles Harris, the two brothers behind Sketchable, an app that makes creating art with Surface even better than drawing in a sketchbook. Ryan and Miles launched the app right alongside Windows 10, making Sketchable one of the first true Universal Windows Platform apps in the Microsoft Store. More than half a million downloads later, fans are raving about how the app’s flowing inks and fast, pressure-sensitive sketching feel like the real thing, while opening up endless creative possibilities through Surface’s digital interface.

Read on to find out how the brothers are using the Windows Insider Program to stay ahead of the competition and take Sketchable to new heights.

The brothers grew up immersed in the forward-thinking world of digital art — their father wrote the first color paint program for Mac called Pixel Paint and is now a Principal Scientist for Adobe Photoshop. Trailblazers in their own right, Ryan and Miles eventually launched their own development shop (called Silicon Benders) and decided to develop Sketchable for Surface and Windows 10. While most of their competitors were still on the Win32 platform, Ryan and Miles stayed ahead of the curve by becoming Windows Insiders.

“One of the reasons that we joined the program was that we wanted access to the pre-released Windows 10 APIs,” Ryan says.

By accessing the Windows 10 Preview builds and SDKs, the developers incorporated the most current Windows 10 functionality to their app. The team continues to keep up with each Preview build, enabling the app to stay “months ahead of everything else in terms of modern Windows 10 features.”

Understanding that staying connected with their users would be key to both cultivating a loyal customer base and keeping the app on the cutting edge, Ryan and Miles have also made Feedback Hub available from within Sketchable.

“We were actually one of the first to take advantage of this new feature,” Ryan says. “Unlike typical app reviews, the Feedback Hub has allowed us to connect directly with users and resolve issues faster.”

Sketchable is continuing to pioneer new features, right alongside Windows. Most recently, the app was featured as part of the Surface Studio launch, featuring the Surface dial, a revolutionary new tool that unleashes the creative power of all ten fingertips.

Download the latest Sketchable app and test drive the latest of inking in Windows 10.

—Dona Sakar