Alright. I admit it. This desktop tower fanatic has finally used a productive app in (gasp) Android on (double gasp) a Galaxy Tab E and liked it (hell HAS frozen over)!
Now we’re not setting any productivity records on hardcore digital artwork, but I did manage to use the Spark Post version for Android to create some posters while doing what we all do in this world… waiting.
“What” it is we are waiting on isn’t relevant as it seems we are always waiting on something more often than we want to. As a freelancer… being productive in my downtime can pay off. Even if it’s just pocket change it never hurts to turn burn up time into paid for time. At the end of your tax year it all adds up to income.
The situation: Downtime with internet sitting in a not so comfortable chair pissed off to the extreme that I’m waiting on anything. That’s just how I am. Can’t help it. In fact, I don’t even try. If impatience was a virtue, then I’m your poster child.
The solution: Squeeze some more juice out of that Creative Cloud subscription your significant other seems so annoyed with.
Template Screen on Left, Saved work in MY Posts on Right
That’s right. Let’s see if there is an app I can use on my little Tab E (mainly used as a reader… it was one of those damned expensive FREE tablets from AT&T but that’s another story) to turn this miserable burn time into miserable paid time at the very least.
I had some poster concepts that needed to be done. They didn’t pay much, but the work order didn’t ask for much. Throw together some posters with their artwork to kick around in an early creative meeting. I remember Adobe Spark and found Spark Post for Android.
The reviews (except the first one I read) were encouraging. It was not a power app, but it was a usable working app for early concept work. At least that is how I saw it.
Having almost zero experience in mobile productivity apps I had no idea what to expect. I had previously surmised, in my usual optimistic manner, that it wouldn't work. But nothing ventured nothing gained so I downloaded it.
Before I knew it... it was installed and ready to use. That didn’t bode well. Couldn’t pack much under the hood of that little car. Maybe… I hope… possibly even prayed a little… it might let me put text on an image with a few primitive shapes as dressing.
Boy… was I wrong. It did a LOT more than that.
General Design Screen on Left, Various Edit Choices on Right
I ignored their premium templates as most of us would and had no trouble identifying plenty of candidates that had shapes, colors, and items I could work with.
I uploaded client artwork with no problem since the internet connection was good and found a lot of things intuitive to use since Adobe products are a way of life for so many of us. Everything was falling into place and I realized… hey… this thing does quite a bit for a mobile app. Lots of unexpected bells and whistles to spice things up.
Very surprising indeed.
While I can’t show the client artwork, I can demo a mockup I made by taking a picture with the Tab E of the back of the studio then using it for a simple poster. The poster used a template and only took a few minutes to create as all I did was change the text. I like the mockup enough I may just print it out and hang it in the studio.
As I wrote earlier… you won’t be breaking any productivity records with this Android-based app, but it can turn downtime into productive time. It can also keep your promotional artwork skills up to par just making mockups while stuck in some waiting room with stale air and ten-year-old magazines. You won’t be setting the digital world on fire, but you won’t be bored either.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.