Autodesk has announced that the full version of its digital drawing software, SketchBook, is now entirely free for desktop, mobile and tablet as of April 30 – with all of the Pro version's features added to the Free version.
This means there is no longer an option to have a SketchBook Pro subscription. You now only have two options – the 'individual' free option which works across all your devices after using a seven-day trial, or the 'Enterprise license' for £90/US$85 per year, which provides access to tech support for use in larger organisations.
Sketchbook is one of the nine tools featured in our guide to the best digital painting software for artists, as well as being one of our best apps for drawing and painting on the iPad. It's available for Android and iOS phones and tablets – and there desktop version version for Macs and PCs.
The mobile/tablet version of Autodesk SketchBook 4.0 was released last year as free to download from iTunes and Google Play, but there was another option – Sketchbook Pro – which unlocked all the app’s features. To use this you had to pay an in-app purchase of £4.99/US$4.99, or you could purchase a Pro membership that got you the desktop and mobile versions of SketchBook Pro for US$29.99 (around £23) a year or $4.99 (£3.80) per month.
Autodesk says it’s not retiring SketchBook, but continuing to develop SketchBook and SketchBook for Enterprise with focus on adding functions for designers, architects and animators.
“While not all functionality will end up in both SketchBook and SketchBook for Enterprise, you will continue to enjoy the robust capabilities of SketchBook and benefit from ongoing enhancements, free of charge,” Autodesk Support wrote on its forum.
What are the benefits of SketchBook for Enterprise?
This option is designed for larger organisations. The product has similar features, with the exception of specific cross-product functionality, as it pertains to other Autodesk software. The enterprise license will allow access to technical Autodesk support and resources, including online chat, email and call, remote desktop assistance and online resources such as tutorials, training videos and community support forums.
Existing SketchBook Pro subscribers
After April 30, you will no longer need a subscription to run the full version of SketchBook. Autodesk will not be offering refunds to those who have already paid a SketchBook Pro subscription, but says your current subscription will not auto-renew.
If you purchased SketchBook Pro from the Microsoft store you’ll need to download the new version, enter your Autodesk ID and continuing SketchBook. If you purchased from the iTunes Store or Mac App store, you’ll need to update your copy of SketchBook to the new version and enter your Autodesk ID to continuing using the software.
If you purchased from Google Play, you’ll need to update your copy of SketchBook to the new version, and enter your Autodesk ID to continue using SketchBook. You will be required to cancel your Google Play subscription. Due to the way some stores handle subscription, Autodesk is unable to do that for you.
If you purchased straight from the SketchBook website, download the update from there and your current subscription will not auto-renew.
For anyone who isn’t already a SketchBook user, here’s how you can download the free version for Mac or Windows.
How do I download SketchBook for free?
For the Mac or Windows desktop versions:
If you have an existing Autodesk ID:
Hit the Sign In button and enter your Autodesk ID and password Now, start using SketchBook for free.
If you don’t have an Autodesk ID:
Hit the Create Account button to create a free Autodesk ID and password. Launch SketchBook. Hit the Sign In button and enter your Autodesk ID and password. Now, start using SketchBook for free.