It's been a while since I released a major update for Leonardo, and I wanted to provide an update on what's been happening and what to expect in the future.

As originally planned, my goal for Leonardo was to gradually improve the app until I was ready for a 1.0 release. However, about a year ago, I encountered several roadblocks that made it difficult to take the app to the next level. These were due to some technical decisions that were made early on in the development process when I had limited experience creating a drawing app.

These early technical choices became increasingly difficult to work around, and I eventually realized that in order to push Leonardo forward, I would need to rewrite the underlying technology. This is what I've been working on for the past year. The new underlying technology will bring several major improvements to Leonardo, including:

  • "Pixel memory" will enable every pixel to remember the brush that last touched it, allowing users to "brush pick" from the canvas in a way similar to color picking
  • Mac and iPad versions
  • Custom brushes
  • Canvas textures
  • Lower latency while drawing
  • More advanced brush engine
  • The ability to open and save PSD files
  • Improved transform and distort functions
  • Improved layers, including groups and better performance
  • The Leonardo file format will be "Dropbox safe" allowing users to work on the same document from different devices
  • Branched undo-history saved in the Leonardo file to minimize the risk of data loss
  • Preparations for a text tool (though this may not be included in the first release)

Much of this technology is already up and running in "the lab," and I hope to have it finished within the next year. However, it will take some additional time to integrate it with the user interface before I can release it, so the final release will likely not be until 2024.

Finally, I want to reassure all of my users who have supported me and purchased Leonardo that you will receive a free upgrade to this future version once it's available. Thank you for your patience and support!