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Silhouette Mobile App: First Impressions - The Good, Bad, and...the Beta

So if you follow me on Instagram you know I had (and still have) quite the frown over the fact that I have still not received a download link for the beta version of the Silhouette Mobile App.  I'm not even bitter.... because lucky for me - and you - I do have some awesome weekly contributors here at Silhouette School in Becky and Glenna, from My Paper Craze, and they did get the link and so these fine ladies are here to give us their first impressions on the Silhouette Studio Mobile App!

Now you guys know how I roll - I shoot it straight, avoid the sugar coat and call it like I see it. That's what I encouraged these ladies to do too because I want you to get an honest first impression!  Let's all keep in mind it's BETA!

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, beta 
One important thing to talk about before we get some insight into the new Silhouette Studio Mobile app is that it is still in testing or beta mode.  A rather limited number of applicants were selected to test and give feedback on the software app so that Silhouette America can get the bugs worked out and have it at top-speed when it's released to the public (or that's the idea, anyways).

On a personal note, all glitches aside, I'm not quite sure what you would actually need the app for at this point. We'll talk more about the pro's and con's, plus what other features Silhouette America is planning to add that may make a little more sense down the line.

Another point to remember is that this is a mobile app, not a fully functional computer. While we have all become so accustomed to using our mobile devices for just about everything, this is one area that is functional, yet not efficient in my opinion.

After playing with it for just a short time, it became apparent that any type of designing is going to take a great deal of time. BUT, it could be done and would add convenience for designing in say... the doctor's office while waiting for your appointment.

After downloading the app on the mobile device (mine was my cell phone), you go through the basics, such as logging in to your Silhouette account.  

My first tip is to make sure you have your password handy if you have a struggling memory like me.  After logging in, you get to see the home screen, which is the design area. From here, you have all your basic functions.

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, beta
Silhouette Studio Mobile does have dual-screen functionality, which is a fancy way to say that you can swipe back and forth between your design screen and your library or Silhouette Online Store (SOS). 

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, betaAll you do is swipe your finger over the Silhouette logo on the bottom left (swipe to the right) and tada! Hello library. 

By 'library' I mean Silhouette Cloud, which is not actually up and running as of yet. That's okay though, I understood the point and am pretty excited to know that the Silhouette Cloud is on the way and that it'll be functional with the mobile app. 

Another exciting thing is that it looks like you'll be able to create folders to keep your designs organized (which I am not currently doing, yikes!).

So, without the cloud, I was a little limited, BUT luckily you also have access to your recently downloaded Silhouette Store purchases!  I grabbed one of those to play around with in the design area.
Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, beta

To get back to the design area, you just swipe again on the Silhouette logo, now in the bottom right (swipe to the left).  Now that we're here, let's take a look at the menu and options that are available. I was actually surprised at this point at how easy it was to customize the design area.

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, beta

So bare with me and we'll take a look at each sub-menu and get a feel for how it's set up and you'll see what I mean about it being pretty user friendly.

First is the File menu, where you have New, Save and Save as. †Pretty basic functions.

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, beta

The only part I am anxious to test out is saving to the cloud and how it carries over to the desktop Silhouette Studio, so hopefully we'll see that soon.  Let me pause here to also say that I attempted to open a file I sent myself via email in studio3 format and was not able to open it.  This was disappointing for me because there are times that I want to preview a file shared in a group or look and make sure I'm sending the right file to a friend.  It appears at this time that you will only be opening and saving from the Silhouette Cloud. Hopefully this will change... otherwise you'll have to save any new designs to the could before they can be accessed in the mobile app.
 
Next is the Page Settings. I think this is the part that surprised me, but I'm not quite sure why.  You can adjust your Page Size, Media Type and Cutting Mat.  One difference to point out here is that you have to select your Media Type here instead of when you send to your Silhouette.

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, beta

Here's a little more of what each option looks like...

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, beta††Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, beta
Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, beta

And finally you have Options, which is pretty self-explanatory.

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, beta

So once you open a file in the design area, you have the basic functions of adjusting size, grouping, ungrouping, rotating, etc.  This was the biggest disappointment for me, because there was no actual design capabilities. However, Silhouette America is saying that more design functions will be added, such as text, welding, etc. 

I'm extremely anxious to see what new functions are in store and how those will interact with the software. But working with our limited library and functions, let's take a look at cutting directly from your mobile device.

Now I'll admit that this was the biggest struggle for me. I'll leave my internet carrier un-named for the purposes of this review, but I constantly have connection issues with my wifi router (which is also my modem). So I can't say that my struggles were strictly in relation to the Silhouette Studio Mobile app. I can say that it was definitely NOT worth the struggle, other than a first time testing. At the time that I researched this function, others were either using it easily or not sharing their struggles with the rest of us, so keep that in mind.

There are limitations to cutting from your mobile device as well, such as having to have your computer connected to your Cameo/Portrait.  
  • Basically, you will download another Silhouette software (Silhouette Link) that will run in the background on your computer, which will stay connected to your Cameo/Portrait.
  • Your mobile device will actually connect, wirelessly through your home network, to the software on your computer, which will then send your design to the cutting machine. 
So the two limitations here are: 1) keeping your cutting machine connected to your computer (which I assume has to be up and running at the time) and 2) being within your home network to send the file to your Silhouette. 

Of course, how often will you need to cut files from afar? Not often, since you still have to be next to your CAMEO or Portrait (which is connected to your computer, remember) to load the media anyways. 

But nonetheless, we finally got the mobile device to register on the Silhouette Link software:

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, beta

Again with the personal struggles, even when I was able to connect my phone, it would only stay connected for about 3 minutes.  I would then have to uninstall the Silhouette Link software from my laptop and reinstall it, then reconnect my phone. But please keep in mind that this may not apply to you (I seriously hope not) and that all this feedback is going to Silhouette America for improvements.

Finally, you have your file, you've connected your mobile device to the Silhouette Link and your Silhouette machine is plugged in. You can now send your file to the machine to be cut or sketched in my case. My toddler likes butterflies, so I thought she would enjoy this since she
ran amok"helped" me through my struggles.  And by helped I mean repeatedly asked me if it was done yet. So here's the view from your mobile device.

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, betaSilhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, beta
Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, betaSilhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, beta
Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, beta

I did a quick sketch with a sharpie just to demonstrate the process. Here's my final product!

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette Studio mobile, review, beta

So, to give an overview, I'd say that I'm glad that Silhouette America is in the process of developing a mobile app and I hope it is just too early to tell how successful it will be. I think it will also depend on how high your expectations are for a mobile app as it is definitely not going to replace the need for your desktop software. 

Once (or if?) the design functions are enhanced to include more editing capabilities, then I might revisit using Silhouette Studio Mobile during my downtime (lunch breaks, long waits at appointments, etc). But for now, if given a take it or leave it, I'd leave it.  Like I said early on, this is the testing phase and at least Silhouette America is taking the time to test it out before releasing it to the public.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!
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