Top 10 iPad apps for designers03/30/2011
There are a myriad of lists to look at for the iPad. A list for a specific trade is a little harder to come by. Since the iPad has been out for a while and has really gained steam in addition to the release of the iPad 2 and iOS 4.3 there has been a plethora of well-built, professional apps recently released to the app store so I have compiled a list for designers, specifically, graphic designers. These are all apps I continue to use, and trust me…I download and try out a lot of apps.
Sketchpad Pro by Autodesk Inc. ($7.99)
Get your ideas sketched out or create full-fledged art. It includes high quality brushes and tools and allows layers to allow for easier editing.
Adobe Ideas by Adobe Systems Incorporated (free)
Create layers, vectors, or draw. Create color schemes and save inspiring images and then send the PDF or save your design board to your photo album. And of course, you have the ability to edit your creations in Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop. Best of all, it’s free.
Moodboard Pro by A Tiny Tribe LLC ($9.99)
An amazing app for organizing your creative thoughts whether you are planning a Web site, a wedding, designing your living room. I initially balked at the price but once I started to use it, I had a Web site design planned in minutes, taking snippets from inspiring Websites or photos, cropping within the program, creating a color scheme, and shifting it all around my “board.” As a creative director, I know I will use this app every day and it was well worth the 10-spot.
iMockups by Endloop Systems Inc. ($6.99)
Simply the best wireframing app I have used. Wireframe Web sites, iPhone, or iPad apps. It is just fast and easy and that’s how I like my apps. I noticed on the new release, there is VGA-out support for those who love the overhead projector.
Blueprint by Groosoft ($14.99)
A very professional user interface app. It’s a very loaded app for what it is. Easy to use once you get past the learning curve but that is to be expected in such a through program. Once you have created the user interface of your iPad or iPhone app, it can be played on the iPad or exported to PDF to send to co-workers. This is the only UI design app you need.
Font Book for iPad by Realazy ($4.99)
A simple way to preview fonts and see what headlines or body copy will look like. You can even install non-system fonts via iTunes File Sharing. There, that’s it!
iFontMaker by Eiji Nishidai ($6.99)
Not happy with your fonts? Create one! Convert your creation into a TTF file for use in your Adobe programs for print or the Web.
Dropbox by Dropbox (free)
This is one of those apps that should be preloaded. One of the original cloud storage companies. I use my Dropbox on all 3 of my computers as well as iPhone and iPad and it has become my primary hard drive for storage and work. The iPad interface makes it easier to browse your files, share, download, or upload. You should be getting a Dropbox account while you read this.
Adobe Photoshop Express by Adobe Systems Incorporated (free)
Just like your favorite photo editing software only stripped down to the basics. Crop, rotate, edit contrast, saturation, apply filters etc. The essentials for your photo editing needs.
Phaidon Design Classics by Phaidon Press ($19.99)
As a designer you probably have several Phaidon books in your collection. Now have 1,000 of the most beautifully designed objects in the world from the classics like the safety pin and Remington typewriter to the contemporary like the Bertoia Diamond Chair and the iPhone. Find inspiration without spending $180 on the hardover 3 volume book set. Or like me, have both!
BONUS APP (for iPhone): myPANTONE by Pantone ($9.99)
I have included this iPhone app because I felt that not only are good color guides lacking in the iPad community but this would make a very good color app to have on hand. Look up PMS colors, snap photos to get the PMS equivalent, create and save color schemes, and share the palettes with others or use in Adobe Creative Suite. Expect the quality you would from Pantone, the color people… Of course, your screen won’t match the actual non-digital, color chips fan deck perfectly, but a great cross-reference none-the less.