AppleFeature

The 65 best iPhone apps for designers

The best iPhone apps to speed up your workflow, help you make the right design choices, and more.

Despite some strong competition from free Android apps, the iPhone continues to be the main smartphone of choice for the design world. It's not just the best iPad apps that can be of practical use to designers; Apple's pocket-sized marvel can be a pretty handy design tool too. Combined with the best iPhone apps it can pack some real punch in the studio – and more importantly, out of it.

So whether you plan to do some sketching on the move, are after a particular tool to aid your daily design work, or prefer to take things more seriously with something to help you manage your projects, time and money, you don't have to know how to build an app – there's a great selection of must-have apps right here.

01. Fuzel

  • Developer: Not A Basement Studio
  • Price: Free

Create cool photo collages for free with iPhone photography app Fuzel. With a wide variety of features and smooth UI, you can combine photos as well as add effects and write captions. The app imports images and cleverly places them so they fit within the chosen frame. You can then tap on any photo and realign, pinch to resize, add various filters as well as chose from different frames and borders.

02. Doodle Buddy

iPhone apps for designers
Doodle Buddy is described as 'the most fun you can have with your finger'
  • Developer: Pinger, Inc
  • Price: Free

Described as 'the most fun you can have with your finger', Doodle Buddy is a free doodling app, which comes complete with various playful backgrounds and stamps. The app has 44,000 colours to choose from, which can be applied in the form of a paintbrush, glitter pen, chalk and text. There's also the option to switch between freehand drawing and using a stencil. A no-frills, fun drawing app.

03. Ruler Plus

  • Developer: Bananas Design
  • Price: Free

A simple application but a vital one, Ruler Plus provides a 7cm (2 inch) ruler on your iPhone allowing you to take accurate measurements with ease. There's also the ability to extend the ruler by simply moving your iPhone to the right and pressing the plus sign.

04. FX Photo Studio

iPhone apps for designers
  • Developer: MacPhun LLC
  • Price: Free

FX Photo Studio offers an impresssive amount of ways to edit and enhance images. There's hundreds of filters and high-quality effects to to work with, alongside a whole host of other features to help create beautiful photography. This a powerful image processing app for photographers of all skill levels.

05. Layers

Top iPhone apps
Layers for iPhone has everything you need to be creative on the go

Built on the feedback of mobile artists, Layers is a natural media painting application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Featuring Photoshop compatibility, a selection of brushes, full colour, paint, erase and smudge tools and the ability to add five layers to your drawings, this nifty little app has everything you need to be creative on the go.

06. PicLab HD

best iphone apps for designers
Create inspiring images for the internet

PicLab HD is a nifty app for creating those inspiring images that you get all over the internet these days. You know, the ones featuring a photo – probably with at least one retro filter applied – with a helpful aphorism layered over the top in an attractive, friendly typeface. PicLab HD makes them an absolute doddle, enabling you to either snap a photo or grab one from your photo library, then go to town on it.

07. Strata

best iphone apps for designers
Banish those flat design blues with the Strata game
  • Developer: Graveck
  • Price: $0.99/£0.69

So you've just updated to iOS 7 and you're not feeling the flat design? Are you missing a bit of the old skeuomorphism? Ease your withdrawal with iPhone game Strata!

It's a simple enough premise: you're presented with a small grid containing a pattern of coloured squares, and you have to strategically layer strips of ribbon so that when you're finished, the colours of the top layer of ribbons match the coloured squares below. Easy enough to start off with, but as you progress through the game the grids become larger, the patterns more complex and you have more colours to play with, making matters a whole lot trickier.

08. 3DMark

best iphone apps for designers
The real fun lies in running the benchmarking tests

3DMark's a benchmarking tool that's been putting PCs through their paces since the 1990s, and now there's an iOS version that'll give your iPhone (or your iPad or iPod) a proper 3D workout and award it a no-nonsense score.

The real fun lies in running the benchmarking tests, which are beautiful mock-ups of a detailed and action-packed 3D game. They're a delight to watch, and once they're done you can find out how many frames per second your device can manage and just how good it is at simulating 3D physics.

09. Photochop

best iphone apps for designers
Chop up your photos with this handy little hat

We probably like this app for its name as much as for its function. It's a cheap and cheerful little tool for mucking about with pictures; the latest in a long line of photo editing apps. Simply pick a snap from your iPhone's photo library, chop it up into a set of tiles and then go crazy.

10. Filmic Pro

Top iPhone apps
Packed with features, is this the ultimate iPhone video camera?

FiLMiC Pro is, quite simply, the answer to the frustrations filmmakers have with Apple's default camera app. The most obvious and immediately useful features are the ability to set the focus and exposure separately, to lock them individually, and to lock the white balance. They're all vital for getting the tone and mood of what you're filming right, and FiLMiC knows that.

Video nuts will find wide-eyed glee in the ability to specify not only what resolution it films at, but also the framerate and, best of all, the bitrate, so you can record at quality far beyond the Apple defaults – great if you're filming lots of motion.

Next page: 10 more iPhone apps to improve your daily life

site stat collection