New Procreate Pocket update takes iPhone graphic design to new heights

If you're a digital artist using iOS, chances are you're familiar with Procreate. The hugely popular iPad app is one of the best tools for illustrators and graphic designers, and the iPhone version is no slouch either. The latter has just received a brand new update – and it's a big one.

The app has been given a brand new UI, featuring a compact and easy-to-navigate 'card' system. Meanwhile, one of the most popular iPad features has finally made its way to the pocket version: dark mode. It's already top of our best iPhone apps for designers list, but Procreate Pocket just got even more powerful (not to mention prettier).


Dark mode is finally available on Procreate Pocket (Image credit: Savage Interactive)

Further bringing the iPhone version in line with its iPad counterpart is the addition of the Valkyrie graphics engine. We were truly impressed by its performance in the iPad  app's Procreate 5X update, and it promises similar super-speedy performance on mobile. "Using new sophisticated shaders, Valkyrie absolutely flies on iPhone," Savage International says in a press release.

The new Procreate Pocket update also adds tons of artistic tools from the iPad version. Brush Studio lets you create and edit your own brushes (or even import your favourite Photoshop brushes), while Animation Assist lets you create everything from looping GIFs to rich, illustrative animations.

While much of the update involves porting iPad features to iPhone (which is no bad thing – Procreate for iPad is arguably one of the best Photoshop alternatives), some features feel even better suited to the iPhone. Palette Capture (below), for example, lets you use the iPhone camera to capture real-life colours, like an IRL version of the eyedropper tool. With any of the iPhones in our best camera phones list, you're likely to capture even more accurate colours than you could with a tablet.

Procreate Pocket

Palette Capture: like a real-life eyedropper tool (Image credit: Savage Interactive)

While an iPhone might not come close to an iPad as a digital canvas when it comes to screen real estate, the former is a creative studio you can actually keep in your pocket. For graphic designers, there's arguably a time and a place for both – and the latest Procreate Pocket update means the iPhone experience can easily keep up with the iPad version.

The new version of Procreate Pocket is available right now as a free update for existing users (the app itself is available for a one-time purchase of $4.99 / £4.99 via Apple's App Store). If you're looking for the best Procreate Pocket experience available, check out today's best iPhone 12 deals below.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).