The 90 best iPad apps

37. iDraw


iDraw is a fully-fledged vector editing tool for your mobile device
  • Price: $10.16/£6.99

Rather than the drawing app its name suggests, iDraw seeks to be a fully-fledged vector illustration tool similar to Adobe software such as Illustrator and InDesign. You can edit designs created in this iPad app in other vector applications by exporting them as PDF or SVG files. If you're looking to create a quick document layout, flow chart, graph or any other vector-based image, then this is well worth checking out.

38. Sprite HD

Best iPad apps: Sprite HD

Sprite is a tool for prototyping user interfaces for iOS
  • Price: $7.99/£5.49

Sprite HD is an iPad app for prototyping user interfaces for iOS. The premise is straightforward: you create a new page for each screen display you want to mock up and then add elements to it in order to see how it will look.

Sprite HD has a full library of buttons, controls, icons, and dialogue boxes and allows you to add text and images manually. Start with a background - either black or grey linen for iOS - and then drag assets to it from the library, one at a time. It's a useful way of quickly visualising and sharing how an app will look in a given state.

39. Touch Draw


TouchDraw is the perfect app for crafting vector hillsides. It's also not bad for logos and floor plans, if hillsides aren't your thing
  • Price: $10.16/£6.99

Although seemingly in a similar space to Adobe Ideas, TouchDraw is a more full-featured vector-drawing app for iPad. While it's suited to illustration, it also enables you to create libraries of reusable shapes or use bundled examples; TouchDraw is therefore suitable for working up flow charts, graphs, diagrams and floor plans along with logos and other imagery. However, Patten believes it's the interface that makes it one of the best iPad apps: "I like how the toolset doesn't take up much space, giving you more room to edit the image."

40. Forger

iPad apps Forger

Forger is a digital sculpting application for the artist who wants to be able to sculpt anywhere. forger lets you sculpt when you're on the move
  • Price: $3.33/£2.29

This sculpting app for the iPad comes with a selection of tools that makes freeform 3D modelling possible on the go. With a selection of premade base meshes, it's fast to get started with, while saving is a doddle and you can export to your favourite desktop software once you're done. The GUI is simple but offers a wide assortment of tools that all work in a familiar way, including a set of texturing tools that let you project images onto your mesh.

41. Capture Pilot

Capture Pilot

You can remotely view, zoom, rate, tag, and pan high resolution images during a shoot
  • Price: Free

"There have been surprisingly few apps I find useful for my photography needs apart from one that is an absolute game changer" says photographer Henry Hargreaves. "Capture Pilot, which runs along side Capture One Pro, allows the iPad to mirror images that you are tethering form your camera to your computer.

"It helps to get the clients away from your computer; you can just set them up on the couch with a coffee and iPad and enjoy the freedom it brings. It also allows you to work remotely - you can trigger the shutter and work closely with your subject without having to be near your computer or camera."

42. Diet Coda

iPad apps Diet Coda

Diet Coda is a powerful, feature-packed web editor with an easy-to-use touch interface
  • Price: $11.61/£7.99

This iPad app - like the following two a selection of web designer Tom Brooks - allows you to access files on your FTP/SFTP servers and edit them pretty much as you would on a desktop. For those who use Coda on the Mac this is the perfect companion for making quick fixes to your websites on the go.

43. Instapaper


Save web pages for later offline reading, optimized for readability on your iPad screen
  • Price: Free

Throughout your working day it’s likely that you’ll come across numerous articles to read, but not enough time to read them. This is a way to save those articles and read them at a later date. While there are similar services out there, this iPad app gives you much more control over how you categorise and share these articles.

44. LogMeIn

iPad apps

The free version of LogMeIn gives you basic control over your computers; upgrading to a premium package gives you additional features
  • Price: Free

Previously known as Ignition, LogMeIn is a free app that, combined with a LogMeIn account, enables you to control your computers with your iPad, from anywhere in the world. If its features are a little basic for you, for $64.99/£44.99 you can upgrade to LogMeIn Pro for a year, which will add file transfer between your computer and your device, cloud integration and full HD video streaming.

45. AirVideo

iPad apps

Air Video is a great solution to watch your AVI, DivX, MKV and other videos
  • Price: $5.75/£3.99

AirVideo allows you to stream almost any video file from your PC/Mac to your iPad. It's no secret that there are video formats which are not supported on the iPad. The cool thing about AirVideo is that it uses live conversion to stream videos files, which you wouldn't normally play on your iPad. You don't need to wait for the entire video to be converted either - you can start watching immediately.

This is an iPad app for those of you who have a massive media collection, as movies take up a lot of space on your already shrinking storage capacity. With AirVideo you can access your entire movie collection at the touch of a button.

46. Directr

Best iPad apps: Directr

The quick point, shoot, and publish storyboarded process gets ideas rolling
  • Price: Free

It can be difficult to get started making a video, even a short one. This iPad app helps get the ball rolling by providing an assortment of storyboards as starting points, examples of which can be found at Directr's website.

Each one has a fixed duration, and a set number of clips that need to be recorded to fill it; the timings of clips vary according to a pace that the developers have decided works well for each storyboard's theme. There are no complex editing decisions to make allowing the quick point, shoot, and publish storyboarded process to get ideas rolling.

47. Easy Studio

Best iPad apps: Easy Studio

Teach your kids to animate!
  • Price: $4.31/£2.99

The core aim of this iPad app is to help kids learn to animate. The objects at your disposal are simple geometric shapes. Once they're on the stage, you can rotate, change size and colour and move them at will. (Rather than leaving you with a blank canvas, the Expert mode contains some templates to help create trains, cars and animals that you can then animate.)

To create animation sequences, arrange various simple shapes on screen, tap a button to take a photo, and then tap and drag to move the objects slightly, and take another photo. The outline of an object's original position remains on the screen as you move it, like a basic onion skin, so you can see how far it's travelled. After you've repeated this procedure, you can play back your photos, and the result is a simple-but-effective animation.

The simple geometric shapes on offer also require some imagination, and the developers say it's best targeted at children of ages six and upwards.

48. Adobe Ideas

Best ipad apps: Adobe Ideas

Adobe Ideas: providing all of the colours (but, sadly, none of the skills) to enable you to draw pretty flowers
  • Price: Free

Suitably named, the thinking behind this iPad app is to get visual brainwaves down rapidly. The app provides a simple but effective toolset for outlines, thumbnails and rough drawings, and you can draw over the top of images (photos, screen grabs) should you wish to. Usefully, exports are vector-based and so can scale indefinitely. It's a great app for fast sketching of any ideas and designs.

49. Palettes Pro

Best ipad apps: Palettes Pro

Palettes Pro might have an interface that breaks your eyes, but it's great for rapidly creating colour schemes
  • Price: $4.31/£2.99

Although the previous three products showcase how the iPad can enable you to create artwork, some apps turn your device into a focussed environment for critical ancillary tasks. For example, this iPad app provides the means for creating myriad colour schemes, either from scratch, through the use of colour models, or by grabbing colours from photographs and websites. "I really like the way it enables easy colour capture, and how it gives you the ability to build themes for anything you like," says Patten.

50. Visualator

Best ipad apps: Visualator

Create beautiful abstract imagery with Visualator by Computer Arts
  • Price: Free

Made by our sister site Computer Arts, Visualator is an art iPhone and iPad app generator that allows you to create stunning abstract imagery. The program enables you to play with colour, shape, and form to produce vibrant collages, that you can then incorporate into your design work. Take a look at this helpful tutorial to see exactly what you can do with it.

51. FontBook

Best ipad app: FontBook

Beautiful typography? Check. New iPad? Check. An absurd amount of time wasted with FontBook? Definitely
  • Price: $5.75/£3.99

'Comprehensive' is perhaps the best word to describe FontBook, which documents over 100 type foundries, representing 1650 type designers, constituting 35,000 fonts. Over-the-air updates ensure the data is always up to date, but award-winning designer Dan Mall is most impressed by the manner in which the iPad app enables you to explore typefaces: "There are resources online for browsing type categorically, but this app lets me browse non-linearly, which makes for a completely organic discovery experience," he says.

52. Bjork: Biophilia

Best ipad apps: biophilla

Biophilia fuses art, interactivity and music, and probably makes traditionalists running record labels cower in fear
  • Price: $14.40/£9.99

The iPad has made some of those working in traditional media rethink how creative output should be presented - books, movies and music are all being reconsidered by people in the field that have an experimental bent. Bjork's iPad app marries music with art, in what Dan Mall calls "an excellent example of making music an interactive experience". He adds: "It's a different way of thinking about what a visual and auditory touchscreen experience can be."

53. Adobe Edge Inspect

Best ipad apps: Adobe Edge Instinct

Edge Inspect, previously enables you to pair devices with a computer and browse in sync
  • Price: Free

Mobile is increasingly important in the web design space, but testing websites on mobile devices can be a tedious experience. This iPad app, previously called Shadow, enables you to pair devices with a computer, and browse in sync, along with editing pages using remote inspection. "Edge Inspect makes development across multiple devices much easier," explains Dan Mall. "The ability for every device to update changes in sync is absolutely priceless and saves hours of debug time."

Next page: 20 more great iPad apps for designers