The 90 best iPad apps

54. LiveView

Best ipad apps LiveView

LiveView shows your Mac's screen on an iPad, so you can prototype interfaces (or, in this case, actually start making one).
  • Price: Free

Many modern designers are immersed in designing for mobile, but smartphones and tablets boast wildly different resolutions to desktop monitors, and so it can be tough to visualise how work will look on device screens. LiveView is one of the best iPad apps for quick 'n' dirty simulation, which mirrors your computer screen on a connected iPad. "It's the one iPad app I can't live without," says senior designer Claudio Guglieri. "After trying dropping files on Dropbox, emailing screenshots and using Image Capture, this is by far the best app I've used to see what I design, at the correct scale, on an iPad."

55. iMockups

Best ipad apps imockups

A top-secret prototype taking shape in iMockups. (Oh, okay - it was a quick grab taken specifically for this feature.)
  • Price: $6.99/£4.99

iMockups turns wireframing into a tactile activity, enabling you to drag app or website components around and resize them with ease. "It's one of the best iPad apps for quickly creating wireframe prototypes," says designer Si Jobling. "It's extremely simple to use with its intuitive UX and I find the app invaluable for focusing on a site's foundations, free from detail. Built-in linking functionality is also a nice touch, allowing you to create interactive prototypes."

56. Gusto

Best ipad apps gusto

Gusto's not exactly Dreamweaver, but then it costs about a fiftieth of the price of Adobe's app
  • Price: $9.99/£6.99

You'd have to be mildly insane to consider creating an entire website on an iPad, but when you're out and about and need to do some emergency editing, Jobling reckons Gusto is the best code editor on the iPad: "I love to have the ability to quickly write code and deploy it straight to the web without being near a desktop. With code highlighting for all popular languages and multiple-site support, this iPad app's the wisest £7 any web developer can spend."

57. Prompt

Best ipad apps Prompt

The polished, excellent Prompt, clearly showcasing Panic's desire to take over the iPad indie web design app market as it has on OS X
  • Price: $8.63/£5.99

Heading further into techie territory than Gusto, Prompt is an SSH client, which developers Panic describe as "clean, crisp and cheerful". Jobling's a big fan: "Panic's first iPad app is a must-have for any web developer. Connect to a server and manage it from anywhere. It's perfect for those quick fixes or moments of inspiration."

58. SkyGrid

Best ipad apps skygrid

SkyGrid: the perfect newsreader for when words are a bit much - just look at all the pictures instead
  • Price: Free

There are plenty of newsreaders on iOS, each attempting to carve its own niche. The aim behind SkyGrid is to enable you to fine-tune the news you receive, ensuring that your time is taken up reading content that you care about. "I love this iPad app," gushes Sapient Nitro's associate creative director Ben Winter. "SkyGrid enables you to customise and share the topics that interest you - mine revolve around design, technology and advertising," he says. "It's a simple, visual way of staying up-to-date with my news."

59. PicFrame

Best ipad apps PicFrame

PicFrame: for those times when just one photo on the screen really isn't enough
  • Price: $1.14/£0.79

There are a lot of fairly gimmicky photo apps for the iPad, but sometimes a polished example can win over designers and also be useful in a manner that the original developer probably didn't envision. PicFrame is a case in point. "It's a simple idea, enabling you to combine your favourite images, or images that inspire you, into a collage or framework," says Winter. "And its photo effects, frame shapes and sharing options make it great for creating moodboards."

60. Draw Something

Best ipad apps Draw Something

Draw Something! Because if you draw nothing, you'll be considered really rubbish at this game
  • Price: $3.31/£2.29

You might be wondering why a game's managed to sneak its way into our list of top iPad apps for designers. But then its name perhaps reveals the reason - after all, what kind of game could be better for designers than one where you have to draw something? "When it comes to play time, I'm addicted to this game," admits Winter, who adds that he also likes its social nature.

61. Dropbox

Best ipad apps Dropbox

Dropbox: almost like having a file system welded to your iPad
  • Price: Free

It could be argued that the file system is beginning to become burdensome and is indicative of a bygone age of computing. But when you're juggling dozens of files across many apps, it's more essential than archaic. The iPad doesn't provide access to any kind of file system, and so Dropbox acts as an alternative - many apps support it, and it's also a great way to share content between PCs, Macs and iPads. "It's essential on all our devices," says web design guru and Happy Cog founder Jeffrey Zeldman.

62. iBooks

Best ipad apps iBooks

Apple's iBooks - handy for buying and reading books, but also as a sneaky place to dump PDFs
  • Price: Free

Apple's attempts to replicate iTunes for books became iBooks - an iPad app with a store bolted on its back. However, the app is also a very capable PDF reader, and so even if you never buy a book from it, iBooks is worth downloading. Zeldman considers it essential, primarily for reference purposes: "iBooks provides instant access to my giant library of design and development books by Peachpit/New Riders, O'Reilly, Five Simple Steps, and A Book Apart," he says.

63. Simplenote

Best ipad apps Simplenote

Simplenote - a much better app than Notes, or, for that matter, Reallyreallydifficultnote
  • Price: Free

Apple's Notes app is a bit on the basic side, and so Zeldman recommends replacing it with Simplenote, which brings with it tags, pins, versioning and sharing. "I use it to create, save, and sync texts of any length," he says. "Simplenote's big advantages are focussing on doing one thing really well - which it nails - and saving as plain text. This makes Simplenote much less problematic than other apps, whether I'm copying boilerplate into a business email or transferring content between print and web tools."

64. Evernote

Best ipad apps Evernote

The latest version of Evernote comes with Retina support for the new iPad, making notes at least 50 per cent shinier
  • Price: Free

"Evernote came first and is the fuller-featured app," says Zeldman, comparing it to Simplenote. "It saves texts, photos - anything, really - and syncs across all your devices." With an increasing number of iOS apps adding Evernote support and a client existing for pretty much every major platform, Evernote proves to be a useful and accessible dumping ground for any information you need regular access to.

65. Camera

Best ipad apps camera

The Camera app is great for shooting and trimming video clips
  • Price: Native iPad app

"Vimeo and iMovie are a powerful duo, but actually Apple's humble Camera app is often sufficient for quick HD video editing needs," thinks Zeldman - and he has a point. Shoot a movie and then tap its thumbnail; you can them trim it directly inside the Camera app, and share it via email, YouTube or the clipboard. There's also an AirPlay button for sending the video to an Apple TV.

66. Filterstorm

Best ipad apps Filterstorm

Bird with pointy beak says: "Buy Filterstorm, because it's a really great app for editing photos"
  • Price: $4.32/£2.99

Although a version of Photoshop now exists for the iPad, Filterstorm's elegant, touch-optimised interface and low price should still tempt you, according to web designer Shane Mielke: "I'd say the app is for 'power' Photoshop users. It has advanced image-editing features like layers, masking, channels, and a clone-stamp tool to remove unwanted items from any image."

67. Snapseed

Best ipad apps Snapspeed

Snapseed: only you can decide whether to make your photos approximately 72 per cent more ominous
  • Price: Free

Snapseed is another photo editor, largely focussed on filters and adjustments. Helpfully, it also supports a range of formats, including JPEG, TIFF and RAW. "It has a unique touch-based interface that gives you lots of creative control for modifying images and photos, such as textures and blurs," says Mielke. "It's a perfect app for taking an average image and making it look like a dramatic piece of artwork."

68. CloudApp


Share files, screenshots, links and more with the help of CloudApp
  • Price: $0.99/£0.69

CloudApp is a service that enables you to rapidly share files - all you need to do is drag them to the menu bar and paste a link. But when you're out and about, having a client that provides straightforward access to uploads is a must. "I'm a huge fan of CloudApp, which I mostly use to upload project screenshots for clients," says graphic designer Brian Hoff. "It's great to be able to access and manage all of my uploads on my iPad."

69. iA Writer

Best ipad apps iA Writer

iA Writer strips back text editing in bare-bones fashion. It's sort of like Microsoft Word's svelte, monochrome nemesis
  • Price: $5.76/£3.99

Word processors on the desktop have in many cases turned into something more akin to desktop publishing tools. That's fine if you're trying to create a pretty leaflet and someone's set fire to your copy of InDesign, but it's not much cop for writing. iA Writer is the extreme opposite of such products: an overtly minimal app for entering text and little more. "It's great for jotting down notes or writing Markdown, and I love that it syncs with Dropbox - I never need worry about accessing all of my notes," says Hoff.

70. Tweetbot 4

Tweetbot 4

The latest version of Tweetbot boasts a shiny new user interface
  • Price: $11.54/£7.99

Designers like to lurk on Twitter, firing 140-character nuggets of brilliance into the digital ether. The default Twitter client on the iPad isn't bad, but many people hanker for something better, hence Tweetbot. "My iPad during the day acts as a mini-monitor, with Tweetbot's streaming keeping me in the loop with Twitter," reveals Hoff.

71. Ego for iPad


Numbers, numbers, and more numbers! Just don't get too obsessed with checking them every few seconds, okay?
  • Price: Free

The web is often about numbers: how many people have visited your website; your current Twitter follower count. Ego for iPad supports eight popular services and gives you a beautiful interface for quickly checking numbers and also delving deeper into your stats. "It's a central place to show me how well I'm doing in terms of my website analytics, Twitter followers and general feed statistics," explains web designer Anthony Woods. "It has a clear interface, showing what is important, and gives me the data I need in order to go forward."

72. Moodboard

Best ipad apps Moodboard

Oddly, 'design websites' is Moodboard's fourth option on this intro board. Number one? Plan a dream wedding!
  • Price: $11.54/£7.99

Although we earlier mentioned PicFrame as an app for creating moodboards, Moodboard is, as its name suggests, dedicated to this task. "It's an excellent app for prioritising inspiration," thinks Woods, who uses it for creating all kinds of boards: "Some are just for inspiration, and others are for specific projects I am starting on." He also uses it to present to clients a design's direction.

Next page: 20 more great iPad apps for designers