30+ iPad Apps For Designers, Developers And Creative Types

A couple days ago I wrote on Twitter that I wasn’t using many of the iPad apps I had downloaded and people started sending me suggestions, so I thought I could download more apps and see which ones I liked best.

This post features over 30 iPad apps that I think designers, developers and creatives will find useful. You’ll find drawing, sketching and wireframing apps, note-taking apps, website editors, painting apps and publishing and analytics apps. I hope you enjoy this post!

Adobe Ideas

Adobe Ideas
Adobe Ideas is so simple to use, it’s not even funny. But it’s not just super easy to use, it’s also pretty powerful. It’s a basic drawing app and the user interface is extremely well thought out (in my opinion – it sometimes reminds me of Adobe Kuler)

Download Adobe Ideas from the App Store


iMockups is, as you might have guessed it, a wireframing app. With it you can quickly create website wireframes and layouts. The touch interface makes it feels natural I found it really fun to use too.

iMockups Website
Download iMockups from the App Store


SketchyPad is similar to iMockups above. With it you can quickly create mockups and wireframes, much like iMockups. I found both user interfaces to be quite similar and I’d definitely recommend both.

SketchyPad Website
Download SketchyPad from the App Store


Mindnode is a great mind-mapping app. The user interface is extremely simple and this app is now the only mind-mapping app I use (I even dropped the desktop mind-mapping app I had in favor of Mindnode)

Mindnode Website
Download Mindnode from the App Store


Not a day goes by that I don’t use Dropbox. It really is a time saver and the iPad app is a great companion to the desktop application.

Dropbox Website
Download Dropbox from the App Store

Air Display

Air Display
What if you could turn your iPad into an external monitor for your computer with the touch of a button? Well now you can thanks to Air Display! This app is not a ‘remote desktop’ app, it really is an additional monitor, and it works over wi-fi. I use this app a lot to free some space on my main monitor.

Air Display Website
Download Air Display from the App Store


FTPOnTheGo is one iPad app I use quite a lot. You can browse files and folders on your server and even edit them right from the app. You can also delete, rename and chmod file very easily and you can also view the results in the integrated browser (no need to switch between apps after editing something).

FTPOnTheGo Website
Download FTPOnTheGo from the App Store


Freeform is the ultimate vector drawing app for the iPad. If you’ve worked with Adobe Illustrator or even Adobe Fireworks’s vector tools you should feel right at home with Freeform.

Freeform Website
Download Freeform from the App Store

SketchPad HD

SketchPad HD
SketchPad is a nice drawing app that also combines note taking and creating diagrams. With SketchPad you can easily write text, create shapes or draw with the pen tool (much like you would with something like Illustrator) The user interface is quite simple and intuitive.

SketchPad HD Website
Download SketchPad HD from the App Store

Ego App

Ego App
This one is for all of you stats addicts out there. With Ego you can quickly and easily see your traffic (hits and page views), your Feedburner feed count, the number of followers on Twitter and you can also add Tumblr, Vimeo, Mint, Squarespace and Ember stats. Ego will also allow you to login to those sites and use them just like you would via a web browser.

Ego App Website
Download Ego App from the App Store

Analytics HD

Analytics HD
Analytics HD is a Google Analytics app with which you can view pretty much all the same data as you would via the real Google Analytics site.

Analytics HD Website
Download Analytics HD from the App Store


The Evernote app is probably one of the best in it’s category. It syncs to your Evernote account and you can create notebooks, tag items and even geo-tag notes. It’s also the perfect ‘inspiration gathering’ app for designers.

Evernote Website
Download Evernote from the App Store

Autodesk SketchBook Mobile

Autodesk SketchBook Mobile
Autodesk SketchBook Mobile
Download Autodesk SketchBook Mobile from the App Store

Sketchbook Mobile uses the same paint engine as Autodesk SketchBook Pro, and offers professional-grade painting and drawing tools in a streamlined and intuitive user interface.


TypeDrawing is a fun little app for drawing with fonts. Choose the typeface, color and text and then just swipe your finger on the drawing board and you’ll see text appear. It’s not something that’s very useful on a day-to-day basis, but it could certainly be used in creative ways.

TypeDrawing Website
Download TypeDrawing from the App Store

PhotoPad by Zagg

PhotoPad by Zagg
PhotoPad is a photo editing app with some very interesting features. You can rotate, crop and scale images and you can also adjust threshold levels, color, contrast and saturation.

Download PhotoPad by Zagg from the App Store


Filterstorm is a useful photo editing app. Simply open up an image stored on your iPad and edit the brightness, contract, hue, saturation and color range and even scale and crop images.

Filterstorm Website
Download Filterstorm from the App Store


Omnigraffle for iPad is like the full Mac version but only now you can use the iPad’s multi-touch display to draw diagrams, shapes and drag in objects. You can also export your work in PDF format.

Omnigraffle Website
Download Omnigraffle from the App Store

Omnigraph Sketcher

Omnigraph Sketcher
Omnigraph Sketcher is probably the best iPad app for creating graphs and charts. It makes presenting data and visualizing ideas so much easier.

Omnigraph Sketcher Website
Download Omnigraph Sketcher from the App Store

Moodboard Pro

As the name suggests, Moodboard Pro is a ‘moonboarding’ application. Whether you need to organize your thoughts or ideas for a design projects or you simply want to keep track of inspiring pictures and designs, this app might be just what you were looking for.

Moodboard Pro Website
Download Moodboard Pro from the App Store

Brushes App

Brushes App
The Brushes App is a painting application where you can really take advantage of the iPad’s multi-touch screen. Brushes has options similar to Photoshop where you can choose different brushes, change opacity and color and also make the brushes respond to speed.

Brushes App Website
Download Brushes App from the App Store


Gusto is a fully-featured website editing app. You can connect to your server and use Gusto as an FTP client as well as create and edit files. It’s a great ‘project workflow’ application.

Gusto Website
Download Gusto from the App Store


Those of you who have used the WordPress app on the iPhone/iPod Touch will feel right at home with the iPad version. You can write and edit posts and pages and also moderate and reply to comments.

WordPress Website
Download WordPress from the App Store


Markup is a great text editor for the iPad. With it you can easily edit your text, html, css and javascript files and also create new folders, files or upload from your iPad.

Markup Website
Download Markup from the App Store


Penultimate is a note-taking and sketching app. Think of it as a digital version of a Moleskine notebook – even better you can switch between graph, lined and plain paper.

Penultimate Website
Download Penultimate from the App Store


HelvetiNote should satisfy all of you Helvetica lovers out there. It’s a minimalist note-taking app with a very intuitive UI. You can write text and also draw stuff with a pen tool to complement your notes.

HelvetiNote Website
Download HelvetiNote from the App Store


Simplenote is probably the easiest and most efficient note-taking app you can find. No bell and whistles, just plain simple to use. You can also send notes via email.

Simplenote Website
Download Simplenote from the App Store

Font Displayer

Font Displayer
Ever wondered what a particular font would look like on screen, or couldn’t remember what a certain font looks like? Font Displayer will help you preview fonts, change the text, font size, alignment and you’ll also be able to change the number of columns.

Download Font Displayer from the App Store

Color RGB

Color RGB
Color RGB is a super simple app that’s designed to help you find hex color values and hue levels. The UI is simple and intuitive.

Color RGB Website
Download Color RGB from the App Store


Those of you already familiar with Things will definitely enjoy the iPad app. It’s the ultimate task manager app. You can manage to-do lists, notes, due dates and projects. You can also sync wirelessly with the desktop app.

Things Website
Download Things from the App Store

Layers Pro

Layers is a doodling, drawing and painting app. Using it is a breeze and you can choose from many different brushes and create layers, much like you would with Photoshop.

Layers Website
Download Layers from the App Store

Artist’s Touch

Artist's Touch
Artist’s Touch is a powerful ‘freehand’ painting and drawing application designed for the iPad. You can choose from a variety of ‘real’ tools like paint brushes, pens, spray paint, etc…

Artist’s Touch Website
Download Artist’s Touch from the App Store


Masque is a photo editing application. You can import images from your iPad, your Facebook albums or Flickr. You can easily edit your photos and add effects, create layers, use brushes and the very interesting multi-touch gradient tool. This app is a must have.

Masque Website
Download Masque from the App Store


iDraw is a powerful drawing and sketching app. You can select different types of paper like graph, lined, notepad, blueprint and grid paper. iDraw allows you to draw shapes and also use vector tools similar to what you have in Illustrator.

iDraw Website
Download iDraw from the App Store

Your Turn To Talk

I hope you liked this post! Make sure you stop by the comment section below and share your favorite iPad apps with the rest of us.

Are there any apps you use on a regular basis that contribute to your design workflow or that you think other designers could benefit from? Leave a comment! :)


  1. says

    Awesome list. Shows me that the iPad has already matured to a place where I really could use it for a lot of website work … nice job, thanks!

  2. Laira says

    Fantastic list of applications .i like it very much . Thanks a lot for the posting……

  3. says

    I would like to see a coda like PHP, CSS and XHTML editor with FTP support on the ipad. If there’s a good enough one out there, I would buy it in a second.

  4. says

    Awesome collection.

    I think Touch OSC should be added to the list, while it’s not an app for a designer, it’s certainly an app for a Music Producer/DJ which falls under the ‘creative’ category? Or it does in my opinion. I’m a huge lover of Touch OSC – I’ve got myself what is effectively a JazzMutant Lemur worth £1800 for £500. :)

  5. says

    Thank you for this nice list.

    I am quite new to iPad/mobile devices, but not to Apple. I have a specific advice’s list. Toolbox dreams like this:

    I write prose, poetry and essays, maintain a WP blog, and record and edit podcast.

    I produce and edit in .doc, .docx, .rtf., pdf, EPUB, .txt, .html, mp3, .aiff and .jpg.

    I want to bring ALL of my working library with me (3.1 gigs) and work with all archive-types on the road, independant of wifi-connection.

    doc/docx/rtf/txt: Apple Pages for iPad is getting really bad press. What else is there?
    publish to EPUB: Is it even possible on iPad? Thinking of how difficult and imprecise it is on laptop/desktop!
    pdf: Edit and/or production to set size, trim for web pulishing
    html: something like BBEdit would be fine, with layout view in browser
    mp3/aiff/wav: Simple cropping and save, if possible simple effects
    jpg: cropping, resizing, shrinking

    Wishful dreaming? I mean – how can I even get documents on to the iPad AND edit them?

    I bought GoodReader for this purpose, but must have slipped up on check-out: I actually thought I could do more than read…

  6. says

    I am looking for an app that allows a “Presenter” to give a talk and be able to display their powerpoint and then “write” highlight etc over the powerpoint.

  7. Jenny Ryan says

    check out prezi.com, which also has an ipad app
    you will be happily pleasantly surprised :)
    i also use 2screens for ipad presentations w/ markup

  8. says

    Love the list. Already had many of these, so I am glad to see the apps that I know are good with new ones I’ll have to try.

    I take on a lot of projects at once sometimes. So I use a mind-mapping app called iThoughtsHD. It works well. I use it to brainstorm concepts, plan projects, create web site flow charts, and most importantly plan out research projects that I do to generate content for my sites.

    As for the one I love the most on the list:
    Analytics HD

    Also recommend:
    iThoughtsHD – mindmapping, flow charts, diagram, note taking, project planning.
    GoodReader – PDF, TXTeditor, viewer and download web articles.
    NewsRack – RSS aggregator that I use for design feeds.

  9. says

    Oh and btw, what this will show you is that Android is a failed business model. Notice all the profits are being made by Apple, RIM and Nokia, leaving the scraps for Android.

  10. Dbmacks says

    Thanks for your list of Apps. I found several I hadn’t seen before that I have also downloaded.

  11. Studio3wd says

    That was great!!! I get my ipad this friday, and I took a list of some useful applications

  12. James Andrew says

    Thanks for your list of apps :)

    The best way to make your app to reach some exposures is by getting review from good site.

    I would suggest this site http://bit.ly/f3IbUT which they will provide you in-depth and unbiased reviews for all kind of iPad apps.

  13. mark says

    Now we can add Photoshop to this list, probably eliminating a bunch of those above :-)

  14. says

    OmniSketch is a procedural drawing App for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch that is an iTunes Essential Painting & Drawing App and is also listed in PC Magazine’s 100 Best Apps for iPad!


  1. 30+ iPad Apps For Designers, Developers And Creative Types…

    Here’s over 30 iPad apps that I think designers, developers and creatives will find useful. You’ll find drawing and wireframing apps, notetaking and painting apps and publishing/analytics apps….

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