10 useful apps for designers on the go

23 Aug

So if you’ve got your tablets with you whilst your travelling, you probably want something to do, rather than sitting there and twiddling your thumbs. Here is a post that I found detailing the top apps for creatives on the go. Try them out, I know I will be.

The post was taken from You The Designer.com

“For most graphic designers and artists, a capable computer with the latest version of Adobe Photoshop or any other photo editing software is their best tool for creating awe-inspiring designs. But let’s face it, there are times that a great inspiration can come in a place where one has no immediate access to a computer and all you have with you is your smartphone or your tablet.

In most cases, you’ll just have to settle with remembering the thing or the event that inspired you and wait until you get home and start work using your computer. But what if I told you that there are already apps you can use on your smartphone and tablet that will allow you to capture and recreate those inspirational design ideas on the fly? You don’t believe me? Here are 10 examples that will certainly change your mind.”

Adobe Ideas (iPad)

Adobe Ideas is part of a group of applications intended for designers and graphic artists.  This wonderful app allows users to easily sketch using vectors and save and use multiple color themes. It also allows users to play with 10 drawing layers and 1 photo layer to provide more flexible and designs.

In addition users have access to several vector-based drawing tools as well as brushes with variable sizes. There’s also an eyedropper tool that makes it easy for picking up colors from your photo or drawing. And with the ability to sync your artwork to Adobe’s Creative cloud, users can easily retrieve their work on their computers for further refinement using the software of their choice.




Sketchbook Pro for iPad

Developed by Autodesk Inc, SketchBook Pro offers iPad users with a quick and easy alternative for manipulating images on the fly. The app features high quality brushes and tools that can rival other desktop PC-based software. For starters, it comes with a professional grade paint engine that delivers smooth and precise brush strokes. It also has more than 60 preset brushes that include pencils, markers and natural media.

Users can also play around with several layers, with the app having the ability to duplicate, merge, reorder, move, scale and rotate layers to help users improve their design. The app also allow the exportation and importation of PSD files via iTunes or Dropbox in case you want to improve your design at a later time in your computer.



Brushes (iPad)

Brushes is another painting app that is available for the iPad. Created by Taptrix, Inc. the app features 19 high-quality brushes and 5 blend modes. 6 layers are also made available to designers which they can reorder, merge or control the transparency.

There’s also a generous undo and redo button the make it easier in correcting errors as well as a desktop-class color picker and eyedropper to give users a more convenient and accurate way of selecting colors for their work. Images made using the app can be directly uploaded to Flickr or be displayed on a TV screen since the app supports VGA/TV output.



ArtStudio for iPad

ArtStudio is a comprehensive sketching, painting and photo editing software created by Lucky Clan. The app features 15 tools and around 300 high quality brushes (free and paid). Also, ArtStudio has fully customizable settings for brush strokes which includes blur, flip, size, opacity, spacing, fadeout, squeeze, angle, speed-size and jitter-saturation to name a few.

Here are the complete features of the app:

  • flexible canvas size, max: 2048×1536(iPad 1), 2592×1936 (iPad 2), 2448×3264 (the new iPad)
  • support for any device orientation
  • 15 tools: select, pencil, wet paintbrush, dry paintbrush, spray, dots, eraser, smudge, bucket fill, gradient, text, clone, blur/sharpen, dodge/burn, eyedropper
  • 300 high quality brushes (150 free, 150 paid) divided into 20 groups which are all fully customizable
  • favorites list to quickly access user’s favorite brush settings
  • fully customizable stroke settings: blur, flip, size, opacity, spacing, fadeout, squeeze, angle, speed-size, etc.
  • simulated brush pressure, support for bluetooth stylus pressure sensitivity (currently only Jot Touch)
  • symmetric drawing
  • Options for layers, layers masks and transformations
  • 10 layer blending modes: normal, multiply, add, difference, screen, overlay, hue, saturation, color, value
  • Import and Export function
  • undo/redo with almost infinite number of steps
  • image resize (none, bilinear, bicubic, lanczos interpolations) , change canvas size, crop
  • 15 filters: gaussian/motion/radial blur, sharpen, unsharp mask, add noise, render clouds, edge detect, border/vignette and more
  • adjustments: brightness/contrast/exposure, hue/saturation/lightness, color balance, temperature, shadows/highlights, CURVES, auto contrast/colors/white balance and more




Layers Pro (iPad)

Layers Pro is the paid version of the Layers app created by Gotow.net for Apple’s iPad. It has a clean and intuitive interface that supports two fingered panning and pinch to zoom. The app also has 15 high quality brushes, a paint brush, smudge tool and eraser. Users can make use of five paintable layers per drawing and advanced layer manipulation tools.

Brush sizes are also adjustable and there is a large color picker that can save recent color choices. A generous undo history is also available and users can opt to email their paintings as a layered PSD file.




Sketch Lover (Android)

There are also plenty of choices for Android users. Sketch Lover is another painting app that makes use of a rich set of sketch brushes with support for a movie playback function that allows users to watch a replay of how they created their artwork.

Features of this app are listed below:

  • More than 15 brushes. More brushes will be avaiable in new version.
  • Sketch on photo
  • Eraser
  • Undo / Redo
  • Pinch to Zoom In or Zoom Out
  • Brush Pressure 0% – 100%
  • Desktop-class color picker
  • Save to SD function or Share via Facebook, email, Flickr, MMS, etc.



Sketch Free (Android)

Sketch Free is another painting app for Android. It is one of the most basic painting apps in this list which offers only the basic function one would need in a painting app. For starters it only has 11 brushes and an eraser tool. There’s a basic Undo/Redo function and a color picker.

Users can either save their sketches on to their SD card or share it via email, MMS and other services with a share function.


PicsArt – Photo Studio (Android) 

There are also apps that cater to photographers. PicsArt – Photo Studio is one of them which provides droid owners an easy and convenient way of editing their photos. This app has a picture editor with tons of photo manipulation tools, masks, collages, borders, frames, etc. As well as magic effects like a stenciler, cartoonizer, contours and smart blur effects to name a few.

It also has drawing effects which includes sticker mode, callouts, artistic brushes and text styles. Sharing is also made easy with PicsArt’s own social network or you can add photos to your Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Picasa, Dropbox, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress and DeviantArt accounts.




Photo Editor by Aviary (Android)

Another photo editing software available in the Google Play store is the Photo Editor app made by Aviary. Just like PicsArt, it has a very intuitive user interface with a bit more extras. The apps features are listed below.

  • One-tap auto enhance
  • 12 FREE photo effects
  • Fun Stickers and Color balance
  • Crop, rotate, and straighten your photo
  • Adjust brightness, contrast, color temperature, and saturation
  • Sharpen and blur
  •  Color temperature (“Warmth”)
  • Draw and add text
  • Create your own memes
  • Cosmetic tools: fix redeye, remove blemishes and whiten teeth




PicsPlay Pro – Fx Photo Editor (Android)

If you want even more features, then you can opt to have the PicsPlay Pro – Fx Photo Editor app. It has 200 professional presets like Scene, HDR, blur, vintage, grunge, etc. Real time Preset opacity control, a time matrix with temporal photographic effects and useful add-ons like textures and borders.

The complete features of the app are shown below:

  • Undo & Redo your process up to 10 times
  • Environmental settings
  • 200 Presets categorized in 10 themes
  • Filter effects and real-time control
  • Time Matrix
  • Crop and Mirror
  • Color, Contrast, Saturation, Exposure
  • Histogram, Colored Curve, B&W Curve, White Balance
  • Add-ons :Textures, Borders, Vignetting and Stamps
  • Support sending to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more.




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