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Must Have iPad Pro Apps For Designers

I recently had to develop an iOS application that had to work flawlessly on an iPad Pro 9.7 so instead of relying one hundred percent on the Xcode simulator, I have decided to actually buy one. I’m what you call an Apple fan but ever since Steve Jobs proudly presented his last masterpiece – the iPad – I was reluctant. In my mind, this device did fit between my MacBook and iPhone and every time I was close to buy one, I couldn’t answer to one simple question: what can I do with an iPad?

Now that I had to buy one for development, I have decided to give it a try and oh man I was so wrong. Indeed, it still doesn’t fit between my Mac and my iPhone; it actually replaces my Mac and it wasn’t silly to talk on it, it could also replace my phone. Powered by a good keyboard and a state of the art pencil, I believe that the iPad Pro is the perfect laptop replacement.

I have tested a lot of apps but amongst them are a few that remained installed on my iPad. Between them, here are the ones best fitted for drawing:

Morpholio

Essential to any design or creative process, Trace allows users to instantly draw in Layers on top of photos, images, or background templates, building markups or ideas to generate immediate, intelligent sketches. Morpholio Trace is ideal for architects, designers, interior designers, illustrators, or members of any creative culture. It is the unique drawing app that allows you to easily develop ideas in layers, communicate via drawing markup, and connect fluently with your global network.

Trace has been featured on Dwell, Fast Company, ArchDaily, Dezeen, MacLife, Core77, designboom, Inhabitat, dexigner, Architectural Record, Archinect, Gizmodo and many more. Arch Daily says Trace is “designed to make sketching and communicating with other architects easier than ever.”

Procreate – Sketch, paint, create

Apple Design Award winner and App Store Essential – Procreate is the most powerful sketching, painting and illustration app ever designed for a mobile device. This complete artist’s toolbox helps you create beautiful sketches, inspiring paintings, and stunning illustrations anywhere you are. Procreate features ground-breaking canvas resolution, 128 incredible brushes, advanced layer system and is powered by Silica: the fastest 64-bit painting engine on iOS.

Create a canvas and start painting with any of Procreate’s exclusive dual-texture brushes. Use the immediately responsive smudge tool to perfectly blend colour with any brush in your library. With Procreate’s incredibly high-resolution canvases you can print your artwork at massive sizes. Experience the revolutionary selection, transform, and perspective tools built exclusively for multitouch and finish your illustration with stunning cinema-quality effects. Procreate’s powerful and intuitive interface always puts your art in focus.

Adobe Illustrator Draw

Draw puts your favorite vector drawing tools and features into a simple, modern interface so it’s easy to turn any idea or inspiration into a gorgeous design. You can even launch Adobe Capture CC from within the app, create a new shape, and have it immediately appear on your Draw canvas. And because Draw is part of the Adobe Illustrator family, you can send your designs directly to Illustrator to refine on your desktop.

Astropad Drawing Tablet

The #1 app for turning your iPad into a drawing tablet for Mac! Astropad allows you to use your iPad to draw directly into Photoshop and any other Mac creative tools, including: Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Affinity, Corel Painter, Manga Studio, Pixelmator, Mischief and any other Mac app you like!

With Astropad, you get the high-end experience of a Wacom pen display at a fraction of the price. Connect wirelessly or over USB for complete creative freedom.

Adobe Comp CC

Create layouts on your phone or tablet using natural drawing gestures. Comp CC converts your rough shapes and lines into crisp graphics. Pull in vector shapes, images, colors, and text styles from your Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries and professional fonts from Adobe Typekit, and send your comps to Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, or Muse to finish on your desktop.

Pixelmator

Pixelmator is a powerful, full-featured, layer-based image editor that lets you touch up and enhance images, sketch and paint, as well as create advanced image compositions on iPad and iPhone alike. Pixelmator has everything you need — whether you’re a mobile photographer, mobile painter, or mobile graphic designer — all in one easy-to-use app. And it works seamlessly with Mac as well, so you can start creating on iPhone or iPad and continue right where you left off on your Mac. Designed exclusively for iOS, Pixelmator takes full advantage of the latest iOS 9 features and technologies, giving you innovative, fast, and powerful tools.

Autodesk SketchBook

Autodesk® SketchBook® is an intuitive painting and drawing application designed for people of all skill levels, who love to draw. We reimagined the paint engine, so SketchBook delivers more fluid pencils and natural painting than ever before, all while keeping the interface clean and simple. With SketchBook, capture everything from your smallest doodles to your biggest ideas, all in one place, no matter where you are.

Concepts: Sketch, Design, Illustrate & Architect

The future of professional design is here: Concepts intelligently combines paper + pencil with powerful vector manipulation. Make quick sketches, beautiful illustrations, and precise drawings with ease and style. You’ll love the infinite canvas and layers, flexible multi-touch shape guides, vector manipulation with advanced transforms, and the ability to export your sketches to powerful standardized formats like SVG, PSD, PDF and CAD (DXF). Concepts sets the standard for productivity in the mobile era. Concepts saves you time and enhances your creative capability. Use simple gestures like a tap-and-hold to select anything, and configurable shortcuts for unlimited undo, making adjustments, and accessing layers or the iconic COPIC Color wheel. Concepts is optimized for the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, and works brilliantly on iPad and iPhone so your sketchbook is always with you. With our unique approach to precision sketching, amazing Architects, Illustrators, Professional Designers and Makers like you have designed hospitals and boats, landscapes, illustrations and game art, outlined major film storyboards, even crafted award-winning quilts, greeting cards, furniture, robots and drones!

Penultimate

The best digital handwriting on iPad. Penultimate combines distraction-free, natural handwriting and sketching with the power of Evernote’s sync and search. Take class or meeting notes, journal your thoughts, or outline your next big idea—in the office or on the go. From the first stroke, Penultimate makes the experience of pen and paper more productive.

Bogdan

Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.