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20 Amazing iPhone Design Apps That Can Make Anyone a Designer

20 Amazing iPhone Design Apps That Can Make Anyone a Designer

One of the great things about our mobile devices is the sheer amount of things they can do. Mobile apps can help monitor your health, balance finances, entertain, and educate. It should be no surprise that apps can be incredible tools for design also. While many may be familiar with some design apps for iPad and tablets, some truly ingenious apps for Apple’s smaller screen are available too. Some iPhone design apps are truly revolutionary, while others are a quick way to add design elements to photos and videos. Regardless of your skill level, the following 20 apps are incredibly useful and time-saving for designers, or designers to be, of all experience levels.

FilMic Pro

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    FilMic Pro is the answer to shooting professional quality video with your iPhone. If you’re looking to shoot high quality video, it is crucial that you control the exposure and focus. The iPhone’s default camera, however, is permanently set on auto adjust. FilMic fills the gap for video designers, letting you control focus, exposure and white balance. Additionally, you can lock all three, regardless of changes in condition. FilMic Pro can film at a higher nitrate than the iPhone’s default camera, letting you minimize blurry action. This is an important tool in any designer’s arsenal for professional quality video work.

    Blux

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      Blux is a powerful photo app for the iPhone that makes easy to produce nicely designed photos, with minimal photography knowledge. Blux automatically detects what setting you should shoot a photo with, simply by processing the current scene in front of your lens. Blux also pulls weather information from your location from the internet, maximizing your photo settings for you.

      Sum05

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        Sum05 is a fun, easy-to-use app for established designers, and design beginners alike. This design app requires very little operating knowledge, yet creates incredibly dynamic designs. With this app, the user simply tilts, taps, and rotates their iPhone to create new colous and reposition strokes. Sum05 is a fun, easy way to produce incredible designs.

        Layers

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          Layers is a powerful sketch and drawing app for the iPhone. At $4.99, it’s a moderately priced app that delivers many features only available in more expensive apps. Like the name suggests, Layers lets users draw within different layers, allowing a user to customize transparency, order, position, size and fill of each layer. By separating your drawings into layers, you can more effectively color and erase your image. This app includes many different default brush types, another advantage over many iPhone sketch apps. Another indispensable feature of this design app is the smear tool. Where many drawing apps let you use various brushes, few include the smear tool. By smudging your colors together, shading an image is much faster and easier. Sure to make drawing complicated figures much easier, Layers makes drawing on the iPhone faster and more controllable.

          Adobe Kuler

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            This free app is sure to be a staple in any designer’s phone. Kuler lets you quickly and easily create color palettes from photos. The app identifies five points of color on your photo, then presents you with a color palette. You can easily edit the pallets with a variety of tools, plus seamlessly generate color pallets from photos on Flickr. The easiest and fastest way to generate color palettes for drawing, painting or graphic design, Kuler is truly an app to bring your designs to the next level.

            Adobe Ideas

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              Another free, powerful app from Adobe, is Adobe Ideas. Intended as a companion to Adobe Illustrator, Ideas lets you quickly create vector images right on your iPhone. Since vector images in Illustrator can be time consuming, and require a high degree of program knowledge, Adobe Ideas is a powerful design app. Quickly create vector images for use at any size, plus quickly share to social media or your Adobe account.

              Marksta

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                Every designer needs a way to autograph or watermark their work, which makes Marksta an essential app for designers on the go. Marksta lets users quickly and efficiently add their watermark to photos, and then export to social media. Marksta is perfect for when you need to publish a design, but want to make sure the world knows it’s yours.

                PicLab HD

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                  PicLabHD is an excellent photo design app, perfect for social media posts. The app lets you add typography to your own photos, with many styles included. This app also includes layer-based editing, so you can build beautiful phrases with shapes and banners as well. PicLabHD also lets you control rotation and bend of the text, plus allows you to erase text, to dynamically fit your image. For $1.99, it’s an impressive photo design app that even supports adding your own watermark or logo.

                  Gelo

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                    Gelo is a helpful design app, letting users quickly apply gradients to photos. Gradients are an essential tool to adding effects to landscapes with a strong horizon, but can also be used to create custom vintage effects. Gelo offers full control over effect position and transparency, as well as color.

                    PhotoChop

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                      Photochop is a quick way of adding your photo into other environments. A quick and effective tool for any designer, Photochop lets you cut subjects out of your photos and add them to a wide variety of backgrounds. This design app lets you flip and resize your image too, so you can smoothly integrate the photos.

                      TiltShift Generator

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                        One of the many popular photo effects today includes a technique called tilt shifting. Tilt shift lenses are specially made so everything is out of focus, except one depth level. The result is an image with intense focus, that sometimes looks like a real life scene is made out of toy models. With TiltShift Generator, you can easily achieve the same effect on your iPhone photos. Unlike blur effects in other apps, TiltShift Generator includes radial, straight, and ellipse blurs. Ellipse blurs are crucial to achieving an authentic tilt shift look in many landscape photographs. This design app also includes filter options, to quickly treat your photos.

                        Fuzel

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                          Fuzel is a great option for those looking for quick photo collage apps. Unlike other photo collage apps, Fuzel integrates many different kinds of shapes for your photos, not just rectangular collages. Elegantly simple frames and basic editing tools let you display several photos at once, while still using an original design. This app also supports direct export to many social networks and sharing sites, plus gives you full control over photo size and positioning.

                          pixelWakker

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                            An excellent editor to convert your photos to pop art inspired images, is pixelWakker. The app is free and offers an extremely simple to use interface. Great for aspiring designers of all skill levels, pixelWakker offers several different effects. Simply choose a photo from your library, and apply one of four effects. One mimics comic book pointillism, another reproduces your image out of smaller versions of your photo. A third filter forms your image out of rounded lines, and the last effect reproduces your image with colorful circles of various sizes. A great way to quickly produce pop art style images, pixelWakker offers photo transformations that other, high-level graphic design programs don’t.

                            Path

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                              Path is another design app that lets you add text to photos. However, this app offers a different, highly valuable approach. Path lets a user draw the path the text should follow, rather than needing to work with different settings. Type the text after drawing your path, and the text immediately flows along the area you chose. Additionally, users can control alignment and character spacing, plus choose from a large library of fonts.

                              FX Photo Studio

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                                FX Photo Studio boasts the largest collection of filters among iPhone photo editing apps. Not only are there many filters to choose from, this design app includes text and banners to impose on your photos. It’s also incredibly easy to browse the large library of effects, as filters are organized by genre. Finally, FX Photo Studio lets you apply filters to your photo, but control where the filter is applied, making it a powerful option for quickly making your photos more appealing.

                                Photoshop Express

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                                  While the full version of Photoshop offers a multitude of editing options, it requires an in-depth knowledge of the program. For those looking to jump into design, but don’t have advanced knowledge of Photoshop, Photoshop Express is a powerful design app. Also free and used for photo editing, Photoshop Express offers many advanced features, including blemish removal, red eye removal and advanced control over exposure, hue, and contrast. The app is also available for iPad, and includes 20 filter effects to give your photos extra punch. The best part about this design app is the wide sharing options. Photoshop Express supports exporting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, text message, camera roll, email, as well as in-store printing with Walgreens. You can also buy an add-on that lets users efficiently get rid of dirt, noise and blur.

                                  Camera+

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                                    Camera+ is another high quality app to make design accessible to anyone. For under $2.00, this app combines filters, photo editing, and photo frames into one app. Especially convenient for those that like framing their social media photos, this app offers powerful editing and shooting tools. In camera mode, this design app lets users view exposure settings, as well as recommended lighting and white balance settings. In addition, Camera+ lets you shoot photos in burst mode, quickly capturing a succession of photos. This feature is incredibly helpful for shooting action, and avoids the delay of the regular iPhone camera. Then, there’s no need to switch apps to do your editing.

                                    Doodlebuddy

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                                      Doodlebuddy is a simple, yet worthwhile drawing app. With an easy to use design, Doodlebuddy is a straightforward drawing app. Unlike other drawing apps, however, Doodlebuddy offers 44,000 colors to choose from, plus various drawing effects and stencils. Adding text is also included, which makes this app great for quick outlines or sketches.

                                      Typography Manual

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                                        This design app is incredibly valuable for those looking to grow their typography skills. The app includes many tips and tricks to working with type, as well as special characters. A great tool for moving into design more seriously, The Typography Manual empowers users to produce better, more well-thought out designs. 

                                        GoDaddy GoMobile

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                                          GoMobile is an essential tool for designers who want a quick way to share their accomplishments or work. GoMobile allows users to create simple websites using a business card-like design. The app uses templates to make creating your site quick and easy. While not strictly a design app, GoMobile is a great tool for designers just looking into networking and marketing their work.

                                          Featured photo credit: The App Store/PhotoAtelier via flickr.com

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                                          Alicia Prince

                                          A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                                          Last Updated on May 14, 2019

                                          8 Replacements for Google Notebook

                                          8 Replacements for Google Notebook

                                          Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

                                          1. Zoho Notebook
                                            If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
                                          2. Evernote
                                            The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
                                          3. Net Notes
                                            If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
                                          4. i-Lighter
                                            You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
                                          5. Clipmarks
                                            For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
                                          6. UberNote
                                            If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
                                          7. iLeonardo
                                            iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
                                          8. Zotero
                                            Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

                                          I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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                                          In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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