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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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                                          Published on September 25, 2020

                                          10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

                                          10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

                                          When it comes to digital security, public Wi-Fi networks aren’t safe enough, making it much easier for hackers to access your personal data. Whether you are studying in a library or scrolling through Facebook in a coffeehouse, it is vital to have a VPN installed on your device.

                                          VPNs work wonders when it comes to securing your internet connection. By creating an encrypted tunnel between a remote server run by the VPN service, they protect your personal data from prying eyes. There is a variety of VPNs available on the web, and we have collated a list of the best VPNs that stand out from the rest.

                                          How to Choose a VPN

                                          • Free trial period – Free trials allow you to try the product risk-free. The same idea technically applies to those with 30-day full refunds as well.
                                          • Speed – You want your VPN to be just as fast as the internet speed at home. Good quality VPNs are ones where you see little difference between those speeds.
                                          • Device connection – Of course, the more devices that can connect to VPNs, the better. It increases the customers’ coverage and the product’s value. You also want to consider compatibility since fewer VPNs may work for Mac or Windows only.
                                          • Number of servers – The number of servers determines how much capacity a VPN can handle while you are connected. The more servers there are, the more users it can handle without running into potential disconnections or slow speeds.
                                          • Kill switch feature – Having this feature means that your IP address isn’t exposed if the VPN disconnects for some reason. A lack of this feature is a big deal since the whole reason why you’re paying for a VPN is to hide your IP address, among other things. (Find out how to avoid getting tracked online here: Big Brother Is Watching You Online: How To Avoid Being Tracked)

                                          Why You Should Trust Us

                                          Our hand-picked VPNs are incredibly efficient and offer such distinctive features that grant you safe browsing. They outperform many VPNs in terms of both speed and security. Their primary aim is to provide you the utmost security, thus enabling you to surf the web safely and prevent any potential threat from causing harm.

                                          Among the best VPNs’ many unique features include split tunneling, strict logging policies, high encryption level, and availability of international servers. We have gathered them in this article to enlighten our readers and offer the best pieces of advice before you get one. Therefore, take our word for it, and if you go for a VPN mentioned below, you’d be fully appeased.

                                          1. NordVPN

                                          The most popular VPN on the market these days is NordVPN, and it’s easy to see why. It has widespread coverage, offering a selection of over 5,000 servers spanning across 59 countries.[1] Due to the high number of servers, its speed is similar to your Wi-Fi at home.

                                          Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, has been using NordVPN for many years and wants to recommend it for its remarkable server count in different locations with no-logs policy. The VPN perfectly works with Netflix and Fire TV stick, too.

                                          NordVPN is also compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can download the app onto Chrome, Firefox, Android, and Mac OS. Thanks to its massive coverage, it’s easy to connect multiple devices onto these servers.

                                          In terms of pricing, while NordVPN doesn’t have a free trial period, they argue that their plans are considerably cheaper than those of their competitors. For example, a one-year plan for ExpressVPN costs $8.32 per month, but NordVPN only charges $6.99 monthly.

                                          NordVPN has a new protocol called NordLynx that is based on WireGuard with speed benefits, though it’s still under development.[2] If you’re looking for general quality and affordability, this is one of the best VPNs around.

                                          Buy this VPN.

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                                          2. ExpressVPN

                                          ExpressVPN is the second-best option out there for keeping your privacy while browsing the internet. Like many other VPNs here, they will encrypt your IP address, offer vast coverage, and can have multiple devices connected to their servers.

                                          Compared to NordVPN, while the pricing point is higher, ExpressVPN’s biggest selling point is the number of countries that their connection covers. Depending on where you are in the world, this may be the only option you have. They have fewer servers — 160, to be precise — but they make up for the low server count by covering 94 countries.[3]

                                          Cost-wise, your best bet is to go with the yearly plan where they charge $8.32 a month. They also have one- and six-month plans.

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          3. Surf Shark

                                          With regards to Surf Shark, you can connect multiple devices to its servers, and it’s compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is also available on Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and FireTV.

                                          Furthermore, Surf Shark can whitelist apps and sites, letting them bypass the VPN. This, along with the lines of split-tunneling, is another feature that many VPNs offer. The difference is that Surf Shark allows you to whitelist specific apps or any website, while most VPNs will whitelist all sites or none at all.

                                          The other consideration for this app is the price. While lower-tier plans are more expensive compared to others, Surf Shark’s 24-month plan is priced at $2.69 a month, so it’s cheaper than even NordVPN’s equivalent plan!

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          4. CyberGhost

                                          Another top-reviewed VPN is CyberGhost. They’ve been around for 15 years and have fine-tuned their offers and features to stay competitive. They provide the standard package of browsing the web and logging into accounts safely and give you access to regionally blocked content.

                                          The network also maintains security from hackers, malware, and phishing. Aside from that, you can connect multiple devices, and it’s compatible with all kinds of platforms.

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                                          What separates CyberGhost from the others is their extensive coverage. They have multiple servers, and the pricing point is still very low. It covers over 88 countries and has roughly 6200 servers for you to choose from, all while charging $2.75 for their 18-month plan.

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          5. IPVanish

                                          IPVanish’s prime purpose is to give users online freedom by providing fast speeds and private connections. It’s clear that they can meet that promise as they provide many of the features that have been listed previously from their competitors.

                                          IPVanish is a part of SugarSync now. What is that, you may ask? It’s a cloud-based service that syncs files across devices and computers for sharing, backup, and many more. What this means is that other devices can access various files and videos so long as they are connected to your specific VPN. Furthermore, it can serve as a backup plan if you get hacked or lose your device for some reason.

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          6. Private Internet Access

                                          Private Internet Access (PIA) is a remarkably generous company in many ways. Aside from the obvious features, they offer great incentives and discounts for people to try out their products. They claim to be the most trustworthy and reliable VPN around, and we believe that.

                                          One notable thing is that PIA offers a free two-month trial. Compared to other VPNs to this point, none have provided free trials (though all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee). On top of that, small businesses can avail of their VPN at a discounted rate. There is also the fact that their pricing plans go as low as $2.69 a month for two years, and they let you pay with gift cards.

                                          In terms of specs, PIA has over 2695 servers that cover 47 countries right now.

                                          These particular aspects make PIA unique and one of the best VPNs to consider.

                                          Buy this VPN.

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                                          7. Hotspot Shield

                                          Hotspot Shield is all about offering protection while you’re browsing the internet or using streaming services like Netflix. The encryption is military-grade, and its speed is ultra-fast. In truth, it is even marketed as one of the fastest VPNs.

                                          Hotspot Shield offers a plan that only costs  $7.99 a month; however, it’s one of the few in this list to provide its services for free. Like other Freemium apps, the free version comes with limited features. That said, it gives you a much better feel for the VPN.

                                          Also, take note that the encryption feature is still there, though the limitations in the free plan include connecting to one location in the US and having limited streaming options and speed.

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          8. TunnelBear

                                          As unusual as a name choice for an online security protection service can be, TunnelBear is nothing short of incredible. It makes our list of the best VPNs for various reasons.

                                          The biggest one is that the company goes through a yearly security audit. This is notable because many VPNs don’t bother about independent audits to ensure their systems are secure and safe from any issues. This is critical as VPNs have gotten some bad reputation over the years, as TunnelBear has noted in their post about their security audit.[4] The fact that they are doing this annually ensures that nothing is being compromised.

                                          Furthermore, TunnelBear offers limited services for free, but even their paid plans are pretty cheap. For individuals, you’re merely paying $3.33 per month. The only catch is that you can connect five devices regardless of which paid plan you pick.

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          9. Norton

                                          Norton has been on the security scene for some time, and it’s actually one of the founders of the internet security industry. It started with virus and malware protection in 1991 and has since branched off to other sectors as the industry has shifted.

                                          As you might expect from a company that’s been around for a long time, Norton provides excellent services, and a few of their other services have gone into the VPN package. In reality, Norton is the only one thus far to offer a password manager with their VPN services. They provide 50GB of cloud storage as well.

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                                          Norton has one of the cheapest VPNs, considering you can get their deluxe plan at $49.99 per year. That comes up to roughly $4.17 a month. It might be slightly higher than other equivalent plans, but you get a lot of extra value that makes it worth the price.

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          10. StrongVPN

                                          The final VPN we want to cover is StrongVPN. Like many others, it’s great at blocking unnecessary web traffic and providing a fast and simple solution to navigating the internet without any hindrance.

                                          StrongVPN has over 900 servers. It is available in more than 30 countries and compatible with all devices. Beyond that, the only notable selling point it has compared to others is that it also offers Sugarsync services and 250GB of storage, irrespective of your chosen plan.

                                          As for the pricing, their year-long plan costs $5.83 a month, while their month-long one is $10.

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          Bottom Line

                                          Getting online protection is important these days, and companies recognize this.

                                          With more hacks and breaches occurring every single day, the best VPNs can provide an excellent haven for many people who value their security and privacy.

                                          We hope that by putting together this list, you’ll be able to find the best VPN that you can trust and enjoy using. As you can see, there are several great options with no real wrong one out there. Pick the VPN that’s best for you.

                                          Featured photo credit: Petter Lagson via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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