Top 20 Apps to Turn Your iPad into a Portable Creative Studio


Update

This list has been updated to reflect the latest notable apps.

Take a look at 8 Essential Photo Apps,  Top Art Apps for Painting and New & Noteworthy Apps, in our library of free guides and app tips for iPhoneography


MindNode

MindNode

MindNode

MindNodeis a beautiful and minimalist mind mapping app. A simple and effective way to brainstorm and easily map out and organize your ideas.

Platforms

iOS devices and Mac OS X.

Evernote

Evernote

Evernote

Remember everything. Build and organize your own digital scrapbook with notes, photos, links, web clips, audio and auto-synchronize to your Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad and Web. Magically makes text within snapshots searchable and includes geo-location information in notes. For research, to capture design, art, writing and blogging inspiration. Evernote is incredibly useful and free.

Platforms

iOS devices, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, Mac OS X, Windows, Safari, Chrome and Firefox.

Moodboard

Moodboard

Moodboard

Make a Moodboard to visualise your ideas and jump-start your creativity. Capture a mood, feel or ambience with a collage of materials (photos, textures, sketches, text and color palettes). Easily share early design concepts with clients and colleagues to communicate your idea or use as a guide and inspiration for your own creative projects.

Platforms

iOS devices.

MaxJournal

MaxJournal for iPad

MaxJournal for iPad

A simple and elegant diary or journal. Customize the font and size, add up to three photos per entry and password protect your journal. MaxJournal features tagging, time stamping and autosave.

Platforms

iPad.

My Writing Spot

My Writing Spot

My Writing Spot

My Writing Spot is a simple and powerful tool for writers. Minimalist and distraction free writing environment with easy-to-use dictionary and thesaurus. Word count and auto save. Work on your manuscript anywhere, on your iPhone, iPad or computer, synchronize and have access to the latest version for reading, writing and editing everywhere.

Platforms

iOS devices and Android.

Qvik Sketch Pro

Qvik Sketch

Qvik Sketch

Quick, easy, effortless sketching, doodling and drawing tool. Qvik Sketch shades or inks your sketches in real-time, creating beautifully rendered drawings. Qvik Sketch Pro is fast and fun.

Platforms

iOS devices.

Adobe Ideas 1.0

AdobeIdeas

AdobeIdeas

A simple, vector-based digital sketchbook. Capture and explore ideas on the go. Use the color scheming tool to create harmonized color palettes extracted from your photos or artwork. Email your sketches as PDF files for further editing in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. Adobe Ideasis a handy tool for designers and artists.

Platforms

iOS devices and Android.

Brushes

Brushes

Brushes

A portable art studio and powerful finger painting tool for creating original artwork featuring an advanced color picker, swatches, high quality brushes, layers, extreme zooming, and a simple yet deep interface. Paintings made with Brushes have been published on the cover of The New Yorker on several occasions. 

Update 28th April 2012: Brushes is no longer in development. ArtRage and Procreate are now the two leading mobile natural media art apps on the market. 

Platforms

ArtRage is available for iOS devices, Windows and Mac OS X whilst Procreate is available for the iPad.

SketchBook

SketchBook Pro

SketchBook Pro

A versatile, elegant digital SketchBook for painting and drawing that features 75 art brushes, a smear brush, geometric shapes and a symmetrical drawing tool. Interact with SketchBook through a gesture-based multi-touch user interface.

Platforms

iOS devices and Android.

iMockups

iMockups

iMockups

This gem of a tool will save designers countless hours by helping you to quickly create mock-ups, layouts and wireframes for your web design, iPhone and iPad app projects. iMockups includes customizable navbars, tab panels, and autofilling Lorem Ipsum text. Intuitive and beautiful interface that takes full advantage of the breakthrough touchscreen device with iPad-optimized gesture controls.

Platforms

iPad.

StudioTrack

StudioTrack

StudioTrack

StudioTrack is a powerful audio recording and songwriting tool for musicians and producers who want to capture musical ideas and record songs on the go. Multitrack recording with up to 8 tracks, and bounce them down to add even more. Easily apply effects such as delay, reverb, EQ, and a compressor.

Platforms

iPad.

Korg iElectribe

Korg iElectribe

Korg iElectribe

Korg iElectribe is a perfectly faithful replica of the famous Korg Electribe•R analog drum machine. Easy and intuitive to use. Features 64 preset patterns, 8 supercharged effects and advanced Motion Sequencing that make patterns come alive.

Platforms

iPad.

Rehearsal

Rehearsal

Rehearsal

Rehearsal is a professional tool for actors that helps you learn your lines. Developed and tested by Hollywood actors. Highlight lines, play peekaboo to memorize your script. Record your script and play it back. Add notes and record different takes to explore your character. Ability to open your scripts directly from the email messages in which they arrive from your agent, casting or production. "Almost every show on TV has at least one actor that uses the app".

Platforms

iOS devices.

CameraBag

CameraBag

CameraBag

CameraBag recreates the magic of film by emulating photography’s most beloved and iconic vintage cameras, film, and processing techniques. Easy to use with an intuitive, simple interface. The perfect companion for your iPhone photography.

Platforms

iOS devices, Windows and Mac OS X.

TiltShift Generator

TiltShift Generator Fake DSLR

TiltShift Generator Fake DSLR

Make your photos look like they are shots with miniatures, toy camera images and fake DSLR by adding a radial blur to your photos to change the perception of depth. Move the sweet spot with your fingers and increase or decrease its size with TiltShift Generator – Fake DSLR.

Platforms

iPhone and iPad.

Fabric Stash

Fabric Stash

Fabric Stash

Manage, catalogue, match, track quantities and organize your fabrics with Fabric Stash. Perfect for quilters, sewers, interior decorators, fashion designers and fabric designers.

Platforms

iPhone and iPad.

HandiCraft

HandiCraft

HandiCraft

Quilting, knitting, crochet and embroidery on your iPad with more than 150 patterns with full instructions and HD video lessons. HandiCraft features patterns and step-by-step instructions displayed in a beautiful interface.

Platforms

iPad.

iZen Garden 2 – portable zen garden

iZen Garden 2

iZen Garden 2

iZen Garden is a tranquil, Japanese rock garden, where you can find peace and create beauty. Arrange and resize objects like stones, seashells, fossils and butterflies, rake the sand into patterns and listen to soothing, ambient soundtracks.

Platforms

iPad.

Soundrop

Soundrop

Soundrop

Wonderfully fun and simple sound game. Tap the screen to draw lines and watch as a ball bounces off them and Soundrop creates music out of the pattern you create.

Platforms

iPhone and iPad.

Zen Bound 2

Zen Bound 2

Zen Bound 2

Zen Bound is a beautiful puzzle game with gorgeous graphics and sounds. Tilt and touch to wrap and twist the shapes to solve puzzles.

Platforms

iOS devices, Mac OS X and Windows.

For more app tips and tutorials, take a peek in our library of Free Guides for Creating Art and Editing Photos on Your iPad.

© 2014 Marmalade Moon