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Our Top 9 Must Have Apps for Creatives

May 1, 2015

Despite hours of hard work testing 118 different apps for my last mega blog post, a few of you got in touch to say that I’d missed some of your favourite apps! I’m terribly sorry, particularly that they were some of the most creative apps…and I like to think of myself as a creative creature. So thanks so much for your helpful feedback (especially Lydia for recommending several apps for me to review).

So this list is specifically for the creatives, those who like to play! But if you are a creative film-maker or photographer, you might also want to check out the previous lists I recommended – click here for the top 16 photo apps and click here for the top 10 film making apps.

Top 5 Apps for Drawing

1. Draw Cast

DrawCast - Our Top 9 Must Have Apps for Creatives

Despite a few irate messages on the web about this app having locked people out, our readers seem to love it, so I’m going to include it in the recommendations. I haven’t been locked out myself, so it could be a glitch that some people are experiencing, or perhaps the company has responded to the comments.

DrawCast allows you to connect with other artists and creatives, view their drawings, chat to them, make your own drawings and sketches and designs. For a free app it’s pretty incredible, you can add or remove layers, customise brush sizes, mix colours, tag and share drawings. It’s quite simply brilliant.

2. Auryn Ink

Aurynink - Our Top 9 Must Have Apps for Creatives

It just never ceases to amaze me how far technology has advanced in the past few years. This is digital paint. It’s incredible. It’s really easy to use, and what blows my mind is that you can set the degree of wetness using the water function. Seriously, apps are getting really clever! And I think I paint better using digital.

This app costs £2.99 in the UK App store, but if you have ever bough watercolours, you’ll recognise the considerable saving you’ll be making. Yes, some people want to keep using the real stuff. I am like this with books, but that doesn’t mean I don’t go with convenience every now and again – give it a try. It’s impressive.

3. Paper by FiftyThree

PaperbyFiftyThree - Our Top 9 Must Have Apps for Creatives

Winner of Apple App of the Year 2012, this free app is like a digital version of an artist’s sketchbook. The new version (2.4.2) also includes one of the most requested features, a free, automatic backup of all your journals when you log into your FiftyThree account.

4. Procreate

Procreate - Our Top 9 Must Have Apps for Creatives

At £4.49 in the UK app store, this app is one of the more expensive in the bundle, but with 4.5 star rating from customers, it looks to be worth it. Designed specifically for the iPad, this app has been tweaked to get the absolute most power you can get out of your iPad.

Described as “the most powerful and intuitive digital illustration App available for iPad®. It’s packed with features artists love, including 120 incredible brushes, advanced layer blending, 64-bit performance and a uniquely powerful brush engine”.

5. Art Rage

ArtRage - Our Top 9 Must Have Apps for Creatives

This app is excellent for doing quick sketches when your creative juices are flowing. Choose from a range of brush types and oils and watercolors. Great for experimenting with ideas. And for £3.99 it’s again a lot cheaper than the paints, canvasses and brushes.

Top 4 Apps for Making Music

1. FL Studio

FLStudio - Our Top 9 Must Have Apps for Creatives

Fruity Loops studio. Some say basic, but I know of several high quality music producers who produce on FL Studio (the computer version, not the app)…but if you use it properly the possibilities are way more exciting than you might initially think. This is at the higher end of the app pricing scale (at £13.99), but in comparison, it’s an incredibly affordable piece of multi-tracking music production software.

2. Figure

Figure - Our Top 9 Must Have Apps for Creatives

Made by Propellerhead (who have an insanely good reputation for music tech and gear) this is a really great app for making techno bloops and beats. It’s fun, completely free, and pretty extravagant.

3. Garage Band

GarageBand - Our Top 9 Must Have Apps for Creatives

If you want to make music from anywhere, this is a great app. Personally I like FL Studio better, but Garage Band is really easy to use and straightforward. There’s a whole array of instruments you can use with your touchscreen too. And it costs less than FL Studio at only £3.99.

4. Samplr

Samplr - Our Top 9 Must Have Apps for Creatives

I’d go so far as to say this is my favourite music making app ever. Colin (from the iCloud Login team) recommended it to me, and it is so much fun for chopping up and reusing samples. Slice, loop, bow, tape and scratch samples to your hearts delight. This app is really brilliant, and we think it adds kudos on the live scene too.

Have fun playing with your new apps. Next week I’ll do a post on the best apps for kids, as many of you pointed out I’d missed those too.

Happy weekend, Penny x

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