Ask DN: Finally getting an iPhone! What are some must-have iPhone apps for designers?

almost 7 years ago from , Frontend Software Engineer

Hey guys!

Having been an android user since high school (a 24 now), I'm finally getting an iphone! I've been designing on Mac for ~4 years now, and felt like it was time to switch over.

What are some apps you suggest I get?


  • Alejandro DorantesAlejandro Dorantes, almost 7 years ago


    9 points
  • Devin FountainDevin Fountain, almost 7 years ago

    Sketch Mirror

    When you design in Sketch and you need to say what it will look like on a phone, this is the best way to do it. Forget screenshotting and sending it to yourself, those days are over. This is even recommended to compare colors.


    Need some photos for a mockup? I mean there's always Unsplash, but why not make your own. They may not be as good, but you can get some damn good results from their built in filters.

    Astropad Mini

    If you don't have a tablet, this is the app you want. Use your iPhone as a tablet for Photoshop. You can scale it 1:1, 100% of the screen, or just a small portion, up to you.


    Sort of the same thing as Astropad but not for drawing. If you have an iPhone 6S, this is awesome. A 6S Plus? Even better. This app let's you use your phone as another monitor. I like to position mine horizontally and put Slack on it, that way I always have an eye on it.


    I want to learn more, but I'm working! I can't read and design at the same time, and Audiobooks are often a let down. Why not listen to a podcast? Part talk show, part story time, all captivating. This app is just one of many that let you listen to episodes.


    Music to keep your sanity in check. Apply liberally. If boss occurs, turn up volume for efficient use.


    Email sucks. Long live Slack.

    5 points
  • Nathan NormanNathan Norman, almost 7 years ago

    Pocket for storying web articles to read later. It will even read them to you. https://getpocket.com

    PassLocker for storying passwords. http://innovationbox.com/apps/passlocker/

    Downcast for podcasts http://downcastapp.com/

    ** ETA** to see your estimated time of arrival to different locations http://madebyeastwood.com/eta

    CALC a phenomenal calculator replacement https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id576675190

    OFFOF find out how much "x" is when you take off "y" percent http://offof.drewwilson.com/

    Hours for time tracking https://hourstimetracking.com/

    DN Paper a great way to browse designer news https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dn-paper-designer-news/id900297829?mt=8

    Last Time keep track of the last time you did a certain thing http://sarunw.com/lasttime

    Noizio peaceful background noise while you work/fall asleep http://noiz.io/

    Quotato keep track of your favorite quotes http://quotatoapp.com/

    3 points
    • Alejandro DorantesAlejandro Dorantes, almost 7 years ago

      Calculating percentages is literally the easiest thing next to basic equations (x-1=2). Someone should be ashamed.

      1 point
      • Tom WoodTom Wood, almost 7 years ago

        Literally? Don't be mean, there is no need.

        4 points
      • Andrew SmithAndrew Smith, almost 7 years ago

        It's a great app when you're finishing a meal with several friends and it's come up to $473.35 and want to add 17%, 18% or 19%, you're not sure which rounds it up better for a tip and is easier to divide by the group.

        Much quicker than a calculator

        3 points
  • David HuntDavid Hunt, almost 7 years ago



    2 points
  • Giulio MichelonGiulio Michelon, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )

    1Password, if you don't already use it, is essential.

    1 point
  • Adam Whipple, almost 7 years ago

    Panda Lite - Browse Product Hunt, Medium, Dribbble, Designer News and more by usepanda.com by Panda Network Ltd https://appsto.re/us/hhaU3.i

    Design Hunt: Daily collection of the best products, apps, and inspirations for all creatives. by Talkabout Design LLC https://appsto.re/us/q43U5.i

    Panda is a great way to consume news on mobile across popular sources. Their browser extension is great as well.

    DesignHunt is more of a curated experience that won't overwhelm you trying to keep up with it.

    1 point
  • Dan SherrattDan Sherratt, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )

    I have no idea what is and isn't cross platform, but if I had to recommend must haves from a general perspective...

    Things I use day to day....



    Adobe Preview

    Google Inbox

    Then the most beautifully designed games....

    Mounument Valley

    Alto's Adventure


    Memory Palace

    Ready Steady Play

    Two Dots

    1 point
  • Daniel CondraDaniel Condra, almost 7 years ago
    • Pocket for saving articles for later.
    • Reeder for reading blogs, news sites, etc.
    • Darkroom for photo editing
    • VSCO Cam for more photo editing and photo inspiration.
    • Adobe Capture for adding real elements to your CC Library.

    These are some of my personal favorites right now.

    1 point
  • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, almost 7 years ago

    The only design app I would suggest that hasn't already been suggested is Canvas, if you design in Photoshop - it allows you preview your artboard in real-time (Adobe's own tool rarely works). Adobe's other apps are pretty good (Capture, Sketch, Draw).

    I would also +1 Paper by 53, which recently landed on the iPhone.

    You should definitely check out some of the games exclusives to iOS

    Since you have a mac, you should also consider which apps support hand-off. If you're already using pages on OSX, it's also available on iOS and it works with handoff (iCloud syncing isn't that fast though).

    Lastly, I wouldn't recommend jailbreaking. It has bugs, it can take a very long time for a jailbroken version of the new software update to be cracked (which you would otherwise get on day one), and most of the mods are not really doing much, are of low quality and don't come nowhere near apple's design and stability standards. The good thing is it doesn't void your warranty and you can always restore back to factory settings if you don't like being jailbroken, but I would hold off on it for a while at least.

    0 points
  • Jake Lazaroff, almost 7 years ago

    My favorite iPhone apps:

    • 1Password: great password management app. syncs via Dropbox or iCloud to its Mac counterpart. extensions for Chrome and Safari.
    • Citymapper: if you live in a city, much more convenient than Apple/Google Maps (live arrival times, stations near you, which part of the train to get on, etc)
    • Level: fantastic financial tracking app. put in your recurring expenses and how much you want to save, and it'll tell you how much you can spend every day/week/month.
    • BriefMe: news app that aggregates the most talked about/shared stories online. gives a pretty comprehensive overview of current events.
    0 points
  • Joshua MillerJoshua Miller, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )


    • Evernote
    • Drive
    • Sheets
    • Docs
    • Dropbox
    • Scanbot


    • Slack
    • Basecamp


    • Origami
    • Sketch Mirror
    • Pop
    • Adobe Capture
    • Wake
    • Pixate


    • FastCap
    • Pixelmator
    • Paper by 53
    0 points
  • Robin RaszkaRobin Raszka, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )
    0 points
  • Bayan Damra, almost 7 years ago
    • Assembly app
    • Medium app
    • LogoScopic studio for inspiration
    • Issuu for design magazine
    0 points