January 13th 2012

5 must-have apps for designers

If you’re a web designer, chances are you spend an awful lot of time at your computer. But now that devices such as the iPhone and iPad are so designer friendly, you can take more of your work out on the go, instead of staying inside your stuffy office all day.

Here are five of our favorite apps, designed with the designer in mind. Whether its for productivity, brainstorming, checking out traffic, or having a trouble shooting back-up, these five apps will make your designing life a heck of a lot easier.


If you’re looking for a high quality mobile wireframing and mockup app for your iOS and web projects, look no further than iMockups.

As the winner of Applied Arts – Best Mobile App Award in 2010, iMockups combines an easy-to-use, smooth interface with intuitive technology. Creative professionals will love this iPad-ready app, that lets you design any app you want with a comprehensive and growing list of pre-built dynamic controls that will turn your ideas into full fledged designs. It help keeps the designer focused, with low fidelity mockups that encourage feedback, in a clearly executed manner. Its quick response lets you create mockups in a snap, and with the touch of a finger you can email editble projects to others for easy collaboration, even those without an iPad. Loaded with customizable UI controls, a full-screen presentation mode, full content creation and editing controls, and a gorgeous interface, this is one app that professional designers should definitely have in their repertoire.

Get it here.

Adobe Ideas

If you need a digital sketchbook, this is the one. Adobe® Ideas is the perfect companion to Adobe Illustrator® and Adobe Photoshop®, letting you easily sketch using vectors and different color themes. The app allows you to draw ten layers plus a photo layer for each sketch, as well the ability to transform layers. You can also control specific layer opacity and move, rotate and scale each layer independently. Other awesome perks include a perfect zoom, variable brush choices, a vector eraser, a huge workspace, well laid-out organization, and loads of other features. Users can also easily save their drawings to their iPad and iPhone albums and email ideas as PDF files for later editing. The app is available in four languages (English, German, French, and Japanese) and is a must for any design-driven iPad or iPhone.

Get it here.


MindNode is a simple to use and intuitive application for collecting, organizing and
outlining your thoughts and ideas, creating them as a mind map. You might remember the use of a mind map in elementary school, well, it’s perfect for any designer’s brainstorm process. MindNode touch makes this happen with ease. Users just create new nodes on the canvas by dragging them out of the node well, which is a plus sign next to a selected node. They can then edit new nodes directly on the canvas, easily rearrange them (or let them be automatically rearranged), change branches, search and collapse, export to other documents, such as FreeMind, OPML outlines, text outlines, and PNG images, share with MindNode Pro on your Mac, and plenty of other features.

Get it here.

FTP On-The-Go

FTP On-the-Go is the perfect app for when you aren’t at your desk. The short version? You can fix a broken website from anywhere. The app allows you to securely log into your server from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, and do what needs doing. Users can download files and use the built-in text editor. The Find and Replace option makes it done in seconds, and a simple press of the Save button lets you upload your changes. You can even change file permissions, view document files (such as Word, Excel, PDF, PowerPoint, and image files), and download them onto your device. You can also store files for later, and lets you share them just as easily. Uploading is easy, and the app includes plenty of advanced features, such as compression, a master password, and more.

Get it here.

Ego for iPad

When you’re looking for an app that deals with web stats, Ego for iPad is just the app – and then one better. It adds additional detailed views that lets you know even more information about your current websites’ statistics. While you’re checking them out, you can also respond to your mentions on Twitter, check out Feedburner, Google Analytics and Mint 2, see what is happening with Ember, Squarespace, and Vimeo, and browse your Tumblr Dashboard. Ego supports as many widgets of each type as you want, so you can check all of your data instead of logging in and out of various websites. The simple and elegant interface is perfect for any designer or company, a definite must-have with many updates to come.

Get it here.

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Andrew's Biography

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.